Welcome to American Backcountry’s Notes from the Trail. Here we share stories and thoughts from some of our favorite contributors. Each mountain is different and each trip has a different story – these are notes collected along the trail.
Our Favorite Trail Gear
May 14, 2020
As the storm starts to clear, we are finally seeing select National Parks and trails open back up for recreational use. A few include Great Smoky Mountains, Gateway National Recreation Area and Glen Canyon – all of which opened partially this past weekend.
While we’re still playing it safe keeping an eye on CDC guidelines – we’ve been waiting for some good news like this for what seems like forever! That means we’re digging into our closets and stocking up on some of our favorite trail gear for a solid day’s hike. Here are some of our top picks:
1) American Backcountry Classic Tee – Bison
Born on the trail, our line of classic shirts are made from 100% spun polyester that gives the feel of organic cotton, but the wickability of advanced poly-performance fibers. This makes it the perfect, comfy fit for a day on the trail. The drying time on the shirts is some of the quickest on the market and contains antimicrobial, anti-stain features. Best part is, there are so many to choose from! We guarantee you’ll find a design for your favorite National Park or trail to celebrate their reopening.
2) Outdoor Research – Seattle Sombrero
Keeping sun out of your eyes since the ‘80s, this water resistant hat has you covered during springtime sprinkles – hence its name. Lightweight and durable, the internal adjustable cinch band also keeps additional headwear in place. It also boasts UPF 50+ protection – making it as versatile as it is breathable!
3) Mountain Safety Research – DynaLock™ Trail Backcountry Poles
We know there are plenty of people who are naysayers of trekking poles. Their loss! MSR’s DynaLock poles are the perfect lightweight, versatile trekking poles for when things get a little steep or you want some extra stamina relief. The 2-section aluminum construction offers a wide range of lengths to suit the route ahead. With secure adjustment and comfortable, ergonomic grips and straps, these poles won’t take a toll on your stride.
4) Platypus – Tokul XC Hydration Pack
Whether you’ll be gone for multiple days or just a few hours – it can’t hurt to spread the weight of a water bottle with a lightweight, comfortable hydration pack. The Platypus Tokul XC has a low-profile design and ridged foam back panel with breathable mesh to let you cool off while trekking – you’ll barely notice you’re carrying anything. It’s smart hydration pocket and easy hose routing means you won’t be fiddling with a drinking tube or struggling to find the reservoir pocket. If the reservoir gets dirty, it’s easy to clean by hand washing with water and mild soap.
These are just a few of our favorites that we’ll be packing along on our day trips in the coming weeks and months. We’ve got a ton of smaller accessories that we also love to keep handy in our pack that we know you will too – stay tuned for more!
Be safe, and get out there (but safely, please!)!