Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Creature of Comfort – What is Your Luxury Item Backpacking?

I like the rigors of a good hike. Meeting a goal. Seeing the awesome scenery. Catching a sunset or sunrise. The great friends I meet, some for life even after just a day on the trail. I've seen hikers carry musical instruments, a stuffed animal. One even had these huge butterfly wings strapped to her backpack! Some carry special food items in from town. I must admit I also like some comfort by way of carrying a few luxury items in my backpack. So these are a couple of the items that I tuck away.

A Seat Cushion 

The picture shows an old Thermarest orange seat cushion I actually picked up at a yard sale for fifty cents. Talk about a stellar buy! I used it for my entire northbound hike of the AT. Then suddenly, part way through my southbound venture, the seat cushion sprang a leak. We were unable to repair it. I ordered another Thermarest seat cushion  to be delivered to New York while on the Appalachian Trail.

A Thermarest Lite Seat Cushion

Just the idea I have something to sit on when resting my sore legs or after a full day's hike gave me a sense of being at home in the wilderness.
Thermarest Z Lite

I never left home without it. The seat also helped cushion sore knees when arranging the inside of my tent at night or packing up in the morning. I've used it to elevate my air mattress under my head, r for your feet, too. You can also get one like the Z rest pads, only it’s a seat cushion. Or make one yourself from an old foam sleeping pad like the blue ones. And get this, I saw a thru hiker this year write on it - Hiker to Town - and the reverse - Hiker to Trail - as a sign for hitchhiking! Talk about multi purpose!

A Pillow to Sleep on

No, not the gargantuan ones we use at home. I never have been able to get comfy stuffing some stuff sack with clothes as a makeshift pillow. To be honest, I usually never have enough clothes to use for a pillow, or if I do, they are my stinky hiking clothes. And who wants to put that under your head and smell the aroma all night? Not me. At first I opt for Cocoon’s fluffy pillows, and used them on both my north and south hikes. But they were fairly bulky and a little weighty. Just recently a hiker introduced me to the Exped inflatable pillow. What a fantastic invention! Boy, do I love this thing. It’s lightweight, collapses flat, and has two ports for inflation and deflation. It works like charm and satisfies my need for a place to rest my head.

The Exped Air Pillow
So what are your luxury items that you take on a backpacking trip? Who knows, your idea may end up in my pack like the Exped pillow did! 


mackenzie said...

my kindle!

Mr. J said...

I carried a small backpacking pillow for about half of my SOBO thru-hike this year. Upon reaching Harpers Ferry, though, I jettisoned the pillow to lighten my load. Once September arrived and I again carried a fleece, I used it as a pillow at night.

Jarrett Morgan said...

I broke down and finally bought an inflatable pillow. Like you I never carry enough clothes to make a good stuff sack pillow.