When planning a day hike, lugging a bulky pack on my back is definitely not one of my favorite options for carrying essential items. I do not like having to stop to sling off a backpack to grab a bottle of water or check the trail guide, stuff it all back, reposition the pack, then continue on my trek. I like having everything easily accessible to grab while on the go with no tedious rummaging. If you feel the same way, than consider a travel vest.
It is the perfect alternative. It is lightweight and allows more freedom and comfort and less of an encumbrance when maneuvering through tight spots or bushwhacking off-trail. Travel vests have multiple pockets which help keep everything organized and easy to grab while in mid-hike. It is adaptable for all seasons. A vest can be worn over a t-shirt or tank top in the summer and a jacket or other outerwear in the winter. Another advantage to ‘wearing’ your essential items is the weight is more evenly distributed and not concentrated on your back with straps pulling down on your shoulders.
I have tried backpacks and fanny daypacks, but I always return to the handy-dandy travel vest. In the breast pockets, I usually carry a small notebook and pencil, and a cell phone or GPS. I can stuff a headlamp, a combo whistle/compass/waterproof container, a multi-use knife, various snacks, camera, batteries, and other assorted accessories in the roomy side pockets. A zippered hidden pocket holds my ID or money. The inside pockets are perfect for trail maps/guides, a first aid pouch, and travel-sized toilet paper. The big back pocket carries water, a plastic ziplock trash baggie, poncho, and still has room for things like an outer jacket or hoodie that’s been stripped off as the day warms up. Carabiners, another great hiking accessory, keep travel size bottles of hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and keys clipped to the front loops and rings attached to the vest.
Travel vests can be found in most outdoors and sporting stores in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. So ready for an outdoor jaunt in the woods? Grab that vest and leave the bulk behind. For more info, check out https://thepnw.co/