Expedition Equipment Edit // The best hardware from the best manufacturers selected by Rhodri Lewis

Shackleton’s quartermaster. Rhodri Lewis has spent the past twenty years as an expert equipment coach, helping to equip some of the world’s most extreme expeditions, including all Shackleton Challenges. We asked him to research, recommend and source our first Expedition Equipment Edit of the best hardware from the best product manufacturers all over the world for you to buy, own and use. The first edit includes our pick of the best expedition kitbag, ice axe, snow shovel, torch, goggle, multi-tool, bottles and more. Here Rhodri explains the selection process for each piece of equipment. 

There are some crucial elements to choosing kit for expeditions and adventures in some of the world’s harshest environments….

Quality, heritage, technical and functional ability.

With this in mind, I’ve gone about the task of hand picking some crucial equipment to use on adventures all over the world. Yes, you may find a more expensive example from another brand, but the gear chosen here ticks all the elements I’m looking for.

First of those items is the Eliteclimb Carbon Expedition Shovel. A super lightweight technical shovel to carry anywhere in the world where you’re going to be working in the snow. Weight saving is the holy grail of kit these days. Less weight, the faster and further you can go, the less fuel you burn and food needed. The carbon Kevlar element of the shovel makes it super strong, with and asymmetric shape to help increase penetration in the snow. It’s been use on some of the world’s highest mountains, and by some of the best ski mountaineers in the world. It breaks down to two pieces, making it simply one of the essential pieces of kit needed to operate in the high mountains and snow.

Following close behind is the Kruk Alpine ice axe. Special designed for fast and light advanced mountaineering. The curved shaft gives better penetration into the snow and ice, allowing you to climb steeper terrain, while the lower shaft is straight for plunging. Developed and used in the Himalaya by some of the best European climbers, this niche brand is having a big impact.

When I looked at light, there were very few that met the criteria, and Silva was top of the list. This Swedish brand has been making headtorches since 1935, building worldwide recognition as one of the best. They continue to lead the headtorch world in innovation, and their Spectra series is great example. It literally turns night into day! It’s been used from everything from lighting up a Safari base to guard against predators, lighting up a hillside to find a lost climber. I’ve hung one from a tree to create a well-lit base camp in Snowdonia among other things.

From the same company, Silva, comes a premium navigation compass. Going on worldwide adventure means you need kit that can work anywhere, and this is where the Global needle compass comes in. You don’t need to adjust for any of the worlds magnetic regions. It works out of the box. This means when I’m in Norway training for a winter crossing, or navigating in the hostile desserts of Oman, I only need this one compass to navigate.

A lot of the kit chosen is used for work and recreation alike. One item I use for both is the Gerber Multi tool 600 DET Black. Gerber has been a trusted tool of military units and professional worldwide. While not quite as well known as “other” multi-tool brands, its reputation among those who know is first class. Now, while I don’t necessarily need to crimp a detonation cap, having a robust multifaceted tool is essential. Working on the deck of a ship in the North Norwegian sea, in winter, deploying equipment on the seafloor, I used it everyday. It goes everywhere I go.

Now all this kit needs to be carried, and in some cases, protected. That’s why I choose Halite bags. Simply put, they came to the market to make the best, toughest dry duffels out there. With a brief to build for the Special Forces in Norway, nothing was overlooked. As they say, there are cheaper imitations out there, but only one with Halite’s pedigree. These have been launched from submarine hatches, towed in series behind Zodiacs in Greenland, strapped to Land Rovers to cross the Empty Quarter and more. It also helps that they look really cool! 

There are other choices within the range to look at…..too many to mention every item. I hope you enjoy browsing the products we’ve brought you, so you can start choosing what you need for your next adventure.

Explore the Expedition Equipment Edit here.