.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Having a slow day...........


We downhill skied yesterday. The day before I x-countried with two french friends - a glorious sunny day!
On both these days the wind was strong and cold.

Now today I have a very sore eye. Actually I look as though I've been two rounds with Mike Tyson - my eye is very bloodshot and to be honest, I feel a bit miserable!

This post is my 30th and I had thought about doing another gear review to cheer myself up.

Then I thought (again!) I'll just post about some stuff I would like but don't own - yet!

Oh for a pair of boots that don't hurt my toes!

I thought I had found them - a pair of Meindl Borneo (or is it Burma - they're the non-goretex ones..) - I used them for the TGO Challenge in 2008. Apart from having to protect my toes a bit with tape they performed wonderfully. Alas! not last year though! I think it must have been the wet weather, followed by the very dry conditions and a lot of road walking but my toes were in a bad state by the time I reached Montrose. Two purple, raw little toes and four missing toenails - including the big one (which has only just re-grown to full size).
[That's altogether too much detail......sorry!]

So after the Challenge last year I set out to find a solution. There was no way I could wear the Meindls again. I bought a pair of lighter weight AKU suede and fabric boots. Brilliant! They didn't rub or squash my toes too much - a miracle! Sadly the goretex liner isn't very good in persistent wet weather.

Now I've discovered AKU boots aren't very available this year although I managed to get another pair identical to my original ones on eBay so I can use them in France. My problem? Well, I don't think the fabric/suede is the best option for bog trotting, or heavier pack carrying. I would prefer a slightly sturdier more waterproof boot with a bit more room for a thicker, more protective sock. 

So I'm still looking................

I hate trousers that 'swish' or flap when I walk. Normally I wear trackster type leggings but I find they wear out very quickly and aren't very windproof.

Recently I bought Rohan Striders to try. I had to put some velcro on the waistband next to the press-stud fastening otherwise they popped undone all the time!  I like them but they seem a bit rough on the skin after a few miles. It would be nice to have adjustment at the ankle too.

Ideally I want something fairly adaptable that I could use with longjohns in the Autumn/Winter for colder walking and snowshoeing.

So I'm still looking ................

For backpacking I have a new Deuter (45 + 10L) pack that I've still to try out. I also have a 24L Vaude that I use as a summer pack in Scotland and a 20L Deuter for really hot days in the Alps.

I'm going for a new 30/35L to use when I have to carry more spare clothes in Spring or Autumn.

My preference at the moment would be a Lowe Alpine nd 35. I haven't bought one yet as I keep changing my mind about it. I like the look of it. It has a good hip belt and a zip entry into the main pack from the front. I just think it looks smaller than the stated size! I'm not convinced it would carry all the extras I have in mind.

And it's quite expensive!

So I'm still looking................


Martin Rye said...

" I don't think the fabric/suede is the best option for bog trotting, or heavier pack carrying"

Option one is get some Gore-Tex socks for the bog sections and you will be fine in the AKU's.

On pack weight you could take less and still be warm, comfortable and dry and use the AKU boots still. Just a point or two to mull over.

Laura said...

Thanks for your comments Martin. As I don't have any other boots at the moment I've been wearing the AKUs for everything from shopping trips to snowshoeing - and they seem to holding up well. Your idea of waterproof socks is interesting so I'm going to look into that. I think what I'd really like is to try some sturdier AKUs - but I haven't been able to track any down.
As I said - I'm still looking...........

The Weekend Dude said...

Hi Laura,

And so continues the ongoing quest for the perfect kit. We're all on this quest.

I got some Meindl Berninas recently as I've got feet that are awkwardly about as wide as they are long so for long enough I've had problems getting boots that fit well. These were the widest in the shop so I was mopping my brow in relief when they did fit like gloves (from what you say above these may actually be the same ones you got as these aren't gore-tex, waterproofing isnt an issue though so long as they are well looked after). Good luck with that though comfy boots are key to a happy walk. I also learnt something interesting when I went in and that is that your feet expand as the day goes on so the best time to try on new boots is early afternoon (dunno how much truth there is in that although I suppose it could make sense).

I go with Cragghoppers Kiwi trousers, dead comfy and somehow are waterproof to a certain extent when new. Have you considered gaiters? They might sort the flapping about issue?

Regards bag, I've got 2 osprey atmos packs (1 x 35 litre and 1 x 55 litre). They are ridiculously comfy although this comfort and the mesh back does chew up the space in the pack a shade. It hasn't impacted enough that I've not been able to get all the necessaries in yet. Possibly one to consider.

Good luck in your quest.