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Gear Advice: Day Pack
Your choice of a day pack will differ depending on the type of hike you are taking. If the trip is a day trip of 1-20 miles, then a small pack in the 2000ci – 3000ci range will hold most everything you need. Make sure you pack the 10 essentials (see your scout book). This pack should have padded shoulder straps, and if your doing more than a couple of miles, it should also have a good hip belt. Yes I am talking about a day pack here.
When backpacking, side trips are often done, and it is nice to take a small pack for these trips. Generally speaking, you don’t want to pack an empty second 2000ci pack on top of your main pack (although I have done that for base camp situations), so you have a couple of options. One is to get an inexpensive pack that stuffs down to nothing. These are not very comfortable, but can hold a few things you need. Many internal frame packs also have a detachable top pocket that doubles as a fanny pack. We have our main packs setup so that the hip belt can hold the top, and a couple of water bottles for day trips. Another option we have used is to elect one person to empty their main pack, then everyone puts there items in that pack for the side trip. Usually you take turns carrying that pack.
I run a couple of different models of Mountainsmith’s Daytripper packs, and our Specter’s have detachable day packs as well. I also have a Mountainsmith Paragon that is setup for photography. It can carry a 33mm camera, numerous lens and accessories, and it has compartments for normal day hiking gear, and water bottles. One of the nice features is that the camera can be removed from the top without opening op the entire pack.