The Vault Regulars

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gear round up from Lammermuir's trip.

Here is the gear I used on our Herring Road trip.

This is my only 1 person tent. I really like it now the door has been modified. My only wish is that I would like the inner door to be 2/3 solid 1/3 mesh and the outer door have a 2 way zip. Currently the inner is all mesh. I realise that the weight would rise slightly, but it would be better for UK conditions.
 Other than that, it's an excellent shelter, fast to erect and under 1kilo.

Sleeping Bag.
PHD Minim 500. in drishell. (Bought in the "make your own" sale last year. So i can’t include a link for it.)
Rated at -9 degrees C.

I took this bag simply because of the overnight temperatures we have had of late. I am not a backpacker that takes a lighter bag and uses additional clothing to boost the warmth. I don't like sleeping in clothing and therefore the bag has to do the job.
We had temperatures down to -7 degrees C and the cold woke me, admittedly it was around the shoulder area i felt it. I did put on my North Face belay jacket and then I dropped off to sleep again. So I would say the -9 rating is the absolute limit for me. We certainly didn't expect such a low temperature as we had, so i was pleased i brought this bag along. I wish i had ordered it with a shoulder baffle now. I wonder if i can get one retro fitted over the summer? Mmm. email to PHD pending.

Sleeping Mat.
 Superb kit. I have the medium length mat, weight 460gr. The pump bag is very light and it fully inflates the mat in 3 fills of the bag. 

I also use a sheet of 3 mm foam. The type I use is manufactured for use under laminated flooring. 2m x 0.5m, weighs 85 grams. The additional warmth and insulation it provides is worth every gram. Unfortunately you can only buy this insulation in large pack sizes. costs £20. But there again it will last you ages and you can make all sorts of kit with it.

My full pack weight including food for 4 days was 11 kilo.
I found the shoulder straps very uncomfortable. I compared the straps on Judith's Osprey Exos and the Osprey is far better at spreading the load across the shoulders. The Exos straps stayed solid and flat whereas the Creon buckled. I tried altering the back height but it didn’t make any difference to the straps. I will have to make some changes to them or otherwise the pack will not get used.
The Creon only has 1 hip belt pocket. I would have liked 2.
The sack size, shape, design and quality is good and I had no problems fitting all my gear in and the pockets are near perfect.

The biggest problem I had was with the spring steel rod that creates the air gap between the sack and your back. It kept springing out of position and was uncomfortable. It would wear your outer shell if left unspotted.
I have emailed photographs to Mammut to see if it can be resolved.

 I have numerous stoves, gas, meths, solid. I chose the Spider, again because of the expected low temperatures and with the Spider having a pre-heat tube it would be reliable. 
It was a good choice. The Spider is not by any means the lightest stove but with it also being a remote canister stove it makes it ideal to use in the tent porch if necessary.

Gas, I took Primus 4 season and in total I used 66 grams of gas, i also kept the canister in my sleeping bag at night.
Pan used. Evernew ca-251 ti.
To light the stove I use a fire steel. It is completely reliable.

I took 2 insulation jackets. TNF Zephyrus and PHD Minimus.
I didn't' need to take the Minimus in all honesty. The Zephyrus was good enough especially when used in conjunction with my outer shell.

Outer shell.
I had a new shell jacket I was reviewing for a company. It won't be on the market until Autumn. I will do a separate post on this, once I have the ok off the company to release it.
It's a shame that it won't be available for this years TGO challenge.

Overtrousers. (Note, it’s over -trousers not over-pants.!)
Rab Bergan’s. Not the best waterproof overtrousers considering the price of them. They do leak a little around the knee seams but i can live with them. I have re-proofed them a number of times but nothing resolves the ingress. They are not damaged in any way and show no signs of wear.

If i was to buy a new pair they would probably be the Berghaus Paclites.

Trousers. (Not pants).
Columbia Silver Ridge convertibles.
I just enjoy wearing these. For me they are perfect for the temperatures just now. I have numerous other pairs of walking trousers including Montane and Rohan to name a couple, good trousers in there own right, but I always seem to come back to these. They can get a bit sweaty in summer but then they do convert to shorts.
The belt loops are wide and the pockets large and secure.

Base layers.
I wore 2 base layers rather than 1 base and 1 mid. I get too warm if i wear a conventional mid layer.
Rohan long sleeved ultra silver tee. At 95 grams. I enjoy wearing it, you hardly know you have it on.
On top of this I wore a Trekmates Merino zip top.
I have a number of merino tops from Icebreaker, Katmandu, Aldi and the Trekmates is the best. It's not the thickest top but it seems to be the warmest and the most comfortable. Don’t ask me why because i can’t work it out. Great value for money in comparison with the Icebreaker.

Bridgedale Trekkers. I have tried others but always come back to these. (I havn’t tried Teko socks as yet though.) I am also not overly keen on Merino socks i find that they give/stretch a little too much.

Meindl Softline.

Petzl e-lite.
Very lightweight and does a good job.

I took my Satmap Active 10+.
I didn’t have a route mapped on it because i had no idea of the route, apart from the Start point and the end point. I used it a couple of times just to see exactly where we were but Mike was keeping the way close to his chest. Well that was where his map case was anyway.
It was useful to get grid references of camping spots.

That’s about it. except for the small items of kit which are pretty insignificant. 


Oldmortality said...

I'm with you, Alan.
"Overpants" are what Superman wears.

AlanR said...

Now there's a thought. This years tgo challenge must be done in superman pants. Now which ones?

-maria- said...

It's good to know the limits of your sleeping bag.

If I hear in the news in May that Scotland has been invaded by Supermen then at least I know what's going on... :)

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
I have used it before at -7 but that was while base camping and i had extra insulation underneath, so it didn’t test it in a backpacking scenario.
It is good to know the limitations.

I don’t think superman will be visiting Scotland.

John J said...

I didn't weigh my pack, I think I'm glad I didn't - it was too heavy. 11 kg sounds pretty good, I wouldn't have been surprised if mine was nearer 14kg.

AlanR said...

Hi JJ,
You took quite a large size rucksack so i would imagine it was 0.5 kilo more than mine to start with.
I know, if the expected temperatures had been about 5 degrees higher i could have taken a kilo out of my sack. Having said that i was disappointed in the sacks capability of carrying the weight. I have had a reply from Mammut and they are investigating.
I have put all my gear into 2 different sacks i have. The Dueter 40 +10 carries the load best but it has a weight penalty over the Mammut. The OMM Villain 45 +10 carried it better than the Mammut but not as comfy as the Deuter. The wheel is turning towards a heavier sack. oh dear.

markswalkingblog said...

Alan, I have the Minimus like you without the shoulder baffle. Used it down to -4 and OK so far. I think if I had a draft I would just place my down jacket or Rab pull-on around my shoulders. Rohan Ultra long sleeved T is excellent.

AlanR said...

Hi Mark,
It's a good bag. I didn't opt for the baffle by choice. Big mistake on my part. It is resolved like you suggest but only when the cold has paid you a visit in the small hours. I think the Rohan ultra T is great but the 'pants' are a bit, well, 'pants' to be honest.

Dawn said...

The Berghaus Paclites are good waterproofs. My old pair where used and abused for several years before finally giving up the ghost.

AlanR said...

Thats good to know Dawn. Thanks.

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