Well that was a busy summer!

Posted: November 30, 2013 in Random Ramblings

So, due to the hot summer we had here in the UK I have been out and about whenever I could and this blog has been ignored. Sorry about that, but the countryside was calling.

My Son and I completed the West Highland Way back in May. For an 11 year old with 4 massive blisters he hardly complained at all. I was amazed that he completed the section from Cashell to Inverarnan (almost 20 miles across pretty rough terrain) and still wanted to explore when at the campsite.

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He now has the long distance hiking bug and is asking me whats planned for next year. I am busy looking for walks around 100 miles in length, either here in the UK or anywhere in Europe. Suggestions most welcome.

On the gear front it has been an expensive period. In a bid to reduce pack weight I have replaced a lot of my gear. This actually turned out to not be as an expensive proposition as I first thought. It seems that good quality, well looked after gear holds it’s price pretty well and eBay has enabled me to shift my old gear at a good price.

Things I have purchased. Expect reviews sometime soon….

Mountain Laurel Designs Cuben DuoMid.

Mountain Laurel Designs Ultralight Bivy.

Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Backpack.

Komperdell Vario4 Hiking Poles.

TarpTent Moment DW with solid inner.

PHD Mountain Software Minimus Hooded Vest.

PHD Mountain Software Minimus Midwinter Jacket.

So the wallets a bit lighter and so is my pack, which has made the experience of walking long distances much more pleasurable. I am now able to leave the house for a comfortable overnighter at 8KG including food and water. Much better than the previous 12KG without food and water. I put in a lot of thought into the new gear acquisitions and the web was very useful for looking at reviews and pictures, its always great to hear what others think of gear when used in real life situations.

The next purchases are a very robust, waterproof jacket. I want something that’s going to last and is very waterproof, weight still being an issue but performance outweighs weight in this category for me. After that I need an inner for the DuoMid. I am struggling to choose between the OOOkworks Nano and DuoMid Inner. I’m not keen on having to angle the internal pole as that reduces structural integrity, but I also don’t want to sleep in a confined space. I must admit to struggling with the choice here so any feedback from people who have used either would be fantastic.

TGO Challenge 2014. I was totally organised for this. I had a calendar entry in outlook to remind me the day the magazine came out, which i duly purchased. I was subsequently ill and then had some family issues that took my focus away. When i picked the magazine up to do the application I had missed the deadline by two days. To say I was miffed is an understatement. I was really looking forward to having a go at this event and having read and reread all the blogs on the event I was looking forward to meeting the people that take part. Being stuck down south, hill walking isn’t that popular a pastime as it may be in deepest Scotland or the Lakes. Therefore missing out on the opportunity to spend two weeks with like minded people was disappointing.

It’s Saturday morning, the weathers nice and crisp and I’m off for a jaunt…….

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