2004 Buyer's Guide: The Essential Day Hiker
(Chris McPherson)

Make My Day

Pack a long weekend's worth of adventure between sunup and sundown

2004 Buyer's Guide: The Essential Day Hiker
Sarah Smith

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FEET, HEAD & HANDS » (1) FOX RIVER’s slim AXT OFF ROAD QUARTER CREW socks ($11) offer a quick-drying wool-poly mix. (2) VASQUE’s BREEZE GTX XCR boots ($140) marry a waterproof-breathable mesh upper and a Vibram outsole, while (3) MONTRAIL’s KALAHARIS ($90) unite fast-drying mesh side panels, synthetic leather, and beefy tread. (4) OUTDOOR RESEARCH’s SITKA SOMBRERO ($35) perfects the art of waterproofing with taped seams and H2O-proof fabric. The (5) SEIRUS HYPERLITE ALL-WEATHER GLOVES ($25) augment any gear fanatic’s arsenal with a paper-thin Polartec shell that’s weatherproof. TOPS & BOTTOMS » (6) EX OFFICIO’s BUZZ OFF LITE LONG SLEEVE SHIRT ($80) wards off skeeters, no-see-ums, and their kin with an odorless, repellent-treated fabric. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR makes backcountry prowess stylish with the (7) AGILITY 3/4 SLEEVE SHIRT ($30), a form-fitting UPF 40 poly tee. Don’t be deceived by the soft feel of (8) WHITE SIERRA’s cotton-and-nylon RED HERRING SHORTS ($30). They can take bushwhacking in stride. (9) REI’s MISTRAL CONVERTIBLE PANTS ($120) are hewn from stretchy Schoeller fabric. ON YOUR BACK » Bag blustery ridges with the (10) PATAGONIA R3 RADIANT JACKET for women ($130). (11) HELLY HANSEN’s AXON CONVERTIBLE JACKET ($70) morphs from a windproof shell into a lightweight vest. (12) DEUTER’s HOKUS POKUS ($45) has its own stunt: It converts from a 250-cubic-inch hip pack to a 1,450-cubic-inch daypack. The (13) CAMELBAK ZEPHYR ($90) holds a 70-ounce reservoir and 1,510 cubes of stuff. POLES & GIZMOS » (14) LEKI’s INSTRUCTOR POLES ($150) offer easy length adjustment, carbide tips, and wrist supports; (15) KOMPERDELL’s TRAIL LITE COMPACT STICKS ($129) pack down to two feet per pair. Don’t sweat that twilight homestretch. Bring the (16) PETZL TIKKA PLUS headlamp ($33), or the (17) PRINCETON TEC ECLIPSE2 ($15), which clips onto a baseball cap. (18) BUCK’s SUMMIT KNIFE ($70) packs a partially serrated blade, plus a corkscrew.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: Chris McPherson