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Thread: Daylight Backpack Packing List for Summer Hikes

  1. #1
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Daylight Backpack Packing List for Summer Hikes

    I've been using my Daylight Backpack(s) (I have one in Black Dyneema and one in Olive) on hikes for the past several months. It's awesome for shorter hikes, of course, but what continually impresses me is how comfortable it is on medium-level hikes (trips in the 7-12 mile, 2500-3200 elevation gain range) even fully loaded with much (not all) of the gear I pack in my Synapse 19.

    The Hike: Snow Lake then on to Gem Lake (11 miles roundtrip; 2,451 elevation gain)
    Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
    The hike to Snow Lake is one of the most popular hikes in Washington with good reason: it offers relatively easy access to backcountry-level alpine beauty. Many folks turn around at Snow Lake, but another four miles and 800 ft elevation get you to the beautiful (and somewhat less visited) Gem Lake. Still, if waiting in line at creek crossings isn't your thing, you may choose to wait until a weekday after Labor Day to experience this trail.

    I continually refine my packing list, never feeling like it's 100% perfect, though you'll see many of the same items that were in my "Synapse 19 packing list for summer dayhikes" packing list.

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    Water Bottle
    Ultralight Hammock (total unnecessary Happiness Item here, but come on, if you find a good spot, what's better than setting up a hammock in the alpine and taking a good nap?)
    Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter in a Size 3 Travel Stuff Sack (you could squeeze the water filter into a Size 2 Travel Stuff Sack, but personally I'd rather have the extra room that a Size 3 gives so that I can shove the filter back in the stuff sack if I'm in a hurry, like if there's mosquitoes)
    Map + Compass (my hiking partner had GAIA GPS for the iPhone and a backup battery)
    First Aid Kit stuff in an Iberian 3D Fabric Cube
    Canine First Aid Kit stuff in a Skookum Dog Mesh Organizer Bag (Benedryl for wasp stings, Tick Key, EMT gel, Guardian Dog Safety Light, arthritis meds, treats, Pawflex bandages)
    Extra first aid stuff: band-aids, blister things, ibuprofen
    Second Aid Kit (Justin's Nut Butter Packets, Petzl e+Lite, ibuprofen packets, band-aids, tri-power safety whistle -- basically, extra stuff so that, if we run into a hiker that isn't as well prepared, we can share some stuff that can turn a scary sad hike into a pretty ok one. This is something really important to us; we've always been well prepared to take care of ourselves in an emergency, but what about others? You'll be hearing more about it in the coming months -- we even plan to make a special Second Aid Organizer Pouch.)
    Emergency Blanket
    Emergency firestarter kit
    Daylight Backpack in Olive
    Skeletool (useful for so many things, but needle-nose pliers = what you need to remove porcupine quills from dogs)
    Snowpeak MOLA headlamp
    Wind/sun shell
    Down Jacket
    Wool tights
    Wool gloves
    Best warm headband ever (knitted by gochicken)

    Not pictured: my Canon 5D (yes, I actually lug that fine thing around sometimes), iPhone, sandwich, and wallet.

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    The first big view: Snow Lake

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    The Skookum Dog Bungee Leash, as usual, proved itself quite handy on the hike, especially when Lily heard pika calling to her. Still, when we came upon a small snow patch, we couldn't help but let her off to have some fun...

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    Lunch!


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    Hiking with dogs, I almost always choose hikes on which there's going to be a water source. And if there's a water source, I bring my water filter, unless it's a very short (under four mile) trip. Yeah, it's a bit of extra weight, and some might say it's silly to bring a filter on day hikes, but I love stopping for fresh, cold water. Lots of it. The Katadyn Hiker Pro fits nicely and securely into the mouth of the Lifefactory glass water bottles.

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    Ichiro on the way up to Gem Lake.

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    Our first look at Gem Lake!

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    Hot day hikes (it was in the upper 80's) call for shady rests in the heather.

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    Gem Lake

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    Heading back.

    The shingled back compartments of the Daylight -- in which you pack your extra clothing to create a padded back panel -- work great. (We knew this from testing the pack way back when, but still, it's worth pointing out.) Even when I unpack my down jacket to put it on (ahh, summer hike descents in the evening wearing shorts and a down jacket) and have, remaining, in one compartment my rain/wind shell and in the other wool tights/gloves/hat thing, it remains padded and comfortable.

    The keys to packing the Daylight Backpack comfortably are these: balance and load control. Really, these are the keys to packing any backpack*. Packs like the Daylight, however, school those of us who didn't know this packing tip (or didn't yet believe it).

    Back to my packing list: clothes go into the back shingled compartments. My water bottle goes horizontally in the bottom of the pack and above that, my water filter on the left, my first aid kit on the right. Above those on the left are my canine first aid kit on the left and my ultralight hammock on the right. If I'm crazy enough to bring my DSLR w/a 50mm lens, it nestles lens-down in the top middle of the pack. This, for me, is a well balanced and controlled load. Now, if I were to take all of this stuff, and throw whatever in first -- camera on the bottom next to the water filter, water bottle on the left, hammock on the right, everything else on top -- it'll likely feel unbalanced and significantly heavier once I put the pack on. Try this yourself with your packing list and note the difference. Note that packing this way won't save the day in every situation -- carrying everything I listed plus my DSLR is probably a little much for the Daylight. Most folks will find it more comfortable to leave the DSLR at home and shoot with their iPhone; or, if you're going to take your DSLR, maybe carry the Synapse 19, Synapse 25, or Smart Alec instead.

    *This is one, IMHO, of the reasons some think frame sheets and über-padded heavy straps should be a part of every pack design: with those, you don't have to worry about packing technique as much because you can have hard stuff against your back or an unbalanced load and you won't feel it as much. A frame sheet, in my experience, doesn't really have much to do with offsetting a load as much as it does just preventing hard stuff from poking through the back of a bag, or an improperly packed bag from barreling out on the back side. Heavier (as in, heavy in and of themselves) padded straps can also be the answer to a symptom rather than addressing the root cause: they can aide in helping you carry a load that's perhaps a bit too heavy, unbalanced and ungainly. Both have a time and a place (hello incredibly smart frame sheet with aluminum stay of the Guide's Pack: you make overnights possible) but packs like the Daylight are designed to be more like that supple leather boot, made just for you, that conforms to you.
    Last edited by Darcy; 07-28-2014 at 09:02 PM.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

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    @Darcy, you make me wish I had dogs like Ichiro and Lily, an olive Daylight backpack, and the day off tomorrow to go hike Snow and Gem Lakes! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and text.

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    Really, really gorgeous pictures of the landscape, dogs and person!

    Is it ever possible to take a bad picture of Ichiro? One of the most photogenic pup, ever!
    Lilly poses embody what is really like to be a sight hound!

    Thank you for sharing your extremely informative packing list and pictures.

    Thanks for sharing the links to all the new and innovative dog products, many thumbs ups for the Tick Key, especially.

    Which of the item is the hammock?

    The new headlamp is really great, thanks for the link.

    This is a great hiking setup, I think it could easily be transformed a little for sightseeing or exploring national, regional and local park, easy paths.

    I think the most awesome is the sharing kit, which shows how wonderful you, Darcy; Tom and the Whole Crew are.

    I think that the "throw whatever needs to be brought" school of packing, only works with the shop bags loaded with soft stuff or ready to be plopped in a car to be reorganized on the way or at the destination.

    Grocery/farmer's market, library/bookstore loads need to be organized, an unbalanced load is very uncomfortable.
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    What a great, informative post. Makes me want to go hiking (and borrow a dog or two to do so...my cat isn't much for leaving the house :roll eyes.

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    Registered User PaulT00's Avatar
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    What a great post! Particularly interested in your canine first aid kit - I'm now looking at the tick key, in particular. We don't get too many ticks these days but they seem to come in waves every now and again; for some reason the cats seem more prone to them than the dogs. Horrible things! I also didn't know there was such a thing as pawflex bandages... We don't tend to stray very far from civilisation (one could argue there aren't that many places in the UK which are that far from civilisation!) but it's useful to know these things anyway.

    Lily and Ichiro are two gorgeous pups. Sad to read that one of them (Lily?) requires arthritis medication these days - old age sadly comes to us all and it's just not fair that it comes sooner to dogs than it does to us. Glad Lily still enjoys rolling in snow - our pups all go bonkers when it snows in the winter, chasing around in the white stuff like little kids.
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    Registered User eWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    The keys to packing the Daylight Backpack comfortably are these: balance and load control. Really, these are the keys to packing any backpack*. Packs like the Daylight, however, school those of us who didn't know this packing tip (or didn't yet believe it).
    [...] packs like the Daylight are designed to be more like that supple leather boot, made just for you, that conforms to you.
    @Darcy reading your testimonial makes easier to understand why the DLBP feels so positively RIGHT!

    I am eager to go hiking with it!
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    Orders are here! Unpacking A45, A30, NF20 & CP10! TB Crew rocks!!

  7. #7
    Registered User WenV's Avatar
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    Thanks Darcy, for your thoroughly enjoyable and informative post. I learned something new today about 'balance' packing...not just horizontally but also vertically. I guess it take a bit more thought and planning to back the Daylight Backpack or even the Smart Alec, as opposed to the S19/S25 given the built in structure. I also love the pictures of your packing list, and of the scenic views. Love the pictures of your dogs too. Thanks again!
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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Daylight Backpack Packing List for Summer Hikes

    Is that little creature a marmot?

    "Interesting" fact about marmots: in the 19th century, French peasants would dig up hibernating marmots from their dens in fields and then take them home and eat them. The marmots never woke up so they were cooked and eaten without ever being the wiser.

    Did you test to see how many marmots would fit in the Daylight Backpack? I would wager 4 small ones (roughly 12 lbs/5 kg) or two normal sized ones or one honking huge one. You would probably want to keep something in the DLBP as padding because certain parts of marmots can be poke-y.

    ...

    Why, yes, I DID take some cold medicine. Why do you ask?

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    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    See, now if y'all hadn't shipped my big box of stuff so early, I could have added one of these DLBPs to my order instead of it sitting on my wish list for months until I can justify paying for more international shipping... Sigh...

    Fantastic post. I'm jealous of both your DLBP packing skills, and your gorgeous four legged friends!
    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

    Want: EVERYTHING.

  10. #10
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WenV View Post
    I learned something new today about 'balance' packing...not just horizontally but also vertically. I guess it take a bit more thought and planning to back the Daylight Backpack or even the Smart Alec, as opposed to the S19/S25 given the built in structure.
    I think using Balance Packing techniques (great way to describe it!) is of benefit no matter the pack you're using -- it's just even more crucial w/some packs with less built-in structure like the Daylight. Do let me know experience if you try it out yourself! I think the best way to experience the benefit is to take the same packing list/load/list of stuff, pack it randomly, and put the pack on, then repack using the balance/load control method, put the pack on, and note the difference in comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulT00 View Post
    What a great post! Particularly interested in your canine first aid kit - I'm now looking at the tick key, in particular. We don't get too many ticks these days but they seem to come in waves every now and again; for some reason the cats seem more prone to them than the dogs. Horrible things! I also didn't know there was such a thing as pawflex bandages... We don't tend to stray very far from civilisation (one could argue there aren't that many places in the UK which are that far from civilisation!) but it's useful to know these things anyway.

    Lily and Ichiro are two gorgeous pups. Sad to read that one of them (Lily?) requires arthritis medication these days - old age sadly comes to us all and it's just not fair that it comes sooner to dogs than it does to us. Glad Lily still enjoys rolling in snow - our pups all go bonkers when it snows in the winter, chasing around in the white stuff like little kids.
    Yeah, ticks, bleh. Last summer, Ichiro skinned his paw pad -- luckily, we were already almost all the way back to the car when that happened. I think if he had had to walk on it much more it might've been a deeper wound requiring more recovery time. He did have to wear a boot on that paw for a week or two afterwards. That experience prompted me to add Pawflex bandages to the canine kit.

    Lily doesn't need arthritis meds most days; I just bring them along in case. We're getting back into shape over the summer to hopefully gear up for some longer (think 15-20 mile) hikes this fall, and, noticing how stiff Lily's been post-hikes already this summer, I wanted to make sure to bring some meds along in case our trips do end up being long enough that she might be getting stiff/sore *on* the hike. When Lily's off leash, she probably hikes at least double the amount of miles us humans do with all of her running around.

    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Which of the item is the hammock?
    It's the thing in the grey stuff sack in the upper right-hand corner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Did you test to see how many marmots would fit in the Daylight Backpack? I would wager 4 small ones (roughly 12 lbs/5 kg) or two normal sized ones or one honking huge one. You would probably want to keep something in the DLBP as padding because certain parts of marmots can be poke-y.
    Yes. For balanced packing and load control, I would recommend carrying two marmots in the lower shingled back compartment pocket and for the upper, potentially five or six pika. If any additional marmot or pika need to be carried, your best bet would be moving up to the Synapse 19. However, care must be taken in selecting the marmots and pika for this application: sleepy ones are preferred, as wiggly marmot and pika can be a distraction.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

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    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWhikergal View Post
    @Darcy, you make me wish I had dogs like Ichiro and Lily, an olive Daylight backpack, and the day off tomorrow to go hike Snow and Gem Lakes! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and text.
    Glad to! And, hey, if you feel like sharing, I'd be curious to hear about a few of your favorite hikes in the area. Totally weird, I know, but I haven't even ever been to Mt. Rainier, so that's probably next for me.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

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    Thanks for posting - awesome list! I've been considering getting a Daylight Backpack for just this purpose. The main thing holding me back is uncertainty about fitting a 3 liter water bladder (about to upgrade to this one Platypus® Big Zip LP&#0153 hydration system which is 17.2" tall, just .1" less than the Daylight, so might be difficult).

    I'm also in the Seattle area and would love to discuss hikes around here! Just did Bare Mountain a couple weeks ago, and it was fabulous - highly recommended!
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  13. #13
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireJ View Post
    Thanks for posting - awesome list! I've been considering getting a Daylight Backpack for just this purpose. The main thing holding me back is uncertainty about fitting a 3 liter water bladder (about to upgrade to this one Platypus® Big Zip LP™ hydration system which is 17.2" tall, just .1" less than the Daylight, so might be difficult).

    I'm also in the Seattle area and would love to discuss hikes around here! Just did Bare Mountain a couple weeks ago, and it was fabulous - highly recommended!
    Oh cool! Do you come down to the showroom? Feel free to bring the new hydration bladder down with you sometime to try it out -- we'd also be curious if/how it fits.

    I'll have to check out Bare Mountain. Ever hike in the Teanaway area?
    eWalker likes this.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

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    I've made my way down there a few times, of course And I see another visit there in the near future - I'll bring the full hydration bladder along to check out the fit!

    I haven't hiked in the Teanaway area (yet!). I'll look into it - I'm trying to get a lot of hiking in this summer (my first summer in Seattle)!
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  15. #15
    Amy
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    Awesome post and pictures, Darcy! I too am interested in which of those items is your hammock, and what brand of hammock it is. I've been looking for a tiny ultralight hammock that would easily fit in my s19. Also, do you use a whoopie sling to hang your hammock, or some other method?

    EDIT: Wait... is it the Grand Trunk Ultralight Nano? http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Trunk-N7...and+trunk+nano
    Last edited by Amy; 07-29-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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