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Lightweight tramper Jo Stilwell

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October 2019 Issue

Jo Stilwell shows us how she can get all she needs for 10 days in the hills into a pack designed for overnight trips.

The Osprey Exos 48 is my go-to tramping pack. It’s light enough to use as a day pack but will, at a push, take enough gear for 10 days.

Spare clothes
Merino long-johns, long sleeve top, socks and underwear, and a light but warm Montane down jacket. If I have room, I take my Crocs for wearing at the hut or camp.

I use a map and compass for navigation and only use the GPS on my phone when going on solo trips. I always take a PLB.

I take the Macpac Microlight tent when going solo and the Macpac Minaret when going with someone else. My Sea to Summit 850+ Spark III sleeping bag is super light and small. In winter, I use a Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor sleeping bag liner which adds 11 degrees of warmth. I have yet to be cold even in the hardest of frosts, but I wouldn’t use this combination on snow. My Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xlite mattress is warm enough but I wish I had opted for the slightly heavier NeoAir Xtherm.

Worn items
I’ve worn Macpac tramping shorts for years and have recently started wearing Rab Sawtooth Pants in winter. I wear a quick-drying Earth Sea Sky tee and add further light layers as conditions require. I’ve previously had melanoma so a long-sleeve, high SPF-rated shirt and legionnaires hat are must-haves for summer. For the cold and wet, I use a Mountain Designs Gore-Tex jacket and Rab Vidda overtrousers and always take warm gloves and hat. I’ve tramped in Meindl Island Lady boots for the past 18 years and wear Sea to Summit Alpine gaiters.

The MSR Windburner is perfect for boiling water for rehydrating my homemade dehy. I have a flat origami plate that folds into a bowl. My Platypus two-litre foldable water bottle can be fiddly to fill but it’s worth it for the weight savings.

Other must-haves
I carry a first-aid kit, sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, pee-rag, head-torch, sunglasses, notebook, pencil, and Black Diamond Alpine FLZ hiking poles. And I never leave home without my small piece of snow-foam mat to sit on at lunchtime.

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