Hiking Favorites of 2011

2011 Gear Favorites

In 2011, I logged a bunch of dirt and snow trail miles, over 800 miles in fact. I had a chance to try new gear and gain a deeper respect and love for old favorites. Surprisingly, I think I even altered how I now tolerate some of the daily discomforts that often accompany the hiker. Believe me this is good news. Especially when in the process of cutting pack weight, unfortunately the result does not always equal ultra comfy.

I have always been thankful for online hiker gear lists and find them super helpful. Last year I posted Hiking Favorites of 2010. After compiling my 2011 list, I found a few new finds that really made a difference or were just plain fun,  like Amtrak and hiking in a skirt.  I have posted information in past blog entries about some of the gear on the list and others I will be adding in-depth information upcoming in 2012. Also, I have included my updated Misc. Tried and True Favorites, which includes The Diva Cup (number one piece of gear I am asked about).

Please leave a comment below if you have questions or input. I just LOVE  talking gear. Happy 2012!

Hiking Favorites of 2011

Trail Shoe: Merrell Moab Ventilator Waterproof, I am a Moab fan, but this year I used the waterproof version while hiking the snow-covered Sierras. They also work great for winter hiking because they are warmer and keep dry feet.
Hiking Skirt: I have several brands and love them all. Love, love, love hiking in a skirt. Try it.
Pack: ULA Circuit, bought this first because of weight and recommendations, but this video featuring a woman sealed the deal. The pack is comfortable, very durable, fits a bear canister, and easy to pack.
Food Protection: Bearikade Weekender Bear Canister (simply the lightest approved canister available)
Headlamp: Petzl E02 P2 e+LITE Headlamp with Integrated
Traction Device: Kahtoola Microspikes and CAMP Corsa Ice Ax (ultra lightweight but worked well on steep snow fields)
Sock: NRS Wet Socks
Camera: Panasonic Lumix LX5
Water Container: 1 liter Aquafina water bottle and Wide Mouth 1 liter Gatorade bottle for filtering water with Steripen, picture here
First Aid: Nu Skin (sample size found at Dollar Store)
Backpacking Food: Breakfast and lunch drink, Gatorade 1 liter bottle (fruit punch…my favorite) and powder packets, Cliff Bar flavors Coconut Chocolate Chip and Gingerbread (seasonal flavor), Nutella
Hiker Transportation: AMTRAK train
Best Climb: San Jacinto Peak
Best section of trail: Castle Crags State Park to Etna Summit
PCT Maps: Halfmile’s PCT maps and way-points
Phone/GPS/Camera/Blog Writer/Book/Voice Recorder/Music Player: iPhone 4s of course
iPhone App:
Star Walk, iMovie
Hiker Info Card:
Moo Mini Business Cards
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol
Magazine: Women’s Adventure Magazine and Facebook page
Health and Exercise Podcast: The Jillian Michaels Show
Health Book: Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

Misc. Tried and True Favorites

Down Jacket: Mont-bell U.L. Down Inner Jacket (this in my pack always, here is what it looks like on)
Trail Shoe: Merrell Moab Ventilator (after the plethora of trail shoes I tried and went through, this was the overall winner, comfortable, cushy, tough, grippy, and no blisters, not water-proof)
Socks: injinji Trail Toesock (click here for pic and thoughts)
Sleeping Pad: Therm A Rest Neo Air (okay, this little item is simply 2 1/2 inches of luxury)
Poles: GossamerGear LT4S Trekking Poles adjustable with straps (the Mercedes of poles, once you try these babies you are hooked)
Hygiene: Diva cup (for ladies only, I really like Wired’s quick review), Dermatone Lip Balm
Comfort: Z-rest sit pad
i Phone apps: Topo Maps, PeakFinder, Evernote (I use this for hiking to do lists, mileage, food, resupply info, GPS Info, shopping, trip ideas, anything I want to remember)
Necessary Hiker Fashion: Tarma Jewelry
Rain and Water Protection: Trash compactor bag (inexpensive waterproof tough pack liner and cover)
Misc.: Zip lock baggies (I especially like the snack and quart sizes), cotton bandana (sun shade, Kleenex, towel)

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  6. Love my ULA Circuit too! I got it in custom Purple – I had a Gregory Jade 50 last year, just wasn’t right in the torso (and I tried on everything REI, Moosejaw, and Uncle Dan’s had to offer), plus it was just shy of 4 lbs. My hiking camera’s a Panasonic Lumix, too. Great minds think alike!

    • Hey I just visited your site and Christy by Cathrine Marshall is also one of my very favorite books! AND I had no idea that ULA makes custom color packs. So what are your favorite settings on your Lumix? So glad you stopped by.

  7. Great post Rockin’! I definitely need to get a Lumix camera. I loved your review on it and definitely need to step up from my 5 year old Canon…

    • Hello Hiking Lady! Good to hear from you. I LOVE the Lumix, especially for outdoor and low light photography. I do know that since my purchase, a few camera manufacturers have come out with some very cool new cameras. Isn’t that always the way?

  8. Yay! Your gear selections are always evolving and that’s great! I’m so cheap, I try to stick with the same thing til it won’t work anymore. I was jealous all hike of all the PCTers that had the ULA Circuit. Somehow, I never tried it on! It’s at the top of my wishlist for new gear.

    • Hey Wired! I was also looking at the Mariposa Plus by Gossamer. I keep seeing it over and over again. However the Mariposa would not have have been a great choice in the Sierras, where pack weight tips the scale (bear canister, ice axe, crampons, and FOOD). It is fun just dreaming and thinking of new gear.

  9. Good information. I followed the link for the ULA backpack, and I am pretty impressed. Looks like a pack I would like.

    • I love it for thru-hiking. It is very comfortable when hauling extra weight due to food and water, durable, and easy to organize gear with just the right amount of pockets. All under 3 pounds.

  10. What great information! I love the extras that you added, like podcasts & magazines and stuff! Super great!

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