Stuff sack and rucksack madness

Yesterday afternoon I decided to have a sort through my gear in the garage. Most of my gear is stored in plastic crates. I have one whole crate devoted to suffsacks. I’ve not counted them but I reckon I must have at least sixty in all shapes, sizes and materials. They range from Alpkit Apollos, though OD Air permeable to the inevitable Exped rolltops. A completely bonkers amount that I will never fully use.

My rucksack collection is almost as bad: Golite Quest, Osprey Aether 60, Osprey Exos 58, Gossamer Gear Mariposa, ULA Ohm and Lightwave Ultrahike 60. I don’t think I’m going to be buying another rucksack for a long time! I’ll probably give the Quest to charity as it doesn’t fit very well, but I’m reluctant to part with the others. The Mariposa, Ohm and Ultrahike are likely to get the most use. BTW this ingores the many day sacks I’ve accumulated as well!

The tent box is slightly more sane with an Vango TBS 100, ME AR Ultralite 2, Laser Comp, Scarp 1 and ML Duomid. My F10 Vortex is too large to go in the box! I do have some tent “accessories” on the way. I’ve ordered some silnylon to make a bespoke groundsheet for the Duomid. To hold it in place I’ve ordered some Holdon clips. If you are a tarp user, you might want to consider these. I bought mine from a yacht  chandlery. I was surprised that no backpacking site sold them. I’ll do a post on my efforts when I get round to making the groundsheet.


14 thoughts on “Stuff sack and rucksack madness”

  1. I note that you have the trekking poles attached! Are these worth buying and merit carrying with you? I’ve never used them, are they useful?

    I recently bought two day packs both deuter; ACT Trail 32 and more recently Speedlite 20. The former I haven’t even tested yet but it does fit well. It’s not the lightest of packs but deuter never normally is however they do feel robust and hardy! I’ve used the speedlite and so far I’m very impressed! Fits and feels great and the features are superb!

    Recently bought a Source Widepac bladder 3litres. Wondered if anyone had any thoughts on what the best bladder is? Camelback, Platypus etc?

    Tent wise I haven’t got one anymore! I was interested in the ‘Hilliberg Akto’. Has anyone had any experience?

    What happened to the ‘Vaude Power Lizzard’?


    1. Some people like trekking poles others don’t. I have them mainly for descending steep slopes (helps the knees) and fording stream. I don’t use them much on the flat or uphill.

      I don’t use bladders anymore, I prefer a bottle (a 330ml mineral water bottle). I do have some Source and Platypus collapsible bottles for storing water. I prefer the Source ones.

      Maz reviewed the Power Lizard. I’ve never owned one. I used to have an Akto. It’s a fine tent, but I prefer the Scarp 1.

  2. Robin – it is amazing how much you can accumulate. I don’t have a much as you, but mine fills 2 large plastic crates and small cardboard box. The upside for me and other readers of your blog, is that you are a great source for gear reviews 🙂

  3. To Robin:

    I thought about the bladder and bought it eventually! Did you find that they just got in the way or what was your reasons for doing away with it?

    I recently bought a playpus 1 litre push pull bottle and only bought it over the source 1 litre version because it has a unique two fingers loop to carry. Other than that I’d have paid less and had a Source!


    1. I found it awkward to refill and I never knew how much I was drinking or how much was left. I just prefer a bottle. Just personal preference really.

  4. How about a new light weight backpacking measure for the New Year .. not the weight of kit you take, but the weight of kit you own. Kinda ties in with your earlier post about the year of prudence and overconsumption. So, rather than having every conceivable bit of equipment for every micro-variation in climate and trip, what set of kit would you strip it all down to if you had to make one lot of gear work for you all year round? (Obviously you mightn’t take they whole lot on any given trip, and you could justify more than one sleeping bag and perhaps tent)

  5. Robin I think there are a few of us in the same boat but it happens when we try to find the best gear solutions for our individual preferences or have been buying kit over a good few years.

    I managed to sell 2 rucksacks, 2 cooksets and 2 tents last year but overall still ended up with more kit. I don’t quite have such a fine collection of stuffsacks as you (fairly good though) but I still have too many. I also have too many sleeping bags, a PHD Minim Ultra, ME Xero 250, PHD Minim 500 and Golite Adrenaline 0, also the Alpkit PD200 Pied d Elephant so a clear out is required, I still have too many ruckacks, ULA Conduit, Vango Air Canyon 25, Karrimor Hot Rock 30l, Karrimor Hot Earth 40l, 2 x Karrimor Alpinistes 45+10 (both different) a Karrimor Condor 65l and a Coleman Exponent 50l, then there’s the 2 x Karrimor Annapurna external frame packs and a vintage A frame Bergans and finally a selection of military packs, 6 at the last count. I have another rucksack on the way (Macpack Pursuit 55l) although it’s a used one (16 rucksacks!!! I think I may have a rucksack fetish).

    I really need to sort it all out and sell off or give away the unused stuff.

  6. My new year’s resolution was to get rid of at least one piece of equipment for every single new item I want to buy. So far it’s working. I sold ~10 pieces (old Thermarest, old Leatherman, old Petzl Tikka …).

  7. I too have been doing the same recently. I wait for a free listing day at ebay and flog off the old gear.

    Sold my Karrimor gas burner and replaced it with the MSR Pocket Rocket. (Amazing little thing!)

    Recently I sold my Montane Prism 2 jacket becuase I purchased the Haglofs Barrier jacket. Slightly warmer and more packable though I may miss the hood on the prism. Apparently I read on OM somewhere that the Haglofs thermolite is nearly as warm as Primaloft 1. The Barrier jacket being 80gsm per sq metre is equivilent to 70gsm per sq metre of Primaloft?

    Any comments are welcomed….

    The Mountain Hardware Monkey Man High Loft Fleece arrived yesterday and so far it feels really good! Very long in the sleeves but the close fit around the torso feels snug. Was tempted to try the Montane Bear but the Monkey had a zip chest pocket that I like.

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