As usual, I thought I’d better do a quick gear round-up with some feedback on then items I used on my recent trip.
Shelter and sleeping
As you’ve seen from previous posts, I used two shelters, the F10 Nitro Lite 200 and a cuben MLD Duomid with OookWorks hybrid nest. Both in their own ways were fine. The weather was good, it was hardly a test. The one thing to pass on is that in strong sunshine, cuben seems to act like a greenhouse and it got very hot in the Duomid.
My sleeping mat was a Thermarest Neoair Short with a MYOG fleece cover. It’s a while since I’ve used this mat and I’d forgotten how comfortable it is. So much so, that I didn’t swap back to the Nemo Zor as I had intended. One tip to pass on is that I’ve overcome the sensation of sleeping on a shelf where my knees drop off the mat by using a stuff sack filled with my waterproofs. This makes a gentler transition and stopped my knees aching. It’s also more comfortable not to have the Neoair fully inflated. As usual I used a 150cm thin CFC mat underneath the Neoair and my my legs.
On the first night, I used my Western Mountaineering HighLite sleeping bag. I felt slightly cold so I swapped it for the next two nights for my Cumulus Quantum 350, which was perfect.
Clothing and footwear
I had intended to use my Ecco Biom Mid Hikes with the new Sidas footbeds, but I decided it was too warm, so I reverted to the Salomon Fastpackers, which worked well and my feet didn’t overheat. It’s a shame they’ve discontinued these, but I’ve got a new pair in storage 🙂 . In camp, I used my Nike Mayflies, which only weigh 300g for the pair and fold flat. Again, these have been discontinued, which is a shame.
Most of the time while walking I was wearing a Paramo Katmai Light shirt, which I was pleased with. It dispersed sweat quickly and was reasonably smell resistant, although perhaps not as good as my Rohan shirts. However, the material is a bit thicker than the Rohan Pacific, which makes it more comfortable for walking. I used my Rohan Windshadow windproof jacket, which I really like. It is slightly wind permeable, which means it’s not as sweaty as Pertex windshirts can be. The material is more pleasant to the touch as well. It’s a shame the hood is not very good.
For warm wear, I took a Haglofs LIM Pull-on and an old Arcteryx fleece jumper. These were only used when the sun went down. I probably could have only taken one, but I would have been grateful to have both if the weather had been less kind. I do like a lightweight fleece and a Primalot pullover for warm wear.
I used my Gossamer Gear Mariposa rucksack (the latest version). I’m really impressed with this rucksack. It’s probably the most comfortable I’ve used. I love the combination of pockets and it simply swallows gear. Highly recommended. Cooking gear was all the same stuff I’ve been using for ages (Snow Peak GST100, Evernew pot, MSR mug).
I’m very impressed with my Sony WX-100 camera. At 124g, it’s one of the lightest proper cameras you can buy. On automatic mode, it’s very rare that it takes a poor picture. It’s very quick to fire up and takes great panoramas. It’s got a good zoom as well. For a snapper like me, it’s perfect. My only criticism is that the display can be a bit dim sometimes, making it difficult to frame a picture.