Trail, September ’08


It’s basically about having your insulation work as a year round system you can add to and sleep in. It’s amazing how much weight you can save when you plan to use your clothes as part of your sleep system.
It’s also addressing the concept of modularity which I’m expanding on next month, taking a core item and adding to it rather than replacing it as and when you need extra performance or capacity.
It can mean that you’re always packing just the right kit, and it covers the constant whinge that “going lightweight is too expensive” as rather than an arsenal of disparate items for all seasons you can have one set of kit to mix and match.

The down gilet/Primaloft top combo is something I use a lot and it’s spot on for tent life. I used a Rab Neutrino jacket last winter a few times and it was fantastic, but in a tent it’s bulky and can be restrictive.
A down gilet in general is indespensible kit, there is nothing better for warmth to weight and packability.

It’s a bit devoid of character and humour though, the column this month. It’s difficult to get all the info in that I want and get some banter in there as well. So the banter gets chopped as believe or not I write those 300 words in the hope that someone somewhere might read it and think “Oh, that’s not a bad idea”, then lose some grams and have a better night up there.

It also just occurs to me that I always write with the idea of backpacking in mind, never day trips. I think the column would be mostly banter if I did day trips specifically, “And today I had my car keys in my back pocket and a bottle of Nuun in my hand. So, three men walked into a bar, one of the was wearing Paramo and the barman said…”.

12 thoughts on “Trail, September ’08”

  1. I must admit, I’ve been meaning to try them for a while, but never quite got around to it… [Nuuns not nuns]

  2. There was a two page write up condensed in to a short write up to one side of the page. They need to give you more pages. Lets face it TGO gives a guy who has been around not long based on his tales huge space to write about water pistols and dust masks – I much prefer your stuff.

  3. Loads of stuff to catch up on by the looks of things.My silence was brought on by terminal laptop failiure,but I’m back now with a new username and a brand spanking new machine.Normal service is resumed.
    Interesting results on the footwear survey…unlined trail shoes coming out tops eh?…kinda makes sense.My XT wings are still going strong after many miles and abuse this summer and I’m absolutely loving them,they’ve coped with everything from 30 mile walks to being used as approach shoes to tidal cliffs for climbing days,even when soaked through they still perform well and dry out surprisingly quickly,not even had the slightest hint of a blister when wearing them.Bridgedale light hiker socks work really well with them.No problem with grip either(I hav’nt ended up on my arse in them yet!)
    Anyways,I’m off to read the rest of the stuff I missed out on over the last month or so on here…its good to be back.
    By the way,I have at last managed to get a decent recording up on the bands myspace page…its a bit heavy,listeners of a gentle persuasion be warned! its called ‘sleeping giant’ and you can find it on

  4. Nuun’s products are superb,I’m still stuck on the lemon and lime flavour,but will try one of the new flavours as soon as this lot runs out.

  5. Martin, you are very kind. The lack of space does make me think and try and make every word count. At least I could never be accused of padding :o)

  6. Taran, glad to have you back.

    Listening to Sleeping Giant right now (Alright!), and I’ve stuck a link up to the page as well.

    There’s a very good chance you haven’t missed F/A you know…

  7. Hey! Mr Water Pistols and Dust Masks is fascinating.

    I’d very happily hear of more space in Trail for you *PTC… but I am a non-subscriber… there – I’ve said it.

    I’ll get me coat.

  8. Non-subscriber?!!!

    Well I stand in W H Smith each month, read ptc*’s two-penneth, and put the rag back on the shelf….. there, I’ve said that now! ;O)

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