The last GPS location

I turned my GPS on at the weekend. I was in North Wales, and before it had locked on to any satellites the little screen was showing my location for when I last used it – the beach at St Cyrus, my finish on the TGO Challenge. The tide was out a long way!

With a rush of excitement and big smiles I grabbed a photo on my phone. I can’t wait for my next big adventure, maybe it will be the TGO Challenge in 2013!

Saving weight: Dry bags

It occurred to me, whilst unpacking from the TGO Challenge, that the multiple small dry bags that I used to keep important things dry, collectively probably weigh more than one large dry bag to hold all of those things.

It has to be said that I have not been a big fan of one large dry bag in a rucksack because I find it a bit awkward packing it due to the bag never quite fitting your rucksack leaving extra material to get in the way, and because it restricts where you place some of the things you carry. However, I decided to weigh the 5 small dry bags, of different manufacturers, and compare it to a large Sea to Summit dry bag that I have:

5 small dry bags: 224g
Large Sea to Summit dry bag: 88g

That’s a significant 136g difference. Now, some of those things I kept in a small dry bag  (camera batteries and other small items) need to be kept in a small bag of some description but that can be just a light nylon, cuben fibre or mesh bag but I think I could save maybe 110 – 120g by using one large dry bag, if I can get over the issues of using one!

Track my walk across Scotland on the Rab TGO Challenge 2012

On Friday 11th May 2012 I set off from Dornie in the Scottish Highlands on the west coast of Scotland to walk to St Cyrus, on the east coast, 2 weeks and 184 miles later.

I will be crossing some amazing wild and open countryside, including the Monadhliath and Cairngorm mountain ranges, and you can see some details of my ‘intended’ route here.

On my walk I will be carrying a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger which will transmit my current location to a satellite, every 10 minutes, and my progress will be recorded. You can track my progress on one of the following maps: (the map on 1 an 2 below will show properly once tracking starts and the last map, 3, will be set up shortly) Continue reading

Custom Trailstar inner / bug net: Under the Trailstar

In my previous post I showed my new inner net pitched on it’s own in garden. It was my intention to have a night out in the hills of Snowdonia last weekend, to try it out in anger, but for one reason or another that was not possible but I did spend a bit of time trying the inner in various positions under my Trailstar.

Snowdon from Moel Siabod
Snowdon at dawn from Moel Siabod

In my Trailstar I have tended to sleep with either my feet or my head by the door. If you look into the Trailstar from outside then my bed is on the left hand side if I am sleeping with my feet by the door and on the right hand side if I am sleeping with my head by the door. I tried the inner in these two positions and also across the back, opposite the door, which is another possibility.

Continue reading

Custom Trailstar inner / bug net: Video and photos

Sean at OookWorks has made me a custom inner for my Trailstar. I felt that the OookStar inner was a bit too much ‘inner’ than I required at this time and so I chatted with Sean about an alternative.

I wanted something small and light that I will use only when there are midges about and at other times I will just use it as a groundsheet. I wanted to be able to place it in different positions inside my Trailstar depending on the terrain (how many times have you pitched your tent only to find you didn’t realise how uneven the ground was right where your inner tent has to go), the weather and my mood! Its an inner that I can use under a tarp too or just on it’s own if I was bothered by midges and confident of no rain!

So this is what we came up with. Sean made a great decision to have the zip go all the way down to the ground sheet which, as you can see in the images below, allows ease of getting in and out but I can also easily make a cuppa first thing in the morning. The tensioner at the head end is adjustable from the inside and the sloping ends allow it to fit under the Trailstar more easily (something I have not tried yet!)

It weighs in at 240g at the moment, with the stuff sack and generous amounts of shock cord.

Much appreciation to Sean for pulling the stops out to get this to me this week. I am looking forward to trying it out this weekend ahead of the Rab TGO Challenge.

Here are some photos and a quick ‘walk around’ video: