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

Monday, 9 April 2012

It's the little things that count.............

Apart from the new backpacking rucksack (here) there are no major purchases this year for the Challenge. There are a few 'little things' that I need though....

New Socks
My favourite socks (Smartwool Ladies lite crew) have unfortunately been carelessly left in France. They do need to be replaced as they are wearing thin on the heel and still have a few nasty sticky bits where a Compeed blister plaster 'dissolved'. 

When I returned home after the Challenge last May I initially put them in the bin but then rescued them the next day and tried to remove the lumps of Compeed goo by soaking, washing and finally just picking the bits out of the sock! That worked (more or less) and I have worn them since on quite a few day walks and during the winter for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

My sock drawer is full of walking socks of one kind or another, but these Smartwool ones are definitely the best for my feet. As they are wool, I can wear them a couple of days before they need washing - which is ideal for backpacking.

So I've sent for a couple of new pairs.............

{Borrowed picture - I've chosen purple and grey though}

Water Treatment Drops
I bought this water treatment system for my first solo Challenge. The two little bottles are easy to carry and I've found they don't taint the water at all. The original bottles are now out of date so I've sent for some replacements.

{Aquamira drops}

I did do a bit more research into other ways of treating water but I like this system so I'm staying with it.

Gaiters
About twelve years ago I did a week's walking in the Yorkshire Dales and left my gaiters at home. By the time I got to Grassington I was regretting the decision so I bought a cheap pair there. They've only recently started to fall to pieces so I'm going to replace them. I do still have my original Goretex gaiters but they're heavy to carry, and hot to wear so I rarely use them.

{Borrowed picture of Outdoor Designs gaiters}

I've found these really good, lightweight and comfortable to wear. I like the zip up the front and the re-inforced foot area. When they get muddy they wash easily in the washing machine and occasionally I have reproofed them with Nikwax. Hopefully the new ones will be the same......

Omm Chest Pouch
This is a new idea for me. The Granite Gear rucksack has no hip belt pockets or top pocket so I've bought one of these chest pouches to carry the things I need as I walk e.g. compass, energy bars, lip-salve, small amount of money etc. I haven't used it yet as I am not sure it's going to be what I need. I already have a Boxit waterproof box for my phone/GPS and an Ortlieb map case to carry so a small bag on my hip belt maybe a better option. After my week in Alnmouth I'm planning an overnight 'practice' camp so it'll get a try-out then.
{Borrowed picture of OMM Chest Pouch}

I had some trouble ordering the chest pouch as OMM have recently re-designed it so stock levels were affected.  Eventually I got hold of one of the new ones. It has a map case in front, a zipped pocket with a key hook and internal pocket and then mesh at the back. There are clips and hooks at the four corners so it can fit onto the rucksack straps.

Gehwol Foot Cream Extra
My feet deserve some pampering so I've sent for some Gehwol Foot Cream in the hope that it'll do what it says on the tube!
{Borrowed picture of the 'magic' cream!}


 Of course, all these little things start to add up....so I expect the over-stretched pension fund will be relieved to know that seems to be the end of the buying for this year!



(Well, maybe................)

11 comments:

Alan R said...

I do like the OMM chest pouch. Very handy so that you don’t have to keep going into the rucksack.
Have they made it fully waterproof this time. That was my only complaint about the last design.

Louise said...

Socks are the order of the day! I wondered if another part of my foot issues last year were caused by my socks (though I love 'em, as you know) being thick and quite cosy. Perhaps too cosy? So I've hunted for socks to do the job I want them to and have come up with Icebreaker mid hiker lite. So far so good. And I've ordered some Gerwol too, with the same hope!

Feeling much better today, at last. Gentle stroll with the girls and I'll see how it goes.
xx

Laura said...

Sadly Alan the pouch is not waterproof! I'm going to give it a Nikwax spraying before I use it on the Challenge. Might have to carry a few extra zippy plastic bags if the weather gets really wet....

I'm still having toenail problems from time to time which I think comes down to wearing socks that are too bulky. The Smartwool ones are the least problematic.

afootinthehills said...

I use teko or Smartwool which I find work for me, although Thorlo are still my favourite but difficult to find these days.

Having just paid visits to Tiso in Perth and Blackford I sympathise with the pension fund comment :-)

Alan Sloman said...

If you soak your Compeed encrusted socks in a little petrol, it magically dissolves away the Compeed concrete.
Then just hand wash your socks as normal to wash out the petrol. You don't want your feet catching fire as you speed across the sun-baked tracks this year...
:-)
Good sock choice, too! My favourites.

Laura said...

Goody! More members for the Smartwool Appreciation Society (SAC - can't think of anything to make it SOC!).
Now Al, how on earth did you find out about the petrol soaking thing?

Alan Sloman said...

I was thinking it might have been that night in Gelder Shiel last year...

But no.

So you're not a petrol head then, Laura? Great for bothy fires, socks, and ants nests.

Careful with the ants nest thing - a friend almost burned his house down following my advice... Whoops!

Alan R said...

What do the gaiters weigh Laura? I have a pair of Rab eVent gaiters and they weigh 283grams. Thats more than my walking pants. Ridiculous when you think about it.

Laura said...

The gaiters have arrived - I admit they are slightly different from the old ones - the underfoot strap is a rubbery stuff instead of webbing and I ordered the larger size as the others were a bit on the small side. They weigh just over 200 g but will be less once I've cut the straps down! I can scrunch them up quite small and flat for packing although I anticipate wearing them, not carrying them!

Alan R said...

That's a good weight for a full size gaiter without going to trilaminate event fabric. What model are they Laura. I wouldn't mind having a look at a pair.

Laura said...

They're Outdoor Designs Ladies Alpine gaiters - there is probably a Mens version.