With the changing of the seasons, I like to remind myself what I’ve been carting around.
My “overnight” bag
- Huge, thick trash bag
- Shell overmitts
- Two-person emergency bag
- Three different ways to start a fire – I’ve used my stove to light a fire during an unexpected night out. My stove was the difference between a wet, miserable night and an interesting adventure.
- Length of cord
Add enough clothes/layers to keep me, and my son, alive in the emergency bag for the night. This usually isn’t more than a back up shell, ultralight down pants, spare jacket and some booties.
My first aid kit:
- General, backcountry first aid kit – scissors and moleskin are a great way to make new friends…
- Hot packs for hands and feet – essential for doing anything with kids, always carry in my pocket when I ski
- Tourniquet with my belt as back up – insurance against having someone bleed out in front of me. I also carry in my car and under my bike saddle.
- Field dressing and elastic bandage
- Water purification tablets (back up to the LifeStraw)
- Pulse oximeter (batteries separate as they corrode if left in the unit)
- Selection of meds including antihistamine & high dose aspirins – I carry albuterol at the top of my pack
I don’t carry an epipen in Colorado but do carry one when I’m near the ocean. I have a jellyfish allergy that sent me to hospital a few years back.
When I’m on snow, add a high-quality metal shovel.
Knife matched to what I’m going to be doing and the local wildlife. I have a SOG Seal Pup mounted upside down on my left backpack strap, the sheath lets me carry a multitool.
Gloves on, hands out of pockets => family policy as long as my kids can remember. I like leather sailing gloves on rock and mixed terrain.
When I’ll be out of cellphone range add InReach satellite communicator – always tracking me with 10-minute pings when I’m alone. Carried in the top pocket of my pack & backed up with a lanyard and quickdraw.
The InReach is an easy way to send messages home, regardless of location. I took a course from a heart-attack survivor who called in an evac on his unit. Small price to pay for the comfort it gives my family.
Zipped, exterior pockets – I like to wear mountain bike shorts, year round, as the pockets are great for quick access to my phone, which I use for navigation and photos.
This is the gear for when I don’t expect to stay out.
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