I love the outdoors and so do many others. If I were to ask what are the top 3 must-have items a camper should have, I am sure that backpacks, especially tactical gear backpacks, will not be on the list. However, I believe that along with a multi-tool, LED flashlight and a good pair of boots, good backpacks are very important to those who like the outdoors.
I prefer tactical backpacks for the simple fact that thy are more rugged than usual outdoor backpacks. I have two models of tactical gear backpacks for close to 4 years now and there are no signs of wear and tear. I have used them for various outdoor trips, some lasting up to 6 weeks. They have been through all sorts of weather and have come out almost unscathed.
The reason I switched to tactical backpacks in the first place was because the supposedly durable backpacks I used to own came apart during a 3-week hiking expedition. The backpack was just over a year old then. I guess I should have taken a hint when the inner lining began to tear and the shoulder straps began to fray.
Many tactical gear backpacks come with loads of compartments with strong side walls or separators. The one I have has a hydration bladder pouch which makes taking a sip while on the go a cinch. Normal backpacks come with plastic or thin polyester side walls which can be easily damaged by sharp objects. The walls in the normal backpack I had, gave way at the seams because it just could not handle the strain.
Having loads of compartments makes it easier to store as well as to find your stuff and compression straps helps keep things in place. Some backpacks even come with PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing or grid system which allows you to attach equipment or modular pouches to the backpack.
Military backpacks just look downright cool, in my opinion. But if you are not one for a huge mountain ruck, you could get an ultra thin model for shorter journeys. Many military backpacks now come in different colors although I have yet to see one in pink.
Before you purchase a best tactical backpack, make sure it comes with a lifetime warranty. I will be the first to admit that good quality backpacks do not come cheap. So, for the money you pay, it is best to ensure that you get only the best for what you pay for. And from experience, the better ones come with a lifetime warranty.
Five Finger Shoes
Recently a relative started running. He jumped in and has not looked back yet. Up to six miles a day, he is feeling better, eating healthier and has dropped twenty six pounds. With him running the discussion of footwear came up. The new craze is a type of shoe called Five Fingers. They are designed for a more natural fit that encourages better foot position naturally. Being a bigger guy he was a bit nervous to try them because so far his Asics were working fine but he agreed to try them.
Five Finger shoes are meant to be worn without orthotic inserts, without socks. They are meant to be worn against runner’s bare feet to allow the foot to move like it would naturally. It is not a shoe that you can jump right into wearing. This is especially true for flat footed individuals and individuals with extreme arches. As a runner works into wearing the shoes the muscles in the foot will adapt and strengthen. This will help with the adjustment period.
Fortunately our guinea pig was anxious to start trying his out. The first week of training in the Five Fingers he ran only ten minutes in them. He claimed his feet were killing him after each use but new that some adjustment was going to take place and continued with the break in phase. By the end of the week and into the second week the muscles were building strength and his lower legs and feet were beginning to lessen in pain. He was still not completing his normal six miles just wearing the new shoes but was building up the tolerance.
Reading online people tend to work into their Five Finger shoes at different paces. Some can completely switch in a few weeks while others take months to break their foot into the shoes. Once an individual feels their endurance, muscle strength improve the results will be worth however long they have waited for it. The increase foot and body strength will be noticeable and the shoes will be the ones getting the credit.
There are certain people that should not venture into the world of Five Finger footwear including people who use orthotics in their footwear, those with extreme pronation and individuals with webbed feet. The shoe manufacturer does not have a way to manufacturer this shoe to meet the specific needs of individual client’s feet. It is best if a runner does have some issues that require orthotics or have extreme pronation, under or over mention the interest in these new shoes to a foot doctor first. As with any product it is not a one size fits all.
Our family was fortunate as we got to see our runner cross the line of his first five kilometer race wearing his new shoes. What started out as a trend to try turned into a runner falling in love with this bare foot style running method. Our family actually caught him wearing them around out at the grocery store.