"Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance."
                                                                                The Special Air Service

Kit, Equipment, Apparatus, Tools, Instruments, Rig, Tackle - call it what you will but there can be little doubt that 'Gear' is perhaps the second most critical aspect of being outdoors. The first is undisputedly your skillbase -  the experience and knowledge required to enjoy, take advantage of and be safe outdoors. Selecting gear appropriate to the terrain and conditions is part of this skillset but there is a great deal more too, not the least of which is, for example, navigation and route selection. Another is understanding weather. In fact, as a consequence of the degree of technicality your time outdoors entails, skillset is a fluid and ever-changing commodity. However, Proper Planning and Preparation at least in part involves choosing the right gear for each and every hour of the time you are about to spend outdoors. This means you must know, without fail, where you are going and what might possibly happen to you and equip yourself accordingly. Travelling lightweight, ultralightweight or even super-ultralightweight is a dangerous endeavour if it means selecting the wrong kit. Hence the use of the word 'Proper'.

What follows is a series of Gear Lists, and links to my Reviews, designed to give you a sense of the sort of kit I take on the various overnighters and longer treks I take. By the nature of outdoor kit, they will be updated as I wear things out, decide to replace them or find that I simply don't like them. My Gear List for 3-Season, ultralight hillwalking has changed so much over the last few years I doubt that I have fielded the same team every trip. That is the nature of things. Anyway, below you'll see a list for a dry forecast and a list for a wet forecast - both are 3 season lists. Simply click on the link and then either 'download' or 'open'.

3-Season UL Gear List - Hillwalking (dry)
3-Season UL Gear List - Hillwalking (wet)
TMB Gear List 2010
Alpine Kit 2011-2012

Note please that I choose to delineate two separate lists for dry and wet weather. Clearly, when the forecast is even potentially wet, I would adopt that latter list, especially given the weight disparity between the two is minimal. It would take a very dry forecast for me to take the former list. That is my choice and mine alone. I am the only one suffering if I get it wrong.

Additionally, as a consequence of my recent Winter and Mountaineering posts - the Introduction as well as my Overnight System, here are my Winter Gear Lists both for when there is not likely to be snow so no need for ice-axes and crampons, and when I am looking at camping in Scottish (as well as perhaps Snowdonia and the Lake District) mountain terrain where snow and ice is forecast and/or predictable.

All-Season UL Gear List - Hillwalking (Winter Snow)
4-Season UL Gear List - Hillwalking (Winter No Snow)

I have also linked to the various reviews of kit I own, or have owned, and used, throughout this journal:

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 - review alongside the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1
Hilleberg Akto - Initial Analysis and used in the Fells in Winter 2010
Vaude Power Lizard - Initial Analysis and review from the Moelwyns

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core mattress - part of my Winter Overnight System and comparative review here

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Elite AC - Initial Analysis and comparative review here
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Oyl Mtn - Comparative Review

Sea to Summit Reactor liner - Initial Analysis and used in the Fells in Winter 2010

Thermarest Neo Air - reviewed in the Carneddau
Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag - New Gear and used in the Carneddau and the Lake District and used in the Fells in Winter 2010

Technical Equipment
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles - Initial Analysis
Black Diamond Couloir Harness - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit
Black Diamond Raven Pro ice axe - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit used in the Fells in Winter 2010
Grivel G12 crampons - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit and used in the Fells in Winter 2010

Gloves and Goggles
Buffalo Mitts - used in the Fells in Winter 2010
Julbo Revolution Goggles - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit
Mountain Equipment Windchill Grip gloves - Review

Arc'teryx Venta Pants - Initial Analysis
Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody - Initial Analysis

Buffalo Special 6 - a winter, single layer shirt all on its own
Golite Tumalo Storm Pant - Initial Analysis and used in the Black Mountain
Haglöfs LIM Ozone Jacket - preparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review

Icebreaker Quantum Hoody - Review

Montane Bionic Sportwool SS - used in the Lake Districtpreparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review
Montane Lite Speed - New Gear and used in the Lake District
Montane Prism 2.0 jacket - Review from the Carneddau and a TMB Alps Update
Montane Terra pants - preparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review
Montane Venture pants - preparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review

OMM Cypher Smock - used by others in the Fells in Winter 2010, my Initial Analysis and used in the Black Mountain

Páramo Aspira Salopettes - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit and used in the Fells in Winter 2010
Páramo Aspira Smock - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit and used in the Fells in Winter 2010
Páramo Mountain Pull On - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit
Páramo Velez Pants - used by others in the Fells in Winter 2010
Patagonia Nano Puff pullover - Initial Analysis and used in the Lake District

Patagonia R1 Regulator Hoody - used in the Fells in Winter 2010 and Reviewed
PHD Yukon Pullover - Initial Analysis and used in the Fells in Winter 2010

Rab Infinity Jacket - Initial Analysis
Rab Vapour Rise Hooded Pull On - Initial Analysis and used in the Black Mountain
Rab Powerstretch - Review

Smartwool Base Layers - preparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review
X-Bionics Trekking Boxers - part of my Winter and Mountaineering Kit and used in the Black Mountain

Evernew DX System - used in the Lake District, the Carneddau and reviewed in New Stove System
Primus Express Spider stove - Winter stove system
Trail Designs Ti-Tri Inferno Sidewinder System - New Stove System III

BackpacksGossamer Gear Gorilla pack - New Gear, the Lake District and preparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review
OMM Villain MSC pack - part of my Winter Overnight System

La Sportiva Raptor Trail Runners - Initial Analysis and used in the Black Mountain

Panasonic Lumix TZ10 - New Camera System
Suunto Vector - preparation for TMB and a post trek TMB review

Also, my yearly Six of the Best reviews of the best six items of kit began with 2010:

2010: A Gear Odyssey - Six of the Best
2011: Gear Reflections - Six of the Best


  1. Nice blog. Each to their own and all but I don't subscribe to your wet and dry options for the UK apart from on daywalks. The weather is just too variable particularly if travelling any distance from home plus decent waterproofs add under 400g and little or no bulk.

    I see you have a link to 6 Moon Designs, what stuff of theirs have you used? I'm toying with getting their Swift sac as a replacement for an OMM32. Any thoughts?

  2. Thanks Wurz. My dry weather kit is for an overnight wild camp in predicted settled weather (which we have even in the UK) - the Lite Speed and Terra's are good enough in a shower for my purposes. I tend to take wet weather stuff right up to the strr if the walk, making my selection at the last available minute. For a longer trek, I'll take Golite Tumalo pants if I think it'll be mostly dry with some wet (as in the Alps in summer).

    As for SMD - neve used anything of theirs as my analysis led me to discount the Swift and the ULA OHM in favour of the MLD Exodus and GG Gorilla.

  3. All in all I would recommend highly, if you didn't know, the Gorilla. Better carry and more functional for the weight than any other pack I know. Have a word with Joe Newton (Thunder in the Night) and Martin Rye (Summit and Valley) for other reviews.

  4. Not looked at the Exodus and the Ohm at $200 is too expensive, i really wanted a Circuit as my walking sac but when I was looking the exchange rate was very bad. Now i'm marginally flush and the rates are better I can't really justify it as I bought an Exos 46 as a compromise - a good compromise though.

    Now I'm toying with the OMM32 replacement, mainly for running with. I want about the same size and weight if not lighter but ideally more robust. Doing the OMM at the end of Oct means I want enough space to carry more insulation if I need to. Z Packs Blast and Dyneema X 20 both look intersting but a lot of these UL packs from the states seem a little MYOG! ULA and SMD look a little more "shop bought" if you know what I mean and are in dyneema.

    I've looked at Gossamer Gear, the Mariposa was also on my list of potentials but I didn't fancy the socks as shoulder pads option or the exposed back pad, again concerned with UK weather. How robust is the Gorilla? I'll check out Joe's blog, not seen that one before.


  5. Not sure the Gorilla (40 litres) is what you're looking for if you want a running pack. It is very robust as the 210 denier nylon is as tough as dyneema (same denier). The mesh pockets are also reasonably robust given they are mesh (they have a reinforced base). Yes, there is a MYOG feel to some of this UL stuff but it hits a spot in the marketplace and most of it is good quality. Remains to be seen if this stays the position as they get bigger. You don't need socks for shoulder pads for the Gorilla. Check out my review links above. It's a very comfortable but not to replace a 32 litre running sack. There are better packs for that.