I have been pursuing my dream of adventures in the mountains for, dare I say it, some 40 years. At escarpment level, and in the foothills below the towering peaks, in deep valleys and secret places where few venture. These are places where there are no home comforts, you are exposed to the elements – severe storms, rain, snow, wind, heat and all that mountain wilderness provides a home for. Everything you need for the duration is carried on your back, so weight and space are serious considerations.
Mountain wilderness is uncompromising and for this reason I have always chosen my gear carefully making sure that it is practical, functional and of the highest quality – you can’t afford failure so far from the maddening crowd.
One item that I have had difficulty settling on is a day-pack. In pursuit of my passions of photography and fly fishing pristine streams, excursions are carried out from a central base camp. In this uncompromising, rugged environment where hyperthermia and dehydration are real possibilities, a day-pack is an essential item. Amongst other things you need to carry rain gear, protective clothing and food. I have tried many day-packs over the years, but none have quite met all my requirements.
Many have features; straps, buckles, pockets and other bells and whistles designed more for shopping at the mall than the functional simplicity needed in the mountains.
The Ultimate Pack
But, on a recent trip I may have just stumbled onto the ultimate pack. I was given an ATG (All Terrain Gear) Multi-Activity 20L Backpack to use. It was tested over a 4 day period wading streams that are seldom visited by others, there are no manicured paths along the banks, it is rough going over ancient water-worn boulders, pushing through long head-high grass, scrambling through woody brush and requiring frequent stream crossings. The ATG pack stood up well to the hammering dished out, the capacity was ideal for the purpose and its design has no unnecessary frills. The claimed water tightness was proved when I took a few unplanned swims and everything inside including expensive camera gear, remained bone dry. There was also no sign of dust and grass seed that have in the past frustratingly managed to find their way into other packs I’ve used – the hydration pack included is a nice bonus. Although not tested the pack can even be used as a flotation device. I guess not important, but I must say that it is good looking and I liked the fact that ATG is a South African brand.
They also have a range of other light-weight and well-designed back country adventure gear and you will be able to track down your closest ATG Dealer on their website.
RRP for the ATG Multi-Activity 20L + 2L Hydration Backpack is