Is your gear good to go?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Is your gear good to go?

Post by balzaccom » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:46 am

My wife and I have hiked something more than 2500 miles in the Sierra Nevada and other parts of the West. We've backpacked for years and years, and we are as experienced a pair as you are likely to find on any given day on the trail. So what could possibly go wrong?

Well, on our last trip, just as an example, we had a few misfortunes. My toothbrush broke. It was a source of some amusement to see me trying to brush my teeth holding the stub of the brush with both hands and still reach the teeth in the back of my mouth.

And my sunglasses also snapped above the ear. No worries, we had packed duct tape--except that for some reason I had switched lip balms, and the supply of duct tape was wrapped around the old lip balm tube, not the new one. That's OK. We also have adhesive tape in the first aid kit. In fact, that tape came from my parents' first aid kit...and let's mom passed away how many years ago?

So It was tape, but it wasn't adhesive. hmm. Luckily, we still had a few small band-aids, and a couple of them, wrapped around a twig as a splint, fixed the sunglasses at least enough to get him home. Just a reminder that it pays to make sure all your gear is newish...and that you've also got a back up!


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Re: Is your gear good to go?

Post by rlown » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:48 am

Maybe a second pair of sunglasses? And wrap your duct tape on your trekking poles just under the handle? Or around a poly bottle?

But yes, things do need to be updated from time to time at the start of each season.

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Re: Is your gear good to go?

Post by SSSdave » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:34 am

Have placed some of that discussion in this "prepping 2019 summer backpacking" thread:


Top grade duct tape is one of the most useful items to bring along on trips that I've make considerable use from over the decades. In this era the commonly available 1.88 inch width black Gorilla Tape with its tenacious adhesive and ability to tear cleanly is a best choice.

On longer trips like the one I finished packing for yesterday, I tend to do a more through time going through my really long gear checklist. I tend to gradually recall over a few days what needs attention then mark such on the checklist. For instance lots of batteries need charging, and a stack of SDcard media needs reformatting removing image files from recent trips. My big tripod screws tend to loosen with use so I added glue on the threads. Had to look at all my lighters to make sure they had adequate butane fluid and spinning sparkers actually could cause a flame. As I packed up my BA Copper Spur UL1, recalled I sometimes waste time attaching the grommets upside down to poles so grabbed a large black marker and marked all the ends as well as the numbered to pole snaps so when it is just a wadded up bunch in my hand know what I'm looking at. Much more of course.

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Re: Is your gear good to go?

Post by neil d » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:58 pm

Good reminder here. My equipment organization gets better as the season goes on, but I am a slave to the mighty checklist, and also make a point to start staging and inspecting gear at least several days in advance of all but the simplest overnight trips.

On a recent trip, the piezo on my stove gave out, and I had a moment of panic trying to find my lighter. Now I have three lighters: one with the stove, one in the food bag/can, and one in a backpack pocket.

It also occurred to me that a small knife or at least a safely-packed razor blade is not a terrible thing to have two of...

I think backup sunglasses is a really really good idea. I would be miserable if something happened to my sunglasses...need to look for a cheap, low-profile emergency pair.

First aid items are really important to rotate. Those antimicrobial wipes dry out, and adhesive tape definitely has a shelf life.

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