20 Mar 2012

Rain Mitts

Hi Guys - I have a pair of MLD Event Rain Mitts - Despite seam sealing I still find my possum gloves get wet pretty quick. Any of you got some suggestions. I note Andrew Skurka recommends REI inner taped Mitts - Can't seem to find these on REI's website. I will be in USA next month and want to buy some (or anything that is remotely waterproof). Thanks

18 Mar 2012

Inov8 Roclite 315

As you all know, I am a fan of Inov8 shoes. For those of you who hike in trail runners, especially in NZ, they wear out quick. I get about 650 plus Ks out of mine. I will say I beat them up a lot on scree slopes.

A feature of my shoe break-downs are the inside heels. I seem to wear the inner lining around the mid heel area that exposes the plastic heel support. This then rubs to cause blisters. My wonderful Indian boot maker fixes this with sewing in a suede sleeve around the inner heal.

Before my Mt Taranaki climb a couple of weeks ago I need to invest in new shoes as my boot-maker was away for a month and a second pair would not go a miss. I have had great success with the Roclite 295s, but this time went for the more robust 315s. The team at Inov8 we great at advising me. They also give you a 20% discount if you are a returning purchaser.

This is my third pair of Inov8s. The 315s are stiffer and come with an added covering of hard wearing mesh on the uppers (see photos). The Inov8 guys told me they won't drain as fast as the 295s but this is a small compromise given added toughness.

I love the soles on the Roclites - for NZ conditions they offer great grip. The 295s are better on smooth rocks as the rubber compound is more "sticky". The high wrap-around "mudguards" on the 315s offer better protection to the outer foot than the 295s and also stop the breakdown of the upper where the shoe flexes off the base of the little toe margin. All and all a great shoe! 

Note high mudguards
Note additional mesh cover
Great grip power

12 Mar 2012

New Trip and Trip List

Hi all

Just back from scaling Mt Egmont. I have posted trip report on "trip" page and photos on Picasa. I have also updated my gear list (see "gear" page). Just got new Inov8 shoes for the Egmont w/e - review coming. The Rocklite 295 are starting to wear after about 600Ks so I have gone with the more robust and stiffer 310s.  

3 Mar 2012

Some Good Cottage Gear Manufactures

After reading Andrews book, I have been doing some more gear research.

Here are some good site to checkout:

Zpacks - We know they are good for tarps, but I have just purchase their large cuben dry bag, cuben fiber rain Jacket (review coming) and Vargo tent pegs.

Suluk46 - Checkout their 85gram bug bivy. Cuben fiber bottom - With a full body mesh screen top.

Oookworks - A British cottage manufacturer who makes bug bivys for Trailstar (and other) tarps. Sean will also customise for you. Looks like a great option for those who new to customise a little - don't we all :-)

Mountain Laural Designs - They now have the Solo Trailstar. I have the two man, but I like the solo in cuben - dam I already have a Hexamid. 

Six Moons -Meteor Biv. I like the concept of having it 50/50 on top - mesh and fabric.You can also download a pattern for MYOG. My daughter has just finished a commercial sewing course - hope for cut price gear yet! 

CAMP - Their G Comp gloves look very tempting. I love the idea of the wind stopper "flip-over".

2 Mar 2012

Andrew's Book Has Arrived

Andrew Skurka's book has arrived. It is published by National Geographic - some good cred there! I have scanned the total book and read a number of chapters of specific gear interest. It is 215 pages of great info. This book is a valuable source of information for any experienced ultra-lighter and a must for those venturing into the lightweight world.

Apart from tools and techniques on gear, clothing and navigation, there is a comprehensive section on sample gear kits (gear lists for various climate conditions and locations (US based). Andrew completes each section with his "How 2" and also "Skurka's Picks" - wonderful nuggets of information.

It's a full colour book and Andrew has done a fabulous design job - the layout is very user friendly. For $US19.95 it is an essential book for your hiking library. Go to www.andrewskurka.com to order.