Outdoor Retailer Part 3

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give permits<HERE>

I am always on the lookout for packs for the Half Dome hike. I personally like lumbar (aka fanny) packs. As I walked the booths at the OR show, I was disheartened to find the offerings for lumbar packs have degenerated mostly to the kind that your Auntie Jeannie might strap on to take the kiddies to the local playground. I mean they are small, and worst of all for the Half Dome hike, the typical two water bottles pockets are tiny. They hold 16-ounce bottles at best. To meet your demands for water on this hike, I suggest large pockets to accommodate the 32-oz Nalgene wide- mouth bottles.  My favorite pack for the last two years has been the High Sierra XLB2900. The folks at their booth told me that this pack has been discontinued and the replacement packs, the Diplomat and the Ridgeline look great – but beware, they only come with holes for 16 –oz bottles.


    Osprey has a neat one called the Talon 8. It is new and will not be available until October. They would not let me take a photo. It was strapped to the wall and I strained to decide if it would hold the big bottles. Too close to call. No one in the booth knew – they were focused on their  huge line of backpacks. But this may have potential. It is a follow-on to the smaller Talon 4 that you can google.

    Kelty has a lumbar pack called the Cardinal. Again this one was strapped down, but I did get a couple photos. The Nalgenes may fit.  It features a new cleaver idea. The top of the generous pocket folds out to morph into a backpack. So on marginal weather days you could bring along sturdy rain protection.


    The winner today was the Mountainsmith Tour Pack. It is very nice. Probably the best made, rugged constructed pack. I have a larger version but find it is too large. Once you have room, you will stuff more heavy stuff in (think minimalist). Nice water bottle pockets with restrainer cords and a shoulder strap system if your load causes the pack to droop down your butt. It’s for sale now.


    I hope this helps. Next blog I’ll give you an update on new Camelbacks coming.  Today I hiked the old Big Oak Flat Rd from El Cap to Tamarack Flat and back. 10 hours and tough – large Talus fields in the way!  A future blog.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” ~Soren Kierkegaard 

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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