Friday, 10 July 2015

Kit used on the Pennine Way

The main items of camping gear I used were new to me as I had 'binned' my failing kit on my aborted Pennine Way attempt in 2014, so I had a new tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and stove. I rarely buy really expensive items of walking or camping gear as I do not backpack in winter conditions and I don't really see the point. I also feel that much of the more expensive brands are over-hyped and tend to look for good quality, middle range kit. The most 'expensive' items were my trail runners made by La Sportiva but these were purchased at sale price so the price wasn't excessive. I'm not going to list every item I took but here are the main items and my views on their effectiveness having used them on the trip. 

Tent - Ferrino Litetent 1 - Lightweight at 1.5 kilos. I really enjoyed using this tent although it is small with little porch space and not much room to sit up in I found it handled two thunderstorms really well and I always felt secure and dry. 

Force Ten Nano -5 sleeping bag - This proved to be an excellent purchase and kept me nice and warm, although of course it was early summer. Not the lightest at 1100 grams but a very good purchase.

Decathlon Quechua Forclaz A100 Sleeping pad - I was concerned that this might not be up to the job but needn't have worried. Cheap, light at 400g, packs down really small, I found this to be a very good insulator and gave some padding although it's only 2cm thick.

Karrimor Event Alpiniste Jacket. - A fantastic buy that I've had for around three years now. Light, superbly breathable and so far totally waterproof.

Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 500 softshell - I'm a big fan of Decathlon gear and this jacket is excellent. Light at 460g, not too hot and looks smart in the pub after the walk.

Decathlon X-Light Down Jacket - Light 440g, comfort limit down to -10c. Another excellent piece of Decathlon gear. 

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail Running Shoes - Superb, lightweight (around 350g per shoe) but built like a tank with an incredible aggressive and grippy sole. Non-waterproof but quick drying. Around 130 euros a pair but I got them for around 95 euros in a sale.

Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 700 Socks - I wasn't sure about these socks at first as they are tight fitting, almost like support socks, but having walked hundreds of miles in them I think that they are superb. Despite being double layered in the main body of the sock, they still dry quickly. My only criticism is that they can feel warm in hotter weather.

Decathlon Quechua Shorts - Lightweight, very quick drying, which is vital as I rarely wear waterproof trousers and in fact didn't take any with me on the Pennine Way. 

Primark Technolayer underpants - Excellent, lightweight and quick drying, which was very important when walking in the rain. Neither the shorts or the underpants felt wet even when soaked, which was very important. 

Lowe Alpine base layers - Quick dryingCan't remember where I purchased these as I've had them so long, which speaks volumes.

Berghaus Verden 65 +10 L Rucksack - Not the lightest at around 1.6k an otherwise excellent bag with a good, adjustable back system. my main criticism is that the hip belt frequently requires tightening as you walk, otherwise excellent. 

MSR Pocket Rocket Stove - Ultralight and very efficient

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