What’s in my pack?

Pays to be well prepared.

When I’m out for a dayhike I tend to carry more than most hikers – because I often hike solo, and because I keep my pack pre-filled with the essentials. Below is my full summer kit, which weighs about 10kg (22lb) in typical configuration. Heavy! But I like to be prepared. So what’s inside?

Mindshift Rotation 180º pack.
On the outside: trekking poles, Goretex cap, pack raincover, toilet kit, and Garmin inReach satellite emergency beacon.
In the top pocket: silk hat and gloves; GorillaPod tripod for iPhone, compact bug spray and sunscreen, Clif protein bar, ibuprofen.
In the side pocket: hydration pack, 2.5L
In the main pocket, Goretex rain/wind shell, fleece jacket.
In the main pocket: kite (left), emergency kit (top), hand-size water filter/pump (top right); lip balm, Swiss Army knife, spare headlamp batteries; business card (identification); power bank and Lightning cable (to charge iPhone); covid mask.
Inside the emergency bag: spare wool socks, silk gloves, first aid kit, repair/emergency kit, bivvy sack, headlamp and spare batteries, spare prescription glasses, chemical warmers.
The repair/emergency kit (nylon zip bag with ziplock plastic liner) includes a mylar emergency blanket, chemical body warmer pack, whistle, candle, compass, Leatherman multi-purpose tool, two waterproof match cans, tiny leather bootlaces, nylon bootlaces, clevis pin & ring, pencil wrapped with duct tape, dental floss with needle.
Inside the First Aid kit: latex gloves, triangle bandage, fabric for bandages, coins for a payphone, tinfoil, emergency instructions and paper/pencil for recording patient assessment (which dates back to 1985 Freshman Trips!), folding scissors, moleskin, band-aids, steri-strips, bandage tape, neosporin, chapstick, aspirin, ibuprofen, Lifesavers candy, gauze rolls, ace bandage, safety pins. (After this photo I refreshed some of the worn-out band-aids and bandages.)
Inside the camera pouch (the Rotation 180º pack is specifically designed for cameras): Canon R5 with 24-240mm lens (and hood and cap); dust blower, hand warmers, lens cleaners and wipes, lens filter (circular polarizer), spare lens cap.

In winter I use a larger pack (to fit more clothing) and cut out the camera gear. On aggressive summer hikes I use a smaller pack and cut out the camera gear.

So, do I carry too much? or do others carry too little? 🙂

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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