Monday 4 March 2019

TGO Challenge 2019 Preparations: Gear Choices

My Tarptent Scarp 1 on the Challenge in 2015 - One of my favouritist wild camp pitches, ever

My thoughts are turning to the annual TGO Challenge in May.  For the uninitiated this is a two week backpack, west to east, coast-to-coast across the Scottish Highlands.  Actually, this statement is incorrect.  My thoughts are not turning to it. It has been almost constantly in my mind since I submitted my entry five months ago.  That's one of the reasons I swore in June 2017  that I'd never do it again - it can become all consuming.

An Idiot
Only an idiot would say he was never going to do the Challenge again after experiencing this sort of setting for a fortnight.

Anyway.  The three naughty boys have invited me to walk with them.  I am still not certain why, and at the back of my mind I worry that ulterior motives will become clear on the Challenge at a time of their choosing.  Perhaps Mad 'n' Bad will suddenly tear my Montane Beanie from my head and produce a gimp mask for me to wear, whilst the Stringpuller and Lord Elpus dance around chanting "We're twenty miles from civilisation and we've caught ourselves a bitch", followed by the order "Now get our tents up and fill up our water containers.  And make it snappy or you'll be carrying all of our cheese and wine up Stob Poite Coire Ardair tomorrow ready for the evening's convivialities". 

A Stringpuller

With Lord Elpus in his natural environment

Mad 'n' Bad on a Mission to find a wild camp spot

It's a well known fact amongst less experienced Challengers such as me (this will only be my fifth crossing) that the most essential part of the preparations is using a set of scales to weigh your gear choices and then setting out the results on a spreadsheet.  Indeed, my experience of blogging about the outdoors is that any post with the word "gear" in the title gets far more hits than anything else that I write. Thus, I have set out my list below.  I am sure things will change before May, and probably choices will still be being made the day before I set off for my train journey up to Lochailort.

The list assumes that the weather forecast immediately before the Challenge is for Scottish mixed wet and dry conditions, with average temperatures, and that most of the snow has gone.  

The items most likely to be subject to further thought are:

1. Shelter - Either the Tarptent Stratospire 1 or the Tarptent Scarp 1.  The former is 500 grams lighter and has much better vestibules and headroom, but is more fiddly to orientate for a good pitch.  My Scarp 1 is, by me, more tried and tested, and has been with me on three previous TGO Challenges.
My Tarptent Stratospire 1: Palatial for a one person backacking tent, but, oh the geometry is weird for pitching

2. Footwear - Almost certainly trail shoes - either my Inov8 395 Roclites or my Salomon Ultras non-GTX shoes. But just possibly my Salomon Ultra GTX Mids.

3. Shell Jacket - I'm minded to take my newish Paramo Velez Jacket rather than the Rohan Elite Jacket I used in 2017 and 2015.  If the former, which is heavier, I can get away without taking a windshirt.

4. Sleeping Bag - I sleep very cold and normally have several uncomfortable nights on the event when using my Z Packs 20 Degree or Rab Neutrino 400 bags, and often end up in the early hours putting my down jacket on and still not being able to warm up.  I have wondered whether it might be worth carrying my Rab Alpine 600 bag despite the extra 4 or 500 grams this would involve. I could, though, then ditch the silk liner. I will probably stick to a lighter bag but...

5. Hip Flask and Scotch - it's not on the list on my doctor's orders. But then again, what do doctors know?

Without further ado, apart from apologising that the cutting and pasting of my list has messed up some of the formatting of what follows, here it is.  Oh. PS. As I have quit Twitter this week it would be rather lovely if somebody would post the link to this on Twitter or hardly anyone will see it. Humble pie is so yummy!

TGOC 2019 Gear List

GG Mariposa
Pack Cover
Shelter and Sleeping

Stratospire 1, extra guys, polycro
Tent pegs (surely I can take fewer!!!)
Sleeping Bag Z Packs 20 degree
Rab Silk Liner
Down Socks
Compression leggings
Silk Liner Gloves - Lowe Alpine
Exped REM Pillow (weight guessed)
Thermarest XTherm (large)
P Bottle
Lightload towel (for pre-pack drying tent)
Small Cuben stuff sac for tent tidy

Jetboil Minimo
Evernew 0.4 litre mug (Titanium)
Long spoon (Titanium)
Fire steel
Classic Swiss Army Knife
Water Purifying Tabs
J Cloth
Water Kit in DCF stuff sack
Sawyer Filter + Medium Pouch

Sawyer Syringe
Platypus 2 litre
Platypus 1 litre
Evian bottle
Wine Platypus
First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit Dry Bag
Elasticated knee bandage
Tick remover
Safety Pins
Plasters and compeed
Wound Dressings
Micropore tape
Hayfever tablets
Gehwol Foot Cream
Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel

Sunscreen Lipsalve
Wash Kit in UL Dry Bag
Mini toothbrush and paste
Dr Bronner's
Mini Deodorant
Towel - Lightload Mini *2
Contact lenses
T Roll, lighter in zip lock bag
Hand Sanitiser gel + sanitiser wipes
Ear plugs
Trowel - MSR Blizzard with tent pegs
Silva compass
Ortilieb A4 Case + map printouts + 2 half OS maps (rest sent ahead)
Galaxy S7 Phone with Viewranger
Lightproof Phone case
Phone charger
Power pack
Spot Messenger
Repair Kit
Duck Tape
Spare Batteries CR2032 *3,  (watch and headtorch)
Spare Batteries *4 AAA lithium for Spot
Thermarest puncture kit
Velcro tapes *2
Tenacious tape
Thermarest sitmat
Headtorch - Petzl e lite
Midge head net
Notebook and pen
Watch - Suunto Core
Camera - Lumix DMC TZ60
Reading glasses in case
Black Diamond Trail Pro Poles (or the much better Pacer Poles if Scarp 1 tent is taken)
Wallet and cash
Rail tickets and Rail Card
Exped UL Dry Bags *3 for clothes etc
Pod Dry Bag (waste)
Z Packs CF Dry Bag (food)

Trail Shoes Inov8 395 Non-GTX
Dirty Girl Gaiters
Pants Under Armour Boxers
Pants Helly Hansen Boxers
X Socks Exped (2 pairs)
Bridgedale Coolmax Liners (3 pairs)
Seal Skinz Socks???
Trousers - Montane Terra
Rohan Merino Shirt
Rohan Silver Core Zipped Base
Berghaus Extrem 7000 Hoodie
Montane Prism Gillet
PHD Minimus Down Jacket and Hood
Rohan Silver T??
Montane Beanie
Outdoor Research Cap
Montane Prism Gloves
Waterproof Overmits
Paramo Velez Jacket
Berghaus Paclite Overtrousers
Hi Tec Zuuc Shoes

Total Base Carried
Total Non-Pack
Food, Drink and Fuel
Dehydrated Main Meals (3 days)
1500 (Estimate)
Total other food (3 days):-
1500 (Estimate)
Packets custard and semolina
Tea bags
Nido dried milk
Condensed milk(luxury item!) - tube
Instant porridge
Cereal bars
Trail mix
Primula and wraps
Food bags
Total Fuel, Food and Water
Total Pack Weight,at start


  1. It's good to be able to compare my list to what other folk are using. Obviously it works for you. What is the need for so much water carrying capacity, all the platypuses? I usually manage with a 1 litre bottle and a small coke bottle (for water) I find this, when full, does me for my evening meal and breakfast. The only problem I have found is when walking in farming country where the water may be a bit iffy. Perhaps I should consider using a platypus. Hope to see you on a challenge sometime.

    1. Hi Sandy. I possibly overdo the water bottles slightly, but I must drink and otherwise consume far more than you. I like to have 4 litres in camp, which usually gives me a little spare to start the next day's walk with - I could get by with 3 litres.

      I normally have a brew once I've pitched, sometimes, two to help rehydrate. Dinner involves water for soup, a dehydrated main meal and usually some packet custard or semolina for pudding which takes another boil. Then there is a hot drink before bedtime. In the morning I always have one brew and usually two, and also need water to make up my porridge. A little more is used for washing out pans and cleaning teeth.

      The wine platypus is only necessary if I am attending the Challenge Cheese and Wine Party - I'm nt going to lg a real wine bottle half way up a mountain, even with Lord Elpus present.

  2. Totally different kit but roughly the same weight, hoping to sneak under 13kg, but not that hopeful!

    1. The interesting phenomenon, Louise, is that the pack weight creeps up even if you stick to loading what you have meticulously weighed and put on your spreadsheet. The sum total of items in reality is always heavier than the sum total on the spreadsheet. Impossible according to the laws of physics but I know many others have said the same!

  3. Good list - there's hardly anything we agree on except Inov8 trail shoes. Even my P bottle is lighter (draw your own conclusions). That doesn't mean either of us is wrong; we're just hiking our own hike.

    1. That's true, Stan. I still love to see what others carry though - I learn from it and do sometimes reconsider my plans as a result. There is also a weight penalty in being very tall, daft though it sounds. The additional weights of XL clothing, longer sleeping bags etc does add up. My height and weight (6 foot 3 inches and 15 stone) is one reason why I use a larger sleeping mat than most and, indeed, I would have purchased the lighter Tarptent Notch rather than the Stratospire if I'd been six inches shorter.

  4. We are all pretty set with what we think is good for us I guess; I see some duplication and redundancy in YOUR list...but that is as it is not MY list..
    I'm at around 6kg base weight...up that 2kg for four days food (absolute max)...

    1. That's an incredibly calorie rich food stuff you're carrying there Ed. I reckon on packing at least 3,000 KCal a day across Scotland, and even then I'll probably drop a few pounds body weight along the way (I generally burn upwards of 3,500 on high hill days). There are not too many foods that would be dense enough in calories to provide that in 500g food weight. I normally need at least 750g of carried food a day. I'd be interested to know what food you're carrying, see if I can reduce mine down a bit.

    2. Ed, John

      I pressed the wrong button when replying to Ed's comments - so it has not appeared in the right place. It's lower down. I know what I mean anyway! I made a similar comment re food, John.

  5. Ed, Ed, Ed! That's a very frustrating comment as I would be interested to hear any specific points as I'm always open to learning how others do things and then considering if their ideas would work for me.

    You are absolutely right that there is some "duplication and redundancy". For example, I know many would consider a pillow, a pee bottle etc as redundant or unnecessary. In fact that pillow is a new addition, bought after wild camping last October when I got the most terrible crick in my neck after a couple of nights that took two weeks to cure.

    I am also conscious of duplication, often caused by my very over-cautious, and probably unnecessarily so, approach to life. Thus, I do not need a pack cover, packliner and all the dry bags. I could or should cut down. I like the smaller dry bags as it helps me keep my stuff organised better in both pack and tent. My OCD goes into overdrive when things feel chaotic! The gillet, by the way, is a mistake - it's not necessary if I have a Paramo and down jacket with me. Unless the forecast is for very cold it will be ditched before I pack.

    Finally, the one thing that did surprise me in your comment was the weight of your food which seems to average 500 grams per day. I've only estimated my food weight in my list above but I'm sure 500 grams per day would be totally inadequate for me. I admit I do have piggish tendencies. Out of interest, what food would you carry?

    1. I'll answer on the food before another post dissing your kit selections :-)

      I just don't eat that much when backpacking and run a calorie deficit (although I do carry spare subcutaneous rations)...

      So breakfast is tea or coffee, after an hour or so I'll have some powdered cereal type concoction....then nuts and dried fruit and more powdered stuff, with an evening freeze-dried meal and maybe a pudding.

      I drink a lot of my calories as I have a knackered throat; I've always found eating when backpacking tough (its a different story when I hit a town)...tend to the same pattern even on trips of several weeks.

    2. I couldn't move without at least two brews and breakfast, but "I drink a lot of my calories" sounds like an excellent strategy, Ed!

  6. Ever the seasoned professional, packing the lighter pair of boxers at the outset to reduce pack weight, and only switching to carry the heavier pair when your trail fitness reaches peak performance after the first week. It's details like this, and the fact that you don't carry a completely pointless radio across Scotland, that are the mark of experience.

    1. John

      I had no intention of discussing my underwear on a public forum - Challengers are a merciless bunch as Jeremy found out when he confessed to wearing women's knickers because they are lighter than men's. Suffice to say you have spotted my trick (I think the Americans call such clever ideas "hacks"). As the secret is now out I may produce a Youtube video so that the wider backpacking community can benefit. I shall call it "A Nifty Backpacking Pants Hack". I promise it will be no longer than the average Youtube review of a new pair of socks, straight out of their wrapper, made by an American through hiker ie it will be no longer than 1 hour 45 minutes. Incidentally, it occurs to me that there is quite a lot of surplus material in a pair of boxers such as that around the thigh. I may, therefore, cut holes in mine, once I have removed all the bristles from my toothbrush. I understand that is the latest hack on the Pacific Crest Trail.

      Finally, I am sure radio reception will have improved since 2015 and I expect to see it on your gear list again. I would suggest a DAB radio, though, as Radio 4 Extra repeats some excellent drama from the 1980s.

    2. Post Script

      "Once I have removed all the bristles from my toothbrush" was not a euphemism.

    3. Commando is the way to go, lighter, no chafing...

      Jeez, you probably wear pyjamas to bed

    4. PJs? Of course. Marks and Spencer's finest flannelette. With a cord to hold them up. None of that new fangled elastic.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I'll take your word for it on the bristles, although something has been abrading your boxers; since last time you weighed them in 2017 they appear to have shed a few grams each, particularly the Under Armour version which look to be less wear resistant. Perhaps there is a trade off between weight and longevity.

  9. David. You NEED a wooden spoon from Treadlite, the better to protect the anodising on your lovely Minimo x

    1. Geoff. Sush! I have a wooden spoon. I may take it although if the 8 or 9 grams it weighs is the straw that breaks the tall bloke's back I'll expect you to push my wheelchair.

  10. David. You NEED a wooden spoon from Treadlite, the better to protect the anodising on your lovely Minimo x

  11. With the proviso that it is all bullshit...
    I transpose my degree of what is comfortable to you….with a tad of logic applied; this makes no difference to ‘what you think you need’

    Pack cover and liner is duplication your pack is not waterproof and if you fall/are pushed into a river it does fuck-all)
    110g saved

    Strat does not need extra guys, or pegs, or polycyro..
    80g saved?

    With a 20 degree bag you need a liner; hate them. Only you will know.Rab
    Piss in the porch and save yourself 62g
    62 saved

    You have plenty of things to wipe your tent with…
    Save 17g towel

    A Jetboil – well really, as you wish….
    Alcohol or esbit will save 300g

    Swiss Army Knife 21
    For what exactly? Scalpel blade
    Save 19g

    You don’t need pouch for your it baby?
    60g saved

    Or a syringe….its not the Sinai
    20g saved

    Wine platypus…I see, …

    A lot of redundancy in your toilette kit…sanitiser, wipes, and soap? They all do the same thing; pick one.
    Ortelib cases are heavy.
    Use a zip lock – 100g saved

    Phone is waterproof, no case required
    Save 60g

    Dude, sit on a rock..
    60g saved

    If you are using a pack liner why all the extra (pack your fears back-ups)?
    100+ g saved

    Two pairs of undies, why you can only wear one at a time?
    90g saved

    Clothes are up to each of us; I don’t take much yet was amazed by how cold my partner got…so, each to their own.

    Food; you’ve seen my comments.

    Water…it should be abundant…

    That’s: 1kg or so…before I warm up…

    1. 1/ 2 Well thanks Ed! That made me think. Are you on the Challenge, by the way? If so what is your surname? It's nice to know who you are 'talking to' when comments appear on the blog.

      Some thoughts on your thoughts. First, though, you need to know that I really do suffer from General Anxiety Disorder(GAD), which means I am a belt, braces and, indeed, baler twine person when it comes to metaphorically holding my trousers up.

      Pack cover - I agree with you. I will probably ditch. I like all the other dry bags, despite the pack liner. They keep my stuff organised - I have OCD as well as GAD! That doesn't mean I will ditch the packliner. Not everything goes in the smaller dry bags and I hate putting wet stuff into the tent. I am a woos you see.

      Stratospire - the extra guy is actually a lifter for the 'head end'. I'm 6ft 3 inches and need this to keep the inner out of my face and from being pushed into the outer, so reducing condensation. Polycro? it's just a small piece. I like a dry bit in the vestibule to put stuff on, but it's not not essential. May ditch it.

      No, I don't have plenty of other things to wipe the tent with - well not things I want covered in mud from the groundsheet.

      "Piss in the porch"? I only learnt a few days ago that some do this. No thanks. Wild camping involves enough squalor as it is and I have some standards. In any case, knowing me, I'd end up with my trail shoes, mug or pack full of pee.

      Jetboil. A new purchase last autumn. I use meths on short trips. I can't be faffing with meths, though, when I'm absolutely knackered after a long day. In the past I have used a tiny MSR stove on the Challenge. The Jetboil is an experiment. Yes it is heavy. It's supposed to use far less gas.

      Scalpel instead of a Swiss Army knife? Your weight saving claim is exaggerated. If I did this I'd need more Band Aids as I'd regularly be slicing through my fingers. Further, what happens if I find a horse with a stone stuck in its hoof and I didn't have that gadget thing to remove it? However, you have made me think and I have removed the silly plastic toothpick that comes with the knife. My kitchen scales have not registered to show the weight saving but it must be at least 0.1 of a gram.

    2. 2/2
      Sawyer and syringe. I never used to carry the syringe until I had a Sawyer mini fail in the field because it needed backwashing. Has this happened to you? Sawyer told me after the event that the mini is very prone to this. I'm not risking it again - although I admit the Sawyer is not often needed, especially in the west of Scotland. I'm only glad I didn't put my brilliant MSR Guardian filter on the list as that weighs almost 500 grams!!!

      I use gel sanitizer and wipes for different things! You do not want to know the detail! But if I didn't carry both I'd need more of the one I did carry. Dr Bronner's - tiny amount for hairwashing in camp site showers. And yes, I do need to wash my hair with soap - it makes me feel human again after three or four days out.

      Ortilieb - I stick my map printout for the day in it and roll it up and fasten it to my pack shoulder strap with a mini crab. Not certain I'd be able to do that with a zip lock. I do a belt and braces thing with printouts and a wider coverage half OS map kept in my pack, though, and so this may add unnecessarily to weight. I know I could reduce here through various methods. Thinking further about this.

      Sitmat - I agree, not really necessary. I'm taking it anyway. Keeps my backside dry and comfy! And two of my three walking companions like to do a lot of sitting. Do you not carry any 'luxury' items?

      I will be washing out a pair of boxers whenever I can and I'm not going commando whilst I do. My mother would tell me off if she found out. In any case I find it achingly uncomfortable and, frankly, rather unpleasant. Freud would have a field day.

      Food - my weights on my list were estimates but I usually lose half a stone on the Challenge so I must be eating far less than I really need.

      Carrying water? Everyone says that it's abundant on the Challenge. I simply don't agree. I want it when I want it, so to speak. I end up dehydrated most days as it is. I want to have plenty, easily accessible. In practice I rarely carry the 750 mill implied in my list - normally 500 mill until over in the east.

      Thanks for your thoughts. You will, indeed, have saved me some weight and I'm sure my shoulders will owe you some gratitude by the end of the first day. :-)

    3. Yes I'm on. Strathcarron start. Hyatt.

    4. Excellent. I've started from there twice. Simply stunning. But then so are most of the starting points. Hope you have a great crossing. May see you en route or in Montrose. I'll be the very tall bloke looking knackered.

    5. Phone is waterproof?? Really... Drop it in a river and see???

      Well, actually MINE IS!!! CAT S41 2m depth …. 😂

      BUT... It weighs as much as a non waterproof phone in a case! 🙄

    6. I'll be the frozen little bald one reeking of esbit.....

  12. I tend to take a slightly precautionary approach myself, and I like to look after my kit.

    I would always use a sleeping bag liner with a down bag I'd invested considerable money in, especially on longer trips where I'm bound to become grimy. I've ben repulsed by some pretty greasy and dirty bags in my time sharing bothies (no tittering), and I'd rather easily launder a 100g silk liner after each trip than have to send my sleeping bag off for an expensive deep clean.

    Same goes for using a polycro sheet with a tent. Not absolutely necessary, but 30-40g means my tents are still in perfect condition and the groundsheets haven't taken on the odour of a damp cellar. As for the pegs and guylines, well I've had enough experience of needing to camp on poor ground in high winds to know that a couple of spare pegs and a length of 2mm can be the difference to bailing out and getting some sleep.

    After suffering a complete fail of a supposedly waterproof phone and a camera in the last couple of years, at a cost of over £900 replacement, I'm afraid I would never trust a manufacturers claim. The Galaxy S7 is known to have failed a simple dunk test, and my electronics failed after only being used in a typical Scottish downpour. So they get bagged at the first sign of rain.

    A think there's a balance to be struck between enjoying the experience, and surviving the experience. But when all is said and done, back in the mists of time many of us used to backpack with considerably more kg on our backs. And having grabbed the low hanging fruit by ditching the 3kg rucksack for 1kg one, I'm less inclined to ditch a 90g pack cover or go commando while I rinse my smalls.

    1. Hi John. Not a good idea to refer to "grabbing the low hanging fruit" and "going commando" in the same sentence. People with a school boy sense of humour may start to snigger at the image it might conjure up.

    2. It amuses me to read any phone is waterproof claim. My take on kit to review on the list: Sleeping bag. The loft is 2.25in. Not much and I found that Zpack bag cold for conditions often found on the Challenge. gas stove all the way David. Warm brews and no stink of esbit, nor meth's flare ups if cooking in your tent porch to worry about - sound choice. I am sure you can tweak the kit and good luck on the Challenge.

    3. Thanks Martin. I will decide on the sleeping bag much nearer the time. I certainly wouldn't trust my phone in the rain without a case - anyway the Galaxy S7 is as slippery as an eel and I'd drop the thing. Not worth the risk. Each to their own of course.

      Hope you have a good crossing. See you along the way or in Montrose.

    4. I've used the ZPacks 20 for around 5 years...its not a -7 bag (for me) but does OK. Light base layers and (increasingly, as years pass) down socks and it does well.
      Phones have survived the CT and bad weather but electronics can be tetchy I agree. I use a shoulder-strap mounted clip case for my S7 as it is my primary navigation device.
      But hey I only backpack in warm 'training' is the Canary Islands and Mallorca - surely Scotland can't be that different :-D

  13. I'm looking forward to meeting Mr Hyatt on the morning after a perishingly cold night... He'll be the one reeking of Esbit, burned to keep himself warm all night, because with that base load his bag and pad won't be very warm.

    I'm ditching my custom-built PHD 450/800 fill bag for a toastier Western Mountaineering Apache, with 650g of 850+ fill. Any fool can be cold and have a crappy night. The PHD bag was fine with an Exped down-mat, but on balance the Neoair / WM bag is a better, roomier (ie. more comfortable) solution.

    Like you, I'm going for a combination built stove/pan combo for the first time as well. Lunchtime brews are important on crappy days (and the Trailstar is a fast group shelter) and the MSR Windburner is fast in windy conditions. F*ck all this meths/Esbit shite.

    But what do I know, eh? Between us, this will be our merry little band's 58th TGO crossing. I hope Ed makes it across this year for his first crossing. First-timers are the life-blood of this magnificent event.

    1. Thanks for coming by and commenting, Alan.

      One of the great things about the Challenge, which you understand better than I, is the variety of people and the ideas they bring. Whatever works for the individual is fine as long as the safety of others isn't put recklessly at risk. I certainly could never use Esbit on the Challenge, for example, whereas some swear by it.

      I have enjoyed reading all the comments on this post as they have all made me think about the reasoning behind my own choices, and I will make one or two small changes as a result. I should save a few grams (but not many) from this process so my post has been worthwhile.

      Having spent yesterday evening with an old university friend there is one expert who I must listen to, though. My doctor. Sadly, I must take his advice. The hip flask and scotch will very definitely not be on my list. Sad face.

    2. Well I've just brought my pack weight up to 14kg :-D

  14. Well, he's my 6p worth.
    Does it really matter what anyone carries if they are happy with it.
    My carry weight starting inc food will be about 26.6lb I suspect (that's something starting with a 1 in new money).
    My logic is.
    Take enough to be comfortable.
    Take enough to be safe.
    It's a holiday.
    Heh.. I could leave the whisky out.. That's a 350g saving (and it ain't ******* happening).
    I'm taking some little sandals for rivers too.
    I don't need them, I could wade across and then have wet feet for ages (ain't happening either).
    I have a rough kit list.
    This is how it works...
    I put stuff in the pack (I know pretty much what I need now).
    Can I pick it up and go up a hill?
    YES = It's fine.
    No = Adjust.

    But my main theory is.
    It's my pack, I'll take what I want thank you.
    Feel free to adjust your kit list to suit yourself... 🤔😂
    It's like shoe and sock advice... My feet, my shoes my socks.
    Nobody else's feet are mine... 😁😁😁
    As for stoves... I've used Meths, Esbit, Gas...
    It's a bit heavier (marginal TBH), but I'm taking the small Jetboil.
    When I want a brew, I don't want to have to faf around with lighting meths, balancing a stove in wind, and waiting 9 min for hot water. Got that T shirt, but I want instant gratification, cos that's the sort of impatient old git I am..
    Anyway, I'm 'ARD an Mad 'n Bad, so I can do what I want init.... 😎😉🤣

  15. Hmmm Commando.. 😳😳😳
    Can you imagine what the trousers smell like after 4 days..
    Shit, Pee, Sweat and lord knows what other undisclosed wildlife.

    1. Yes Andrew. Each to their own. Now, let's have no more discussion about underwear on my blog!