Buffalo Belay Jacket – Farewell old faithful friend

Looking from Camp 2, Korzhenevskaya Peak

Looking from balcony Camp 2, Korzhenevskaya Peak

Sometimes a piece of kit comes along which becomes so much a part of you, that it’s more like a comfort blanket or childhood teddy bear than a rufty tufty piece of outdoor gear.

The Buffalo Belay jacket has been one such piece of kit, and so much more. But sadly after 20 years of faithful and devoted service it’s entered a final chapter of decrepitude, and it’s now time to say a fond farewell to the old chap. Continue reading

Trekkertent ‘A’ frame set up : Now that’s what I call customer service !

Trekkertent Stealth with single front pole

Trekkertent Stealth with single front pole

If you’ve read my last post giving a positive initial review of the Trekkertent Stealth tent, then you will know that one of the only things I’d like to do is to improve the access. The best solution would be to see if the STEALTH could be used with a front ‘A’ frame set-up.

Well Marc at Trekkertent came up trumps with the quickest show of customer service I’ve yet witnessed. Continue reading

Trekkertent Stealth – Initial Review

Earlier this summer I took the plunge and purchased a tent from a new UK cottage industry company, Trekkertent.

It’s too early to give a full review based on extensive use, but after a few nights out with her in the Lake District and Pennines I thought I’d do a quick initial review. So far I’m impressed with what I see and it’s a great start for this new company. Continue reading

TGO challenge 2014 – Final Gear List


Not to be left out, here finally after a bit of tinkering is my Gear List for the TGO.

I’ve optimistically assumed the sun will have his hat on when I set out from Strathcarron on the 9th May,  so shell jacket, gaitors, gloves, hat and windshirt etc will all be in the pack. So the total base weight is really a worst case.

Most of the  stuff here will be all too familiar, and as with everyone’s lists it’s very much a personal choice after many years finding out what works for me.


Continue reading

Heights of the Berwyns – 2 day trek

DSC00488My final overnighter before the TGO took me to the Berwyns in Wales, for a 34 mile (55 km) overnight trek taking in the main high points of the range;  Cadair Berwyn 830 metres (2,723 ft) , Moel Sych  827 metres (2,713 ft) and Cadair Bronwyn 784 metres (2,572 ft) .

The Berwyns are a favourite of mine. Being far less popular than their Snowdonia neighbours, there’s few better places within easy reach on a bank holiday weekend to get away from the crowds and have the mountains all to yourself. Once away from the valley bottom I met only two people in the hills over the two days. Bliss.


Continue reading

TGO Challenge 2014 Gear : Trials, tribulations and the art of cloning


Almost there with my final gear choice for the TGO this year, but one or two items have been giving the grey cells a bit of a work out, not least of which is which shelter and boots to take. And in my search for a couple of items I’ve noticed a bit of gear cloning creeping in from the Far East, some of which potentially offer some budget options.

Continue reading

The Karrimor KSB Trek-Lite II Teasmade

My foot in shoe form.


It’s quite obvious that my genes developed something significantly different to the average foot,  evolution endowing me with a pair of size 9’s that blister at the very thought of footwear.

Currently in search of the Holy Grail of trekking boots, I’ve recently been trying a pair of Karrimor KSB Trek-Lite II Event. Advertised as waterproof (no sniggering at the back please), I can summarize my experience of these boots by saying simply that they display all the water resistant properties of a tea bag.   Continue reading

Gear I will not be taking on the TGO 2014

Daletrekker Sombrero - my first backpacking tent 34 years ago

Daletrekker Sombrero – my first backpacking tent 34 years ago

Before I could spend too much time deliberating, cogitating and digesting all the gear options for this years TGO challenge, a grainy old photo (discovered while writing my About me page) leapt out to give me a much needed reality check and kick up the derrière.

Taken 32 years ago when I was a fledgling 15 year old backpacker, it showed all my kit laid out ready for the Pennine Way in 1982. Continue reading