Gear checks – Base essentials

I’m walking 640km across Jordan, and the days are counting down remarkably fast. The point of the trek is not only to challenge myself but to raise funds for @MSF_UK as I’ve written about extensively, start at number one and work on through to ten. If you believe in MSF’s work around the world or simply like my blog please head over to my just giving page and donate a few Pounds, Euro, Shillings or dollars to the cause.

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Packing base gear essentials:


Base gear Grams
Phd sleeping bag + bag* 732
Big Agnes roll mat + bag 525
Sea to summit pillow 61
Swag bag or Bivvy** 427
Osprey bag 38L*** 1150
 Total weight 2895
*edit sleeping bag weigh – changed storage bags to save 75g; ** edit 2 – fine, I’m not taking a tent, my bivvy if lighter, no issue getting tent pegs into hard ground and packs down smaller while being large enough to fit my rollmat, sleeping bag, pillow and me with fly screen if needed. *** I just took scissors to my osprey bag and it instantly lost 50g

Was 4.3kg! So what has changed? I may have accidentally bought a PhD sleeping bag in the sale last year and I’m in love with it already. My old bag was about 2kg and far too bulky although it is toasty warm it’s in the comfy car camping division not thru hiking 640km. New bag is less than  800g and teeny tiny which makes me happy.

First thing I did with new sleeping bag was to throw a cup of water over it… stay with me, the sleeping bag outer layer is amazingly water resistant so I’m opting to leave out my water proof bag cover (120g).IMAG2181[1].jpg

The rest is pretty much the same, I’ve halved my tent weight by not taking the inner layer which I only use when it’s really cold or to combat Scottish midges. I just threw out the tent (not literally) and decided to commit to hard core bivvy bag. As far as I know I don’t have any major bug issues when sleeping on the ground (just wait until I find my first scorpion in my sleeping system)

I’m taking my light weight pillow vs larger airplane survival pillow (56g vs 115g)


Lastly the bag. I really wanted a light weight bag, but I just couldn’t find one I loved that would be made in time so I’m sticking with my original 38L Osprey battered bag which has tripped around the world with me. Osprey guarantee meant it was re-strapped and patched recently. With only minor work with scissors the bag has now lost 50g and a bunch of unneeded hanging bits, more may follow…


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