The Met Office is pointing towards lower temperatures and a bit of snow over the next week. After a warm and dry start to the year it will be nice to get out walking in some proper winter conditions and even get a wild camp or two in before we get into a long, hot summer (hmm).
Me and my mate Michael are planning a couple of Wainwright bagging missions in the Far Eastern fells and in preparation I have been getting a bit of winter kit together:
Original Buff Merino – a present from my sister at Christmas. I have been admiring a friend’s from afar for a while and decided to stick it on my Christmas list. A truly versatile and lightweight piece.
PHD Midwinter Minimus Vest – one of the items offered in the PHD winter sale, this gilet is filled with 800FP down and is clad in a Drishell water-resistant outer fabric. At just 255g and less than a litre in volume when compressed it should add really good value warmth with few penalties.
Grivel Munro ice axe – A pre-Christmas gift from my dad, a former volunteer with a local Mountain Rescue service. It’s an addition that doesn’t require discussion really.
Extremities Multi Sport gloves – another dad special. Once used for ice climbing in Norway these GTX XCR mitts should prove waterproof, warm and durable on the summits of Lakeland.
Grivel Air Tech New Classic crampons – possibly the most intimidating recent addition to my kit. Just less than a kilo worth of sharp spikes attached to my feet will demand that I pay close attention when wearing them. Trail and TGO magazines both offered some solid advice on crampon use in the past month so I’ll need to revisit that in the next week or so.
New non-winter-specific kit:
Tarptent Scarp 1 – it hasn’t arrived yet but at the time of writing it has left the USPS San Francisco International terminal. To say I’m excited to use this new 1-man tent is a real understatement! It took quite a bit of deliberation to arrive at the decision to plump for the Scarp but all of the advice I received from some very knowledgeable people helped me make what I hope to be a quality decision. A recent long-term review at blogpackinglight affirmed my choice after ordering too.
Evernew non-stick 0.6L pot – this was a mixture of fantasy and accident. I hold my Snow Peak 900 Ti pot in high regard and it has never let me down but if you attempt to do actual cooking in it you can be left with a bit of washing up to do as food burns in it readily. Non-stick Evernew pots can cost a pretty penny in the UK and whilst having a casual browse through kit on eBay I happened upon the 0.6L model in the states with the option to make a best offer. $41 later I’m the proud owner of a new pot – as a bonus I can fit my Pocket Stove, Trangia burner, firesteel and a cotton bandana inside.
Phew, step away from the debit card (and change the Paypal password). I’ll be taking the majority of this new gear on a winter trip sometime in the next couple of weeks and will endeavour to report back on how everything worked out once I return safe and sound.