What's in My Pack

I love reading gear lists. Here's mine. When I choose gear I first look for what works, then I look at weight. Bomb-proof equipment (the Svea, for example) rates high with me.

The Big Three (about 9 pounds)

Pack -- Grainite Gear Nimbus Ozone. To quote the late, great Colin Fletcher, this is one bloody great sack. That's really all it is, one compartment and no lid (the sack closes in a roll-top). It's 3 pounds and no longer made.

Shelter -- Clark Jungle Hammock NA-200. I have a love-hate relationship with this rig: I love being off the ground and yet I've never been able to dial it in just right despite building an awesome whoopie sling suspension system for it. Expensive, over-engineered and solid. 

  • Accoutrements: aluminum tent stakes, reflective lines, whoopee slings

Sleeping bag -- A 20 year old, 40-degree down bag from L.L. Bean. Losing down all the time. Red.

  • Accoutrements: Thermarest Ridgerest closed-cell foam pad, small pillow


Optimus Svea 123R gas stove. Love it. Two moving parts, never fails, shoots off a hell of a fireball when primed. Integrated tank holds enough fuel for a weekend. A classic work of art.

Snowpeak Titanium spork

GSI anodized aluminum pot with lid. This was a double boiler set. I bring just the large pot. Titanium may be the rage, but I think aluminum gives the best performance for the weight.

Plastic Campmor insulated cup. The volume markings are very useful.

Mautz Fire Ribbon primes my stove. Sometimes I bring an eye dropper to prime with gas, but I'm afraid of losing it. I've tried using hand sanitizer and petrolatum, but they don't work well if at all. The fire ribbon never fails.

Aquamira water purification drops. Enjoy that urban tap flavor anywhere!

The Sink -- I use the bottom of a 1-gallon plastic milk jug as an all-purpose wash water basin.

Kitchen etc.: lighter, strike anywhere matches in a match safe, a disposable kitchen fabric towel (forget the brand)

More to come the next time I open my pack.