Friday, 30 January 2009

More kit revisions...

Okay so I'm coming around to the idea of paclite would save so much weight, but I'm hoping we don't have too wet a summer as I'm still not completely convinced they will stand up to it.

I think that because I'm out in all weathers doing the horses in a good "substantial" set of waterproofs that do a fab job of keeping everything out, I'm wary of trusting the lighter stuff - especially after a Snowdonia soaking in a new Berghaus paclite jacket a couple of years ago. I've never trusted paclite's since - but I guess I should move on!!

I'm still a bit twitchy about leaving my 2nd fleece behind - especially as I'm starting in Scotland when we're barely out of May. I know I'll be fine when walking - it's when I've stopped that the problems begin (I do feel the cold!). It will probably be a case of put up the tent and jump in my sleeping bag!

I still have to get my head around this backpacking light malarkey - just swapping my current gear for lighter stuff isn't enough...

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Revised Kit far...

Following some very helpful comments from both Gail and Martin I am thinking of making the following changes to my pack...

1 - Instead of two pairs or trousers taking just one - but possibly taking something incredibly light to wear in my sleeping bag on cold nights...

2 - Instead of two long sleeve T'shirts, taking just one short sleeve T'shirt and one long sleeve one also.

3 - Take one fleece instead of two.

4 - Leaving behind my binoculars.

5 - Considering lighter waterproofs....this one makes me very theory I can reduce quite a lot of weight with paclite waterproofs, but I've yet to find some that REALLY keep you dry in day after day of torrential Rain with a pack on. I know my current waterproofs are excellent and keep me so dry and comfortable....hhhhmmmmmm.

It's a start! As time goes on and I get more desperate I'm sure I'll re-visit the kit list and see what else I can dump... I'm still very much open to others views and experiences so if you have any thoughts then do tell me.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Kit List...Oh my goodness...

OK so here's a kit list I intend to take. It isn't completed yet as far as weights etc, but maybe some of you could give me some pointers if you think I'm going a little nuts...My sleeping mat could be lighter, but it's comfortable! After sleepless nights on my 3/4 mattress with only one inch of inflation, this one is fab with a luxurious 2 1/2 inches(!)

Also the waterproofs are heavier than they could be, but if we have a summer like last year I want to make sure I have waterproofs that work. I once got incredibly cold and sodden wearing a Berghaus paclite jacket in torrential rain in Snowdonia. It was way out of it's depth! A day (or summer) in pouring rain can be improved so much with good waterproofs! I do feel the cold!! If anybody knows really good tried and tested lightweight waterproofs then please let me know as that would certainly shave some weight off.

Also you tougher blokes might live without the mozzy coils and deet but I always get eaten alive by mozzies!!

Backpack: Gregory Deva 60 - 2268g
Pack Liner: Binbags - 68g
Tent: Terra Nova Laser Competition - 960g
Groundsheet for above - 235g
Stove & Pot - Snow Peak Set - 100g
Lighter - 9g
Fuel Cartridge - 374g
Spork - 9g
Sleeping Bag: Cumulus Quantum 200 - 495g
Sleeping Mat: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core - 590g
Pillow: Montbell UL Comfort Pillow - 68g

Trousers x2: Sprayway - 544g
T'Shirts x2: Berghaus Tech - 224g
Fleece x2: N.Face & Craghoppers - 528g
Underwear x2: Lowe Alpine Dryflo
Socks x4: Smartwool 72% Merino Wool - 232g
Boots: Brasher Womens Supalite XCR - 1160g
Waterproof Jacket: The North Face - 628g
Overtrousers: Berghause Deluge - 352g
Hat: Tilley Lighterweight LT5 - 85g
Buff - 38g
Trekking Poles: REI - 340g
Sunglasses: Smith Toaster - 21g

Compass - 24g
6 x maps - 674g
Map Case: Haglofs Waterproof - 95g
Whistle - 11g
Head Torch: Petzl Tikka - 76g
Binoculars - 120g

Pack Towel x2 (one for Patch!) - 50g
Lip Balm - 4.2g
Multi-use soap - 145g
Toothbrush - 12g
Mirror from xmas cracker - 18g
Toilet Trowel - 54g
Toilet Roll - 116g
Shewee (very handy!) - 17g
Hand Santitiser - 92g

Water (4 x 500ml) - 2056g
Food -

Sunscreen - 98g
Deet - 42g
Mozzy coils - 100g

Mini playing cards from xmas cracker - 34g
Card/cheque book/money -
Phone & Charger -
Notebook & pen -
4 x stuff sacks - 90g
1st Aid kit -

Waterproof coat - 138g
Long lead for camping
Shorter lead & Halti (she'll be wearing - so no weight!)
Tweezers / Tick Remover
Bowls - 22g
Food -

Total so far - 13407g


I would welcome all comments - I'm trying to be minimalistic, but also realistic(?!) I must be able to get the weight down more though...the backpack itself is heavy but so comfortable to carry the load.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Backpack....and Mic Martin from Dog Borstal!

I've not been entirely happy with the fit of my backpack (Gregory Deva 60), and after exchanging many emails and photographs with George from Gregory Packs I'm ordering a larger waistbelt and shoulder harness. It seems the xs pack fits my torso length, but the harness is off!

The packs are great quality but seem to be built for waifs! I didn't think I was that big but I need a size small shoulder harness and medium waistbelt. Hhmmph!! Thankfully George has been very helpful and I highly recommend the company.

I'm having problems with Patch as she has severe noise phobia, and the RAF jets that pass over several times a day are terrifying her. I don't want her to become afraid of going for walks but we're heading in that direction. I phoned Mic Martin from Dog Borstal today and what a star he is!! We had a really good chat on the phone - he was genuinely interested in helping, and I am hoping to spend a day or two with him to help Patch with both her noise phobia and her constant need to hunt. I would recommend anyone with dog problems to contact him - I'm very impressed with the amount of time he gave me and his genuine interest. The only thing is, I may end up having to sell my motorbike to fund all this if anyone is interested in a CBR400 which has been renovated and looks and runs like a dream then let me know. It is a fab bike and I would be sorry to see it go, but I know it will be worth it.

No sign of Memory Map yet.......I'm getting a bit twitchy now!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Trying to minimise my pack weight!

I've been glued to the computer lately trying to research some lighter weight gear.....

This is not cheap (I hope my hubby doesn't read this!), but I'm having to buy a load of cheaper alternatives to what I already have as my pack weight is currently around the 15kg mark (including EVERYTHING - water, boots etc) but I believe I can just about get it down to 13kg. Considering I'm not quite 5'2" and weight less than 8 stone I know I'm going to be feeling this weight! I'll post a list of what I'm taking plus weights soon. I'm turning into a geek!

I had a photo shoot last Friday for the local paper so I put my pack on with just 9kg in it hike to the forestry where I was to meet the photographer - but I was puffing while trudging up the big hill. Oh dear! It brought home how much fitter I need to be.

Patch is doing well - she's currently flat out on the sofa asleep (snoring!). She had sore paws again after the forestry so we really need to toughen her feet up. I ordered her a doggy backpack so she could carry a small amount herself but then felt guilty and canceled it!

I found out why I was struggling with the mapping software - a scratched dvd! I've now ordered a new Memory Map dvd and hope to get my route posted on here soon (once I figure out how!).

Monday, 5 January 2009

A quick general update...!

Well so far I haven't made any progress loading the mapping software onto my computer...I'm going to try to resuscitate my old laptop and try it on that.

Christmas went well - my hubby had a list of stuff I need for the trip (I use the term "list" loosely...being a bloke he needed it to be even easier for him so I had to email him direct links to every product!!) I never though I'd be pleased as punch to have a toilet trowel for Christmas.....! I did get a Tilley hat also, which I have been after for years, plus from my step son a brilliant book to brush up my navigation skills.

I did a bit of online January shopping and bought a couple of lightweight technical Berghaus T'shirts, a North Face fleece and a Craig Hoppers fleece at great prices from "Go Outdoors". My walking trousers are looking a bit sorry for themselves now and could do with replacing also...or am I just looking for excuses to shop?!

Patch has been enjoying her walks - until we went through the forestry and I made the mistake of taking her flexi-lead on which she tends to pull - so she ended up with sore paws. I'm going to have to keep her on a short lead and halti to stop her pulling and tearing up her feet which is such a shame. I can't let her off the lead as she is a HUGE hunter - she would be off after rabbits never to be seen again...or for a couple of hours anyway. We could do with some time with "Mick Martin" from Dog Borstal!!

My hubby (John) has been coming walking also and brings our other two dogs but I'm on my own now he's back at work and away all week. I'm now feeling guilty about taking Patch out without the other two so I'm trying to find ways of controlling the three together....I've ordered another halti!

I've decided my route - basically the same as Andrew McCloys route except that I'll include the coastal path around the north of Devon and Cornwal plus an extended route including an overnight stop in Exmoor as I have a passion for exmoor ponies! (I have two!). I'll post the route on here as soon as can.

I sent the Samsung Omnia back - it was far too clever for me! I'll stick with a basic phone I think. I'm trying to eliminate as much as I probably can from my pack as it's looking to be around 15kg which is crazy considering I'm under 8st! I'm forgetting the solar charger for my phone which would be another 500g (and £180!).

One thing I am going to take is a mini pack of playing cards I got in a Xmas cracker! Also a tiny folding mirror from another cracker!! Good eh?!

Happy Christmas to you and best wishes for 2009!