I decided to include the kit on the site as I know some people are quite interested in this sort of thing. Also it will stop some of the funny questions about kit I have been asked, ‘Will you carry smart clothes with you in case you go to a nice restaurant?’, I am not sure they got the idea of the walk. I will update images of the items in use once the walk has started, as well as review items periodically throughout the walk.
Essentially almost all items were a compromise between cost and weight, as the lighter the product the more expensive they are.
Backpack – Osprey Kestrel 68
The size of backpack was a really hard decision, and in fact I changed my mind returning a smaller Kestrel backpack for this larger one. It needs to be big enough to carry my kit, but small enough to not be too cumbersome or too heavy. This 68L backpack holds all the stuff I think I need, with a small amount of spare space for any food etc. that I may need to be able to carry. It incorporates a waterproof cover and many other features that I will detail when I do my first review.
Tent – MSR Hubba NX 1
Choosing a tent was surprisingly hard, the 3 things I was looking for in the tent were a small pack size, lightweight, and that I could sit upright in it. When I stumbled across this tent, it seemed the best for me in terms of weight, packed size and interior space. It is also easy to erect, and after only 2 tries I am already below 8 minutes, and I am sure by the end of the walk it will take me less than 5 minutes.
(Christmas and Birthday present from my Dad and Brigitte)
Sleeping Bag – North Face Cat’s Meow Long
This is a synthetic sleeping bag that is rated down to -7 degrees. The sleeping bag choice was a compromise, in terms of weight and pack size there are better alternatives but significantly more expensive, so for the cost this was the best option for me. Hopefully it will keep me snug throughout the year. I will also have a thin sleeping bag liner.
Sleeping Mat – Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Regular
I think this is the only item where compromise went out the window. I went for the lightest, most compact inflatable mattress out there. That was because I felt it was important that I could fit the mattress in the backpack, and some of the other mattresses are very heavy.
Stove/pots – Alpkit Koro Stove & pots
This is a beautiful piece of design, simple looking but very practical. From my first practice with this product it was very simple to use, extremely powerful and the temperature can be easily altered.
(Christmas and Birthday present from my brother and Emily)
Other equipment I will be carrying includes water container, dry bags, head torch, basic homemade repair kit and first aid kit. On top of this I have an android phone and a small laptop both for keeping the blog up to date and to view my planned routes.
Shoes – Quechua Forclaz Men's Trek 700 Shoes
These were actually a fairly last minute replacement, because my original choice caused me issues during practice walks. I have only been wearing these for the past 3 weeks, but they appear to be comfy and hopefully will treat me well on the walk. It will be interesting to see how long they last, with most hiking boots lifespan being around 1000 miles.
Jacket – Quechua Forclaz 400 Grey Jacket
This jacket is meant to be both waterproof and breathable, and I do hope so considering I am expecting to be battered by wind and rain right from the start. I am fairly lanky and normally I have to buy items like this oversized in the body so they fit in the arms but this jacket both fitted my body and arms well.
Walking trouser – Quechua Forclaz 900 Trousers
These are lightweight and meant to be quick drying walking trouser. I can confirm they are extremely comfortable, but can also confirm they are not lookers when on. But for this walk function definitely outweighs looks!
Waterproof Trousers – North Face Men’s Venture 2 Half Zip Pants
A set of waterproof over trousers. Obviously I am hoping not to use these to much, but unfortunately I’m walking around Britain not a rain free, tropical nirvana. These are described as waterproof, windproof, and breathable, I do hope so.
(courtesy of Ellis Brigham)
Selection of merino Base layers
I actually have 3 merino base layers, 2 are standard base layers and the other is thicker for colder periods. My base layers are from Decathlon and are by far the cheapest 100% merino base layers I could find, in fact they were more than half the price of most competitors.They do appear to be good quality but only time will tell. I chose merino wool as it wicks moisture from the body and doesn’t pick up odours as readily as other materials, I am still sure I will still stink after 20 miles of walking with a backpack on.
Socks – Smartwool Hike Medium Crew Socks
One of the most important pieces of kit, as my feet are going to need as much help as possible on this walk. Hopefully these help keep my feet nice and snug and blister free. These are a merino/nylon mix.
(courtesy of Ellis Brigham)
Other clothing that I will be taking includes gloves, silk inner gloves, hat, buff and a very small amount of stuff to wear when not walking.