Want to get back into hiking

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  1. #1

    Want to get back into hiking

    Kind of an odd post in the middle of ski season, but my brother wants to get into hiking and day packing this spring. We're in the Albany/Capital Region area of NY. I used to hike a lot when I was a kid, but lost interest in it when life called. I'm sure there are plenty of good spots around, the Helderbergs specifically come to mind, I just don't know where they are. I used to hike the Taconic area for a night or two, go in with a canvas tent and an old Jansport pack. What are the good brands now? I may get a new frame pack, since the Jansport weighs a ton, but my brother definitely needs one. Would get a "modern" tent. Any info on good equipment/spots would be great!

  2. #2
    I'm a big fan of Osprey packs. A bit more pricey than some other options, but Backcountry has some good deals on occasion. And you get what you pay for. With Osprey, it's a lifetime-guarantee on any part. Their bags and hydropacks are durable and they'll replace any part that breaks for any reason.


  3. #3

    Want to get back into hiking

    I'm definitely about quality. I can't stand faulty hardware. Zippers and straps should move and buckle effortlessly.

  4. #4
    When I'm in the market for new gear I will look at EMS, REI, and other like websites, then read reviews. Then I go on a forums and look for feedback on the piece of gear in question. Osprey and Gregory are among the two bigger mainstream quality brands for packs but there are so many companies out there now. But start by browsing REI and EMS since they are mostly quality gear. YOu'll learn the differences and it's a good reference to start. As for areas, DAks to the north, You don't have to jump into high peaks if you don't want to but lots and lots of trails. Long Trail in VT has many options for day and overnighters.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Stamford, CT/Lake Placid, NY
    Posts
    70
    Echo the above sentiments of EMS and REI for new gear, with REI getting the edge for selection and often slightly lower prices. I have a Gregory pack which I love but I know people who have Osprey and Dueter packs and are very satisfied. Don't skimp on the pack, it is one of the most important purchases you will make, and a few extra $$$ for optimal comfort over a sub par design will pay off handsomely in your enjoyment of your trips. However, that being said several of the inexpensive packs are very comfortable and are fantastic values, while some of the more expensive ones are awful.

    Finally, don't buy the pack online unless you have tried it on with weights in the store. Knowing that your pack will be comfortable is essential!

    -skisheep
    The Skiing Side
    2012-13 season
    Whiteface 12-28,29,30,31
    Hunter 2-3, 2-26
    More coming soon!

    The Hiking Side
    ADK 46: 46/46!(8-10-11 #7176)
    ~20 on round two and plenty more to come!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by skisheep View Post
    Finally, don't buy the pack online unless you have tried it on with weights in the store. Knowing that your pack will be comfortable is essential!

    -skisheep
    Absolutely! Try on a few to see how it fits on your torso, how it feels on your hips, etc. A lot of stores have weights available, or you can just stuff heavy things from the store into the pack to load it up and get a feel.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    9,742
    I have a Gregory daypack that I love. Like everyone else says go try a bunch on and see which fits you the best.
    2009/2010 - 28

    2009 mtb-19 rides- 113.58 miles

    2008/09 - 33

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    9,742
    I also buy a lot of my stuff at REI, EMS and Backcountry.com due to their return policy, especially my hiking boots since you most likely find the problems/hotspots with them just walking around your living room in them.
    2009/2010 - 28

    2009 mtb-19 rides- 113.58 miles

    2008/09 - 33

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by o3jeff View Post
    I also buy a lot of my stuff at REI, EMS and Backcountry.com due to their return policy, especially my hiking boots since you most likely find the problems/hotspots with them just walking around your living room in them.
    I do that with new hiking footwear--walk around the house with them on. Just to make sure the fit is ok. This even when I've already sort of tried it at the store. I don't order online because I don't get to test them.


  10. #10
    I would highly recommend Gregory for packs. I got a Gregory Z35 and it has the Jetstream DTS system which suspends the bulk of the pack totally off your back while maintaining all the advantages of being an internal frame pack. It is great for Summer hiking when your back starts wildly sweating as it allows for great ventilation. It may be barely big enough to do an overnight, but I generally only use it for dayhikes and break out my ancient huge LL Bean backpack for overnights of up to 6 days in the Summer and up to 3 days in the Winter. It is a great pack as well but it must be fro around 2001 and I can't even remember the model name so that won't be of much use to you.

    As for a tent there are many options but I find that the MSR Holler (our newest tent) offers a great compromise between versatility/stability and weight while providing enough room for 2 even with all the cold weather gear bulk in the off-season. The tents though will tend to vary a lot more depending on how many people you want it to fit, what seasons you want to be able to use it in and your individual preferences for space...

    I never really make it to NY for hiking but spots that are close to you that I would highly recommend are the Breadloaf Wilderness (GMNF VT), the long ridge of Mt Ellen/Mt Abraham (VT) and the alpine zone of Camel's Hump (VT State Park). A little further away but made up for in beauty are the White Mountains of NH (although more crowded than the places I suggested in Vermont, the views from/in the Whites cannot be rivaled in the East except by maybe Katahdin in ME).

    Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions,
    Nick

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