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November 2020 Issue
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What’s in my pack: Ben Sinclair

Photo: Ben Sinclair

Ben Sinclair runs outdoor retailer Living Simply and spends his days helping his customers choose the right gear. Here’s what he chooses for himself.

Pack
My tramping pack is the Aarn Natural Balance with Expedition Balance pockets. At around 80l, I have ample volume for multi-day tramps with a tent. Fully waterproof and weighing just under 2kg, I can compress it down
to a 50l pack when I don’t need the extra litreage. It’s the most comfortable pack I’ve ever worn – the dynamic freedom of the harness is like nothing else.

Tent
The Mont Moondance 2 is an ideal two-person tent for three-season tramping. It’s a good balance of weight (1910g), weather protection and durability.

Sleeping
My current mattress is the Nemo 20R Insulated. It’s light, compact and has an excellent valve system and pump sack for easy inflation. I pair this with a 578g One Planet Nitrous 800-loft sleeping bag.

Pillow
You can use your fleece, but I like a real pillow. The Therm-A-Rest Air Head always delivers a good night’s sleep.

Poles
My Leki Micro Varios are light, strong and have a super comfortable handle with multiple grip options to reduce fatigue.

Footwear
I mostly wear the Lowa Camino WXL boots. They provide ample support on challenging tracks and are supremely comfortable. When I have a lighter pack, I prefer to use the Altra Lone Peak shoe or mid-cut. For some campsite luxury, I take Montane Icarus Hut Slippers.

Hydration
The Platypus Big Zip 2-litre is a functional drinking system. If I need to filter my water I take a Sawyer Mini Filter. And for dehydration, I take a Stanley Adventure Hipflask.

Cooking
I pack an MSR WindBurner Group Stove System for solo trips. I prefer a remote canister setup like this for stability when cooking on the ground. With its radiant element, pressure regulator and windproof stove-to-pot connection, it performs in all conditions.

Clothing
Earth Sea Sky Fast Track shorts are the ultimate tramping shorts. Marmot Knife Edge Rain Jacket is light, reliable and has a good hood design. My two favourite mid-layer pieces for versatility and comfort are the Rab Alpha Flash Jacket – a super technical fleece – and the Marmot Featherless Hybrid for a combo of softshell and synthetic insulation.

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