Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, XV (now with additional stuff due to absent mindedness)

This weeks Ben Lomond quickie wasn’t a huge test of gear, but there were a few things worth a mention.
First up are the Leki poles, we had four different models which we swapped between, all with the Shark glove/handle arrangement. The poles mixed the rubber foot , the curved hook and the regular spike/basket tip, all had good points with the sharper two being bgetter on soft ground and the rubber foot being better on hardpack, and that’s both full with rubber and with the internal metal tip extended. One thing about the rubber feet, you can’t stick them upright into the ground while you have a drink/take a photie, you have to lay them down or lean them on something.
The hand strap thing feels odd at first but within a few minutes I didn’t notice it and taking the poles on and off as well as adjusting the strap is dead easy. Really good action to it while you’re moving too, I’ll be trying it out properly later on over a bigger distance.

Tents were two Lasers, my old red ‘Comp was like my sheepskin slippers, worn into my shape and familiar smelling. I love this tent. John used the Laser Ultra, a tent which he said was “small”. Ha.
Inside was a bunch of regular stuff, Jetboil Flash, Neoair, a new flavour of Mountain House though, scrambled egg, bacon and tatties and if the tatties had ever rehydrated it would have been lovely.
The headtorch was new, a wee thing in for test from Princeton Tec which I’ll write up in a bit, nice torch, helluva bright for the size, light too.

The biggest newness was the PHD down quilt, now there’s a thing. As it was all a bit short notice I threw together some cords for strapping it to my sleepmat which actually worked very well at first, but me moving around loosened thm off and when the wind got up in the night I had a draught all around me. I had brought the Ultra 900 as well, just in case, so rather than fanny about with the cords again I just slipped into the Ultra under the quilt and happily simmered until breakfast.
This was all good though, I’ve got a point of reference now and I’ll make up some proper bungees for the quilt, also layering with the Ultra was just so damned warm, this combo will be going with me into autumn for sure. It’s like the Ultra/Combi thing, feels warmer that the figures might suggest.
Wrapping the quilt around me as I boiled up for my morning cuppa was brilliant, ah the luxury. More quilting on the next trip.

I forgot about the base layer stuff. I’ve been wearing a Chocolate Fish polo shirt this year which is rather nice, usual tech fit but with a 3-button neck vent instead of a zip which I like, reminds me of my old North Cape Coolmax henley tops. The genius feature though is the double thickness collar which stands up all on its own, keeps the sun off your neck, and as the weather changes keeps the draughts out too.
These short sleeved affairs are cool at camp though, so I carried a pair of sleeves to match it, these being merino arm warmers from Wigwam. They’re really for bikers and runners on the move but they’re perfect as sleeves, instant long-sleeve base layer for negligable pack size and weight. They’re plenty long, have thumbloops and were a nice fit on my arms, no red rings on my upper arms when I took them off as the cuff has a nice easy stretch.
Daft maybe, but it works a treat and shall be repeated, whence I will take photies as the mismatched colours of arms and torso makes me look like I’m in student/slacker uniform.

8 thoughts on “Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, XV (now with additional stuff due to absent mindedness)”

    1. Ah, that’s magic. I’m wanting snow now.

      The footbox on the PHD was fine, I wasn’t slipping out of it, but it’ll be a better test when I’ve got it properly bungeed to the mat. It’s like a top bag really, like being home in your bed exept you can’t wrap a topbag around you which is just genius.

  1. I have tried getting after them to do a long sleeved polo shirt, but seemingly some worries about that being too expensive to sell. Oh well :)

  2. Arm warmers are definitely a good thing. Maybe its simply because I’m a ‘cyclist’ (well I ride my bike to work…) as well as a walker/climber/backpacker but I’ve never thought of them as anything but practical. Saying that I do tend to wear a take on the ‘slackers’ uniform at this time of year so what do I know? Only that they work – go try them if you haven’t. The only things I’d add are that a thumb loop for cycling can be uncomfortable if poorly designed/executed and synthetic ones dry faster in your pocket (but you all know that!).

  3. The PhD quilt took a bit of stick on OM when it was launched. I remember posting something somewhere at the time saying that I wasn’t so sure and that it might actually be a lighter, cheaper and more versatile alternative to the down jacket, down breeeks and down socks combo, especially in substantially extending the rating of a 2 or 3 season bag.

    Not sure if I want to spend £200 on a quilt to say definitively either way though, although flat elastic and mini clips might be the way forward if I ever do!

    BTW – did you have anymore trips planned with the MSR Hubbary twins? Probably going to go for a TN Solar Competition 1 anyway, but just checking.

  4. Ah it’s been so long since I had the rustle and flap of silnylon to comfort me as I drift off! Life these day’s is all work and when I finally have had a day off recently it’s been spent under the Landy.

    I must admit I’ve also considered taking my arm warmers from the bike out with a short sleeve base layer in the cooler months.

  5. Martin, that would be pretty neat, a kinda like a merino rugby shirt.
    More importantly we need preorders of 200 pieces or something to get purple base layers made :o)

    More-On, I have my whire merino long sleeve ready to go under my heavy metal t-shirts all winter.
    I’ve got Smartwool leg warmers as well which work great, modularity is where it’s at. Sometimes anyway ?!

    David, the quilt thing is just another way to go, rather than better or worse, never a popular conclusion for a forum :o) I really liked the ultra bag under the quilt, like a summer version of my winter setup, I’ll be back with more.
    MSR’s will be going out again next trip, the last couple of months really have been a wasteland for me with no overnight trips, too much other stuff going on. Not fed up at all, oh no.

    Sounds like my story BBF, except I was doing that guitar up on my hours off.
    You’ll enjoy it all the more when you do get out.

    In fcat, I’m stoked for the next trip. One my tooth’s fixed anyway.

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