Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hiking Christmas Gifts

I got a few Christmas gifts this year, and most of them has a hiking orientation.  How'd that happen?  :^)

I got my very first pair of trekking poles.  I have used trekking poles on a few backpacking trips in recent years and love them!  My gift pair should be great.  I choose them for a reason - they fold up in three sections and will easily fit in luggage.  This is important because I have plans to hike in a foreign country in the coming year, and nothing I had would fit in a suitcase.  These will, as each section is only about 40-45 cm long.  They are Black Diamond Z-Pole Trekking Poles.  They don't have the adjustable lengths or shock absorbency of a more traditional trekking poles, but being able to put them in a suitcase was a key requirement.  They are aluminum, but still seem strong and light, with a total weight for both of about a pound.

Next, I got a new headlamp, also from Black Diamond.  This one is the Black Diamond Storm, which was highly rated as a great deal by Backpacker Magazine.  It is very bright, but can be adjusted downward, and has red light also for times when you don't want to lose your night vision.  The power goes from four to 100 lumens.  It is also waterproof, which is really handy if you are out in the back country and forced to move after dark in a driving rain.  It will replace my current headlamp, which, while serviceable, is not nearly as bright, nor is it water proof.

I got a book: "50 Hikes in West Virginia," by Leonard Adkins.  I live a long way from the Mountaineer State, and have never hiked there.  But I think that the latter needs to change, and 2014 would be a great year to make that happen.  I would love to backpack in the Cranberry Glades Wilderness in the upcoming year, and perhaps do some day hikes as well.  Almost heaven, West Virginia!

And finally, I got a $50 REI gift card.  That may well go towards new rain gear that I am likely to buy as my next major gear purchase.

I am happy with these gifts and cannot wait to try them out!


  1. Perfect gifts for you.
    Have fun trying them out. : )