Being over-packed for an adventure can be cumbersome and will slow you down. On the other side, not being prepared or not having the right gear can really ruin a trip. No one knows this more than adventure photographer Elise Sterck. Sterck not only has to bring the proper gear to accomplish her objectives but she also has to haul her camera equipment. So being efficient is imperative.

One of Elise Sterck’s many summits on her Wind River Range Traverse. Photo: Courtesy of Elise Sterck.

We caught up with Sterck after her recent traverse of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Sterck, who grew up at the base of the range, has been traveling in the mountains since her youth, but had never linked the 50 peaks together.

"We haven't heard of any other attempts" Sterck tells ASN. "Our goal was to simply traverse the range from north to south and summit 50 peaks (named and unnamed) along the Continental Divide on the Wind River Range."

Sterck and her partner Ryan Burke, finished the traverse which is 167 miles, 126,000 ft gain/loss, and 50 peaks between Union Pass and Sweetwater Gap in 15 days.

“Completing this traverse was noteworthy for me because it's my most significant endurance accomplishment to date." Sterck tells us. "Aside from this, I'm normally a "weekend warrior" of sorts, typically spending 1-3 days in the mountains at a time."

Sterck attributes her prior big days in the mountains to her her success, but also her impeccable packing. "The more you know, the less you need." Sterck tells us. “Lightweight was the name of the game with this traverse.”

Here are the key pieces of gear Sterck took on her trip.

Mammut Trion Light 38L ($160)

Fast and light is the way to go when doing the Windwalker Traverse. Photo: Courtesy of Elise Sterck.

“I really liked the removable spine because it could double as a splint if you needed it. I liked the external compartments. You don't have to dig in there, like some other super ultra lightweight packs just have one body. I also really like the compression straps. Even though it was 38L which is pretty small, we still managed to not have our packs filled all the way. I really appreciated being able to compress it down to a nice compact size. I also liked the ice axe attachments.”

Mammut Norwand Light Jacket ($450)

Wind and rain are no match for this jacket. Photo: Courtesy of Elise Sterck.

“It is only 190 grams! It was highly breathable but also GORE-TEX. This jacket is perfect for wind and rain protection. I can't believe how lightweight and durable it is.”

Petzl Leopard Crampons ($170)

Petzl’s Leopard Crampons are easy to adjust, lightweight and durable. Photo: Courtesy of Petzl.

“I have been using the leopard crampons for a while now. They are lightweight, durable and easy to adjust. They can pretty much fit on any boot.”

Mammut Wall Rider Helmet ($100)

Helmets that don’t feel like you are wearing a helmet are always the best. Photo: Courtesy of Elise Sterck.

“I love this helmet because of the excellent cushioning and the solid fit. I also really like the minimalistic adjustment system, which never felt bulky or in the way.”

Petzl Ride Ice Axe ($110)

Lightweight with a great handle. Photo: Courtesy of Petzl.

“I liked how small it was and how it didn't stick out over my pack and poke into any trees or rocks that you might have to duck under. I also liked the angle and grip.”

Mammut Serenity Rope ($240-270)

A smooth feeding rope keeps up the stoke. Photo: Courtesy of Elise Sterck.

“It is lightweight yet durable and passes easily through a belay device. It never jammed up.”

Eddie Bauer Crossover Mittens ($40)

50-percent mittens, 50-percent gloves = 100% awesome. Photo: Courtesy of Elise Sterck.

“They provided easy transformation into fingerless gloves when you have to use your fingers. They also have grips on the palms which nice for when you are belaying.”

Pro Bar Meal Bar - 12-Pack ($42)

More raw ingredients, more fuel. Photo: Courtesy of Pro Bar.

“I really loved the Pro Bar Meal Bars because they were calorically dense. They were rich in raw and nutrient-heavy ingredients. There was a decent amount of fiber too. They provided the most lasting energy of any bar I have ever used.”

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