The 50 litre journey

Berghaus on the bus. Cheating surely?

As I mentioned in my About page I’m fairly new to this hiking game. One of the biggest challenges, other than my general lack of fitness, is getting the equipment right for the types of walking I want to do. Since I started collecting gear in January this year I think I’ve learned a massive amount and my setup has been in a continual state of flux. In this post I’ll detail the basic contents of my pack as it stands today.

In the pack  
Item  Description weight (g)
Socks Wool socks 55
Jacket Berghaus Velum shell 340
Jacket TNF Micro fleece 300
Bottle Sigg 1L 139
Spork Light My Fire 10
Spoon Sea to Summit AlphaLight spoon 12
Hydration Osprey Hydraform 2L 250
Cooking Camp Kitchen 545
Bottle Platypus SoftBottle 1L 24
Backpack Berghaus Freeflow Pro 50 1685
Sleeping mat Multimat Adventure Compact 25 514
Sleeping bag TNF Gold Kazoo -4 878
Tent 1/2 Vango Banshee 300 1300
Hygeine Kit Eagle Creek Specter quarter cube 192
Trowel MSR Blizzard stake 24
Torch Fenix LD10 + headband 128
Multitool LM Style CS 45
Compass Silva Expedition 4 38
First aid kit Adventure Medical Kits 0.3 + medication 100
Clothing worn  
Item  Description weight (g)
Boots Salomon Comet 3D GTX 1140
Wind shirt Patagonia Houdini 121
Socks TNF Ultra Midweight Hiking Socks 64
Trousers Craghoppers Kiwi 512
Base layer On one Merino 190gsm short sleeve 181

Naturally there are a few things I can add or substitute depending on the conditions, but this is the standard load-out. The base weight is just about right as when you add sufficient food and water for a trip the pack will weigh somewhere in the region of 10-11kg (this table assumes I’m going with someone else and splitting the weight of my tent equally).

I do understand the ‘ultralight‘ philosophy and would definitely advocate carrying less weight, but not at the expense of comfort, safety or the intended function of each piece of gear. My gradual upgrading has reduced the weight of my kit overall, increasing my comfort when walking but also my comfort in camp. To reduce my pack’s base weight further would either require significant investment in any one piece of gear or result in a reduction in comfort and, ultimately, the enjoyability of the outdoors experience.

That being said there are a couple of areas in which I plan to change things a bit to increase comfort and strip off some weight. One area is shelter. Because I currently use the Vango Banshee 300, which is far too big for a solo wild camp, I plan to get myself a quality one man tent in the new year. This is something I’m going to discuss in an upcoming post.

The second area is the pack itself. The 1,685g Freeflow Pro 50 is not the heaviest pack out there but since I bought it back in 2009 there have been quite a few advances in materials and construction in the mainstream pack world, not to mention the great leaps and bounds in technology and design on the cottage manufacturers scene too. I haven’t read too much into modern, lighter alternatives around the 50l mark so if anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it if you would share your experiences in the comments or via Twitter.


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