Equipment choices

The gear one takes makes a big difference to comfort and safety and general happiness, and striking a balance between utility and weight is tricky. Earlier walks in the Pyrenees and Corsica have been really helpful in finding out what works well and how much to bring along. I'm no gear nut, but I do like stuff that's simple, light and effective.

This won't be a wilderness walk, though the weather will be very variable, from -10 to +35C, and I'm choosing things based on my strengths and weaknesses. For example, I'm pretty good at keeping going, and quite quick, but also not very strong and rather frail. I keep warm while moving, but get cold afterwards. I'm comfortable with technology but likely to play it safe with key items.

As this is a walk in aid of a charity, and with sponsors, information has to get back to the UK regularly. Also I need to collect notes and photos for handbooks after the walk.

Electrical stuff

As this is a long trip, I'm taking a mobile phone. What? Escape into the mountains, and bring a mobile?? It's so I can send regular texts to reassure the folks back home - and no, you won't find me on a peak somewhere ignoring the views and frantically thumbing texts at people (seen in Corsica once....)

I'm also taking an MP3 voice recorder/radio. The radio is handy for weather forecasts, though the manned huts always have more accurate information. The voice recorder is to record fun things, impromptu Tyrolean singing, the roar of a waterfall, stags baying and so on, but also to record notes as I go along. A simple LED torch is coming along too. One final thing is a flexible and really lightweight solar panel to try and keep a set of rechargeable batteries going.