HD video of footage and images taken on a day ascent of the Croz/ Slovenian on the Grandes Jorasses north face. Climbers: Jonathan Griffith and William Sim. Shot and edited by Jonathan Griffith

Going fast and light, in alpine style. Check how they make a bivy and generally go with less equipment.

Tip: questions you can ask yourself to make your packing lighter

  • How can I make this lighter?
  • What lighter version can I carry?
  • Can I leave this behind?
  • What multiple-use items can I use to cut weight?
  • What strategies can I use to go lighter?
  • What skills and habits can I develop to be able to go lighter safely?

(via How To Think Like A Lightweight Backpacker)

Q

tropicalmonkeyinthedesert asked:

Have you use 5.11's rush 12 or 24? I've been itching to buy one but I still need to read some reviews before I'll buy one...

A

I wrote about the 5.11 Rush 24 here.

I tried one a couple of weeks ago and it sits comfortably on the back, however I haven’t traveled with it. All the people I know that have either the Rush 12 or the 24 are very happy with it.

You might be an ultra-light backpacker if…

  • Your wife’s purse holds more stuff than your backpack.
  • You use the fruit scales in Walmart to determine the weight of a possible new piece of gear.
  • You sleep at home with the temps turned down while in the buff just to get used to the cold so you can take an even lighter sleeping bag.
  • Your waterproof/breathable rain jacket cost more than your best suit.
  • Your trail runners weigh more than your multi day pack.
  • You know the weight of your backpack, and not your wife.

An extended review of the GORUCK GR Echo.

(Featured in the picture above, sent to me by the fantastic people of GORUCK, a new color for the Echo coming soon)

After my small review several people requested more information about the Echo so I decided to write a more detailed review of the one I have.
Let’s start with a list of features: every GORUCK pack is made out of 100% military grade materials and tough enough for Special Forces, it is equipped to hold a hydration bladder system in a compartment that doubles as a laptop/iPad carry compartment extra reinforced to securely take a laptop into combat. Everything in the line is very simple and minimally branded with the only logo placement inside the bag and a velcro patch that can be used to attach any of the patches GORUCK sell or your own. Simplicity is very important, specially in gear that can potentially be use in hard or tactical situations. From my experience during several years on a combat unit, the simpler the gear, the less the change of failing for you while your life depends on it.

The Echo is tough while being lightweight. When I fully load it (with a 13” Mac, survival kit, information security gear, a rain jacket and some food) it is still very comfortable in the back and even tho the straps don’t have an chest strap, the Echo remains in place and doesn’t slide. It is one of the most comfortable packs I’ve tried over the years.
The material used is really hard core. I dragged my Echo through mud and harsh terrain, it got wet with rain and abused when I used it to stop an hydraulic door from shutting. Yet, the pack remains as new. Outstanding!

Yes, GORUCK gear is pricey, but you pay for what you get: a tough, ultra durable, very comfortable and super slick backpack that will last you for a long time. And if for whatever reason it breaks, the guys at GORUCK have you covered with a fantastic lifetime guaranty called Scars.

I’m taking the Echo as my one-bag Pack Light backpack for a two day business travel in a few days. I’ll report how it performed.
I tried a friend’s GR1 as a one bag pack a few months ago and it was big enough to carry clothing, gear and stuff for a 5 day business and pleasure trip that included a very intense war game with some tough Recon Marines. The GR1 performed fantastically. I am considering buying one.

On another note, if I were younger or in shape I would love to take the GORUCK Challenge and eventually run the Tough Madder with the GORUCK Team. Maybe… I’ll get in shape…

Now for some pictures:

From the GORUCK Challenge in New York

From the GORUCK Challenge in Northern California

From the Tough Mudder Race

During the Tough Mudder with bricks inside

A GR1 after having survived the bricks on Tough Mudder

A GR1 and a tactical hat ready for the race

A GR1, GR2 and an Echo

More pictures here.

Q

pocketfullofpoesy-deactivated20 asked:

Love the blog! We're going to be in Iceland this winter for 10 days and are hoping to get away with carry-ons. Any tips for winter travel without having the huge checked bag? I already have an awesome ultra-light carry-on but I'm new to packing efficiently!

A

Cool! Iceland it’s a fantastic place and in winter, well, doubly so.
The secret is layering. Read the following previous posts:
- Wear layers and save space
- Layering for winter
- Layering
- Belay Parka (it’ll give you some nice tips about how to layer)

What you want to accomplish is to have clothing that can be layered for warmth or removed when you need. Layering allows also for smaller packs since the clothing is, in itself, lighter and smaller: instead of taking a huge down parka with hood and bulky everything, you can take a good base layer, a thin and light microfleece, a thick pile fleece and a softshell jacket and you can have the same warmth while being able to fold and pack each clothing item in a smaller pack.

I hope this helps and good luck on your trip, have fun!

rangzen59 asked: Hi there, I am a big fan of yours and as well as backpacking. I love your review of the Goruck echo and was thinking of purchasing it. Can you please show more pictures or if its not too much trouble could ya send them to me. Thanks a bunch and keep up the good work!

Thanks for comments and the question. More detailed pictures are coming soon. I just need to clean the bag a bit (it’s muddy) and find a good place to shoot a black backpack so that the features stand out.

I had the chance to test the Goruck GR Echo on a business trip that involved a physical penetration test: a security test aimed to challenge both the physical perimeter security and the network security as well.
The objective of the project was to demonstrate that an attacker could penetrate the perimeter and plug a USB wireless card on the main server of the company and allow a person with a laptop sitting on a car to extract confidential information.

The GR Echo has a lot of room in its 10 Liters for my 13” laptop, several cables to connect to different ports on different servers, a wireless hub, several different wireless cards, pliers, lock picking tool and a lot more gear. It sits really well on the back and doesn’t slide once you have it on. It’s easy to put on and take off and it’s super tough while lightweight.

I dragged it on harsh ground, over a fence and was used to keep a server room door open. The MOLLE (inside and outside) was very useful to attach pouches and other gear needed fast like flashlights.

Overall I am happy with the purchase and I now have a small, tough, backpack that I can take with me on short trips that allows me to bring the necessary clothing and has a very protective, padded sleeve for either my iPad or 13” laptop. I can definitely use it for 2-5 days trips due to it’s semi-square shape and big opening.

I talked about Goruck also here and here.

(sorry for the low quality pictures. Better ones are coming soon) I had the chance to test the Goruck GR Echo on a business trip that involved a physical penetration test: a security test aimed to challenge both the physical perimeter security and the network security as well.
The objective of the project was to demonstrate that an attacker could penetrate the perimeter and plug a USB wireless card on the main server of the company and allow a person with a laptop sitting on a car to extract confidential information.

The GR Echo has a lot of room in its 10 Liters for my 13” laptop, several cables to connect to different ports on different servers, a wireless hub, several different wireless cards, pliers, lock picking tool and a lot more gear. It sits really well on the back and doesn’t slide once you have it on. It’s easy to put on and take off and it’s super tough while lightweight.

I dragged it on harsh ground, over a fence and was used to keep a server room door open. The MOLLE (inside and outside) was very useful to attach pouches and other gear needed fast like flashlights.

Overall I am happy with the purchase and I now have a small, tough, backpack that I can take with me on short trips that allows me to bring the necessary clothing and has a very protective, padded sleeve for either my iPad or 13” laptop. I can definitely use it for 2-5 days trips due to it’s semi-square shape and big opening.

I talked about Goruck also here and here.

(sorry for the low quality pictures. Better ones are coming soon) I had the chance to test the Goruck GR Echo on a business trip that involved a physical penetration test: a security test aimed to challenge both the physical perimeter security and the network security as well.
The objective of the project was to demonstrate that an attacker could penetrate the perimeter and plug a USB wireless card on the main server of the company and allow a person with a laptop sitting on a car to extract confidential information.

The GR Echo has a lot of room in its 10 Liters for my 13” laptop, several cables to connect to different ports on different servers, a wireless hub, several different wireless cards, pliers, lock picking tool and a lot more gear. It sits really well on the back and doesn’t slide once you have it on. It’s easy to put on and take off and it’s super tough while lightweight.

I dragged it on harsh ground, over a fence and was used to keep a server room door open. The MOLLE (inside and outside) was very useful to attach pouches and other gear needed fast like flashlights.

Overall I am happy with the purchase and I now have a small, tough, backpack that I can take with me on short trips that allows me to bring the necessary clothing and has a very protective, padded sleeve for either my iPad or 13” laptop. I can definitely use it for 2-5 days trips due to it’s semi-square shape and big opening.

I talked about Goruck also here and here.

(sorry for the low quality pictures. Better ones are coming soon)

I had the chance to test the Goruck GR Echo on a business trip that involved a physical penetration test: a security test aimed to challenge both the physical perimeter security and the network security as well.
The objective of the project was to demonstrate that an attacker could penetrate the perimeter and plug a USB wireless card on the main server of the company and allow a person with a laptop sitting on a car to extract confidential information.

The GR Echo has a lot of room in its 10 Liters for my 13” laptop, several cables to connect to different ports on different servers, a wireless hub, several different wireless cards, pliers, lock picking tool and a lot more gear. It sits really well on the back and doesn’t slide once you have it on. It’s easy to put on and take off and it’s super tough while lightweight.

I dragged it on harsh ground, over a fence and was used to keep a server room door open. The MOLLE (inside and outside) was very useful to attach pouches and other gear needed fast like flashlights.

Overall I am happy with the purchase and I now have a small, tough, backpack that I can take with me on short trips that allows me to bring the necessary clothing and has a very protective, padded sleeve for either my iPad or 13” laptop. I can definitely use it for 2-5 days trips due to it’s semi-square shape and big opening.

I talked about Goruck also here and here.

(sorry for the low quality pictures. Better ones are coming soon)

Coming up…

The Goruck GR Echo review. I bought one and I had the chance to use the backpack during a short, but intense trip.