Saturday, December 21, 2013

An abandoned camp on Dartmoor.

I'd not normally head out in the conditions that were forecast of all day heavy rain.  It was exactly due to that reason that I headed out. To give it a crack.

At the car park I usually use a gas burner to heat milk for my pot of Shreddies, as it was raining I didn't do this. I made two teas (I took a flask) and ate an high energy cereal bar.  I wasn't in any rush to leave the car and head out in the swirling wind blown rain!

As is often the case I eventually left the car with my mind somewhat distracted. On this occasion it most certainly was.

I was wearing my usual inov8 shoes over sealskinz socks and merino and coolmax liner socks. This three layer combination of socks works well for me when it's cool.

Next up were an old and unfortunately unproofed pair of Paramo Cascada trousers.

My body was protected by a merino base layer, Patagonia R1 fleece and my new Rab NeoShell jacket.

I wore a buff turned into a cap and had my hood up all day long.

On my hands were WindPro gloves and MLD eVent mitts.

The appalling weather was my primary reason I'd gone NeoShell rather than my Paramo jacket.  The temperature was about 10c.  A temperature I consider too warm for Paramo...

I left the car at 9am and got to camp at 3pm.  So I was out for 6 hours hiking.

The first thing to "fail" were my Paramo trousers. I'd taken these to save putting waterproof over trousers on. These started to wet out in 20 minutes and within a couple of hours I could feel my, well, bits getting wet!  I'd have to say that whilst I was wet from hips to feet I wasn't cold.  Cool maybe but not cold.

After about three hours I could feel my chest getting damp. This was probably from a combination of rain blowing in my face (for 2.5 hours I was walking into the rain) and running down the inside of my jacket and I suspect from looking at my layers in camp some rain got past my jacket zip!

Frankly this is to be expected in those conditions.  Those who know my story of Sue and my trip to Dartmoor in 2009 when she was undergoing a life saving (though doomed) operation will know that I hiked for a day in similar conditions (personal reasons) and got a lot wetter! Paclite was used that time and I'd left the pit zips open. Long story!! In any event this current set up was superior in every way.  Even if I still got wet.

I'd point out again that my Paramo trousers were not proofed. That's now done... Though I will look into NeoShell over trousers for this type of weather.

My MLD eVent mitts did a pretty good job of keeping my WindPro gloves dry.  Though by the time I reached camp they to were getting moist.  What finished them off was leaning on ground!

I did notice the river was higher than I've ever seen it but still some way from overflowing.  The river was fast flowing.

I set up camp, this was by far the most difficult conditions I've had to pitch a shelter under and it look me quite awhile to do so.  I'm not quick at the best of times.

The ground was saturated when I stood on it, water pooling by my foot pressure.  The area I chose was the only area that was free of "surface" water.

Pitching the lines for the MLD Trailstar was easy despite it flapping a lot. The difficulty I had was keeping my pole upright long enough to secure more lines.  My pole fell over many times!  I finally got it taught enough that all was solid and it looked a good pitch!  I'd pitched it low, maybe about 1m.  I'd managed to set the silnylon "door" quite low for more weather protection but high enough I could get in without being on hands and knees. Let alone bumps a daisy.

I got under the trailstar, it felt very secure under there.  I set up my groundsheet, getting out to secure the rear tie points.

I then got water and this was the last time I saw the river...

I removed items from my pack, food, cook system, insulated jacket. Then my pillow, this was damp, but acted as a barrier over my dry bag.  All items in my one layer of cuben dry bag were dry.  Last year I double bagged my sleep system. It's good to know that was overkill!

I pulled the dry bag out and mat. The Xtherm was damp but my small towel dried it easily enough.  I blew the mat up, pulled out my dry night clothing (merino liner socks, leggings, gloves and balaclava.  Also separately packed synthetic jacket.

I lay on mat, away from sleeping bag and changed every item I wore due to wetness.

My base layer and fleece were damp on the front.  I'd put my spare liner gloves in my jacket pocket, they got soaked in there.  Thankfully my beefier fleece beanie which I'd put in my other pocket was only slightly damp and dried quickly on my head.  I'd worn my Buff.  In future spare items like these two need to be secured in a dry bag or similar.  This is why I carry a full but lightweight array of night wear for camping including spare gloves.  However my day gloves were soaked.

I then got into my sleeping bag and put on water to heat for cup a soup.  This was the first camp where I really missed the company of Bess in her corner. Probably due in part to knowing she was in the past at my parents.  I didn't feel very hungry.

I put some music on and settled back to read from kindle on my phone.

A few things happened here. First I noticed a few drips on my sleeping bag. As it has a drishell outer I wasn't too worried, especially as it was only overnight.  I noticed a few drops of water appear at the apex of the trailstar.  So I knew this was simply where more seam sealant will be needed.

I looked at where I'd placed my damp clothing to try to dry it a bit and saw fine drops of water on them.  I saw that the area of the mitton hook was wet.  When I checked at home I saw I'd missed a couple of stitches and this allowed rain to penetrate.  I'll check the sealing on the apex and try to proof that totally as well.  The trailstar was the first shelter I ever sealed so obviously didn't quite cover every square inch of stitching.  Still, two areas wasn't bad.

My main area of concern was my central pole's lower section slipped a few times and this allowed the canopy to fall on me!

Frankly this wasn't a major worry as there was zero to break,  buckle or snap.  I've never had this slippage before and I've used the same poles. So I'm putting it down to wet pole sections not holding, exacerbated by the leaking apex.  All of which should easily be rectified!  Simply taking the sections apart from my bed and drying may have helped. That never occurred to me.

My mind must have been wondering a bit as I just fancied putting my head on the pillow at about 6pm for a bit.

It was a little later, maybe about 6.30 that I saw a light appear over Scorhill.  A man approached, walked past and behind the trailstar and came back to the entrance and said the river was very close! "Is it?" I replied, obviously not bothered, he said "I hope that floats!" and headed off in the same or similar direction from where he came from.

First I owe him an apology for my being so uninterested and thanks for warning me.  I've no idea who he was,  I was so surprised that someone would take the time to warn me, so caught off guard. And my rocker!  He didn't have a pack or dog.  So other than checking up on me, in that weather I can't imagine what he was doing.

After he left I had time to think.  I was still in denial.  No way could the river rise that much.

Then the central pole slipped again.  Two things crossed my mind. 1, was having to secure the pole again to get out to retension the guylines (silnylon slackens when wet) though lengthening the pole would have done a similar thing, and 2, was the river!  I was now thinking I ought to look for myself!!

Once I'm comfy in my sleeping bag I really don't want the hassle of getting out. Especially in bad weather.  So reluctantly I got out of the sleeping bag, took my night clothing off, very calmly, put my waterproof coat on over my insulated jacket and then thought if I'm getting dressed to check an overflowing river I may as well pack up and abandon camp! So I put my sleeping bag away with night clothing, all was still dry. I then calmly did a piece to camera, I knew once outside the camera would need putting away.

I finished loading my pack under the shelter and did the pack up. All that was left was the groundsheet and trailstar.

I got out and removed the pegs, calmly counting them off. Managed to put the trailstar in the stuff sack and in an outside pocket of pack along with my groundsheet.  Annoyingly my black foam mat blew away in the wind!  I had no chance of finding it in the dark.  So sorry to Dartmoor for despoiling the moor!

I was impressed by how well I packed up at night.  I'd never done that before.

I then headed up the hill to the car about 15 minutes away.

As I headed for the car the rain eased off, but the ground underfoot was totally waterlogged.

At the car I put dry socks and shoes on but had to stay in my wet Paramo trousers. They were all I had on.  Literally!  My wet clothing was in my insulated jacket dry bag, which I was wearing (the jacket).

Remember my dry clothing was at the bottom of my pack with sleeping bag, I wasn't going to dig that out!

I only use this spot and parking in winter.

As I headed out in the car many of the lanes were flooded in places.  One was on the deep side and I backed out before slowly driving through hoping I didn't flood the engine.  That was deeper than I was happy to cross (to the bottom of my door - I opened the door as I backed out before taking it a second time)!  The lanes are so narrow turning around would have been almost impossible.  I could tell that it wouldn't get deeper... And was only the distance of a junction...

It was a relief to be heading home, driving has always been a love affair to me and this journey was incredibly relaxing and the whole trip rewarding, even if short lived.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TGO Personality Nomination

http://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/awards/vote/

I just wanted to thank those who nominated me for the TGO Awards Personality of the Year awards.
If my videos have made you or others laugh, smile or just encouraged you to get out into the hills then a vote would be great. Thanks.  If I win...
Imagine the fun I'd have making videos after...
Whatever happens let's make the next year a year to remember.
Thanks for all the support, likes and comments. Every one is welcome.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Two Nights, Two Rhinogs and North Wales.

I'll try to write a short report, but here is my kit list for my Rhinogs walk.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peccsc1BFtI&feature=youtu.be

Camp List Rhinogs Simon and Nigel 2013


Pack
MLD pack Newt all options (no lid) Frameless1800ci / 30L 427
MLD cuben Large dry bag / liner (quilt and clothes in) 30

Sub Total 457

Shelter
MLD Cricket Tarp Sealed/guyed (med 10g cuben stuff!) 432
MLD Cricket innernet silnylon floor (loose) 290
Pegs 4 Easton 9", Two 8" MSR Groundhog, One MLD 6" 102
MLD Rain Kilt prototype 59
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23

Sub Total 906

Sleeping
PHD Quilt inc tie cords no stuff sack 435
NeoAir X-Lite Small 207
3mm Foam matting 2' 6" (75cm) long 55cm wide. 62
Exped Airpillow UL M 45

Sub Total 749

Cooking
Evernew Ultra-Light Ti 600ml 92
Trail Designs Ti Tri Sidewinder 600ml 30
Optimus Ti folding spoon 17
Zelph Starlyte stove (meths) 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Foil 2
Measure pots (2) 1
Bottle (1) for meths 150ml 17
Z Packs Cuben stuff sack 4



179

Equipment
20 fl oz / 590ml bottles (45g each) 2 90
One 2L / One 1L Platypus containers 36g / 25g 61
Compass Silva Ranger 3 32
Harvey Dartmoor 1:50k 97
Silva ADC Pro 65
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl XP Core head light 83
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Suncream pot 7g 20
MosiGuard Natural (MLD pot 4g) 16
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 5.2m one piece 16

First Aid kit in light bag. 100
Wenger Swiss Army Knife (scissors, knife, tweezers, LED) 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Z Packs Cuben MLD 850 pot stuff sack (for above!) 3

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
Leather Needle and thread (wrapped around cuben) 2
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 14
Mylar tape 18" 4
Sil-Fix kit 12
Cable Ties reusable (2) 0
2 Paper Clips, 5 Safety Pins 4
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 3
SynMat Therm-A-Rest patches 2
Ear plugs 1
Toothbrush 5
Dr Bonner's soap (for teeth too!) Pot 4g 8
Towel Vaude 16
Hankie 5
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

TechNet 7000mAh 180
Charger lead (in with clothing / quilt) 13



Toilet paper (inc 5 Alco Wipe) 46
One Small MLD Dry bag for waste 13

Sub Total 1140

Clothing
PHD Waffer Jacket and hood 205
TNF Leggings 91
Rab T shirt 76
X Soxks 38
Seal Skinz socks 97





Montane eVent Air Jacket Small 296
Montane Pertex pants 140


Sub Total 943
BASE 1 (Hiking / Camping kit) 4374


Photo Kit in or on pack.
Gorilla Pod (no head) 241


Sub Total 241
BASE 2 (inc. Photo kit in pack) 4615


Separate Photo Kit. (Around neck!).
Camera Sony NEX 7, (paracord strap) 342
Sony NEX E Lens 10-18mm 265
Sony Microphone ECM-ALST1 54
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 103

Camera NEX 6 (paracord strap) 298
Sony NEX E Lens 16-50mm 174
AquaPac Small waterproof camera bag 100

Sub Total 1342
BASE 3 (inc. Camera Kit in pouch) 5957


Carrying / Holding / Pockets
Phone 147

Pacer poles Alloy 694

Sub Total 841
BASE 4 (Total Carrying on Person - not consumable) 6798

Total carried (food + pack + camera) NOT worn 9108


Wearing
Arcteryx Sqamish Hoody wind 135
Rab MeCo 120 T Shirt 122
Rohan Jungle LS shirt 305
Mountain Hardwear light zipped trousers 356
Rohan Pants 51
Smartwool Light Hiker Socks 86
Mountain Hardwear gloves 34
ChocFish Merino beanie 26
Buff 40
The North Face cap 66
MLD Bug head net 19
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Inov8 295 with SuperFeet 685
Credit card / Driving License in MLD cuben Ditty 17
Decongestant / Lip salve 17


Sub Total 2013


BASE 5 (Total of everything not consumable!) 8811


Drink
Tea bags (10) / Marvel (100g) / sweeteners (20) 76

Actual Packed weight 76

Breakfast Day ONE

Daytime Food
Nairns Oatcakes 56
Cheese (divided by 3 days (see day 4)) 66
Nature Valley Chewy Trail mix 30
NutriGrain Crunchy Oat Choc 40
NutriGrain Crunchy Oat Cinnamon 40
Nature Valley Ginger Nut Crunch 42

Actual Packed weight 305

Evening Food
Cup a Soup 22 44
Trek n Eat Beef Strog 160
Custard 15g, Marvel 20g, Sugar10g 45
Elevenses Ginger 45
Elevenses Chocolate 45
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30


Actual Packed weight 417

Weight and KCals of food for Day ONE 722


Breakfast Day TWO
Oats So Simple Golden Syrup 36
Oats So Simple Golden Apple Blueberrry 36
Oats So Simple Golden SyrupStrawberry Raspberry Cran 36


Actual Packed weight 111

Daytime Food
Nairns Oatcakes 56
Cheese (divided by 4 days (see day 4)) 85
Flapjack Bakewell 100
Jordans Multigrain Breakfast bar 40
NutriGrain Crunchy Oat Honey 40
Nature Valley Ginger Nut Oats and Choc 42

Actual Packed weight 356

Evening Food
Cup a Soup 2 44
Fuizion Kedgeree fish 110
Custard 15g, Marvel 20g, Sugar10g 45
Elevenses Ginger 45
Elevenses Chocolate 45
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30


Actual Packed weight 375

Weight and KCals of food for Day TWO 842


Breakfast Day THREE
Oats So Simple Golden Syrup 36
Oats So Simple Golden Apple Blueberrry 36
Oats So Simple Golden SyrupStrawberry Raspberry Cran 36


Actual Packed weight 111

Daytime Food
Nairns Oatcakes 56
Cheese (divided by 4 days (see day 4)) 85
Belvita Breakfast Cranberry 53
Belvita Breakfast Cranberry 53
Oatmeal to go Brown Sugar Cinnamon (USA) 60
Belvita Breakfast Cranberry 53

Actual Packed weight 336

Evening Food









Weight and KCals of food for Day THREE 447


MLD Cuben Large stuff sack medium 2 (7g) 14 14

Bottles (1) for meths 250ml (EXCLUDING Bottle!) 209 209

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 2310

Total Carrying Exc Clothing worn 9108

TOTAL On PERSON with food. NOT water . 11121 11121

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Condensation in the Cuben Grace solo tarp

Regarding my UL camp here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvT1D5GTtuA

I added this to a Facebook post, but it seemed prudent to add here and link to my UL Dartmoor camp with the MLD Grace solo tarp.
Regarding a lot of condensation under the tarp...

I guess the high humidity didn't help, it was very warm (we have had over a month of heatwave) and then rain and mist appeared, so I guess inevitable?
That's my first pitch of the MLD Grace in probably over a year and wanted to pitch it low as rain forecast. Maybe could have pitched rear a bit higher but didn't want rain being blown in. My poles are 1.2m long tied cord at top but probably could have made front nearer top, again didn't want rain blown in front. That kind of tarp is a big learning curve.

I'm sure a Trailstar or any shelter would have had as much condensation? Or maybe less due to being more closed and mist not getting in. Absolutely no idea.
All good fun in nice weather. I'd not be so keen in bad weather. But have seen these used in freezing mountains! Ruddy eck lol!!!

I'll be interested by the thoughts of others (and Chris Townsend) if they get a chance to watch it. I also need to research / pitch and play with this and rectangular Monk side by side to compare. As whilst they similar they different. I did notice this "dipped" in centre I think due to cut / cantanary cut here, it was very taut. It didn't move in the breeze! But breeze died down as the evening progressed.
I'll be interested in the thoughts of others.

Lighting Zelph Starlyte

From Zelph -
Trying to get a second boil after the stoves has been cooled and the lid put on is going to be hard to do. That second 1/2 ounce is primarily on the bottom layer of the stove. Vapors are being covered with the absorbing material. In order to get the vapors up to the top again I suggest the jet type. One of those would get the stove hot and would then ignite again.

One thing to try is hold the stove upside down and use a regular lighter so all the heat is concentrated on the center of the stove for 10 seconds or so.

Normal useage is to fill the stove with 1 ounce and heat your water. Blow out the stove and the remaining fuel is captured with the lid. When the stove is used again, 1/2 ounce is poured into it and then used. That same procedure can be used over and over again. Practicing at home under calm conditions is recommended.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/obijiwa/media/sub%20one/-13degreesalcoholtest.mp4.html

and here is a pointer to the original thread over at Whiteblaze.net where I first showed the video in cold windy weather:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?18383-STARLYTE-alcohol-stove-worlds-lytest-almost&p=566527&viewfull=1#post566527

Dan


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Big thanks to Rand at Trail Designs for getting in touch with Zelph and for Dan's detailed reply.
(I bough the stove).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fan page created on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/TonysWilderness
I have created a Fan page on Facebook, for those daft enough to wish to follow me there... Please feel free to Like it and let's see what happens...
Thanks to all for the support.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Scottish Watershed with Chris Townsend

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGCZPgC74kA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The legend that is Chris Townsend set off from our camp at Ettrick Head wearing sandals on the Southern Upland Way to pick up the Watershed of Scotland above Moffat heading for Biggar three days and two more nights of wild camping away.

Only the man with me didn't act the part of a legend, he was a friend,  making me very comfortable and for the first time in a while home didn't preoccupy my mind.  I had my home on my back, and someone I've known for more than ten years to walk with.  I was very relaxed, comfortable in my own skin.  That is what a friend can do, ease any tension I may feel, make me happy and contented! This was going to be a good time.  The weather was fabulous, bonus.

I had set off the previous day from home, having dropped Bess and Gizzy off at mum's.  Bess was recently diagnosed with cancer of the spleen so I reluctantly left her behind.

The drive north on the motorway was a clear run, four stops for tea, my own by the car.  Arriving at Moffat mid afternoon.  Chris messaged to say he had found a cafe and less than an hour after arriving I'm drinking tea with Chris.  He had been struggling to get a signal on his Vodafone.  Half an hour later his phone was tethered to mine and he had internet access.  That evening we dined together, finally leaving Chris at 11pm. 

We met at 10am the next morning, finding another cafe, I left Chris for a couple of hours to write an article for The Great Outdoors magazine.  Later using my phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot to send it off.

By 3pm we were finally ready to set off, heading out of Moffat down the road to join the Southern Upland Way.  This route takes you to the Watershed and this evening we camped along the SUW.

I filmed our Trailstar pitching and lighting of our Caldera Cone Infernos.  Camp was set up, food on.  Cuppa Soup is indeed tasty in camp!

We left camp along the SUW and headed to the line of the Watershed just a few dozen meters away.

We chatted all day long.  I felt very comfortable in Chris' company.  The only downside and it was minor and insignificant at the time I didn't really follow the route on the map much, caught up in the moment and happy to be guided by Chris.  Navigation was easy, follow the fence!  Having said that we did follow the wrong fence twice.

We stopped for food twice (I also snacked as we walked), I had gorgonzola cheese, this worked fine for me.  Cutting it with a tiny pen knife.

I carried 2 liters of water, and on this day I was glad for it as it was hot and we never left the Watershed to find water.  By camp I'd drunk it all!

From the start we had Capel Fell at 678m, several kilometers later was Bodesbeck Law at 665m.  MidRig at 657 reaching Herman Law at 614m.  From here we headed west to a quiet road at 330m climbing the other side to Watch Knowle at 605m this took us down to Loch Skeen at about 520m.  We camped nearby.

Under foot the going all day was excellent but was over many ascents followed by more descents.  Twenty One kilometers later we reached camp at 8pm. 

We headed off for water and before we saw the carcass Chris said he smelt a dead sheep!  Even when I saw it I smelt nothing.  We collected water upstream of it.  As is his want, Chris drank it without treating it.  I had my pre mixed Aqua Mira and added a few drops. Just in case.  In all honesty it probably wasn't needed!  I was taking water from source.

The camping spots were limited and I nabbed the prime space, leaving Chris an uncomfortably bumpy night nearby.  I did feel somewhat guilty.  But slept well!

Knowing we had to make 30km the next day we settled down quickly.  Chris inside his shelter, I used my foam mat just outside mine to cook and eat.  I didn't want to be separated just yet and having Chris close by was reassuring.

Once dinner was eaten, a Fuizion freeze dried meal.  This excellent food may soon be a thing of the past, one day maybe I'll look to cook my own and freeze dry it at home, an interesting idea.  I settled into my sleeping bag inside the MLD Bug Bivy.  This I found fine with few to zero midges.

It was a stunning location with a loch to one side, us on the Watershed, but being a low point there was a tiny stream nearby. 

I slept well.  Chris didn't and was a bit stiff the next morning.  We managed to set off by 10am.

We headed up the east side of Loch Skeen to Lochcraig Head at 800m, then Firthhope Rig at 800m and the last 800 hill was 808m Hart Fell.  We met the only walkers of the day here and Chris noted they wore boots! I thought we only crossed two 800m peaks but in fact it was three!  The drop down to the Col was long, 527m.  The following hills were not as high but they were still numerous.  We reached Annanhead Hill and followed the fence north then west.

We did make our second navigational error here, following "tracks" and fences is fraught with danger. My knee at this point also became incredibly uncomfortable and I was a little worried.  We stopped to rest and eat and my knee was instantly improved! Thank goodness.

From here we headed north for the first time. Bog Hill, Little Bog Hill almost lived up to their names but we're mostly reasonably easy going tussocks and heather.  We were in forestry for about 2 km, leaving it to face up to a massive wind farm.  This stretched for we'll over 20km! We were a bit behind and without the tracks of the wind farm we'd never have made camp at 9pm.  With the tracks we made good ground.  There was a concern we'd be camping in the shadows of the turbines but by Powskein Dod (536m) we'd left the turbines behind and the track.  Thankfully the tussocks were not bad and the going still reasonably easy to Black Dod.  The soles of my feet were feeling it by now.  After Black Dod we headed down its valley, found a stream and a couple of camping spots.  I had a couple of bumpy bits but it was acceptable.  We had covered 30km and a lot of ascent!

The next morning we left at 11am. Chris was easily distracted by my questions and chatting! He will make much quicker progress alone. We headed over Wills Cleuch Head 539m, Culter Cleuch Shank 650m, Coomb DoD 635m, Gathersnow Hill 688m below which we stopped and found water.  I removed my shoes and socks and all looked well.  It never crossed my mind and I've no idea if it may have helped later, but I wish at some point I'd rinsed the socks out...

Cutler Fell 748m and lastly Scawdmans Hill 573m.  We stopped for the last time just below on Gawky Hill, I did not remove my shoes and socks.

Here the Watershed becomes tricky to follow with no apparent right or wrong way! He followed the boundary fence but this did head into a valley!  So it seems even the powers that be had no idea where the Watershed went here...  Any route here meant crossing water so we were not "wrong".

There was a long road march to reach Biggar which we did at 8.30pm.  I ordered a taxi and booked bed and breakfast in Moffat where my car was.
This gave me time to eat dinner with Chris and have a celebratory glass of water.  My default in a pub is water! 

It felt very strange leaving Chris behind and saying farewell.  He had been terrific company, the best a friend could offer.  I truly hope he got as much out of my company as I did his!

At the bed and breakfast I removed my shoes and socks to find a blister under my big toe and a big blister behind my left heel!!  My feet had been tender but so they had the night before and nothing was untoward with my feet then.  Not now.  Bugger.  The next morning my socks were dry and stiff as boards!! I can't help wondering if a rince out now and again may have helped.

It had been a wonderful 85km walk (including the walk from Moffat to our first nights camp) and tough on my body but mentally I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thank you Chris!!

I hope we can do something similar "soon"...




Camp List April (maybe after Templer Way) 2013


Pack
MLD pack Prophet all options Frameless 2900ci / 47L 626
MLD cuben X Large dry bag / liner. 45

Sub Total 671

Shelter
MLD Cuben Trailstar in Cuben stuff bag 380
MLD Rain Kilt prototype 59
MLD Cuben Bug Bivi no cuben stuff sack 142
Pegs 3 Easton 9", Three 6" Ti V, Five MLD 6". 134
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23



Sub Total 738

Sleeping
PHD Sleeping Bag 250/900 (MLD dry bag 35g). 628
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite Regular (R3.2) 364
3mm Foam matting 2' 6" (75cm) long 55cm wide. 62
Exped Airpillow UL M 45

Sub Total 1099

Cooking
Evernew Ultra-Light Ti 900ml 110
Evernew Ultra-Light Ti 600ml 92
Trail Designs Ti Tri Cone 900 41
Trail Designs Ti Tri Inferno 900 22
Trail Designs Circular Floor 24
Grate (2 pieces) 19
2 pegs for support 12
Trail Designs 10-12 burner 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Light My Fire / Fire steel 28
Bottle (1) for meths 150ml 17
Bottle (1) for meths 250ml 25
Measure pots (2) 1
LifeVenture Lexan spoon 14
Spork 16
Z Packs Cuben stuff sack 4
Caddy 78
519

Equipment
20 fl oz / 590ml bottles (45g each) 2 90
One 2L / One 1L Platypus containers 36g / 25g 61
Compass Silva Ranger 3 32
Map / case 2 sheets cut to size 152
Silva ADC Pro 65
TechNet 7000mAh 180
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl e+lite 28
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Suncream pot 7g 20
MosiGuard Natural (MLD pot 4g) 16
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 5.2m one piece 16

First Aid kit in light bag. 145
Wenger Swiss Army Knife (scissors, knife, tweezers, LED) 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Whistle 9
Leather Needle and thread (wrapped around cuben) 2
Z Packs Cuben MLD 850 pot stuff sack (for above!) 3

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 14
Mylar tape 18" 4
Sil-Fix kit 12
Cable Ties reusable (2) 0
2 Paper Clips, 5 Safety Pins 4
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 4
SynMat patches 5
Ear plugs 0
Mueller Support Wrap (First Aid) 34
MLD Cuben Ditty Bag for above 2

Toothbrush 5
Dr Bonner's soap (for teeth too!) Pot 4g 8
Towel Vaude 16
Hankies 2 10
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Anker Battery Charger 10,000 mAh 245
Charger lead 13
Three batteries for cameras (57g each) 171
SD card for camera Three (4g each) 12
Two spare batteries for e+Lite 6
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Toilet paper (inc 5 Alco Wipe) 59
Two Small MLD Dry bags for waste 26


Sub Total 1700

Clothing
Arcteryx Delta LT Zip Polartec Thermal Pro Micro S cream 204
TNF Leggings 91
Icebreaker Liner gloves 21
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
Extremities Polartec Balaclava 46
MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody 367
MLD Cuben dry bag Medium 19

Montane eVent Air Jacket Small 296
Montane Pertex pants 140
MLD Mitts eVent 42

Sub Total 1274
BASE 1 (Hiking / Camping kit) 6001


Photo Kit in or on pack.
TRIPOD Gitzo GT 0541 / G 1077M head 828
Binoculars Leica Ultravid 8*20 253

Sub Total 1081
BASE 2 (inc. Photo kit in pack) 7082


Separate Photo Kit. (Around neck!).
Camera Sony NEX 7, (paracord strap) 342
Sony NEX E Lens 10-18mm 265
Sony Microphone ECM-ALST1 54
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 103

Camera NEX 6 (paracord strap) 298
Sony NEX E Lens 16-50mm 174
AquaPac Small waterproof camera bag 100

Sub Total 1342
BASE 3 (inc. Camera Kit in pouch) 8424


Carrying / Holding / Pockets
Phone 147
Alwych Book (130g) and Inka pen (16g) 146
Pacer Poles Carbon 524

Sub Total 817
BASE 4 (Total Carrying on Person - not consumable) 9241

Total carried (food + pack + camera) NOT worn 12995


Wearing
Arcteryx Sqamish Hoody wind 135
Rab MeCo 120 T Shirt 122
Rohan Jungle LS shirt 305
Mountain Hardwear light zipped trousers 356
Rohan Pants 51
Smartwool Light Hiker Socks 86
Mountain Hardwear gloves 34
ChocFish Merino beanie 26
Buff 40
The North Face cap 66
MLD Bug head net 19
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Inov8 295 with SuperFeet 685
Credit card / Driving License in MLD cuben Ditty 17
Decongestant / Lip salve 17


Sub Total 2013


BASE 5 (Total of everything not consumable!) 11254


Drink Kcals
Tea bags (10) / Marvel (100g) / sweeteners (20) 158 348

Actual Packed weight 158

Breakfast Day ONE Kcals
Oats So Simple Golden Syrup 36 135
Oats So Simple Golden Apple Blueberrry 36 130
Oats So Simple Golden SyrupStrawberry Raspberry Cran 36 129
Marvel 30 105

Actual Packed weight 140 499

Daytime Food Kcals
Nairns Oatcakes 56 252
Cheese (divided by 4 days (see day 4)) 85 315
NutriGrain Breakfast Biscuits Oats Honey 44 192
NutriGrain Crunchy Oat Choc 40 187
NutriGrain Crunchy Oat Cinnamon 40 186
Nature Valley Ginger Nut Crunch 42 189

Actual Packed weight 325 1321

Evening Food Kcals
Cup a Soup 22 99
Fuizion Lamb stew 110 634
Custard 15g, Marvel 20g, Sugar10g 45 160
Elevenses Ginger 45 170
Elevenses Chocolate 45 182
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30 113
Cocoa 2g, Marvel 20g, Sugar 10g 32 117

Actual Packed weight 366 1475

Weight and KCals of food for Day ONE 831 3295


Breakfast Day TWO Kcals
Oats So Simple Golden Syrup 36 135
Oats So Simple Golden Apple Blueberrry 36 130
Oats So Simple Golden SyrupStrawberry Raspberry Cran 36 129
Marvel 30 105

Actual Packed weight 140 499

Daytime Food Kcals
Nairns Oatcakes 56 252
Cheese (divided by 4 days (see day 4)) 85 315
Rick Stein Oatcakes 89 418
Jordans Multigrain Breakfast bar 40 147
NutriGrain Crunchy Oat Honey 40 185
Nature Valley Ginger Nut Oats and Choc 42 195

Actual Packed weight 367 1512

Evening Food Kcals
Cup a Soup 22 99
Fuizion Minced Beef and Ale Stew 110 588
Custard 15g, Marvel 20g, Sugar10g 45 160
Elevenses Ginger 45 170
Elevenses Chocolate 45 182
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30 113
Cocoa 2g, Marvel 20g, Sugar 10g 32 117

Actual Packed weight 366 1429

Weight and KCals of food for Day TWO 873 3440


Breakfast Day THREE Kcals
Oats So Simple Golden Syrup 36 135
Oats So Simple Golden Apple Blueberrry 36 130
Oats So Simple Golden SyrupStrawberry Raspberry Cran 36 129
Marvel 30 105

Actual Packed weight 140 499

Daytime Food Kcals
Nairns Oatcakes 56 252
Cheese (divided by 4 days (see day 4)) 85 315
Rick Stein Oatcakes 89 418
Jordans Multigrain Breakfast bar 40 147
Oatmeal to go Brown Sugar Cinnamon (USA) 60 220
Belvita Breakfast Cranberry 53 220

Actual Packed weight 387 1572

Evening Food Kcals
Cup a Soup 22 99
Fuizion Minced Savoury Minced Lamb Potatoes Veg 110 540
Custard 15g, Marvel 20g, Sugar10g 45 160
Elevenses Ginger 45 170
Elevenses Chocolate 45 182
Cocoa 2g, Marvel 20g, Sugar 10g 32 117

Actual Packed weight 340 1268

Weight and KCals of food for Day THREE 867 3339


Breakfast Day FOUR Kcals
Oats So Simple Golden Syrup 36 135

Actual Packed weight 38 135

Daytime Food Kcals
Naan Bread 240 700
Gorganzola cheese 200g 85 315
Stilton Cheese 145g 0 0

Actual Packed weight 347 1015

Evening Food Kcals
Green and Blacks dark chocolate 100 575
Fuizion Chocolate and Orange Rice pudding 150 874

Actual Packed weight 275 1449

Weight and KCals of food for Day FOUR 660 2599


MLD Cuben Large stuff sack 1 (9g) and 3 medium (7g) 30 30

Bottles (2) for meths 400ml (EXCLUDING Bottles!) 335 335

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 3754 13021

Total Carrying Exc Clothing worn 12995

TOTAL On PERSON with food. NOT water . 15008 15008






Bess List (Bess stayed at home due to illness.)

Ruffwear Pack Approach (Blue) 500
Ruffwear Day Coat / high vis / water resistant 155
Dog Bowl 30
Food 1500
Schmackos 258
Trek Towel 80*60cm 105
Pegs, various collection. 96
Sourse Reservoir 30
OookWorks BessBed 131

Bess Total. 2805

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cairngorms in Winter.

This is a cracking film and should put Chris Townsend center stage with the recognition he richly deserves!  His narration is full of honest love of his own back garden. And what a back garden to have!

He explains everything very well from the landscape around him to equipment needed and setting up camp.

The music alone is beautiful and could easily make a CD.

Terry's filming is stunning and shows off the beautiful landscape very well.

If you have a chance to get the DVD I highly recommend it.

As a Kickstarter backer I have been lucky to see it via the internet.

Congratulations to Chris and Terry!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kit list and blog report for the Templer Way walk and solo camp.

Watch "Templer Way walk with the DSRT (Ashburton) and a camp (12th) on the moors in the Duomid." on YouTube

Words to follow...



Camp List April (after Templer Way) 2013


Pack
MLD pack Prophet all options Frameless 2900ci / 47L 626
MLD cuben X Large dry bag / liner. 45

Sub Total 671

Shelter
MLD Cuben Duomid in MLD Cuben stuff bag 409
MLD Cuben Grounsheet 2'3"/7' 75
Pegs 4 Easton 9", 4 6" Ti V, 4 MLD 6" 150
AlpKit Carbon Pole Extension 41
Quest Outfitters 0.74oz cuben sheet 2' 4'6" 24
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23
Pacer Pole Bungs (2) 24

Sub Total 746

Sleeping
PHD Sleeping Bag 350/900 MLD dry bag. 991
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite Regular (R3.2) 364
3mm Foam matting 2' 6" (75cm) long 55cm wide. 62
Exped Airpillow 79

Sub Total 1496

Cooking
Trail Designs Caldera Keg F 31
Trail Designs Caldera Keg F Ti Tri cone 35
Trail Designs 10-12 burner 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Light My Fire / Fire steel 28
Foil (aluminium) 10
Measure pots (2) 1
LifeVenture Lexan spoon 14
Spoon - MLD 16
Trail Designs Caddy 76
Bottle (1) for meths 175ml 17

Sub Total 244

Equipment
20 fl oz / 590ml bottles (45g each) 2 90
Two 2L Platypus containers 36g 72
Compass Silva Ranger 3 32
Map / case (cut a bit off!) 113
Silva ADC Pro 65
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl XP Core head light 83
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Suncream pot 7g 22
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 5.2m one piece 16

First Aid kit in light bag. 115
Wenger Swiss Army Knife (scissors, knife, tweezers, LED) 24
MagLite Solitaire AAA 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Whistle 9
Hirsch Talg Crème 5
Leather Needle and thread (wrapped around cuben) 2
Pod First Aid Dry Bag (For above) 25

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 14
Mylar tape 18" 4
Sil-Fix kit 12
Cable Ties reusable (2) 0
2 Paper Clips, 5 Safety Pins 4
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 4
SynMat patches 5
Ear plugs 0
Mueller Support Wrap (First Aid) 34
MLD Cuben Ditty Bag for above 2

Toothbrush 5
Dr Bonner's soap (for teeth too!) Pot 4g 8
Towel Vaude 16
Hankies 2 10
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Ear Phones for phone 7
Teck Net inc short lead / adaptor. 193
SD card for camera 4
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2


Toilet paper (inc 1 Alco Wipe) 22

Waste Pod stuff sack inc 6g plastic bag 66
Pee bottle 85

Sub Total 1399

Clothing
Arcteryx Delta LT Zip Polartec Thermal Pro Micro S cream 204
TNF Leggings 91
Icebreaker Liner gloves 21
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
ChocFish Balaclava 73
MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody 367
MLD Cuben dry bag Medium 19

Montane eVent Air Jacket Small 296
Berghaus Paclite trousers 198
MLD Mitts eVent 42

Sub Total 1359
BASE 1 (Hiking / Camping kit) 5915


Photo Kit in or on pack.
Tripod - Gorilla Pod (no head) 241

Sub Total 241
BASE 2 (inc. Photo kit in pack) 6156


Separate Photo Kit. (Around neck!).
Camera Sony NEX 7, (paracord strap) 342
Sony NEX E Lens 10-18mm 265
Sony Microphone ECM-ALST1 54
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 109

Camera NEX 6 (paracord strap) 298
Sony NEX E Lens 16-50mm 174
AquaPac Small waterproof camera bag 100

Sub Total 1348
BASE 3 (inc. Camera Kit in pouch) 7504


Carrying / Holding / Pockets
Phone 147
Pacer poles Alloy 694

Sub Total 841
BASE 4 (Total Carrying on Person - not consumable) 8345

Total carried (food + pack + camera) NOT worn 9599


Wearing
Arcteryx Sqamish Hoody wind 135
ChocFish Merino T Shirt 187
Rohan LS shirt 278
Mountain Hardwear light zipped trousers 356
Rohan Pants 51
Smartwool Light Hiker Socks 86
Mountain Hardwear gloves 34
ChocFish Merino beanie 26
Buff 40
The North Face cap 66
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Inov8 295 with SuperFeet 685
Credit card / Driving License in MLD cuben Ditty 17
Decongestant / Lip salve 17

Sub Total 2032


BASE 5 (Total of everything not consumable!) 10377


Drink
Tea bags (5) / Marvel (35g) / sweeteners (10) 74

Actual Packed weight 74

Daytime Food
Rolls 2 (Aprox weight!) 400
NutriGrain Elevenses 45
NutriGrain Elevenses 45
BelVita Breakfast 50
BelVita Breakfast 50

Actual Packed weight 600

Evening Food
Fuizion Lamb Couscous 110
Elevenses Ginger 45
Elevenses Chocolate 45
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30

Actual Packed weight 305

Breakfast (Day Time!)
Porridge (50/20/10g) 1 Portion. 80
Jordans Breakfast bar 40

Actual Packed weight 140

MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9 9

Bottle (1) for meths 175ml (EXCLUDING Bottle!) 126 126

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 1254

Total Carrying Exc Clothing worn 9599

TOTAL On PERSON with food. NOT water . 11631 11631






Bess List

Ruffwear Pack Approach 500
Ruffwear Day Coat / high vis / water resistant 155
Dog Bowl 30
Food 500
Schmackos 300
Trek Towel 80*60cm 105
Trek Towel 110*60cm 147
Pegs, various collection. 169
OookWorks BessBed 131

Bess Total. 2037

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dartmoor, the Cuben Trailstar and the big freeze!

Watch "Dartmoor, A freezing test for the Cuben Trailstar 25.3.13 (Camp 11!)." on YouTube

The going was dry until I passed Devil's Tor heading for Cut Hill.  The height up here was between 561m and 604m but the chill belied the footing!  Whilst the surface was frozen the freeze hadn't worked its way to the deeper bogs under and my feet occasionally sank through a crusting of ice and plunged into freezing water below.  This wasn't quite as dramatic as it sounds but it was here where my trail shoes and three layers of socks were put to the greatest test!  They just about passed and I'll not be swapping my shoes for boots any time soon.

I left the car park at about 8.50am and headed up Brat Tor, the sun was trying to shine past a few gaps in the clouds and it was almost warm walking.  I could see Hare Tor from here and made a direct approach to it, clouds closing in on the sun shortly after.

From Hare Tor was Ger Tor and then the car park, the only downside to this route, following the road for a few hundred metres to the foot path that leads to Coffin Woods and Bagga Tor.  Amazingly the sun was still fighting here and the chill that was to come soon after on the path to Lydford Tor was a reminder it was still wintery conditions!  My hands cooled and I donned my MLD eVent mitts, these blocked the freezing wind and my hands quickly warmed.  My feet were doing well.

My footwear consisted of Inov8 295s with a layering of Sealskinz, merino liner and next to skin Coolmax liner sock.  It was approaching Cut Hill with Lydford Tor at my back that my feet first cooled with the occasional drop into boggy water, but didn't freeze!  If I'd have been slower or with someone who stopped often or was slower I can see on this occasion I'd have had very cold feet.  But alone and doggedly heading forward I never really noticed and certainly didn't worry about the cold.  The rest of me was very warm.  I had three layers in total, a merino long sleeve top, a synthetic long sleeve top and my Paramo Vista jacket.  In temperatures down to -3c and wind chill of -8c I was never cold.  My stops were brief, consisting short filming clips and one stop to eat a roll.  My energy bars were eaten on the hoof.

I headed to Fur Tor, Little Kneeset and Great Kneeset.  Passing a scavenging badger.  Then down to a ford before heading up toward Lints Tor.  I crossed the ford with a strange sensation in my feet.  For the first few steps it felt like my feet reacted to the freezing water by warming up. Then realisation hit and I felt the coolness of the water through my Sealskinz socks!  I has about 200m up the hill and looked back to see Bess pacing back and forward on the other side of the ford.  She hadn't followed me across!

I had to head back and encourage her to cross the chilly water.  She did, reluctantly. Due to depth more than temperature.

About 20 minutes later or so I reached Sandy Ford and looked across it to see a flat area the other side.  My feet were already wet. Better soak them again now not a fresh soaking in the morning so I crossed.  The cuben Trailstar was set up best I could on the rocky subsoil.

Once the pitch was completed I set up my groundsheet and blew up my bed and set up my sleeping bag.  This time due to the chill and time I got my shoes and socks off quickly and got into bed.  My feet warmed within the hour.  Tea was put on and I was again very relaxed.  I'm certainly finding the camping side of things very relaxing and enjoyable now.  Pitching and recording my progress is marvelous.

I got Bess settled down and she warmed up with food and water.

I slept well again, I'm convinced the balaclava helps here by not falling off and potentially blocking some background noise.  Also my bag was warm and comfortable.

I slept soundly until 5am donning one layer to fight off the early morning chill.  Breakfast and tea was had and I began the process of packing up.  This still takes a good hour all in.

I got out of the sleeping bag, changed out of my leggings and put on my Paramo Cascada trousers and two pairs of socks.  This was just enough to keep me warm whilst packing sleeping mat and bag away.  The foam mat is vital here as I can stand / squat on it keeping my feet off the ground and warm.

I found the frameless pack easy to pack up and a continued joy to carry.  I was happy with the low weight and knowledge that I was covered for most eventualities.

The MLD Trailstar kept the temperature inside at least 2c warmer than outside.  Mind you, outside it was -8c!

A few facts from the SatMap Bess carried.  Day one only. Didn't record day two to the car. About 6 to 8km. About an hour and three quarters.

Distance 27 km
Total time 8 hrs
Time moving 6 hrs
Ave moving speed 4.4kph
Ave speed 3.2kph
942m Total ascent
Max speed 20kph.

Camp List December - March (25th) 2013

Pack
MLD Exodus (All options) 3500ci / 57L (None FS pack!) 677
MLD cuben X Large dry bag / liner. 45

Sub Total 722

Shelter
MLD Cuben Trailstar in Cuben stuff bag 380
OookWorks OookStar Cuben Groundsheet 120
MLD Superlight Bivi in Cuben stuff bag 154
Pegs 3 Easton 9", Three 6" Ti V, Five MLD 6". 134
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23
Pacer Pole Bungs (2) 24

Sub Total 835

Sleeping
PHD Sleeping bag 600/900 MLD dry bag (XL Dry Bag?) 1186
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Regular 429
MultiMat 2' 4" cut off. 79
Exped Airpillow 79

Sub Total 1773

Cooking
MLD 850ml ti pot inc string pouch 106
MLD 450ml ti pot 37
Trail Designs MLD 850 Ti Tri cone 48
Trail Designs 10-12 burner 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Light My Fire / Fire steel 28
Foil (aluminium) 10
Measure pots (2) 1
LifeVenture Lexan spoon 14
Spoon - MLD 16
Trail Designs Caddy 89
Bottle (1) for meths 175ml 17

Sub Total 382

Equipment
20 fl oz / 590ml bottles (45g each) 2 90
Two 2L Platypus containers 36g 72
Compass Silva Ranger 3 32
Map / case (cut a bit off!) 113
Silva ADC Pro 65
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl XP Core head light 83
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Suncream pot 7g 22
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 5.2m one piece 16

First Aid kit in light bag. 115
Wenger Swiss Army Knife (scissors, knife, tweezers, LED) 24
MagLite Solitaire AAA 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Whistle 9
Hirsch Talg Crème 5
Leather Needle and thread (wrapped around cuben) 2
Pod First Aid Dry Bag (For above) 25

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 14
Mylar tape 18" 4
Sil-Fix kit 12
Cable Ties reusable (2) 0
2 Paper Clips, 5 Safety Pins 4
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 4
SynMat patches 5
Ear plugs 0
Mueller Support Wrap (First Aid) 34
MLD Cuben Ditty Bag for above 2

Toothbrush 5
Dr Bonner's soap (for teeth too!) Pot 4g 8
Towel Vaude 16
Hankies 2 10
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Ear Phones for phone 7
Teck Net inc short lead / adaptor. 193
SD card for camera 4
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Surgical Gloves 12
Toilet paper (inc 1 Alco Wipe) 22
Plastic / Freezer bags for Shoes / Feet ONE bag. 5
Waste Pod stuff sack inc 6g plastic bag 66
Pee bottle 85

Sub Total 1416

Clothing
Arcteryx Delta LT Zip Polartec Thermal Pro Micro S cream 204
TNF Leggings 91
ChocFish Merino gloves black 41
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
ChocFish Balaclava 73
MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9

PHD Minimus Drishell Pullover Small 355
MLD Cuben dry bag Medium 19

MLD Mitts eVent 42

Sub Total 873
BASE 1 (Hiking / Camping kit) 6001

Photo Kit in or on pack.
Tripod - Gorilla Pod (no head) 241

Sub Total 241
BASE 2 (inc. Photo kit in pack) 6242

Separate Photo Kit. (Around neck!).
Camera Sony NEX 7, paracord 342
Sony NEX E Lens 10-18mm 265
Sony Microphone ECM-ALST1 54
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 103

Sub Total 770
BASE 3 (inc. Camera Kit in pouch) 7012

Carrying / Holding / Pockets
Phone 147
Pacer Poles Carbon 524

Sub Total 671
BASE 4 (Total Carrying on Person - not consumable) 7683

Total carried (food + pack + camera) NOT worn 9292

Wearing
ChocFish Merino T Shirt 187
Patagonia Polartec Blue Pullover S Pocket Regulator R1 284
Rohan Pants 51
Sealskinzsocks 98
Smartwool merino liner sock 41
Coolmax liner sock 42
Paramo Cascada Trousers, small 550
Lowe Alpine Polartec Thermal Pro Tibet Hat Beanie 56
TrekMates Merino Touchscreen Gloves 30
Outdoor Designs Bora gloves medium Windpro 86
ChocFish Merino beanie 26
Paramo Coat Vista 556
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Inov8 295 with SuperFeet 685
Credit card / Driving License in MLD cuben Ditty 17
Decongestant / Lip salve 17

Sub Total 2780

BASE 5 (Total of everything not consumable!) 10463

Drink
Tea bags (5) / Marvel (35g) / sweeteners (10) 74

Actual Packed weight 74

Daytime Food
Rolls 2 (Aprox weight!) 200
Nature Valley Crunch Oats and Honey 42
Nature Valley Crunch Ginger Nut Crunch 42
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30

Actual Packed weight 400

Evening Food
LWWF Tees Valley Beef Meat Balls 270
LWWF Staff Chicken Casserole 289
Potato (2 lots) 100

Elevenses Ginger 45
Elevenses Chocolate 45
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30

Actual Packed weight 865

Breakfast (Day Time!)
Porridge (50/20/10g) 1 Portion. 80
Quaker Oat So Simple Morning Bar Fruit Muesli 35

Actual Packed weight 135

MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9 9

Bottle (1) for meths 175ml (EXCLUDING Bottle!) 126 126

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 1609

Total Carrying Exc Clothing worn 9292

TOTAL On PERSON with food. NOT water . 12072 12072


Bess List

Ruffwear Pack Palisades 850
Ruffwear Day Coat / high vis / water resistant 155
Dog Bowl 30
Food 500
Schmackos 300
Trek Towel 80*60cm 105
Trek Towel 110*60cm 147
Pegs, various collection. 169
OookWorks BessBed 131
MultiMat 2' 4" cut off. 79
Bess Total. 2466

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A freezing wild camp on Dartmoor with a wind chill of -12c!

Watch "A freezing camp on Dartmoor 12.3.13. This is now my 10th wild camp!" on YouTube

My love of trail shoes was enhanced this walk.  With howling winds pushing the air temperature of -5c to a low of -12c with wind chill I was more than comfortable in my Inov8 295s encasing a pair each of Coolmax liner, Smartwool liner and lastly Sealskinz socks I never once got cold feet despite my feet once now and again dropping through snow and icy bogs to freezing water below!  Mostly my feet trod firm frozen terrain but did scoop snow on top which stuck to my shoes.  Care was needed on some areas as the snow covered dips that could trap a foot and had drifted up against boulders on the descent of Yes Tor.  These boulders are tricky at the best of times, I was extra vigilante here as I didn't fancy a twisted ankle! Boots wouldn't have helped here any more and I never once regretted my shoes.

I wanted to do this camp about now despite it being only 2 weeks since I was camping two weeks ago....as it was about a year ago I started this (for me) epic quest of wild camping and it seemed fitting to return to my roots!  Many more camps will be in this neck of the woods, my neck of the woods that I call home on Dartmoor.  Despite the odd feeling I get for home.

I left the car park and headed to Brat Tor and stopped for a moment of reflection.  As I knew the army were firing on the Willsworthy range I, this time, made sure I was well left of Chat Tor just outside the range!  Bypassing it I walked over rough ground, few if any actual tracks here, over Rattle Brook and Green Tor Water.  Must admit I was walking on instinct without knowing what I was crossing! I knew where I was and where I was going. Over Amicombe Hill towards Little Kneeset.  The terrain was frozen and the tussocks were shorter than usual but just as slow going not that I was very slow!   Filming is good for another reason, it stops me, makes me take in my surroundings rather than he'll bent on marching!

I've never walked in such extremes before, both cold and wind and it was a taste of what Scotland probably has, albeit a taste only!

From here there is usually a path of sorts to Great Kneeset but it was obscured by snow!  From here I went to Dinger Tor and Yes Tor.  I never saw anyone all day and the only evidence of a passing were some footsteps in the snow between Dinger and Yes Tor.

I was very careful heading off Yes Tor towards Meldon Reservoir.  It was an easy walk by the reservoir.

I arrived at camp at about 3pm and went about pitching the Trailstar, I'm still far from expert at this and first had it a tad high for the conditions!  Eighteen minutes later I was happy with my lower pitch albeit with a small breeze passing under it. I then put down my Oookworks groundsheet.  I felt warm inside it but working at pitching and unpacking inside a shelter is misleading as outside it was bitter!  I started to prepare for bed just after 4pm, tucked up by 4.30.  Shooting video helps two fold.  After the camp it helps interaction with friends who watch it and more importantly at the time, it uses time and is my own personal entertainment.  One I choose to share and relive.

The evening passed well with a film and a read and two meals.  I must have fallen asleep at about 9pm and was sound asleep.  I had a nightmare! Maybe reading James Herbert wasn't wise.  I remember it well.  I was where I was in the shelter I was in in the valley I was in.  But rather than green hills I had houses on the hills, and someone threw something abusively at me and then people were pulling pegs out, collapsing the Trailstar on me!  I called out to leave me alone and woke to Bess moving about trying to get closer to me!!

Thankfully I nodded off again until cold awoke me at 4.  I was wearing one layer.  I suspect in the past I'd have stupidly shivered til morning despite having clothing by my side.  This time I donned an extra layer.  I didn't think I'd fall asleep but it was the dawn chorus that awoke me at 6am.

With the possible exception of my first ever camp in the fortress of the Staika this was my best nights sleep by far.  I was much more comfortable in my new Chocolatefish balaclava as it stayed put and my head didn't cool off!  Nightmare and body cooling aside I slept well on the Therm-A-Rest Prolite Plus and it was only the thought of heading home that sadly saw me stirring at 6.30 to make tea and breakfast and make a relaxed packing up experience.  I don't rush and it was 8am that I set off.  A time I'm usually getting up at home!

I was at the car by 9.20 and as my feet were dry I didn't change shoes and was off by 9.30 and home by 11.30. It felt good to be back but strangely, melancholy.  It was never like this in Sue's company, something I long for in the longer term. 

I'll be back!
A few facts...

18.8km to camp.
7hrs
Time moving 4 hr 18 mins.
Ave moving 4.4kph.
794m asc
Max height 607m
278m min height!

Max speed 23kph!  Bess was carrying my SatMap for this information ;-)

I reset for back to the car. About 8km in 1.20 hrs.  I say about as I knew I'd forget to stop it from laying a Trail all the way home!

Kit to follow...


Camp List December - March 2013


Pack
MLD Exodus (All options) 3500ci / 57L (None FS pack!) 677
MLD cuben X Large dry bag / liner. 45

Sub Total 722

Shelter
MLD Silnylon Trailstar + lines in cuben stuff sack 639
OookWorks OookStar Cuben Groundsheet 120
MLD Superlight Bivi in Cuben stuff bag 154
Pegs 3 Easton 9", Three 6" Ti V, Five MLD 6". 134
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23
Pacer Pole Bungs (2) 24


Sub Total 1094

Sleeping
PHD Sleeping bag 600/900 MLD dry bag (XL Dry Bag?) 1186
Therm-A-Rest Prolite Plus Regular (3.8R) 656
Therm-A-Rest Z Lite (cut to 5 pieces) 64cm / 25" 135
Exped Airpillow 79

Sub Total 2056

Cooking
MLD 850ml ti pot inc string pouch 106
MLD 450ml ti pot 37
Trail Designs MLD 850 Ti Tri cone 48
Trail Designs 10-12 burner 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Light My Fire / Fire steel 28
Foil (aluminium) 10
Measure pots (2) 1
LifeVenture Lexan spoon 14
Spoon - MLD 16
Trail Designs Caddy 89
Bottle (1) for meths 175ml 17

Sub Total 382

Equipment
20 fl oz / 590ml bottles (45g each) 2 90
Two 2L Platypus containers 36g 72
Compass Silva Ranger 3 32
Map / case (cut a bit off!) 113
Silva ADC Pro 65
Asus Nexus 7 / Aquapac 384
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl XP Core head light 83
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Suncream pot 7g 22
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 5.2m one piece 16

First Aid kit in light bag. 115
Wenger Swiss Army Knife (scissors, knife, tweezers, LED) 24
MagLite Solitaire AAA 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Whistle 9
Hirsch Talg Crème 5
Leather Needle and thread (wrapped around cuben) 2
Pod First Aid Dry Bag (For above) 25

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 14
Mylar tape 18" 4
Sil-Fix kit 12
Cable Ties reusable (2) 0
2 Paper Clips, 5 Safety Pins 4
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 4
SynMat patches 5
Ear plugs 0
Mueller Support Wrap (First Aid) 34
MLD Cuben Ditty Bag for above 2

Toothbrush 5
Dr Bonner's soap (for teeth too!) Pot 4g 8
Towel Vaude 16
Hankies 2 10
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Ear Phones for phone 7
Teck Net inc lead / adaptor. 199
SD card for camera 4
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

MLD Small Cuben stuff sack (for removed hat / gloves) 6
Surgical Gloves 12
Toilet paper (inc 1 Alco Wipe) 22
Plastic / Freezer bags for Shoes / Feet 19
Waste Pod stuff sack inc 6g plastic bag 66
Pee bottle 85

Sub Total 1826

Clothing
Arcteryx Delta LT Zip Polartec Thermal Pro Micro S cream 204
TNF Leggings 91
ChocFish Merino gloves black 41
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
ChocFish Balaclava 73
PHD Minimus hat 32
MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9

PHD Minimus Drishell Pullover Small 355
MLD Cuben dry bag Medium 19

MLD Mitts eVent 42

Sub Total 905
BASE 1 (Hiking / Camping kit) 6985


Photo Kit in or on pack.
Tripod - Gorilla Pod (no head) 241

Sub Total 241
BASE 2 (inc. Photo kit in pack) 7226


Separate Photo Kit.
Camera Sony NEX 7, paracord 342
Sony NEX E Lens 10-18mm 265
Sony Microphone ECM-ALST1 54
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 103

Sub Total 770
BASE 3 (inc. Camera Kit in pouch) 7996


Carrying / Holding / Pockets
Phone / AquaPac (No rear protector on phone!) 143
Pacer poles Alloy 694

Sub Total 837
BASE 4 (Total Carrying on Person - not consumable) 8833

Total carried (food + pack + camera) NOT worn 10405


Wearing
ChocFish Merino T Shirt 187
Patagonia Polartec Blue Pullover S Pocket Regulator R1 284
Rohan Pants 51
Sealskinzsocks 98
Smartwool merino liner sock 41
Coolmax liner sock 42
Paramo Cascada Trousers, small 550

TrekMates Merino Touchscreen Gloves 30
Outdoor Designs Bora gloves medium Windpro 86
ChocFish Merino beanie 26
Paramo hat 80
Paramo Coat Vista 556
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Inov8 295 with SuperFeet 685
Credit card / Driving License in MLD cuben Ditty 17
Decongestant / Lip salve 17

Sub Total 2804


BASE 5 (Total of everything not consumable!) 11637


Drink
Tea bags (5) / Marvel (35g) / sweeteners (10) 74

Actual Packed weight 74

Daytime Food Kcals
Rolls 2 (Aprox weight!) 200 400
Nature Valley Crunch Oats and Honey 42 198
Nature Valley Crunch Ginger Nut Crunch 42 189
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30 113
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30 113

Actual Packed weight 358 1013

Evening Food
LWWF Tees Valley Beef Meat Balls 270 289
LWWF Staff Chicken Casserole 289 178
Potato (2 lots) 100 300

Elevenses Ginger 45 170
Elevenses Chocolate 45 182
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30 113
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30 113

Actual Packed weight 870 1345

Breakfast (Day Time!)
Porridge (50/20/10g) 1 Portion. 80 285
Quaker Oat So Simple Morning Bar Fruit Muesli 35 139

Actual Packed weight 135 424

MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9 9

Bottle (1) for meths 175ml (EXCLUDING Bottle!) 126 126

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 1572 2782

Total Carrying Exc Clothing worn 10405

TOTAL On PERSON with food. NOT water . 13209 13209






Bess List

Ruffwear Pack Palisades 850
Ruffwear Day Coat / high vis / water resistant 155
Dog Bowl 30
Food 400
Schmackos 300
Trek Towel 80*60cm 105
Trek Towel 110*60cm 147
Pegs, various collection. 169
OookWorks BessBed 131
MultiMat 2' 4" cut off. 79
Bess Total. 2366

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Route and kit 25.2.13 Dartmoor camp.

Watch "A Dartmoor Wild Camp 25.2.13. Inc. pitching the MLD SuperMid." on YouTube

Following an exchange with Pads on YouTube I've decided to keep the blog going, wasn't sure if worth it, but if my info can be of some assistance to even one person, then its worth it.

I left the car part by Scorhill (its a tiny car park so not advised in high summer!) and headed for the stone circle between Hound Tor and Little Hound Tor.  Then Steeperton Tor, Hangingstone Hill,White Horse and Quentin's Man. Then Statts House, Sittaford Tor to another stone circle.  Through Fenworthy Forest (which also allows parking I believe) walked by reservoir and up to Thornworthy Tor.  Head west ish for a gate, then Kestor Rock, over two stone bridges back to the car.
I haven't used SatMap to check distance but its about, very approx, 12 miles from memory.  Its an easy walk and allow about 6 hours. That's my leg speed, so you may want to add an hour.

Excuse my convoluted way of doing a kit list, it's my way ;-)
Hope it's of use.

Camp List December - February 2013

Pack
MLD pack Exodus FS all options No pad. 3500ci / 57L 779
MLD cuben X Large dry bag / liner. 45

Sub Total 824

Shelter
MLD SuperMid 831
MLD Cuben Grounsheet 2'3"/7' 75
Polycro sheet MLD 8.5*5 70
MLD Superlight Bivi in Cuben stuff bag 154
Pegs 4 Easton 9", 4 6" Ti V, 4 MLD 6" 150
Pacer Pole Extension 64
Pacer Pole Bungs (2) 24
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23

Sub Total 1391

Sleeping
PHD Sleeping bag 600/900 (-21c) MLD dry bag 1186
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Regular 429
ThermaRest Z Lite 115cm / 45" 244
Exped Airpillow 79

Sub Total 1938

Cooking
MLD 850ml ti pot inc string pouch 106
MLD 450ml ti pot 37
Trail Designs MLD 850 Ti Tri cone 48
Trail Designs 10-12 burner 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Light My Fire / Fire steel 28
Foil (aluminium) 10
Measure pots (2) 1
LifeVenture Lexan spoon 14
Spoon - MLD 16
Trail Designs Caddy 89
Bottle (1) for meths 175ml 17

Sub Total 382

Equipment
20 fl oz / 590ml bottles (45g each) 2 90
Two 2L Platypus containers 36g 72
Compass Silva Ranger 3 32
Map / case (cut a bit off!) 113
Silva ADC Pro 65
Asus Nexus 7 / Aquapac 384
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl XP Core head light 83
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 5.2m one piece 16

First Aid kit in light bag. 115
Wenger Swiss Army Knife (scissors, knife, tweezers, LED) 24
MagLite Solitaire AAA 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Whistle 9
Hirsch Talg Crème 5
Leather Needle and thread (wrapped around cuben) 2
Pod First Aid Dry Bag (For above) 25

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 14
Mylar tape 18" 4
Sil-Fix kit 12
Cable Ties reusable (2) 0
2 Paper Clips, 5 Safety Pins 4
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 4
SynMat patches 5
Ear plugs 0
Mueller Support Wrap (First Aid) 34
MLD Cuben Ditty Bag for above 2

Toothbrush 5
Dr Bonner's soap (for teeth too!) Pot 4g 8
Towel Vaude 16
Hankies 2 10
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Ear Phones for phone 7
Phone battery BA750 30
SD card for camera 4
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

MLD Small Cuben stuff sack (for removed hat / gloves) 6
Surgical Gloves 12
Toilet paper (inc 1 Alco Wipe) 22
Plastic / Freezer bags for Shoes / Feet 19
Waste Pod stuff sack inc 6g plastic bag 66
Pee bottle 85

Sub Total 1635

Clothing
Arcteryx Delta LT Zip Polartec Thermal Pro Micro S cream 204
TNF Leggings 91
ChocFish Merino gloves black 41
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
PHD Minimus hat 32
PHD Booties 104
MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9

PHD Minimus Drishell Pullover Small 355
MLD Cuben dry bag Medium 19

MLD Mitts eVent 42

Sub Total 936
BASE 1 (Hiking / Camping kit) 7106

Photo Kit in or on pack.
Tripod - Gorilla Pod (no head) 241

Sub Total 241
BASE 2 (inc. Photo kit in pack) 7347

Separate Photo Kit.
Camera Sony NEX 7, paracord 342
Sony NEX E Lens 10-18mm 265
Sony Microphone ECM-ALST1 54
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 103

Sub Total 770
BASE 3 (inc. Camera Kit in pouch) 8117

Carrying / Holding / Pockets
Phone / AquaPac (No rear protector on phone!) 143
Pacer poles Alloy 694

Sub Total 837
BASE 4 (Total Carrying on Person) 8954

Wearing
ChocFish Merino T Shirt 187
Patagonia Polartec Blue Pullover S Pocket Regulator R1 284
Rohan Pants 51
Sealskinzsocks 98
Smartwool merino liner sock 41
Coolmax liner sock 42
Paramo Cascada Trousers, small 550
ChocFish Merino Buff scarf 77
TrekMates Merino Touchscreen Gloves 30
Outdoor Designs Bora gloves medium Windpro 86
ChocFish Merino beanie 26
Paramo hat 80
Paramo Coat Vista 556
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Inov8 295 with SuperFeet 685
Credit card / Driving License in MLD cuben Ditty 17
Decongestant / Lip salve 17

Sub Total 2881

BASE 5 (Total of everything not consumable!) 11835

Drink
Tea bags (5) / Marvel (35g) / sweeteners (10) 74

Actual Packed weight 74

Daytime Food Kcals
Rolls 2 (Aprox weight!) 200 400
Nature Valley Crunch Oats and Honey 42 198
Nature Valley Crunch Ginger Nut Crunch 42 189
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30 113
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30 113

Actual Packed weight 358 1013

Evening Food
LWWF Tees Valley Beef Meat Balls 270 289
LWWF Staff Chicken Casserole 289 178
Potato (2 lots) 100 300

Elevenses Ginger 45 170
Elevenses Chocolate 45 182
Jordans Frusli Red Berries 30 113
Jordans Frusli Blueberry 30 113

Actual Packed weight 870 1345

Breakfast (Day Time!)
Porridge (50/20/10g) 1 Portion. 80 285
Quaker Oat So Simple Morning Bar Fruit Muesli 35 139

Actual Packed weight 135 424

MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9 9

Bottle (1) for meths 175ml (EXCLUDING Bottle!) 126 126

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 1572 2782

Total Carrying Exc Clothing worn 10526

TOTAL On PERSON with food. NOT water . 13407 13407




Bess List

Ruffwear Pack Palisades 850
Ruffwear Day Coat / high vis / water resistant 155
Dog Bowl 30
Food 400
Schmackos 300
Trek Towel 80*60cm 105
Trek Towel 110*60cm 147
Pegs, various collection. 169
OookWorks BessBed 131
MultiMat 2' 4" cut off. 79
Bess Total. 2366