Base layer – ArcTeryx LEAF Cold WX T-Shirt
Boots – Altberg Defenders
A few thoughts:
An absolutely classic. 3kg gets you a big, bombproof shelter for all serious weather, from driving rain, gales through to heavy snow. The only change I’ve made is to add some slightly more robust pegs for the main corners and porch – 8 in total – just to really nail the thing to the deck because it the wind does get underneath it, it’s game over.
I’ve cooked decent meals on this as well as just using it to boil water. I really like a stove/titanium mug combo (the Snow Peak mug is the best I’ve found) because, unlike a jetboil, I can use the mug on a camp fire as well.
Pack – ArcTeryx LEAF Khyber 50
I don’t know why Arc’Teryx have discontinued this bag. It’s light, carries big loads well and has just enough features without being faffy. I love the floating and removable lid, the decent external load mounting options at the pack (where the head of the ice axe is located in the photo to the left) and another load restraint under the lid.
I’ve actually got the 80L version as well for expedition use and once did a (admittedly emotional) 40-50kg carry over 12km on skis one evening as a storm came towards us in Greenland. Highly emotional but the ability to fill it and chuck a daysack under the lid meant that, unlike the others on the trip, I could load up on food and fuel to keep us going in the remote hunting hut we were escaping to. Anyway – we’ll see what, if anything, Arc’T replace these bags with. I hope that they’ve got something really cool coming but with the proliferation of Mystery Ranch bags in UK and US SF, I suspect that they won’t bother. My love of MR daysacks is a different story…
For this trip though, I added Mystery Ranch live wings to help manage the 25kg load (lots of food and camera kit) and then stuck a large molle pounch on for my water bottle, and a Spiritus Systems GP pouch on the other side for my camera and snacks.
But, the trade off is faff. You need a decent mat to work with them (they clip on to the mat and fit around it, making the mat an integral part of your sleeping environment/system) but once you’re sorted, you’re toasty. I use either an Exped Down Mat or a Thermarest NeoAir (the latter with the Enlightened Equipment cover which is more comfy for summer sleeping than skin against the normal plasticy feeling of a mat.
The only real snag is that you don’t really get the same ‘seal’ that you can get with a mummy bag when you cinch the hood close around your head, especially if you have a winter bag with a shoulder baffle as well. For proper expedition cold, I’ll stick my a big, bulky synthetic but for general use, my Revelations are exactly that. As you can see in the photo, I tend to use it as a blanket around camp as well – no point being chilly!