Bag Drop: Mountain climbing the Grand Canyon with an Osprey Kestrel 48

Mountain climbing the Grand Canyon from the south rim to the north rim is a difficult hike that’ll check you mentally and bodily — maybe even spiritually — however will compensate you with an expertise steeped in distinctive pure magnificence. On the finish, it will fill you with a sense of accomplishment that is nearly overwhelming. Most individuals who’ve hiked rim to rim will break it up over a number of days to reduce the bodily burden and to take extra time to benefit from the journey. That’s the clever option to do it.

Above: The Grand Canyon presents beautiful views and difficult terrain for multi-day hikes. (Photograph by way of – CC BY 2.0)

Three fellow firefighters and I made a decision we have been going to take issues a step additional and hike rim to rim to rim — throughout the canyon and again. Not solely that, however we did the preliminary south-rim-to-north-rim trek in in the future, after which broke up the return journey over three days. This itinerary dictated we feature 4 days’ value of provides on our backs from one rim of the Grand Canyon to the opposite, factoring in gear that’d account for snow and ice on the rims and triple-digit warmth on the backside of the canyon, with over 24 miles and 11,000 ft of elevation change between the 2 factors.

Osprey Kestrel 48 Mountain climbing Pack

For this expedition I used an Osprey Kestrel 48. In my thoughts, a 48-liter pack is just too massive for an in a single day hike, however too small for thru-hiking, so it appeared to suit our agenda. Osprey has a popularity of being comparatively inexpensive and extremely sturdy. I wanted a pack that was powerful and reliable. The backpack itself weighs about 3.5 kilos and has a number of options that have been necessary to me. The Airscape ridged again panel that allowed my again to breathe, the a number of accessible pockets, facet zipper entry to the principle compartment, and “stow on the go” trekking pole attachments have been all key elements that match my private backpack guidelines. Moreover, the zippered waist strap pockets supplied fast and quick access to smaller, generally used gadgets.

Make & Mannequin
Osprey Kestrel 48



Pack Contents

I am a agency believer in you get what you pay for, particularly on this planet of journey and survival, however I additionally should function inside my finances. This journey required me to steadiness prime quality in some areas and affordability in others, all on the lightest weight potential. For sure items of drugs, I spent extra to get the standard I wanted, and compromised a bit on others. In some features, I purposely packed gadgets that added weight however benefitted my general utility and/or happiness. It’s most actually a recreation of give and take.

The gear I packed into the Osprey Kestrel 48:

  • Tent (MSR Carbon Reflex 1)
  • Sleeping bag (Hyke & Byke 15-degree F650)
  • Sleeping pad (ThermaRest NeoAire Xlite)
  • Trekking poles (Leki MCT 12 Vario Carbon)
  • Pillow (RikkiTikki inflatable pillow)
  • Headlamps (2) (Foxelli USB rechargeable)
  • Hat
  • Sun shades
  • Energy financial institution (Getihu Extremely Slim Transportable Charger)
  • Jetboil range
  • Meals (Mountain Home meals, nuts, Goo packs, power gel)
  • Water (CamelBak plus 2 Nalgenes)
  • Water Filter (Sawyer Mini)
  • Espresso mug (GSI Outdoor Infinity Mug)
  • Collapsible bowl (Sea to Summit)
  • Lengthy-handle spork (Morsel Spork XL)
  • Toiletries
  • Sunblock (Solar Bum SPF 50 and lip balm)
  • Garments (base layer/hat/gloves, convertible pants, sweat wicking underwear, socks, shirt)
  • First assist equipment (together with Leukotape and climbing salve)
  • Leatherman Micra
  • Lighter
  • Flip flops
  • Garmin inReach Mini satellite tv for pc communicator

As any backpacker will let you know, there’s an artwork to loading your pack. Some gadgets, such because the sleeping bag, are packed deep inside to cut back, as a lot as potential, their probability of getting moist. Different gadgets are saved within the periphery for fast entry. For this journey, my philosophy was based mostly on performance.

Major Compartment

The primary compartment of my Kestrel 48 contained the majority of the bigger, important gadgets. My sleeping bag, which squeezes down properly due to the compression straps, went to the underside together with my sleeping pad and tent. I spent more money on an ultra-lightweight tent, and it was value each penny. The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 weighs in at a whopping 1 pound, 7 ounces. You barely even comprehend it’s there.

Subsequent was my compression sack of garments. I didn’t pack quite a bit — a single change of clothes, two additional pairs of socks and underwear and base layers have been the extent of my wardrobe choices. As a result of the climate forecast was dry with a 0-percent probability of rain, I felt cautiously assured about leaving my rain gear within the automotive.

Subsequent have been my cooking gadgets: a small compression sack of meals and occasional packets, my light-weight espresso mug, collapsible bowl, a spork, and a Jetboil. I wasn’t certain how hungry I might be, however I knew that burning lots of energy meant I needed to put lots of energy in, and I didn’t need to should empty my pack if I used to be going to cook dinner a meal. That proved to be extra of a chore than I anticipated. I by no means actually acquired hungry on the hike so I must remind myself to eat. The one different merchandise I placed on the within of my pack was a closely stickered water bottle that has been relegated to a single goal — it’s for when nature calls in the course of the evening and I don’t need to depart the heat of my tent. Its stickered decor is to make sure it is not confused with the opposite water bottle.

Exterior Pockets

The Osprey Kestrel 48 has a zippered lid compartment the place I put my Garmin inReach Mini, first assist equipment, an influence charger, and my backup headlamp. I additionally put a lighter and my small bag of toiletries on this compartment. The zippered waist strap pockets have been used to retailer gadgets that may very well be accessed on the go with out dropping the pack: my mobile phone, a headlamp, sunblock, a Leatherman Micra, flavored electrolyte tablets, and power snacks.

Lastly, a segregated compartment on the underside of the pack is the place I saved some antagonistic climate choices: a light-weight jacket, a cranium cap, gloves, and a pair of sunshine flip-flops for evenings across the tent. The desert can freeze you out at evening and unleash relentless warmth throughout the day. Preparation for each was crucial.

Closing Ideas

This bag, with 3 liters of water cut up between an exterior bottle and a CamelBak, weighed in round 36 kilos. The primary time I lifted it, totally loaded, I used to be stunned at how heavy it felt however then comforted with how pure it felt as soon as on my again. Osprey does an excellent job of offering choices to customise how the load is carried in your again and hips. Outside fans will agree that one nearly bonds with their gear when going toe-to-toe with the terrain and the weather. This pack offers me loads of room with out tempting me to fill it by providing extra house. It will likely be my go-to for a lot of adventures to come back.

Extra Bag Loadouts

If you happen to’re prepping a climbing pack or bug-out bag and wish some inspiration, try a few of our earlier Bag Drop loadouts:

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