Getting my stuff together

all the gear and some idea....maybe...

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08/04/2012 at 17:40
Oi Oi! i'm planning my first multiday solo hike, Its been a while since ive done anything similar, far too many, and its my resolution to get out there a bit more and now living in sweden i think its criminal not to.
Ive brushed up on my Nav skills, and been building up walking and even getting the missus into it but she still isnt as keen as I.

My plan is to walk Ridge to Ridge trail in Skåne in Southern Sweden,Ive pritty much started from scratch putting my kit together and this is a list of the main kit i have put together so far...
Hanwag tetra boots - may be a little warm for the summer months but so far loving them.
Snugpak Harrier 10 sleeping bag,
snugpak something or other self inflating mat,
snugpak sp' bivi bag
Hennesy expedition delux zip shelter
and many odds and ends such as petzle tikka plus head torch, a cooksystem that i use at work now daily (i work in the forest) consiting of tin can hobo stove, spirit burner, mess tin and esbit 500ml cooking cup and utensils, first aid, emergancy kit etc etc.

now im looking for a pack to put it all in.... i like the sound of the karrimor saber 75ltr, it has good reviews and though pricey i believe that its worth investing in good kit, buy cheap buy twice etc...

My missus thinks i have lost the plot, and im begging to think so, but she humours me by buying me things like a tiny cheese grater....

My plan is to continue testing my kit out, with a few one night ventures and a bit of car camping when out at work (i work away and usually live in hostels or digs near the woods where im working) and then do a sort of testing venture on the start of the trail which i have estimated to take 3 - 4 days, The whole trail is only 140km long so i figure even with a full pack it shouldnt take too long to do the whole think in one hit, but feel its better to get wet first before jumoing straight in, especially as right now the weather is very unpredictable, as it is in the uk, ( just got back in from walking in a snow shower..)

any comments on my gear choices or advice for some one who is new to this will be greatly appreciated. Cheers
02/05/2012 at 08:49
You're already doing the most important thing - testing your kit out on shorter trips - so many people don't (though comparatively few from this site, I'd warrant).

Go on a couple of overnighters and several day hikes carrying your full kit - the more varied the conditions the better. Make a list of all of the kit that you're taking, remove anything that you used on the trips and anything that is essential, whether you used it or not (first aid kit, medication, compass if you were using a GPS, etc) - you should get rid of anything that's left or at the very least, have to work hard in justifying taking it - be sensible here, you won't be using your sleeping bag on a day trip : ) Don't deny yourself a couple of luxuries - you can easily do without them on an overnighter but a multi-day hike requires a whole different attitude.

When it comes to kit selection, frugal is the word - something may only weigh 10 grams but if you never use it, then those 10 grams will add up with all of those other 'just in case' items.

One of the main culprits for wrecking a successful / happy multi-day hike is your comfort. You can't do much about the weather, though you can do a lot about the micro-climate you take with you. However, there's a whole lot you can do about how much you carry. For a lot of hikers, they started off with 20 kilo+ packs and have worked hard getting that down to sub 10 kilos. Carrying 20 kilos is easy, for a mile or two, but mile after mile, hill after hill, day after day, well, you get the idea.

Oh, and lovely as it sounds (and I'm sure that it was given with much affection), ditch the cheese grater : )

Good luck.

Edit - just saw the date of your posting, sorry if this is now redundant....hope the trip went well.
Edited: 02/05/2012 at 08:50
03/05/2012 at 12:56
Thanks for the reply, i have yet to do the full trip, work keeps getting in the way. But I ve now got just about every thing i need.

My build up to this trip has been so far to,

Walk a few sections of the trail as day hikes wit the missus, including a hike with a full kit that i would take with me, and took food for a picnic for 2 and weighed 14 - 15kg.

I work out side and have been cooking my lunches on my cooking set for months now and have got a real neat and light system set up, which i would cut down a bit more if it was just for a day.

I have been testing the hammock also whilst at work and when hiking, so on the day hikes i would just find a place and put up the shelter and pack it up, just to get use to it and every time is better and quicker. Also this last week at work instead of staying in the digs ive been going out and setting up the hennesy hammock and sleeping in that. Im now looking at going out for a couple of nights on the trail to hike with the pack and camp, and if time allows and it goes well i can just stay on the trail for the whole journey, and have spent much time looking at the map planning pick up points and places i can bail out and catch a train home if needed, something i remember doing when hiking with the scouts.

Ive realised from working away from home alot that i tend to carry too much in the way of clothing and i know what i wear and dont. and one set of clothes for hiking, one spare set for set, and a good fleece for if its cold a any point of for first thing in the morning when its a bit nippy. I think either tonight or more likely tomorrow ill be doing my first overnighting hike with a possibility of staying on the trail, the weather looks favourable and i'm feeling very positive having spent at least a couple of months getting my kit together, researching the trail and looking for advice on this forum

03/05/2012 at 15:09
Yup, you're doing all of the sensible things there - far less likely to have any problems on your multi-day hike if you're testing everything on shorter trips. As far as kit choices are concerned, it's so much down to personal choice / circumstances that it's incredibly difficult to make any reasonable suggestions but since you're checking everything, you'll learn very quickly what works and what doesn't.

Have a good trip, oh and let us know how it goes : )
03/05/2012 at 17:41
i sure will! just sat down with the map and done a plan for a 2 - 3 day trip. The missus is dropping me off at the train station tomorrow am so i can catch a train to the start of the Ridge to ridge trail here in Skane (sweden). Just for note, incase any one reads this who is also starting out, i just spent the last half hour going over the route with the missus who is my back up, and will be picking me up when im ready. We have discussed the options for pick up points, including where is good if things go tits up - these bail out points where something i was taught about in scouts and where useful on several occasions due to weather changes and sprains and such, i'm also copying the map so the missus will know where to find me! Having taken some time to explain the route to her and my expected speed, she will have a rough idea where abouts on the trail i should be and at what time, thus making her feel less worried and me also, if something really bad where to happen she would have a rough idea of where to begin a search based on the information she has.
This imay sound a bit over kill, the route isn't intense or extremely difficult though there are a few steep ascents and descents, but i think its a good habit to get into, proper planning prepares properly or some such gumph. Im now packing my kit, charging the phone up and hoping for good weather!
03/05/2012 at 18:09
That's not overkill at all - someone should always know where you're leaving from / when, where you're going and how you expect to get there.

I always leave a copy of my expected route (usually a photocopy / print out of the map though I'll often include a route card) along with escape / alternative routes. Since my kit list rarely changes, I tend to bung a copy of that in. Finally, if I'm not traveling alone, then everyone's significant other gets the same information.

This has paid off at least once: )

Once again, I applaud the way you're doing things - I've seen some frightening lack of preparation by other people before and I assure you that it's only good luck (not good sense) that's keeping them from getting into trouble.
05/05/2012 at 12:57

If you ever need motivation to prepare yourself watch the film 127 hours.

It does sound like your going about this in all the right ways, by no means least, getting your missus a little interested is a brilliant idea. This is impossible for me as mine is more materialistic than Madonna.

If your using a hobo stove you might want to consider a gransfors bruks mini belt hatchet. Weigh less than most (realistic) survival knives 13.1 oz with sheath, my fallkniven a1 WITH sheath is 16.1 oz. Great for splitting small branches for drying. Can also be used as a knife as it is that small or a hammer, been using my friends for ages  as its a more of a legal carry in UK. Not that you need to worry about that, I've heard there wrecking ahem...coffee shops over there... DAMN.

05/05/2012 at 17:52
Just got back! I ended up cutting my trip a bit short,. About the gear, i have learned alot in the last 48 hours! before i went i weighed my pack, then went through and got rid of nearly all the stuff i thought i could do with out, and knocked off 1.5 kilos! a couple of things i now know i can do with out, such as my kindle, i had spoken word stuff on my ipod which worked out much better, and that i need to work out more about what foods to take. Wet foods = too much weight! Everything else i needed or wouldnt have wanted to be with out, e.g first aid kit, spare para cord.

I was surprised about how quick i was on the first day, and let the missus know that i when i'd passed certain points on the map as i was way head of my predictions, though i ended up getting picked up earlier than i planned.

I got pick up at a point my missus knows well, the main car park to the national park where there is a cafe and all the short circular trails start. (this is where i've been taking the missus to get her in to hiking more)

My left ankle felt a bit wobbly and didnt want to press on, and my phone was running low on battery becasue id used it to take lots of photos, so it made sense to quit while i was ahead rather than knacker myself and push on, what with walking alone and soon losing my only means of contacting my lift (note to self memorise GF number... or at least write it down)

Ive learnt that its important to pace my self properly, i did 30km straight on the first day and its the first time ive walked more the 15km in a long time, let alone more than that with a full pack. But i managed another 17km today and then when the missus pick me up we went for a (packless) 2km stroll to a lake.

The place where i got picked up is also a good place to pick up the trail again, and im already planning to go back to take up where i left off. (though this time i'll make a mileage plan and stick to it!) and hopefully with a kilo or 3 less weight in my pack!
05/05/2012 at 18:48
Nice one Tom - wise move & the enthusiam isn't dulled!
05/05/2012 at 18:52

lol, glad you enjoyed it.

05/05/2012 at 19:20

Sounds like you had a good time, and found out some more about the kit you need.

 It's also good that you've found out about starting to fast! A common mistake at first on multi's. I did it in the past when starting out.

 Think of it like a marathon, not a sprint. Pace your self, especially on the first day, or you'll knacker yourself and find it hard the next day or two, untill you get used to walking long days/distances.

 Good luck finishing the trip.

 Paul.


Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snake bite..... and furthermore always carry a small snake.   W.C.FIELDS.

Walk, climb, camp. Just get out there

 

05/05/2012 at 19:42
Yeah, i've learnt that for sure! (well at least until next time...) i think one thing was that its the first time out walking with out he missus in a while and it felt good to up my pace and stride out. I think i need to learn to take more rests, and time, a group i passed on the morning of the first day, passed me an hour after i set up my camp and kept going, id walked the 30km including a 30minute lunch stop in 8 hours, which considering there was still lots of light left in the day means i could have lowered my pace and then walked longer, as when i stopped i stopped because i was knackered! today i did the 17km in 5 hours including about 1hr worth of stops, with the intention of doing at least another 10km which given the pace meant i would have stopped walking around 4:30pm, which was the same time i stopped the previous day, so i could definitely reign it in a bit, take more rest stops etc,
one advantage on the first day though was it meant i had my hammock up before the rain started and had my feet up for 13 hours, so when i started again this morning i felt a lot better than i thought i would! missus is now concerend that shes going to have to walk 25km a day plus if she wants to walk with me....told her we'll get her up to 15km first (the longest day hike she has done is 10km so far, but she managed really well, took 2 hours), currently arguing over the extra weight i took with me, i just lost the - the kindle was heavier than the wet wipes debate.....
05/05/2012 at 20:21

Even the 5km an hour with missus, can, unless it's flat, be a good pace.

 As for 'normal' pace on flat ground, for multi's, with a heavy sack, I wouldn't up it to much more than 8kph, if that. I'd start at around 7kph ish, you can speed up as pack weigh gets less.

 As for food, I normally take dehydrated food for main meals. The likes of rice, porridge, soup, (large packets, that feed at least two, if not more). I take 'mini' pepperami to add to them. You need lots of food to replace energy youv'e used.

 I also take 'treats', like cheese triangles and oatcakes, choc bars, 'trail mix', (mixed nuts and dried fruit), to nibble on when walking along.

 I rarely take pasta n sauce type meals, most need milk too make, you can go for dehydrated milk, but I've not found one that mixes well. MHOO.

 Paul.


Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snake bite..... and furthermore always carry a small snake.   W.C.FIELDS.

Walk, climb, camp. Just get out there

 

05/05/2012 at 20:27
thats the other thing i learnt - you cant take too many snickers bars!
05/05/2012 at 20:58
LOL 

Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snake bite..... and furthermore always carry a small snake.   W.C.FIELDS.

Walk, climb, camp. Just get out there

 

05/05/2012 at 21:03

or to much vodka

05/05/2012 at 21:08
huskyman wrote (see)
 I rarely take pasta n sauce type meals, most need milk too make, you can go for dehydrated milk, but I've not found one that mixes well. MHOO.
For weekends I always take pasta n sauce meals  - 99% of the time it's mac'n'cheese.  You can do it without milk & it still tastes fine.  I don't bother with the 'knob' of butter.   I take miilk powder for my pasta & porridge & find all brands (I grab whatevers available when shopping) disolve well enough - if there are any lumps they aren't noticable in the porrridge or pasta
05/05/2012 at 21:36

I find rice ones cook quicker, ( the ones I buy anyway), around 5min. P&S takes around 10min.

 I also find them more filling, might be just me. Porridge I cook with water, that's the way I've always cooked it and grown up with, could be the way peeps in NI cook, have cooked it. I take the packets of sugar you get from MacD's, etc. or the wee packets of jam, to 'jazz' it up a bit.

 I sometimes take the 'pats' of butter too.


Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snake bite..... and furthermore always carry a small snake.   W.C.FIELDS.

Walk, climb, camp. Just get out there

 

05/05/2012 at 21:40

I've recently discovered couscous (EDIT: for camping) - it makes a change from pasta

Edited: 05/05/2012 at 21:42
05/05/2012 at 21:44
Agreed, but i can't do without my mac'n'cheese!  I top it up with one of those small tins of tuna with mayo & sweetcorn.  Good idea with the McD's sugar - I have sugar on my porridge at home but don't bother when backpacking as I can't be arsed to measure any out.
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