Lost tent pegs — aaagh!

15 September, 2009


Just while I’m already whining…

I’ve lost my tent pegs! Where on earth can they be, I wonder? I hate to think of them lying out on some wet and windy hillside, crying in their little bag. If anyone hears tiny weeping noises while out walking in the Scottish Borders then please have a heart, and check the ground for my wee pegs. You’ll recognise them easily, because they’re the slightly bent titanium ones with a coating of dried mud, and they live in a little green Terra Nova peg bag. Poor things.

In the meantime, this provides me with an excuse to buy some new kit 🙂

Roclites, Insul-Mats, Rufus Wainwright…

4 August, 2008

Inov-8 Roclites – peeling sole problem continuing?

I remember that there was a bit of a fuss a couple of years ago about the way soles were coming away from some of the Inov-8 shoes. Inov-8 replaced a pair of Roclite 315s for me when it happened in the Pyrenees, and I know they replaced a lot of others too.

The story at the time was that the problem had been solved and wouldn’t recur. However, the same thing has just happened to the brand new pair of Roclite 315s that I took to Corsica.

Does anyone know whether this is still a widely reported issue? I’m going to send them back: peeling soles after 5 days’ use (and maybe less, because that’s the first time I looked) isn’t acceptable. It’s a great pity, because they’re truly excellent shoes otherwise.

Insul-Mat mattresses — lots of punctures?

Also, and while I’m complaining… I’ve now got 2 InsulMat mattresses with a multitude of tiny punctures. The first was a MaxThermo (I think) and the second is an Ether-Thermo6. I think they’re different names for the same thing. Anyway, they’re the v. nice lighter alternative to the Exped Down Air mattresses for those of us who find T-Rests too thin.

The first one was fine for about 18 months until I discovered the problem when I woke up in the middle of the night in the Pyrenees last year. I didn’t bother to complain, but simply bought a replacement (3/4 length this time) last August. That one has already gone the same way, though. I spent ages battling with the bloody thing in the bath trying to locate the holes, but although I applied about 7 patches it’s still going down. I wrote to Pacific Outdoor about it before I went to Corsica, but they haven’t replied.

Has anyone else experienced or heard tell of this?

Lovely Rufus

Just in case there’s anyone who hasn’t come across the wonderful Rufus Wainwright, here’s a clip of him singing my favourite of his tunes: Danny Boy (no, not that Danny Boy).


Rufus Wainwright — Danny Boy

Eep! Just noticed this somewhere. Time to run…

Walking kit – big changes made to what I carry, in the space of a few short years

8 August, 2007

I’m sitting around having brekky, reading my way steadily through Alan Sloman’s wonderful LeJog Blog and thinking about kit. Reading about a poor accommodation guide that Alan enountered reminded me of my own experience of the appalling Pennine Way accommodation guide, and I nipped over to my PW pages to re-read about it. There I noticed a link to a page setting out the kit I carried on the walk, including a photo I took of all of it at the YH in Keld. See here for the grizzly details…

When I set off on the PW in August 2004 I’d never previously carried a tent along a long walk. I’d done the Coast to Coast walk a couple of times, but I’d used B&B. I spent about 3 weeks asking frenzied questions on uk.rec.walking first, and then I set off. I was so disorganised that I only learned that my rucksack wouldn’t hold what I needed to take at 4am of the morning I was supposed to start, and so I had to go back to bed, buy a new rucksack later in the day and start a day later instead *g* Happy days!

Anyway, looking at that picture reminds me of the very significant changes I’ve made since then, and the extent to which they’ve made my backpacking life very much easier. In fact, and looking at it again, I think the only things I took then that I’m still carrying are (i) my Primus Micron stove, (ii) my MSR titanium kettly thing, (iii) my Silva compass, (iv) my Garmink Geko 201 GPS and (v) my Ortlieb mapcase.

The most significant changes involved:

  • a newer, smaller, lighter sleeping bag;
  • a lighter and more comfortable rucksack;
  • revising my washkit to fit in the smallest Exped stuffsack;
  • MP3 players have got smaller;
  • I don’t now carry 4 books at a time;
  • I’d probably take Anquet print-outs rather than maps;
  • I don’t currently carry a flask (though sometimes I miss it, and in winter I still might);
  • I don’t carry sandals now (thought I do keep thinking about it);
  • smaller, lighter and infinitely more comfortable sleeping mat, and
  • a different range of clothing.

I plan to write a new kit page for my website soon — the existing one needs to be revised. There are few things more fun than thinking about backpacking kit 🙂

Heh… a quick dash across to I can Has Cheezburger? produced this.

I Duz Yoga Ta Relax