Image of the April 2020 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
April 2020 Issue
Home / Articles / What's in my pack

Peter Laurenson, Backcountry editor

Peter Laurenson is the editor of the Federated Mountain Club’s quarterly publication Backcountry and a keen photographer. His trips these days are a compromise between his love of moderate alpine climbing and the need to keep his pack weight ‘knee friendly’ – or under 20kg.

Pack
I use a Macpac Ascent 65l pack because it provides a self-imposed load limitation so my ambition doesn’t exceed my capabilities. A waterproof pack liner keeps gear dry.

Shelter
Unless there’s a tent in my trip party with room for me, I take a Vaude bivvy bag, which is also a great ‘insurance policy’ in case the weather turns to custard.

Cooking
I pack an MSR Windburner with a 2.5-litre pot – it’s light, stable and sufficiently voluminous for dinner cooking. Also a bowl, cup, spoon and a Swiss Army Knife with a lockable blade.

Medical
A basic first aid kit including webbed medical tape, knee-friendly Voltaren 75s, sunscreen, sawn-off toothbrush, small towel/flannel, toilet paper. At least one PLB within the party.

Hydration
If conditions aren’t freezing, I’ll take my two-litre Camelbak hydration reservoir. I find this encourages me to drink more frequently. When it’s too cold to use the Camelbak, I fill a bottle from the nearest river or hut.

Sleeping
I use a silk liner with my Macpac Sanctuary 800 sleeping bag – mostly for hygiene but also for a cool alternative in hot weather. I pack them into a waterproof compression bag to ensure they stay dry. If I’m camping, I’ll pack a Therm-A-Rest Trail Scout half mattress.

Clothing
I generate more heat than some, so a three-layer system is nearly always sufficient – thermal top and bottom, fleecy/shorts or trousers, Earth Sea Sky raincoat and Vent X overtrousers. Other clothing includes a Macpac beanie, Gore-Tex gloves, lightweight mittens, two pairs of socks and undies, long sleeve glacier shirt, t-shirt and sunglasses.

Footwear
Scarpa tramping boots or La Sportiva semi-rigid climbing boots. I like Alpac canvas gaiters because they’re so easy to put on. If I’m going above the snowline, I’ll take my Grivel 10-point crampons.

Climbing gear
My gear is oriented towards grade 1 and 2 alpine climbs. It includes a helmet, two ice axes, harness, belay device, short and long prusiks, a limited range of technical anchors and a 50 or 60m rope (shared across trip members).

Camera gear
Photography is a huge part of my trips. When climbing, I use a compact Lumix TZ220 which allows DSLR manual-type photography, plus action shooting while on the move. On less demanding trips, I use a Nikon D750.

Navigation
I use the old-school system of maps and compass, but also enjoy using my Garmin Fenix 5 watch with an altimeter to more easily track my progress.

Now that you’re here, why not subscribe?

As a subscriber, you can browse all web content including more than 610 trips. You’ll also receive our Wildcard, offering discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.

Subscribe from as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.