I feel like I’m the only TGO Challenger who hasn’t published a complete gramme-by-gramme kit list. To be honest, I’d love to have the time to do this [Oh dear, did I say that out loud?] but you’ll just have to make do with a few random ramblings about the gear I’m taking.
I packed my Golite Pinnacle last night and was pleased to find that everything fitted and it wasn’t too heavy. At Easter I did a 45 mile, 2 day walk, using the same pack but without some of the gear I need for a two-week walk, and the pack seemed full and heavy. However, when properly packed, it’s more comfortable and I’ve been able to fit everything in with a bit of room to spare; always handy for carrying my Paramo smock when the sun is at its hottest. (I have placed an order for sun this year.)
A short list of kit:
Tent: Laser Competition. If you believe Terra Nova, this weighs less than 1kg. Mine weighs about 1150g but that is with the pole cover permanently attached, an extra guy at each end, an Alpkit Clipper at each end (for ventilation) and titanium V-pegs. I still take the
cocktail sticks supplied pegs as it’s handy to have spares for washing lines etc. The LC saves me around 500g compared with my Akto.
Sleeping bag: Rab Quantum 400 – short. Roughly 900g in drybag. A nice bag but I sometimes get coldspots on my thighs, so I now wear silk pyjama bottoms which are really comfy and don’t tend to get twisted around like a full silk liner often does.
To complement the Rab bag, I’m also taking my TN Moonlite sleeping bag cover / bivvy bag (180g). On really cold nights it adds a few degrees of warmth and it also allows me to keep the bag clean in bothies and dry when the condensation is running down the wall of the tent.
Mat: Neoair Short (or full length if you’re my height!). About 260g, so half the weight of my old Thermarest Ultralite 3/4.
Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket with one 250 cannister. I reckon I only use half a cannister over the two weeks but daren’t risk taking the smaller size. I made a pot cozy out of the metalised bubble-wrap stuff and generally have simple pasta-in-sauce meals which can be boiled up then left to stand. My kitchen is an MSR kettle, an MSR titanium mug and a titanium spork. This year I am also taking a plastic knife as spreading cheese with a spork gets messy.
Tools: This year I am leaving the Leatherman at home and taking my Swiss Army Knife at a saving of 50g. Yes, I lose the pliers, but I gain a corkscrew! I’m still dithering about a torch; I’ll probably take my Petzl Zipka “just in case” but could probably manage perfectly well with the single LED torch I keep on my keyring. When it’s dark, I’ll be asleep.
Gadgets: My Pansonic Lumix TZ8 is heavier than my old Nikon Coolpix 3100, but it’s also a better camera so it would be a shame to sacrifice some good photos for the sake of a few grammes.
I always take my pocket monocular (200g) when I go walking, partly as it can help when trying to see stiles and bridges from afar, and also because it’s nice to get a closer look at some of the wildlife that loiters just out of view. I considered not taking it, but I would miss it if I left it at home.
My radio is a battered old Radio Shack (I think; or Tandy?) FM/MW receiver with a built in speaker. Approx 100g.
Food: I’m starting off with 3 full days worth of food – supermarket pasta-in-sauce, cup-a-soup, crackers, cheese, Oats-so-simple, dried apricots, salted peanuts, chocolate, drinking chocolate and coffee. On a simple calorie count, this does not give me enough energy but I’d be quite happy to lose half a stone over the two weeks and I shall be Eating For England whenever I see a pub or cafe. This year my resupply options are quite limited – and I have not sent any parcels – so I may chuck a couple more cup-a-soups in the pack to stave off starvation.
Last year, for the first time, I took a plastic hip-flask of whisky and found it enhanced meal-times (and other times!) so I shall be taking it again this year.
My rucksack, as currently packed, weighs just over 10kg and I still have around 300g to add to it. My recently purchased Pacerpoles are heavier than my old Lekis but I am excluding those from my pack weight as I should be using them rather than carrying them on my back. I’ve included 500ml of water in the pack weight, but there will be times I’ll be carrying a litre if I suspect there’ll be no burns ahead, so I reckon I should be carrying no more than 11kg at any time in the first week and it should be down to 8kg when I reach Collieston as I’ll have sent home all-but-one of my maps and eaten all my food.
Assuming I can get a phone signal, I shall be tweeting and/or blogging from time to time, so watch this space…..