Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

HH Hand Loops for Pack

Does this address a need? Not really, but who cares?

ULA backpacks now come with hand loops (scroll to the bottom) as an option. I like the idea of having somewhere to put my hands when I'm hiking...swinging them like normal sometimes leads to swelling (which is the main reason I don't wear my ring while hiking). So if I'm not carrying hiking poles, I usually just hold onto the shoulder straps. It works, but it also kinda limits where I can put my hands. So the ULA hand loops serve a purpose but I never considered it worthy of carrying the extra item (weight) just for that purpose.

But somehow, and I don't know how because I wasn't even thinking about hiking when it popped into my mind, I realized that HH Tree Huggers are also a single use item. Unless I clip them onto my shoulder straps and with the mini-biners that I'm already carrying for the JRB underquilt. Voila - instant hand loops made with gear that was already in my pack.

Since I'm still making up my mind on the hiking poles, I'll probably try this out next time I'm hiking to see how I like it. Hopefully somebody out there will like the idea, though...let me know if you try this and decide to keep doing it.

This is the GoLite Speed shoulder strap. Many packs have straps like this where the load lifter strap is sewn into the cusioning. The mini-biner slides into the uppermost loop between the shoulder cushioning and load lifter strap. Then clip both ends of the Tree Hugger into the mini-biner. Project complete.
And here's what it looks like. It'll keep my hands elevated so they don't swell. It's kinda like the lazy way to look like I'm doing the yuppy-power-mall-walk b/c I don't have to actually hold my hands up.
I used the hand loops on a quick hike to Little Sur River and liked them. They're great for when I'm not using hiking poles...a lot more useful than I expected. Since I'm already carrying the Tree Huggers for the hammock, I'll probably keep using them when I don't bring poles.

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