Bum Bag Challenge

By Dave Roberts   

on August 4, 2011    4/5 (1)

Bum Bag Challenge

If you’ve read the superlightweight article, then you’ll know that the next logical challenge is to go even lighter and with a smaller pack. The sea to summit was a hefty 20l in size, so we’re going way smaller. In fact, there are a number of high quality running bum bags that have a capacity of ‘about’ 6 litres. If you’re reading this from across the pond, then we mean ‘fanny packs’, a term that sounds even stupider to us than a ‘bum’ bag does to you! So let’s call it a waist pack for convenience.

There’s  2 options – solo or double up. For the solo challenge, then you’d get away without cooking, the doubling up will need a cooker. The only rule is that you need to be able to carry everything on your person, without any other carrying device! So pockets are ok as is strapping anything onto the outside of the waist pack within reason! The sleeping bag is going on the elastic rack along with anything else I can fit in there (if the bivvy and meal went there as well, I’d be ok, but that’s dreaming). Its also going to be next to impossible to carry more than 500ml of water. Hooking a mug on the outside with a carabiner is therefore within the rules, if not particularly elegant!

Minimal gear:

Sleeping bag – goes without saying that you’ll need one of these, but as light and compact as possible. Essential.

Sleeping mat – optional but will attempt to take the lightweight one if at all possible!

Shelter – bivvy bag or tarp, though that would then need a groundsheet. We favour the idea of taking a bivvy bag and being prepared for risking a shower or two.

Food – ideally we’d like to be able to cook, and maybe a 350ml cup with meths stove with enough fuel for 3 or 4 cups only. Or a shared gas stove….. If unable to cook, then no problem with grazing on the way (including pubs!). Food essential, but cooking isn’t. So far it looks like a mountain house meal, with a strawberry complan for pudding and breakfast. Flapjacks and chocolate will make up the rest of the larder, along with a handful of water purifying tabs.

Clothing. Will not have much option to take extra layers, but can consider taking the Paramo top as a worn item, but need somewhere to stow it if it gets too warm. Shorts and a pair of waterproof trews, or Paramo trews again if i can get away with it. The main problem is not having any extra layers, or being able to store unwanted layers. One option is to take a half bag and a down top in order to have more options. Of course, the poncho tarp is also a waterproof.

So far, I’ve managed to fit the map/compass, sleeping bag, Klymit Sleeping mat, dehydrated food, pocket rocket, gas, bivvy and pot into the bag! So here’s seeing if we can hit this challenge – or if anyone else fancies giving it a go or has done this, post a comment below with a link so we can see how you did it! Here’s hoping for some fine weather soon…

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Dave Roberts

siDave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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5 thoughts on “Bum Bag Challenge”

  1. This is still on – though the wet summer of 2012 put paid to last year’s attempt.

    The PHD minimus bag has also made this a much easier proposition!

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