Tuesday 21 September 2010

I'm alive, honest.....and getting ready for winter for that matter


Its been a huge break from blogging but I'm back! I've been quietly watching fellow bloggers and feeding my habit with the various trip reports and gear discussions, though never finding the time or energy to post anything of interest.

Its the same old story: I've not really been out in the hills nor have I bought anything of interest, so all in all its a bit................well................... boring!

I have, however, found myself thinking a lot about getting back out at my favourite time of year - Winter! Unfortunately even this is pretty boring since there's not much that I want or need for this season in terms of gear - I've even resisted the famous PHD sale and narrowly avoided the Minim 500! Silly boy!

Anyhoot, enough of that morbid truth, so what has been going on? Well, I did have a bash at tarping back in June and as it as it was my first time (blush) who could better teach me the tricks of the trade than the craziest tarp aficionado around these parts: Mr Eddy Meechan! Wacky shaped cuban fibre aside, this one trip changed my whole outlook on lightweight backpacking - afterall you don't knock over 3kg off you total weight without a slight epiphany! Report due imminently.

In other news I have had to bite the bullet and fork out on some new walking poles. Those with a keen memory will know that I won't leave home without my poles but will also note that to date my current poles (LEKI vario XS) were aquired from TKMAX for £6.99 but weigh in a mere (386g)! I'm a small man (without the syndrome mind) so I just about get away with the max height of 110cm that these children's poles have to offer. Yes, that's right these are children specific poles! In light of this it was only a matter of time before the extra forces a sheer brute.........twerp like me can bring down on these things before something gave way. Over time the locking mechanism has perished and now the red 'rocket' section simply slips on the threaded screw under any kind of pressure and can't be serviced. Bummer! I knew this day would come so I'd been looking at the merits of various poles for while and I've settled on the Adjustable Goat Poles from Titanium Goat. More on those when they arrive but needless to say, these poles aren't just aid my pathetic knees and facilitate my move to tarping over the next 6 months or so. Those who want the all important lowdown can get their fix in my review shortly but in case you've not come across these yet, you get two (virtually indestructible) adjustable carbon fibre poles , weighing in at 107g per pole. Will let you know the actual weights once I've paid the Royal Mail ransom to get at them.

I have a trip planned for sometime in October but at the moment its looking like a solo trip unless Paul can work some magic. Not entirely sure yet but a recent trip to Snowdonia has got me thinking quite a lot.............






Martin Rye said...

Glad you are still out and about Marcus. Tarping as well! I will look forward to the write up.

minimalgear said...

good to have you back. I almost got the Ti goat poles, but bought the similar gossamer gear poles before figuring out their astronomical cost(doh!) You'll love the weight! I'm very interested in your tarp trip.

Marcus said...

Cheers guys.
I was tempted by the additional height of the regular Light Trek 4s but totting up the cost soon put me off! The Ti Goat poles are slightly shorter but the shafts can be connected to make a longer pole if absolutely necessary.
The tarp trip was a very good experience, not least because it brought home just how lax I’ve become about what I’m packing and why. Good times.

John Davis said...

Two trips in August have converted me to tarps. I've been taking odd trips with a Golite Cave over the years but this summer I paired it with an MLD Bug Bivy and headed for the Highlands. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the 11 nights under the tarp and got some big walks done in poor weather thanks to the light base weight.

Second trip was with an Akto. Luxury when sealed in from the midges but less pleasant in every other respect. For the first time the condensation really bugged me. The tarp was dry inside all of the time despite rain falling every night.

A tent is best if you don't want to see the world.

James Boulter said...

Good to see you back Marcus!

Anonymous said...

indeed it is Marcus.

My tarping project for this year is to do a deep winter trip.


Mac E said...

Good to see you back, you've given a nice little taster, look forward to the reports.