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.


No changes here - a pair of 2L Platypus bags and Aquamira Chlorine dioxide drops. You can drink from one bag while another is treating water. 4L is enough to take away from a watercourse to wash ones hair, or for an overnight camp. Splitting water between the two means you know when you are half-empty, and are protected in case of bag failure if you are crossing a long section of dry ground. When water is clean and plentiful, I just scoop and drink and carry a reserve 250ml just in case.

My Platypus hose has been replaced with a section of inhibited hose that prevents mould growth - this makes a good product even better.