Saturday, 26 May 2007

Random thoughts

Being back a few days has given me a change to look through the equipment I took and assess how well it worked and how useful it was.


As usual the sixmoondesigns Comet pack carried the loads really well; the weight in the pack varied between the starting 11 kg and about 12.5 kg when carrying extra food and water.

I found that there was plenty of room; even with a wet flysheet for the first few days. The three outer pockets carried everthing I needed to hand during the day.

I did have one problem with the pack and that was the left shoulder strap came away from the joining point on the hipbelt. At first I thought the strap had snapped but in actual fact all that had happened was that the stitching had unravelled and the strap had popped out.

I was able to jury-rig it for the rest of the walk, and my wife had manged to re-stitch the strap back in.


The sleeping bag is a Field&Trek own make which I bought last year in the sales. It a 2-season down bag and kept me more than warm enough in fact a few nights I slept with it thrown over me like a quilt.

My sleeping Mat is the Insul Mat Max-Thermo; which I`ve been using for about 3 years.

I can't imagine sleeping on anything else now, as this is probably the most comfortable mat I've ever used. Yes; it is a bit heavy at 700g and can be a extra chore blowing it up at the end of the day but it's still worth it.


Terra Nova Solar 1

The biggest think I like about the Solar is the way the fly can be opened and give plenty of options for getting in and out.

Is tent weighs around 2kg which is a bit heavy compared to today's new lighter weight tents. I do think about changing the tent to a lighter one but as yet I haven't see one that is a flexible as the Solar.


As usual the MSR PocketRocket performed great for cooking and brews on route. I took two pots and a plastic mug; the pots were non-stick, I also took a 250 gas canister which was just about enough for the amount of cooking I did.


I took a few gadgets on this trip; some worked better than others. The Freeloader worked O.K but in all honesty I only used it once to charge the mini-vidcam and probably would of gotten away with a couple of extra batteries and saved a few grams.

Th new mp3 player worked well but didn't have as much power as I thought it would and was flat when I could of really used it and that was on the trip home; I should of taken the sync lead and charged it through the freeloader.

The mini-vidcam was a good item to take; I took 2x1 GB sd cards but only used one, I may of used the extra one if the weather had been better in the early part of the trip. I enjoyed videoing along the way and being able to report on things as they were happening.

It a shame that it only takes 640x480 video and the still pictures are not as good as a normal digital camera so that ment I was carrying two digital cameras.


I took 3 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of socks, a pair of Ron Hill trackers trek, a ploymide shirt, t-shirt, montane windshirt, a Peter Storm micro-fleece, Peter Storm waterproof trousers, a Craghoppers Pakka waterproof jacket and a tilley hat.

I could of done with an extra pair of socks as it was difficult to get the ones I had dry in the first few days because of the rain.

The waterproofs worked far better than I thought they would especially with the amount of rain we had in the early days.

The Montane was a good choice for when to wasn't raining and especailly when out in the open with the winds blowing.

All in all; the equipment I took performed as expected and I only had one piece that I never used and that was the Tikka headtorch.

Best piece of equipment was the Tilley Hat; when it was rain the hat kept my head dry and the brim stopped the rain dripping on me and when the sun came out it helped to stop the sun burning my face and neck.


  1. That looked a great wander george - especially following the rivers - no water problems on this trip then!

    The digicam worked great from the look of it, definitely a winner. Just need some way to cut-out the wind noise on the tops. Guess a furry mike isn't a real option on the model you've got because of the size?

  2. The mike is tiny and close to the lens so its a bit difficult actually sticking something over it.

    I`ve haven to look into it for the next trip; maybe a bit of sponge will do the trick.

  3. Looks like you had a really good time there, GG. Excellent media coverage, IMO (mind you, I'm a Luddite, I can't even spell gajjit proper, like)

  4. When you say you took 3 pairs of pants, do you mean underpants?

    Taking 3 pairs of trousers (pants) seems a bit excessive.

  5. It was 3 pairs of underpants