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February 2020 Issue
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Long-time Wilderness contributor Pat Barrett

Pat Barrett considers himself as a career tramper.
Pat Barrett is a long-time Wilderness contributor and author of numerous guidebooks, and considers himself a career tramper.

“I still love grabbing my gear and heading for the hills to some remote spot I’ve never seen – and that quite possibly not many others have, either. “I always take my camera to record the moment and provide more images for my books, calendars and Wilderness articles.”

My Macpac Pursuit is one of the earlier models and I still can’t fault it.
In fact, I wish Macpac would bring this configuration back as it works so well and is ideal for day trips as well as weekend and even three-day options – but you have to pack it well. My giant camera even finds a place inside it.

I take several layers and variations of polypro – long sleeve and short sleeve, zipped and crew neck – to give me flexibility. I often pack a Macpac Uber Light down jacket which takes up almost no room, adds little weight and means I can leave behind heavier, bulkier polypro items I might have normally kept for the hut or campsite.I have a Macpac Resolution rain jacket and a North Face windshell for overnight trips.

Sleeping bag
I like the Macpac Neve bag because it’s just 1060g. It saves weight by only having down on top and a sleeve underneath for my mattress, which I don’t always pack depending on how lightweight I want to go and how high and hard the trip is going to be. Often I just use a small section of closed-cell foam to sleep on.

My monster Nikon D800 with Nikkor 28-70mm lens fills the top third of my pack – and increases the weight considerably. But I’ve found you just can’t beat the quality of the photos it takes and it’s worth every gram.

Neck gaiter
This is one of my top must-take-on-every-trip items. It is truly multi-purpose, offering comfort, warmth, sun and wind protection, and sandfly protection. I wear mine all day unless it’s very hot, and they are so good on those freezing, early morning starts – you feel like you’ve just put on an extra jacket.

The LED Lenser H6 headlamp is a basic light with lots of output and extreme range.

I carry an ACR ResQLink PLB on all my trips. That wasn’t always the case – I used to take a Mountain Radio on longer tramps, over a week, and still do sometimes, but find the PLB so much easier to pack. And yes, it has had an airing, but that’s another story!

I have used, and still own, a couple of MSR stoves but these days often take a more basic gas burner like my Soto Windmaster. It’s small, light and performs really well.

I usually pack my Macpac Minaret unless I’m doing a super lightweight trip in which case I will only take the flysheet. It still offers great shelter and lots of room inside for two, but it’s not too sandfly-proof in this configuration.