The Middle-Aged Hiker

List-O-Stuff #1

(gross weight 95 lbs.)
Dennis & Stevie, Grand Canyon Hiking Venture 1992
The actual heap really & truly carried by two people for ten days. You’ll find each of these items became necessary in at least one of our adventures ... except, fortunately, for the serious emergency supplies.
PERMIT                  TENT                    STOVE
Canvas needles (4)      --Pegs (6)              --Fuel (2)
Rug thread              --Rods (3)              --Wrench7
Floral wire (note 1)    --Ground cloth          --Spreader
Compass                 --Seam sealer           Plate
Flashlight              Towels (2)              Bowls (2)
--Extra batteries (4)   Toilet paper (note 3)   Cups (2)
Knife                   Raingear (2)            Utensils (6)
Gloves (2)              Trash bags (2) (note 4) 1.5 l bottles (8)
Trail map               Trash bags (2)          Purifier
Rope                    Sunglasses              --Filter
Emerg. blankets (2)     Toothbrushes (2)        --Hoses (3)
Emergency card          Toothpaste              --Prefilter
Mirror                  Trail soap              --Tablets
FOOD (note 2)           Waterproof matches      Sleeping bags (2)
--Gookinade (4)         Lighter (backup)        --Stuffsacks (2)
--Milk (3)              Shampoo                 Ground pad (2)
--Coffee                MEDICINES ETC. (note 5) Thermometer
--Tea (10)              --Snakebite             Stuff sacks (4)
--Ovaltine              --Robaxin               Shock cords (4)
--Choco bars (5)        --Bandages              COOKING STUFF
--Rice                  --Gauze                 --Big pot
--Refried beans         --Surgical tape         --Little pot
--Soups (11)            --Knee wraps (2)        --Cover
--Ramen (3)             --Knee brace            Trowel
--Dry tomatoes          --Alcohol preps (10)    Journal pads (2)
--Orange                --Ibuprofen             --Pens (2)
--Peanuts               --Shears                Camp candle
--Apple                 --Tweezers              --Candles (3) (note 8)
--Tube cheese           --Sewing kit            Cameras (2)
--Honey                 --Sunblock              --Film (9)
--Trail mix             --Eyedropper            --Batteries (2)
--Raisins               --Suckerupper           Comb (2)
--Sunflower seeds       --Safety pins (10)      CLOTHES/D
--Seaweed miso          --Small scissors        --Poly shirt
--Puddings              --Epinephrine           --Long pants9
--Bouillon (5)          --Vitamins              --Shorts
--Noodles               --Mice (10)             --Underwear (2)
--Mac & cheese mix      --Moleskin              --Socks (2)
--Uncle Ben the long    --Naprosyn              --T-Shirt
--Mushrooms             --Allergy medicine      --Boots
--Sauces & spices       Croakies (note 6)       CLOTHES/S
--Dry apples            PACKS                   --Poly top
--Dry apricots          Wallets                 --Poly longjohns
--Candied pineapple     Watch                   --Shorts
--Meatless meats                                --Tanks
--Felafel                                       --Socks
--Black beans                                   --Jeans
--Seaweed                                       --Sweater
--M&Ms                                          --Boots		
--White hot chocolate
1The need for needles, thread and sewing wire became clear in an early hike when, upon rounding a particularly momentum-inducing edge-of-the-earth, a support strap snapped on my pack, nearly catapulting me from the Tonto Plateau. The only repair item available was an ancient strawflower from the bottom of Stevie’s pack. Its floral wire--soft, green-painted iron--held (and still holds) that strap to the pack, and we’ve carried some ever since.
2A word about diet: This was a balance between the moderate pleasure of eating with some diversity, the pain of carrying extra items (especially 50% more than we thought we’d need, in case we were stranded somewhere), and essential nutrition (the last consideration for the middle-aged hiker, of course). Avoid the costly meals-in-a-pack, except for a special occasion, and make your own with grocery store instant and dried foods.
3Take the tube out of the center of your toilet paper, buy compact paper (like Scott--white), and fold it up tight. Bring enough.
4The big trash bags go over your head and pack if it rains; don’t use them for trash, or you’ll be in for a surprise when the rain falls.
5For general injuries, plus knees (Naprosyn), backs (Robaxin) and feet--from the list, you could have guessed what we have trouble with. Oh: Be sure to read about your snakebite kit before you have to use it. You’ll be surprised.
6In case you have the delightful invitation to run some rapids with passing rafters.
7Don’t forget the wrench, because you don’t want the exploding stove phenomenon. Sometimes these things leak and become mini-bombs when you try to use them. Read the instructions on how to fix ’em up before you hike--and try it a few times. And when your stove’s pressure pump dries out, you’ll need oil. Use suntan lotion. We had to. We were hungry.
8This was optimistic. We were very tired.
9Next year it’ll be poly pants or, if it’s late in the season some sort of sweatpants, as the denim jeans get very heavy.

The Middle-Aged Hiker is Copyright ©1993-97,2002 by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz and David Gunn. All rights reserved.

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