Tag Archives: Paramo 3rd Element

Test packing for Scotland

Next Sunday evening I will be heading to Scotland to walk from Fort William to Aviemore. As you are probably aware, I couldn’t do the Challenge this year, so this is some compensation. Along the way I will be walking for three days with some of the guys from the Lakes Daunder.

I will be walking for seven days without re-supply, so I’m going to be carrying about 5kg of food. This is the first time I’ve had to carry more than five days of food. In the past I’ve not always taken a particularly organised approach to trail food, but this has forced me to be a little more disciplined.

As much as the weight, the big issue is the volume. It’s surprising how bulky food is. In the light of this, I decided to do a test pack to see whether it would all fit in (there’s still a couple of things I need to buy).

Totting up the weights on a spreadsheet I decided to be rather more aggressive on weight saving, especially on clothes where I reduced carried clothes by just over 1kg to 1.7kg. I did a test pack of my Tramplite pack. While everything fitted in, it was a bit of a squeeze.

I dug out my Lightwave Ultrahike 60 pack and tried that. The slightly higher volume meant that it coped better with the volume. My spreadsheet says a total load (no water but everything else) is 14.2kg, while my luggage scale says 14.8kg. Food, fuel and other consumables comes to just over 6kg.

The Ultrahike is about 400g heavier than the Tramplite pack, so I negated some of the weight savings from clothes. However, the Ultrahike is a more comfortable pack with heavier loads thanks to the unique hipbelt, so I think it’s likely that I will go with the Ultrahike.

Originally, I was going to take my Scarp, but the weight of the food has pushed me to go for my lightest shelter, the Tramplite, which is about half the weight of the Scarp. I liked using my Paramo 3rd Element jacket so much on the Daunder, that I’m going to take it to Scotland. Normally, I take a lightweight hard shell jacket too, but I’m going to chance it and only take the 3rd Element.

I’ll do separate posts on route, gear and food before I go.

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Thank you, Paramo

IMG_0715Yesterday my 3rd Element arrived back from Paramo.

IMG_0716Despite being over five years old, Paramo repaired the Velcro patches on the pocket flaps free of charge.

IMG_0718Not only that, they added some zip pullers (which had fallen off) and cleaned and proofed the jacket, all free of charge. Whatever you think about Paramo, you can’t fault their customer service. Absolutely first class. Thanks, Paramo.

Repair and cleaning

With nothing on the horizon at the moment, I thought it would be a good idea to undertake some gear maintenance.

P1000221I haven’t used my 3rd Element Jacket recently, but I’m thinking of using it for the Challenge. I like the flexibility of being able to use it as a gilet. It’s also great for showery weather as a very water resistant soft shell. Being able to use it as a gilet means I can use a hard shell over it (probably my OMM Cypher). This gives me more options to cope with variable weather.

However, the velcro that secures the chest pocket flaps has come loose. Rather than repair it myself, I contacted Paramo. Not only will they repair it for free, they will also clean it for no charge. Whatever you might think about Paramo, you can’t fault their customer service. So today, I’ve posted it to Paramo.

P1000664The second bit of gear that needs attention is my Alpkit Pipedream 400 sleeping bag. I know some people have had poor experiences of Pipedreams, but mine has been quite superb. The down seems to be remarkably high quality and the loft excellent, although not quite up to Western Mountaineering or Rab levels.

Inevitably, sleeping bags get a bit dirty and acquire a bit of a smell. So I’ve sent my Pipedream off to be cleaned by Elite Cleaning Services in Rotherham. They are recommended by Rab, which gives me a good level of comfort that they will do a good job.

I had been mulling whether to replace my sleeping bags with a couple of hydrophobic down bags when they are available (one for summer and a three season one). However, Elite Cleaning uses a Granger’s wash in proofing on the final rinse.

I’ll give it a splash test, but I suspect that I won’t bother with new sleeping bags. If Elite do a good job, I’ll use them to clean my other bags. I know some people wash their sleeping bags at home, but a sleeping bag is too large for our washing machine and tumble drier.

Also box walls are more delicate than the stitch through walls of a down jacket like the PHD Minimus, so I prefer to use experts with the right equipment. I will report back when the Pipedream returns.

Disclosure: I have no relationship, financial or otherwise with Elite Cleaning Services or Paramo