Tuesday, 15 March 2011

TGOC 2011 - A gear testing trip around Kinder.

Loads of folk are looking forward to May and the TGO Challenge. Me too.

I'm terrible at running a blog: hat's off to those who do.

But, a break in blogging silence to post a list of kit that almost ** fully worked last week, in a try-out trip around Kinder. No camera taken.

** Take six  6" Alpkit V titanium stakes + five 6" Alpkit titanium nails in future

Saturday night was the TGO dinner at the Snake Pass Inn. Superb.

It was very windy, with showers on thursday and friday, not so bad on saturday and really sunny on sunday. Sunday night was about minus 5c and monday was sunny and bright for my trip home.

Gear taken/worn was:

Pack and sleeping gear

OMM 32 L Classic backpack - brilliant!
OMM Trio chest pouch - great
MLD Trailstar - Ron's best!
5 titanium stakes + 5 even thinner titanium stakes - strong winds need better V shaped stakes (Trailstar blew down on Thursday in strong winds)
Spinnaker ground sheet - great
Titanium Goat bivvy - top class
PHD Minim 300 - brill!
Thermarest Ridgerest (cut down short) - forget Neo-air: I'm back to this + the OMM mat from inside the OMM pack
Various U/L dry bags for keeping gear dry
PHD down socks - toasty
Berghaus synthetic longjohns - a favourite


TNF Apex light trousers - a favourite for years
Integral Designs U/L short gaiters - perfect
TNF Hedgehog mids - another favourite
Smartwool socks - thin, - great
Rohan briefs - favourites
Embers Merino L/s top - excellent
Rab microfleece - top class
Montane Litespeed - excellent
Extremities fleece gloves - favourites
Extremities Tuff Bags - superb
Black Rock down hat - weighs nothing and V warm day and night - from USA

(and sometimes worn too)

Marmot Precip - good lightish raingear, but would not trust in V wet conditions***
Berghaus Paclite waterproof over-trousers - top class
Buff - say no more
Buff sweatband - I like the skulls on it, and it just keeps my neck free from drafts
PHD Ultra Down Pullover - fantastic: day and night
Spare Smartwool socks
Spare Rohan briefs
Icebreaker S/s merino top
Silva Type 4 compass - had for years
Garmin Etrex GPS - a new toy that works brill
BMC Peak District Map - waterproof
MSR peg trowel - Colin Ibbotson design and brill
Toilet paper - not loo roll which mushes easily, but, kitchen roll which works much better
Tissues - enough for 4 days
Petzl Tikka + spare batteries - had for years
Debit/Credit cards - just 2
Reading glasses
Mobile phone - Blackberry
First aid kit - home made and including mirror and tick twisters and toolcard
Dr. Bronners soap in 50ml bottle - superb
V Small towel - had for years
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Poles

*** PHD Alpamayo smock on order


Alpkit Mytimug - a favourite
Evernew DX stove and stand - first class
Meths - in two bottles, 300 mls in all
Long plastic spoon - from Outdoorsgrub
Kitchen towel - enough to dry out pot, a few sheets
Matches and lighter - I've tried steel and flint but it doesn't do it for me
Food pouch - from Outdoorsgrub
Source 2L - for water
Sprite 500 bottle - for water: Sprite is just right

Food carried

4 Mountain House meals - classic
8 Cuppa soups
12 Alpen breakfast bars - 3 a day
8 small Twix
8 Tunnock biscuits
4 Mars bars
Coffee - for 4 mornings
Milk powder - for 4 mornings

The conclusions

Everything packed in to the OMM Classic 32 + OMM chest pouch: with room to spare.

Everything worked, except for the stakes, which were too light for the windy conditions.

The highlight

Going to bed on sunday night with the frost hard on the Trailstar.
Sleeping well and feeling warm enough inside the Minim 300, with the down hat and Ultra down pullover and down socks (and longjohns and Smartwool socks)
Waking up to frost inside and outside the Trailstar.
Chipping the ice from the mesh on the Ti-goat bivvy bag.
Feeling the wet from breath on the sleeping bag.
Pouring ice and water for making coffee in the morning.

Drying out sleeping bag and the other bits and pieces on a beautiful, sunny Monday morning.

Top pitching tip

Pick a spot that will get the sun early in the morning if it's a cold frost night.