Preparations, Equipment, & Miscellaneous

I typically bring the following:

  • A backpack with the following:
    • A 1.5 liter gin bottle, … filled with WATER.  (These bottles have a convenient shape and are quite durable)
    • One or two drinking bottles for use while on the trail
    • A Primus ETA Express butane stove and a canister of fuel
    • Two GSI camp cups plus small bottles of ‘additives’ for the coffee (whiskey or brandy or whatever I fancy that week)
    • A reusable coffee filter & some freshly ground coffee (Jay brings the coffee)
    • A small ground cloth to use as our “table”
    • Some snacks for the mid-hike break: between us we have some sort of trail mix, some granola bars, maybe some fruit, and always peanut butter crackers
    • A few paper towels and plastic bags, plus toilet paper
    • A pack of first aid supplies including sun screen
    • Oh, and a small backpacking shovel and paper towels, for you-know-what
  • For navigating and recording our tracks:
    • A DeLorme PN-60 GPS with freshly charged PowerEx Imedion lithium ion batters and two sets of spares
      • I preload the PN-60 with ground tracks of the hike for the day and waypoints in the vicinity, when these are available
        • Nearly all the trails and associated waypoints in the Sandia Mountains are available from the online companion to the Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide, and in various formats for different GPS units and .KML files for GoogleEarth
        • If I can find records of others who have made hikes, then I will down load GPS tracks if available, or with the help of GoogleEarth I will transcribe them into .gpx files for the PN-60
        • In the absence of these resources, and when we have chosen a destination such as a pueblo ruins site, I will guestimate the best track from the nearest parking spot to the destination using GoogleEarth
    • An Android Smartphone for taking photos, and running whatever GPS App I happen to like that week.  UPDATE (2/1/2017): I now carry the Smartphone -and- an LG Android Tablet (nice to have the larger screen), and I’m using the best GPS/Navigation/Track Recording tool yet: US Topo Maps Free.
      • My standard is Maverick Pro, but I have experimented with Trimble Navigator, Delorme Earthmate, AllTrails.com, and OsmAnd
      • In preparation for a hike, I load the appropriate map tiles at home so that I have off-line access to the map for the App I will be using
      • And I make it a point to keep the phone charged until just before we embark on the hike
    • And a compass and occasionally a printed map (‘tho the GPS and the cellphone are preferred as those devices typically have greater detail and track our position real-time)
  • My companions bring additional stuff to meet their needs and to share:
    • Jay brings in his backpack:
      • Poncho
      • Bandanas
      •  
        Extra sox
      • Extra tee
      • Gerber Crucial multi-tool
      • Drinking water
      • Plastic spoons
      • Raw sugar
      • Sunscreen
      • Butane lighter
      • Prescription strength ibuprofen
      • Powergen auxiliary power supply for iPhone
      • iPhone case that belt inserts thru (prevents phone from popping off belt clip and making us go back to find it)
      • Ben’s bug repellent wipes
      • Tweezers (anti prickly pear tool)
      • Coffee
      • His favorite trail mix of the week
    • An iPhone with GPS Motion X app for recording our tracks and taking great photos.

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