FIELD REPORT

WARM SOLSTICE DAY HIKE

ADVENTURER: MATT RONAN

Warm Solstice Day Hike

ACTIVITIES

A simple day hike in the woods to test a new pack.

WEATHER CONDITIONS

High 60’s (°F) – unseasonably warm

PACK

Hill People Gear Umlindi – Manatee and Black

PACK CONTENTS

Pack – Hill People Gear Umlindi (Manatee and Black)
Medical Kit (GORUCK Wire Dopp and 6x9 ALOKSAK):
Medicine Module
Wound Care Module
Foot Care and Soft Tissue Module
Large Irrigation Syringe
OLAES Modular Bandage
Orange Survival Blanket
H&H Compressed Gauze
Flat-fold N-95 particulate mask

Poop Kit:
Deuce of Spades
Repackaged Hand Sanitizer
TP

Hygiene Kit:
Repackaged Sunscreen
Toothpaste
Cut-down toothbrush
Trail toes foot cream
Earplugs
Lightload Towel

Food Bag:
Snacks, some holiday candy, Nuun tablets

Clothing Bag (Osprey Drybag):
Melanzana Grid Fleece 1/4 Zip Pullover
Patagonia Capilene Midweight Long-sleeve Base-layer
Generic Fingerless gloves
Rab Beanie

Other Loose Items:
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp (300 Lumens)
Reflectix Sit Pad (DIY)
SAM Splint (brought mostly to test comfort in packing it in the back panel of the bag
2 Liter Camelbak w/ Quick Disconnect on Hose
2 x 1 Liter Smart Water Bottles
Guyot Designs pet bowl
Patagonia Houdini Windbreaker

 

Kit Bag – Hill People Gear Runner’s Kit Bag (Grey Ripstop)
Fire Kit:
Storm proof matches
Small Ferro rod and P-38 can opener
SOLKOA fastfire tablet
EOG Baddest Bees Fire Fuses

Battle Systems MPIL signal panel w/ signal mirror
Leatherman Style CS (scissors)
Large, thin plastic trash bag
Carmex Lip Balm
Spoon
Area map

Not Shown:
Dermatone Sunscreen
Fox 40 whistle
Suunto Clipper Button Compass

 

Pack Belt
Dog treats
SOFT-TW Tourniquet in a Phlster Flatpack
Dog waste bags and hand sanitizer
Tennis ball
Grimloc Carabiner for Hands-free leash holding

Field Report

I had the day off work, which was rare for the holiday season. I work in a local retail store selling outdoor clothing and equipment, and we are always busy during this time of year, and the weather was quite nice. I had just picked up a new pack and my pup needed some exercise for the day. All of these factors were a perfect storm to get me out in the field and on an enjoyable day hike.

Based off of the recommendation of a co-worker, I decided to head north to Hobbs State Park on Beaver Lake. The park is relatively small, but immaculately maintained. I chose a 4 mile loop and once I was packed, headed to the park with my dog, Hazel. An hour later, we arrived at the parking area and hit the trail. I docked a separate pack belt to the Umlindi in its ingenious system to test how it would carry, and wore my kit bag on my chest.

The loop was very scenic, including an old derelict car that had been abandoned. Warmer weather meant my extra layers stayed in the bag, and I eventually hiked in only my short sleeve base layer top. A bladder is the most convenient way to drink water, especially with a pup to watch over. But bottles are always more durable.

Around the 2 mile mark, we stopped for a break at a scenic overlook with a view of Beaver Lake. Time for snacks and giving Hazel some water. I took off my runner’s kit bag and ended up docking it to the top of the kit bag via the included grimlocs, which worked perfectly. (I have also since figured out that the kit bag docks perfectly to the outside of the bag, serving a similar purpose as a compression panel as the Tara and Pals pockets that HPG makes.)
Finishing the loop, the sun hung lower and lower in the sky on this solstice evening. I picked my pace while humming a tune and found my way back to the car with a little bit of daylight left. Packed up the car, and we were back on our way home.
Overall, a fun day hike and a great excuse to put a new pack to work. The bag performed very well, and I hope to continue to test it as it earns its keep.

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