Thursday 28 May 2015

Blogging the TGO Challenge 2015

All on my own on St Cyrus Beach 9.45 am Wednesday 20 March 2015

This was my third TGO Challenge.  In previous years I have written blog posts about my experiences, describing my day-by-day journey across Scotland.  In common with several other Challenger bloggers I am going to try a different approach this year, and do some thematic posts. I have no idea how they will turn out, but first thoughts are that I will do a post about each of the following:

Route - Strathcarron to Johnshaven (planned) or St Cyrus (actual), with one or two specifics that might help others who follow any sections of this, such as OS grid references for deer gates, wonky bridges, non-existent paths,new motorways to the wind turbines, etc.

Wining, dining and sleeping – wild camps, pubs, cafes and the like

Fellow challengers – get your libel lawyers ready folks,   although I may anonymise these comments by using initials so that readers cannot possibly work out who they are. You know, things like "Professor IS", "Croydon Mick" or some such. 

Gear used and abused

Personal reflections

So, the next post will feature my route. Probably.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Grand Gear Sale

I am selling off an eclectic mix of gear which I no longer need. Some is hardly used, whilst some is years old.  Prices of items available range from £2 to £85! It is all accurately described below, and the reasons for sale are included.  If you are interested in purchasing, or if you have any queries please contact me via the contact form on this blog or via Twitter (@Fellbound).

I will be donating 10% of all profits to Keswick Mountain Rescue Team.

Summary of items (details below)
Lightwave Ultrahike 60 litres pack - current model, used four days SOLD

Karrimor Hot 45 Rucksack (an oldie but goodie)
Berghaus Freeflow Day Pack (a moderate oldie) SOLD

Vaude Triset 15 Day Pack (brand new, with labels) SOLD

Osprey Chest Pack / Bum Bag (used once)  SOLD

Everlight Ultralight Titanium Pot (hardly used) SOLD

Primus 3279 Gravity II EF remote cylinder gas stove (used on one trip)
Caldera Cone and meths burner (hardly used) SOLD

Titanium knife, fork, spoon set (used one trip) SOLD

Dehydrated meals  SOLD

Sealskinz Socks (used once) SOLD

Sealskinz Gloves (used once)
Lifeventure Treking Towel (brand new) SOLD
Selection of dry bags


Lightwave Ultrahike Pack  SOLD
Backlength M3 (ie long for taller folk up to height 6ft 2inches)
60 litre capacity
Weight approx 1.25kg

This is a superb pack, highy rated by Chris Townsend who, I think, used it on his Scottish Watershed walk.  Many of the seams are taped or welded so it's got much better water resistance than many packs on the market.  It has an excellent back system and has a good size lid pocket (claimed to be waterproof by manufacturer although I would never rely on such claims), two treking pole/ice axe loops, side mesh pockets and side compression system.

Purchased at the start of 2014, I have only used this pack for four days and it is in excellent condition. So why am I selling? At just over 6 ft 3inches I am too tall for the hip belt to sit perfectly on my hips and I have replaced it with a custom made longer pack.

I paid about £140 for this and given the newness / condition / lack of use I would accept £85 plus p and p. (I'm checking best way of sending this and will discuss with potential purchaser).

Karrimor Hot 45 Rucksack 

Buy yourself some history!  This is a basic, medium volume, one compartment, heavy duty sack with a good sized lid pocket.  I used to use it to carry my climbing gear to the crag back in the 1990s. It's not been out of a garage or the loft for the last 15 years. Whilst old it is still very serviceable. Some deterioration to the lamination on the internal closure collar. Back slightly dirty.

£15 + p and p (estimated £10, to be confirmed).

Berghaus Freeflow 35+8 Day Pack SOLD

An older model Freeflow day pack. Whilst it is a few years old (7/8?) now, it is in very good condition and hasn't been used for the last 3 or 4 years.

£15 + £5 p and p.

Vaude Triset 15 Day Pack SOLD

This is brand new, still with label attached. A nice little summer day pack that would also be suitable for outings in town or as a school bag. Unneeded gift.

£12.00 + £5.00 p and p.

Osprey Chest Bag  SOLD


This can be used as either a bum bag or small chest pack.  It's designed to fit to Osprey packs but I believe it would fit many other makes (eg it fits the Lightwave pack advertised above). Comprises one subdivided, zipped main compartment and an outer mesh pocket.  Smallish capacity - will take things like your snacks, compass, hat or gloves. I only used it once as, quite frankly, I decided I didn't like a chest bag.

£5.00 + £3.00 p and p.

Evernew Ultralight Titanium Pot   SOLD
1.3 litres capacity, Evernew model: ECA-253

Evernew pots are widely regarded as the bees knees! This has only been used a couple of times.  I'm selling it as I usually use a smaller Evernew pot.  This one is big enough for two people but at approx.135 gr is still light enough for one.  Comes with the Evernew mesh stuff sack. Very slight, normal discolouration to base from its use with a meths burner.

New these cost £58.99.  I will accept £30 + £3.00 p and p.

Primus 3279 Gravity II EF Gas Stove
With piezo ignition

A stable gas stove, with a pre-heating coil.  Relatively light (stove weighs c270 gr) for a remote cylinder stove, with stuff sack. It's only been used a couple of times.  I bought for cold weather backpacking but do not do enough of this to justify its retention as I have other stoves.

New they cost about £60.  Will accept £25 + £3.00 p and p.

Trail Designs Caldera Cone and 12-10 Alcohol (Meths) Stove  SOLD

Suitable for Evernew 0.9 litre (ECA-252) pot or Vargo 0.9 litre
Comes with instructions, caddy, meths measuring cup and meths holder (meths NOT included).

The Caldera Cone is regarded as one of the most efficient ways of using a meths stove, combining a pot stand and excellent wind shield. The burner and cone weigh about 60 gr. I have a titanium version of this cone and so no longer need this one.

Price new is about £39. Selling for £10 + £3.00 p and p.

Lifeventure Titanium Knife Fork and Spoon Set SOLD
In a carrying pouch.

Used once on a teenager's D of E Expedition and surplus to requirements.
£2.00 + £3.00 p and p.

Dehydrated Meals SOLD

As pictured. Both best before some time in 2017. Personally, I'd rather eat dog vomit, but we all have different tastes :-)

These would retail at about £11.00 for both.  Selling both meals together for £2.00 + £3.00 p and p. 

Sealskinz Socks (Used once) SOLD

Large (?) size. They fit about shoe size 9 to 11.

I wore once and hated them. Others swear by them.

(£2.00 + £3.00 p and p).

Sealskinz Gloves (Used once)
XL, medium warmth rating.
They didn't work for me but, as with Sealskinz socks, some swear by them.

£5.00 + £3.00 p and p.

Lifeventure Giant Trek Towel (brand new, unused) SOLD

Unwanted gift. Never used. With stuff sack. In a tasteful shade of dog shit brown. But hey, it still works as a towel!

£4.00 + £3.00 p and p.

Three Dry Bags
Three fairly heavy duty, black dry bags. Two by Trekmates (sized XL and L).  One further heavy duty bag by unknown manufacturer (approx 50X30cm). All unneeded and almost unused. Would be good for lining day sacks, for backpacking (subject to weight) or simply for storing gear.

£4.00 for all three + £3.00 p and p.