Hiking and mountain climbing requires a fair bit of foresight. Making sure to include the necessary provisions in your backpack and securing useful items to the daisy chain can prove instrumental in your pursuit of a good hiking experience. Variables such as length of hike, temperature, terrain and company will determine how a hiker should utilize the daisy chain.
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Daisy Chain Explained
Many modern backpacks -- especially those for mountaineering -- are equipped with a daisy chain. It consists of vertical loops of webbing, which commonly are placed up the center of the pack. There can be multiple rows of loops, approximately 2 inches in diameter. The double-wide daisy chain allows for a larger quantity of items to be attached, but it is important to create a usage strategy to avoid imbalance and excessive weight.
Knowledge is power, and some simple uses of the daisy chain will keep hikers happier and safer. For example, put wet socks or any small wet articles of clothing on the chain. It is best to keep those out of the interior of the pack. The traditional use of the daisy chain is for securing specialized climbing gear, including cams, nuts and chocks (using carabiners), an ice axe, a shovel, and a detachable pocket with stove and liquid fuel.
For an overnight hike, the daisy chain is a helpful place to store a sleeping mat and tent poles. A daisy chain's 2-inch vertically running webbing loops will hold the sleeping mat and the bag that contains your tent polls. Try to keep the heavier items higher for a proper distribution of weight. Trekking poles and even cooking gear can be attached to the daisy chain if space is an issue, but remember to secure everything tightly with rope or carabiners.
The daisy chain is often considered an extension of mountaineering-specific gear that has been adapted for hiking packs. Attaching frequently used items, such as a water bottle or camera, takes advantage of the daisy chain and avoids overloading the backpack.
Hikers who opt not to use the daisy chain at all may remove the webbing using a seam ripper. This can eliminate approximately 5 ounces of weight from the pack.