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Thread: What to have in a daypack?

  1. #1
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    Default What to have in a daypack?

    Just getting into hiking and I wanted to know what would be good things to have in a daypack. Also I have some snowshoes and I was curious if there are good hikes around the Anchorage area that can be done in the winter? Can you do Crow Creek in the winter?

    Thanks,
    Bobbi

  2. #2
    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    I keep a small first aid kit, flashlight, emergency space blanket (silver on one side orange on the other can be used as a signal device), emergency fire starters (in water tight container), mosquito repellent, small roll of TP (with garbage bags), knife and I throw in a bottle of water when I'm headed out.
    Sorry don't know any of the trails in that area. I'm down on the Kenai.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  3. #3

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    I look at a "Day Pack" as a stripped down Emergency overnight pack, so I want everything I need to stay alive. The very minimum I would have is a "Thermo-lite 2.0 Bivvy Sack" (about 8 oz.)......A good home made First-Aid Kit, including Quick-Clot" & a 6"X6" field dressing bandage. Also my (PLB) Personal Locator Beacon. Leather Gloves for summer (sharp rocks). Gore'tex rain/wind hooded jacket. Fresh socks. Nibbles. I drink unfiltered water everywhere, but you may want a water bottle or bladder. Bug'dope. small camera. redundant fire starting systems. If I am doing a deep day hike I'll even take a 2# sleeping bag liner. Your mileage may vary.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    Well you will recieve different answers for your question and mine is it sorta depends on the trail, the distance, time of year, likelihood of being found, and how you dress. Not all day hikes are equal so you need to use judgement.

    But during the summer for me on an established trail its typically a lightweight raincoat that can be used as a windbreaker/jacket too. Bug repellant, fire starter (2 methods), biking gloves, collapseable hiking poles, small first aid kit, water bottle, cell phone, camera, snacks, bear spray and/or other, a map and compass or gps. I use this map a lot for the kenai peninsula.
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=203

    Try to keep all items as light as possible so you take them. Use a daypack with a waiststrap and chest strap.


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  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    What to carry in a daypack depends on the length of the hike, location, how familiar I am with the trail, how well traveled it is, weather etc. The problem with the kitchen sink approach is you'll likely get out of the habbit of carrying the pack, and hence won't have those items when you need them. When your day pack becomes an overnight pack, hikes that would be easy day hikes become overnight hikes.

    My daypacks have varied from a water bottle and energy bar to include a first aid kit, spare thermal underware and rain gear, camp stove and a small shelter. I prefer to travel as light as possible.

    As far as Crow Creek in the winter, there are several avalanche chutes that flow across the trail. While I'm sure it would be a wonderful winter hike, it would not be my first choice. Lots of great winter hikes from the Glen Alps trail head.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    My day pack consists of the following:
    **My PSK (personal survival kit) which is just a small pouch containing a mylar blanket, plastic sheet, candle, mini-bic, snare wire, magnesium bar, cotton tinder, small keychain LED flashlight, a small fishing kit, matches, duct tape, cordage, signal mirror, whistle, magnifying lens, tin foil, button compass, wire saw, water filter, pencil, 4 small nails, and 2 AA batteries. (All of that fits in a pouch 1-1/2" thick, 7" long, 4" tall. It fits in my cargo pocket.)
    **Knife
    **2 liters of water in SS bottles
    **Snack
    **PLB
    **GPS
    **Full size compass/Map
    **SS Cup
    **Survival bivy
    **First Aid Kit
    **Hat
    **Gloves
    **Rainpants
    **TP

    And I always wear synthetic or wool clothing (no cotton), good boots and have a good windproof/waterproof shell.

    My daypack is about 10 lbs. With what I carry, I feel confident I could signal for help, build a fire, build a shelter, purify water and gather food, and find my direction without visual aids to self-rescue.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Hello...a Cell Phone. In remote areas, consider a SAT phone. Everything else is personal choice.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Even in the Chugach front range, cell phone reception is poor to non existant.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    Hello...a Cell Phone. In remote areas, consider a SAT phone. Everything else is personal choice.
    Keep the phones at home and own a PLB. (Not a STOP thingie)

  10. #10
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    I don't disagree that taking a phone or sat phone is a good idea- but the post that suggested it said "everything else is personal choice" and that really disturbed me. Park Rangers around the Country tell stories about people (aka "statistics") that thought a cell phone and a candy bar constituted a personal survival kit. It does not. A cell phone doesn't work in MOST of Alaska, and a cell phone will not help you to build a shelter, start a fire, gather wood, keep warm, keep dry, tend your wounds, find something to eat, navigate (Nav apps usually don't work without a cell signal), filter water, etc. It also won't help you signal (make a phone call) if it has no signal. Not only that, but it is everyone's responsibility to NOT get into a bad situation and if they do to attempt self-rescue BEFORE calling SAR. If all you have is a cell phone, you are more likely to get lost in the first place and more likely to not be able to self-rescue. I applaud the OP for asking what he should carry because that mean's he's thinking and plans on being responsible.

    Every kit should have the basics to: build a fire, build a shelter, procure sustenance, get water, signal for rescue, and navigate. A standard personal survival kit with the bare minimum to meet these needs will fit in a cargo pocket or a jacket pocket. There simply is no excuse not to carry the basics. And it can save your life.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    I am going to respectfully disagree about the cell phone. I used mine this spring for a search and rescue as I spoke about in this thread.
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ight=tustumena
    and it wasn't the first time for me doing this.

    Of course cell phones aren't the answer to every emergency situation but the reality is most day hikers aren't in possession of a PLB or sat phone so a cell is all they got. Cell phones have initiated many SAR's in the state. Yes they have limitations, but they aren't useless.

  12. #12

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    I agree with Tustemena about the cell phone. While it's true that we have limited coverage in Alaska, I'm frequently surprised at where they do work. If you are anywhere near town and can get up on a ridge you can sometimes get a signal. A sat phone or PLB is definately a better choice, but if a cell phone is all you have, I would take it on day hikes.

    But I also very much agree with EagleRiverDee that you should make every effort to stay out of trouble in the first place. If that fails (most all of us have screwed up a time or two) then you should be prepared to get yourself out of trouble. Calling for SAR should be an absolute last resort when life or limb is at stake.

    I would strongly not recommend Crow Pass in the winter. Much of that trail on the Girdwood side is a classic avalanche terrain trap. Even a small slide can have big consequences in that kind of terrain. There are lots better choices for winter hikes. If you plan on doing winter hiking you really should get some training in avalanche safety. I've helped recover a couple of bodies from slides. Not fun.

  13. #13
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    Great list. Do you have a recommendation on a GPS unit? Also, don't forget extra socks that are comfortable and absorbent! I recommend Daneli and found a great deal at footwearetc.com .

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