Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The big 3 - pack / shelter / sleeping system

So I've searched high and low and I've spent the least amount of money possible on what many refer to as the big 3: the backpack, the shelter and the sleeping system.

The pack
I've bought the Montane Ultra Tour 40 (730g) - which I picked up for the bargain price of £64 from Go Outdoors on their 10% price match. It's got loads of bells and whistles and I'm looking forward to putting it through it's paces.

The shelter
I liked the look of the tarp tents made my Mountain Laurel Designs such as the Duomid and the Trailstar but these were way beyond my tight budget. So I did a little searching and I found a generic Chinese duomid on Aliexpress (fly 490g / inner 409g). I paid £103 including postage. It should work well with my current trekking pole (135cm Leki Makalu).
The sleeping system
My current sleeping bag is an amazing winter bag (-5C 1200g) but I wanted to find something lighter and cooler. I found another bargain on Aliexpress - a 450g  ultralight goose down sleeping bag rated to 10C for £40 including postage! It packs down tiny but appears to loft up well.

I spent a bit more on the sleeping mat. I bought the Sea to Summit ultralight mat (355g) with the air stream dry sack for £65.

So in total I've spent £272 and the total weight (not using the tent inner) is 2025g - that's less than my old backpacking tent the Terra Nova Solar 2 (2550g)!

So that's the bulk of the buying done now it's time for an ultralight adventure!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The after work mini adventure

I work 10 hour day / night shifts - sometimes I have to work 8 in a row. I love my job (paramedic) but these runs of shifts leave me mentally exhausted. I've decided to break the monotony of these runs of shifts by sneaking in a mini adventure in the 22 hour window between days shifts and night shifts.

This obviously limits where I can have these adventures but fortunately living in Sheffield means I have wealth of beautiful countryside within a half hour drive (mostly Dark Peak area).

The first thing I'll be setting out to do is to prepare a full kitted ultralight pack which I can grab on my way to work and ready for an after work adventure. I've not got stacks of cash so I'll be looking to put together a set up whilst parting with as little cash as possible!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Who am I? What am I doing?

Who am I? 
I'm a 40 something year old guy with a young family who loves the outdoors. 

In the past I did a lot of long distance hiking including the Pennine Way, West Highland Way, a 2 week hike in Mongolia and 4000 mile hike called the Hyakumeizan Challenge. On these trips I used expensive 'bombproof' equipment that would survive day after day of abuse. The only drawback of using this kit is that this kit weighs a tonne!

What am I doing?
In this blog I'll be aiming to document my successes, failures, experiences and discoveries as I make the transition from heavyweight hiking to ultralight adventures. I'll be applying an a ultralight approach to hiking, climbing, wild camping, canoeing, fly fishing, wild swimming, ski touring, and landscape photography.