Shopping Spree

Having put together an equipment list for Offa’s Dyke before Christmas, and crossing off a few items friends and family kindly bought me, I took advantage of the sales (and in some cases a VAT freeze) to pick up a few items I needed.

Backpack

Berghaus C7 65+10l with Bioflex

Perhaps the most important item for the trip, and something I needed to get as earlier as possible so I can start training with more weight.

I headed down to White and Bishop in Northampton – my family have been going there for years, and the staff are always very helpful. The very (and I mean very) patient shop assistant helped me try on pretty much all of their backpacks. The problem I was having was that either the back support didn’t provide enough support or it provided too much.

I nearly went for the North Face Terra 60, which was very supportive on my back. However, as fellow team member Karen pointed out, I will be having my dog on a lead for most of the trip, and when she pulls forward my back wouldn’t be able to bend forward – over 177 miles I can see that being a problem.

In the end I settled for the Berghaus C71 65l+10l. This rucksack has Berghaus’ Bioflex system – effectively the frame of the backpack twists and bends with your movement. In the shop (without any weight) it feels amazingly comfortable and responsive.

Review to follow!

Baselayer

Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 (sadly not modelled by me!)

Whilst I was in White & Bishop I also picked up an Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 base layer, made from 100% Merino wool (a sheep from New Zealand).

The Merino wool fibre keeps your body warm when it is cold, and cool when it is hot. I cannot tell you how much I love this baselayer – so much so that I had to be ordered to take it off and wash it (it is anti-bacterial, and even after my two week trial it hardly smelt at all!). The only slight annoying thing is that it is a little short for my frame, so unless it is carefully tucked in there is sometimes a draft!

Head Torch

Petzl Myo XP Head torch

Documentally, in his useful comment to my equipment list post, recommended Petzl Myo RXP head torch. Now the inner-gadget geek inside me got very excited about the idea of a┬áprogrammable head torch, however the inner-realist came to the, probably correct, decision that this torch was a little too “flash” for me….. so I bought the simpler (though still very cool) version – the Petzl Myo XP (from the Stony Stratford Outdoor Shop)

It still has light output upto 150 lumens, several modes, and wide angle lense – so I am sure it will be fine!

Review to follow!

Cooker

Primus EtaPackLite

I finally folded and went for the Primus EtaPackLite cooking stove – I am really surprised how small it packs up to and I am really looking forward to trying it out (when I have some gas…)

The stove consists of a base with a burner and piezo ignitor, windscreen, a 1.2 liter pot and a lid which can also serve as a colander with its bayonet fastening. It is pretty straight forward to pack and unpack – and is supposed to be efficient with a fast boil.

Review to follow!


Now I just need to get out and start testing all this equipment! I am aiming to do a long walk once a week for the next few months, and at least three camping trips before Offa’s Dyke – which starts on 5th April!

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