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Waterproof Pack Cover needs to be large enough to protect items strapped to the exterior of the pack.
A couple of large garbage bags may be suitable for summer hiking in the Sierras, but if multiple rainy days are anticipated a dedicated pack cover is better.
Note: sleeping bags should not be stored in the stuff-sack at home, as this will mat the filling, causing a reduction in loft, and thus warmth.
Bags are best stored in “cloth storage bags” or left laying as loose as possible.
Empty Gatorade bottles are lighter but don’t last as long.
Two flashlights with new batteries: Flashlights with two AA-cell alkaline batteries are good. The “coal miner’s” head mounted flashlight provides hands free use, but weighs more.
Arbitrary numbers (like 30% of his body weight) are interesting starting points for discussion, but the real determination is how much he can carry on the practice hikes.
Kits are typically “personalized”, but all kits should include moleskin (for blisters), several adhesive bandages of various sizes, a few gauze pads, adhesive tape, and disinfecting ointment.
For extended treks the internal frame pack should have a volume over 3,000 cubic inches (50 liters), but less than 4,200 cubic inches (70 liters).
The larger the pack, the greater the tendency to fill it with non-essentials.
Scoop and toilet paper: A light weight plastic shovel for digging “cat holes” is required in wilderness areas.
Store sufficient unscented toilet paper in a zip lock bag along with a small (2 ounce) bottle of hand sanitizer (“Purell”) for hand washing.
The conventional wisdom used to be that external frames are for trail hiking and internal frames are for off trail hiking.