Let me know your thoughts on the following:
Water purification - I've used the Aquamira but it's kind of a pain. Looking at the SteriPen with Iodine tablets as a backup... Shell - I want something reasonably inexpensive that is highly water and wind resistant. I get cold quickly when the temperatures drop. I've learned to carry layers, but would like this to help with warmth if needed. Anyone use the REI ultralight jacket?
Pack - I'd use my Nathan race vest all the time if I could, but I want a pack that has side bottle pockets. Not too many to choose from and I'm leaning toward this one by GoLite. Hoping REI has one in the store that I can put on. Some of the packs are just too big on me.
Any thoughts on trekking poles or other fun gear I haven't researched yet? Not that I necessarily need any of it, but it's fun right?