This is the continuation of the first part of my gear suggestion post, here.
7. Hydration Pack – OSPREY HYDRAULICS RESERVOIR, 3 L
After looking at a few options, Osprey seemed like a winner because of the complete vertical ‘stem’ that protects the hydration pack from direct pressure inside the backpack. In addition to this, the stem also serves as a great handle to hold the hydration pack while filling it, either from a tap or by pouring water in it from a bottle.
The pack comes in 2 litre and 3 litre versions, although the price difference isn’t significant. In my opinion buying the 3 litre version and filling up the required amount of water is the way to go.
Hydration pack is one of those things which I thought I could get by without, until I used it. I’ve started drinking a lot more water while hiking / climbing than I used to earlier, when I had to stop, pull out a bottle, take a gulp and stuff the bottle back in the pack (even if it were in the side pocket without taking my pack off).
8. Day Pack – REI FLASH SPORT 15
Whether you are on a big mountain with a long summit day or camping for multiple days with short out-and-back hikes nearby, a day pack is incredibly convenient. Not only can you leave all your stuff in your main pack at camp but also carry a much lighter and more compact pack with just the bare essentials.
For a day pack, I’ve found 15-18 litre capacity to be the golden mean between lightweight and spacious enough, specially if this is your secondary pack. A good feature to look out for is a hip belt with a couple of small pouches to stash those bars and energy gels for gruelling summit days!
9. Headlamp – BLACK DIAMOND STORM
In headlamps, there is a dizzying array of options, with features such as built-in charger (USB based). However, that particular feature probably wouldn’t appeal to many users, since you can always use rechargeable batteries anyway and charge them faster using an external charger. The Storm is waterproof, an important feature that many of the lower models only partly satisfy. It also features four batteries, instead of the usual three. With a super bright light, the usual side lights and strobe function plus a red light feature (to preserve night vision / comfortable use inside a tent while preserving battery), the BD Storm is an amazing headlamp indeed!