It took me a while to find the right backpack for me. On the third try I bought a Gregory 55 ltr. I love it! It has some great features and rides very comfortably. My boots are Merrells, which I also love. I am thinking about trying trail runners when my Merrells wear out.
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Living in Colorado and loving outdoors, there are WAY too many hobbies to get into and way too much to spend on each hobby... I always take the approach of working with whatever I have. I'm actually using Camelbak pack for my backpacking dispersed camping trips. It is extremely heavy, but extremely durable. This pack is actually used by the New Zealand Royal Army (I had to trade for it w when we did a joint international exercise. ) As far as for boots, I went with some Lowa Renegade Mid GTX from an REI Garage Sale. -- I love Goretex technology so I always ensure I get boots equipped with it.