Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gear list - From 5 day winter trek

I have put together a gear list, with comments, from my 5 day winter walk at Mt Bogong a couple of weeks back. (See the trip report here.)

You can find the gear list here.  (NB. I am trying out Google Docs to share the gear list file.  Let me know if you have any hassles with it.)

My base pack weight was 11.7kg (25.7lbs).  This increased to 17.7kg (39.1lbs) with food & water.  My skin-out weight (everything carried and worn) was 22.7kg (50.0lbs)

I am not sure I can get this much lighter for winter walking; however, there is plenty of scope for reducing the weight in the warmer months.

If you have any suggestions on how I can reduce the weight, let me know.

A few highlights of the gear:
  • The biggest lesson from the trip was discovering that my home made pyramid tent was not quite up to mountain top conditions - I lost some corner tie-outs in the middle of the first night and spent the rest of it trying to stop the tent from blowing away.  I am sure I could make the tent a bit more mountain-proof, by doing things like digging out a platform, adding flaps to the sides to weigh it down and strengthening the tie outs.  Alternatively, I will look at making a new tent suited to winter use.
  • My myog quilt was nice and warm at the coolest night time temperature of -4C, while wearing thermals, beanie, socks, gloves and two mid layers; however, I think that was close to it's limit - if I need to go to say -10C, I reckon I will need to go add a down bag or quilt.  Hmm, sounds like another project. 
  • My MSR Pocket Rocket struggled a bit on the snow, with the sub-zero temps playing havoc with the propane/butane mix. In future I will need to look either at solutions to keep the canisters warm (ie. >0C) or else get a stove designed for winter use.  I have got my eye on the MSR Windpro or perhaps the Fire Maple FMS-100T. both of these will allow me to invert the canister.  Got a stove you can recommend?  Let me know.


  1. Andrew, the Google Docs list works well.  You're very organised!  I throw everything on the bed when I'm packing and always forget something.  You've got some military precision going on over your way! Sounds like you know where your going with a different stove.  Any really cold areas I've been to I get a little 'retro' and break out the Trangia.  Heavier I know, but bombproof for cold weather.  I used one on the Overland in snowy conditions back in 2009 and I can't complain with less than a litre of metho used in a week, built in windshield etc.  Then again the weight... 

  2. I guess I am somewhat organised.  That said, my usual departure drill involves at least one U-turn within a kilometer of home to collect something forgotten.

    I have considered the Trangia system for winter.  During my recent trip to Mt Bogong, I bumped into a couple of old-timers who had been using a Trangia over a 10 day period in the area - looked pretty good and they swore by it.

  3. Hi Andrew. I've enjoyed seeing your myog articles. Good to see the equipment get some good use. Pity about the tent. As for your gear list. Looks pretty good. My suggestions are:
     - Maybe a lighter sleeping mat like a neo air in conjuction with the foam.
     - Lighter shell jacket and vest
     - Lamp + head torch needed?
     - Dedicated GPS + smaller ipod (if you really want entertainment) instead of iphone plus chargers
     - Need the big knife?
     - Lighter towel if needed at all?

  4. Cameron
     - I like the Neo Air suggestion.  Am also considering replacing pad and foam with an Exped Synmat.
     - Not sure I can get a much lighter vest.  Still, could be a good project
     - Agree on the need for a lighter shell.  The jacket I am using was bought for general mucking around in snow
     - The second lamp is a luxury, for sure
     - iPod for music, yes, but I use my iPhone for music, reading, games, note taking (as well as GPS)
     - I love my Gerber knife.  I would feel emasculated without it.
     - Have yet to use the towel - it just feels like i should have it.

    Hmmm, looking at this I am going to have to deal with some emotional gear attachment!

    Thanks for the suggestions!


  5. I like the Windpro - has worked well for me

  6. i have a "wilderness outfitters Stainless cook kit,it has options for either, metho gas or fire


    i love it, i use it to boil water and to cook with, i carry my trangia metho burner for it ,no altitude sickness with metho yet its not for the gram counters

  7. Thanks, Peter. I have since been using the Fire Maple. So far it's not done what I wanted - which was to allow me to invert in sub-zero conditions. When I do that, I get flames near the burner! Very disconcerting. A.


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