In My Pack

This is a list, in no particular order, of the gear I often put in my backpack, kayak hatch, and trunk. I try to avoid redundancy when packing, especially in regard to clothing. Each layer should have a unique purpose, even if that purpose is style or comfort. The reason for carrying a cotton tank top with a Southwestern-style color scheme is because I think it looks cool, but hey, it’s probably the only piece of clothing I can say that about.

  • Eddie Bauer First Ascent Accelerant Jacket –  Please, please, please bring this jacket back into production! One of the most versatile layers I’ve ever owned, I prefer it to most fleece mid layers like Patagonia’s R1 Hoody, although, those are nice too.
  • Patagonia Nano Air Hoody – Almost always in my pack, this is my main piece of insulation for spring, summer, and fall adventures in the mountains. It’s super comfortable, lightweight, and warm enough for most three-season endeavors.
  • Salewa Pro Guide Mountaineering Boots – I use these for work on Mount Baker and have never been disappointed. Perfect warmth and stiffness for Cascade volcanoes. Excellent fit for my narrow, low-volume feet.
  • Brooks Cascadia Trail Running Shoes – I often use these for approaches and sometimes carry them as a camp shoe, and of course, I run in them. Great support and very breathable. However, after a full season of work, I’m in need of a new pair.
  • Petzl Tikka XP – Has done a great job on all my adventures, including lighting the way to the summit of Everest.
  • Cilo Gear 60L WorkSack – We recently purchased two of these for the climbing ranger program on Mount Baker and they have been excellent. Very versatile, lightweight, functional, and just large enough for a three-night, four-day shift on the glacier.
  • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir – When I was younger, I slept on foam pads, but now that I’m over the hump I need a little more padding for my achy hips. On the NeoAir, I often sleep better than I do at home.
  • Therm-a-Rest Z Lite – Inflatable mattresses do not provide enough insulation for most on-the-snow adventures, and they are pretty fragile, so I almost always carry a 3/4-length Z Lite to put beneath my inflatable mattress. It also comes in handy for sitting outside the tent on rocks, dirt, and snow.
  • Feathered Friends Down Booties – The best down booties available, bar none.
  • Feathered Friends Ptarmigan -25F Down Sleeping Bag – Has kept me toasty warm in Antarctica, Nepal, and the Yukon.
  • Kinco Pro Unlined Driver Gloves – Inexpensive, lightweight glove for ski touring, mountaineering, yard work, and apparently, driving.
  • Black Diamond Couloir Harness – Lightweight, easy to take on and off, and fairly comfortable. I use this for most ski or mountaineering trips.
  • MSR Whisperlite International – Still the industry standard.
  • Kinco Lined Split/Grain Pigskin Leather Palm – Cover them in Snow Seal and you’ve got a durable, waterproof ski glove at a quarter of the cost of your Gore-Tex version. All the ski patrollers at Mount Baker swear by these.
  • Smith I/O Goggles – Great goggles that I have used for many years skiing and mountaineering.
  • Julbo Cortina Sunglasses – Stylish, fairly inexpensive, and they fit me well. The orange ones match my Southwestern color scheme tank top.
  • Alba Botanica SPF30 Hawaiian Sunscreen – Smells good and feels good. What else is there? Oh yeah, it also works.
  • Hempler’s Uncured Landjaeger – Less messy than salami.
  • Almond and Coconut Kind Bar – I eat a lot of bars, so I tend to get tired of certain brands and flavors, but I still like these.
  • Key Lime Pie Larabar – Same story with these. The tangy flavor is different than most bars.
  • Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce – If I have to go freeze dried, I’m partial to the neon orange cheese that gets stuck to my spork. I suggest rehydrating for twice the recommended time or else you will be unhappy the following morning during your summit attempt.
  • Zojirushi Stainless Steel Thermos – My brother gave me one of these as a Christmas gift and it is amazing. Coffee stays piping hot all day long. Thanks Joss!
  • Spyderco Delica 4 – Another gift from my brother, I have the half serrated model and it has stayed sharp for at least a decade. Never leaves my pack.
  • MSR Titan Pot – For 5 years, I have been using the larger one while working on Mount Baker. It is the perfect size for boiling water and cooking a meal for one person. I also use it as my bowl. The Whisperlite stove fits perfectly inside it.
  • Snowpeak Titanium Spork – I have a pink one so I don’t have to write my name on it.
  • Superfeet Insoles – I like the orange ones for my mountaineering boots or ski boots.
  • Prana Stretch Zion Pant – I owned a pair of these for more than ten years and the seat finally ripped out, so I bought another pair. I wear them for pretty much any activity.
  • Woolrich Men’s Buffalo Check Wool Shirt – Worn whenever I’m trying to play the part of Northwest loggersexual. And it’s warm!
  • Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Carnitas – Add beans, corn, green chiles, and spices for an excellent burrito filling. I often use this recipe on kayaking trips where weight isn’t  an issue.
  • Smartwool Long Johns – Merino wool this soft is my favorite next-to-skin layer.
  • Point6 Socks – Again, merino wool is the bomb. I have dozens of the medium to heavyweight socks and they have lasted for years.
  • Kulshan Full 90 Session Ale – As you rest in the sunshine after a long day of climbing, take a sip of this, and you’ll know what it feels like to be in heaven.