Ben Rankin: Climber. Aspiring dirt bagger. Above average dancer. We were curious to see what The Crag’s favorite free spirit carried with him as he headed out for adventure, so we asked him to do an In The Bag feature with us. We think you’ll enjoy it.
The weekend warrior/college student minimalist approach. The mentality I have when putting together a pack for the weekend or day trip is one of simplicity,functionality, and comfort. There’s no need for fancy gear if you know how to use your basic gear correctly. A couple personal items and the minimum amount of affordable gear is what you will most likely find in any college student’s weekend climbing trip pack. Raffles, lost and found sales, and closeout specials are key when it comes to acquiring new gear. Relying less on fancy expensive gear and abundant accessories allows one to truly enjoy and appreciate the soulful spirit that accompanies climbing outside.
Backcountry hat – Gotta rock the goat. Backcountry is a company based out of Utah, the birthplace of my love for the mountains.
Black Diamond chalk bag – Holds my chalk, free of charge.
Black Diamond PosiWire QuickDraw – Snag free and smooth clipping. First used on the desert sandstone in Moab, Utah.
Petzl dogbone with D Biners- Go-to anchor draws for top roping with friends.
Heavenly Chocolate Granola – Word to our Mother Nature. Gives me energy, satisfies my chocolate cravings, and its easy to share.
Black diamond momentum harness – Comfy, light, user-friendly gear loops.
Petzl helmet – Three concussions is enough.
Black Diamond ATC-XP – Gets them up and takes me down.
Petzl Attache – Smooth nose locker for belays and rappels. Like butta…
Chalk Brush – Winning chalk brushes at a gear raffle is great, so are clean holds.
Thermarest NeoAir – Side sleeper friendly, super comfy.
Rope tarp (Walmart brand dome style tent rain fly)- Don’t need much to keep it clean.
Mammut Apex 10.5– Burly, solid rope. Made its way from Moab to Fosters. Bought on sale in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nemo Gogo bivy– Small and light. Relies on an air tube in place of poles. Christmas present from my wonderful grandmother.
32 oz narrow mouth Nalgene– Narrow mouth provides splash free hydration. I carry two to stay fully hydrated. Drink water!
REI Ridgeline 60L pack- Big enough to hold everything and then some. Front zipper makes finding gear smooth and simple. (Editor’s Note: It doesn’t look like REI makes the Ridgeline anymore, but the new Crestrail 70L is pretty close.)
LaSportiva Miura Lace– Lace ups are the way to go. They allow for a custom fit for the best climbing shoe, and they are cheaper and less audibly distracting than velcro version. Be respectful and low key, and the Miura lace ups allow you to do just that. You’ll find an in-depth review of the Miura Lace at 99boulders.com.