I am an academic researcher. This has afforded me many wonderful opportunities to travel over the years from my home base in Canada. I have had the pleasure to spend some time living in Taiwan which was a great base to visit China and Hong Kong. I now find myself living in the west of England, where I have been for the past two years, and will be for at least another year.
My love for the outdoors has taken on many incarnations over the years, from fishing, outdoor photography, hiking, backpacking, to general mountaineering. It also provides the perfect excuse for my nearly out of control accumulation of gear!
My approach to gear and hiking is generally geared to striking a balance between light weight, durability and comfort, though I often tend towards the lightweight/ultralight end of the spectrum (mostly out of my fascination as a scientist for the use of newer, lighter materials). I am not much of a backpacker as I simply cant take too much time off at once, so my trips are often short overnighters, or day hikes/summit hikes.
Gear: Currently in use/rotation, (italics = current favourites)
Footwear: The North Face Verbera Lightpacker, Meindl Bhutan, Salewa Raven Combi GTX, Brasher Hillwalker II GTX, Merrell Protera, Salewa WildFire.
Mountain Equipment Co-op Kokanee II GTX gaiters, Rab NeoSretch gaiters, Rab eVent Shortie gaiters, Hillsound Trail Crampons, Camp Magix 10 (C1) Crampons.
Socks: Kathmandu Merino, Smartwool Merino, Berghaus Fast Track lightweight socks
Jackets: Montane Spektr Smock (eVent), The North Face Point Five GTX Pro shell jacket, The North Face Venture jacket,
Pants: Berghaus Helvellyn GTX over-trousers, Montane Atomic
Accessories: Outdoor Research Endeavor GTX overmitt.
Softshells: Haglofs Swift II Q windstopper jacket, Rab Alpine jacket, Paramo Fuera smock, The North Face Apex Bionic jacket, Rab Boreas pull-on (2X). Berghaus Baffin Island
Jackets: Outdoor Research Neoplume jacket (primaloft), Mountain Hardwear LoDown vest (down), Kathmandu Ultralight Down jacket, Sierra Designs DriDown jacket (waterproof shell with treated down), Berghaus Tseram pullover (primaloft), Berhgaus Tseram
Fleeces: The North Face Storm Shadow Fleece jacket, Mountain Hardwear Microchill fleece, Berghaus Caudale microfleece, Adidas Terrex Ice Sky fleece, MEC Amenity (thermal pro high loft).
Pants: Montane Prism Primaloft pants,
Accessories: Rab Hot Socks primaloft booties, Rab Primalid (Primaloft beanie)
Trousers/Shorts: Fjallraven Barents Pro, Berghaus Ampezzo salopettes, Berghaus Ortler trousers, Craghoppers Kiwi Pro stretch trousers, Craghoppers Nosilife trousers, Mountain Equipment Approach shorts.
Shirts/Baselayers: Berghaus argentium treated short-sleeve shirts, Mountain Equipment Crux long sleeve shirts, Adidas Terrex 1/2 zip LS, Mountain Hardwear Canyon shirt, Outdoor Research Feedback flannel shirt. Kathmandu merino t-shirts, and merino long johns and long sleeve top for sleeping. Paramo Cambia boxers.
Gloves: Mountain Equipment Co-op windstopper liners, Black Diamond Crag gloves, Extremities Super Windy windstopper gloves, Columbia Whirlibird III gloves, Montane Extreme mittens, The North Face Hooligan leather gloves, Kathmandu Merino liners, Lowe Alpine Silk Liners, Berghaus Fleece liners.
Hats: The North Face Horizon hat, Mountain Equipment Co-op windpro softshell hat, Helly Hansen acrylic beanies, Fjallraven wool/acrylic beanie, Smartwool training merino beanie, Berghaus Spectrum neck gaiter, Buff original, smartwool merino neck gaiter.
Bags/Rucksacks: Mountain Hardwear Fluid 32, Montane Torque 40, The North Face Angstrom 20, Lightwave Wildtrek 60, The North Face waterproof backpack. Mountain Equipment Co-op duffel bag, Berghaus Leviathan 70 waterproof holdall, The North Face basecamp 155L.
Outdoor research backcountry organizers, PODsacs eVent compression sacks and ultralite stuff sacs, Podsacs waste management dry bags, Mammut ambient light dry bag, aquapac waterproof electronics and document case, Karrimor dry bags, Overboard waterproof SLR bag, Grivel crampon bag.
Hydration: Platypus 3L bladder, Source 3L insulated bladder, Ortlieb 2L bladder, Katadyn My Bottle filter bottle, Steripen Traveler UV purifier.
Poles and axes: Fizan Ultralite poles, Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Compact poles, CAMP Corsa Nanotech ice axe, Petzl snowalker ice axe.
Tents: Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo, Force Ten Ion 2, Eureka Taron 3
Ultralight setup: Integral Designs Siltarp1 or Silwing, and solo ground cloth, with MLD Superlight Bivy.
Stakes: MSR blizzard stakes, Lightwave wide Ti V-pegs, Vargo ultralight Ti V-pegs, Gram Counter Gear 6g Ti pegs and Ti nails.
Stoves: MSR Reactor 1L, Firemaple FMS116 Ti stove, Firemaple FMS118 stove.
Pots: GSI halulite minimalist, LifeVenture 450mL Ti mug, Alpkit MyTiPot Ti pot (1.35 L), Alpkit MyTiPot Ti pot 900mL
Accessories: Light My Fire sporks, Optimus Ti long spoon, Vargo Ti flint lighter.
Lighting: LED Lenser H7 headtorch, LED Lenser P5e hand torch, Alpkit Glowe lantern, Black Diamond ion.
Sleeping Mats: Thermarest ProLite Plus, Exped Downmat 9, Multimat Superlite Air mat + Multimat superlite compact CCF mat, Therm-a-rest Ridgerest SOLite foam mat, Multimat Kumfie folding sit mat,
Sleeping Bags and Liners: Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark, Force Ten Altitude 750 down bag, Lifeventure silk liner, Kathmandu Thermolite liner,
Pillows: Backpackinglight.co.uk down pillow
Photography: Fujifilm X-20, Canon T2i with 17-40mm F4L, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, and 70-200mm F4L lenses. Joby Gorillapod SLR and Manfrotto Befree tripods.
Knives/tools: Leatherman Freestyle, Light My Fire Fireknife, Victorinox Climber, Victorinox Soldier, Boker Arbolito Drop Point, Buck Vantage Force, Buck Woodsman.
Eyewear: Nike Hyperion, Reebok Zig Pro, Julbo Trek Spectron 4
Accessories: Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS unit