On Your Feet
Low-cut hiking shoes with sturdy soles are perfect everyday cloppers. Nike's ACG Air Trigo ($65) has moderate lugs, ample EVA cush, and an athletic feel. Montrail's Ultra II All-Terrain Shoe ($90) doesn't have the fast feel, but its ample volume, airy mesh sides, and long-lasting polyurethane midsole coddle travel-abused dogs. In either case, you need low-volume socks that wick away moisture and pad potential trouble spots.
Dahlgren's Dri-Stride Hiking LV socks ($15) are a perfect fit, with a blend of wool, sensual alpaca, and synthetics that keep feet protected and dry.
If you don't pack binoculars, you're sure to regret it. The new Nikon Sportstar III 8x25 ($89) fits in a chest pocket, weighs 10.4 ounces, and delivers screamingly crisp optics, though eyeglass wearers should look elsewhere. Speaking of regrets, most plastic shampoo bottles are guaranteed to leak; the eight various-size containers in the Nalgene Travel Set ($9), available through L.L. Bean, are guaranteed not to. Eagle Creek's Pack-It System 300-cubic-inch 2-Sided Cube ($22), with divider and mesh top and bottom, obviates organizational chaos. You need the blades, you need the corkscrew; might as well know the altitude and temperature, tooa subtle digital readout graces the usual-size Victorinox Swiss Army Altimeter Knife ($97). Headlamps make the handiest travel lights, and the new Petzl Zipka Headlamp ($45, Tecate not included) is the handiest of the genre; the head strap retracts, so it's clean and compact.
On Your Feet