Steve House - What's in my pack


Want to know what a world class alpinist takes for an overnight climb? Watch this great YouTube video as Steve House explains his detailed gear choices.

You’ll be amazed at all of the gear he manages to fit in a 30 liter pack!

Some key points:

  • Food: pretty much energy bars

  • No Camelbacks or water bladders. Steve uses 600 ml soft flask collapsible water bottles. Carry no more than one liter total, because water is heavy. Put the flask in a mitten to insulate it if it's really cold, and try to always start off with hot water. He has a dilute electrolyte mix already in the water

  • When you get to your bivy, first thing to eat is some nuts (almonds cashews, raisins). Also, have some sort of recovery drink mix like Roctane. You want carbs, amino acids, and electrolytes in the recovery drink

  • Tries to avoid heating too much water, like for soup or tea, because that means you need to bring more fuel

  • Dinner: freeze dried food. 1 bag per person, 800 calories. Pour in boiling water, put it inside your jacket to stay warmer

  • Breakfast: instant coffee, 10 g protein powder, energy bar. Keep the energy bar in your sleeping bag so it's not frozen in the morning

  • Stove MSR Windburner. One small canister can last two people for one day, if you’re careful. Brings an extra foil windscreen for the stove. Generally does not use a hanging stove

  • Branched-chain amino acid tablets and electrolyte tablets to eat with dinner, for recovery

  • Gloves: up to four pairs of gloves! Take mittens, belay gloves, lightweight action gloves

  • Outer shell jacket: Patagonia Houdini if weather is good, Patagonia M10 if it’s going to be colder or windy

  • Patagonia hyper puff belay parka

  • Navigation: Garmin InReach, Garmin GPS, paper map in plastic bag, altimeter watch

  • Sleeping bag: one night trips always bring down bag, more than one night, almost always bring synthetic bag

  • Always keeps a pair of dry socks stored in his sleeping bag. When you’re ready for bed, take off your damp/wet socks, put them on your chest to dry them, and put on the dry socks to sleep. In the morning, swap them, repeat for many days

  • Sleeping bag get stored inside the bivy sack, and not in a compression stuff sack

  • Neo air sleeping pad, folded up and put it inside the sleeve inside the pack; this can keep it from getting punctured

  • Steve takes a 4‘ x 8‘ very lightweight nylon tarp, to string up over his bivy sack

  • Backpack: 30 Liter Patagonia Ascensionist

  • Put a trash compactor bag inside your entire backpack, and pack everything inside of that to keep it waterproof