Since first posting about the joys of buying the equipment I needed for this trip on January 5th I seem to have continued to buy more and more clothes and equipment at a disturbing rate.
In fact I realised last Sunday that I now had so much kit to take that it wouldn’t all go in the fifteen year old Life Venture expedition rucksack that I had been planning on using for this journey.
So off we went to Cotswold Outdoor to look at a new bag for carrying all the new precious things. We had looked on line at a nice 100l Mountain Equipment bag that looked a bargain in the sale. We looked at it alright, for about 20 seconds until the eye was drawn to the another next to it. The gargantuan North Face “Rolling Thunder” had a 155l capacity, was of course not in the sale, and was three times the price. I agonised for all of five minutes before the decision was made. So I have an appropriate sized bag.
But since we’re here at an outdoor equipment store let’s have a browse around and see what else they might have. New sleeping bag, more socks and let’s top it off with an additional down filled waterproof jacket and a pair of snow pants. I had already lashed out on a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer mid layer, which Rob is definitely NOT having. Please someone stop me spending money!
So that’s it. I now have three times more clothes and equipment than I need (whilst probably missing something crucial).
Now to pack it in the gargantuan bag. What shall we start with? Obviously the over spec sleeping bag.
Wow, 155 litres doesn’t look so oversized now. Next. Obviously a lumberjack shirt (well, you are going to Canada), an alleged lightweight tripod, 10 pairs or socks and that enormous parka.
This bag is great because it has a separate boot compartment. So that’s easy they go in there. OK, so we have to get two bottles of gin to go in here somewhere, and a union flag, and a Cotswold Gin banner.
Was getting so stressed towards the end that I actually forgot to take a photo of the full bag. Actually it all fitted in very easily but even though everything I have is lightweight, the combined weight is astonishing. Writing as I do in the lounge at Heathrow I know it weighs 30kgs, although it no longer contains the tripod.
I still haven’t worked out what the crucial missing item is, hopefully I’ll be able to get it in Fairbanks.
See you in Fairbanks on Wednesday night for Meet the Mushers.