NCLINE Adventures always “walks” our clients through their PACKS when doing hikes and we thought we’d share “What’s in our pack” with you.
As most of you would guess – it depends on the hike and the time of year. For this post we will make suggestions for Spring (also will cover most of Fall), temperature is in the high 40’s low 50’s typically.
Let’s start with the pack – I am a huge fan of support and comfort with space. I use the Gregory 30L Zulu pack which has back and waist support. It holds everything I need for a day and it’s super comfy. Mine came with a rain cover so the whole pack can be covered while on my back if the weather changes and I need to keep it dry. I am 5’9″ and a medium is great.
Before we get into what to wear – if you aren’t with a guide, always have a first aid kit of same kind, this one is great for backpacking and a knife/multi-tool; these are must have, basic essentials. I carry other stuff for emergencies but depending on where you are going and whom you are with, it can vary. Always have a water bottle and a snack/trail mix (loving these RX Bars right now). Make sure you phone is charged for pictures too.
Now to the wear: There is no way you should hike in the Blue Ridge during Spring without some type of waterproof footwear with support. We are really big fans of Vasque and Lowa. If at higher elevations there is a chance you will cross some mud, and at the lower elevations it’s wet. I always go with Smartwool socks too. Since we are talking about water, I always carry a lightweight waterproof jacket, I prefer something that has zippers or some sort of vent in the armpits, which is perfect if you are heating up. Something that is light with little bulk that packs lightly.
As for pants – I typically am wearing light pants that move easy and can dry quickly – never jeans or 100% cotton. [Most of the time my legs are always moving so I don’t layer up too often when it come to pants.]
In the summer I’ll wear shorts at times too, depending on where I am hiking and what I am hiking through. For Fall, Winter, Spring these are my pick, I have others I prefer for lighter weather.
I wear a base layer of either a blended tee or a merino wool tee depending on temperature; just think natural fibers when you are looking at labels. I usually have a ¼ zip of synthetic material over my base layer., followed by a light layer of insulation. When you are moving, layers can come off and on so layer up!
I also always carry light gloves, and a beanie of some sort in case the temperature changes, wind on balds, or we stop for a bit and it cools down. I always have a baseball cap ready for either sun or rain protection.
I put everything in stuff sacks to conserve space and I usually have a little room left over.
Pro Tip: It’s always cooler over 5000 ft, especially in spring and fall. The key is to be prepared without over packing, you don’t want to be weighted down by a bunch of unnecessary gear and always to have enough water [or know there is a water source on the hike].
Want the specifics on the gear? Check out what’s in my bag on kit: