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Homepage Forums Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge™ Q&A Recommended Gear for SoCal Peaks

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  • Recommended Gear for SoCal Peaks

    Posted by Christopher on January 22, 2024 at 9:05 am

    I’m doing the SoCal 6-pack this year and have some questions around what sort of gear folks recommend I bring:

    1) Which hiking shoes/boots would you recommend if money is no object? Maybe also provide some alternates?

    2) What essential items should I pack?

    3) Do people hike with some sort of device for relatives/friends to track you on the hike or to contact help if there’s an emergency in an area without cell phone reception?

    4) It seems that the recommended routes on this site are on something called Gaia which I’m not familiar with. Do people load those routes onto another device so it’s easy to determine the exact route when on the mountain? If so, which device would you recommend?

    Luv2hike2024 replied 1 month, 3 weeks ago 7 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Victoria Weiss

    Member
    January 25, 2024 at 5:58 pm

    Do you already have shoes that you prefer? I hike in Merrells and I love them.

    I’m not sure what Gaia is, but do you have the AllTrails app? I usually find the recommended routes in there for navigation – it’s great and I’ve never found it to be inaccurate.

    • Christopher

      Member
      January 25, 2024 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks for your reply.

      I have no preference so I’ll check out Merrells too.

      I’ve thought about just looking up the hikes on AllTrails but I was hoping that after paying the $40 for this site, it would provide the necessary information in a way that’s helpful.

    • Luv2hike2024

      Member
      March 4, 2024 at 11:28 pm

      Hi!

      I second

      Merrells , I’ve tried several hiking brands and this one seems to have excellent tracking, equipped with adequate support and absolutely light enough to run if necessary ✅

  • Matt

    Member
    January 25, 2024 at 8:56 pm

    Hey Christopher!

    Here’s my hopefully helpful $0.2

    1) Which hiking shoes/boots would you recommend if money is no object? Maybe also provide some alternates?

    Shoes are definitely something you should try on at an REI and get a feel for. Also, buy them from REI. If they don’t work you can return them within a year. Oh and if you buy from REI, don’t buy garage sale ones, you can’t return those. Buy only new. But recommendations, I ONLY use Keen for below ankle shoes, and Oboz for boots. My heels are weird shaped and those are the only shoes I have found that don’t give me blisters, even when wearing dual layer socks. So I love keen. But Merrels are good. Solomon is a GREAT brand that is recommended by many a hiker AND Navy seals lol. I would be rocking those if they worked for my feet. Unfortunately the didn’t. La sportiva is also good if money is no object. But honestly, try a bunch on and see what’s the most comfortable for you. And go a half size up so you don’t get the dreaded black toes. You don’t want you toes touching the end of your shoes on the way down.

    2) What essential items should I pack?

    Here’s my unorganized brain dump. Going through what I’m packing for Saturday morning lol. Water, always. And MORE than you think you will need. For any of these trails you need at least 3 liters. I’d get a backpack with a water bladder, 3 liter, and hip straps. On the bigger hikes I always bring another nalgene bottle or two of water. It’s heavy but I never get dehydrated. I’d also bring something to start a fire with, a cheap and light poncho in case it rains, or something for potential rain, I always also bring a space blanket and a small multitool. A portable phone charge, compass is always also in my bag. Get a buff and bring that every time too. It’s one of my favorite pieces of gear. And snacks, whatever you like but nothing that will make your stomach crazy. Oh and bring a small plastic hand shovel, a big ziplock bag, and some toilet paper. You’ll need to bury your poo if you go, and pack out your paper in the ziplock as well. No one mentions this because it’s kinda gross but I’ve had to go on trails before. It’s a fact of hiking and don’t leave your tp out there like some. Big no no. I always also bring a small first aid kit. And some electrolyte supplements of some sort for hydration, either chews (my go to) or pills or something. If it’s sunny you can bring sunscreen and sunglasses too.

    I also always bring trekking poles. They are good for balance, and specifically for me for my knees. I have bad knees and they are a LIFE SAVER. Dual layer socks are also good if you are prone to blisters.

    3) Do people hike with some sort of device for relatives/friends to track you on the hike or to contact help if there’s an emergency in an area without cell phone reception?

    Some people do. A lot of them you do have to pay for the service on top of the phone itself. Usually people have satellite phones. I don’t bring anything with me. I just text a family where I’m going, what trail, what time I’m starting, and what time I think I’ll be back (give yourself time when you start lol, these trails can take a while for beginners). That way if I get stuck I know it’s not going to be forever because if they don’t hear from my by a specific time they have explicit instructions to call rangers/police.

    4) It seems that the recommended routes on this site are on something called Gaia which I’m not familiar with. Do people load those routes onto another device so it’s easy to determine the exact route when on the mountain? If so, which device would you recommend?

    I’ve never used these either but a lot of people use them. Maybe look at garmin if you’re interested. I’ve heard Gaia is good but can’t speak to it.

    Let me know if you have any questions!

  • Sniperella308

    Member
    January 27, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    I think your gear is going to depend on you. I use trail running shoes. Saucony Perregrines, which are always cheaper if I buy last year’s. Any boots I’ve ever tried just feel heavy and make me tired. But some people need or like that heavier boot for various reasons (ankle support and bottom plate). You know you. I do recommend poles if you’re new (or very excited :)). I fell coming down Wilson because of the loose rocks and I used mine the rest of the way. When legs are tired, my body won’t recover with balance as easily when stepping on loose or slippy terrain. No need to break the bank on poles. I have friends who got some from Costco. I got mine off Amazon for like $35.

    Water and snacks are essential. You’re going. To burn a couple thousand calories or more on these hikes. You don’t want to hit a wall and not enjoy the hike anymore or be unable to get back home. I bring a 1.9 liter water bottle in my pack. Sometimes it’s for drinking. Sometimes it’s to rinse off your shin when you went a little too fast on your descent. Plus I have it if a hiking buddy runs out. I usually pack a Honey Stinger just in case I’m feeling like I’ve burned too many calories. Bears are out so a whistle or horn. And a shovel and basic first aid kit. I’ve only ever needed the alcohol wipes and bandaids. Emergencies can happen along with tummy troubles.

    I always tell my partner where I’ll be, approximately how long I’ll be gone, and I wear a Garmin watch which has an emergency alert function. AllTrails I believe also has a tracking function you can share your location with someone. But the peak challenge peaks are fairly well trafficked. I’m not worried on those of getting lost.

  • Shana

    Member
    January 27, 2024 at 9:21 pm

    1. It depends on what works. Some people love trail runners, but I love boots. I would go to REI and try them on. They can always refund you within the year.

    2. There are 10 essentials you need to bring hiking: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html

    3. I do and I recommend that eventually when you do the 10 miles and more hikes, you should have one or if you are hiking alone.

    4. There’s all trails and most of the routes are on it, but don’t depend on it being correct sometimes. When I started I researched all of the hikes from hiking blogs. Now I have a Garmin that has a map on it.

  • Luisa

    Member
    March 4, 2024 at 9:44 am

    Which peaks are you going to hike & when? I am doing that pack too & would love to not have to hike alone.

    • Luv2hike2024

      Member
      April 17, 2024 at 5:56 pm

      Hi!

      Has anyone recently done Ontario Peak? I would love to go this Sunday, dies anybody know if there is still snow?

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