Every year, Jon and I say we’re going to start hiking more. And every year the summer comes and goes and we don’t dedicate time to the mountains – the ones that we can see from our living room window.
It’s kinda sad because we are literally surrounded with natural beauty. (It’s the nice weather we’re waiting for, I tell myself.)
This year we’re motivated by more than the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We have our sites set on the Snowman Trek in Bhutan for the fall of 2013.
The Snowman Trek is considered to be the hardest trek in the world with 11 passes, many over 16,000 feet and one over 18,000. It’s not something that one takes lightly. And as, such we’re starting our training now.
Die-hard hikers will laugh but the fact that we’ve been out hiking twice just in the last week is a big deal for us. We first did Little Si (1,900 feet) and then Mt. Si (3,900 feet).
On both hikes, I took the Osprey Syncro 20 with me.
This daypack is comfortable enough that I wore it for 4 hours of hiking and never felt like it was Beth with Osprey Syncro 20uncomfortable or heavy. It has a light internal frame that keeps the shape sturdy and the hydration/reservoir system in place.
I travel A LOT… For both work and pleasure, which means I’ve gone through many different pieces of luggage over the years. Bags get torn by airport conveyers, smashed by cargo doors, and saturated by inclement weather. You never know when you, and your overweight bag are going to have to break into a sprint, just to catch a connecting flight. All of these factors take their toll on luggage and when combined, they often leave packs tattered and broken. One of my favorite pieces that has managed to get me through thick and thin is my Osprey Meridian 22. The main rolling carry-on piece has hideaway shoulder straps and hip belt, which have been lifesavers in moments when I’ve had to quickly throw it on my back and make a mad dash for my gate. The detachable daypack carries my laptop and other necessities when I need to get to an Internet café to upload photos or put the finishing touches on a blog post. It also carries my camera gear on short hikes in the mountains and around town… quite the solid little backpack. These days when you miss flights, they usually end up costing more than just your hard-earned money, especially when it comes to business (almost missed my job in Nice due to the Passport Fiasco).
Rolling carry-on luggage can be very limiting. If you know that you have the ability to check your bag and pick it up on the other end, you’re golden …but the minute you want to switch things up is when it gets interesting. I planned on flying to London and staying for three months – but knew I would have random jobs throughout Europe which could require travel by trains, buses, ferries, subways, airplanes, and my own two feet. Spontaneously I cut my trip short to holiday on the island of Tenerife, where I have been backpacking, camping and couch surfing for the past month. Don’t forget that last minute 12-day Mediterranean cruise I booked for early August, departing from Barcelona and finishing in Venice! Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry about lugging your belongings all over the place. Life is about options, and that’s what you get with the Meridian. You need a rolling carry-on? Check. What about a twenty-liter daypack? It has got you covered. Going for a hike? Toss your luggage on your back, tweak the load adjusters, fasten the hip belt and you’re off! Practical real world application, that helps make life more enjoyable. Life is too short not to do what you love. When your passion is travel, it all begins and ends with your luggage. Read more about the Meridian 22 in Outside Magazine – Kyle
I’m a bit of a pack nerd—a thirsty pack nerd. I think hydration packs are the greatest thing since beer and sliced bread. My first CamelBak Mule, purchased in 1997, was an absolute game changer for me. In the years since then, I’ve gone through a number of packs from CamelBak, Dakine, and Vaude. All were tolerable, with some targeted highlights like armor-carrying straps or great back ventilation, but I also always found something I didn’t like: weight, lack of small bits organization, saggy/sloshy bladders, or fit. With the Osprey Raptors, I’m about as close I’ve gotten to declaring a perfect bike pack.
The Osprey Raptor packs are what you get when people who know how to build incredible, technical backcountry backpacks decide to try their hand at hydration packs. They are jam packed with features like HydraForm Reservoirs, Hydralock, AirScape Suspension, LidLock, BioStretch….
I know, I know. My eyes usually start to glaze over beneath such onslaughts of marketing jargon, but I promise that all of these oddly capitalized words work together to create a supremely high-functioning hydration pack.
We don’t review gear too often on Daily Hiker these days, but every once and a while we’ll come across gear we really like, and want to share with others. Osprey’s new Aura 50 pack for women falls into that category. Read more for our full review of the Osprey Aura 50.
As a long-time fan of Osprey Packs, I was eager to test out the new Aura pack to see how it stacked up. I was intrigued by the Aura’s 50 liter size because it seemed to be like a little sister to one of my favorite backpacking packs, Osprey’s Ariel 65.
The Aura 50 was designed with the weight-conscious backpacker in mind. Weighing in at 3 pounds, the 50-liter size (3000 cubic inches) provides plenty of space for overnights or superlight thru-hiking, with loads between 35 and 50 pounds. It’s a traditional top loading pack, but designed with zipper and stretchy stash pockets so that frequently-accessed gear (sunblock, maps, etc) doesn’t fall to the bottom of the pack, never to be seen again. Some of the other features are pretty standard: internal hydration sleeve, ice ax/tool loops, removable top pocket/lid, and adjustable harness. It also comes with it’s own sleeping pad straps (so you don’t have to buy your own), which can be removed if you aren’t using them. The Aura 50 also features Osprey’s Fit-On-The-Fly™ hipbelt, which allows you to expand and adjust the padded portion of the hip belt, for maximum comfort. The air mesh back panel provides lots of support and breathability, and as a result, is quite comfortable.
13 Camping Items Every Man Needs
The weather is warm and the trails are inviting. It’s camping season, high time to strike out for a few days of life in nature, but first you have to gear up. Use this guide to pick the best new (and some classic) essentials for your next excursion.
It’s never easy going when you’re hauling a pack full of gear, but the Atmos 65 features lightweight materials and a sturdy alloy frame to help offset some of the strain you’re bound to feel on a daylong trek. The full-adjustable torso lets you customize the pack to your height, and there’s plenty of space for all your belongings with over 65 liters of capacity in the main compartment.
Today’s sponsor spotlight is on our dear friends at Osprey Packs, who are year-round loyal supporters of our Chicks Rock! and Chicks with Picks climbing programs. They not only provide us with the financial support to keep our programs running, but they ship packs to nearly half a dozen locations for our Chicks to demo at every single climbing clinic, and donate packs to our annual slide show and auction fundraiser events for the Ouray Ice Park and local women’s shelter! It’s so generous of Osprey to ship packs because it’s really helpful to try out a pack before committing to a purchase so that you can test out the capacity and sizing before making the financial commitment. And Osprey wants you to do just that at our Chicks clinics!
As an individual, I can honestly say that I’ve been a fan of Osprey packs since long before I became involved with the Chicks organization. For several years I had an older version of the Variant 37, which is the focus of this blog post today (the new one that is, not the old one!). My recent upgrade to the Variant 37 was made after one of those fat, greedy squirrels in Yosemite ate a hole through the lid of the pack (which had NO FOOD in it, by the way!). Other than that (which I’m pretty sure I could get fixed if I took some initiative; I just couldn’t deal with not having a lid!) I loved the older version of the Variant *almost* as much as the new one. Let me tell you why.
Whether you are a frequent hiker, a student, or a weekend warrior, chances are you could use a day pack for one or more of your activities. Any time you need to carry more than your phone and wallet, it is handy to have a vessel to carry all the necessities, such as food, water, and extra layers.
We decided to put some top-of-the-line day packs to the test, using them for every activity we could. From hiking and climbing to biking and mountain boarding, and even carting around a computer as we worked on these reviews. We loaded each one side by side and made a close inspection of all the features to determine which packs are the easiest to use, and which ones were the most versatile. Each pack we tested had some standout qualities, but we narrowed it down to the most useful packs to hand out our awards.