What’s in Glen Van Peski’s pack?

Ever wondered what the doyen of SUL backpacking carries in his pack? Well now you can find out. (The video below doesn’t appear on Google Reader, so click through to the original post)


I’d like to see you walking on Dartmoor with only that little lot, mate!! Seriously, it shows how little you need if you are walking in a hot, dry climate. Having said that, there’s no way I wouldn’t take a change of clothes and a decent sleeping mat (look out for butt ring!!). His medical kit puts mine to shame. I’ll have to take another look at mine. I’m surprised he has so much for blister care. Perhaps he should get a better pair of shoes or socks. Great video. Makes my pack look like super-ultra-heavyweight.

This is only one of the excellent videos on the Gossamer Gear site. I was looking for the Mariposa video to see the aluminium stay. My pack has the old carbon fibre arrow shafts. It would be interesting to have one as a contrast. If I meet up with Maz, perhaps I’ll borrow the one from his Gorilla 🙂 .

As an observation, I really like the use of these videos to demonstrate and explain the products. Tarptent also do some excellent videos. I even learnt something new about my Scarp (how to hook up the roof vents in a different way). I hope that more manufacturers take the trouble to shoot some videos of their products (a nice business opportunity for you Terry!)

20 thoughts on “What’s in Glen Van Peski’s pack?”

  1. Wow that’s minimal. His medical products seem to have equal footing to his basics for food, warmth and shelter. OK in a decent climate but unrealistic in northern europe I guess.
    Great blog by the way, one of the best.

  2. This is what’s so wrong with ultralight as a concept in areas other than California.

    Nice ideas, but not realistic outside of somewhere dry and safe. Particularly if you’re going for longer trips. And there’s this obsession with brand names and technology.

    I’d love to see the ultralight concept move away from its current equipment fetish. As you say, try that on Dartmoor in February and you’ll soon need a helicopter.

      1. Going lighter is a means to an end, of getting outdoors and doing what you want to do. Whatever equipment you are comfortable with and allows you to get outdoors is best for you. Beyond a certain weight, going lighter is as much, if not more, about experience than equipment. I think incorrect assumptions are made about ultralight only working in good weather. In fact, someone forwarded me a picture from one of my trips, of a tarp in snow, posted on some UK site as an example of why ultralight doesn’t work. Problem is, we were fine on that trip, and went on to hike over Texas Pass into Cirque of the Towers in a snowstorm, completing the planned trip the following day.

      2. I agree about being a means to an end. I’ve always emphasised that what works for me and my trade off between weight and comfort is not necessarily right for others. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a minimal tarp and no change of clothes almost anywhere, but that’s not to say it doesn’t work for others. I’m a cautious guy, so I only feel comfortable with a reasonable margin of safety. In the UK, with its changeable weather that means more gear. I always envisage what are the worst conditons that I might encounter and build a margin. I wouldn’t presume to tell others what they should do, but I’m happy to share what I do. Half the fun is experimenting and finding what works.

        If I can, this summer I might try to do a trip with a more minimal approach, maybe for one night, just to see. What the UL movement, especially in the US has done, is to open the door to significantly lower pack loads even if they are not SUL. The Mariposa is a benchmark in terms of weight/volume. There are times when for one reason or another it may not be quite appropiriate and I’ll use my Ultrahike which still only weighs 1.15kg for a 60L pack. If you come over here for a hike, it will be interesting to see what your gear choices are. Looking forward to some more innovation from GG.

      3. Well, if you ever want to experiment with SUL in southern California, we have guest rooms. It’s a quick 6-hr. drive to a trailhead at 9,000 feet, heading into the Sierra. I’d be happy to take you for a quick 3 or 4-day trip.

      4. Thanks for the offer, you never know, one day… I’ve been to Yosemite and it’s jaw dropping.

        Equally if you are in the UK, I can show you around various places, The Lake District, N. Wales, bits of Scotland and (after the week after next) Dartmoor.

  3. Well, it’s certainly on my list to come over and do the TGO Challenge, to test my kit against the vaunted weather over there. I could send you some pictures of some pretty nasty conditions with not much more kit than this…sleet, sleeping on snow, etc.

    1. You’re a harder man than me Glen! I’m a softie, although still quite light. One day, I will experiment by going SUL, maybe for just one night. Even with all the luxuries or proper tent, mat, spare clothes, my base weight is 8kg (ex camera etc), so not too bad.

  4. If you packed a Spin Twin Glen I am sure that kit you have in the video will serve you fine on the TGO Challenge. The biggest challenge is the wind and ground water when camping. So good location and a ground sheet or bivy will help there. As for the wind. Location of the wild camp or a few more guy lines to help keep the shelter pegged down in the wind. I am not a big fan of a lot of tarps for the UK due to wind and driving rain. But a beak on a tarp or something like the Trailstar I am now using copes well with wind and rain. My base kit is around 5.5 Kilo now and I think its all down to what you want from a trip.. I can take a foam mat or air filled sleeping pad. I just like a comfy nights sleep and tend to take air pads to sleep on.

    I watched the video a long time back and liked the minimal approach. I have a esbit stove (GVP Model) and it works. I also like gas stoves for convenience and speed when its cold and I want a fast hot drink. But I could easily take a esbit stove. I don’t take much in the way of spare clothing on trips. Two base layers. One to walk on and one dry at the end of the day. Like you one insulating top if with folks and around camp. I totally agree the best weight to insulation ratio kit is the sleeping bag/quilt. For summer overnights It is easy to go SUL in the UK. If there is no rain you don’t need a shelter anyway. Maybe a 200g bivy to keep the sleeping bag dry from damp air over night. That or just sleep in your insulation top in the bivy and save the weight of the sleeping bag as well. Overnight trips are easy to go super light. Multi days in Scotland need a little more care in kit selection but as time has shown me I now see a 5 kilo base weight as achievable and will work fine in Scotland on the Challenge. But 500g of kit to add a bit of comfort is fine with me. You should come and walk n the UK. It would be great to see you here and there are many using similar approaches to SUL as you do in the UK already.

    Robin as a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassadors I would love an offer like Glen gave you. Get out there and go hiking.

  5. Glen, even if you don’t do the TGOC, you’d be very welcome over here and I’m sure we could find some interesting walks.

      1. It would be easy to visit a couple of places and you could have a meet for GG Trail Ambassadors.

  6. It will have to be 2012 Glen as I have all my holiday commitments booked this year. I would love to do a four day hike with you. I reckon I would then go on to do a four day solo hike. email me and we can plan ahead. Thanks for the offer.

  7. Hi Robin,
    For you, it s a big difference about exos 46/58 and new Gorilla or Mariposa ?
    My base weight turn around 5 kg for 3 seasons.

    1. I’d say the Exos 46 (I’ve got the 58 BTW) and Mariposa are similar volume. Exos a bit heavier (both versions).

      I prefer the “carry” of the Mariposa, which is the most comfortable rucksack I’ve used. The Exos might be better in hot climates because of vented back. I found the Exos pulled me back slightly when packed meaning I had to lean forward a bit.

      I also found the materials of the Exos tend to soak up water, especially shoulder straps.

      Exos is a good pack, better than many, but, for me the Mariposa is the best. Every time I think about using another pack, I go back to the Mariposa. The new version is even better than the old (I have both). The Gorilla is a slightly lower volume, so that might suit for a smaller load.

      Hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.