Few things in the outdoor world can raise as much ire, or expend as much hot air, as discussions about lightweight equipment. I generally stay away from kit discussions because I’m not and expert, nor am I very interested in it. My stance is generally: it’s better to do 20 extra press-ups a day and lose a bit of weight than it is to spend a fortune on a titanium spoon.
However, there is no doubt that quality equipment will serve you well on a journey. And, especially for a trip where you are carrying all your gear on your back, every ounce of saved weight is a genuine bonus.
Over the past few years Leon McCarron has walked many thousands of miles on several very long expeditions. I’ve picked his brains about his favourite expedition equipment for a hiking journey in this quickfire interview…
- Favourite backpack?
Osprey Atmos AG 65
- Boots or trainers?
Boots – Keen Liberty Ridge for tough terrain/colder weather
- Hiking poles?
Always when carrying a pack. Leki make nice collapsable ones.
- How do you carry your water?
Sometimes Nalgene bottle, more often than not plastic Coke-style bottles. Environmentally unfriendly, but light and easy to get hold of. Try to reuse them for as long as possible.
- In a warm, dry place, do you prefer to take a spare set of clothes to wear in the evening, or save weight by staying in the same kit day and night?
- Tent, tarp or bivvy?
Depends massively on weather. Tent good if there’s a chance of rain and any electronic stuff needing attention at night (footage review etc.) Also nice for a small amount of privacy on long journeys. Otherwise bivvy.
- Sleeping mat?
Rolled up down jacket
- Stove or fire?
Stove – MSR whisperlite
- Fleece or down jacket?
- Is there such a thing as a stylish sunhat?
No. Get a leather Indiana-Jones style hat like I did
- Preferred expedition camera?
- Preferred expedition phone?
- Navigation – paper map or digital GPS?
- How do you charge your phone when you’re in the wilderness?
Powertraveller adventure solar panel with built in battery (plus mophie battery pack)
- How do you charge your camera when you’re in the wilderness?
Extra batteries, plug in when I can
- Do you carry a spare charger battery for all your gear?
Only for phone
- How do you back up your video footage?
Macbook air and 2x Lacie hard drives
Do you have any other suggestions? Please do have your say in the comments below.