I’m actually going to give you a gear tip today readers, but I’ll just lump it into the FTW series, because frankly, it is.
So, I present, the CamelBak Magic.
Now, you guys know I do my share (well, I attempt to do my share) of stuff outdoors, hiking, snowshoeing, biking, kayaking, etc. And I bring this little guy every time I do anything outside.
First thing, it’s a woman’s pack (sorry fellas, but as the owner of another larger CamelBak, I give them my full seal of approval in all things hydration), so both the back of the pack and the harness are designed to work better with woman’s body. The other thing I love about it is that its light, and it has a bunch of pockets, including an adjustable pouch, and a mesh pocket on the strap that you can stick a snack, or a little MP3 player in for some tunes. And of course, let us not forget the hydration, this pack has 72 ounces of water in its bladder, perfect for a few hours of activity.
If I’m out on a little simple day hike, I have a place for snacks, wallet/keys, a little first aid kit, and have room for a light jacket to stuff in my little pouch. It also has plenty of little straps where you can attach a carabiner if you want additional water, some yak-trax, or a camera. I have a little Mountainsmith soft shell camera pouch that velcros right around my shoulder harness for easy access.
I’ve worn the bag on more than a few occasions for multiple hours and have never felt hot or bogged down. It has a very low profile and is unobtrusive so you don’t have to worry about turning and whacking someone with your bag.
With my upcoming trip to England/Scotland in August having a lot of planned days of hikes and walks in it, I’m planning on bringing this bag. I figure at least this way on my days of ‘backpaking’ and sleeping in hostels, I can leave my big pack/suitcase where I’m staying, and plop my wallet, passport, snacks, light coat or vest into this, fill up the bladder and I’m ready to go. I mean yea, I’ll still look like a tourist, but I don’t think that is going away, backpack or not. And I will be able to have a lightweight and easy way to be out for the day without having to worry about carting a bunch of unnecessary stuff around on my back.
So, I highly recommend this bag, Google it up and you can find them in a bunch of stores, EMS, REI, Amazon, eBay, etc. And for a little extra money saving tip, look for closeouts on this bag, I mean seriously, this type of technology isn’t really developing any groundbreaking work over the next year, I got my bag in 2010, and it is a 2008 close out. That translated into saving about $30 off the list price, and I haven’t encountered a single problem using it in the summer, fall and winter.