Saturday, May 01, 2010

WHW Kit List

Yesterday, aching considerably, we got home after having walked the West Highland Way, which is 95 miles from Milngavie (nr Glasgow) to Fort William. We planned to do the walk in eight days and carry our kit with us, buying food and getting water along the way. We stayed in hotels in Glasgow the night before we started, in town at Fort William at the end and we had a night at the bunkhouse at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel in case it rained constantly and we needed somewhere to dry out. The rest of the time we would be camping.

Rob and I carried everything between us, he took the food which made his pack heavier and a less consistant weight than mine, which came in at about 8-10kg, depending on what I was wearing or carrying. The majority of WHWers that we saw were taking advantage of the luggage porter services who, for about £35 per bag, will take your bags to your overnight stops so you don't have to carry anything more than a daysack. We decided this was cheating, because we are like that and happy to suffer in order to be judgemental like having the freedom to change our plans and stop as and when we wanted.

This is pretty much what I took.

Osprey Exos 58 rucksack =1150g
Alpkit 600 down sleeping bag =980g
Camp 3 Kovea Titan stove, windshield, feet, 125g GoGas canister, Lighter
2x Origami folding plate/bowls, 2x plastic cups, 2x Light my Fire plastic sporks
Snowpeak Titanium pan & lid =about 650g
Go-Lite Shangri-la 3 tent inner =1020g
Thermarest Neoair mattress - mdm =380g
Thermarest Compack Chair =182g (unused)
Berghaus Infinity Lite smock (used mainly as pillow...) =280g
Integral Designs brushed nylon pillow slip =38g
2x Berghaus X-static top =154g, Mountain Equipment red t-shirt =90g,
Sprayway troos =220g, 2x Smartwool socks =80g, Bridgedale liner socks =22g
Buffalo mitts =80g, tesco £1 fleecy gloves (not used), woollen shooting mitts, waterproof overmitts
Visor Buff, Buffs x2, quvuit knitted hat =50g (not used), midge net - not needed, thankfully
Paramo Cascada trousers =650g
Paramo Velez Adventure Lite Smock =520g
Paramo short gaiters =150g (unused)
Salomon Windproof jacket =120g - very impressed with this, would probably be winner of best kit on trip award
Columbia lightweight fleece short zip jumper =150g
2x Lowe Alpine dry-flo pants =54g, spare pants =14g
Thermal long-johns =100g
2x Debenhams t-shirt bras =48g
2x Platypus bladders, filter, tubes - unused because I forgot a connecting lid and ended up using a small plastic bottle got free from the hotel in Glasgow.
Jinga shoes - pretty, but not entirely practical =240g
Petzl Tikka Plus headtorch =68g
Camera, spare battery, case, clip strap (neat idea but not quite sturdy enough for the job) =650g
Phone, mp3 player =180g
Notepad & pencil, Swiss Army knife - used mainly for the scissors, Lip balm, hanky, Silva compass & whistle, hand gel.
Washbag - mini toothbrush, Colgate, Dove deodorant, shampoo, SPF15 moisturiser, facewash, loo roll, bags, wetwipes, comb, earplugs, mirror, nail file, foot cream, all purpose soap, painkillers, hayfever tablets, midge bite clicker.
Zinc oxide tape - started off with stuff from Boots that proved to be bobbins, replaced when we got to shop in Tyndrum
Travel towel =65g, 2x small cloths
4x carrier bags, ziplock bags, bin bag
Sit mat =40g
Leki Makalu trekking poles
Salomon Elios gtx mid-boots
Sunglasses - worn once... =80g
Suncream - could have probably managed without this...

Deciding what to take and packing was a tricky business. Partly because this would be the longest backpacking trip that we'd undertaken and also because of the wildly fluctuating weather forecasts. A week or so before we left there was significant snow and freezing temperatures during the day and night. The week before we set off it was cold, clear and sunny during the day but freezing at night. By the time we set off it was going to be warm, wet, windy, sunny and just about eveything in between. So, erring on the side of caution, we went for the winter sleeping bags, warm clothes and big rucksacks. Turns out I was almost too warm every night and didn't need much of the warm gear I'd taken, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and, funnily, the weather forecast for the coming week is for a return to cold weather and frosts.

Hindsight being what it is, I wouldn't have taken the thermarest chair because we could sit in hotel bars or pubs pretty much every night. A paperback or some knitting would have been more useful. I would recommend taking a sit mat in with you if you are planning on spending any amount of time in the Climber's Bar at the Kingshouse Hotel - those benches are tough! I didn't need the pair of fleece gloves, and I didn't wear my Buffalo mits but would have taken them anyway because, well, just because I like having them with me. I probably could have managed with one less top and one less pair of socks, but it was quite a relief to have additional spare stuff as it happened that although there were laundry facilities at many of the places we stopped, they weren't always available.

The stove and cooking gear wasn't essential, as places to get food and drink are so widely available on the WHW, but it was nice to stop and have the occasional brew - and it's reassuring to know that we could be self sufficient if need be.

The photos are uploading now, and I will blog about the actual walk tomorrow.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Hindsight is always 20:20 and if you hadn't taken those things... you WOULD have needed them! :-)