Gear and stuff

Price vs. Durability vs. Weight – Choose Any Two!

I try not to get too geeky about gear, but some careful thought will make your trail walking and cycling more pleasant.  You can certainly spend a lot of money quickly, but I have built up my kit over several years.

Try to balance price vs. durability vs. weight.  Expensive gear will be light and durable, probably but not always. Heavy gear will be durable but not light. Cheap and light gear will perhaps not be that durable, but you can always replace it again easily, but it might fail in the field.

There are exceptions to this rule and these items that tend to stay in your pack.  I have an olive green Karrimat from the 1980’s I still use today. It is light, durable and inexpensive.

If you want to get geeky, build a spreadsheet, buy some scales and start measuring the weight accurately.  If you can keep your sleep system, shelter and backpack under 3kg you are on the road to lightweight backpacking. After that, you have to take a serious look at each item and gram by gram whittle away at that weight, or best of all, leave it out altogether.

I’ll post my geek list here someday which has helped me get a base-weight between 5 – 10kg for walking and 15 – 20kg for cycling, depending on the nature of the expedition.

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