This is a new series where I will discuss one item I carry either in my backpack, day-pack or camera bag, as well as one I don’t. I came up with the idea after being asked repeatedly what I carry. What items are “must haves” is very individual, so these are just my preferences. Perhaps you will find some new ideas that will work for you too.
I’m not an ultra-light backpacker because I do I enjoy a few luxuries, so my backpack hovers around 30 pounds with food and water. One thing is for certain, I have lightened it significantly over the last few years. When I was young and strong, I carried about 42 pounds. Boy was I miserable! Now I weigh everything before I agree to carry it for miles on my back. My day-pack and camera bag are often one in the same so I tend to be heavier than average on day hikes.
Disclaimer: Outdoor-gear is where I spend money, then I take VERY good care of it so it will last for years. What I use might not fit in your budget, again it’s individual.
Just as important as what I carry, is what I leave at home. I have a touchy knee, that doesn’t need any extra pounding, so I really think twice before I add weight. The second half of each post will cover an item that I have eliminated from my packs and why. Yes, I’m sure there will be some gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair over this part. Let me say it again…this is my personal choice; you can carry whatever you want. I’m just throwing ideas out there.
Please feel free to share what you do and don’t carry in the comments. Just don’t blast me or anyone else over our choices. This is supposed to be a fun exchange.
What’s in my pack: A K-mart Grease Pot
Ok, I’m starting with one of the least expensive items in my backpack. I picked this pot up in the kitchen section of my local K-mart. It’s constructed of thin aluminum with a rolled edge that catches my potholder just right. It comes with a plastic-knobbed lid and cost me all of $6.00. Ideally, I would prefer not to use aluminum cookware, but the reality is I’m not using it every day. The size of the pot allows me to store my alcohol stove and windscreen inside, saving space.
Specs: Weight – 3.8 ounces, Depth – 3 inches, Diameter – 5.5 inches
What’s not in my pack: A bowl
I used to carry a bowl but found it was extra weight and using it gave me one more thing to clean. Now I plan my meals to be eaten right out of my grease pot.
Weight Savings: 1.6 ounces