New gear may be needed

Sunday, 19th May 2013; 5:04 pm

When I first thought about adding a day or two of hiking to this year’s scooter trip to the UP, I figured I could just fudge it somehow using my existing gear. Not by bringing my full internal-frame backpack, which I’d used years ago on week-long backpacking trips. After all, I wouldn’t need to pack anything close to that amount of food and other gear, and transporting that rigid behemoth on my scooter simply wouldn’t work. But by using the old daypack (well, more like a bookpack) I’ve had forever: I’d put my clothes and sleeping bag in the pack, strap the tent to the outside somehow, and carry the rest of what I’d need in my shoulder bag.

Well, maybe not.

I’ve just dug out all of the gear I plan to bring – the same gear I’ve been taking on the past several scooter trips, plus cooking equipment with some freeze-dried food and some other nicknacks – and I just can’t see how to put it all together with the bags I have. The daypack is also showing its age, starting to come apart as the seams. And since it wasn’t designed to carry a full load like I’m looking to stuff it with (it has no hip strap, for example), I’m not sure it’d work, even for a couple days of hiking.

So I think I’m going to have to invest in a proper daypack (big enough to strap a small tent to). I hesitate to spend the money, because I’m really not much of a weekend camper: I prefer to go all-in for a week in the wilderness. But maybe once I’m done with the long rides like this, spending some weekends on nearby trails might be a good idea for future get-aways.

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