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Packing Light for a Hiking Expedition

 

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?
    Same kit
  • 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?
    Thermarest Neolite
  • Pillow?
    Rolled up down jacket
  • Stove or fire?
    Stove – MSR whisperlite
  • Fleece or down jacket?
    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?
    Canon XC10
  • Preferred expedition phone?
    iPhone 6s
  • Navigation – paper map or digital GPS?
    Gaia 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.

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Comments

  1. Barry Davidson Posted

    Hi Al,
    What food do you carry and what’s in your kitchen kit?
    Thanks, Barry

    Reply
  2. Paul Carter Posted

    no mention of a sleeping bag – what weight do you reckon for this amount of kit?

    Reply

 
 

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