Sunday, 7 June 2009

He who fails to plan, plans to fail

The use of gear/kit lists is an individual thing. Some people plan and prepare fastidiously for trips and some people throw a few things in a rucksack and hope for the best. With an upcoming solo four day trip to the Western Hardanger region of the Norwegian fjords I thought it would be a good idea to write down everything I thought I would need. This would help in several ways:
  • It would ensure I didn't forget anything important...
  • Conversely it would ensure I didn't sneak in 'extras' and 'just in case' items thus bumping up the weight of my rucksack that I will have to carry
  • Laying your kit out on a list three weeks before a trip takes up less room than laying your stuff out on the bed
  • Sharing your kit list allows second opinions that could highlight deficiencies/extravagances...

Martin Rye highlighted a potentially great tool for such endeavours: GearGrams. Unfortunately after my initial play with the neat interface I have been unable to log back in! A few of the items on my list have still not arrived but fingers crossed they'll be here in time. As I get closer to leaving for my trip I will up-date my kit list and share it on here.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

That looks like some kit list, I thought you said you were only going for 4 days??!! All stuff now arrived Mitts with seamster so will start sending in next few days. Have just purchased new Coalman F1 Lite, on a parr with MSR Pocket Rocket, but falls short without the built in wind shield, gram for gram its lighter but I dont think as efficient. Talk soon
The old man

Hendrik M said...

Joe, any chance of getting a bigger version of the list? I have good eyes, but that's just too small for me to read comfortably and be able to comment.

Martin Rye said...

I cant see all the writing. It opens no larger than on the blog? Looks a long list. Is there a way to see it larger?

Holdfast said...

The Old Man - come on hurry up! :-)

I still can't switch from my gas burner to alcohol. I don't know why I have a block about taking a meths stove on a route such as the one I have planned (practically all above 900m).

Martin - I don't know what is going on with it! I followed your instructions (Excel, copy into paint, save as jpeg, upload to blog) but can't get it to open up big when you click on it. Maybe because I published it through Live Writer?

The list looks long because I listed almost every single item! Base weight is around 6.4kg. I've now condensed the list quite a bit, combined some categories, etc.

Martin Rye said...

Live writer is the problem. Delete the picture and in blogger edit it. Add the list as JPEG as a large and centred photo and it will work.

Holdfast said...

Cheers Martin, that looks to have fixed it!

Martin Rye said...

Looks a good set up and reads fine now. Has the Pinnacle arrived yet? I like the new one with the hipbelt pockets and mesh back. I want one.

Holdfast said...

Martin - Pinnacle will be ordered this weekend. It's a 2009 model and having hip belt pockets was crucial. I am just wondering if the back pad is removable and would a Duomat slide in there?

Hendrik M said...

A online option, for free, would be the Google spreadsheet - you can make it publicly available and just set a link, which might be less trouble than a screenshot. Just a thought.

I am surprised that you seem to take a lot of cloths but still have such a low weight! I am curious about Montane gear, I was checking some of it out and really like what I saw, especially the prices seem to be reasonable. Do you find the Atomic Jacket is able to withstand heavy amounts of rain (3h and more) without leaking? Would you buy it again, or would you consider another rain shell (eg eVENT Quick-Fire)?

Holdfast said...

Hendrik - yes, I've played around with several of the Google document types. It would be nice to import the info from my Excel gear list straight into it for public viewing. I will try and have a go at this later.

I was surprised at the amount of clothing too once I wrote it all down but it's all lightweight stuff that works and layers together nicely for a wide variety of conditions. My planned route goes from 10m to 1430m altitude and I need to prepare for everything from scorching tarmac to high mountain snow.

I'm a huge fan of Montane gear. Jackets especially (Lite-Speed windshirt and the Atomic). They have a really good cut and as you say, it's pretty reasonably priced too. As for the Atomic's ability to repel water? I couldn't say. The hydrostatic head is lower in the Atomic than than an eVent jacket but how that translates to the real world I have yet to have experience.

Put it this way, my Atomic is half the price and 100g lighter than an equivalent eVent jacket. At the moment I'm prepared to put up with slightly less breathability (correct sizing, venting and simply slowing down can combat this to a degree) and 'potentially' less waterproofness for these savings. When I'm soaked (rain or sweat), cold and pissed off after spending four days walking in a thunderstorm then I will happily switch to eVent. The discontinued Quick-fire would have been my first choice.

Martin Rye said...

I have no idea if the pad on the 09 one is removable. I clicked purchase on Backpacking Light last night and will find out. I needed a upgrade - you know how it is.

Hendrik Montane is first rate backpacking kit. I had on extended loan ( 2 years )a eVent Super Fly and it was superb. I have a Anti Freeze and Prism 1.0 and windshirt which are all great kit. I also have two pairs of Terra Pants which I cant fault. I now use North Face pants but it has been years to find something better than Terras. You could not go wrong with Montane.

Holdfast said...

Martin - I know EXACTLY how it is! ;-)

Couldn't agree more about Montane. Love it. In the near future I'm planning to get a Prism 2.0, a Featherlite Marathon jacket (for running - so I can save my Lite-Speed for hiking) and upgrading to eVent eVentually...

Hendrik - you may also be interested in their Live Lite range http://www.montane.co.uk/productlist.php?rid=13&rn=Live%20Lite

Hendrik M said...

Joe, those are fantastic and exactly what I like! Thanks for making me aware of them - great stuff.

Though concerning the water resistance, I might just go for the eVent, as I read many good critics about it and think it could be a good jacket for Scandinavian conditions.

Holdfast said...

Hendrik - if I had to buy one rain jacket right now I would go for eVent too. The reason I defend my Atomic DT so much is because it's all I have right now and so far it's been faultless. My opinion may change after my 4-day trip if it rains the entire time.

For anyone interested in the technicalities of waterproof/breathable technology then I would direct you to an in-depth article here (subscription to BPL required) - http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00316.html

I've got my eye on the recycled Element jacket for everyday wear. It's only slightly heavier than my Lite-Speed!

Nielsen Brown said...

Great kit list, go for Metho, I have dabbled with Gas but for 12 days in Lapland it will be metho. Great kitlist, mine for Lapland is almost complete. But more importantly where are you going?

Holdfast said...

Nielsen - Thanks. I would really like to switch back to alcohol, it's what I used to use back in the rolling hills of my old haunts. Since being in Norway I've been back on the gas. Going to alcohol would save me around 223g for the stove, windscreen and fuel container. The fuel would work out roughly the same. Hmmmmm...

The trip is a four day 75km hike across the Handangervidda mountain plateau from Fossli to Kinsarvik in the Western Fjords. I don't think it will be particularly difficult beyond the potential weather I could experience.

Nielsen Brown said...

I will be using my Evernew 900 ml pot with a Ti Tri Caldera, I could use a wood fire within the Caldera if needed but will carry enough fuel for the 12 day trip. And I agree the weight of fuel used is about the same. The savings are in the fuel container and the stove weight.

Holdfast said...

Nielsen - the Ti-Tri is top of my list as a replacement stove.

Chris (i-cjw.com) said...

I've been meaning to comment on this for a while - but my own blog has been in the hospital, and is just recently recovered from all the surgery.. What I was going to ask, though, is about the Alpkit bag: I'm looking for a new winter bag (I know the 400 is a 3-season) but in general how have you found it? I read some reviews about the hood being a little odd, and I'm also wondering how the outer material compares to Pertex? Any pointers would be much appreciated!

Holdfast said...

Chris - first of all, it's good to have your blog back up and running, your photography is inspirational. As for the Alpkit bag I will firstly admit that I have little practical experience with many manufacturer's bags beyond keeping an eye on what's available in the shops ("ooooh! It feels so soft!") and researching future sleeping bag purchases such as a bag for my cold-sleeper girlfriend and both an ultralight summer and synthetic winter bag for myself.

I honestly don't think the Alpkit bags can be beaten for value, I really don't. My PD400 has been flawless on the trips it has been out on and I've had no issues with the Toray material that makes up the outer and inner. The outer also has a DWR that has been great with the odd drip of condensation or water bottle spillage. The stitching has all been fine, the zip doesn't snag and the drawcords all work perfectly. It lofts nicely too and I have no issues with the cut (I'm 6'1", 85kg). Obviously there must be compromises somewhere compared to high-end down bags but they don't seem to have been made in the crucial areas. My upcoming trip to the Hardangervidda will be the PD400's biggest test and I'll let you know if it let's me down (excuse the pun...)

anisha said...

Joe, any chance of getting a bigger version of the list? I have good eyes, but that's just too small for me to read comfortably and be able to comment.

Thunder In The Night said...

Anisha - if you click on the list it will open in much larger format. You feedback is welcome but that list is out of date to a large extent.