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Wildcamped beside Loch nan Eun

This is the Gear List my TGO Challenge. I’ve also included my thoughts on how it performed and any changes I could make next time. Updated January 2021. Read about my walk here.

Rucksack

  • Atompacks Prospector 60L                                                                      1050g

Shelter

  • Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 – (no bag or pegs)                                     729g
  • Pegs and bag                                                                                              160g
  • Bag for tent – 20L dry bag                                                                        36g

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag – PHD Hispar 400 K series -9                                       744g
  • Pump sack – Neoair                                                                                     55g
  • Sleep Mat – Thermarest Neoair womens                                           350g
  • Pillow – Exped ULM                                                                                     47g
  • Socks – PHD Wafer Down K series                                                           54g
  • Socks – Rohan Trail liner                                                                         29g
  • Top – Rohan Long Sleeve Core Silver                                                      89g
  • Leggings – Smartwool 100% merino wool                                            163g
  • Pants – Rohan cool silver                                                                           40g
  • Balaclava – silk                                                                                             32g
  • Jacket – PHD Yukon Down K series                                                         370g
  • Bag – for PHD jacket                                                                                   17g
  • Bag for above – Sea to Summit dry bag 20L                                               36g

Clothes – Spare

  • Socks – Rohan Trail liner                                                                          29g
  • Socks – Rohan Temperate and Cool                                                         66g
  • Socks – Teko light hiking                                                                             53g
  • Gloves – Exremities                                                                              71g
  • Gloves – waterproof mitts                                                                         80g
  • Neck tube – Buff                                                                                        40g
  • Jacket – OMM Raid Hoody synthetic insulation                                    410g
  • Bag for above – Sea to Summit dry bag 13L                                          28g

Odds and Ends bag

  • First Aid Kit bag –                                                                                      216g
  • Wash Kit bag –                                                                                            113g
  • Towel in mesh bag –                                                                                  140g
  • Repair Kit bag –                                                                                          126g
  • Leads and USB plug bag –                                                                           70g
  • Power packs – Flip 10 and 20                                                                     207g
  • Pen and Note pad –                                                                                      58g
  • Maps –                                                                                                          104g
  • Midgy head net –                                                                                        18g
  • Bag for above – Sea to Summit dry bag 3L                                             23g 

Stove and Food bag

  • Stove – Vargo Triad multifuel                                                                       30g
  • Pot and Lid – Evernew 600ml Titanium                                                  92g
  • Windbreak and Base – MSR Alloy                                                              33g
  • Matches – 2 boxes                                                                                        29g
  • Spoons – Sea to Summit x 2                                                                        20g
  • Knife – Sea to Summit                                                                                15g
  • Lighter –                                                                                                        21g
  • Bag for above – Sil-nylon zipped                                                              28g

Wet Clothes bag

  • Jacket – Montane Minimus waterproof                                                 230g
  • Trousers – Montane Minimus waterproof                                            150g
  • Bag for above – Dry bag 13L                                                                    28g 

Loose in or on Rucksack

  • Rubbish bag – Stuff sack XS                                                                       17g
  • Water Bottles – Platypus 1L and 2L                                                          52g
  • Water Bottle –OMM 500ml                                                                         28g
  • Phone/GPS/Camera – Tough Phone Defender Pro                              256g
  • Poo Peg – Loo roll and wet wipes for 1 day                                           45g
  • Water filter – Guardian water purifier pump                                     640g
  • Map Case with A4 printed map                                                                57g
  • Sit Mat – Thermarest Z-seat                                                                       61g
  • Compass – Silva                                                                                          36g
  • iPod and ear phones                                                                                150g 

                                                           Base weight TOTAL =  7871g

Wearing

  • Boots – Inov8 Roclite 325                                                                          631g
  • Gaiters – OR mini                                                                                         75g
  • Socks – Rohan                                                                                               89g
  • Pants – Rohan Cool Silver                                                                          40g
  • Trousers – Montane                                                                                   387g
  • Handkerchief –                                                                                            14g
  • Top – Rohan Core Silver long sleeve zip                                                169g
  • Top – Rohan Microfleece                                                                          221g
  • Bodywarmer/Vest – Montane synthetic insulation                            226g
  • Jacket – Montane windproof                                                                   160g
  • Hat – Rohan widebrim                                                                              100g
  • Hat – Montane synthetic insulation                                                         40g
  • Head band – Rohan fleece                                                                         17g
  • Walking Poles – Fizan                                                                              354g

                                                                                  TOTAL = 2523g

Food and Consumables for 1 week

  • Dehydrated meals                                                                                  3346g
  • Beef and Fish Jerky                                                                            500g
  • Snacks                                                                                                       1128g
  • Vitamin tabs                                                                                                55g
  • Fuel – Meths – including 2 bottles                                                           700g
  • Loo/Kitchen Roll – 60 in 3 bags                                                               148g
  • Wet wipes – 12 pack                                                                                     51g

                                                                                TOTAL = 5928g

Resupply parcel sent to Dalwhinnie for second week

                                                                                    TOTAL6944g

I set off with a rucksack base weight of 7871g plus consumables of 5928g. So my total rucksack weight was 13799g.

Note; Personal Metabolism

I have a low metabolism and I feel the cold so I carry more clothes (especially gloves) than many people.

Looking back on the walk

The above kit list was good for the unusually warm and dry conditions that I had and I didn’t have problems with any of it. This good weather did mean I completed the walk faster than expected, so I didn’t need all the food I was carrying. I could have also carried less clothes but as I walk alone, I like to be safe and if the weather had turned bad, as it can in Scotland. I could have held up for a day or two in the tent, warm, dry and well fed without worry.

If you want to lower your pack weight further, plan your route past more villages or accommodation to buy food or send resupply parcels to. Most people on the challenge have more resupplies than I did and carry a lot less food and fuel each day. But I did like my remote route and the pack soon felt lighter as I ate the food. (and drank the slow gin, in fact, everything felt better after that).

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The summit of Mam nan Carn

Update 2021: The changes I would make next time

The best and cheapest way to save weight is to carry less food and water.

I now use the Ulefone Armor 3W rugged smartphone. This has a lot longer battery life than my old phone and will last two weeks without needing to recharge it. This would save 207g from the gear list, as I no longer need to carry extra power packs.

Change the tent for my new Tarptent Notch Li, saving 200g. And would also give me more space and less issues with condensation.

Tarptent Notch Li wild-camped on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk.

If it was looking like a wet and cold crossing I would use the Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX boots. Or if looked dry (ish) I would use either the Inov-8 Roclite G 275 shoes or the Salomon X Ultra mid 3 Aero boots. Then also carrying Sealskinz waterproof socks.

Clothing wise I would swap the synthetic baselayers for merino wool ones, because I find them warmer and more comfortable when wet. I’m finding EDZ Layering to be good value. Merino is also ideal for long distance hiking trips because it doesn’t smell bad if worn all the time.

The waterproof Montane Minimus jacket and Minimus trousers are very good, but I would be tempted to change them for the Paramo Cascade 11 trousers, Bentu fleece and Bentu windproof jackets. Which when worn together are waterproof. Then adding the Paramo Torres Alturo jacket for extra warmth when needed. I find these work well with merino wool base layers and saves me continually changing layers to stop me sweating etc, keeping me dry and warm. This would save me weight, because I would no longer need to carry the fleece, windproof, bodywarmer, OMM Raid jacket, Montane waterproof jacket and trousers.

I now use Darntough Hiker and Darntough Light Hiker socks and usually don’t use liner socks with them. I’ve found these socks last longer than any others.

With all these changes my rucksack base weight could be reduced by over 1kg, depending on what I’m wearing at the time.

I’ll not be changing the most controversial part of my gear list, my 600 gram waterfilter – the MSR Guardian Water Purifier Pump. This could be classed as a luxury item, because it’s so much easier and quicker to use. But I mainly carry it for safety because it’s one of the only filters that removes ‘all’ the nasties from the water. It’s also pretty indestructible and cleans itself, so I’m not going to be having trouble with it on the walk. I’m able to filter from more lowland rivers that you wouldn’t risk using a normal filter. So I’m often able to carry less water, mitigating the weight of the filter. I trust it and it’ll be going on my next trip, but I will continue to ponder why I’m willing to carry a water filter that’s heavier than my tent!

Further reading:

My TGO Challenge walk – Glenelg to St Cyrus

Scottish National Trail Gear List

Dover to Cape Wrath Gear List

My 11 Wild Camping Rules

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