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Calling All Hikers / Campers / Backpackers

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by 50ft-trad, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    I need your help and guidance folks!

    I am currently planning my kit list for my first backpacking trip - the UK Coast to Coast walk solo around May 2010. The reason for starting so early is to get time to refine my choices of equipment before coughing up the dough, practice using it in adverse conditions (to ensure suitability and reliability), and also allow time for training with the actual pack weight I will be lugging across England. I’ve pretty much decided what I think I need, but now it’s time to throw it open to you guys for dissection and analysis. I figured EDCF is the best place to ask for opinions due to the diversity of knowledge and experience, whereas if I approached other forums I’d just be inundated by comments from a single mindset (ultralighters, bushcrafters etc). I’ve broken everything down into sections with a few notes on why I have made the decisions, so you can see the logic behind it – and tell me I’m talking out of the wrong orifice if necessary. Some kit I already have, but a lot I’ll need to save up for over the coming months.

    Trip Overview:

    192 Miles (in theory – most blogs say around 220-230 miles actually walked) from St Bees at the Irish Sea to Robin Hoods Bay at the North Sea. A maximum altitude of 770m (2525ft), fields, rocky paths, barren moorlands, scree slopes, bogs and barshes, woodland paths and the occasional strip of tarmac would all be encountered in this 14 day jaunt. I plan on stopping in a B&B before, after and 2 days during (for charging batteries & washing), with the remainder living out of the backpack, sleeping where I can. As for weather – it’s Britain – anything goes and there is a good chance of seeing three seasons within a 2 week period. This has got to be a do anything kit, and I’ll be going solo!

    Bags/Packs:

    Golite Pinnacle (or similar) http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product467.asp?PageID=95
    (Clothing, sleep system, food, shelter, additional water)

    OMM 4litre chest pouch http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product256.asp?PageID=98
    (Lights, water bottle, maps, phone, camera etc – and most importantly – smokes!!)

    Snugpak Response Pak. http://www.heinnie.com/Bags-and-Wallets/Snugpak/Snugpak-Response-Pak/p-281-429-2999/
    (Tools, FAK, poncho, repair kit)

    Logic: I want to try and keep everything accessible so that most things en-route can be addressed without constantly taking the pack on and off. Some load brought to the front adds to stability

    Shelter:

    6’ x 9’ silnylon tarp http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product156.asp?PageID=112
    RAB Storm Bivvy http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product374.asp?PageID=112
    Poncho (to be determined)
    Bug net ?? maybe – to be determined
    (Hiking pole/s as support if no trees)

    Logic: Poncho is my back-up tarp in case anything disastrous happens, serves as pack cover in torrential downpour plus also allows some modesty if I need to change clothes after going base over apex during a river crossing etc. Chosen tarp over tent as I want to see my surroundings when I open my eyes (and put my specs on)

    Sleep System

    Thermarest Z lite http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN57186
    Pacific Outdoor Uberlite Sleep Pad http://www.heinnie.com/Survival/Sleep-Pads/Pacific-Outdoor/Pacific-Outdoor-Uberlite-Sleep-Pad/p-484-627-595-4068/
    Softie 6 Kestrel Sleeping Bag http://www.heinnie.com/Survival/Sleeping-Bags/Snugpak/Snugpak-Softie-VI/p-484-518-519-3539/

    Logic: Closed cell pads are too cold and uncomfortable, whereas open cell pads / inflatables are prone to damage, and I’m going to be reliant on them. Putting the uberlight atop the Z rest should solve both problems. Sticking with synthetic bag as easier to dry out if gets wet, plus had a softie bag a few years ago and it was fantastic.

    Cooking

    Bushcooker Wood Stove http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product398.asp?PageID=118
    Titanium Pot & Mug (to be determined)
    Vargo Triad (with supply of alcohol plus esbit tabs)
    Miscellaneous (Spork, Firesteel, Pencil Sharpener, PJ balls)

    Logic: Maximum versatility and minimum fuel weights (collect wood as I go – VT is back up only, or for use when fires are not an option), pencil sharpener is primary tinder maker

    Clothing

    Snugpak Airpak Reversible Jacket http://www.surplusandadventure.com/shop/clothing/snugpak-clothing/snugpak-code-green/snugpak-code-green-jackets/snugpak-code-green-airpak-reversible-379083.html
    4 x Spare socks, 1 x full change of clothes, Gelert Fellman Hat, Sealskinz gloves and liners, Sealskinz socks, Visor Buff, thinsulate hat for sleeping in, packaway waterproof jacket & trousers

    Logic: Snugpak Jacket is for when stationary, everything else should be self explanatory, Gelert Fellman is waterproof and peaked. Peaks are important as I wear glasses.

    Water

    2 x Source Liquitainer http://www.rvops.co.uk/source-re-hydration-liquitainer-1l-1156.html
    Travel Tap Water Bottle http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product353.asp?PageID=40
    Puritabs

    Logic: Bottles suit me better than bladders I think, and this set up allows carrying of 3 litres if necessary plus puritabs as back up

    Tools

    Gransfors Bruks Hand Hatchet http://www.survival-school.org/Default.aspx?tabid=280&ProductID=487
    Bahco Laplander Saw http://www.survival-school.org/Default.aspx?tabid=246&CategoryID=58&Category2ID=62&List=0&Level=2&ProductID=269
    Mora Miki (similar to carbon steel clipper)
    Leatherman Juice CS4

    Logic: The “one big survival knife” philosophy doesn’t feel right for me somehow, not to mention the reactions I may face if seen pulling out a 9” bowie in the UK :) I think this array would afford good efficient performance and adequate redundancy in all tasks. If I lose/damage/break a hiking pole I can produce a staff to support tarp etc, process wood for fuel, and pliers are for sewing repairs in tougher fabrics. CS4 chosen for scissors and small saw blade plus non-locking pocket knife when around those who may faint at the sight of at a Mora

    Lights

    Fenix PD20 + diffuser, Petzl E+Lite, spare CR123’s

    Logic: Don’t expect much use from headlamp, but it’s there if needed. If it’s dark I’ll most likely be horizontal with my eyes shut, but the PD20 is my EDC torch and when camping over Easter it was the only light I used/needed.

    Mini PSK

    Neck Carry (mini-match firestarter, whistle, button compass, photon II, Silver Grippers tweezers)
    Altoid tin in pocket with choice items

    Logic: The rest of the kit is primary survival kit, and these few items are just last ditch/quick access

    FAK

    Contents yet to be finalised

    Sundries

    Camera, Phone, Chargers, Altoid tin repair kit (Light/heavy sewing kit, superglue, duct tape, wire) 7mm utility cord & 2mm Dyneema cord, poly survival bag (as dry bag), rite in the rain pad and pen, toiletries, hiking poles


    Estimated Weight:

    11.6kg (25.6lb) or 16.6kg (36.7lb) with 2 litres of water, 2kg (4.5lb) of foodstuffs, fuel and other consumables
    Note: I’m 70kg – not a big feller,


    All comments / criticisms welcome and appreciated
     
  2. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    wood is heavy and expensive. scavenging wood is unethical, as it destroys the ecosystem- but if you only care about your own camping trip, and not anyone else's then w/e.

    can you get away with only one pair of pants, one change of shirt/socks/underpants? get quick drying stuff, and hang it from your pack when the weather's good enough (otherwise, just endure the dirt for a few hours while it rains)
    store them in ziplock bags, just to be safe!
    as far as clothes in general- try to find really light stuff that's long-sleeved, even lightweight longjohn's. this will prevent the need for sunscreen on most of your body!

    a hatchet and saw? are you really that set on destroying the ecosystem? in that case, why not bring a gun, so you can hunt your own food instead of carrying it in/out?

    *shrug* i always see people form the UK here saying everything's allowed if you have a legitimate reason to carry it...

    a better headlamp- it's easier to use than a flashlight, so you'll want a good one.

    FAK: IBUPROFEN, bandages, IBUPROFEN, bug repellent, IBUPROFEN, dr scholl's moleskin, IBUPROFEN, digestive medicine, sun block if that's your thing. oh, and you know, something for soreness/swelling- maybe ibuprofen ;)

    do you have a means of carrying/acquiring/sanitizing drinking water?
    I suggest a steripen + prefilter. it'll take care of all your water sanitation needs (except radioactivity, but if that's the case, then you've got bigger issues)

    you seem to have (more than) enough stuff to lug around, just make sure you know how to use those hiking poles (work on your form, try to get a mile or two in a day, at least) because 4 legs are better than 2.
    i suggest you take a few trips that involve 8 hours per day of hiking for 3 or 4 days so that you can get your body used to it.
     
  3. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

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    Maybe a camp or microfiber towel? If you're going to be fording along the way.

    I also didn't see any sunglasses in there but I know the UK is renowned for it's overcast.

    Backup batteries or solar charger for the phone and camera?

    I know firesteels are all the rage but they can't beat a bic lighter for ease of use.
    You should generally have a couple different options for fire making
     
  4. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    I'm disciplined enough to only acquire dead wood if that helps (unless I'm really in a tangle), and the bushcooker does use a REALLY small amount of fuel duel to efficient burn (from what I understand)

    I was thinking 4 pair of socks was prob two days worth (so chance for drying after a quick wash) - expecting to need to change them during the day to avoid blisters. Is this excessive?
    I just one change of everything else in case I get soaked for any reason, and I can wash them through at the B&B stops

    Probably right there. I had just planned on using poly survival bag as dry bag, but yeah, should consider better water protection.


    Duly noted - not even considered sunscreen/aftersun - Doh!


    Ha ha ha, Not at all (see note above)


    Very true, guilty as charged your honour! I guess I'm just an axe person rather than a big knife person (other than my stag handled Muela Jabali :-X). I'm (fairly) open to reasons to reconsider this though if anyone thinks saw & hatchet is less useful

    Had a feeling someone was going to say that - any suggestions for this arena?

    LOL - rest assured Ibuprofen and co-codamol will definately make the grade!!

    See the link to Travel Tap in first post - that good enough? Not my specialised subject

    Many thanks Jehan - appreciated
     
  5. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    My bad - yeah microfibre towel in with toiletries, my spec's are reactolites (sp?) so auto sun glasses.
    I had been looking at that Freeloader system - is it any good? Bearing in mind overcast weather expected
    2 firesteels and SEVERAL lighters will be taken. I'm a smoker, so one way or another I'll be able to get a flame, even if it means covering myself with feathers and flying up to the sun >:D
     
  6. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Hmmm, you took that a little more graciously than I would have....


    Regarding the hatchet and the saw, they may be redundant. What kind of wood will you be cutting? For the type and size of wood that you'd likely be using as fuel, you may need something to break it up more than to cut it up. I went on a hiking trip once to Colorado and took a saw. I was almost better off just breaking up dead wood than bothering to try to cut it with the saw. One guy that went with me had a hatchet and one had a tomahawk. The tomahawk was a tiny, very light weight one that did great on cutting up dead spruce and aspen.
     
  7. scríbhneoir
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    scríbhneoir Uber Prepared
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    Another option for purifying water that you drink (love mine): Sport Berkey
     
  8. Medic7158

    Medic7158 Empty Pockets

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    I'm an avid hiker and i consider my approach somewhere between Ray Jardine and Ray Mears. If i may offer some advice.

    For starters, consider EVERYTHING you are planning on packing and then consider it again. Will you really use it? Is it worth the weight? I've taken many things out of my pack after returning from a hike and asked myself, "What did i think i would need this for?"

    Some tidbits;

    1. I never use a flashlight in the woods, a headlight is ALWAYS more useful
    2. Down is warmer, lighter and lasts way longer than synthetic. It's true that down is useless if its wet, but i've never had a problem keeping one dry. I think many people severely overplay the danger of getting down wet, they don't magically suck moisture out of the air. You just can't dunk one in the lake or allow one to be openly exposed to a downpour. If you have a decent shelter a down bag will stay plenty dry.
    3. I slept on the ground for years. Then i discovered hammock camping, and I'll never sleep on the ground again. It's dryer and WAY more comfortable. You have to take a few extra steps to keep warm, but a nice under quilt like the ones made at Jack-R-Better is just the thing to solve that problem. I don't even carry a pad anymore. A down quilt and underquilt and i sleep surrounded in feathers.
    4. I carry a saw and a hatchet. One is for sawing logs and the other is for splitting them.
    5. The only first aid items i carry are tweezers, duct tape, 4x4 gauze and a bottle of various pills (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Imodium, Benadryl) You can easily get carried away in this area trying to prepare for everything.
    6. I use Micropur as my primary water purification and boiling as a back-up. I don't carry heavy filters.

    These are based on my experience, YMMV and You have to hike your own hike.

    Ever notice how the ones screaming the loudest about saving the "ecosystem" are usually the ones who know the least about it?
     
  9. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

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    I've been looking at a JuiceBar. It's a more compact and has a larger capacity than the Freeloader but I don't have hands on with either. The PowerBoost Solar is also another choice.

    For an upgrade in headlamp check out the Petzl TacTikka and the Princeton Tec EOS.
     
  10. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    NP, I didn't even notice the water section before! one liter is the bare minimum of what you should carry at a time, so try not to let it get less than half full (just in case you have to go without)

    if the four socks are enough for your system, then they're enough for your system, I'm just making suggestions.

    as far as the headlamp- you say you won't do much at night so you may not need it; but you may have to poke around your camp site, or maybe a few hours away from your campsite as the sun starts to go down. i like my Petzl tikka, it serves me pretty well. it's just that the E+lite is a backup/emergency light- it's designed to be small enough that you'll carry it in your glovebox, or purse, or whatever. I suggest getting something bigger, a dedicated light.

    again, if you're set on not carrying a big knife, that's your choice. most backpacking necessities can be taken care of with a simple pocket knife anyways. i stand by my claim that the axe/saw are overkill, but you know your hike better than i do.

    dead/fallen wood is also part of the ecosystem, so keep your foraging to a minimum for the sake of your neighbors/grandkids/progeny

    good luck, can't wait to see pictures!
     
  11. Cynt
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Cynt Loaded Pockets

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    First time I've ever heard someone object to using downed wood...
    Not saying that you should be wasteful or destructive but wow, that's a new one for me. I think you'll be fine using a renewable resource like twigs and downed wood myself instead of a non-renewable petroleum product. Not that I am an environmental scientist or a forestry manager. Make sure you kill any beavers you run across!

    Last 3 niter I was fine with just a AAA flashlight, think it's up to what works for you. Maybe in the woods I'd rather have a headlamp.
    Think a mora and a hatchet sounds like a perfect pair with saw for bigger stuff if needed. Few short trips beforehand will help you flush out the kinks, sound like you are well on the way.
     
  12. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    downed wood is an important part of the ecosystem. it renews the nutrients in the ground, and provides a home for different animals.

    ad i agree that the resource is renewable, IF it's used at a renewable rate. but if everyone "just took a bit" indiscriminately then there wouldn't be any left. so when you just take a bit, keep in mind that the person before/after you might just take a bit, too. and really just take a bit!
     
  13. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    I'm not British and can't claim to be anything approaching an expert on the terrain and weather you're likely to encounter. I have been to England and Scotland a number of times - family there - and have experienced the rapid and drastic weather changes. I question your use of a tarp only. It won't protect you from bugs - midges, I believe you call them - nor will it keep you dry in a blowing rain or on wet ground. I would suggest that you consider a light weight one man tent, single or double wall with netting and a flloor. Most have enough windows/doors to allow you to look out and around, but still keep you and your gear dry. Some of these tents use your hiking poles as your tent support and don't weigh significantly more than a siltarp. Have fun, sounds like a great trip.
     
  14. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    i don't know much about the england, and i don't have alot of experience in long backpacking. but i do know that there are 4 things that might end your trip sooner than expected:
    your head, your ears, your stomach and your legs.
    be prepared with painkillers/aspirin (because hiking with a headache can be lethal).
    a pain in your ears can nail you to the ground for hours, be ready (all it takes is a cold wind, cover your ears properly and have something to relieve the infection).
    i hope you know how you'll end up in case of a food poisoning, i take Imodium with me (also helps in case of a diarrhea).
    about your legs - if you will get jock itch your trip will take twice the time. sometimes even the most ventilated pants/ underwear doesnt help, take with you something strong to relieve it (if you are brave, try alcohol, better wear running shoes while you do that). alcohol is not recommended, but if it's an emergency use it (it dries the skin, therefore makes it more likely you will get jock itch again, but if you would put talc on the area you should be fine), if not, try spreading "BABY PASTE" before you go to sleep, there are many other solutions, those are the 2 i know.

    good luck

    p.s
    sorry if i got some wrong terms/phrases, it's not a very common subject to talk about, and a simple dictionary cannot help here.
     
  15. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    Excellent feedback so far folks, just what I’m looking for.

    Glad to see I’m not the only advocate for the mini-axe/mora/saw combo. For those that think it’s overkill or redundant, in many ways I hope you are right. I think I’m going to be facing a lot more open moorland than woodland. I’d have loved to have tried the hammock camping approach, but not convinced I’ll have sufficient framework for this trip, but it will be nice to bear that in mind as I go and see how viable it might be for return journeys. Chances are my main fuel requirements should be just dry twigs etc which may not require tools, but this is just my way of filling the “survival knife” slot in case things turn sour or for when a little more work is required for dry woods.

    I do understand the eco concerns. It is important to allow things for go back to nature, and let the decay and bugs etc have their part in the natural cycle. I intend to flirt with nature and enjoy her charms, but not rape and pillage. I also want to make sure I have protection in case she wants to ... errm ... exploit me.

    Good to see some positive feedback on the bottle filter concept too. Seems sensible instead of standalone filters. I’m thinking I can use the Travel Tap (or similar – thanks for the link scribhneoir) to fill the Source Liquitainers, and have up to 3 litres of water. Glad someone has used and approved this method.

    Tarps vs tents – yeah, tents would definitely afford better protection. I was hovering over the Tarptent Contrail for a while, and I might even end up going this route. I prefer the idea of a tarp and chances of facing still air could be slim which would keep the midges away, but in practice – not sure. Good point – I’ll need to stew on this one.

    I’ll check out the Petzl Tikka and Princeton EOS too, and also the solar power chargers. I've got the head, ears and stomach covered - jock itch - hmmm, not something I care to be stricken with. I'll check that out - thanks.

    Keep it coming folks. The more schools of thought I can cherry pick from, the stronger the kit will be. Cheers
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
     
  16. phaserrifle

    phaserrifle Loaded Pockets

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    a few thoughts:
    chest pack: while it says it should fit most bags, I would suggest you try to find somewhere where you can take a look at it, ideally after you've bought the backpack. that way you can be sure you wont end up with something un-useable.
    Titanium pot+mug: alpkit make some nice ones. might well be worth a look. they also do some rather nifty looking folding titanium cutlery.
    light: would it be worth taking just the fenix, and getting a head strap that can fit it (nite eyes make one, and i think fenix have one as well). it would be lighter, take up less space, and when it comes down to it, you wont be using your hand torch when you have a head torch...
     
  17. mtwarden

    mtwarden Loaded Pockets

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    sounds like a fun trip :)

    I'll add my .02- with a bush buddy (or any small wood backpacking stove) a small fixed blade + SAK w/ a saw is all you'll ever need (you could probably nix the SAK and still be fine). I carry a saw when day hiking, never backpacking- in the winter I add an axe- these are carried for constructing a shelter- which I don't need for backpacking

    Water- I've long ago ditched heavy filters (that get heavier as your trip progresses) , MicroPur tabs are light and easy- I'll never go back.

    I used too carry a lot of socks and extra clothing- no more. Two pair of socks for even the longest trips- keep one pair dry and clean. If it's extremely wet (which may be the case where your at) I might add one more. A couple of drops of Dr bronners, a good wringing and a rinse and let dry.

    Re-package- repackage almost everything. Carry only the amount you need- soap, bug dope, sunscreen, etc- it all adds up

    I think you'll find the e-lite more than enough light, no need for a flashlight- add Photon for a backup. IF you know your going to be doing a lot of night hiking, then yes add a larger headlamp- otherwise the e-lite w/ extra batteries will be fine

    If you really want to shave some weight and are comfortable w/ tarp camping, there are several quality poncho/tarp combo's out there- rain gear/shelter in one fell swoop

    here's one to look at

    http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=53
     
  18. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    The alpkit pots don't look like they would nest well with the bushcooker, but thanks for the tip anyhow. I've bookmarked their site. Had the same thought with the Fenix headband, as this gives much more versatility but keeps the power of the PD20. I like the look of the Princeton EOS II as well, so I think these two are the hot favourites for primary light. I think I'll keep the E+Lite as a back up in the kit, saves any faffing if lights go in the primary and makes battery changes much simpler. Due to the Englands wild camping laws (which are almost as frustrating as the knife laws - Scotlands camping laws are much better) there is a chance of being "moved on" during the night, so a reliable headlight is probably a very good move.

    I've stumbled across something tempting on the shelter too. http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=36

    This looks like a much better solution for this trip. I can adopt the open fronted "tarp" set up in fair weather, but close it off to swirling winds and stormy weather (very possible). Only 765g (27oz) with groundsheet and bug netting (no more worries about bugs/midges). It also means I can ditch the poncho for changing under (which would not be practical rain gear for UK's open moorlands - too sail like), and possibly have a little more confidence for considering down bags over synthetic. I like the side entry of this over the Tarptent Contrail, and would feel a lot happier using this with a stove. The whole thing pitches as quick as a tarp too, so this seems (thus far) like the perfect tool for the job. Anyone eny experience with them?

    I think I'm going to need to keep those extra clothes in the kit just in case, same with a filtration bottle. Some of my water might need to come from moorland / marshes (Possibly even gipsy well) rather than flowing stream etc in certain stages of the trip. I wouldn't mind just relying on puritabs etc for a survival kit - but not for a two week holiday where the water sources may be dubious. I've started toing a froing a little on the hatchet idea now. It would weigh the same as my tent if I went with the lunar solo (above) with the only (additional) benefit over the back up scenario being I could use the poll for persuading tent pegs home on rocky ground. The Bahco Laplander is definately stopping in though. Far too effective a tool if the call arises to start griping over 175g.

    Good plan on the repackaging aspects. Any recomendations on smaller leakproof packagings (save toting round 300mm of all-in-one-soap)?
     
  19. kanis mesomelas

    kanis mesomelas Loaded Pockets

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    I miss footware, I mean you are walking. its like you are planning to drive the indy 500 and only thinking about whats in the The Glove Compartment.
     
  20. mtwarden

    mtwarden Loaded Pockets

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