People take the mick out of my planning and mock my spread sheets, but I like to be organised. Whilst out on my regular strolls, I’ve been musing this years Challenge and have already started to organise my gear for next year, if only in my head so far.
I thoroughly enjoyed this years Challenge. I had a ball. It was very sociable, meeting up with many old friends and making a few new ones along the way. I didn’t manage to catch up with all my friends, which was a shame, but there’s always next time.
So, to next time.
On the whole, I’m very happy with the gear I carried. Everything performed well and mostly did what I wanted it to. I changed very little from what I’d carried the previous year, which was why I didn’t post a kit list. The main changes were reverting to my Screepants because Paramo didn’t return my repaired Quito trousers in time (a God send in the end, but they weren’t to know that and I was annoyed at the time!) and I carried my Rab Lunar top instead of a fleece layer.
Since the Challenge, my Quitos were returned to me beautifully repaired, but I have lost a substantial amount of weight (over two and a half stone, and counting) so the trousers were ridiculously huge on me. After a bit of a chat, I decided to investigate the Paramo Recycling scheme and after more discussion realised the best option was to recycle the Quito trousers for a new pair. Laura and I spent a pleasant morning in Aviemore, touching and trying on new trousers (…and other gear…) and after a little while I settled on a pair of Cascada II trousers. The fabric is a little tougher, so heavier, than that used in the Quito or Velez trousers, but as I found the Quitos easy to damage, the Cascadas should suit my purposes better. I will be Challenging in them next time.
This leads to decisions, of course. I like to have something to wear for ‘social’ occasions, and also as an extra layer in bed, I do so hate to feel cold. Usually, I carry Ronhills which are a great extra layer, but I feel scruffy in public. Obviously, I wouldn’t need to carry my Berghaus Paclites, and dropping their combined weight will allow my to take my new Marmot Screepants, (replacements for the old pair that are now a) waaaay to big and b) have a dirty big hole in the knee!) which are comfy over my merino baselayer and smart to wear in public.
I then turned my thoughts to my Rab Lunar top. I really had not utilised this top to its full potential. Having worn it a lot since, I’ve realised I need to wear it for walking in, rather than as a warm layer, social top. It is incredibly light and comfy to wear when walking and works really well under my new Paramo Velez light jacket. It also allows me to take my Paramo off, which as the light version I’m happy to stash in my pack, and still have long sleeves covering my arms as protection from sun and light winds. Perfect. So, if I’m wearing that, I now have pack space for a warm layer, my new Smartwool zip top, which I much prefer to a fleece layer as it’s less bulky to wear and carry.
This will give me a base weight (without food and water) of 9,585g, so just over 9.5kg, or 21.13lbs. I’m happy enough with that.
The route I have planned for next time (see how careful I am? Next time, not next year, just in case…) is going to be covering lots of new ground for me, in fact, mostly new ground and I suspect I will have four days food with me on a couple of occasions, but I shall soon eat my way through it. I hope.
Yep, I’m well on my way to being organised. I’m happy.