Monday, 4 June 2012

Peddars Way Washup

Reflecting back on my recent trip I thought I'd give a quick overview of the gear used.  Nothing to technical as a) I don't feel I have the experience to give damning or eulogising critiques, b) most stuff was fairly new so only had 4 days of use and c)I don't think I can write that many sentences about a sock.

A few things stood out from the trek, the biggest one is that going lightweight helped me immensely.  My pack was approx. 10kgs inc water and snacks.  The only thing it was missing was food and a stove.  I'm not sure how I would of coped with what would of been classed as normal only a few year s ago (18kgs+).  I remember on DofE that we had a weight limit of a 3rd of your body weight, now that is actually a big old load to carry. 

Pack - Golite Jam 50

I was torn between this and an Osprey Exos 48.  I'm glad I went with the Jam, as it was the right size for a mulitiday trek, was very comfortable, lightweight and had a thick waist belt.  The Exos had a much thinner waist belt and I have found that Osprey packs (whilst well made and generally great) don't have the longest of waist belts (not for this chunky walker anyway).  The only thing I struggled with was the lack of pockets, this is more of an admin issue from me!  By using a few stuff sacks and a bit more thought on packing it's easy to manage.

Quilt - Golite Ultralite 3 Season Quilt

I bought this last year as a bargain from Amazon but hadn't got to use it in the early spring as intended.  On my 4 week USA tour last year, I think I only zipped up my Alpkit 800 three times.  The rest of the time I used it as a quilt, so why not just buy a quilt and save some weight.  Well that's the theory!  As it is, it was warm and gave me lots of room to roll about.  Temps only got down to around 10 at night, so it was hardly a true test (it's rated to -7).  The week before our Peddars Way walk the temps were around 2-5 at night so that would of been a better test.  I liked it, but would need to see how it handles the cold (and draughts) before giving it 100% approval.

Tent - Terra Nova Laser Competition 1

Another spur of the moment purchase as it was on a great offer at Field and Trek.  I found that it was easy to put up (on flat ground), was well made and lightweight.  We didn't have much (if any rain) so I can't comment on it's waterproofness.   I found it to be an OK size, in estate agent talk it would be classed as 'cosy', if you suffer from claustrophobia it's not the tent for you..  I think on reflection I can see myself moving towards something like the MLD Duomid, as it looks roomier with better headroom. 

I was for once pretty strict on what I took, wearing the same clothes (baring socks n undies) day after day.  A spare set was worn at night and on the last day.  I didn't take clothes for every eventuality and instead decided if cold at night I could wear my waterproofs over the light fleece I took.  Before now I might of taken a down vest as a 'just in case'.


  1. Interesting comments!

    I'm not familiar with any of the items you mention myself, but it is always good to hear of people's experiences with products and brands - we all come to need (or want!) new and different gear at some time or another.

    I find blogs are good for such things - in-depth and often long-term tests that the mags, etc, just can't hope to replicate.

    1. Yes I've slowly been moving away from the magazines opinions and following bloggers more and more. Tests are longer, in real varied conditions and also a different range of users (body types, styles, needs).

    2. Mags can be good for finding out what is available or upcoming, and a brief assessment might be possible, but in-depth and over time, probably not, plus you nearly always get the info filtered through the particular preferences of the reviewer or mag in question.