Following on from my musings below about what kit I want to get in the near future I thought it was about time to reflect on my favourite bits of kit that I do currently have and use.
First up is the Laser Competition. Still my tent of choice after 2 years use. I just cant go back to heavier tents as it feels wrong and the fact that its an outer pitch tent just nails it for me. The only other shelter I use currently is my cuben fibre tarp which even with poles, guys and pegs weighs in at 250g. Now that is seriously light! Will wait with interest to see what this new Terra Nova Solar Elite tent looks like when its launched next year. Supposedly Laser Comp weight but free-standing…..
Secondly a quick look at my rucksack collection indicates that I have several favourites here. I use the OMM Running Light 20L sack for quick and dirty overnighters, the OMM classic 32L sack for more conventional overnighters and summer weekends and then the Gossamer Gear Mariposa or Golite Jam2 for longer journeys and winter trips. Hard to choose the most favourite although I certainly use the OMM 32L sack most of the time.
My Golite Ultra 20 sleeping bag/quilt has been a revelation. I have been using this for about 18months and since I bought mine, I have seen quite a few other people buy one as well. Its really light, versatile, warm beyond comparison for its weight (500g) and with the exped downmat has served me through the winter as well.
Favourite shoes are my current (2nd pair) Montrail CTCs. They are light, breathable, grippy in most situations and a joy to wear with a comfort factor of 9. I will be trying out the Streaks soon though as enough people have convinced me recently that they are a good bet as well.
My Montane Atomic DT jacket just keeps doing it for me. I have had this for 18months now too. Never had to wash it or reproof it and it is still beading and keeping the rain out magnificently. Its also a damn fine fit and uber light to boot. Not showing any great signs or wear and tear either. Great bit of kit.
For a warm jacket to stand around in camp I have found none better than the Montane Antifreeze. Its light at around 400g, water resistant, packed full of uber warm down and fits me really well. And this is the main point for me…..I am blessed with short arms, big chest and torso, medium waist but short legs. Montane sizing seems to work for me spot on. I have tried lots and lots of other manufacturers but they just dont fit, normally either very long flappy legs or long flappy arms…….. Thats why I mainly wear Montane and craghopper, they fit me!
Other bits and bobs that still make me smile with pleasure are my MSR pocket rocket, my opinel knife, my Paramo Cambia baselayer, the Exped downmat for winter camping and funnily enough my Nokia N95 (GPS, MP3 player, video player, 5MP camera, internet access, oh and a phone)
Ok, no great shakes. What works for one may not for another but I have spent the past 5 years building up my kit to a point where just about everything I use is a favourite of mine. And thats the point I think. If you really like AND enjoy using your own personal kit everytime you go walking and camping it just makes the exprience all the better for it