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Topic - Strange gear for a long walk

Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
Doing a DofE talk for our local group about what and what not to bring along on their two day expedition.

Does anyone have any real life examples of odd things others have thought it really important to drag out with them on a long walk?

Aware that straighteners are a regular theme and that someone once took a ball gown on the c2c, and not for a bet either.

Always nice if you can say to a group that someone actually did take a piano to Ben Nevis and it is not just me being daft for effect!
butteredfrog - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
Full toilet bag, stuffed with about 3Kg of potions etc.

Almost forgot, Double quilt and 15Ltrs water.
Post edited at 11:46
Wingnut - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Several pairs of jeans (she couldn't decide which pair she wanted to wear in the evening, so she brought all of them), a litre of herbal facial wash in a heavy glass bottle, and a hairdryer (for a wild camp) spring to mind.
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to butteredfrog:

Awesome, the hairdryer is already packed in the 'bad' bag. Hadn't even considered excess toiletries.

15 bloody ltrs!
Irk the Purist - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

A level revision text books and a kilo of cheese are my personal favourites
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to butteredfrog:

Got the completed works of Big Will ready.

Cheese, please say it wasn't high summer!
kestrelspl on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Irk the Purist:
Two right boots, no left one. They still finished.

Should point out this was for DofE gold.
Post edited at 12:04
L.A. on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
A lady trekker who took a roll of toilet paper for each day of her 21 day trek (a light kit bag for the porter though as there was little room for anything else)
toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

dog food.




I wasn't taking the dog. autopilot
girlymonkey - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:


Last exped I supervised a girl had 3 mugs and more food than most families eat in a week, then she refused to eat!! Her bag weighed 17kg
Wingnut - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

And epic quantities of tinned food (and, just to add to the madness, no tin-opener). And a machete (confiscated).
graeme jackson - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

back in the 70's when I was in the scouts doing the 12mile overnight hike, one guy turned up wearing platform shoes (for a walk on the simonside hills) and another kid brought a portable record player and a monty python Lp.
Carolyn - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

> 15 bloody ltrs!

That's impressive!

I've certainly seen 8 litres, and that was on an adult who was being assessed to supervise youth groups on expedition! 4x2 litre bottles - 2 water, 2 made up squash. He had neglected to pack any waterproofs, though.

Carolyn - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Oh, and a 50m roll of paracord, "in case we need to abseil down a cliff or something".....
Wingnut - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to kestrelspl:

>>Two right boots, no left one. They still finished.

Overheard while getting kit out of the trailer on Friday night, "Sir, my thingy's gone all bendy!" Indeed it had. Tent in Dorset, poles back in Northamptonshire. Oops. But likewise, they still finished.

(And also, various rocks. Not packed intentionally, but, when people have rolled-up kip mats on the outside of their packs, it's amazing what bored members of staff will find to insert down the middle.)
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Wow, thanks all. Some very odd stuff here.

Already had chat about taking knives etc... (more big talk to girls I think)

Thankfully we covered shoes when we took them on day hikes in the boggy Peak District.

Water and cans useful to know is a common theme.
Wingnut - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Irk the Purist:

>>A level revision text books

I occasionally used to take textbooks on various out-of-school activities on the basis that a promise to do some work in the evenings made it more likely that I'd get permission to go. Needless to say, the books spent the entire weekend under the back seat of the bus.
Flinticus - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Not DoE etc but a mate once brought along a glass bottle of wine for a hike in the Mamores. Cartons, with the cardboard removed, should clearly be used instead.
aultguish on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

6 bottles of wine!!! Oh hold on, that was me..........oh.....actually, I still do :-)
PeterM - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Lovely antique wooden coathanger on a silver qualifier. Stupid straw beach mat instead of a decent sleep mat - "but it's lightweight"! Yeah an no damn use...
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Wingnut:

Like an evil plan!
Carolyn - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to aultguish:

> 6 bottles of wine!!! Oh hold on, that was me..........oh.....actually, I still do :-)

We've rescued a chap who was carrying only a box of wine in his rucsac. He was headed for Black Sail YHA, though, not planning to camp.
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to aultguish:

I said daft things only!

Though I hope the bronze are not bringing wine, they might chose Merlot :(
Carolyn - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Wingnut:

Ah yes. Tents! I've had a group turn up with one of those shake and pitch tents (Kyam?) that came before pop up tents. It was designed to sleep at least 6, and fully folded down the poles were about 5 ft long and the bag weighed 25kg (with no way to split it into parts...)
Irk the Purist - on 04 Jun 2014

I am fortunate to live in a place where DofE groups walk past my house semi-regularly during the summer. On Sundays (day two) I would say at least half are carrying things in their arms. Either tents in bags or carrier bags with who knows what in.

Who is supervising and training these people?

Wingnut - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Oh, yes, and the boy who removed most of his rucksack back system "to save weight". And then filled it with tins. He ended up looking like a rather slow-moving three-humped camel.
IIRC he was also the one who thought a plastic bowl would make a good cooking pot.


(Although my personal favourite isn't so much a daft kit choice as generalised daftness, in the form of a group on a CCF exercise who decided that, since they were getting cold, it would be a good idea to burn the map to keep warm ...)
SteveD - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Irk the Purist:

You can train them till you're blue in the face and they still turn up with 5kg of gummy bears and a hairdrier. For some reason they also find it impossible to re-pack their bags on day two.

It is rarely fatal

Steve D
bleddynmawr - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

In the early eighties we had a D of E instrusctor who was heavily into gear and less heavily into doing any actual walking. He bought the gear for the local authority group. consequentially you would quite often see 14 year olds with 20+kg of equipment consisting of vango force tens, 3/4 season sleeping bags and plastic koflach boots. This was Surrey in summer!
He nearly had a fit when i bought a ME lightline sleeping bag.
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:


(Although my personal favourite isn't so much a daft kit choice as generalised daftness, in the form of a group on a CCF exercise who decided that, since they were getting cold, it would be a good idea to burn the map to keep warm ...

Our local MRT did a chat for the group and spoke of this happening on Bleaklow as well!
Niall B - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Not a long walk but I once climbed Ben Lomond with a Chinese chap who wore black leather patent shoes. He seemed completely unruffled by his feet being a total mess. I did warn him but was offered a glaikit look in return.

Also seen Taliban lookalikes on Ben Nevis, which although perhaps good gear for Afghanistan, not perhaps so handy for a damp and breezy Lochaber. They also had D of E style comedy rucksacks. Brand new.
ads.ukclimbing.com
sharpie530 - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Microwave meals!
Dave Hewitt - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Niall B:

> Not a long walk but I once climbed Ben Lomond with a Chinese chap who wore black leather patent shoes.

Once met a bloke who told of a friend of his who spent the first couple of hours of a walk (up Ben Lomond in winter, as I recall) complaining of an ill-fitting boot. He eventually sat down, took it off - and found a tin of Nikwax in there.

On my first Munro - Lochnagar with a couple of friends on a baking hot day in 1982 - I took 24 salmon sandwiches and a six-pack of Tennent's Special.
annieman - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

30 different flavoured lip balms! She couldn't decide what flavour she would like. Who knew that there were 30 different flavors?
Irk the Purist - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to SteveD:

I check mine before they leave. In fact I do a kit check the night before. It's not fatal but it turns an enjoyable weekend into two days of hell that puts them off the outdoors for life.

If they can't repack bags they need more training before they're ready.
Niall B - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

Six pack of Tennents? Classy! My Dad recounts doing the same in the 70s (although think he drank tins of Genius) until he saw the others in his club drinking spirits....
Dave Hewitt - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Niall B:

> Six pack of Tennents? Classy! My Dad recounts doing the same in the 70s (although think he drank tins of Genius) until he saw the others in his club drinking spirits....

Six cans for a daytrip is a bit much, but carting a can or two into some remote hill location is a fine thing. Domestic circumstances meant that I only had one night out in the whole of last year, but this was from Linn of Dee to Loch Avon via Beinn Mheadhoin, across the plateau and then down Coire Raibeirt. It was during the hot spell, and the couple of cans of Mansfield bitter that my pal and I drank as we bivvied beside the beach were more than worth the effort involved in having carried them round with us all day.
aln - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

>. Cartons, with the cardboard removed

I'm confused by this
girlymonkey - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

> Once met a bloke who told of a friend of his who spent the first couple of hours of a walk (up Ben Lomond in winter, as I recall) complaining of an ill-fitting boot. He eventually sat down, took it off - and found a tin of Nikwax in there.

Brilliant!! I'm not going to try and work out how he could even get his foot in there with the tin in it!
IanMcC - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

As in the Mansfield in Sauchie?In cans?
Pepper on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Thanks to you all, read out your stories this evening and had the class in stitches. Think it gave them some confidence that they are not as daft as some folk!

That said cheese and wine was considered a good idea until it was pointed out they were separate people.

Thanks again
Dave Hewitt - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Brilliant!! I'm not going to try and work out how he could even get his foot in there with the tin in it!

Indeed. Think it's no.2 on the list of odd hill stories I've heard where I don't really have any idea how it could have happened. (No.1 is the chap I vaguely know - and believe - who swears blind that he once encountered an ice-cream van open for business at around 3000ft on that Mullach Clach a' Bhlair track above Glen Feshie. On a misty day.)

In reply to IanMcC

> As in the Mansfield in Sauchie?In cans?

Sadly not - that's a good pub. I'd been down visiting my ailing mother, and the cans in question were from the actual Mansfield, of the weirdly named former Alfreton and Mansfield Parkway railway station fame.
Camm - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
I remember we all took PSPs on our d of e silver, trekking poles was probably another daft thing but they were all the rage at the time lol. I was also the only person who didn't have something strapped to the outside of my rucksack in bronze, and the only person who managed to fit everything into a 35L sack on Silver.
mattrm - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
A full on square silver make up box. This was on Bronze and I'd already thought my pack was heavy. Then the two girls in our group got us lost so we volunteered to take the packs while we got us back on track. Nearly toppled over when I put the pack on.

Honestly I do sometimes think that DofE is sometimes just a big scheme to put kids of walking and the outdoors. "Here have a horrible pack full of crappy and insanely heavy kit and do a crap walk in awful weather, have fun!".
Post edited at 22:37
Denzil - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
Met up with a retired gamekeeper and his dog at Sourlies bothy many years back who was out for a 3 day walk. He had a bedroll, a flask of soup, a flask of tea and a bag of dog food, and that was all. Had a brilliant evening chatting with him, and next morning eventually persuaded him to let me top up his flask of tea.
Bobling - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Box of wine with the box removed leaving you with just the plastic bladder, careful you don't pack it next to the steak knives!
deepsoup - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Y'know, a wine box without the box. (It's just a silver foil bladder with a tap on it.) There's no better way to take wine camping, and if you're pissed enough when it's all gone you can blow up the bladder and use it as a fairly serviceable pillow. :o)
petestack - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Footballs and Frisbees.
aln - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Aye OK I get the wine box thing now. Prone to punctures.
add6598 - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

This is the best thread I've read in ages, I've been grinning ear to ear thinking back to my d of e days! And it makes me laugh to think how worked up i would get over tiny weight differences and excess now.

I tried to take a full crate of lager on my silver expedition. A teacher searched my rucksack once he'd tried to pick it up and found it suspiciously heavy, subsequently my beers were confiscated and my dad notified, I'm lucky the teachers who ran it were pretty easy going, got a bollocking but was still allowed to go. Under different circumstances might have been the end of d of e for me.

My school didn't have qualified staff for gold so we used a provider in the Lake District. They were significantly stricter on things like pack weight ( much to our annoyance.. We were experts by then... ) One of my friends was a larger lad and took great pride in preparing meals fit for a king, just before the exped they weighed just the food he'd packed and it equalled what they permitted for bronze candidates to carry total! I'll never forget the look on the instructors face as my buddy tried to justify a large container of utterly butterly.

tlm - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I took a melon for a walk in the hills above blaenau ffestiniog. We staying in a mine for the night and had it for breakfast.
Cameron94 on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Camm:

> trekking poles was probably another daft thing but they were all the rage at the time lol

What's wrong with poles?
Wingnut - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to mattrm:
>>Honestly I do sometimes think that DofE is sometimes just a big scheme to put kids of walking and the outdoors

DoE was what got me *into* walking and the great outdoors! In the Brecon Beacons at Easter, slogging up Pen-y-Fan in the snow with a huge pile of kit (including the inevitable vango force ten), and in a group of kids I didn't get on with particularly well, before a miserable wet camp by Birch Hall characterised by damp bickering kids and unco-operative hexamine cookers ...

There were two moments that stuck in the memory. The first was when, somewhere near Pen-y-Fan, I saw cloud *below* me and had one of those "this is so cool" moments. The second was when, on a mission to find Chartist's Cave, I took a bearing that lead us straight to it and realised that I might not be completely useless at navigation after all.

Very soon after I left school, I bought a pair of walking boots and a tent.
MarketBoy - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Cameron94:

Poles are great if you know how to use them - medium length for walking on the flat and use them in a 'Nordic Walking'fashion. That way they transfer some of the effort from your legs/hips to your arms/shoulders and over a long walk make a significant difference.
Then have them short on the uphills,where they can act almost like an ice axe would in the winter, long on the down to protect the knees and assist in those long painful downward steps.

Last year we did the Yorkshire 3 peaks and I saw numerous people who evidently hadn't a clue what they were for. Full length when walking the flat, out of time with their steps, wildly flailing behind them at times and hitting other people, so short on the downhill that they didn't even touch the floor. Obviously had been told by people that poles are useful for walking so they'd bought them in their hundreds without a clue what they're actually good for.

Choss on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

> 15 bloody ltrs!

Thats only 30 cans of cider, me and a Friend Take a slab of 24 for a nights camping.

TMM - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Here are a couple I have experienced:

Cast iron frying pan/skillet lashed to the outside of the pack
Weight Watchers ready meal (it was January and they were walking 35 miles calorie intake is an issue)
Ghetto blaster
Tent lantern/torch with 8x D cell batteries
Survival kit with snares, wire saw etc...
Multiple cooking pans when all that was needed was single pan
Three people sharing a tent, all three bringing stoves and pans
wilkesley - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to TMM:

Interesting thread. One of my daughters is going on a practice Bronze this weekend near Chirk. I am struggling to get her to eliminate some of the unnecessary stuff on the kit list:

Survival bag - you are carrying a tent, you don't need one. Yes I know it's probably one of those things you have to have regardless.

First aid kit that you could perform an operation with. It can wait till your get back, or if you can't fix it with duck tape, zinc oxide tape, or a buff and walking pole you probably need a helicopter.

Sun cream - it's going to piss down all weekend.

Various items of clothing that you really don't need if it's going to be warm/wet and you are spending two nights in camp sites.

Emergency food rations - never going to be more than an hour max from a road/house.

65l rucksack. If you need a sack this big for two days, you are taking far too much stuff.
Irk the Purist - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I almost forgot. For my stag-do we built a pub on top of Great Calva complete with bar, stools, pumps, cider/lager and a porcelain urinal. Guess what I had to carry.


toad - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to wilkesley:

I do wonder that for all the kids DofE gets into the outdoors, how many are put off for life by carting all that redundant/ old fashioned gear around? They aren't hard to spot, with the closed cell mats and the extra bundles tied onto an already overburdened sack.
malk - on 05 Jun 2014
needvert on 05 Jun 2014
On embarking on a 100km charity walk, with no intention of sleeping. I thought my friend was moving a bit slow from the offset on the uphill sections and had a rather full pack for some reason. Queue redistributing pack weights....And then the shaving kit was revealed, in its own wood and leather travel box.

Damnit.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Flinticus - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

So you are just carrying the foil bag that lie within the cardboard box.
toad - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to malk:
> (In reply to wilkesley)
>
> not just any rainy weekend..
>
> http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/480038/Shock-UK-weather-warning-Tornadoes-hail-thunderstorms-an...
>
> i'd be taking more stuff..

Vantage weather services. For when it absolutely, definitely has to be hysterical.
Alex Hofmann - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Irk the Purist:

In the days before e-Readers, I carried The Brothers Karamazov up McKinley. It lasted me for the whole 18 days of the trip but I did get some grief from my friends for the weight (1.2kg)
Alex Hofmann - on 05 Jun 2014
Oh, and I once observed a DoE supervisor in a school who advised children to burn their waterproofs as a campfire if they were chilled and had no other sources of fuel. I kid ye not.
malk - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

probably the best (worst) express weather article ever..
abseil on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

James Cameron the journalist wrote about a trek he did up into the Indian Himalaya where they took 1. only petrol for their kerosene stove (or vice versa), 2. a translator who turned out to be a Nepali to Tibetan translator without a word of English - while James only spoke English.
edunn on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

A sieve (for draining his pasta). Strapped to the outside of his bag for the entire duration of his gold expedition on dartmoor.
malk - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

> They aren't hard to spot, with the closed cell mats

why you mock closed cell mats? they do the job..
malk - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to edunn:

that's a winner;)
Dave Hewitt - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to abseil:

> James Cameron the journalist

Almost certainly an unlisted early Munroist - in fact he mentions having climbed them all in his 1967 book Point of Departure, which counts as a legitimate claim if you ask me. He doesn't really specify dates, and I've not managed to pin anything down from the bit of research I did on this a few years ago, but his round was probably completed in the 1930s - which makes him very early in the grand scheme of things if so. Talented and interesting bloke, Mr Cameron - and probably the most famous Munroist in wider-world terms along with the similarly unlisted Professor Sir Fred Hoyle.
toad - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to malk:

I guess because they are very obvious, wrapped in their bin bags. Wider point is that from the DofE alumni I've spoken to (family + a lot of undergrads doing fieldwork) the repeated experience is of being obliged to carry way more than is actually required
Camm - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Cameron94:

Nobody knew how to use them properly, and they're a bit excessive for a 6 or 7 mile walk lol, I'm quite a anti-pole guy though. No I'm not racist I mean trekking poles...
wilkesley - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to malk:

Yes, I have just looked at MWIS I suspect it may be cancelled. In fact I hope so. Having gone through the "I'll go out whatever the conditions" phase when I was younger, I am much pickier now:) For people just starting out subjecting them to a weekend of truly dreadful weather would be enough to put many off for life.
oggi on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Last year I assessed a group whose supervisor insisted on them carrying 5L of water each as the water from Peak District campsite taps was unsafe. I pointed out that the residents of the Peak drink the same water and if he was that risk averse he could supply them with a method of purifying it. To no avail, southern softies eh (they were from Essex)
Pepper on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to oggi:

I'd have got him a job lot of Buxton!
Climbing Pieman on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
Golfing umbrella on the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean, Cuillin Ridge, by a Yorkshire man who claimed it was the most vital piece of gear he had and he carried it on all his walks.
abseil on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

> Almost certainly an unlisted early Munroist... Talented and interesting bloke, Mr Cameron...

Thanks a lot for the update on James Cameron - great stuff. I've always liked his work.
climbwhenready - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

> Golfing umbrella on the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean, Cuillin Ridge, by a Yorkshire man who claimed it was the most vital piece of gear he had and he carried it on all his walks.

Waterproof. More breathable than even Paramo. What's not to like?
girlymonkey - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to malk:

> why you mock closed cell mats? they do the job..

Quite! They are lighter than any inflating ones, I still use one even when snow holing! I'm only wee, the lighter the better for me thanks!
jezb1 - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Someone above mentioned footballs and frisbees as being pointless... I'm sat on a bench whilst my two groups keep themselves amused playing frisbee.

Great thing to carry!
kathrync - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Quite! They are lighter than any inflating ones, I still use one even when snow holing! I'm only wee, the lighter the better for me thanks!

I'm more likely to use a closed-cell foam mat than an inflatable one when snow holing. Occasionally if it's really cold, thermarest-type mats freeze when they are deflated and then can't be inflated again until they are warm. Had this happen twice - no issue with closed cell foam.
balmybaldwin - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I know of other students hiding big heavy rocks in other kid's day packs on DofE walks
Dave Hewitt - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to abseil:

> Thanks a lot for the update on James Cameron - great stuff. I've always liked his work.

I've always liked his Who's Who entry for recreations: "Private life, public houses."
Jim Walton on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

On my ML assessment I was with a guy who was still an great fan of the Trangia. Now there could be an argument that a Trangia is an item that should NOT to carried by DofE folk due to its weight size and general crapness. However they are harmless, or should be...

The chap on my ML used the trangia as the basis of his 5min lecture as to why they are the best stove on the market etc. He then proceeded to try and light the thing to say how quick they could boil a ltr of water if used correctly. After 2mins of nothing happening "the meths has run out" came the response, "it hasn't" came our bored response. He then got out his sigg meths bottle and, ignoring our pleas for him to put it away, poured the meths into the lit burner! The Sigg bottle ignited and took off like an exorcet over the hill along with most of his facial hair.

The list of items I have taken out of DofE rucksacks prior to leaving the mini-bus, in no particular order;

Rabbit snare - but Sir! That's to catch my dinner...
Rambo Survival knife - but Sir! That's my compass on the handle
AA Road Atlas - but Sir! I'll get lost without my map
Emergency Dental Kit - but Sir! what happens if I get an abscess in my tooth?
1.5ltr of Petrol in a Buxton Water bottle - but Sir!

It's all a learning curve. I LOVE DofE, its what got me into the hills. Would recommend it to everyone. Truely brilliant.
Pepper on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim Walton:

We have one in our group that keeps on about catching his dinner and needing a knife to kill rabbits. Almost tempted to either let him try or make him gut one in camp.

Not sure that is considered the done thing though....
girlymonkey - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim Walton:

> On my ML assessment I was with a guy who was still an great fan of the Trangia. Now there could be an argument that a Trangia is an item that should NOT to carried by DofE folk due to its weight size and general crapness.

I argue this point regularly. Many DofE candidates are small and still developing, so why do we keep giving them heavy kit that we wouldn't use ourselves?! Gas stoves are much safer and lighter, and not extortionate!
Jim Walton on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

Probably the same one who insists on using an Army Hexi Burner because they think it looks cool. Only if your idea of cool is eating food that tastes of and reakes of paraffin!
Sam_in_Leeds - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

A rather large packet of johnnys!
Jim Walton on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

Trangia: Weight 1055g Cost ~55-70!!

Primus Express Spider: Weight 198g Cost ~40


I'll argue that the spider is just as stable, significantly safer to light and sooooo much quicker to boil water.
felt - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I recall I was out in the Pyrenees very early in the morning somewhere highish up in the wet and came across this German character who was carrying all of his stuff by hand in two large plastic bags. We found shelter from the rain in a shack where a couple of hairy gay French shepherds already on the wine were lying in bed. A tri-language chat ensued, but little else. They declined the porridge, and I the wine and bed.
felt - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

Yes, back off Bufo, CCMs are by some margin the best everyday insulation -- for myriad reasons. Had one pop?
SethChili - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

I will disagree here , I did my D of E bronze last year and took the trusty trangia with me . Not only could I actually cook some proper food , but the cooking system is stable , easy to use and almost impossible to destroy .
They are obviously a bit slower and heavier than most gas stoves but as a lifelong hillwalking teen I managed to do Bronze with a 45 liter sack when the rest of my team were using 60 liter ones - simply knowing how to pack light makes a big difference.
I allowed myself some luxury items on my practice expedition : A glass bottle of J20 Mango and a paperback copy of the Silmarillion. Still ,
if you pack light it is entirely possible to take loads of ridiculous items with you .
girlymonkey - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to SethChili:

But the point is it could still have been lighter!! Your knees need to last you a long time, as do your other joints, every gram saved counts! I supervise expeds for a girls school, and at bronze level many of the girls are even smaller than me. Their bodies are developing and they have not but up the strength I have, yet their packs are heavier. At night, they complain of sore backs, even though we have made sure their packs are well adjusted for them. There is no need for such heavy kit!!
SethChili - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

Of course .
> But the point is it could still have been lighter!!

Of course .

But D of E is usually a bit of a plod , so without carrying stupid amounts of weight you can still take a lot of stuff . It would be possible to narrow down to mountain marathon style kit with top quality sleeping bags , titanium stoves , ripstop silk rucksacks and trail running shoes for footwear but to do so would be a bit silly for a 2 , 3 or 4 day walk in usually moderate terrain .

girlymonkey - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to SethChili:

We are slightly off topic now, but I don't think i know a single mountaineer who uses one because they are worse and more expensive than a gas one!! The meths inevitably leaks, people have managed to set fire to themselves trying to refuel it without realising its still alight, there's no temperature control, they are awkward to light with a lighter and keeping matches dry is more hassle!
I'm not saying we should kit groups up for mountain marathons, but let's be realistic about what is sensible to carry.
(Sorry OP for the thread highjack!)
petestack - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to jezb1:
> Someone above mentioned footballs and frisbees as being pointless...

Did they really? (Thought I was just answering the question 'Does anyone have any real life examples of odd things others have thought it really important to drag out with them on a long walk?')

> I'm sat on a bench whilst my two groups keep themselves amused playing frisbee.

> Great thing to carry!

Fine, then... odd, but not pointless! :-)

Climbingspike - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:
I have to agree with you. Many years ago I was on a bivi near the top of the Dru, thunder lightning, snow the lot, no chance of a brew. Morning came bright and sunny, now for a brew. My mate had a trangia and all the meths had leaked into his bag, He sort of woke up stoned on the fumes, so no brew and I had drag him up rest of the route and down to Cham.
Pepper on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

> (Sorry OP for the thread highjack!)

Don't be, interesting wander.

Think there is also a case of this only being the first expedition and not wanting to put folk off with kit lists of expensive gear they may only use once.

Imagine the Trangia usage is high because they need to last several expeditions, I know we are not bathed in cash and neither are our students.

We have a bright bunch, can't see them packing more than is needed.

PPP - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/man-stranded-glyder-fachwith-map-5780573

From my own experience, 50 feet of paracord just in case - it was my second trip to British hills, so I am not very angry at myself. The same day I found out that waterproof poncho is useless in here. Although I was fine across over 10 countries with a poncho (which serves as a shelter at night) and never needed a waterproof jacket and trousers.

Oh, and one advice about packing. I managed to lose a 3kg tent somewhere during a hitchhiking trip (to this day, I still have no idea how did it happen). I didn't turn back home and spent one drizzly night under the sky and for the next night, I was offered a shelter by a driver (I found the story funny to tell, so it didn't take much time to be someone's guest). For another day, I already had a shelter, so it wasn't too bad. Now I always clip all the stuff I attach to rucksack with a small carabiner (which do not weight as much as climbing carabiners).
girlymonkey - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

These are cheap, fairly light and robust. Much safer than a trangia :-) http://www.caseysoutdoorleisure.co.uk/item/Vango/Folding-Gas-Stove/5NW?utm_source=google&utm_med...
Pepper on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

Fair play, new to all this. Must be a reason for the trangia (money or existing at a guess), I'll ask the boss!
Neil Williams - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim Walton:
I am quite a fan of Trangias with a gas converter fitted. While they are a bit weighty, the all in one nature (no need to carry any other cooking/eating utensils), excellent stability and excellent performance in wind make it worth the weight/cost to me.

Then again, I'm heavy, as I often post here, and using the guideline of a third of your body weight I can carry about five and a half stone of kit. That will usually include proper food, none of that dehydrated rubbish.

But speaking more practically (no I don't weigh Scouts down with 5.5 stone rucksacks[1], just me), remember if you're choosing a non-Trangia gas stove to add the pan set on top. Unless you buy super lightweight titanium cookware, you are going to end up somewhere the same.

[1] When I did my Scout T1 training (an internal version of WGL) there was a fairly slight 17ish year old Explorer Scout on the same team as me, the instructor made us swap rucksacks for a bit. The only point I could see in that was to prove that if I needed rescuing most of my kit would sensibly be abandoned. But the other side of it is that I can also, with that weight on my back, carry some on my front as well, so other peoples' kit wouldn't need to be abandoned :)

Neil
Post edited at 23:28
Neil Williams - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim Walton:
"Trangia: Weight 1055g Cost ~55-70!!

Primus Express Spider: Weight 198g Cost ~40"

The latter does not include the price nor weight of a set of cookware nor some kind of windbreak.

FWIW the type of stove I *really* wouldn't give DoE groups is screw-on-top gas stoves (well, those and the even worse pierceable ones if anyone still has any). They *always* get knocked over.

Neil
Post edited at 23:31
marsbar - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I remember removing a 1kg bag of sugar (for a 1 night trip) and 2 microwave meals (thankfully no microwave) from one of the smallest Scouts on a kit check. His mum had packed for him apparently.
Jim Walton on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

I take your point Mr Williams (especially on the burner on top of canister type of stoves), but a quick look on ebay and I can get a primus spider type stove and pan for under a 10. But on the flip side Trangia's are going for the same!

With a Trangia, you HAVE to carry the 2 wind sheilds, pan, lid, burner and fuel canister. With a Primus Spider type stove you just need stove, gas bottle and pan. A wind shield can be made from rocks and the pan lid only needs to be some foil.

The primus kit can be split between two people, the Trangia is often carried as one unit to keep it together. For a bronze expedition you will only need a 250g canister between 2 people (if they have anything about them they will get away with a 100g one, but they will be learning so we'll let that one go).

Climbing Pieman on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to climbwhenready:
Ha ha. I have obviously been wasting money on Paramo gear! When I pointed out in Scotland the rain did not always come straight down, and it is usually windy, he went quiet. I remember the way he threw himself down the chimney (on abseil rope) his umbrella was getting caught on the rock in the chimney so now sure how long it would last intact. Still he was happy.
Neil Williams - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim Walton:

"The primus kit can be split between two people, the Trangia is often carried as one unit to keep it together."

True, but there is other kit to pack as well, so that can be split to take account of that one.

You're right you can go more minimalist, but they aren't *that* heavy and they are, with the gas burner, very practical indeed in any weather, and as safe as you're likely to get for using inside a tent in poor weather (with ventilation) because the windshield also does a good job of containing the flame even if it flares.

Neil
The Ex-Engineer - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim Walton:
> Trangia: Weight 1055g Cost ~55-70!!
> Primus Express Spider: Weight 198g Cost ~40

Not the most sensible post, choosing to focus on cost.

You only need to consider the whole life cost to see the figures you quote are utterly irrelevant. Taking 300 nights, which is 10 years @ 30 nights per year which would be reasonable for a school or other group with an active DofE Expedition programme:

Trangia - c.320
1x Trangia, 3x fuel bottles, spares (2x burners, 2x simmer rings, 2x burner caps, 2x handles, 5x O-rings), 50 litres Methylated Spirit

Gas stove - c.910
2x gas stoves, 1x pan set, 2x replacement handles, 150x 250g gas canisters

Ultimately people use Trangias because meths is cheap where as gas canisters are a rip off.

PS I hate Trangias but you can't argue with the .
The Ex-Engineer - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:
> Fair play, new to all this. Must be a reason for the trangia (money or existing at a guess), I'll ask the boss!

Hopefully my reply to Jim answers the question.
Jim Walton on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: In my experience, 160ml of Meths per trip is a tad low. I have found that the wastage is quite high, but that might only be the groups I've been with. However, I have a draw full of 1/4 full gas canisters that I seem to have acquired over the years so there is wastage in that area.

Meths can be a little tricky to get hold of overseas. In the days gone by the same was said of coleman fuel for the MSR Whisperlite. In Chamonix we used to go to a shop that sold dry cleaning fluid that seemed to burn very well and was quite cheep (Essence-C if I remember correctly).

I fully agree that canisters are a rip off.
The Ex-Engineer - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper: Back to the original question...

I've had all sorts of issues: 5-6 litres of water is pretty common. As is enough food (often tinned) to feed an Army and 2kg toiletry bags. Nothing much comes as a surprise any more.

However my biggest perennial gripe about DofE rucsacs is not extra kit but people strapping entire tents to either the bottom or back of their rucsacs!

The bottom line is that I am completely convinced that ALL tent designers must be utter morons who never actually use their products. There is not a single tent I have yet seen with a tent bag (or better yet, two separate bags for fly and inner) that is actually the right size and shape to pack INSIDE a standard backpacking rucsac. It is a trivial design change that would save SO much hassle.

Oh, whilst I'm on the subject of tents. Please, please, please don't buy outer pitch first tents for DofE groups. They are just crap in every possible way; they can't easily be split up for carrying and are just a utter pain to dry out. About the only memory I have of the the Summer of 2012 is it being a perpetual battle to dry tents...

Anyway rant over :-)
Neil Williams - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
I'm going to wheel back out what I do whenever people mention tinned food - it isn't the tin that's heavy. I wouldn't buy Wayfarer meals etc as they are basically tinned food in a pouch.

Dehydrated food is perhaps better, but it also tastes foul, so it's a bit of a balance.

As regards outer-first tents, I have one of the DoE recommended ones (Vango Banshee) and it is so light that one person carrying the inner and outer isn't too heavy. Another gets the poles/pegs, and a third would get the stove and pan set. You don't have to split *everything* in that older style way when you aren't using heavy cotton tents.

Agree about tent bag sizes, though that's often driven by pole length, and if you have too many joints you have too many weak spots. I don't think there is a huge problem with putting a tent on the outside of the rucksack provided the balance is correct.

Neil
Post edited at 14:15
Irk the Purist - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

The tent bag is for storing it. It doesn't need to be in the bag when it's in a rucksack. Just stuff it in the top and voila. In fact, I don't understand why people feel the need to use them at all. My tents actually get stored outside the bag aswell in case they weren't quite dry when I put them away.



Tall Clare - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Irk the Purist:

Their main usefulness, in my book, is for differentiating between them in one's tent storage facility at home. We have three Terra Nova tents - it's easiest if each is in its own bag so we know it has the right poles, outer, inner, etc.
fmck - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I remember a mate walking the west highland way with a crystal decanter and glasses for his malt. Did seem a tad extravagant. Mind you he later walked into Cir Mhor with hand luggage to go and do a rock climb with us. I think he was stoned most the time.
Timmd on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Tall Clare:

> Their main usefulness, in my book, is for differentiating between them in one's tent storage facility at home. We have three Terra Nova tents - it's easiest if each is in its own bag so we know it has the right poles, outer, inner, etc.

I agree, in the 'climbing cupboard' in my childhood home it was always easier if the different parts were stored together.
TAG_UTLEY - on 09 Jun 2014
In reply to Pepper:

I was recounted the story of a young lad who on bronze took the entire works of William Shakespeare(or similar) with him. Needless to say I was skeptical but having since met the person some years later, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Also when I produced my 45L rucksack for my Gold D of E on Dartmoor and was told it would be impossible to take all my gear in it by the head instructor(this was before I had invested in lighter/smaller gear), I promptly ignored him and carried on with no problems, just some sensible packing actually paying attention to what I hadn't used on my practices and removing them.

Successful expedition on the whole, although it did become more of a swim than a walk..
LJC - on 09 Jun 2014
In reply to TAG_UTLEY:

Perhaps this is a controversial one to say it was strange or unnecessary, but I once witnessed a hugely ornate hardback bible carried many miles up hill in the alps.
marsbar - on 09 Jun 2014
In reply to tlm:

> I took a melon for a walk in the hills above blaenau ffestiniog. We staying in a mine for the night and had it for breakfast.

Have you seen Dirty Dancing?

She brought a melon...
Neil Williams - on 09 Jun 2014
In reply to TAG_UTLEY:

These days he could presumably just take it all on a Kindle... :)

Neil
ads.ukclimbing.com
TAG_UTLEY - on 09 Jun 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

Indeed, and probably not the worst idea, particularly on a larger expedition!

On the subject of hair dryers/straighteners, the howl of laughter that went up when one of the girls in a group I supervised asked why her tent was missing it's power sockets was quite immense and worth the angry looks from other campers.
girlymonkey - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to TAG_UTLEY:

One of my friends was running a guide camp and she took a plug socket and screwed it onto a tree. She didnt say anything about it, but just waited for them to notice it. One of the girls, inevitably, came running in to announce to the others that they could have brought hairdryers after all! :-)
marsbar - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

Fantastic.

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