Things I have heard to take on a long distance trek that just don’t work for me. Sorry.
Case in point -
1. Duct Tape – this is the proverbial go-to for first aid on all types of blisters, holes and / or broken gear,
I’ve used it for years with poor results. I’ve put it on only to have it fall off, rub my other toes or skin, bunch up, causing more issues. I’ve tried to repair gear with it to have it fall off or bunch up.
The stuff stinks. Period. And can leave glue marks on gear, sometimes negating a warranty
Solution: For blisters, my treatment is the Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister bandages.
As for gear? Tear-Aid Type B works for holes in tents. Carry some. Dental floss and a needle could repair tear in a pinch. Wait for an outfitter or call the manufacturer from the trail to have gear replaced up the trail (lots of manufacturers will work with you).
Forget it. Been there, done that. A cheapo version that protects in light rain, sure. But if you are a long distance backpacking, you’re gonna get soakers. As a ridgerunner I have seen hikers pull out their wet stuff from a trash bag liner in their backpack after enduring a heavy thunderstorm. I’ve had my stuff soaked on the Long Trail in a heavy, three inch all day rain.
Solution: I went to the Z Packs cuben fiber liners and /or stuff sacks. They are awesome. I have had a puddle inside my pack and the stuff in these is dry. Worth the money.
3. Sawyer Mini to filter water.
TOO slow for me. The Sawyer squeeze filter is bigger and works faster – letting you quench that thirst for an ounce more. And I also used the Evernew water bags. They work awesome with the Squeeze filter. No more blowing out Sawyer bags!
Conversely, things I said – “Nah” only to find DO work -
4. A map app on a cell phone.
I’ve argued – Inaccurate. Wastes your phone charge. Hard to read. May fail.
I used it exclusively for the Florida Trail. Worked great. You do need to know how to work it and read a map, though. On recommendation from hikers, I got a good Anker charger for my phone so I can now keep it charged (the cords are light too for recharging everything when in town). I love phone map apps. They are awesome.
5. Darn Tough socks. Everyone raves about them. I’ve used all kinds of other socks. Are they really that great?
YES they are.
These socks are Bombproof. And they have an unlimited guarantee. They dare you to wear them out. No joke. Amazing.