This is the Gear List for my TGO Challenge. I’ve also included my thoughts on how it performed and any changes I could make next time. You can read about my walk here.
Updated January 2022, including links to new gear.
- Atompacks Prospector 60L 1050g
- 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 89g
- Leggings – 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 – Darn Tough merino wool 66g
- Socks – Teko light hiking 53g
- Gloves – Exremities 71g
- Gloves – waterproof mitts 80g
- Neck tube – Buff 40g
- Jacket – OMM Raid 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 – Smidge 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
- Spoon – long handled spoon 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 2L and 1 litre 52g
- Water Bottle – OMM 500ml 28g
- Phone/GPS/Camera – Tough Phone Defender Pro 256g
- Toilet spade – The Tentlab Deuce of Spades (Green) 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
- Boots – Inov-8 Roclite 325 631g
- Gaiters – OR mini 75g
- Socks – Merino wool socks 89g
- Underwear – Merino wool boxers 40g
- Trousers – Montane 387g
- Handkerchief 14g
- Baselayer – Rohan Core Silver long sleeve zip neck 169g
- Midlayer – Microfleece 221g
- Bodywarmer/Vest – Montane synthetic insulation 226g
- Jacket – Montane windproof 160g
- Hat – Wide brim 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 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
- Dehydrated meals 3549g
- Beef jerky 536g
- Snacks 1636g
- Soap 14g
- Loo/Kitchen Roll 80g
- Methylated spirits – Meths bottle 473g
- Slow Gin – in platypreserve 550g
- Wet wipes – 1 pack 51g
- Vitamin Tabs 55g
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 and I would happily take it all again. The gear was perfect 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. (I resupplied once) 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).
The changes I would make next time
I would use the Ulefone Armor 13 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 weight from the gear list, as I no longer need to carry extra power packs.
If it was looking like a wet and cold crossing I would use either Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX boots or the Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX boots. Or looked dry (ish) I would use either the Inov-8 RocFly G 390 boots or the Salomon X Ultra mid 3 Aero boots.
Clothing wise I would swap the synthetic base layers for merino wool ones, because I find them warmer and more comfortable when wet. I’m finding EDZ merino wool base layers 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 over 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 drier and warm. This would also save weight, because I would no longer need to carry the fleece, windproof, bodywarmer, OMM Raid jacket, Montane waterproof jacket and trousers.
With all these changes my rucksack base weight could be reduced by over 1kg, depending on what I’m wearing at the time.
I will 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 there are a lot lighter weight water filters available. But I like it, as it’s so much easier and quicker to use than all the others. I also carry it for safety because it’s one of the only filters that removes ‘all’ the nasties from the water. Plus it’s 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 as heavy as my tent!
Update – The MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier is lighter weight and cheaper than the MSR Guardian Pump.
Note – The easiest and cheapest way to save pack weight is to carry less water and know where you can resupply and then carry minimum food. Planning well can save more weight than buying expensive hiking gear.
My TGO Challenge walk – Glenelg to St Cyrus
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