Saturday 23 February 2013

TGO 2013 MY planned Gear

Gear lists are personal. 

Years ago I had a Karrimor Jaguar 65 backpack, a synthetic sleeping bag, leather boots, a 2.2 k tent etc.

The gear I carried got me over the Coast to Coast - three times, up the Pennine Way - twice, and from one end of the UK to the other. And on other trips.

So lightweight gear is not essential.

But, MY gear has changed over the years.

In the USA, gear lists on eg are plentiful.

I got many ideas from them over the years.

In this country, gear lists are harder (to me) to come by.

When I did my first TGO Challenge I was so curious as to what other people were carrying. Seeing what they were using, on that first Challenge, also gave me ideas.

For what it's worth, this is my gear list for the TGOC - 2013.

If it gives any ideas to anyone - fine. If it seems bonkers - fine. I enjoyed putting it together.

No two lists of gear that people prefer will be the same

My simple approach to backpacking is to carry what is necessary to ensure that I will be comfortable in all the conditions that I can anticipate.

Now that I've completed 3 TGO Challenges - the last 2 being particularly weather-full - I have honed down my gear to that which will work - for me.

This is the gear I plan to take on the 2013 TGO Challenge 


MLD Trailstar                                                  550
Oookworks door                                              30
MSR Groudhogs + pins                                 190
Wickes secondary glazing film                       90
Ti-Goat bivy bag - with head net                   200
 Cut down Ridgerest                                       200
Radiator insulation                                            45
PHD Minim 300 - long                                     700
Various dry bags                                            200

Total shelter                                                  2205


Lowe Alpine trousers                                     400
Integral Designs short gaiters                         60
Rohan pants                                                      50
Smartwool socks                                              60
Keen Targee 11 Mids                                    1050 (La Sportiva Wildcat II 800)
Marmot Dri-clime vest                                    190
Arcteryx LS merino zip base                          320

Total worn                                                      2130  (1880) 


Terra Nova Quasar 45 pack                            600
Extremities fleece gloves                                 50
Extremities Tuff Bags                                       90
Black Rock down hat                                        15
PHD Alpamayo smock                                    435
Berghaus Paclites                                           220
Waterproof Cap                                                 80
Bed socks (liner socks)                                    15
PHD Drishell windshirt                                   120
PHD Ultra pullover                                           290
PHD Minim down trousers                             250
SS Merino base                                                160
Spare Rohan pants                                            50
Spare Smartwool socks                                    60
Crocs                                                                410  (No Crocs 0) 
PHD down socks                                             110
Compass                                                            15
Maps (cut down)                                              150
MSR Blizzard stake toilet trowel                      20
Kitchen roll - as toilet paper                             20
Tissues                                                               20
Petzl e-lite                                                          35
Pen and paper                                                   50
Camera                                                             200
Tool card                                                            10
Bank/Credit cards                                             10
Reading glasses in case                                  90
Ist aid kit - homemade                                      60
Pama charger + leads + plug + mobile         370
Toothbrush                                                       15
Dr Bronners soap                                             50
Small towel                                                       15
Black Diamond poles                                     495
GPS - Garmin E-Trex                                      150
Evernew DX Stove + stand in Myti-mug       280
Kitchen roll                                                       20
Windshield                                                        10
Pouch to keep food warm                               15
Fuel bottles x 3                                              300
Platypus 2l bottle                                            10

Total carried

Shelter and sleeping                                   2205  (2205)
All else in the pack                                      5365  (4955)
Total carried                                                 7570  (7160)

Total weight worn                                        2130  (1880) 

Total weight  worn and carried                   9700  (9040)        

So, there is what I'll be taking.

Food and water are extra. Water is Nirvana's finest - until nearer the lower ground in the East.

The oldest stuff is the Lowe Alpine trousers - at least 14 years old.

The newest is the TN Quasar 45 pack. ( 17/04/13 - Anyone who is sharp eyed will spot that I reduced the weight of the Quasar. Previous weigh-ins were with stuff still inside the inner hydration pocket!! .......and I've taken off the pole attachment bits) 

The MLD Trailstar has proved itself on two TGO Challenges and many other trips. It spent a long time under the radar, but, is currently flavour of the month. Deservedly!

The Keen Targee 11 Mids started to have bits hanging off soon after I bought them. But, I glued these down and they've proved very comfortable and remained durable.  They are not waterproof, but dry quickly. 

(24/04/13 - After taking me for a couple of proper walks, I've decided to go with trail shoes for the first time. The Crocs are not necessary, so the weights - in brackets above - are reduced. Moi, counting grams? Sacre bler!!)

The stuff for sleeping in is a mix and match system that can be added to or subracted from depending on conditions. I have been comfortably down to minus 5C with these items.       

With the mix and match combination of base + vest + windshirt + waterproof and the head and hands taken care of, I have not yet been cold when on the move.

The MSR Blizzard stake toilet trowel also can be used for the most-in-to-the-wind-anchor point for the Trailstar

This is personal.

It is my choice which I find works.

I've done this because I like looking at other people's gear lists and thought I'd share mine too.



  1. No PHD down hat. But another make? Shock horror :-).
    It's ok, my down socks and over booties are Goosefeet.

    I shall not be publishing my list because I will not pack it until Tue before we go.
    And I can't be bothered to weigh it.
    But if it fits in the pack & feels ok it will go.
    As I am a Southern Tart, I will be taking the Oookstar.

    See you at the Snake maybe. Going up on Fri with that Mynott bloke so we get 2 walks in.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I did get the PHD down hat! But, I was too embarrassed to put more PHD stuff on the list!

      I'll be in Edale next week Tuesday to Thursday and then up to the Snake the Wednesday before the dinner.

      I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the Snake.

  2. I would like to make the Snake but time is short.

    I am glad you don’t wimp out with a sissy inner for the Trailstar :) It’s a tarp (I can say that now I sold mine) so benefits from multi options for pitching.

    That pack is not one I see a lot choose. So interesting to see how it works out. I do like kit lists. For planning and seeing what other take. I reckon those who chuck it in could learn from planning with a list ;)

    One thing that is not a door but a screen on the Trailstar. See you in Torridon or the train up. Maybe the Snake meet up. We will see.

    1. Tamworth pigs don't use sissy inners!

      If you can make the Snake it is a good w/end.

  3. Sissy Inner.
    You NARFALK boys are all tough exterior, then you sell it.
    Admit it Martin, you are just a gear tart...
    All said with light hearted affection mate...

    See you sometime I hope.
    Are you making the Daunder?

  4. Sadly I was not asked to the Daunder :( I did sell the Trailstar but got a palace in the SL3. You'll be saying I want one. Trust me :)

    1. I know. Probably best for my marriage if I don't see one :-)

  5. Hello Sweetness!
    A first aid kit that weighs 60 grams?
    As someone who recently made full use of my own first aid kit, I would be interested to see what yours contains.
    Wot? No sleeping mat either?

    1. Hi Alan,

      The first aid kit is not much! a few paracetamol, ibuprofen, some plasters and a gauze dressing, some compeed + tick twister and mirror and little pills that you take if someone poisons you. (It happened in Ullapool - agony!)

      I would love to know what you carry now.

      Oh, the sleeping mat is now in the list along with radiator insulation. I was transferring from my spreadsheet to paper before putting it on the Blog and missed it out.

    2. I've always carried quite a bit in my first aid kit, but since I ripped my hand open on barbed wire I carry quite a bit more.

      I think you should carry enough to sort your self out if you have a tumble and cut your head and a limb open, which is actually quite likely, if you think that there are 300 Challengers tramping over Scotland over two weeks.

      My kit is not just of me but for whoever I come across who might need my help if they can't help themselves.

      I'll have a think and post it on my blog.

      Cheers, Gordon - Good post. It's always fascinating to see how other backpackers approach this.

    3. I have always believed a kit list is an entirely personal thing, what works for one doesn't for another (I've noticed some other folk are a tad evangelical about it ;-) ) but I also think some things need careful consideration. My first aid kit weighs about 500g but I would be fascinated to see what you have in yours Alan.
      Love all that down Gordon, I'm going to be investigating some more I think...

    4. I agree, Louise.

      I would never advocate anyone copying what's on a list unless they are happy that it will work for them. And I hope I did not come across as evangelical!

      I did pick up some useful tips over the years from looking at gear lists, though.

      I take Alan's point about first aid being not only for himself.

      I do cut it fine! But, and this is wrong - I know, I've never used stuff that I used to carry.

      So, yes, I think Alan will be able to give a much better indication on what should be put in a first aid kit.

    5. I've just cobbled together a blogpost on my own first aid kit, which you can find by clicking HERE

    6. Oh no, Gordon I wasn't for a minute suggesting yourself in that small group! I think you are like me, have a healthy interest in other peoples kit out of curiousity (nosiness in my case ;-) ) and always looking for ideas.
      No, no, there are 'others' out there...

  6. No Vaseline?
    The Challenge runs on Vaseline!

    1. Dave does!

      Or, should that be: he rubs along?

      How is the fellow?

    2. :-)
      Dave is fine (now), but I don't think we'll see him back for a while - well not until those rosy tinted specs start to brighten the memory up. I think he won't be wearing those cotton shreddies and those trousers that soaked up water like blotting paper, either.

      We are just about on speaking terms again...

  7. I've just got back from Kinder carrying my *ollocks first aid kit in my pack. I can't believe how folk can extrapolate views off the back of a brief incomplete list of bits of first aid stuff that I carry! I forgot antiseptic wipes!

    I have now read Alan's Blog entry on first aid kit carried and left a rant in response to some of the implied - he's a looney - comments!
    And, I've thought about what Alan carrys and what I carry, and the difference is not as great as some would want to make out.

    Lets face it, there are times when you could die. One slip on Aonach Eagach, for example and you would not be around to tell the story. But, in 45+ years of walking and backpacking I have coped with whatever has befallen me. OK there could come a time when I can't cope with an injury, but, I'll take that calculated risk!

    I carry and will use what is necessary to cope with copious loads of blood - I've had gashes. Thankfully, I havn't had what happened to Alan, but, I thought over the last couple of days - what if: and there is very little more that I would choose to carry and use - close to hand.

    OH, the TN Quasar failed the Kinder test and will be replaced by my faithful Tallon 44.

  8. I'm sorry you've been made to feel the need to defend yourself when all you've done is share your gear list on your own blog! I for one enjoyed the virtual root through your rucksack (I worded that carefully!) and it has given me a few ideas so thank you.
    (I did tell you 'they' are out there, they'll get ya!)

    1. Hi Louise,

      The FA stuff I carry has worked for me for 45+ years of walking and backpacking. It's not about being U/L, it's simply what I choose to carry. To think that I would cut up my PHD gear!!!

      See you en-route or in Montrose.

  9. Gordon. Here's Hamish Brown's first-aid kit on his continuous Munro trip: Vitamin pills (never used), Savlon (1/2 tube), two wound dressings, Elastic bandage, some swabs, dressing strip and various plasters, a few Panadol tablets. Not too different from your own kit(and mine!), but each to their own.

    1. Thanks for posting this, AFITH.

      I know what I've needed to cope with the injuries and upsets that I've had so far. Thats why I carry the FA stuff that I do.

      As I said earlier, all gear choice is personal.

    2. I've had an interesting exchange of views with Alan S over at his place but on this one we will never see eye to eye. Still, it would be a dull blogging world if everyone always agreed. Enjoy your hills Gordon.