Wainwright On Equipment.

 Orrest Head Lookout, Windermere - Where it all began

Orrest Head Lookout, Windermere - Where it all began

My small rucksack was in fact virtually empty, and I could have managed quite well without it. I incline to the view, never before expressed, that a rucksack is not at all necessary on a walking tour. How some can enjoy themselves beneath the weight of their huge, fifty-pound burdens completely passes my comprehension.

I have had expeditions in the Lake District without a pack, and gone short of nothing. I take a light raincoat or a cape, always; but never a change of clothes, nor an extra shirt, nor pyjamas. The clothes I wear when I set off must suffice: if they get wet, it is unfortunate for walking in wet raiment is unpleasant, but they have never failed to get dry afterwards. Pyjamas are, of course, a nuisance at all times and have no saving grace. A pair of slippers is a comfort, and additional socks are essential, but these will slip easily into a pocket.

On occasion my rucksack contained four maps, the one in use being carried in my pocket. I had a toothbrush and safety razor, a bottle of Indian ink and a pen, pencil and a rubber and a few postcards. I had a miscellany of ointments and safe and certain cures for influenza, widely different in form and actually resembling each other only in the fact that they were one and all highly recommended by medical proffesion.

All told, the entire content of my rucksack would weigh less than two pounds, so that I was free to square my shoulders and stride out as quickly as I pleased
— Alfred Wainwright, from Wainwright The Biography
Posted on October 12, 2011 and filed under Gear List.