Too much gear talk not enough walk. That's my view of the content on this blog recently. Time to tip the balance back in the favour of adventure. With the mercury taking a dive-bomb all over northern Europe at the moment it seems everybody has been out playing in the white stuff apart from me. I left my home, swathed in soft-shell and sunshine and struck out hoping to find a little more equilibrium.
Thermo-regulation. Another balancing act. Climbing steeply away from the city, in the lee of the hills, it was all zips open, headwear and gloves stowed. Balancing warmth against perspiration. Once I broke the tree-line it was into the teeth of an insidious wind. Fresh from the bitter east it tore at my clothes, trying to steal my heat. Zips and hoods up. Buff buried into. Numb digits stuffed into Pertex, pile and Primaloft. Thwarted by tightly woven fabrics the wind went back about it's business, carving the thin layer of snow into endless, repetitive forms.
Old and new. My battered old thermal mug and unsullied new mitts. My trusty spiky boots and untested new pants. Fresh out the packet socks and a backpack that gets dragged out the cupboard on a regular basis. This winter has me buying some new gear and fondly using gear I've come to love and trust.
Staying on two feet. The most basic balancing act of all? Nothing too technical today, mostly well worn trails and compacted snow but my Icebug's reached their limit on the hard water ice. Additional spiky contraptions are required. Weight v function. Cost against frequency of use. Aluminium up against steel. More points (excuse the pun...) to ponder.
It's a good job I'm Liberian.