Hiking gear that makes me happy

In a most unselfish deed of distributing my experience and wisdom, I have already discussed the backpacking items I consider essential. Hiking gear, however, is a particular aspect of backpacking that I think deserves special attention. In recent years, I have been fortunate enough to enhance my hiking experience thanks to several useful additions to my inventory. These are their stories.

  • Woollen underwear. Since I have it, I don’t know how I could backpack without it. Woollen underwear is the one product that delivers everything it advertises and more. It keeps you warm when its cold and cool when its hot, and it really doesn’t smell! Plus they make some really nice shirts nowadays, so you’re looking good in it, too.

Cool in wool in hot weather

  • Waterproof camera. Pricey? Yes. Worth the investment? Totally. Compact, durable, convenient – the waterproof (and dust and shockproof) camera has proven to be a welcome addition to my travel gear arsenal in the past couple of years. Nowadays my only care while taking pictures is not diving deeper than 10 meters.

OK, not diving deeper than 10 meters AND sharks

  • Hiking poles. Never used them. Until I had some knee problems on the Around Annapurna trek. Fortunately, I was able to improvise a couple of bamboo poles from a nearby fence (thanks to the saw in my Swiss Army knife). The bamboo sticks carried me until Naya Pul, and back in Pokhara I bought a couple of Leki’s, Made in China. These have served me since, and when they will collapse (this day is not too far away – you get what you pay for) I will surely buy me some genuine ones.

When you have hiking poles, you always have a size scale for a photo of an interesting natural phenomenon (relieving the wife from posing next to rock outcrops). Here – ice crystals growing under the soil surface in the central highlands of Iceland.

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Filed under Small European things, Tips and tricks, Travel

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