|Like my previous backpack at 5.5 lbs empty|
The main thing was I couldn't continue with the pack on, it was a struggle just to get back to the car, and my friend Owen even packed the tent. That huge backpack and tent are now gone and since then I have day-hiked, until my son joined a Boy Scout troop and we began "car camping" at Florida state parks. On our few backpacking trips during Scouting I used a day pack and a one-person tent. It was painful because the pack couldn't carry the weight of my old sleeping bag and pad, plus the stove, cook gear and toiletries. BSA camping was a group event and I still really enjoyed being out (I slept great!).
|Like my REI Flash 18|
This winter, I purchased an REI Flash 18 day pack, a Platypus 2-liter hydration bladder and an Esbit mini-stove to seriously reduce my day hike weight. My wife pitched in with a Snow Peak 700 titanium cooking pot at Christmas (very nice). I added the ten essentials and recently a Marmot Precip rain jacket (on sale) this spring. I generally hike about half a day locally on trails a quick drive away and am back home nightly. I used to pack for an accidental overnight using a poncho and my hiking poles, but am planning to change to a lightweight bivy to save weight.
The problem with living in Florida is the heat during the summer and the daily thunderstorms, not to mention the bugs. That cycle has been underway since late May with no breaks until October. I will only get out a few times to actually hike over the next 3-4 months. Once October/November arrive, we can start discussing camping out locally.
|My daughter's REI Flash 18|
I recently bought a new version of the Flash 18 pack and Platypus hydration bladder for my daughter for college graduation. Now she can hike with me locally on her days off and we can enjoy some of the outdoors together. We will cover the trails mentioned in this blog and she may even grace a picture or two along the way.