Hiking

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Gobi Gear SegSac

Sometimes, simple is better. And when all you need is a clever means of organizing your outdoors EDC, extra bells and whistles in your gear can just add unnecessary weight. The Gobi Gear SegSac is a no-frills, lightweight bag for keeping the stuff in your camping bag in its proper place. Constructed from an ultralight 30D fabric, the barrel-shaped stuff sack is separated by four internal compartments. It cinches up securely thanks to a nylon drawstring, cord lock, and reinforced seams. Optional compression straps pack down the sack to save room in your main bag while keeping everything organized. You can grab a SegSac to simplify your outdoors carry before your next adventure at their Kickstarter campaign. If you actually do need a few more bells and whistles in your stuff sack, check out their more feature-packed HoboRoll too.

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Gear to Enjoy Your Hike to the Fullest

Hiking is all about relaxing, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, and getting quality exercise. In parts one and two, we gave you all the necessary components to get you out there and keep you safe. Now we're going to outfit you for comfort!

The items we'll list here aren't essential to your experience on the trail, but they will enhance your relaxation and help you enjoy nature just a bit more. The idea behind items like these is simple — no matter where you end up, you can plop down, take it all in and an ear-to-ear grin will spread across your face. As we wrap up this series, our hope is that you'll take our gear recommendations into consideration and be encouraged to find local and distant parks to explore. You'll find, just as we have, that the benefits are limitless and the rewards are yours for the taking. Now, let's get started.

Hanging Around


ENO DoubleNest Hammock
If you've never felt the joy that comes from being suspended in the air between two trees, you haven't lived. Ok, maybe that's a bit much. In all seriousness, there's almost no chance of you laying in a hammock and not feeling totally at ease. As a matter of fact, the most risk you'll encounter is probably getting drowsy and dozing off. For the ultimate in backcountry serenity, check out the ENO DoubleNest. It's light, packs down a hair bigger than a softball and goes up easy. Don't forget the suspension straps!
BUY ($70)

Seating


Therm-A-Rest Trail Seat
Sure, you're in the outdoors; sitting on the ground is totally acceptable. For some, it's even preferred. But since we're here to talk about comfort, let's get you off the ground, even if it's only an inch or two. To keep your backside dry and free of dirt, take a look at the self inflating and super packable Therm-A-Rest Trail Seat.
BUY ($20)

Seating… Improved


Alite Designs Monarch Chair
So we got you off the ground, which is a comfort step in the right direction, but it's not lounging. If you want real comfort, you'll need to pack an actual chair. Seems hard to believe, right? The Alite Designs Monarch Chair will stun you with its strength to weight ratio, as well as its extreme packability. It's like reclining in your den, but in nature.
BUY ($58)

Reading


Kindle Paperwhite
Luxuries in the outdoors are easy, even when you're far from civilization. Just thinking about throwing everything I could possibly need onto my back and heading out gives me goosebumps. Now that you're either laying or sitting somewhere in the woods, it's time to relax. Feel the breeze and the sound of rustling leaves while taking in a good book with a Kindle Paperwhite. Its glare-free display works great in the sun, and with a storage capacity that holds over 1,000 books, you'll never be without.
BUY ($119)

Tunes


Apple iPod Nano
Perhaps reading isn't your thing. Totally understandable, but if you're reading this, you've at least stuck around to enjoy this Carry Smarter series (we appreciate that). Since we still have to keep you non readers entertained, here's option number two! The 16GB Apple iPod Nano will serve you well on all fronts. You can take a chunk of your digital music library with you, and even keep up with local weather and traffic with the built-in FM tuner.
BUY ($140)

A Little Something Extra


Platypus PlatyPreserve Wine Preservation System
This last entry is a bonus because it's truly the ultimate in outdoor leisure. Whether by yourself, or with a companion, to sip wine in nature is luxury refined. Try out the Platypus PlatyPreserve to store 800ml of your favorite red while you're out and about. Don't forget to check laws for consuming alcohol on state and federal land!
BUY ($40)
There you have it, all you could ever need to know about the gear to get you started, keep you safe and give you comfort on a day hike. Take our precautions seriously and learn about nature before heading out. There are plenty of resources available. For now, tell us what you think about the comfort items we recommended and let us know how much you enjoyed our hiking Carry Smarter series.

Must-Have Gear for Emergency Situations

So you've gone out on your first adventure, gear in tow. But then, trouble...

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Hit the Trail with These 6 Hiking Essentials

Editor’s Note: Chris Szaroleta is one of our community’s most active members. He’s a corporate trainer by profession, but a gear enthusiast and lover of the outdoors at heart. After seeing his well-built hiking carry and his contributions to our forum topic on hiking, we asked Chris to school us on hiking safely and efficiently. Here's part 1 of his Carry Smarter primer on hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
You're undoubtedly aware that consistent physical activity will result in positive health benefits abound. Stress relief, mental acuity, calorie burning and stamina building are only a few examples. However, combining exercise with EDC culture can sometimes be problematic — you won't find too many guys at the gym pumping iron with a flashlight in their pocket or a multi-tool on their hip. Luckily, there's a simple solution to this EDCer conundrum... go for a hike! Hiking combines the highest degree of the previously mentioned health benefits, along with the need to carry gear. Truly, it's a win-win for those of us who want to stay in shape and have our essentials with us.
There's no shortage of reference material to assist in building your understanding of nature's complexities. And while there's absolutely no substitute for a good, working knowledge of outdoor skills, it'll be to your benefit to keep certain items with and on you. This first installment of this three-part series focuses specifically on day hiking (in warm to moderate to moderate climates) and the bare-bones essentials you'll need to get started on your first jaunt into the woods.

A Quick Note on Clothing…

We won't begin from the ground up with detailed information about apparel or footwear. Those are important elements to consider when hiking, but clothing and boots have more to do with personal preference. In general, try to find comfortable attire with moisture wicking properties and boots that fit well, provide ankle support, have substantial tread and water proofing or resistance. Now let’s get into some essential EDC items for shorter hikes.

Backpack & Hydration


Osprey Packs Talon 33 Backpack
For a day hike, you'll want something durable, lightweight and formed to fit many body styles. Enough room for your gear, some minor organization and an internal sleeve for your hydration bladder will suffice. To accommodate these features, look to the Osprey Packs Talon 33 Backpack. 33L is ample for day hike needs, but can be a functional multi-day option with an intelligently packed, minimalist approach. Osprey also provides one of the best warranties in the industry.
BUY ($130)

Platypus Hoser Hydration System
As for hydration, ease of use and quality control reign supreme. Check out the Platypus Hoser Hydration System. This 2L option will fit snugly in the hydration sleeve of your pack, and will provide you with plenty of water for a quick out and back trip.
BUY ($20)

First Aid


Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight & Watertight Kit
Scrape a knee, cut a finger or get a blister and you'll be happy you were prepared. Adventure Medical Kits makes various first aid necessities to assist the casual and advanced hiker when injuries occur. To keep it light and simple, try out the Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight & Watertight .9 Kit.
BUY ($30)

Multi-Tool


Leatherman Wave
Having nearly limitless functionality to assist in completing common tasks, a good multi-tool is an invaluable resource to have in your day-to-day, let alone, in the woods. Grab a Leatherman Wave for one of the most feature packed multi-tools available.
BUY ($80)

Illumination


Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
It's easy to lose track of time when hiking. If darkness begins descending and you still have a bit of a trek back to your car, you'll want a light to guide your way. Your eyes go where your head goes, so stay hands-free with a headlamp to illuminate the trail. Check out the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp for bonus features at a great price.
BUY ($39)

Timekeeping


Casio SGW100-1V
To help avoid letting time slip away, wear a rugged, multi-functional watch built to withstand the elements. Slap the budget-friendly Casio SGW100-1V on your wrist to aid in navigating if you get off trail and to check for an accurate air temperature reading.
BUY ($41)
Editor’s Note: By now, you’re equipped with the bare-bones knowledge to hit the trails for a short dayhike. Stay tuned for part two, where we'll examine emergency preparedness and survival gear. Do you hike often, or want to get started? We hope this guide was useful! Let us know in the comments below.