Monday, 28 April 2008

Quiet but active

OK, so its been a while since I posted anything but that's not to say that nothing has happened. I hadn't quite appreciated that people were actually reading this blog and I was very suprised today to see comments from John Hee (thanks for linking to me from your blog John) and Blabberon. This has made me realise that posting might be worth while afterall!
Over the past month I've been re-assessing my equipment, trying to learn from the mistakes of my first wild camping trip to Buttermere in the English Lake District and working out where to go next. My friend Paul and I have read a lot about gear and made a few purchases (some still to be made at time of writing).
I wanted to address the areas where I felt I could make the biggest difference for the least amount of effort and expenditure - all before the next trip. I was set on a lighter rucksack, a lighter/warmer down filled sleeping bag, cutting out the excess water and finally leaving some luxuries behind.
I have been looking around at lightweight packs and thought that the Golite Pinnacle might be the one to buy. This is on hold though now since Geoff from 'V-g me' suggested the framed Golite Litespeed, so I'm going to look into this a bit and this will give me some time to save some quids!
The sleeping bag is also on hold at the moment since ALPKIT are out of stock of the Pipedream and having thought a bit more about this, my conclusion is to wait now until the cold weather makes a return and just use my current bag. So basically I'm only losing a few items I don't really need and some water but I'm saving around 2.5kg. The weight is far more manageable now and I've got a 30 mile hike coming up to test this theory. Since returning from Buttermere, I've been pining to get back out there, as has Paul so we make a good hiking/wild camping duo. I've been looking at routes and locations a little closer to home and I think we have settled on the Black Mountains. I've never given this landscape the pleasure of my company so it will be good to meet each other! I've adapted Geoff and Vivien's three day trip from here http://v-g.me.uk/Trips/T0832/T0832.htm into a 30 mile two day outing and I think it should work. Thanks Geoff for the reassurance! I'll post the route file here once I work out how to do this from Blogger.
One purchase I have made is a new pair of walking boots. My Hitec V-lites are very comfortable and light but aren't suited to long days walking nor rough terrain. I took a chance on a pair of Brasher Trailmaster GTX's and having walked a little in them - they seem comfortable and fit well. Time will tell how they handle wet rocks and wood etc and if they suit my feet and I'll post updates on these as I use them.
I've made a further purchase from Tinny at www.minibulldesign.com in the form of the new blackfly #3 stove. I purchase this as part of my weight saving strategy but I think I'll cover this in another post so I can review the stove too.
So there's an update of what I've been up to and I'll be posting separately regarding the stove when I've got some pictures and perhaps some video. I also want to submit a post on food since I think this is an important aspect of the trip - especially since I love eating!

Check back over the next few days for an update.

3 comments:

Blabberon said...

Good to hear from you again! I was about to scrape you off my link list!!

I am planning on doing a two week backpacking trip in the mountains this Fall and will be reading your reports and suggestions for food, equipment and weight savings.

Thanks!

Onward!!

The Dude Abides said...

Hi there Blabberon. A two week trip sounds like my idea of heaven right now. Working in an office all week makes me crave the outdoors, especially when you have a trip planned and ready to go.

I was just thinking about how I would go about preparing for a two week trip. I have to say I think I would have to give in and spend some quids to get some reliable equipment and make enough weight savings to make it bearable!

All the best
M.

John Hee said...

glad to see VG is passing on some of his experience - he's got plenty of it based on being out there and doing it. Brashers will work great - but watch the wear rate. I used them for many years, but finally went with Scarpas - as easy to wear but just feel more stable on the feet aftaer a long day