Bowery Mural

Kit... and how it worked out for me - 2

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Having tried to drastically reduce the contents of my over-bulky pack I decided to take note of the things I carry when going out for a walk. Here’s what kit & gear I had with me on my solo jaunt up Ben Lomond on Saturday 25 July 2009.

Icebreaker hipster briefs; Icebreaker 140 base layer top; Mountain Equipment Chamois trousers; Bridgedale light hiker socks; Bridgedale comfort socks – spare; Haglofs Kaza pullover – new!!; North Face Stratosphere Waterproof jacket; Berghaus Paclite waterproof trousers; Rab Aeon base layer –spare; Buff headband and a Buff; Mountain Hardwear gloves; First Ascent beanie hat; Oakley minute 2.0 prescription sunglasses; Scarpa ZG10 walking boots; 2 x Leki Carbonlite poles

Osprey talon 33l pack; Exped rucksack liner & dry bags; 2L platypus; 750ml Camelbak Better bottle; Sea to summit dry bag – carries food; Silva compass; map and map case; Petzl Tikka plus head torch; Panasonic DMC-TZ7 digital camera; Lowepro Apex 20 camera case; Nivea factor 30 sun cream (50ml kids size); Antibac hand gel; Antiseptic hand wipes; first aid kit; Purse, keys, phone, lip balm

Stoats hazelnut and white chocolate porridge bar; Honey roast ham roll; mini bottle Irn Bru; Pack of chocolate covered American peanuts; Pack of jelly chews; Apple

Now for an in-depth look at some of these items. There will be no technical speak from me on these items but merely my thoughts and feelings on items that I choose to wear on my adventures.

It was quite a hot day but still I wasn’t to wear my new Montane Terra Stretch walking shorts. Thought better to stick to the familiar plus it might rain later on! So I wore my comfy Mountain Equipment Chamois pants. I got these for the trek and although they are quite a warm trouser (suitable for winter) they’re also quite a light and stretchy fabric – MTN Lite fabric apparently which also has “a tough mini rip-stop face and DWR treatment to repel wind, rain and snow”. They are a four-way stretch and have articulated knees which help when I’m hauling myself up some rocks. Another plus point is they came in the short leg – result! They have an “active alpine cut” which doesn’t really mean much to me but in my terms I’d say they’re not hipsters rather they’re a bit high-waisted which can make you look like you come from the 1980’s but a nice long top will soon cover that up! I’ve had them for a few months now and noticed that on the back just below the waist probably where my rucksack sits, there is some of that poolly wool fluff thing happening on them. This is a tad annoying as it takes away the look of them I feel. Overall they are a nice pair of trousers. Very comfortable and generally the ones I turn to for most walks. I don’t have many other options right enough but they’ll do just now.

Briefs: this is a tad embarrassing but they are an essential piece of equipment for everyone and so it is important to get it right or you could end with a freezing cold bum or a .. Well you get the drift – weather dependant of course! I have to say my Icebreaker hipsters are the pant of choice for me. Again they were bought for the trek but have become the must have for warm or cold days on the hills. It was a rather hot day on Saturday and all i will say is that they performed very well. I’m going to stop talking about these items now!

My newest piece of kit is a Haglofs Kaza pullover. I didn’t think I was going to get a chance to try it out but the stiff breeze as I scaled the mountain soon had me reaching for it from the top pocket of my pack when I stopped for my snack break. First thing I noticed is that it is slim fit but glad to say it fitted nicely over my Icebreaker base layer top. I hardly noticed I was wearing it. It kept the wind out but I was still quite cool in it. As I warmed up again I took it off and it was a bit damp on the inside. Probably cos my t-shirt was soaking at the back (beginning to think the airscape on my pack doesn’t actually work that well either!). Anyway it was pretty good at its business of keeping the wind out but also keeping you cool at the same time. It’s light as a feather (not actually but its light) so it wasn’t a burden in my pack or on my back (oaft that was a wee rhyme!). The arm length was good on me, not too long but still enough give that I could easily use the thumb loops if I’d wanted to. From a pure vanity perspective I like that it’s not pink or ocean green or some other hideous colour that women’s gear tends to be made in. I like that its charcoal grey with a hint of colour – everyone knows black/grey are easy to coordinate with! Is short I was pleased with this latest purchase. It will be a welcome addition to my ever-growing-lighter-backpack – hopefully!

Dry bags – I love the Exped ones as they come in lots of different sizes and even better, wonderfully bright primary colours. I use these to store clothes, camera, gloves buffs etc and I have a very light Sea to Summit bag that I use to carry food. Nothing really much to say except they’re ace.

I found a little 50ml bottle of Nivea sun cream that is from the kids range – SPF30 also comes in SPF50. This will likely stay in my bag as I used to carry a huuuuuuge 200ml spray bottle!! I know, I know...

Well I always take a couple of seeded rolls with honey roast ham on them and an apple. Then another essential for me seems to be M&S American peanuts covered in chocolate. Strangely I didn’t eat any of these on Saturday though having become a recent convert I did dig into the Stoats porridge bar – in yummy hazelnut and white chocolate – tasty, tasty, very very tasty, it’s very tasty! I’m not really a fan of dried fruit so will stay away from the other flavours.

Finally yes I had a wee bottle of Irn Bru with me (250ml). It’s not necessarily for drinking but for my new “project” – Irn Bru Adventures... see here!

So that was a wee insight into some of the things I took with me. I will over my next few trips give my thoughts on other kit I take with me and of course any new stuff I might be buying.

I'm off on another adventure this weekend... for my first taste of the big bad city that is London!! I am excited to be meeting up with Kate 'fernicus' Fernie and Ruth 'Roofus' Roberts who have become great friends since we trekked the Himalayas together! (I loves saying that ha).

But normal service resumes tomorrow. The parents are home from their holibobs with “The Boy” and “the sister” and all that comes along with that. The next few months are going to be rollercoasterish in the way they unfurl but I hope to seek serenity where the sun shines, where the rain falls, where the wind blows in my face, where the smiles happen, where the vistas unfold and maybe even where the sun sets in such a glorious fashion that it will take my breath away... until then...

Ange xx

Long overdue update on music i've been listening to recently:-
Kings of Leon - Only by the Night (album) still a favourite
Paolo Nutini - Sunnyside Up (album) another one
La Roux - Bulletproof
Foo Fighters - Times Like These
Snow Patrol - Open Your Eyes
Max Richter - On the Nature of Daylight

PS the moon is out tonight looking all moody and pale orangey yellow, its also a perfect half shape and sits low on the horizon. I can just see it out of the kitchen window. Hello mr moon!


  1. Nice article on trying to cut weight back on what you pack. It getting noticeably lighter compared to the pack you were carrying?

    Might take a look at those spare bits of clothing (use them often?), how much water you're carrying and amount of head wear but apart from that seems reasonable. Mate I walk with would be appalled you're not carrying a big knife but as I've only used mine to prize biscuits apart I wouldn't bother!

    Talking of head wear, rather jealous of First Ascent beanie, want one :) May I enquire as to the colour?

    - Ian

  2. The water is the culprit. 2 litres is pretty heavy but then again on a hot sunny day you need it otherwise you'll dehydrate. So think i'd rather carry it than be carried off the mountain by a rescue team for being ill!
    Anyway my excellent Osprey pack (full) probably still weighs less than a half empty Berghaus freeflow 35+8 - yuck!

    I won't carry a knife of any sort.

    I have a First Ascent beanie as worn by Ed Viesturs on Everest 09, plus a silver buff and a very cool hoodie base layer in a new fabric that is soft, functional and comfortable. Excellent thumb loops as well. It'll be a winter kit staple. That along with my new sleeping bag, and other gear and I'll be ready to rock 'n roll on them mountains.


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