Jan Finlayson is the president of the Federated Mountain Clubs and is content – perfectly so – in the hills of Canterbury and Otago. Here’s what she packs.
My MSR PocketRocket is super compact and works well at reasonable altitude such as at Wright Col (2264m). The ancient billy I cart round is great for filling up with squash-ables. And while my Swiss Army Knife is pretty big, its extra features make it good for more than slicing veges (there’s satisfaction in taking the mini saw to exotic broom). Also, a titanium bowl and spoon.
I have a Kathmandu Pathfinder sleeping bag, a much-used, never-patched Kathmandu inflatable sleeping mat, and The Palace – my new Macpac Olympus tent.
I use a Macpac Ascent 70 litre, which I always manage to squeeze everything into, despite my aiming half my wardrobe at it. It’s comfortable and durable. I also use a plastic pack liner.
I’m a lizard, so I always take more clothing than anyone else. On any trip (even day trips in summer), I’ll have two pairs of gloves, spare socks, a warm hat, and a neck gaiter – just in case – as well as everything else. My Arc’teryx jacket is great.
My light Garmont boots have been a long way with me and have always treated me well. Ditto my above-the-snowline Meindl Eiger GTX boots. I’ve been experimenting with running shoes and long socks and found this to be a good combo for the Hodder Valley recently. I think my Cactus gaiters might outlive me.
Above the snowline
Crampons, axe, helmet. I’m always happy to get this stuff on my pack. Actually, when not in use, it lives opportunistically in the back of the car.
Heel tape, butterflies, antihistamine, bandaging, bandaids, analgesics, cut-down toothbrush (I don’t know how little of The Palace that discarded handle offsets), and a rescue blanket. The Swiss Army Knife comes out of the billy for tape-cutting duties.
Top of the pack
Sunscreen, lip balm, compass and map, hand sanitiser, light gloves, head torch, pen, spare bottle cap and bootlace, and liquorice allsorts (a food group of its own).