Back a pack

By Dan Bradley

So Status update and hopefully a little useful information, I have finished the move to North Wales and the new job at the Brenin is going well, I think I may have been able to keep the state of the ankle under wraps and may occasionally walk with a limp but all in all everything is going well, it’s getting stronger everyday and I’m getting fitter everyday.

Inspiration to get out camping, the view from the office window!

If anyone has ever had 8 months of no work then you can probably understand how unfit you get, how the beer belly develops and how you lose the ability to walk anywhere not getting out of breathe... Good news though as all of this has gone!Any now that’s the me section out of the way, now for a possible helpful hint;

I find people are always very interested to know how on camp you have such a small bag and what exactly you are taking, especially on summer ML courses when people turn up with 65 litre rucksacks weighing in at 20kgs. And wonder why they are beasted when heading out on night nav.

So hopefully I will go through all of the items I have in my rucksack, there are lots of different factors to take into consideration but this is what I took last week with 9 clients, 1 overnight camp, good weather with temps around 16 degrees in the day and 2 degrees at night.


Go backpacking with 1 overnight camp and 35litre rucksack weighing under 10kgs.....ish

This is my aim whenever I go out, it forces me to get rid of all the crap out of my bag!

First I’m wearing a pair of appropriate trousers, a thin base layer and warmer base layer for walking, all with wicking properties.
A pair of suitable walking socks and boots

Deuter 35+ guide rucksack
1 x Kangri tent (I have the tent split up into different dry bags, this allows the tents to be packed easier, stuffed into smaller spaces and if you put the tent away wet it doesn’t affect the rest of your kit)
1 x Airo air mat
1 x PipeDream 400
1 x Silk liner
1 x Stove
1 x Titanium spoon
1 x Gore tex jacket
1 x Lightweight waterproof trousers
1 x Filo
1 x Gloves
1 x Hat
1 x litre of water, a Nalgene bottle or something similar, not a platypus or camelback, if it bursts you are stuffed, also the pipes dirty very quick if heading into hot climates. (I start with this empty as I’ll fill it up on the first stream, drink lots, empty it then find some more when I need it... possibly a bit risky so know your terrain!)

Water bottle is wrapped in Gaffa tape for repairing etc, not carried separately, it’ll stick to itself then unwrap pretty easy, I tend to keep around half of a small roll wrapped around the bottle.

Food for 1 x night, 2 x lunches (Aim to leave the hill with no food left but not feeling hungry, it’s all too easy to pack too much food)

1 x Carbon walking pole
1 x Pen knife
1 x First aid kit.

I believe my kit is reasonably extensive, although it is not heavy nor too large, I keep it in a dry bag to make sure everything is always... well, dry.

My first aid kit consists of:
1 x Report form (These can be downloaded off the internet)
1 x pair of gloves
1 x Resusciade
1 x Field compression dressing (The Israeli’s make the best ones, I’m sure you can guess why)
Asprin (Good for thinning the blood, heart attack, hangovers etc)
A few plasters (If I’m getting my first aid kit out it’s usually for a very good reason, not a tiny cut, a man up sticker should be available for these)
A small rap of cling film, good for mountain bike grazes/cuts or camp burns.
2 x Absorbent adhesive dressing 10cm x 10cm
1 x Roll of vet rap (The best stuff in the world for fixing broken people)
1 x Triangular bandage
1 x Tube of superglue
1 x Strip of steri strips

A few things that may change or make things lighter;

So if I was not to be carrying a tent then I would almost always have a blizzard bag, if there was more in the group or if I was in a working context then I would make sure everyone had appropriate shelter or I would carry a group shelter.

Nailing the basics of summer backpacking are essential if you are hoping to extend your adventures into the winter.

If the weather was to be forecast amazing and I had a good study of the weather then I would also consider taking a bivi bag instead of a tent, this would make me lighter and also save some space, the downside of this is if there are lots of flies this could very quickly get annoying, you don’t have your own space or any wind shelter for cooking in open spaces. I usually take a tent unless I’m going very lightweight.

Hope this helps!

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