I thought I would post up my gear list from a recent overnight, trying some new gear as well as some old favourites. Please note this was a lowland trip and I could go fast and light for a early winter trip. I may have taken some additional items if I was in the mountains this time of year. I did however take a few comfort items, notably a new sleeping bag which turned to be rather overspec'd for the conditions and was a bit of an inferno! More on this later. Weather was cool and cloudy, strong cold winds during the night, and then raining with strong winds from 6.30 am the next day. Overnight lows 2°C. Additional comments are made on new items of equipment or where an explanantion is needed. Links to products where available. A number of clothing items are no longer produced and will be indicated in the gear list.
Lightwave Storm-chaser Bivy - 590g
Surprising amount of space in this bivy and with a hoop at the head end, was more like a mini tent. I was able to enter the Storm-chaser fairly easily through the door and could get all my kit and backpack inside. I only left my Hokka trail shoes outside because they were pretty muddy. No condensation in the bivy thanks to the Xtex fabric and having the main door open with just the mesh inner door closed. A few drops of moisture observed on the seam where the pole was inserted. This area is taped and is not Xtex fabric, so not absorbed.
This is a new sleeping bag from Sierra Designs with an almost full length centre zip with a baffle behind it, a hood which fits like a jacket hood and the abilty to take your arms out without unzipping the bag. This was great for boiling up water in the evening and morning and staying snug in the Mobile Mummy without undoing the centre zip. I wasn't able to sit up in the Storm Chaser but this would be very useful doing tasks in the comfort of a completely zipped up bag in a more conventional tent. Look forward to trying that out at some point. You can also stick your legs out if you want and hook up the bottom, walking around camp completely snug. I've tried this at home, but as it was raining in the morning, I didn't try it on this trip. As the overnight lows were just above freezing and the ISO limit rating on this bag is -9°C, I slept in this with the centre zip undone a fair way. In the right conditions this bag would offer a very snug way of keeping warm on long cold winter nights.
Anti - Slip matting - 151 g
This matting we use in our camper van to stop stuff sliding around when on the move. I have used a length of this for a few years now and lay it under sleeping mats which stops them sliding around on slippy silnylon tent floors. Worth the weight for a comfortable night - particularly useful on sloping ground.
Old Valley and Peak protype pillow - 252g
I need a comfortable pillow when out camping and I'm still on the search of how to replicate as far as possible the pillow used at home. This old protype is large - measuring 45 x 26 cm and packs in to it's on pillow case reducing the size for carrying to 26 x 16 cm. Stuffing is Climashield Apex and an old backpacking pillow innards, (the brand I can't remember). Two loops either side at the top of the pillow allow it to be attached to the sleeping mat. Designed and made by Mary, who makes Valley and Peak backpacking gear. If we ever make a backpacking pillow at Valley and Peak we will use this as a template!
This is one of the lightest 'upright' canister stoves out there which has decent pot stays and is CE marked. The output is very powerful for such a small stove at 3300W.
Eifel Outdoors Equipment Titanium stove in use with Vargo 750 ml pot
Kupilka Spork - 16g
Evernew 100 ml container (for my coffee) - 25g
J Cloth - 11g
Rab Aeon Synthetic baselayer top - 95g. No longer made but stocks are still available on line.
Rab Primaloft gloves - 55g
Rab Drillium Over Trousers - 288g - no longer made.
Marmot Essence Rain jacket - 192g - no sure this is made anymore but might be some stocks around.
Berghaus VapourLight Mens Hypertherm Ultralight Insulated Hoody - 247g - no longer made and when I heard they were discontinuing this I purchased another. For me the best synthetic insulation backpacking jacket I've used.
In the early days, we made some protype DCF (Cuben fibre) stuff sacks. This weighs 4g. On this trip this contained the following:
Toilet paper , hand gel, toothbrush, tooth paste, tick remover, tiny Swiss army knife, SOTO Pocket Torch XT blow torch - Total weight with bag was 182g
TOTAL base weight (without consumables such as food, water and gas) was 5160g
Trekking poles I don't count the weight, because I'm using these all the time while walking. The poles I used were Mountainsmith Andesite Carbon Trekking Poles
One item forgotten - first aid kit !!