Gear Wales

Gear list for walking the Wales Coast Path. Will I ever get to ultralight?

 

Youth Hostel and Camping accommodation and approx. 45 days+, maybe with a break depending on progress.

In the backpack:

  • (1) Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 Tent – 720g – a bit snug, but this tent has served me well in Scotland and Wales on a number of long distance trails. Add footprint to protect the groundsheet.
  • (2) GoLite Jam 50 Large Backpack – 840g – no longer made but comfortable and showing no serious signs of wear.  Could do with a proper closure top.
  • (3) Feathered Friends Flicker 30 UL Sleeping Quilt/Bag – 710g – probably 200 nights spent in this bag now, protected with a JagBag silk sleeping bag liner, which is helping extend its life and adds warmth.
  • (4) Thermarest NeoLite Short Sleeping Mat – 220g – difficult to get comfortable and too small for me, but it works and is very light.  I take a section of Closed Foam mat just in case this fails.
  • Exped UL waterproof stuff sacks – colour coded and indispensable for organising you pack and kit separation (wash from non-washed, food from fuel etc..). Not as waterproof as you would like.
  • (5) OB Mobile Phone Drybag containing a Google Pixel Smartphone, plus chargers/cables and an Anker 5200mAh battery pack. Good for 3 days charge when used as a camera and navigation aid with minimal browsing.
  • Plastic Squash bottle and (6) Platypus 1l bag for water. Light, compact.
  • (7) Mountain Equipment Gore-Tex Pro jacket – 560g or maybe my Alpkit Balance jacket if the forecast is better
  • (8) Alpkit Parallax waterproof trousers
  • (9) Feather Friends Gillet; Patagonia Hoodie Fleece; spare Icebreaker Merino long sleeve
  • (10) REI Shoe gaiters; socks and nicks (pair of each); thin gloves
  • (11) Lightweight towel and micro-fleece cloth
  • (12) Toiletries – basics for teeth, shave, wash, multi-use soap; P20 suncream (SPF50)
  • (13) First aid kit; lots of Hypafix tape; nail clippers, small knife
  • (14) Petzl e-Lite torch; headphones; glasses; sunglasses
  • (15) Notebook and biro in Ortlieb map case
  • (16) Alpkit Koro stove, thick foil windscreen, gas canister, 1l titanium pot and plastic mug.  I could have used a lighter titanium mug and the Alpkit Kraku stove, but it is a bit tall (unstable) and not as capable for cooking meals vs. just heating water.
  • Titanium spoon, lighter, wooden spatula
  • Eyeshade and earplugs (noisy campsites)
  • Wallet

Total weight 6.9kg (without food and water), so probably 9-10kg in use, which is below the lightweight backpacker baseline, but nowhere near ultra-light backpacker level of 5kg!

Clothing (worn):

  • Icebreaker Merino Wool long sleeve shirt, long service
  • Rohan shirt
  • Rohan Trailblazer convertible trousers
  • Socks and nicks
  • Brooks Cascadia 13 Trail Shoes or Meindl Bhutan Boots (see Shoes vs. Boots)
  • OR hat
  • Buff
  • G-Shock watch
  • Leki Carbon Poles – 415g (pair) – haven’t broken them yet. The lighter weight helps make them a natural extension to your arms and I would not walk long distances without them.  Old friends.

UPDATE: Durability vs. Weight vs. Cost – what kit lasted the distance?

  • The tent shows no signs of wear, which is remarkable considering the poor conditions it has had to endure – Score 9/10
  • I have had to repair the backpack inner compartment, which became separated from the outer. My sewing skills are improving, but I must add a needle and thread to my kit list – Score 8/10
  • The sleeping bag is a wonder – the jagbag is doing its job of keeping it clean – A clear 10/10
  • The shorts needed repair several times, the Icebreaker top has faded badly and needs to be donated to bacterial research – but these merino wool tops endure well beyond any other material I know – 6/10 for Rohan and 10/10 for Icebreaker.
  • The Alpkit Balance jacket has endured 10,000km cycling and and good 2,000km walking. I have reproofed it once, but the colour is fading and it is really not as waterproof as I would like. Having said that, it is light and very breathable, better than any other jacket in warm conditions – Score 8/10
  • The Cascadias are in a sorry state, with rips and scuffs on the uppers, needing repair with Gorilla Tape and Super Glue. The Meindl boots will need replacing soon, but they have now done over 3,000-miles. Brooks 5/10 Meindl 9/10
  • I broke a Leki pole 😕- a sad day, as I have had these for 4-years and they have kept me upright for over 2,000-miles of hard walking. I slipped and the pole fractured at two points supporting my fall. I suspect the interface between the sections had developed deep scratches that weakened the poles, something that has been fixed with the new versions. The titanium tips are worn too. So time to replace. Score 9/10.

Everything else is still going strong and will be in the pack for the next adventure.

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