Last season I had many requests for a multi-day gear list but the task has been hanging out at the bottom of my never ending to-do list. But here it is, a complete breakdown of the gear I actually use for camping, (I don’t do hut trips all that much). Most of this gear was purchased at full price, if I got something for free/discount I’ll make a note. For the record, I have turned down free gear for stuff that was lighter or works better, so this shouldn’t be an issue anyway.
I’ll quickly go over how I go about picking gear. My main concern while camping in the Canadian Rockies is that I don’t freeze to death and that I can deal with random issues, like falling into a creek. This means I usually overkill on temp ratings for trips, for example if it is going to be -15C overnight I still bring a -30C sleeping bag. My next concern is weight, because it sucks skiing around with a huge heavy pack – with this concern the element of durability usually suffers a bit, for example my multi-day down gear has very lightweight face fabric, I have a whole second set for day trips that is heavier but more durable. Last I consider comfort which depends on trip length, if the extra weight is worth the comfort factor or if the trip has extended down time (for example, spring time melt freeze). It is extremely important to realize that my kit might not work for you but if your mindset is roughly the same as mine then I would guess most of the following would come close.
When I pack for a trip I break my kit down into several parts, mostly so I can make sure I am not forgetting something.
- Sleep – includes sleeping bag, pad and pillow – anything needed to get sleep
- Camp – includes shelter, comfort items like sitting pads, camp clothes, etc – anything needed to hang out in camp
- Cook – includes stoves, gas, dishes, etc – anything needed to eat and drink
- Survive – includes first aid repair, etc – anything needed to survive when the unplanned happens
I won’t be including skiing or avalanche gear in this list.
Sleeping bags : I use the PHD Xero Half Bag (725g) for colder temps or a customized PHD Hispar Half Bag (400g) for less cold temps. Most people think I’m crazy for using a half bag but once you try it you wonder why you bothered with bags double the weight with the same temp rating. I was involved in the design of the Xero Half Bag and got it for 25% off retail price (publicly offered discount when it was released). The custom Hispar Half Bag has an extender to cut drafts/snow blowing in, it adds about 50g and $50 to the base model linked below.
Sleeping pad : I use the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Max (490g) for all trips.
Pillow : Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight (60g) for all trips.
Shelters : Depending on the style of the trip I use a different Hyperlite Mountain Gear tarp. For traverses I often use the Ultamid 4 (653g) and for basecamp style trips I use either their Flat Tarp (251g) or Ground Cloth (107g). I use the Ground Cloth as a tarp when I take it. Depending on the group I might take a combo of the above.
Sitting pad : I use a Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad Small (290g) as a sitting/resting pad at camp and at night I tuck it under my sleeping pad for extra warmth. I don’t always bring this, mostly if I think I will be hanging around camp a lot.
Camp Clothes : PHD WaferLite K Series Limited Summer Edition Down Jacket (100g), PHD Wafer Down K Series Limited Summer Edition Down Trousers (110g), PHD Alpine Ultra K Series Limited Summer Edition Down Jacket (250g), PHD Rondoy Down K Series Down Jacket (500g), PHD Mera Down Mitts (96g), PHD Xero Down Socks (170g) and PHD Wafer Down K Series Socks (45g). The Limited Summer Editions are no longer for sale but the links below bring you to the standard models which are basically the same product.
Stove : 95% of the time I take the Jetboil Flash Cooking System (371g). In the spring I might pack a Jetboil Mighty Mo (95g) with a Sea to Summit 1.3L X-Kettle (186g) as it takes much less room (there is a little weight saving too but less user friendly). On longer trips I will bring a backup stove unit in case of failure (which after hundreds of days camping has never happened to me with a Jetboil).
Dishes : Sea to Summit X-Mug (65g) for eating breakfast (oatmeal) and a Light My Fire Titanium Spork (30g). Outside of breakfast all my food does not require a bowl, (oatmeal can be prepared in freezer bags too if you want).
Water Bottles : I use single walled metal water bottles for multi-day trips for several reasons. Most importantly you can use this style to iron wet clothes as they transfer heat rapidly. The other reason is they will cool down quicker so you can actually drink your boiled water instead of waiting for hours. If using these never fill them with boiled water, seal them and place them in the snow, they will literally blow up. To cool them make a hole for it to stand up in with the cap off and every few minutes take it out and shake the water up (the cold water will rest at the bottom).
First Aid Kit : I take basic first aid gear to deal with cuts/wounds with the focus on being able to redress easily in order to stop infection. For all injuries I look to get back to civilization and my first aid kit speaks to that. For breaks I rely on creating something as needed out of ski straps, poles, etc. My first aid kit weighs about 200g.
Fire Making : I carry several candles, flint (practise before having to rely on this!), matches and multiple lighters.
Repair Kit : 3-4 long ski straps. I used to carry all sorts of other stuff (wire, zip ties, etc) but never used them. Ski straps have saved my life in regards to repairs and I have yet to find something you can’t fix with them in order to get home.
SOS : I have both an InReach and SPOT. I usually take the InReach and give my partner the SPOT. It would be nice to some day have two InReaches in order to message back and forth in a worse case situation.
Re-cap List and Links
- PHD Xero Half Bag (725g)
- PHD Hispar Half Bag (400g – added extender)
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Max (490g) Sleeping Pad
- Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight (60g) Pillow
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 4 (653g) Tarp
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Flat Tarp (251g)
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ground Cloth (107g)
- Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad Small (290g) (for sitting)
- PHD WaferLite K Series Limited Summer Edition Down Jacket (100g)
- PHD Wafer Down K Series Limited Summer Edition Down Trousers (110g)
- PHD Alpine Ultra K Series Limited Summer Edition Down Jacket (250g)
- PHD Rondoy Down K Series Down Jacket (500g)
- PHD Mera Down Mitts (96g)
- PHD Xero Down Socks (170g)
- PHD Wafer Down K Series Socks (45g)
- Jetboil Flash Cooking System (371g)
- Jetboil Mighty Mo (95g)
- Sea to Summit 1.3L X-Kettle (186g)
- Sea to Summit X-Mug (65g)
- Light My Fire Titanium Spork (30g)