Just before Christmas I took the opportunity to have a look around a few outdoor and camping stores to put together a rough list of equipment that I would need for Offa’s Dyke in April.
I don’t think the list is particularly comprehensive – it was more a list of things that caught my eye, but if you can spot anything missing let me know!
- Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Mattress – Hopefully the ideal balance between comfort (and warmth) and weight. I had a look at the self-inflating versions, but I don’t think I can justify the extra weight, and the RidgeRest seems like it should be comfortable enough for me.
- Sea To Summit eVENT Compression Dry Sacks – In two sizes – should hopefully help reduce the space my clothing will take up as well as keeping it all dry.
- Berghaus Raincover – to keep my rucksack dry in the worst case scenario of it pouring rain every day!
- Peter Storm StormTech Gaiters – some people find gaiters really useful and other people don’t seem to get them. Personally I don’t particularly like them, but I cannot deny that they can help keep your feet dry – a must when you are walking for 12 days solid!
- Peter Storm StormTech Waterproof Trousers – a replacement for my worn and leaky Halfords ones.
After hearing about my tent saga just before Christmas on Twitter, Chris (@fergycool), obviously filled with Christmas cheer, has kindly offered to lend me his 2-man North Face Tadpole for the next few months! Thanks a lot Chris – it is much appreciated!
Over the next few months I hope to review as many of these items as I can!
So what does that leave?
- Backpack – I am not really sure what size I might need. Too small and I won’t be able to fit everything I need, too large and the temptation is to try and take too much. I quite liked the look of the Vango range – the 40+8l Stealth range (although perhaps a little ultralite), and the 60+10l/65l Contour range. A friend on Facebook has offered to lend me his army style backpack, although I don’t know how big it is yet!
- Charging Kit – We will have about seven devices to keep charged up over the 12 days (five mobile phones, a netbook and an MP3 player). To an extent we can cheat and rely on my parents (in the support vehicle staying at bnbs) to get some of the devices charged, as well as friendly pubs, but part of me would really like to try and keep the main phone (with Viewranger) running on wind/solar power alone!
- First Aid & blister care kit – I already have a first aid kit, but it could do with a refresh, and some kind of blister care kit will be a must!
- Cooker – At the moment my preferred camping stove is the Primus EtaPackLite (mainly due to the Countryfile magazine review in July), however I am starting to think it might be a little advanced for my requirements. I do quite like the idea of a solution which includes the pans as well – and low gas usage is pretty important.
- Insoles – I am still not sure how convinced I am by my Sorbothane double strike replacement insoles, and I am starting to run out of time to find and test a replacement. They do seem to work, but they do take a few walks for your muscles to get used to them.
- Clothing – I need quite a lot of clothing: base layers, walking tops, walking trousers and walking socks.
- Other camping equipment – just a few bits and bobs like cutlery, head torch, roll up water carrier, etc.
So lots more equipment to source – time to hit the sales!