What I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike.

What I carry on a
3 to 4 day Hike.

What I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike. Some people have asked and I think its good to share experiences of Obviously there’s a lot depending on what you carry, things like weather, terrain, drinking water and if the dog is with me or not.

what I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike.

I think it is a really good idea first to write down what you want to take and then slow remove items and items you have forgotten about.

This also gives you the opportunity just to see how much you want to take.

I have a habit of thinking “If you haven’t got it you can’t use it” and sometimes I need pulling back to reality. Ok, you need to be safe i.e. correct amount and type of clothing, correct sleeping bag, waterproofs, 1st aid but you really don’t need to take all of your gear you own.

Why has what I carry changed?

After completing the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden I soon realised that I was taking way to much kit with me. I had 3 / 4 changes of clothes, waterproofs, then a poncho in case it was bad and loads of other items I really didn’t need. If you look at my original packing list for that trip it has really differed compared to what I packed for the same length of time in the Lake District last summer. There where differences in what I took but there always will be.

As time progresses kit will change (much to my wife disagreement). You realise that the bag you brought 2nd hand really isn’t suitable and by spending a little money you can bring the weight of that bag down as well.

I like to think of myself as lightweight but I also like to be comfortable and have a few items for this that isn’t really necessary. The less you carry the easier it will be on your back, knees and ankles.

Once you have your list layout all of your gear and in your book mark of what you have got and mark what you still need to get.

Have a look at it all and ask yourself “do I really need that teddy bear?” if the answer is no then put Mr Snuggles back.

This is all personal preference so what I carry on a 3 to 4 day hike might not be what you would carry.

Important Items

Things that you really must take are:

  • 1st aid kit, (it doesn’t need to be huge with massive trauma dressing, tourniquets etc but enough to deal with an emergency until help arrives.
  • Method for summoning help (either phone or an emergency GPS device I use SPOT).
  • Correct Clothing.
  • Water Purification.
  • Shelter.
  • Food.
  • Cooker / Water heating.

What I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike.

Osprey Exos 48l RucksackBag: Osprey Exos 48l

Sleeping Bag: 3 season down.

Tent: LanShan 1 Lightweight 3 season tent.

Sleeping Mat: EXPED Downmat Lite.

Waterproof Jacket: Fjern Orkan.

Waterproof Trousers: Rab Downpour.

Base Layer: Revolution Race Sneaky Balaclava.

Wind Layer: Fjallraven High Coast.

review revolution race GPx Pro pantsTrousers: Revolution Race GPx Pro

Socks: Armaskin anti blister socks & Merino wool socks.

Cooking: JetBoil Flash

Water Purification: Sawyer Mini

Water Bottle: Nalgene 1l.

Spot Tracker / Emergency Assistance

UcoGear Candle

Freeze dried food.

Mosquito Repellent

Other Items:

Sit Mat, Wash Kit*, Trash Bag, Head Lamp, Camera gear, Jerky, Cup-a-soups, nuts, Spork, map, toilet roll, shovel, Possibles pouch** and sleeping clothes***

*Wash kit comprises of a cut down toothbrush, small tube of tooth paste, ‘Pits N Bits’ towel of wash and suntan lotion in small bottle.

**Possible Pouch: length of paracord, swiss knife, lighter, compass, headlamp batteries, sowing kit and a few other odds and sods.

*** Sleeping clothes are kept in a dry bag and can be used in an emergency these are a set of thermals.

Video: What I carry in my bag for a 3 – 4 day hike.

Please see equipment page for a more extensive list of equipment I use.

Please comment below on items that you carry and feedback is also appreciated.

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Looking after your Leather Boots.

looking after your leather boots
looking after your leather boots
Natural Boot Grease.

Looking after your leather boots is a must.  

The one thing with wearing leather boots outdoors a lot is if they aren’t looked after they will fail in more ways than one.

The one thing with wearing leather boots outdoors a lot is if they aren’t looked after they will fail in more ways than one.

They can rot if not dried out correctly, the stitching will become weak and they can lose their waterproofness.

If like me you are walking in a wet area then regular cleaning and dubbing will keep your boots waterproof.

The way that I look after my boots is by regularly applying boot cream / dubbing to them.

Looking after your leather boots will keep the boots, clean, waterproof and also keep them supply so they don’t crack.

There are many products out on the market but the one I have found to be completely natural and very good is product based on a extremely old recipe.  

Originally the Sami would make this dubbing and apply to there hand made Reindeer leather boots to keep them supply and waterproof.

Wilmas of Sweden have created a product based on this old recipe.  This is amazing leather conditioner.

Natural Product

It is made ​​from the choicest natural raw materials such as tar, pitch oil and natural fats. and really does penetrate into the leather and makes leather very soft, smooth and highly water repellent.
 
Wilma Kängsko-smorning gives a soft antique tint to pale natural leather.

Very easy to apply it will keep your boots at tip top condition.

The trick is to apply the dubbing on as clean boots as you can get them.  Gently rubbing the grease into the leather making sure that you are getting into all the cracks and especially the stitching.

If you can warm your boots up first so the pores of the leather open and then apply the grease this will have more of an effect.

Once done leave your boots somewhere warm so the grease penetrates the leather and then with a final buff they will be ready for whatever terrain they have to cross or pass through.

How to use this product.

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The Splitter Cooking Multi-Utensil

The Splitter Cooking Multi-Utensil

The Splitter Cooking Multi-Utensil Have a look at this handy gadget on kickstater looks a handy gadget.  This popped up on my instagram feed the other day.  I like the look of it as I have a deep belief that each item you carry has to be multifunctional.

Great little gadget The splitterAlthough I wouldn’t carry this whilst out on a multi day hike when using freeze dried food.

The Splitter Cooking Multi-Utensil would be handy if you where cooking fresh food over a fire as the spatula would be needed.

Although saying that you could just take the Spork to eat out of the freeze dried bags.

 

Full Windsor, an outdoor accessories brand out of Los Angeles, released The Muncher not long ago and with it gave us all the perfect tool for chowing down around the campfire. But how do you get your food to your plate so you can chow down by the campfire? The answer is The Splitter, the latest product from the company. Like The Muncher, The Splitter is a multi utensil. Unlike The Muncher, however, The Splitter offers you food prep tools, not food eating tools. It contains a spatula, spork, and, thanks to some ingenuity, a pair of tongs. Best of all, this thing is built for camping, meaning it’s lightweight, easy to pack, and super durable. You can back the project on Kickstarter and expect to receive The Splitter early next year.

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Homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Outdoor clothing wax can be expensive.  Here is my homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

A lot of clothing I wear can take a coating of wax to make it more waterproof or hard wearing.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing
Out in the woods stopping to make some food.

When out and about say foraging for fungi and good water proof jacket is a must.

Some people say that most of my clothing holds a Fjällraven badge and yes it does its due to there clothing being perfect for the outdoor environment.

The Fjällraven G-1000 material is really well made and takes wax very well. Fjällraven make there own wax: Greenland Wax.

Greenland wax is made mainly from bees wax and parafin wax with other secret ingredients and is a great product to protect your clothing.

At £9.00 a bar it is quite expensive if you have many items to wax and once the garment is washed it normally needs re-proofing even if wash in a cold wash.

So after a little experimenting I have come up with my recipe for homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

How to make homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Ingredients:

  • Bees wax beads
  • Parafin wax beads
  • Pine tar essential oil
  • Pine resin
  • Citronella Essential Oil

You will need an old sauce pan, gas stove, something to stir with and some mounds for the bars (I used old plastic snus tubs).

Method.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing
G1000 fabric is perfect for waxing.

Measure equal amounts of bees wax and parafin wax into the saucepan and add about 10-15 drops of pine tar/citronella essential oil and pine resin.

Gently melt and stir the ingredients now the pine resin might have some foreign particles in it and these should sink to the bottom.

Once all of the wax has melted and the mix is well stirred gently pour into mounds and cool.

So why add the pine resin and pine tar oil?

Pine tar is used in many natural products in Nordic Countries and the Sami use the pine tar as a natural mosquito repellent.

I can’t say that it is 100% guaranteed to get rid of these tiny vampires but if your like me and get bitten any help is better than none hence the reason some citronella is added as well.

Once the was has cooled remove from the moulds, I use a Stanley knife to cut down the side of the snus tubs and pull the wax out and there you go homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing.
Shop brought waterproofing wax

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Swiss Army Rocket Stove

Swiss Army Rocket Stove

Ive had a Swiss Army Rocket Stove for about 4 years now and recently haven’t used it that much.

It is on the top of my list as a versatile and easy to use lightweight stove.

Originally the Swiss Army used these stoves.

I love the way that you can either heat water straight in the bottle or by using the cup.

The advantage of using the cup is that you only need to heat the amount of water you need

If you are using water that you need to purify by boiling this can be done straight in the bottle.

The Swiss Army Rocket Stove itself is a basic rocket stove it doesn’t gasify the products of combustion so small pieces of fuel are required (sticks / pine cones).

You could us it with Hexi-blocks or a meths burner can be placed inside.

 

As you can see from this post about stoves I do have a large collection of stove and they each have there advantages and disadvantages.

The disadvantage with this stove is the fact you need to be able to find dry fuel.

I guess you could you use hexamine blocks but that’s something I haven’t tried.

These stoves are great if you are hiking through a wood.

Just watch out that you don’t get it too hot as a friend found out the back of the stove melted (it is only aluminium).

Remember fatwood burns really hot and will leave your stove in a mess so a cloth bag to keep it in will stop the rest of your kit going black.

 

swiss army rocket stove
Swiss Army Stove in use

Have a go these stove aren’t very expensive at £17.00 (unissued) or £15.00 (issued) they won’t break the bank.  These stoves can be found online at Military Mart

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Packing for four days in the Lake District

Packing for four days in the Lake District.

Packing for four days in the Lake DistrictI find that I constantly pack and repack and this was the case whilst Packing for four days in the Lake District.

The first thing I do is write down what I want to take with me then start to cross out things I don’t really need, mark things that would be nice and circles things that are a necessity (like Rum).

The Plan

The plan is to go to the Lake District, Park at Bowness and head to Scoat Tarn and from there I’ll just see where it takes me in a circular route back to the car. I’ll be follow routes I’ve preplanned into ViewRanger

During the Fjällräven Classic last year I learnt a lot from my mistakes on what I took with me.

So have adapted my gear to suit what I need and what I don’t need. I’m terrible for “if you haven’t got it you can’t use it” attitude sometimes and have wanted to lower the weight of my bag so have done this in a few different ways.

I still could lower weight but we all know that when you lower the weight of certain items you increase the price of said items.

Packing for a four days hiking / wild camping in the Lake District
Tent pitched at Scoat Tarn

The plan is to tent camp but I also fancy the idea of tarp camping but I am a bit concerned about the mosquitos if sleeping under a tarp.

I’ve just picked up this lightweight tent of AliExpress. I’ve read a few reviews about it and for the price it seems ok. It’s a copy of a really expensive tent but looking at reviews it’s the same quality, hydrostatic head and weight.

This tent weighs just over 800gms and uses a walking pole as the main tent pole. It’s really small when packed away and for the price £54 well worth it (well let’s try it out first).

Kit list:

  • Back pack
  • Tent (new light weight tent)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleep mat
  • Tyvek ground sheet 180x 80
  • Jetboil
  • Rain trousers
  • Rain jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Sleep wear
  • Wash kit
  • First aid
  • Camera gear
  • Trowel
  • Water bladder
  • Water bottle
  • Sawyer mini
  • Head torch
  • Uco gear candle lamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Compass
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Mosquito head net
  • Hat & gloves
  • Battery pack
  • Freeze dried food

The dog has her own backpack so I don’t have to carry her food.

Marley showing her new rucksack.

Food will consist of freeze dried meals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a selection from different companies and I have written a review here.

Most of the meals our from a British Company called Fuel your preparation.

These are not marketed to the outdoor market but marketed towards disaster relief but the size, cost and energy of each meal looks promising (let’s just see what they taste of).

I plan to do another couple of nights hammock camping elsewhere so have other items in the car as I want to spend a night or so hammock camping.

Camera Gear

Most of all of my photos and video are taken with an iPhone 6 and a GoPro.  You are limited to what you can take with these devices so I have purchased a new app called slow shutter so hopefully I can take some low light shots.

I still find it very difficult not to take certain items in the back of my mind there’s a little voice “what if you need this?”  What you take if you where Packing for four days in the Lake District ?

Here is the post on the adventure.

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Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents

Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents.  I like the idea of having a choice of whether to hang between the trees or ground dwelling when there are no trees or weather and environment puts you on the ground.

Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tentsYou have the ability to adapt and also being lightweight you are not carrying items that you won’t need.

 

Kit required

To be able to deal with these scenarios my kit is as follows.

  • 3 X 2.8 DD Hammocks super light tarp (460g)
  • DD Hammocks Frontline hammock (620g)
  • 3 season down sleeping bag (800g)
  • Tyvek sheet cut to size of sleeping mat
  • Exped down lite sleep mat (620g)
  • DD Hammocks Poncho (370g)

Total of 2.87 kg

Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents

This then gives the ability to hang or ground dwell. In the hammock setup you won’t feel the cold on your back as the sleep mat will be used in the hammock with the sleeping bag.

In the ground setup with your can setup a a-frame tarp using a ridge line if you have anything to tie too or you can use your walking poles and guy lines.

Hex peak setup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another option for Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents is the hex peak setup but this leaves the tarp open on the front but utilising the poncho as a door you can overcome water egress.  In this setup there is plenty of space in side to keep out of dripping rain but it is vitally important to setup with the rear of the shelter facing the wind.

Fully enclosed setup

There is an option for a fully enclosed tarp tent, this will stop any water egress apart from running water underneath but down fall is it will heavily condensate up due to no air flow.

So using this setup you have the ability of both hammocking and ground camping. If you had the DD jungle hammock you could lose the poncho as the base of this hammock is waterproof but I like the idea of having the poncho if the heavens open whilst walking, using it as a temporary shelter whilst stopping for lunch etc or using it as a door with the hex peak setup.

This setup with the rest of your lightweight kit shouldn’t bring your weight over 10% of your body weight.

 

 

Tarps and Hammocks By DD Hammocks

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Revolution Race GPx Trousers

Revolution Race GPx Trousers.  I’ve seen this company pop up on my Instagram feed a bit and seen that a lot of people in Scandinavia wearing there stuff so thought it was time to give them a try. 

Revolution Race is based in Sweden and only sell online.

The idea for RevolutionRace and Fritidsfabriken was born on a hike to Everest Base Camp in Nepal a couple of years ago.

 

revolution race GPx pants

The co founder of Fritidsfabriken, had trouble finding clothes for the trek with a perfect fit.

The garments she found wasn’t up to her expectations, being too expensive and the fit being far from what she was after.

The cheaper brands were even worse, not able to impress her with neither function, design nor fit.

She thought that someone should go about and address these issues, offering an outdoor brand who made functional clothing with a great fit at affordable prices.

The clothing looks well made and it seems as if someone has actually designed and tested them for the environment they are designed for.

They don’t use retailers so there clothing can only be found online and with tracked delivery the trousers I ordered where here in 4 days.

I was trying out the Revolution Race GPx Trousers.

They are a multifunctional hybrid pant with stretch.

It has reinforcements on the knees, around the seat and in the lower legs.

GPx is developed for multifunctionality, it is suited for all kinds of activities like hiking, fishing and generally anything outdoors.

The reinforcements in Duralite flex is both wind and water resistant, the stretch panels ventilate and gives an incredible comfort.

The knees are fitted with pockets for knee pads.

Revolution Race GPx Trousers suit most outdoor activities and has the advantage that it can be waxed for greater water resistance in the reinforced parts on the seat and knees. 

First thought:

Revolution Race GPx Trousers

They are quite figure hugging so a good fit is needed, looking at reviews a few people have ordered them too small and got them replaced with larger sizes with no bother.

Personally I wear trousers that are quite baggy so I have lots of movement.  With the 4-way stretch this isn’t needed and having them figure hugging has its benefits.

I had just put these trousers on when I was called to a fire (I work as a on-call firefighter).

Revolution Race GPX pantsThese trousers where worn under my fire fighting PPE.

I thought was going to get really hot and sweaty.

I found that after 5 hours arduous work I was still very comfortable in these trousers.

They had a real baptism of ‘Fire’ (excuse the pun!).

 

Now how water repellent they are has yet to be tested.  I have waxed the seat, knees and ankles to give a bit more waterproofing on these areas.

All in all they are great item of clothing and I look forward to trying more of their clothing.

I would recommend wearing the Revolution Race gpx trousers during day hikes and long thru hiking.

I wore these whilst spending 5 days hiking and wild camping in the Lake District or would wear them during the Fjallraven Classic.

Pockets

The revolution race gpx trousers has 7 pockets in total.

  • 2 x leg cargo pockets (left pocket has internal phone pocket), right pocket has a zipped side pocket,
  • 2 x hip pockets (these are in the stretch material so not much can be stored in these
  • Rear right zipped pocket.

 

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Power storage outdoors

Power storage outdoors
Porta-Pow Solar Charger opened on the back of my 50l bag.

Power storage outdoors.

So many people are taking powered devices with them when they head for the hills nowadays.

Whether the device is for navigation? Photos, videos or something else they mostly are power hungry so if you are out for a while they will need recharging.

A smartphone is a great companion when out as it can cover nearly all aspects of many devices.

It can be your map, gps, camera, video camera and obviously emergency contact (if in range).

But they all need a recharge at some point and having a Power storage outdoors is a must.

With the increase of drones being used for filming its either a case of increasing your pack weight by carrying portable power or carrying something to recharge enroute.

Battery Packs

I’ve tried a few options  for portable power and the best setup I have found is a 22400 mAh battery pack and a small solar charger.

Power storage outdoorsThe battery pack in itself isn’t light but it can fully charge a iPhone 7 times and if you have you smartphone on low power mode it won’t need charging fully everyday.

This is a great way to have a Power storage outdoors.  I use this battery pack for up to 4 days hiking.  This will charge phone and a few camera batteries.

 

 

Other things to save power consumption on your smart phone:

  • Turn off WiFi & Bluetooth if not needed
  • Put device into airplane mode if you don’t need to receive calls
  • Turn brightness down on the screen
  • Make sure no apps are running in the background.
  • Purchase a battery pack cover for smartphone

Extend your battery by using a battery case.

Solar Chargers

Now, as battery packs there are many different solar chargers from the small solar chargers that will trickle charge a battery pack to the larger panels that will be able to recharge a battery pack or a device (depending on the weather).

The panel I use is from a company called ‘PORTAPOW’.

It has Two voltage regulated USB output sockets with SmartCharge technology to charge the latest smartphones and tablets from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia etc directly at high speed.

PORTAPOW solar panel.

It weighs 310g / 0.7 lbs and a compact 23cm x 16cm x 2cm when closed (smaller footprint than an iPad) or 23cm x 32cm x 1cm when open – making it significantly smaller than other solar panels with similar power.

Flexible 22% efficiency PET laminated monocrystalline panels woven into a tough waterproofed polyester fabric case making it suitable for use in the rain, a pocket on the back keeps the USB sockets protected.

Folds shut with hidden magnetic clasps for storage.

8 mounting loops around the panel to attach it to a backpack, bicycle, etc.

The pocket is large enough to store a smartphone during charging.

The built-in stand lets you angle the panel towards the Sun and keeps the panel clean and off the ground.

Angling a solar panel correctly can have a huge impact on the energy captured.

I have found that this panel will directly charge my iPhone or camera but I find it is best to have the panel recharging the battery pack constantly and have to device plugged into the battery pack to charge to keep your Power storage outdoors.

Even on a cloudy day there is enough power to recharge either my camera battery or iPhone.

One other point is not to reply solely on a electronic devices especially for navigation or emergency assistance as devices can fail leading to no power or if they take a tumble or get wet always have a backup method of summoning assistance like leaving a copy of your route with a check in time or using a GPS tracker.

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