Hi Steve, my dream would be to accomplish the mountain in your profile picture, Katahdin. I have both a daypack and 48l pack, I find the cinching waist belt helps keeps my hips in check and back supported. I also usually wear cross-trainers yet have light boots too as my ankles are “floppy” so said a physical therapist once! However, I find the boots don’t help too much with that as much as being mindful of my steps.
–Do you ever split up your water, or carry in a ‘fanny pack’? It may seem like an odd questions like due to my scoliosis I try to be balanced better, not that 24oz with skew things too much!
Hope to meet you soon!