Receiving advice about camping equipment

I’ve been asking around for advice on what camping equipment to take. I already had a good idea of what I wanted, but still have areas where the load could be lightened. I’ve sent e-mails off in all directions, but the first two companies to get back to me are The North Face and

I asked The North Face about whether there was any tent re-sealer that they would recommend. They sent me a very polite “copy and paste” e-mail in reply apologising for the trouble I’ve had with my tent and outlining their warranty coverage. They go on to discuss how I should get in contact with my dealer… etc., etc.

My question was how best to re-seal a North Face tent. Ahh well.

I had a distinctly different response from the very helpful people at Backpackinglight. Not only do they have hundreds of hours of podcasts that I’m downloading and listening to, but they quickly replied to a series of questions I had about their gear.

After their advice to use meths, rather than gas, I have to have a quick rethink of the food strategy. The problem with gas is getting hold of it, or carrying enough canisters to last 3 weeks. A lot of smaller camping shops have closed; however, hardware shops and some petrol stations sell meths. I’m not used to cooking with meths. It’s not as simple as gas; you can’t just turn the meths off and pour it back in the bottle. Heley and I have plenty of time to work out exactly how much meths we need to boil enough water for two cups of tea though!

For filtering water we’re also looking at the Travel Tap, or Aquapure Traveller, both are much lighter than my MSR Water filter, and it sounds like either are suitable for use in highland streams. It helps that we can take 2 of them for less weight than the MSR Water filter.

We had been thinking about sharing one set of walking poles; however, at Backpackinglight they are really keen on the use of walking poles. They claim that “using poles will reduce the accumulated stress on the feet, legs, knees and back by an estimated 8,877+ kg (31,500+ lb) per mile.”  Given the state of my knee I think I’ll probably be using two poles then!

Our shared kit list and my personal kit list are now pretty much complete; we just need to buy the kit. Heley still has some way to go organising her clothes etc. It’s all a little heavier than I’d like, although it is possible to save a fair bit.

So far the shared kit is around 9.5 kg. I’ve got 5.5 kg of personal kit, so we are already up to 15 kg before taking into account spare batteries, food or water. Replacing the tent and not taking the water filter would save 1 kg. There are some luxuries that can be cut if we want to save another 1 kg. After that it’s looking a little more difficult to cut without spending money.

You can have a look at some of the kit we’d ideally have over here.