Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Musing about this year’s gear

I’m at the point of making decisions and have been having a little muse about things to take, things to replace last minute, parcels to pack and maybe one or two other things to consider. This is what has been going on in my head.

My wonderful Marmot Screepants have seen better days. The zip has a mind of its own and I’ve had to re-sew various bits of seams, so I needed to consider new trousers. I made a plump for a pair of Paramo Quito as I found them at an absolute bargain price at Whalley Warm and Dry and Laura had such success with her pair on last years Challenge. Of course, that does mean it’ll be hot and dry this year…

I also re-thought my wonderful Montane Antifreeze down jacket. I love this coat and I wear it constantly around and about, but when I take it on the Challenge I always worry about it getting damp (it has been quite wet on my Challenges so far) and because I also tend to wear my jacket in my sleeping bag as I really feel the cold when I’m tired (and I always seem to be cold and tired on the Challenge too!). It doesn’t have a hood and although I wear a hat in bed, there’s often a howling gale down the back of my neck, so I was vaguely looking at a Primaloft jacket with a hood. David found me a Montane Primus jacket at a bargain price, so that has been added to my collection and will be in my pack this year.

I also had a re-think about my water system. I’ve opted this year to use a Watertogo filter bottle to carry and drink from during the day, but I will still carry two 1ltr Platypus Soft Bottles and purification drops. I use my trusty and rather beautiful Jetboil Flash when Challenging, but this is designed to boil water for the length of time required to make it safe (just in case it’s not, I refuse to take the risk) so I use the Soft Bottles and drops to prepare water to use for my food and hot drinks.

I also have a new camera this year, an Olympus Tough. I’m getting along with this very well.

2014-01-07 19.38.20

Quito, Primus, Watertogo and Olympus Tough

I’ve also been looking for a new tent bag as I want to pack my Laser in my pack flat against my back and none of my current tent bags are good for this. I purchased a little waterproof fabric and some cord (not chord, that makes music…) and after a bit of a poke around my gear stash, found a few useful bits to help me make my own. Out came the sewing machine and this is what I made. (In fact, I made three and I still have a little fabric left…)


With ruler for scale


And again…


The flat bottom I wanted


And the construction inside


A little closer


The opening and fastening

Now, obviously, the top is not rollover and will not be watertight. If I’m not careful, my damp tent could conceivably poke out of the top! But, it won’t. Because I am careful when packing.

I have my dried food, coffee bags and Dairystix and this year, these are the only items I am sending on to myself. The packages are all ready to go in a couple of weeks time. After the first three days, I will be resupplying the fresh food I want from little local shops like a good girl and obviously indulging in good old pub grub and tea and cakes when they are available.

Back to the list and spreadsheet….


Alan Sloman said...

I was just about to type "Gear Monster" again - I seem to recall typing that on here last year - when I realised that that would be hypocritical...

New shelter, new inner, new tent pegs, new trousers, new fleece...


Louise said...

Yep! Gotya x

Martin Rye said...

Challenge is always a good reason to get new kit. Not long now to use it all. I shall follow your adventures with a keen eye.

Louise said...

Hi Martin! One can never have too much gear. I've bought a couple more things since thist post as I am so naughty.
And not long indeed! This time in six weeks, Laura and I will be in the bar!
Let's hope we have some good adventures to write up, I_can't_wait!!

FellBound said...

C'mon, c'mon, c'mon. Stop teasing. I need to see the full gear list :-)

Louise said...

Yeah yeah, 'course ya do!
Just tweaking and finalising. Patience.