Friday, 29 July 2011

Summer Walkabout kit part 3 (clothing)

Inov-8 Flyroc 310

I have previously owned a couple of pairs of Inov-8 Terroc 330's and I was looking to replace them with another pair but as I was searching on Google I came across these in a sale at Pete Bland Sports reduced to £35 so with that price and the memories of a friend who was a happy owner of a pair of Inov-8 Flyroc 310's I thought I would give them a go. And I am glad that I did the tread patten is ideal for steep grassy areas giving me much  more confidence when going downhill. They are an unlined shoe so are ideal for hot weather but have been worn all year round with thicker socks. I am currently wearing them with Bridgedale Coolmax Liner socks which means that they dry quickly if it rains or after I have been through boggy ground

Bridgedale Coolmax Liner Socks

As it was a hot day when I started my Pennine Journey walk at Easter I thought that I would wear my Bridgedale Coolmax Liner socks by themselves inside my Inov-8 Flyroc 310 shoes until they started to feel uncomfortable and as that didn't happen I just swapped between two pairs for the rest of the journey and kept the Icebreaker Hiker socks for the evenings in the tent.

Icebreaker Beast merino briefs

I will be taking a couple of pairs of Icebreaker Beast brief style merino 150 wool underpants.I prefer this style as I find that the boxer shorts style ride up over the course of the day and bunch up.
Nature Shop despatch their goods very quickly,the other year when this style was first introduced I had a pair posted from New Zealand and they arrived within two days of ordering.

Icebreaker Superfine T-Shirt

I normally wear a long sleeved merino zip neck but I thought that it was time to give the T-Shirt style a go so I will be wearing this for the first time on a multi day trip.I bought it second hand from the classified section of a outdoors forum so if it falls apart I won't be too unhappy.

Montane Featherlite Velo Gilet

Even though its "Designed for the cyclist who rides fast and light and demands high breathability in a pack size smaller and lighter than the average inner tube." its a brilliant addition to a backpackers kit and is ideal for core torso protection in an ultra lightweight format.

Montane Limited Edition Dynamic Stretch Pants

From the Montane website
"The Limited Edition Dynamic Stretch Pants are similar to the regular product, they have the Limited Edition signature red zip and £35 of the retail price is donated to Mountain Rescue England & Wales. The main difference is the newly released Polartec PowerShield fabric; it is not only extremely breathable and stretchy, it has Polartec's HardFace finish so that it is abrasion and water-resistant.Amongst other features Dynamic Stretch Pants have a thigh cargo pocket and articulated knees."

I have owned these trousers since last winter and they have surprised me with how versatile they are being water resistant and very quick drying too. So much so that on my last long walk at Easter the Pennine Journey I left my waterproof trousers at home. I find that they have similar qualities as Pertex Equilibrium.

Montane Limited Edition Prism Jacket

I will be taking the Montane Prism jacket with me as I can wear it under my waterproof Jacket or put it on to keep me warm during rest stops without having to worry about it getting damp.

From the Montane website
The Limited Edition Prism Jacket is exactly the same as the regular product with 3 exceptions, it is a special colour combination, it has the Limited Edition logo and £45 of the retail price is donated to Mountain Rescue England & Wales.

It has 2 chest pockets into one of which it can be packed, a simple adjustable hood and was voted best value insulated jacket by Trail Magazine earlier this year. Have a look at the page in the products section for the full specification.

The water-resistant and breathable Pertex Microlight fabric contains 40g Primaloft Eco (using 50% recycled material) insulation which makes the Prism warm with the minimum of weight and highly packable.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Summer Walkabout kit part 1 (new items)

OMM Classic 32

This pack will being used for the first time.I bought this to replace the Golite Peak 36ltr pack which I was starting to find annoying.I like the large front mesh pocket on the OMM classic 32 which is ideal storing a damp shelter. It also has a removable foam mat which is useful for my legs when using the short Thermarest or under the Thermarest if the ground is too rocky.It also has two decent sized side pockets for water bottles and hip belt pockets.

Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar

"It's a Tarp! It's a Shelter! Amazing Simplicity! 
Fast Setup!!! 

Five equal size panels blend shelter protection with tarp pitching ease and multiple options.
The 7' long baseline on each of the five equal sides create a very large pentagon floor plan living space for one or two (three in a squeeze) plus gear."

The Trailstar is becoming a very popular shelter with UK backpackers  as it is a Tarp that appears to be designed for British weather conditions which can be very changeable with wind direction switching several times during the course of a night. I have heard reports of the Trailstar easily handling winds in excess of 60 mph so I have confidence that combined with my Alpkit Hunka bivy bag I will have many comfortable nights.

Montane Dynamo Lite Jacket

Not really new as I bought this jacket from The Climbers Shop in Ambleside last year but this August will be its first outing.

The text below is from The Climbers Shop website

This light version of versatile Montane Dynamo Jacket retains the excllent wind proof qualities of it's forerunner but at a fraction of the weight, ideal for performance use. Made as a limited edition item, this durable wind proof jacket uses Pertex® Equilibrium to keep the weather at bay whilst still remaining very breathable when active.
It's unique denier gradient structure allows both air to circulate near the skin, and mechanically moves moisture away from the skin to aid evaporation and cooling. Together with the tight weave's inherent wind resistance and an excellent water repellent finish, this jacket will keep the wearer dry, cool and comfortable in all light to moderate wind and rain.
The Montane Dynamo Lite is an excellent comprimise between a light wind proof like the Feather Lite Smock and a more bulky softshell jacket.
  • Single hand adjustable, elasticated draw-cord collar.
  • Active cut with drop tail keeps drafts at bay.
  • Baffled two-way reversed front zip closes tightly to eliminate wind.
  • Self fabric cuffs with hook and loop closure with rubberised tabs.
  • Chest security pocket and two mesh lined venting pockets allow stprage that wouldn't be available in normal wind proofs.
  • UV resistance 30+ SPF keep the suns rays at bay.
  • Single hand adjustable, elasticated draw-cord 

Montane Minimus Waterproof Jacket

Several years ago I discovered Paramo and I now own a few of their Jackets including the black Paramo Quito Jacket which I normally take with me when I go backpacking. But recently I purchased a Montane Minimus Jacket from Webtogs as a 'just in case' jacket for day walks it weighs in at 227g with a integral, roll-away mountain hood and reinforced wired peak. 
So as its summer I thought that this trip would be a good chance for me to test it out.

below is a video from webtogs

Summer Walkabout kit part 2 (sleeping)

Alpkit Hunka Bivy Bag

I have had the Hunka bivy bag for a couple of years and have used it inside a tent during the winter and also on its own all year round.On my last trip at Easter I had a tent with me but this time using this and the Trailstar I will have more options as there are times where its easier to tuck away with just a bivy bag.

Mountain Equipment Xero 250

I have had the Xero 250 for a few years now and I love the weight and pack size. The colour brightens up the tent too. Winner of the 2007 European Outdoor Industry Award. It features EXL- A patented technology that provides optimum warmth using an elasticated lining to gently hug your body and improve thermal efficiency.
Weight 600g

Thermarest Prolite 3 short

I like the pack size of the Thermarest Neoair but not the price so as I don't find the Thermarest Prolite 3 too uncomfortable I will continue to use it.
Weight 370g

Exped Air Pillow

The super comfortable, lightweight Exped Air Pillow boasts skin-friendly, super-soft tricot polyester on either side.
Weight: 85g

Jetboil Flash arrives

I have just received a Jetboil Flash from webtogs I placed my order on Friday and it was delivered on Monday or would have been if I was at home. I have been away camping with my family at Roundhill campsite in the New Forest. Roundhill is a spacious site in the heart of the New Forest within easy cycling distance of Brockenhurst for fresh provisions. Wild ponies and cattle roam at will through the heathland site and deer can be seen in the nearby forest enclosures first thing in the morning before the dog walkers are up and about. But my sons were to be found in the unused rally field playing football with their cousins for most of the weekend.Sometimes I despair at their lack of interest in the world around them.

I am trying to keep my pack size as small as possible for my time away this summer and the Jetboil Flash seems attractive due to the way it packs away into a compact package.It is quick and easy to put together to make a brew while on the go.Which from a safety point of view is a good thing as Hypothermia is not a hikers friend.
I have found  that using stoves that take too long to set up and put away deters me from stopping for a hot drink.
I will post a review of this stove when I return home in September.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Summer Walkabout

I jokingly said to my family one teatime that I would like to go walking for the month of August and to my surprise my three young sons and my wife all cheered and whooped with excitement. So I have bought a 'Open Jaw' coach ticket from National Express to Grasmere leaving on 1st August and returning from Bakewell on 30th August. My eldest son is unhappy that I am not going to be away for the whole month. But as he will be 11 on the 1st September I want to make sure that I am home for his birthday and also for the birthday of my youngest son who will be 6 on 2nd September.
My plan is to spend some time in the Lake district starting by walking the route that Trail Magazine devised for their 20th anniversary issue which they call the Lakeland Haute Route which takes in 14 mountain passes and 13 lakes. Then after visiting a few other areas (yet to be planned) in the Lakes I will leave via the Dales Way to Dent then over Whernside and Ingleborough  to join the Pennine Way at Horton-in Ribblesdale where I will head south on the Pennine Way, Limestone Way and Monsal Trail finishing at Monsal Head in Derbyshire to meet up with terrybnd and some other bloggers and people from Twitter for the Bank Holiday weekend.
I plan to travel light and camp wild where possible and it will be the first outing for my newly acquired Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar shelter.

More posts to follow about the kit that I am taking on this trip.