What’s in my pack?

I posted a page under the gear section called “What’s in my pack“.  Hopefully, others will make similar postings so we can get a sense of the unique gear in each pack.

Some of the contents of my pack include:

Sleeping bag – Depending upon conditions I use one of two sleeping bags. For temperatures down to the teens I use an old (1974) 0 degree down Browning (the gun company) bag. It has a couple of thin spots, but has been a quality bag over a lot of years. For really cold weather I pack my Western Mountaineering Puma sleeping bag. It is rated to -25 and I had it overstuffed with additional down. Before I purchased the Western Mountaineering bag I would pack a Holofill bag that I used as an over bag with my Browning bag inside for really cold weather.

Silk sleeping bag liner – A silk mummy bag liner only weighs 4oz and adds 9 degrees of warm. I use it year round to protect my sleeping bag. During warm weather it serves as a light covering while having the sleeping bag open for venting.

Sleeping pad(s) – I always bring a full length self inflating sleeping pad. In really cold weather I also bring a closed cell pad like a Ridge Rest. The combination provides more insulating power than just a self-inflating sleeping pad.

Hand cleaner – Alcohol hand cleaner for after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food.

1st aid kit – Includes scissors and tweezers, wound care, emergency medicines, SAM Splint (http://www.sammedical.com).

Water bottle – 32 oz. Nalagene bottle in a water bottle parka (http://www.outdoorresearch.com/home/style/WPB )

Whisperlite white gas stove

Sawvivor folding saw – A 15″ folding saw that weighs only 9.6 oz and can cut 5″ logs.

Trekking poles – I first used trekking poles, loaned by Jason Katonica, on our Mount Blue bushwhack and frankly, probably wouldn’t have summited without them. Since then I have had my 2nd hip replacement and use a pair of Leki Super Makalu trekking poles whenever there is rough terrain or local relief.


Fleece hat – sometimes I pack two; a regular hat and a tube hat that can be worn as a neck scarf. Lately I have worn a Columbia Kazoo Hat and been quite happy. Read the review.

Gloves and mittens – I usually pack a selection: light weight Smartwool or polypropylene “hand warmer” gloves, fleece or insulated gloves and mittens. On one of my 1st winter camping trips I experienced cold hands and borrowed Matt’s Outdoor Research mittens. They have fleece mittens inside of a water proof chopper. For cold weather camping mittens are a must.

LL Bean Guides Pants – Made from a stretchy Schoeller Textil’s Dryskin, a high-tech fabric that earned a Backpacker’s Editors’ Choice Award, they provide warmth and windproofing, plus decent water-resistance and the ability to shrug off all but the wettest snow.The pants feature three zippered pockets, zippered cuffs that make them easy to get out of, a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and a flat waist belt that doesn’t pinch under a pack. These pants came in tall but are now discontinued. I wear these pants year round and I am a big fan of clothes made from this fabric. I bought pants and a jacket for my wife and recently bought a customer jacket from BeyondFleece made from Shoeller’s Dryskin.

Jackets – Depending upon the weather I bring a North Face down jacket or an LL Bean Primaloft jacket. Both are light, although the down jacket packs a little smaller the Primaloft jacket performs better in wet weather and is longer with a hood. Sometimes I bring a down vest.

Smartwool socks – At least two pair so I have a dry pair to change into once the hiking is done.

Long Underwear – Polartec Power Dry tops (2 or 3) and bottoms. I have lightweight and mid-weight versions. Usually the top gets sweaty hiking in and a replacing it is one of the 1st activities when I reach camp. On my last hike out I wore two Power Dry tops; a crew neck with a zip-T over it. It was warm, breathed well and was more comfortable than wearing a windbreaker over the long sleeved top.

Booties and overshoes – Polarguard booties for lounging around camp and Neos Voyager Overboots. If you are going to be in camp for a long night these ensure your feet stay warm.


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