Fantasy TGOC gear list

It’s been interesting looking at the gear lists other bloggers have published for this year’s TGO Challenge. I have provisional clearance from the boss to apply for next year’s Challenge, so I thought I’d have a go a compiling a gear list of what I would take. So here it is:

A base weight of 8.66kg is well above Phil Turner’s total of 5.8kg or Martin Rye’s of 6.7kg. The major contrast is that I like to take some spare clothes, while they appear to be happy with a more Spartan approach. Arguably that accounts for around 2kg. The other area of difference is personal hygiene and first aid, where I have about 4-500g of extra weight. For example, I like to be clean-shaven, so I have a Braun travel shaver, which weighs 129g with batteries (I hate wet shaving!).

This is a fantasy list because the tent doesn’t yet exist! If my experiment with the silnylon Duomid goes well this year, I intend to get a cuben version. I want to get an even lighter inner than the one I’ve already had made by Sean. The target weight is 300g. If this can be achieved, then the fly and inner will weigh around 640g. Add a conservative 160g for pegs and pole extender and I get 800g. I know this is a bit of a cheat, as I’m not including the weight of my trekking poles, but I would be carrying those anyway. According to Chris Townsend’s article in the latest TGO magazine, the Terra Nova Laser Ultra weighs 788g. In effect the cuben Duomid and the Ultra are the same weight. When you consider the size of the Duomid compared with the Ultra, I know which one I prefer!

I’m also tempted by Colin Ibbotson’s Tramplite Skins 2 packs. I’m guessing that the larger silnylon pack will be no more than 400g with a few bells and whistles, so I could knock another 370g off my base weight using one. I could lose another 300g by not taking my Wiggy’s Waders, but I reckon they are a real boon for stream crossings. I really do not like wet feet and it saves getting cold. I could save another 250g by leaving out my Nike Mayfly trainers, but I like to have a change of shoes, especially for a long trip. I would also be loathe not to have some spare clothes so I have something dry to change into, for sleeping and around civilisation. The one area where some weight savings should be achievable is in personal hygiene and first aid. I ought to be able to save 200-300g.

Overall, I might be able to knock the base weight down to under 8kg. With around 3kg of consumables (not including water), that would give a pack weight of 11kg. The trade-off between weight and comfort is rather different for me than true ultra lightweighters, as I do like to have some extra clothes and a bit of comfort. Nevertheless, I think 8kg is not too bad for a two-week walk across Scotland. For walks in England and Wales it could be even lower.


23 thoughts on “Fantasy TGOC gear list”

  1. An interesting exercise. Each to their own but what I would consider the most obvious saving is to drop the Inov8 bumbag and the velbon tripod as you have a sac and a gorillapod, thus saving 490g.

    If your going to spend a few hundred pounds to shave 150g off the tent have you considered the solomid instead, it would make a more appreciable weight saving? You don’t seem to read about people over here with it, just the duomid, I guess people want the space the larger model offers.

    1. No! No! I use the Inov-8 bumbag reversed and used instead of hip belt pockets. I can access my camera, phone, maps, snacks without breaking stride. It’s a brilliant system.

      If you look, the Gorillapod is instead of the Velbon Tripod. It’s a case of one or the other.

      The Solomid is too small. There is no room for a porch in the Solomid which is vital in the UK.


  2. Doh that’ll teach me to pay more attention! Z packs make a cuben pack and stuff sacs that’ll shave some grammes instead then. 🙂

    I was looking at the other 2 lists you linked, the Trailstar surprised me that the all up weight is close to 1100g after you add the groundsheet, bivvy, pegs, etc. So whilst it may be huge, as a system it weighs the same as a comp. The duomid/nest set-up seems a lot better weight wise though possibly requiring a more sheltered pitch.

    1. I think Z-packs are interesting and I’ve looked closely at them. I do have a preference for a framed pack, hence my interest in the Tramplites. Exped have produced some much lighter stuffsacks. I will look at cuben ones as well.

      As you say, once you add a groundsheet and bivy bag, it’s not a lot different to a light inner. Personally I prefer to have an inner tent because it is protection from draughts and condensation. If Sean really can produce a 300g inner, then it looks a much better solution than a groundsheet/bivy bag. I also want to gain some confidence about the stormworthiness of the Duomid as there are conflicting opinions. Of course the Trailstar seems to be better in high winds.

  3. An interesting list Robin but I agree with one point you made,

    quote “The trade-off between weight and comfort is rather different for me than true ultra lightweighters”

    That’s what it comes down to in the end, reducing baseweight largely comes down to taking less or spending more but in the end we all make our own choices. I found it interesting to see how light I could go but in the end the weight has crept up a bit due to my preference for particular items of kit.

    That said I think it’s great to see guy’s pushing the boundries as the knock on effect is that we all benefit either through adopting/adapting weight saving ideas that others have come up with or by manufacturers, especially the cottage industry seeking to adopt and integrate ideas from the cutting edge.

  4. Interesting stuff Robin,
    Some difficult choices, but you’re well inside the Jorgan’s 343 target, have you also been considering your fantasy route?

  5. I found this a very interesting post Robin. One i’m sure i will return to. If only we could stop eating then pack weight would be acceptable.
    What was the biggest reason for swopping your Scarp1 for the Duomid plus extra’s. was it just weight or something else?
    To make further inroads i guess its going to cost you.

    1. Just weight. With added extras it’s about 1500g. I really like it but a cuben Duomid would be half the weight. Quite expensive though.

  6. Did I count 4 pairs of socks? You could make a weight saving right there… I did 6 weeks last year with two pairs of socks and two pairs of pants. In a part of the world where temperatures were 40 degrees+ with 80-90% humidity at times!

    Admittedly they had to be disposed of by a governmental HazMat team the moment I re-entered this country (and were capable of walking themselves through customs).

    1. If I’m wearing boots I wear an inner and an outer as I find it manages sweat better and prevents blisters. So I like to have two sets for walking. I also like to have a pair of dry socks for camp and sleeping. If I ditched the spare pair(s) of walking socks it wouldn’t save much. In much the same way, I could get rid of a change of clothes, but then I’d have no dry clothes to change into. For some people that’s a scrifice they are prepared to make, but I prefer a bit of comfort.

  7. I take spare clothing. Always a dry layer to slip into to climb under a quilt to warm up in. Sleeping bag or quilt are the best warmth to weight you will have on the Challenge. The other thing is you’ll find yourself sleeping more and spending more time wrapped up in the bag than you would on short trips. Cumulative effect of days of long walking.

    I got a fleece half way on the trip. Not as I was getting cold but due to it was on sale and rather nice. Mistake was not posting the t shirt home. It was not needed and you get one at the end anyway.

    What would I do different from this time? Trailstar is fantastic in the wind for sure. Angles shed the wind better than the high side of a DuoMid. I will say it again the DuoMid has a short side that forces the long side up at a steep angle so it will catch the wind. But a SoloMid is superb. The trekking poles support the sides in strong winds. A DuoMid has the mid tie-out but this is elasticated to allow give, but I doubt it works as well as a Solomid. Watch this vid and decide if a DuoMid would do as well?

    I aslo think the Solomid has room to cook. All you need to do is fold the sleeping mat back and you have half the floor area to cook in during the rain. Also the long sides offer storage and the comparison vs a Scarp show it is still not that small a living area:

    So answering what I would do different for another Challenge is?: I would and will take a Solomid and synthetic quilt and groundsheet. No bivy. Insects are an issue I have no worries about in May in Scotland. Camp high in good weather and if its bad they are not a worry. Also you can lay kit around the edges of the shelter to keep them out if needed. The Trailstar is great but the footprint size was an issue at one point in seeking a spot to stop for the night. There is little else apart from I should have taken a gas stove, or meths one. The rest worked fantastic. One bit of kit I did post home was the wind shirt. I got sick of not using it due to the weather.

    1. Have you got a Solomid? From the MLD pics, it looks quite small. I don’t think it’s for me. I may retro fit some guys loops on the four corner seams on the Duomid. I was quite impressed with its wind resistance on my first outing. I note on the video, the Duomid is an early version with no mid panel guys.

  8. The vid is of a Solomid Robin, not a DuoMid. I have a SoloMid on order. I reckon tie points on the corners would be possibly a good idea. Don’t get me wrong I do reckon the DuoMid is a good shelter. I had some nights were I lost confidence in it as the sides deformed in strong winds. It has strengths and weaknesses. Solomid is good up to 6;4 so I should be fine. Small footprint is a big draw for me. That and the light weight and it is good in the wind.

    1. Sorry I didn’t read the caption. The original Duomid didn’t have panel guys.

      After this week I feel a bit more confident about the Duomid in moderately strong winds. It certainly wasn’t as flappy as I had thought. I was narrow end in to the wind. I think it would be a bit restless rear panel in to the wind. It’s obviously not as stable as the Scarp. I’ll be interested to see the Solomid, but I suspect it will be on the small side for me as I like to have a decent porch. It was a joy to have so much room in the Duomid. In the end it’s down to personal preference. The OookWorks inner makes a real difference.

  9. Robin, I have been comparing your fantasy list and your actual list for your Dartmoor trip with mine and also Martin’s for the TGO. I have been able to achieve similar weights to yours. See my post :

    I am interested in yours, because we have some similar gear on our lists. I think I will struggle to get down to the weight that Martin carries without a fairly expensive shopping trip. He has a rather more spartan approach – nothing wrong with that and does not include food in his gear list, so if he did he would be nearer to our weights carried. With all your experience, do you think it is possible to cut realistically a great deal more off your weight without a sacrifice in comfort or warmth ? I think I can cut about 1250g off but will cost about £400 to do so.

    1. I was interested in your list. Your big three are quite light so there’s not much room there. You take less clothes than me! The only area might be in the bits and pieces like penknife and books. Only you can assess the tradeoffs and costs.

      My rule of thumb is a base weight below 10kg is fine. Below 7kg is difficult without major sacrifices. I also like to look at weights ex technology. As I use a belt back, I like to see the split between backpack and belt pack.

  10. Thanks Robin, you make a interesting point regarding the technology bit as I carry like you my bits and pieces in a separate pack, i.e. my OMM Trio pouch – weight which I don’t notice. Philip at Section Hiker has just published his list for the AT and has a weight of just under 10lbs BUT does not include food or gas canister so weight carried is around 14-15 lbs – still very light but perhaps more achievable in US summer conditions than the UK ! The list can be found out:

    1. Saw that. I think the UK requires a bit more gear because of the changeable weather, although Colin Ibbotson’s gear is comparable to the US SUL hikers. Do you want to have a tarp or a SUL rucksack like the Murmur? If not, you are not going to get much lighter than your list (perhaps 1kg). Colin’s Tramplite packs are worth considering when they come out.

  11. I not attracted by a tarp. Done that years ago in my youth and bivvies. I like a bit of comfort. I will check out Colin’s gear when it comes along in October. Could be the best of both worlds of comfort and weight.

    1. I prefer a tent as well. Even a cuben Duomid with an OookWorks inner is not going to be much lighter than the Power Lizard, so if you are happy with the PL, I can’t see any point in changing it.

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