Thursday, 20 June 2013

Nordlandsruta: The gear

I guess I spend 12 months thinking about the gear I used last summer, and what I will use the next summer, during that process I read many blogs and other reviews and integrate the information given with my own personal views on what will work (and I will be comfortable with) on my next trip to Lapland.

When I returned from Lapland last summer, I felt I was mostly happy with my clothing and cooking setup, the shelter was okay, but I had some concerns in windy environments, my pack was fine, albeit a bit small. As a result I have looked at all my items and considered what may need to change.

In the mean time I have read many articles from authors whom I respect, in particular;

Will's excellent set of articles at BPL.com on Mountain Superultralight backpacking, which can be found here (membership required) and whilst many of Will's suggestions may not work for you, the gear concepts and approach are worth considering.

Equally on clothing Mike's blog post ( and his previous post) has made me seriously consider the clothing I wear.

Then there is Mark's excellent set of posts on Ultralight Makeover Redux

There are of course many others, my almost final gear list is given at the end.




Some observations  about the gear;

Shelter
Camp beside Miehtajohka

Last year I used a Tarptent Notch, which I feel is an ideal shelter for below treeline when you are using walking poles, which I do. However, I was concerned that on long trips a broken pole can cause significant problems with the shelter (especially as I spend a lot of my time above the treeline), also I found that the Notch struggled, a bit, in strong winds. But when Henry introduced the Tarptent Moment DW which replicated all the features of the Notch that I liked and provided the advantage of a little more structure I was sold. Whilst I expect there will still be some movement (flap) in the wind, I feel that the Moment is a better option to withstand the conditions that I have experienced in the past 3 years in Lapland.


P5021395

 Sleeping

I have vacillated between down and synthetic, quilt or sleeping bag, and have come to the conclusion that I prefer down sleeping bags, in part because of compressibility of the down bag. I also prefer a bag especially when combined with the Klymit mat. So my system for this trip is my trusty WM Megalite, a Klymit Inertia X Wave, combined with a Laufbursche UL mat which is also used during the day for relaxing.

Backpack

P7042570


Last year I took the HMG Porter 3400, and I was very happy with it apart from the volume, so this year I am using the HMG Expedition Porter, now known as the 4400 Porter  which will enable me to carry more food for the longer stages of the trip.

But, perhaps the most important issue is food and what to cook with.

Cooking

My use of the Jetboil Sol Ti, and in particular the issues I had last year, have been well documented (here and here). This year I have been in two minds as to whether to take the Jetboil, or use a Ti Caldera Fissure partnered with the Evernew 760 ml pot. Resupply is the critical element here, if I can resupply every 10 days then the Evernew becomes the lighter option, but if not then the Jetboil is the best option.

Decision, after further contemplation I have chosen the Jetboil, in part because it is a fuel miser.

P3281078




Footwear, I had intend to use Inov-8 295's this trip but as is often the case I could not get a new pair in my size, so I resorted to the 315's. In my view the new model of the 315's is not as good as the previous version however, I may have a different view upon my return.

Packing, the Sea to Summit eVent stuff sack is heavy but, it is waterproof and when closed the eVent bottom does allow for increased compression, though it does inhale as time progresses. I use the Sea to Summit daypack, as my "hand luggage" when travelling and once I start walking it becomes one of my storage bags within my pack. It can be used for side trips or as a shopping bag. A very handy item, which after 3 years of use is beginning to show its age.

Poles, I own CF and Alloy Pacer Poles, for longer trips I prefer alloy poles as they bend, not break, when I stumble.

Clothing, I will spend a lot of time above tree line and if its windy, wet and cold I need sufficient layers which is why it may appear that I have more than would be required for lowland walking.

ULA rain wrap and Montane Featherlite Pants provide me with more options than just a pair of rain pants. After all in hot weather I could just use the rain wrap as my lower half clothing which would provide more air circulation.

Shelter, the Carbon Fibre crossing pole  for the Moment weighs 10 grams less than the alloy pole (read "no real saving"), as well walking poles can be used for the same purpose (not an option on the Notch), so I may go without the extra crossing pole. The removable inner of the Moment DW can also be removed (surprisingly) and hung in a hut/shelter for bug protection, if needed. For those wondering, it was needed at Kuokkimajärvi, near the Sweden, Norway and Finland corner (Treriksiröser). For pegs I am carrying 2 Easton 9" stakes, 2 Easton 6" stakes and 2 Clamcleat (Y stakes). The Moment only needs 2 stakes, plus 2 for the side guys, so it is easy to set up quickly in bad weather.

Kuokkimajärvi



My complete list is:





UseItemWeight (g)
Camera Gorilla Pod SLR 162
  Olympus 40-150 lens 145
  Olympus 9 to 18 lens 198
  Olympus E-P2 no lens 289
  Pacer Pole Camera Mount 16
  SitckPic 16
Clothing Carried BPL Cocoon Hoody 339
  BPL Headnet 9
  BPL Merino Hat 21
  BPL ULHoody (sleeping) 180
  Defeet Gloves 67
  Defeet Wooleater Socks Spare 49
  Icebreaker Merino Legless 205
  Montane Featherlite Pants 128
  Montbell Tachyon 69
  OR sunhat 54
  Patagonia Capiline 2 184
  Macpac Fleece 278
  Rab Demand (sadly no longer available : ( ) 225
  Southern Cross Buff 35
  ULA Rain Wrap 91
  Zpacks Overmitts 24
Clothing Worn Defeet Wooleater Socks 49
  Inov 8 315 401
  Macpac Merino Boxers 84
  Montane Terra Pants, heavy but robust 332
  OR Radar Pocket Hat 57
  OR Ultra Trail Gaiters 79
  Pacer Poles Alloy Pair 700
Poles Patagonia R1 Merino SS 122
Kitchen Jetboil Sol Ti with Ziploc Cup and cozy 284
  Kupilka Cup 85
  Mini Lightmyfire 13
  Platy 0.5L 20
  Platy 2L 35
  Short Handled Ti Spoon 9
Miscellaneous and Navigation Compass 22
  First Aid and repair 100
  Garmin Dakota 153
  Maps CC Cards etc 200
Packing Sea to Summit eVent Stuff sack (Sleeping Bag) 70
  Various Cuben Stuff sacks 120
Rucksack HMG Expedition Porter 920
  HMG rear pocket 116
  Sea to summit daypack, travel and side trips 68
  ZPacks Pocket for Camera 85
Shelter Tarptent Moment DW 1000
  Tarptent Moment DW CF Crossing Pole (may not take) 180
Pegs Pegs: Blue Clamcleats, Easton 6" and 8" 76
Sleeping Exped Pillow 43
  Klymit Inertia XWave 330
  Laufrabushe CCF Mat 150
  Western Mountaineering Megalite 750
     
  Total Carried (gms) 6913