I will be off to Dartmoor on tomorrow. The weather forecast looks poor for Wednesday but reasonably good thereafter. My mind has turned to what to take.
Firstly, I shall take my new Ecco Biom mid boots. The only way to find out whether they really work is to do a long walk in them. The recent rain will probably make the moor quite wet, it will be a good test. If they pass, they will be in pole position to go on next year’s Challenge if I am selected.
In August, my experience of the Rab Neutrino 200 SL top bag was inconclusive. One reason was that I took the wrong sleeping mat. Recently, I have been given an Exped Downmat UL and this seems a good opportunity to try it out. It weighs 100g more than the Synmat UL (which I’m sure would be fine) but I’d like to see how warm the Downmat is. Matching it with a top bag, might be a neat solution, so the Neutrino is coming as well. (Addendum: hmm, the Downmat is quite a lot bulkier than the Synmat so I may use the Synmat).
My rucksack will be the new Mariposa, which was excellent in the Lake District in August, so I can see no reason to leave it behind. However, I will be leaving my belt pack behind, as the Mariposa hip belt pockets are large enough to accommodate essentials.
In terms of clothing, I’m going to revert to my Paramo 3rd Element jacket as it’s very comfortable and versatile. I still regard Paramo as a very water resistant soft shell rather than a waterproof. As the forecast is OK, I don’t think I’m going to take a hardshell. I am slightly prevaricating over trousers. I have a pair of Rab Sawtooth softshell trousers and I’m tempted to take them rather than the usual Terra Pants. My only hesitation is whether they will be too warm. I could end up tossing a coin.
I definitely will be taking my Scarp 1 as a shelter. My cuben Duomid is with Sean at OookWorks at the moment for some tweaks. I did consider taking my Laser Comp, but for a little extra weight, the space and storm–worthiness of the Scarp is compelling. Dartmoor is very open and windy, so the Scarp is ideal.
Aside from that, there’s not going to be much different to normal.