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    Kyle Miller

    Ha just went through this thread and tanks for the props Chris an Adam. I would say a 40L pack would be more than sufficient and yes that is with a tent, food, sleeping bag and all that good stuff. The trick I learned was using a delicate balance of compression bags and compressing gear into your pack so that there isn’t a single inch of space left. Last spring I was able to pull off a 6 day ski traverse with a 30L pack (used snow caves instead of a tent). When I pack I really try to get high calorie food with minimal garbage repacking all my food in plastic bags and smashing them into unused corners.

    When pulling off the 16 day American Alps Traverse I used a Eddie Bauer 40 Liter Arclight pack with two resupply points along the way.


    I use an Osprey Variant 52 for my overnight pack. Good for hut trips as well as a few days of camping and carrying a tent. Maybe I could get away with a little smaller, but there would not be much point, as trying to cram everything into too small of a pack just results in a poor carry.
    Not sure how folks get away with minuscule sized packs, perhaps in really temperate regions, or for spring only… Around here I want a good, solid, real tent, as winter nights are long (and often windy), and there is way too much hanging out going on to be comfortable in a bivy or with a tarp. Same with a bag, I need a real bag. If the weather report is really good/warm, I’ll take my 15 degree Marmot Helium, but usually I have to bring the 0 degree bag to be comfortable in winter. If you have enough free time, enough energy, and a deep snowpack, you can forgo the tent and dig a really good cave, but plan at least a few hours to pull this off. I am not a fan of vapor barrier liners/socks, but I do use generous amounts of foot powder, and my liners dry in the bag at night. I always carry extra socks, but no additional clothes other than a big puffy and booties for around camp. Keep boot shells in the tent when sleeping, otherwise they can freeze your feet in the AM.
    Sometimes I need a rope and a little gear as well. Add the big puffy, food, fuel, stove, some camp booties, an extra pair of socks, and the the usual day gear, and the 52 gets pretty full.
    This pack is pretty light, and compresses down nicely with the top pocket removed for riding during the day out of base camp. Avoid the temptation to buy too small a pack, especially if you have inclination for technical descents or terrain where you might want to carry some climbing gear.
    Of course, if you are at altitude in somewhere like AK in April, you will need a little more…

    Edit: The above refers to my typical approach, of touring in to a base camp, and then doing day riding around the camp. I like to be relatively comfortable at basecamp, and then travel light and fast during the day. As Kyle notes above, his approach for a traverse is a lot different, which makes sense since he is always carrying all of his gear on those trips. For a traverse like that, packing like a single push alpinist makes more sense.


    Philip, I would be interested in seeing your gear list for that summer Old Harbor- Kodiak trip. What an amazing hike that looked like! I grew up on Kodiak and love seeing you getting after it!


    I’ll put one up after I get back to The Rock. I’m on the road until mid-week.



    Hi Phillip,
    I was curious about your route


    Follow this link for a map. If you need a higher res version, I can upload something in a couple of days. The route is shown as the pink line, traveling from south to north. I put the mileage along the route in 5 mi increments. If you have any questions about the area, let me know.



    Have you consider lightening your 4-Season tent? See:


    Pretty keen for some input on my gear list. This would be for a 3 night tour camping at between 3500 – 4000m with nigh time temps between -20 and -35 degrees celsius.

    One set of merino thermals for day
    One set for sleeping in
    Micro down jacket for touring with
    Warm down for around camp
    3L jacket and Bib pants
    2 pairs of gloves plus merino liners
    Alpkit Zhota 3 person mountain tent (split between 3)
    Mountain equipment Everest bag with silk liner
    Thermarest neoair x-therm
    Primus omnilite Ti
    1.5L fuel bottle
    Snowpeak Trek 900
    Micro towel
    Small Medi kit with thermal blanket
    2 Nalgene 1L water bottles
    15L Snowpulse Pro rider in addition to Pack for all other gear

    Interested to see what suggestions are on Boots for Camp. Options are either Sorel Caribous with wool liner to wear in sleeping bag or use Snowboard boots moving around camp and take in some Rab expedition down booties?

    Any other suggestions of where i could cut weight some things i should add etc.


    @mh8701 wrote:

    Interested to see what suggestions are on Boots for Camp. Options are either Sorel Caribous with wool liner to wear in sleeping bag or use Snowboard boots moving around camp and take in some Rab expedition down booties?

    My camp footwear options usually depend on whether I am toting a bunch of other tech gear (rope, pro, etc.), but I usually opt for either: A) down socks to wear in boot shells with the liners removed, or B) down booties. I don’t think you can justify the weight of the Sorels, and would opt for the RAB booties.

    In terms of a light insulated layer for touring I would probably opt for synthetic vs. down. I typically use some combination of thermals, R1 hoody, Nano-puff pullover, and then either XR Flash or Neutrino Endurance as a down layer for camp/extended breaks. Different combinations of those items has been warm enough for the lower 48 and AK range.


    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg



    I’ve got a North Face Catalyst Micro down. Theres a coating on the down to help it withstand moisture that seems to have worked so far plus its slightly longer in length than most offerings from other companies.

    I guess I’ll take both my Sorels and some booties on the trip and depending on the distance into base camp will weigh up if its worth it. I’ll need my sorels on the trip regardless.

    Another option would be to remove snowboard boot liner when returning to camp and replace with the wool sorel liner leaving the sorel shells back in town…?

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