The other day we went to REI just to look around, I really did not expect to get another backpack, because mine is in fine condition. But I ended up trying on a couple any ways, and they are sooooo much more comfortable than the one I have been using. It’s pretty amazing how they are changing the backpacks, they are making them formed to the body so much better.
The pack I ended up getting is made specifically for women, so the harness is shaped to fit the body better, and the length is made to fit women better. Its a really nice pack, just a little larger than my other pack at 3,000 cubic inches/ 50 liter. Its and Osprey backpack, the model is Aura 50.
It’s so exciting to get a new toy! I loaded it up with my gear the other day. Bernie and I do lightweight backpacking. The baseweight of my backpack (the backpack, with my hiking gear like sleeping bag, extra layers, sleeping pad, personal items, and such) is 14 lbs. With a full load of food and water we might get up to 30 lbs max. Usually we are more around 20-25 lbs. Many people think it would be hard to be comfortable hiking this lightweight, but we have everything we need, and we are plenty comfortable in any situation we come across.
We hike in Teva sandals. Another choice that many would not make, but we have found it to be much more comfortable for us. We used to hike with running shoes, but I was having trouble with my toes running into the end of the shoes too much (I ended up loosing a nail because of this, ick!), and so over time we decided to switch to sandles. We have probably hiked somewhere around 3,000 miles in sandals.