1980’s – Heavy, fluorescent and cheap
Whatever I could find, big aluminium bright orange frame pack with a huge sleeping bag and cotton pup tent. Highly dangerous brass Primus stove, which polished up nicely. Army issue boots from the local surplus store probably had seen action. May have been seen wearing flared jeans, but apologies for no photographic evidence.
1990’s – Trying to emulate a Royal Marine Commando
Let’s buy the largest 90 litre Berghan rucksack I can find and fill it up with everything I could possibly need, mostly gear we used for car camping. Large Trangia stove and a litre of meths. Early Outward Bound experience introduces the fleece instead of woolly jumpers. Buy my first pair of Scarpa’s, very unforgiving leather that just seems to get tougher through use. Pack weight 20kg+.
2000’s – Heavy and indestructible
Pack now down to 70 litres and a nod towards lightweight camping. Wonderful MacPac Micro Lite Tent, which has seen plenty of use cycle touring and solo backpacking. Mini Trangia and some effort towards lightening the load gets me down to 10kg base weight. Meindl Burma Pro boots a revelation, durable and waterproof.
2010’s – a Lightweight epiphany
What on earth have I been carrying for the past 30 years? Vow to replace my gear with lightweight gear and get my pack down to 5kg base weight. Problem is, my old gear is indestructible. So I have slowly acquired my current gear list, which I hope will see me through the last trails and beyond.