The trails of the Ozarks are very rugged, fairly remote and access for any rescue party will be difficult. Our worst case scenario is that one of us will suffer a fall and become incapacitated.
If the worst happens we assume that there will be no cell phone service, and that any rescue attempt will likely take a day or more. So even on a short day hike our emergency kit is designed to enable us to survive overnight in the wilderness.
If one thing is likely to start a passionate gear discussion, it’s hiking and backpacking footwear. I’m in a minority on this subject and I know it. Why? If you look closely at any of our backpacking or hiking pictures, you’ll see I’m almost always apparently barefoot…
When we first started hiking the question soon arose, “Do we need hiking poles?” (also known as trekking poles). We thought that they were pretentious accessories only used by the sort of people who like to buy every latest gadget and bit of gear to look the part. I just could not see the need for them.