OK you asked for it. Here’s the list of what I’m taking. It’s not the final one as there may be some last minute tweaks.
Some things have been lumped together. Weighed with a hand held digital luggage scale, with three days food, my total pack weight was just under 13kg. There’s probably a small amount to add and possibly to leave behind. I may take a slightly heavier gilet, for instance. I will also be using a belt pack (200g) not included in that total. A modest amount of gear will be carried in the belt pack, like camera. Weighed separately, food and gas comes to just under 2.5kg, so my true base weight comes in at around 10.5kg. I’ve not given individual weights as they don’t quite tally and some gear includes the stuff sack and some don’t, so it’s easier to give a grand total.
I’m going to anticipate some questions:
Why so many stuff sacks and don’t they weigh a lot?
I’ve not weighed them but most are silnylon. My guess is they will probably come to around 0.5kg. I might weigh them when I get back but I can’t be bothered to unpack everything. Some stuff sacks are inevitable. For me, I like everything organised and to know where everything is. It also means it’s less likely for things to go missing.
What about the ice cream tubs?
M&S ice cream tubs are a great way to store food that you don’t want to get crushed. They weigh 56g each and are stackable (even the lids). When food is used up, they stack inside each other meaning a saving in volume. I really like them.
Why are you taking waders?
My Wiggys Waders weigh 260g, which I think is a reasonable weight penalty for being able to cross streams at will and with dry feet. As I like lightweight boots rather than trainers, using sandals or Crocs is a pain (and extra weight). It also means my feet and legs stay dry and warm.
Too many clothes?
Personal choice, but I like a dry set of clothes for the tent. I’m taking a couple of extras because the weather forecast.
Two pairs of gloves?
Normally I’d only take one, but my hands were really bad on Dartmoor and if I lost a glove, it would be uncomfortable, so I’m taking a spare pair. At 29g, it’s hardly and issue. I’m also taking a pair of Goretex overmitts in case the weather is really foul and a pair of rubber household gloves to protect my hands for water gathering etc.
As someone who is more than a bit thin on top, hats are vital against cold and sun. Normally I don’t bother with a Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap, but as the weather is forecast to be cold, it seems like a good idea.
Synmat not Downmat?
I was sorely tempted to take my new Downmat UL, but the Synmat is still quite warm. It’s about 120g lighter and is more compact, so reluctantly, I decided to leave the Downmat behind. Some sacrifices need to be made!
Bioskin knee support?
Not strictly necessary as I’ve not had a knee problem for about ten years, but if I tweak a ligament,a knee support can save the day. Small weight penalty of 76g for a bit of insurance.
Satmap Active 10?
I don’t anticipate any real navigational problems and I’m reasonably competent with map and compass. However, as a bit of insurance, especially in forests, I think it’s worth it.
A bit of a luxury, but if it’s raining and not too windy and umbrella makes life so much more bearable. It’s also useful for lunch stops. At 212g, a reasonable weight for a bit of luxury. If it’s good enough for Mr Grumpy, it’s good enough for me!
A spare pair of shoes for the end of the day and in hotels is nice to have. My M&S canvas shoes only weigh 175g and fold flat so they take very little room. I’ve treated them with Fabsil, so they are now reasonably water resistant.
Lite Speed not Windshadow
While I like my Rohan Windshadow jacket, the Montane Lite Speed is 50g lighter and has a much better hood. I’ve modified the cuffs so they have a Velcro closure rather than elastic. The sleeve is also slightly wider, so I can roll them up more easily. The sleeves are also slightly longer. On balance, I think the Lite Speed is probably slightly better for this trip.
If I really wanted to be hair-shirted about it, I reckon I could reduce my base weight by a good 2kg. However, I want to enjoy myself and feel that I have a level of comfort and margin of safety. I reckon if my base weight is around 10kg, then that’s acceptable on a relatively low level route. If I was Munro bagging, I would have to be a lot more severe. While keeping an eye on pack weight is sensible, it’s stupid to let it become the dominant consideration. After all, I’m doing it for enjoyment, not to prove a point.