Ever since we had such a good time hiking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Eastern Oregon, Danny and I have been hiking closer to home all summer. Actually, I had to buy hiking boots in Joseph, Oregon, while we were on vacation, and I felt I had to justify the eighty bucks. Also, Danny’s just really good at trail hiking.
Back in Portland, Danny and I have headed for the hills at least twice a week. It helps that Forest Park is a quick drive from my house, so we can get out there, get in a good hike, and get back in under two hours. Even though we’re not out in the woods long, I take a backpack with a few essentials. Here’s my list:
- Wallet and keys
- Cell phone (it’s an urban forest, so I get a signal. I bring the phone for emergencies, not chatting)
- 1-liter aluminum water bottle
- Collapsible water dish
- Plastic bags for poop
- Maps of the park’s trails
- Little notebook and pencil for story ideas I come up with
- Towel for emergencies — including using it as a sling for carrying Danny if he seriously injures himself
- If I’m feeling like hauling the extra weight and it’s spring, I’ll bring my wildflower guidebook, too
It sounds like a lot, but it all fits in a bookbag I’ve had for more than ten years and it’s not too heavy. My particular bag has a pocket in the strap for a wallet or something, but it holds Danny’s treats at the ready. You don’t even need to wonder if Danny knows where those treats live. He does.