Gear favourites: our top picks

Posted on 12 Jun 2018

We’re over 100 days into our adventure now and it feels like we’ve had enough time to sort out what’s working well for us and what we’re happy we brought along.

Vince’s picks

I’m going to leave out my Nikon D7200 that I shoot most of my photos with because that’s a given. I may write up more detail on what I shoot with in a future blog post as I’ve gotten a few questions.

  1.    Apple IPhone/iPad: This is a cheat as I’m listing two products together but this combination has been awesome. I’m surprised by how much use I’m getting from them even though they’re rarely connected to the internet. I use them for more of my photography than I expected but also for quick editing, posting when I can, listening to podcasts and music, games, books, and sharing photos with the rest of the group. I charge them primarily with a solar panel. They have both been abused and are holding up well.

  2.    Arcteryx Bora AR 50 Backpack: I bought this new before I left thinking, I’m going to be wearing this every day for five months and I want a pack that will be comfortable and durable. I read reviews, wore it around the store – REI of course – and decided to go for it. It’s been great. The other morning I put it on and thought, 'I can’t believe how comfortable this still feels', and while it has taken a beating it still looks good. The pocket configuration is just about perfect for me. The capacity is a little large for what I’m carrying but when we were going over the higher passes in colder weather it was just right.

  3.    Salomon GTX 4D Boots: I also bought these just before leaving. The route description made me nervous about what to wear on the rugged terrain of snow, scree, rock hopping and long days of walking. On the recommendation of Brant at REI I went with the Salomon. Wow, have they been through a grinder. Days of endless wet snow, rocks, mud, dust and just pounding out miles. When this is over, they’ll be done, but my feet are happy and that’s what counts.

Ken’s picks

  1.    Canon 50D: You will rarely see Ken without his trusty DSLR either up to his eye or around his neck. He likes it so much he even brought two with him just in case. These cameras have travelled the world with him and shot memories to last a lifetime. The most disappointed I’ve seen Ken on this trip was when he was waiting for his replacement camera to arrive at one of our stops and it wasn’t there. Nothing like a photographer without his favorite gear. These cameras take a beating and still get the goods. 

  2.    Wide brim hat: It looked worn when he got it but now it’s the real deal. The wide brimmed canvas hat that has become a signature item. It provides protection from sun, rain, and cold and goes well with beard. Wouldn’t trade it for any of those high tech fabrics that can’t hold up to the GHT abuse.

  3.    Trekking poles: Keeps Ken mostly upright, except for the odd slip here or there. They provide extra strength on the way up and mostly balance on the way down. They have taken abuse on the trail and although missing the odd part are still intact and mostly straight.

Up next

We cross Thorong Pass and descend to Muktinath where we’ll have our second rest day in four days. It’s the end of the Manaslu/Annapurna section and may be the last chance for a shower and internet for a while, so we’ll relax and enjoy and meet our new companion for the Upper Dolpo section. We’ll provide another update in about a week.

Still walking across Nepal,
Vince, Ken, and Bikash


What are some of your gear favourites to bring on a trek?

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