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The Wayƒarer
The Burden
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A Wayƒarer′s Scrip

The Scrip Go Down go back
DURING WINTER when between steps on the journey to Katahdin and to await warmer weather, a wayfarer spends his hiatus working as a sales clerk at an outfitter shop back in his home town.
Backpacking in the
Smoky Mountains National Park
(b3.19780410.1200) Backpacking in Smoky Mountains National Park

Backpacking′s Five Essentials Needs
One day a customer approaches him and says I′m going on a three-week backpack this upcoming spring. I already have fifty pounds of gear in my backpack but there is still room for much more. What else do I need?
After thinking for a moment about the question, the sales clerk asks the customer "You already have your pack?"
"Yes, an UltraLight" is his quick and confident answer.
"Do you have your sleeping bag?" "Yes!" he replies again.
"Do you have your tent?" Once again, he replies "Yes."
"Do you have your food and cooking gear?" Again, "Yes."
"Do you have your hiking boots broken in?" Almost frustrated, he says, "Yes, I′m wearing them now!"
The clerk says, "Good then, you have everything you Need!"
He then asks the sales clerk, "Well, do you have any thing new I can look at?" The sales clerk shows him an ultra lightweight espresso maker and the customer purchases it. Hopefully, the point is clear. It is all about the content of the burden that determines whether a person is a weekend warrior or a thru hiker.
Again, it must be said, that there are five essential needs for backpacking:
(1) pack; (2) sleeping bag; (3) tent; (4) kitchen; (5) rainment (boots and clothing).
The type of pack, seeping bag and tent, as well as what one chooses to include for the kitchen and raiment are personal choices. Every thing else would fall into the want category.
    See Also, Emergency Bag

The Frame Packs Go Down Go Up
The Scrip is a bag or a small satchel supported from the shoulder of a wayƒarer and used to carry food and gear. Of these bags, there are three types that a wayƒarer could own and uses while on the mountain. These three are the external frame pack, the internal frame pack and the day pack.
The external frame pack is the typical long-haul pack having a rigid tubular aluminum frame with a nylon pack bag attached. It is easy to load, having several compartmental segmentations and is customarily the perfect pack a long hike while transporting heavy loads.
Most of the weight is supported on the hip belt allowing it to be carried higher and making it easier to walk. The frame suspends the pack away from your body allowing for air to circulate making it cooler to carry.
However, if you are doing much travel using anything other than the feet, such as air, train or bus the exposed frame can easily be damaged with rough handling by porters and baggage transportation.

The Soft Packs Go Down Go Up
Soft Packs, more commonly known as internal frame packs are perfect for trips when a lot of your travel is by commercial carrier because the frame is protected inside of the pack.
This pack normally has composite stays or bendable aluminum flat bars that are adjusted to fit the contour of the back and inserted into sleeves on the harness side of the backpack.
Also, this pack hugs the body keeping the center of gravity closer to yours and because it is worn closer to the body, like an overcoat, providing extra warmth cold days. However, this is a disadvantage when hiking on the trail in warm weather.
There is one additional pack often carried by a wayƒarer and used when there is need only for a few needs, often when on a day excursion.

The Day Packs Go Down Go Up
The day pack is an extra pack that a wayƒarer may carry. Probably the way a wayƒarer uses the day pack the most is as a food storage bag.
It holds all of his food inside the main pack while hiking and then when camping for any period of time, it is used as a bear bag. While away from the camp or when sleeping at night, the bear bag is suspended by a rope at least ten feet above the ground to protect the food and cookware from animals.
Day Pack
(b3-198609) Backpacking in the Olympic National Park Seven Lakes Basin
A wayƒarer also uses the day pack as his main pack during day hikes when his frame pack is safely stored. The day pack is invaluable for this purpose as it allows a wayƒarer time away from the burden with but a few things: food, water, Bible, journal, pen, tp and sometimes other needs.

The Gear Go Down Go Up
Essential Needs
For the sake of repetition, the essential needs for backpacking are: 1. backpack; 2. sleeping bag; 3. tent; 4. kitchen (food and cooking gear); 5. rainment (boots and clothing).
Short List
Additionally, there is another list for backpacking, which I call the short list and ultimately, there are only ten items for a wayƒarer′s backpacking needs.
Methinks, the absolute short list is: backpack, sleeping bag, tent, food, water, boots, raiment (what is worn and one spare set), journal, pen and a Bible.
More is Always Wanted
Keeping the burden as close to this short list will make the burden easier to carry and prevent the footslogger from feeling like a pack mule. However, many would also carry other items to make life on the pathway somewhat easier to deal with.
When gathering gear to outfit a backpacking journey, it is most advantageous to heed the old wayƒarer′s proverb, "If you are conscious of the ounces, the pounds will take care of them self."
With that said, the following is a few ideas found to increased organization of the gear in the pack in order to keep from having to dump the pack out on the ground to find the needed item.
In most packs, there are some separate compartments, however, in most cases, using nylon stuff bags to roll gear into elongated cylindrical shapes and then stacking them upright can further augment the segmentation of gear.
Each stuff bag contains different contents of the burden; clean clothes in one, dirty clothes in another, sneakers in one, tent and ground cloth in another, food in the day pack, cookware in yet another until all the gear is side by side, upright in each of the compartments. By doing thus, each container remains easily accessible from the top of the compartment and also prevents most items from falling to the bottom of the pack and disappearing.
Gear Location
There are three section to the list of gear below. The first (top) section are those gear items that are kept outside the back pack. The second section are those gear items kept in the main compartments. The third division are those gear items kept in an outside pouch for quick access.
The exception to this division may be the bedroom bag and shelter bag which may be strapped to the outside of the pack.
Backpacking Gear (or Emergency Bag Gear)
Gear Bag
Content of Bag
The Feet
Items Worn: boots, socks, wick socks
The Pack
Attached to Outside of Pack: Sierra cup, plastic spade, patches, wool jacket, duct tape (rolled onto pack frame)

The Office Bag
Bible, pen, journal, passport, ID
The Ditty Bag
nylon cord, candles, matches (lighter), sewing kit, folding knife, insect repellant wipes
The First Aid Bag
Adhesive strips, tea tree oil, gauze, tape, aspirin
The Hygiene Bag
4 ounce bottle biodegradable liquid soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, hair brush or comb
The Raiment
Worn: long sleeve shirt, pants, bandana (cotton), undershirt, shorts, underwear
The Raiment Bag
2 sock sets, long sleeve shirt, 2 undershirt, shorts, 2 underwear, pants, bandana (cotton), stretch hat (wool), wide brim hat
The Dirty Raiment Bag
soiled clothing
The Camp Shoes Bag
spare shoes (sandals, sneakers or water shoes)
The Kitchen Bag
stove, fuel, pot(s) with lid, cook spoon, scrub pad
The Pantry/Bear Bag
day pack or bear bag, food in zip bags, 8 ounce bottles for liquids
The Bedroom Bag
sleeping bag,
insulated pad (see note)
The Shelter Bag
tent, rain fly, ground cloth, poles, pegs, cord
The Water Filter Bag
2 micron water filter

The Water Containers
2 ea, one liter bottles, preferably stainless
The TP Bag
toilet paper, 8 ounce bottle alcohol
The Rain Gear Bag
poncho or parka, pack rain cover

The Emergency Gear Bag Go Down Go Up
The above content for a backpacking journey could very easily tout be used for an emergency bag in case of a disaster. Just load the pack and store it in a easily accessible spot, either near the front door or in your vehicle. If you travel by a vehicle, be sure to load the emergency gear bag.
If you keep you pack stocked with food, water, supplies, and clean clothing, then if an emergency occurs, all you will have to do is grab the pack and go. If this is done, it is important to keep all those items that have an expiration date, rotated out to be used, and then replaced with fresh items.

One set of sock include two pairs which helps prevent blisters, provides warmth in the winter and moisture wicking to keep feet dry. A total of three sets should be included: 1 winter set (wool and wick) and 1 summer set (cotton and wick). Wick socks should be thin and made of orlon, nylon or other wicking material. The wool set also works well to warm feet at night.
Items attached to outside of pack. Patches attached the top flap can be sown in such a way as to provide a pocket for a lighter (flame), pen light, or other small item.
Except were indicated, the raiment (clothing) should be made from nylon, which is becoming cheaper and easier to find. This fabric is durable, easily washed and dries quickly.
This gear bag may be carried by one person to be used by himself and one or more others.
Optional item. The Kitchen Bag may be optional if foods not needing to be cooked are carried.
In areas where there are bears, a bear proof bag or canister should be used to store food and all items with a fragrance. (tooth paste, soap, etc.)
Instead of liquid soap, dry micro soap may be used.
Best kept in an outside pouch for easy access.

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by Thom Buras
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