Posted by: Richard | May 19, 2009

What are we taking?

On my first big trip (hiking in the Solo Khumbu in the Everest region of Nepal), I realized quite quickly what I needed and didn’t need, with the local populations between the end of the bus track (Jiri) and the air strip in Lukla getting about 10 pounds (weight) worth of gear that I wasn’t prepared to carry.  Extra shirts, socks, jeans, books, coffee cups, water bottles and a spare compass were a few of the casualties.  Eventually, my stockpile of 10 snickers bars were also ditched when I realized they had been doused with kerosene somehow (though I still made my way through a couple of the snickers before I could give up such a precious cargo).

In the Alps, we don’t have much space for luxuries.  As such, we have carefully reviewed our gear, and today I will post the common gear we are taking (and some weights) so that we can see what we have….

Common Gear

Tent – Big Agnes 2 person tent – 1.5kg
Cooker – MSR Pocket Rocket Stove – 131g
Gas – MSR Compressed Gas (we’ll likely use camping Gaz) – 355g
Pot – MSR Alpine set (we’re only taking the big pot) – 400g
2 x Plastic knives, 1 x plastic fork, 1 x plastic spork – 25g
1 x 1.5L, 1 x 1L Metal water bottles. 3 x 1L plastic water pouches – 400g
Emergency Food (refried beans and penne pesto) – 300g
Emergency First Aid Supplies – 400g
Emergency Music and multimedia (2 x iPod, 1 x iPod Nano) – 250g
Emergency Reading material (Zen of Motorcycle, Razors Edge) – 300g
Guide book and maps – 300g
Swiss Army knife and Leatherman – 250g
Cell Phone – 150g

All told, this adds up to about 4.5kg (or about 10 pounds).  Add to this:

Our backpacks – 1.4kg for my Black Diamond, 1.8 for Lynn’s Arc’Teryx
Western Mountaineering Sleeping bags – 750g each
EcoExped and Thermarest Sleeping mats – 400g each
Nikon D90 SLR camera – 600g
2 x Canon point and shoot cameras – 200g each
Lovely silk sheets (actually silk sleeping bag liners) – 175g each

This adds another 6.85 kg (15 pounds) and we haven’t even started to talk about food, water, clothes or luxury items.  All told, basic materials (ok, with some excess books and music) comes in at 25 pounds!  If we aren’t careful, I’ll be lugging a load like the fella below…

This is too much gear!

TOO MUCH GEAR!!!!! (though probably the right amount of San Miguel beer)


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