Saturday 8 February 2014

TGO 2014 MY Planned Gear

Last year I posted: TGO 2013 MY Planned Gear.

More people have read this post than any other I've written.

So, this year I'm following that post on gear for TGO 2013 with this, my planned gear for TGO 2014.

I'll start by stating the same as last year: gear lists are personal. 

Any choice of gear is determined by a number of factors: planned use, experience, safety, cost, wants and needs.

What some want, may not be what others need and vica versa.

What some want may be too expensive.

 Compromise is important.

Much of what I have has been built up over years of trial and error.

This will be my 5th TGO Challenge.

I've had some foul weather and some more foul weather...........and some not so foul.

But, it is Scotland and it is a superb land to walk across.

So, here is the gear: much will be  a repeat of last year - I'll put a "X" by something new.

Shelter and sleeping

MLD Trailstar - just a classic shelter, more than capable with coping in strormy weather.
Oookworks door - just gives some privacy and stops wind blown rain getting on bivy.
Clamcleat Tornadoes - X - and Ti pins better than MSR Groundhogs IMO.
Wickes secondary glazing film - cheap, tough, light ground cover
Borah Gear Side zip bivy - X - easier to get in and out of. Custom finish to netting.
PHD Minim 300 - No zip, long, 700 grms my go to bag winter or summer
Cut down Thermorest - I find this comfy, others may not. It's puncture proof too.
Radiator Insulation - cheap, light and, surprisingly, it really does work.
Dry bags -  for the sleeping bag and down gear.


Montane trousers - X - special edition, light and they take a good bit of rain.
Integral Designs Short Gaiters - keeps stones out of footwear.
Rohan Pants - had these years, light, quick drying, comfy.
Smartwool socks - classic footware.
La Sportiva Raptors - X - my other La Sportivas fell apart eventually.
Marmot Dri-clime Vest -  a favourite because it keeps core warm and I rarely overheat.
Arcteryx LS Merino base - had this years. Its so comfy. Only need this one base layer.


Terra Nova Quasar 45 Pack - light and comfortable, worth the cost IMO.
Pack Liner - X - extra protection from rain. Adds reassurance
Extremities Tuff Bags - these work well and stuff inside smock sleeves
Extremities Fleece Gloves - combined with Tuff Bags hands rarely get soaked.
PHD Alpamayo Smock - original, with storm flap. I love it. Best waterproof I've ever had.
Berghaus Paclites - another classic they've lasted years and work well.
OMM Beanie - X - 30grms; in preference to waterproof cap. Keeps head warm.
Smartwool Socks - spare pair.
Bed socks - a pair of sock liners.
PHD Drishell Windsmock - this works very well and will cope with light showers.
PHD Ultra Pullover - light warm around camp and in sleeping bag. Love it.
PHD Minim Down Trousers - light warm around camp and in sleeping bag.
SS Merino Base - if it gets too hot. Rarely worn.
Spare Rohan pants - for wash and change. A bit of a luxury, but, it is a holiday.
Hi Tec Zuuks - X - not neccessary,  but so light and comfy they are worth carrying/wearing.
PHD Down Socks - work their weight in saffron. Really add warmth in sleeping bag.
Compass - Silva Type 4. A classic.
Maps - cut down and thrown once used.
MSR Blizzard Stake - toilet trowel and can be used as a stake too
Kitchen Roll - toilet paper; toilet paper goes mushy, kitchen roll doesn't.
Petzl E-Lite - all thats required as it stay light until very late.
Pen  - for any notes. I use the Route Sheets for notes.
Route Sheets - to remind me where I go to get lost.
Camera - Ixus 220HS in a light case which goes round my neck.
Tool Card - a handy little gadget.
Credit cards and Rail Pass - just 1 debit and 1 credit card. rail pass for over 60's
Reading Glasses & Case - to enable me to read. I can read maps outside without them.
First Aid kit - essential stuff
Pama Charger + Lead + Plug - holds two recharges of phone.
Phone - HTC One + Lead + Plug + Headphones. Music and communications in HTC One.
Dr Bronners liquid soap - a small amount; wash and toothpaste and does pants too.
Small Towel - very small, but I've had a shower and used just this to dry off.
Black Diamond Poles - essential for Trailstar and poking off inquisative cows, or, Haggis.
ETrex GPS - for when the map doesn't know where I am. Rarely used.
Sunscreen - optimistic inclusion; very little.
Rail tickets - for return journey.
Money - for spending.
PHD Down hat - X - I used a Black Rock one last year, but now PHD head to toes!


Evernew DX Stove and Stand and trivet - my favourite. Works well; never let me down.
Tibetan 900 Pot - holds DX and matches.
Matches and lighter - a couple in case of failure by one.
Kitchen Roll - to wipe out pot. Can be used as loo paper too. Only after wiping out pot.
Meths bottles and Meths - 100cc bottles; max 3 carried. The rest posted on.
Platypus 2L  - water pouch
Spoon - plastic

So, there it is.

I am not posting weights this time. Suffice to say it's pretty light.

29 April - weight   Well, I had to do it! Pack with 3 days fuel but,no food/whisky is 8k
Food and drink is extra.

This is personal.

24 April - an update.

1) I've broken my "take nothing that will let you down" approach by getting a Neoair Xlite which will replace the cut down Ridgerest and radiator insulation. My original Neoair was suspect, but, I've read such good reviews on the Neoair Xlite that I decided to take a leap of faith.

2) I love my Arc'teryx merino top, but, I've come across an innovative Spanish Company, As Tucas (well worth a look) and have a Cabietos Hoody on order. I'll wear this on the TGO instead.

3) My Rab Boreas combined with my Driclime Vest was a surprise hit on a recent trip and I will now take this instead of my PHD windshirt. With the Boreas/Driclime set up - I was so comfortable wearing them all day, every day. No on/off with a windshirt.

4) ......... and 2 minor omissions: Nalgene Cantene pee bottle (cut the plastic top retainer off or it gets .... messy ....and wet) and a Lifesystems Headnet

5) I took my Osprey Tallon 44 on my last trip. With all my gear and 4 days food/fuel etc it had plenty of room. The fit is definately better than the Terra Nova Quasar 45 so this gets the call instead of the Quasar.

That's it folks.

Have a fantastic TGO 2014 ; if you're on it.


  1. Works, done. Like it. No faff and extra needed. Lessons to others there.

  2. Snap!
    I'm currently updating my own list - quite a bit of new stuff, but essentially the same weight, apart from food.

    1. Some seem to be against gear lists.
      For me, they are part of the learning process.
      I'm looking forward to yours' Alan.
      Andy has Lola, and, I know you have a new young lady in tow, so I'm looking forward to seeing what goes inside her. (Not being rude!)

  3. Hi Gordon. How does the secondary glazing film stand up to rough stuff like heather ? Do you expect it to last the crossing. Read a lot about it recently but have to say I've not tried it.

    1. It's surprisingly tough and - unless you are unlucky - won't puncture after extended use.

      My first sheet - cut down to fit - lasted me well over a year, including the TGOG.

      The only reason I replaced it was because it did start to pong a bit with spillages that got on it.

      And, for around £7 it's a steal.

  4. Hi Gordon,

    I am wondering why don't you use the a ground sheet or inner tent from Oookworks for the trailstar. I bought a silnylons trailstar myself last year after reading yours and other reviews and I am thinking now if I should get one of these. Is it first of all the price that stops you from using these or something else ?


  5. Hi Dieter,
    I like the idea of the Oookworks inner tent, or the Bear Paw one. For me it's all about size and flexibility. I'm 6'2" and with an inner tent I would have much less room. My Akto was too confining.
    The inner would also limit options for laying out. I prefer head to rear or head to opening.
    With a bivy bag, I feel I have plenty of space and can lay out any way I
    Choose. I've used a bivy bag for years, now and have even used it inside my Akto
    Off backpacking on Kinder this morning.

  6. Hi Gordon,

    thanks for your reply. Hope you had a nice hike.

    I see your point. I am also 6'2". It all comes down to individual preference. I might go with an Oookworks ground sheet + bivy.

    The reason for the bivy is that it should keep my sleeping bag dryer. I was quite surprised that I got soo wet in the trailstar when it rained heavily once for a short time - maybe for 10min.

    This sheet was close to the center of trailstar and dry before the rain started pic.
    Here another pic and vid.

    I think this was condensation on the inside of the tent that got detached by the raindrops. I bought the trailstar used - so it could also be that the material is damaged.
    Do you also get that wet as well occasionally ? It's my first time that I have a single wall "tent" so I don't know really what to expect.


    1. That does look a lot of water! I did have a few drops from the seams last year on the first night of the TGO. Nothing like what you had though. I was given some seam sealant and this dealt with the problem.

      My Trailstar is getting on for 4 years old and, except for the few drips last year, I've had no problems with condensation or wet gear.

      If there are two of you the chances of condensation will be higher, but, the Trailstar is pretty well ventilated anyway.

      I can't imagine the material itself is damaged. It may be worth putting some more sealant on the seams.

      Hope you get it fixed ok.

    2. Thanks for your reply. I will add more seam sealer. Definitely worth a try.


  7. So come on what is the bloody weight of your gear then.
    All in carry weight with food and water.
    I just cannot get my kit list below about 30lb.
    At a pincg I can get it sown to 29lb (that is 4 days food), and a 1.1kg Camera, but really I need to get it down to 27lb.

    I just posted a revised list and plea.

    Sloman will no doubt be along.

    I may ignore all advice, but on the other hand.

  8. This stuff about getting your weight just so is just so not good for you.
    Just go with what feels comfortable and be happy.
    I'm sure you've had lots of comments on Twitter about what to leave out, so I won't bang on.
    My mantra (ish) about comfort, not obsession does mean that I don't take more than what I need. Need is different to "want", or, "just in case".
    If your gear is tried and tested in all conditions then you will know what works for you.
    I've just been 4 days around Kinder with my Talon 44 and 4 days food/drink/fuel etc and my pack weighed less than 10k.
    Just for fun (and because it gets very gooful on some of the paths) I wore my Scarpa SLM3's.
    The boots were ideal for the conditions, but, it'll be great to wear trail shoes for real in May.

  9. Hey Gordon, I hope I am not taking anything away from your rough and tough outdoors image :-) but Rosie and I bumped in to you at the Hotel (ahem) in Cock bridge last year. We did not try again this year (Rosie has had enough rain). Like the kit list - especially the Ti pegs. I too am a Meths man. (hic). Have you tried the Caldera Cone for the Evernew, apart from using less meths and quicker boil times, it fits like a glove it makes it more stable. Cheers

    1. Hi Richard,
      Good night in the Cockbridge hotel, bit Fawlty Towers in the morning :-)
      I did try the Caldera Cone with the Evernew. For me it's too flimsy and takes up too much space. I still prefer the DX stand even though it may burn a bit more meths.
      The trick for stability is to use Ti pins - 3 or 4 wedged upright around the stand.
      BTW don't tell anyone, but, I also stayed at the Park Hotel.
      Hope to meet you and Rosie on a future TGO.

    2. There you go - I thought you must have tried it. Your trouble is you carry those tiny little rucksacks - what you need is the 60 odd litre skip that I use :-0 You stayed in the park - we had a camping pod at the campsite. Soft or what. We hope to see you again too. Rosie is already saying she misses it now. I'm coming up to Breamar in the mid weekend to get a bit of a hill fix and perhaps a few pints with whom ever is there. Cheers

    3. Oh...I almost forgot. Good luck.