It’s taken a few months of planning – well, six to be exact, but here I am ready to go.
There have been lots of changes to gear and the way I have packed, with many lessons learned from my TGO18 crossing. It’s not the lightest I’m sure, but a lower base weight and overall average pack weight than before.
Heaviest pack: 22lb (9.9kg) on the first day with 5 days’ food, water and fuel
Base weight: 15.5lb (7kg)
Average full pack: 17lb (7.7kg) with 1.5kg of consumables.
There were a couple of items that didn’t get into the bag.
Tread Lite Gear Cuben pods for food, clothing, misc items and stove – brilliant!
Using the excellent Treadlite Gear pods and covers, packing has become so easy with everything in its place and, more importantly, where I can find it. I have been lucky to have been sent a sample Silverback 2019 55ltr rucksack from Gossamer Gear to play with on the crossing. Many thanks to Grant and Ken for that – a review will follow soon.
As I have feet like a hobbit, I have chosen Altra Lone Peak 4 trail shoes this year, which was a big decision. I have walked about 50 miles in them and not a hot spot or blister – unlike with boots last year when my toes and feet were trashed! Trail shoes are lighter, dry really quick and allow the toes to spread and move as they were designed to. The ‘boot-trail shoe’ debate will rumble on I know, but this is my choice this year.
Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 all packed and Altra Lone Peak 4, ready to go.
Also, this year, I have been invited to take part in Ed Hyatt’s Whither Wilderness research project for Northumbria University. It’s a study of information and technology use on the TGO, which is quite exciting and means I get to play with lots of gadgets, which I’ll report on too.