/ Top Hill Tips

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gavmac on 09 Nov 2016
Always amazed by the little tips and ideas I pick from my various climbing partners - from kit packing ideas to nav skills etc. Things that should be obvious to me but aren't!

What's the best ideas and advice you've picked up from hill buddies?



James Jackson on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

I learnt one last winter for ski mountaineering. Like all good tips, it's bloody obvious, but until it's pointed out you never do it! Ripping skins off skis is much quicker, and easily achievable in bad weather, if you fold in each end to the middle, rather than taking the whole thing off and trying to fold it in half, flapping around in the wind. Makes transitions very rapid, which is good when its blowing a hoolie and your nads are freezing off.

In terms of what's learnt through experience, my top tips would be: Know your kit, pack light, and pack consistently. That way you know where everything you need is no matter what the weather / light / tiredness etc.
richlan - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

And hold on to your cheat sheets, tight, watching them blow off across the Cairngorms can be frustrating......
Kevin Woods - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

If you're going to take your rucksack off on a 50 degree neve slope, chop a damn ledge first ....
gavmac on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

Pack consistently, I like that.
More-On - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

I'd reinforce the consistent and light packing advice and add 'don't faff', which is greatly aided by these two actions!
zimpara - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
By the time we were descending off Mont Blanc and getting thirsty, out bottles had frozen. Drink as much as you can, when you can.

Take a light jacket everywhere-Belays get cold!

A small thing weighs nothing, many small things weight a lot.

Headtorches 'when worn on head' flatten the ground, so you tend to trip over things you can't see. But you will trip over more without one.

I won't share 1 headtorch between two people again.

And hand holding torches in fog helps too, no more glare.

And we don't need out torches on Max Lumens all the time. It won't last long if it is either.

Map needs to be in a pocket, not in the daysack.

Only wear trousers that have zips on all pockets.



Zimp
#Cold thirsty guy who trips over a lot.
Post edited at 22:07
alasdair19 on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

I skied with a couple who had a well choregraphed and very efficient version of this a pleasure to watch.

I've been introduced to skin socks last.season which was pretty good.
alasdair19 on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

a reasonable ink jet printer and the clever waterproof paper allows you to print excellent venue specific map.sheets for winter climbing..having one stuffed in a pocket has impoved my nav massively.

if your a determined geek you can figure out cat park altitudes and set your altimeter first thing too
Dave the Rave on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

A bit of whisky in your flask of tea or coffee is both warming and a great morale booster. Also pleasant.
James Jackson on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to richlan:

> And hold on to your cheat sheets, tight, watching them blow off across the Cairngorms can be frustrating......

Tip no. 3: Don't use cheat sheets on the hill! Extra faff that's just not worth it. I never take them up, and put the skins glue-to-glue while up and about. It should be cold enough to not be a problem (never had a drama even in late spring / early summer skinning). First think back at the car is to separate and use the cheat sheets though, to stop the glue going globby when the heating comes on!
James Jackson on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> If you're going to take your rucksack off on a 50 degree neve slope, chop a damn ledge first ....

I made that mistake with a laminated guidebook on a dry glacier. It looked flat at the time...
CharlieMack - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Fill a small flask (500ml) with hot undiluted vimto/squash, then fill the cap with fresh snow and poor the undiluted juice.
Saves taking a massive heavy flask.

A spare pair of boot laces, some cable ties and some gaffa tape can be used to mend almost anything.
pass and peak - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to CharlieMack:

now that might have just saved me 200 grams!
mac fae stirling - on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to zimpara:

> Headtorches 'when worn on head' flatten the ground, so you tend to trip over things you can't see. But you will trip over more without one.

> And hand holding torches in fog helps too, no more glare.

It can be quite easy to wear your head torch round your waist, just step into it and pull it up (may be more problematic with some designs). I did once in the Cairngorms in a white out, works quite well, particulary when snowing hard, stops you getting dazzled by the reflection off the snow in front of your face.


Tricadam on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to CharlieMack:

> Fill a small flask (500ml) with hot undiluted vimto/squash, then fill the cap with fresh snow and poor the undiluted juice.

That's really good! I thought I was doing well by having near-boiling squash in my Nalgene and wrapping it in my Eclipse/R1 hoody, both to insulate the former on the walk-in and so the latter is warm when I put it on at the gear-up. Luxury!

But your trick takes the biscuit! Half a kilo saved!
Tricadam on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

One I got from Martin Moran: don't ever take more than a litre of drink on the hill. Instead, pre-hydrate. I religiously down 1.5 litres of squash at the car before setting off.

And one I've just discovered: don't coil the rope then put it in your bag. Instead, flake it out into the bottom of the bag. That way it takes up all the available room without any awkward bulges/gaps. And it flakes easily straight from the bag at the gear-up.
Tricadam on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

And two I learned the hard way:

- When gearing up on steep unconsolidated snow, keep an axe within easy reach in case your platform collapses and you start sliding towards the abyss.

- Technical tools are a bit crap for ice axe arrests vs walking axes.
Tricadam on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Sorry, two more. I recently found that my compass had reversed itself, no doubt due to sharing a rucksack lid pocket with magnetic stuff like mobile phone and headtorch batteries. From now on, it lives in my trouser pocket.

And you'll always be popular if you have a ready supply of toilet paper, alcohol hand gel, ibuprofen and whisky. My climbing partners have used more of my supplies of these than I have (apart from the whisky...)
abseil on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> If you're going to take your rucksack off on a 50 degree neve slope, chop a damn ledge first ....

I really like this one... happened to me with some stuff... it slides away slowly, bouncing and jinking to left then right, and then suddenly zooms right out of sight. Forever.
nniff - on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to Tricadam:
> And one I've just discovered: don't coil the rope then put it in your bag. Instead, flake it out into the bottom of the bag. That way it takes up all the available room without any awkward bulges/gaps. And it flakes easily straight from the bag at the gear-up.

Variation on the theme of that - pay out 20 feet of slack, then daisy chain the whole rope (not doubled). Then bung it in the bottom of your sack. When you haul it out, the 20 feet of undaisy-chained rope is for the second to tie on and make a belay and the rest gets put wherever it's convenient (often a bucket/ledge kicked in the snow for it) and it just feeds out out as the leader heads off. Daisy chain it like that in the evening and hang it up to dry.
Post edited at 07:49
Hat Dude on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to mac fae stirling:

> It can be quite easy to wear your head torch round your waist,

Not when you're my shape ;-(

Fiona Reid - on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
In winter especially have snacks someplace accessible without the need to remove your sack, e.g. put them in jacket pockets, rucksack waist belt pockets or wherever. If you have to take the sack off to get to them you'll invariably just keep going and end up not eating enough as a result.

Don't wait till you are hungry and spaced out before eating something - that's too late already. You want eat small amounts often and not end up feeling like a space cadet as that's when you make mistakes.

Only take food you like eating on the hill.

Put your gloves on before you feel you *really* need them. By the time you really need them your hands are often too cold and getting them on becomes a nightmare.

The same applies to putting on warm layers, often the summit of a hill is really exposed/windy and thus stopping 50-100m before the top to add the extra layers often means you don't lose so much heat and also don't end up wrestling with clothing flying about in the wind.

Also, all too often folks stop religiously for lunch etc on the summit despite it invariably being the coldest most exposed place. Often a short distance down from the summit can be a lot more sheltered. If it's really foul on the tops then it can be worth descending before having lunch.

If it looks like you'll be out in the dark, stick your head torch on your head/ in an accessible pocket before you really need it.
Post edited at 10:41
Tricadam on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiona Reid:

Very much agree with all of what you've said, Fiona. When it comes to head torches, it can be hard attaching it to a Petzl Elios (or maybe it's just mine!) so, if there's even a small possibility of night falling while on the route or a tricky bit of the descent, I stick mine on before leaving the car. Helps psychologically too: you feel prepared for the dark so it doesn't fill you with unnecessary dread when you're approaching the crux as daylight fades.

Re gloves, these can be kept warm by wrapping them within your hot juice Nalgene/R1 hoody package on the way in Warm gloves are much easier to get on than cold ones, esp if they're snug climbing gloves. And infinitely more pleasant.
cdpej on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

and even draw a line across the skin in pen to show you where the middle is
Dorchester on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

A packet of flatbreads can be sewn together to produce 'hill shorts', with the advantage they can be an easy accessible snack while walking.
subtle on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

> What's the best ideas and advice you've picked up from hill buddies?

Always follow the fence line on a hill

Never wander off the edge of a cliff

Never eat yellow snow

Dorchester on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

When winter climbing put a dog biscuit in the pocket of your jacket. If avalanched the rescue dog will find you first.
wee jamie on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

A couple of nuggets from me:

1. Heather and birch trees signify drier ground - if you're desperately looking for a nice campsite in a sea of bog.

2. Technical ice tools have tiny grips. If you have big hands, bulk out the front and back of the grips with strips of foam, then tape them down with self-almalgamating tape. Less forearm pump, far more comfortable and less likely to swivel in the hand.

I don't agree with Martin Moran's 1 litre of liquid rule, but I suppose it depends on the day out. For shorter technical climbing days, 1 litre might be ok, but for anything else I carry two litres and normally drink it all. I absolutely hate being thirsty.

3. Don't take bananas on the hill in winter - they're cold and stodgy and if you don't eat them, they go black very quickly.
steveq on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

One of the best tips I picked up from a Glenmore Lodge course was to carry gloves, gloves and more gloves. There truly is nothing worse than cold wet hands for destroying morale and it's also so easy to drop one.


Stephen
Clint86 - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Go light, drink lots.
Clint86 - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

The opening salvo of Yvon Choinard's Ice Climbing resonated with me as soon as I read it years ago. 'Don't take bivvi kit, you'll only bivvi'.....leave most of the 'essential 7 paraphernalia' behind.
gavmac on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to steveq:

With you on this, cold hands are the single biggest killer of my morale. I pack 3/4 pairs of gloves and a set of mercury mitts for winter climbing. No excuses!
Mark Haward - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to zimpara:

Assuming the lid / closure is secure, store your water bottle upside down - the water usually freezes from the top down.
Scarab9 - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

keep a map and compass in a pocket, not in your bag. If you lose your bag, for example when avalanched, and they're in there you're stuck.

Consider two maps. (mostly meaning if you print out one). It weighs nothing, takes no extra time to print, but can save you a lot of faff if one falls apart.

It's ok having 'sensible' food when things are going ok, but if you end up having an epic something you'll look forward to can work wonders. When you're ready to drop from exhaustion you won't fancy eating anymore nuts or boring trail bars, but a bar of chocolate or a nice sandwich or whatever works for you is well worth the extra grams carried. And if you don't use it...sandwich in the car at the end - bonus!

gaffer. Very useful. wrap some round a bit of card and always carry with you.

sounds obvious to most but...even on nice days at local crags, put some spare clothes in the car (assuming you've driven of course)! If a sudden downpour soaks you all to the skin your mates are going to be very jealous when your'e sat in the car in dry clothes toasty warm but they're freezing and miserable on the drive home.
Woolly on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to steveq:

and use thin liner gloves, it makes putting on gloves so much easier
Clint86 - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:

That should read 'impedimenta' instead or paraphernalia.
French Erick - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiona Reid:

I always leave my headtorch (and my mobile phone) in my sallies' pockets. I never need to think where it is because it's either on my head or in those pockets. It also keeps it/them warm and so make the batteries last longer.
GerM - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiona Reid:

In a similar vein, a favourite tactic of mine for stops of any length of time (food, drinks etc), is stop 5 minutes early, put on extra layer(s), walk 5 minutes to warm up again then enjoy your stop already layered up and warmed from inside.

And leave some cans of coke in the car somewhere cool (but not freezing!). An awesome little pick me up when you finish the day.
Tricadam on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

This thread is a major improvement on the it's-not-real-winter-climbing one that has become traditional at this time of year ;-) Good work, Gav!
rallymania on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
from "Nev" a few winters ago...

cover things you could drop in that sticky reflective tape you might but on a bicycle.
that way if you do drop it at night it'll readily show up in the light of your torch...
(also useful for MRT to help find you, not that should be your plan obviously)

oh and if you are already carrying a nalgene type bottle, wrap your gaffer tape (as suggested above) round it. makes the bottle easier to grip and it's somewhere easy to find when you need to repair something with it.
Post edited at 13:55
bleddynmawr - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

When descending in the Alps if you have an empty water or fuel bottle remove the lid to avoid it being crushed.
zimpara - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to bleddynmawr:

Haha I posted a similar thing on a thread ref, e-cig liquid bottle at altitude!
nniff - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Put a turn of reflective tape around the top of your walking poles. Makes finding the right boulder in Stob C nan L a darn sight easier when you find yourself with rather more night than day.

The correct place for a map or a guide book is down the side of a gaiter.

Nestle condensed milk in a tube is the belay food of the Gods.

One of those small foam sit mats, tied to your rucksack with some shock cord makes belays a lot warmer
ScraggyGoat on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to rallymania:

Reflective tape around ski-poles if you use them. Then you can mark rucsacs if you leave them at the base of the corrie, tents if returning late or going for a midnight amble, snow hole entrances etc, and also increases your visibility to traffic if you walk along a road at the end of the day. If things go wrong; causality markers, cornice fall point marker, last seen in avalanche position etc.

Bits and pieces for fixing a broken crampon front bail, depending on your preference a bit of wire, a short dog-bone extender (front point in each loop, fasten like a strap-o-matic), or equivalent piece of pre-tied tat.

If printing maps, print one side covering the top of the mountain at a larger scale to help map-reading in poor visibility.
Wingnut - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to Scarab9:

>>put some spare clothes in the car

And spare glasses, if you wear them.

(Incidentially, if anyone finds a pair of specs somewhere between Crib Goch and the Pyg track, or a single lens somewhere near the narrow bit of the Rhydd Ddu path, they're both mine ...)
L.A. on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
A small spare headtorch is much better than tying to change batteries in a blizzard.

When you reach a summit or lunch stop and you can see the direction you need to be travelling in, draw an arrow in the snow pointing towards it before you have drinks etc That way if /when the visibility goes you can at least start off heading in the right direction (I know... use a compass etc but we all think we know best at the time
Put some reflective tape on your rucsac so your mate behind you has a chance of seeing where you are in the dark

Try to never melt snow in a pan without putting some water in the bottom of the pan first-You`ll burn the pan otherwise
Be really obsessive about keeping snow out of the tent/ bothy. Clothes rucsacs etc all need to be brushed off before getting in. Snow = puddles and at some point your socks will somehow end up in them
Post edited at 15:12
richlan - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

i haven't got the strength to pull mine apart when glue to glue no matter how cold !
Trangia - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

If you take your sack off during a multi pitch climb always attach it to your belay anchor.

Carry a straw on the Cuillin Ridge

Carry a spare pair of boot laces

Carry spare gloves and warm hat

Carry a headtorch and spare batteries

Cell phones can be permanently wrecked if they get soaked, carry a waterproof bad/container for yours

Carry a pencil and paper to write down your grid ref in the event of having to send someone down for help
zimpara - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to Trangia:

And above all else, take what you need, and nothing you don't...
A pencil and paper???
ads.ukclimbing.com
Trangia - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to zimpara:

You'd be surprised how people can forget a simple 6 figure map ref when going for help, particularly if they are in a state of shock following an accident
tripehound - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
Put your crampons early. There is nothing more dodgy than balanced on one leg on a steep slope trying to get them on.
Post edited at 16:28
ed woods - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to James Jackson:

That. And leave your pack on during transitions, put your skins in partners pack and vice-versa.
Trangia - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Share your water with your mates early on, that way you lighten your load and they will feel obliged to share theirs with you later in the day....
cyberpunk - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

When you have an early Alpine start put your boots at the hut door with your harness on top. Step into your boots and pull up your harness like a pair of trousers. You can also have your rack on your harness ready to go, rather than faffing at the bottom of the route.
Dorchester on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to Trangia:
Get the map of central North Wales tattooed to your torso (O/s 1/25000). You will never be without a map again.


Unless you go to the Lake District.
SenzuBean - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

- If you ever put your compass into a bag where it _might_ get squashed - then one day it _will_ get squashed and you'll have a smashed compass that may be unusable. You can make yourself a little compass protector from foam and other things (I found a cut in half shampoo bottle + foam worked perfectly).

- By far the biggest tip I have is to have a little notebook that you fill in after every trip. It's not a diary, but just a bulleted list (in no particular order) of:
a) things that went wrong, or not smoothly (key point: write this stuff down even if you don't have a solution)
b) things that went well and that you should continue to do next time or do better next time.
c) any questions you have or things you didn't understand, or want to understand better
Key point - think extremely hard about the whole day, work through it in your mind multiple times - that's important for the more subtle aspects.
Then when I get home, I make sure I resolve every one of these. This has given me a huge amount of experience, and great solutions by researching how other people solved the same problem. e.g. an example from one of my notebooks: 'map flapped around too much and was annoying - how to better attach map case?'. I got home, researched how other people did it, and found that I could clip the map to my rucksack instead of wearing it around my neck or a shoulder, and fold it under the straps. This works almost perfectly, and now my map almost never blows around (while you see others getting garotted!). I have an even better solution planned too.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to wee jamie:

Jetboil is lighter than two litres of water, those new juice squirty things make the combo lighter still, sharing with your mates means they don't need water too...

Combined with a bothy bag you're snug as a bug in a rug in most conditions.
Rob Exile Ward on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Crikey, most of the advice here is a bit hardcore! For hillwalks - make sure you have an insulated mat to sit on, there's nothing like it. Thermos flask (or, if you're posh, a Stanley flask) with tea is the DB whether it's hot or cold. (I can't endorse an earlier suggestion about whiskey, been there, done that, it's a slippery slope...) Braces on overtrousers don't need constant hitching up and stop you looking like a penguin (and that's important.)
Deleted bagger - on 11 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Don't overload on first aid kit. Keep it minimal, you're not going to be doing minor surgery!
Dave Perry - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Scarab9:

Loosing your map and compass if you're avalanched is the last of your worries ;-)

pass and peak - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

No need to take the whole 1/2Kg guide book to the crag, use your phone (if its smart) to take a photo of the topo and route description and use that!
Also on that note, make sure you photo the whole crag and all the routes next to your chosen one, in case someone has bagged your route or heaven forbid you should go astray and find yourself on an adjacent VIII, 8, wondering what's happening!!
panz - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Deleted bagger:

As for a kit-I rarely take a knife- somebody else would have taken it already.
Once a client came and asked for a small mirror he had seen in my kit.
He could not wear lensen without it.
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:

> The opening salvo of Yvon Choinard's Ice Climbing resonated with me as soon as I read it years ago. 'Don't take bivvi kit, you'll only bivvi'.....leave most of the 'essential 7 paraphernalia' behind.

I've never bought into this concept. It's like saying 'never take a knife because you'll only use it to stab someone'. It not only smacks of elitism, but is in fact outright dangerous advice unless qualified by a number of caveats.

Fast and light is ok if you're very good, very experienced, very fit, and know the speed and pace you can consistantly maintain over the technicalities, terrain and length of a route, therefore out and back in a day is comfortable. But unfortunately the majority of folk climbing in the alps don't fall into this catagory.

There have been two occasions in the alps when I've gone the 'fast and light, no bivi gear', and both times ended up enduring a long cold bivi.

Sometimes things go pear shaped, and a Pied d' Elephan half bag combined with a good down jacket (presumably already part of your kit) an emergency bothy bag and short foam mat really don't take up that much space or weigh in the general scheme of things.

I'd sooner take something I don't use, than find myself on a situation where I haven't got something I need.

Of course, if you get used to climbing carrying lots of gear, you'd be amazed how little it actually slows you down or impedes you.


TobyA on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to panz:

> Once a client came and asked for a small mirror he had seen in my kit.
> He could not wear lensen without it.

I have a small plastic mirror in my overnight backpacking kit for putting in contacts, but if forgotten, the screen on phone when its dark or a sunglasses lens will sort of do the job. I wouldn't want to messing about with my contacts though in a Scottish blizzard though, mirror or not.

If you are really careful about preparing thermos flasks (warm it with boiling water, get the tea/coffee in there while it is still as hot as possible, heat any milk you are adding in etc) then my 4 IKEA half litre ones will keep drinks piping hot for over 12 hours, and my 3 (! it was on sale) Asda litre one will work for closer to 24 hours. In recent winters I have been doing day trips to the Lakes for climbing and skiing. This has involved 4 am starts, so I've made a small flask of coffee to drink in the car on the 3 hour drive over, a flask of coffee to take on the hill with me (I like coffee), and then a big flask of tea to leave in the car to help rehydrate when off the hill and driving home.

Being prepared to cut maps into smaller pieces helps make having a map in a pocket or wherever much easier. It was only when my Snowdonia map fell apart from too much folding I realised that I very rarely needed both bits! Even expensive Ortlieb map cases can leak or get holes in them (done both with mine). In 'the modern day' a colour photocopy or a print off of the relevant map section sealed in freezer bags seems to work well. I've also copied and laminated bits of guidebooks in the past - I've got all of the Trinity Face on Snowdon covered that way.
wercat on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Very true about flasks, and even Sigg bottles for drinking water. If it's going to be really chilly (wind chill I suppose) I'll take a woolen scarf and wrap it around the flask as extra insulation - The scarf will often be handy later anyway and using such a scheme if I've put warmish water in the Sigg it can still be warm 2 or three hours later. As I've got older I notice drinking cold stuff makes me lose the feeling in my hands in cold conditions so I find this very useful. Also taking trouble to drink in shelter before reaching a cold and windy summit.
Deleted bagger - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to panz:

> Once a client came and asked for a small mirror he had seen in my kit.

> He could not wear lensen without it.

A pal of mine wears lenses. On multi day trips in winter I'm charged with holding the mirror and torch so he can get them in quickly.

Rick Graham on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> I've never bought into this concept. It's like saying 'never take a knife because you'll only use it to stab someone'. It not only smacks of elitism, but is in fact outright dangerous advice unless qualified by a number of caveats.

> Fast and light is ok if you're very good, very experienced, very fit, and know the speed and pace you can consistantly maintain over the technicalities, terrain and length of a route, therefore out and back in a day is comfortable. But unfortunately the majority of folk climbing in the alps don't fall into this catagory.

> There have been two occasions in the alps when I've gone the 'fast and light, no bivi gear', and both times ended up enduring a long cold bivi.

> Sometimes things go pear shaped, and a Pied d' Elephan half bag combined with a good down jacket (presumably already part of your kit) an emergency bothy bag and short foam mat really don't take up that much space or weigh in the general scheme of things.

> I'd sooner take something I don't use, than find myself on a situation where I haven't got something I need.

> Of course, if you get used to climbing carrying lots of gear, you'd be amazed how little it actually slows you down or impedes you.

Another well crafted response, G. I agree with everything except the last sentence.

When it comes to speed and effort required, every gram counts. There is no getting round this simple science.

Of course, nothing is really this simple. Carrying extra wires or cams means that more pro can be placed, the leader more relaxed and less gripped.
Carrying and eating extra food will give more energy to climb fast in an Alpine situation.
zimpara - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Great post!
Clint86 - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Of course there are a number of caveats. Like if you are planning to bivvi, then of course you'll take bivvi kit. If you are thinking you might need to bivvi then you might reconsider route choice. In my experience, weight is a big factor at all levels of fitness. The comparison with a knife doesn't really work though does it. It is the irony of taking the extra weight of the bivvi kit causing the bivvi which is the point.

If you did a fell race carrying your bivvi kit, you'd be timed out of most races.

But we can agree to differ.

Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Another well crafted response, G. I agree with everything except the last sentence.

> When it comes to speed and effort required, every gram counts. There is no getting round this simple science.

> Of course, nothing is really this simple. Carrying extra wires or cams means that more pro can be placed, the leader more relaxed and less gripped.

> Carrying and eating extra food will give more energy to climb fast in an Alpine situation.

My main equipment focus was how many fags to take - I cold go without food if needed, but my smokes, god no, I'd have had a psychological meltdown running out of them

During the 70's I was a keen disciple of Terry King's fag grading system. Routes were graded as to how many fags were needed based on 1 every 2 pitches, and a minimum of 10 per bivi!

But on a more serious note, yes you're right Rick, less weight is obviously better.

But as befits us old farts, my formative years were spent being used to climbing with big heavy Joe Brown sacs, Galibier Super Guides, molecord breeches (Rohan sallopettes were a revelation when they appeared) Javelin jackets, non breathable cags, heavy axes etc. So taking the same amount of stuff in todays modern gear is probably a 50% saving in weight and bulk anyway.

I think paying attention to how much climbing hardware you take is possibly a more important factor than clothing - I've never found myself in a position where I've thought "I wish I'd bought that No3 cam and an extra ice screw, but I have been in a position where I've thought "I wish I'd bought that extra fleece and extra pair of gloves".
TobyA on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to wercat:

> If it's going to be really chilly (wind chill I suppose)

Another general tip - and I don't mean to pick on you wercat - wind-chill is a really stupid concept that it seems virtually no one in the UK understands. When someone says "it was -20 with wind-chill!" they are invariably completely missing the point. Don't expect Kinder Downfall to be in, or your Sigg to have frozen!
Scarab9 - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Dave Perry:

> Loosing your map and compass if you're avalanched is the last of your worries ;-)

When between 3 of us we had two head torches, no map and only a compass on someone's watch it was :p 7 hours slog through waist high snow contouring on avalanche ground based on rough memory of the map was nerve-wracking.

Banana cake got us through. Always take more food than you think you need if on a big day. If it goes tits up you'll be glad!
Scarab9 - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Dave Perry:

> Loosing your map and compass if you're avalanched is the last of your worries ;-)

When between 3 of us we had two head torches, no map and only a compass on someone's watch it was :p 7 hours slog through waist high snow contouring on avalanche ground based on rough memory of the map was nerve-wracking.

Banana cake got us through. Always take more food than you think you need if on a big day. If it goes tits up you'll be glad!
Michael Gordon - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> - an example from one of my notebooks: 'map flapped around too much and was annoying - how to better attach map case?'. I got home, researched how other people did it, and found that I could clip the map to my rucksack instead of wearing it around my neck or a shoulder, and fold it under the straps. This works almost perfectly, and now my map almost never blows around (while you see others getting garotted!). I have an even better solution planned too.

use the map pocket in your coat or rucksack?
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:
> Of course there are a number of caveats. Like if you are planning to bivvi, then of course you'll take bivvi kit. If you are thinking you might need to bivvi then you might reconsider route choice. In my experience, weight is a big factor at all levels of fitness. The comparison with a knife doesn't really work though does it. It is the irony of taking the extra weight of the bivvi kit causing the bivvi which is the point.

> If you did a fell race carrying your bivvi kit, you'd be timed out of most races.

> But we can agree to differ.

The problem with this rationale, is that often what happens is not what was planned.

The only predictable aspect of alpine climbing is its unpredictability.

You can have all the skill and experience, sound judgement and solid preparation, but you can still get caught out due to a change in circumstances. And in my experience, these changes happens suddenly - injury, illness, rockfall, flash storms etc.

The trick to coming back down in one piece in these circumstances, is being able to make the correct decisions, and having the kit to give you the best chance of surviving.

It's a bit like an insurance policy, dead money, until you need to make a claim
Post edited at 14:29
Rog Wilko on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

My tip concerns equipment for winter walking. If you want a walking stick, take one, rather than have a so-called walking (ie long) ice axe. Carry an axe which isn't long enough to use as a walking stick (50 - 55cm) as it will be the right length on steep ground which is when you need an axe. If you are traversing a slope then walk with your (short) axe on the uphill side and the walking pole on the downhill side for balance (if you need it). Put the stick away when ascending steep ground and probably when descending steep ground, although sometimes then the pole will be useful in the other hand.
Timmd on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:

> If you did a fell race carrying your bivvi kit, you'd be timed out of most races.

> But we can agree to differ.

Good job this thread isn't about fell races then. ;-)

I gathered the salient point in Goucho's post to be that fast and light is safest for people who have good judgement and experience and who are fit, with with it becoming less so for people who aren't (to varying degrees), meaning that it isn't quite 'blanket good advice' like some of the other advice on the thread,

Nuances I guess...
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> My tip concerns equipment for winter walking. If you want a walking stick, take one, rather than have a so-called walking (ie long) ice axe. Carry an axe which isn't long enough to use as a walking stick (50 - 55cm) as it will be the right length on steep ground which is when you need an axe. If you are traversing a slope then walk with your (short) axe on the uphill side and the walking pole on the downhill side for balance (if you need it). Put the stick away when ascending steep ground and probably when descending steep ground, although sometimes then the pole will be useful in the other hand.

Better still, put the walking pole in your sac when traversing a slope, then if you slip, your reactions will be to automatically put your weight onto the axe on the uphill, as opposed to dithering which is best, and possibly putting your weight onto the pole on the downhill - which obviously is not a good idea
Timmd on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

I'm much less experienced than probably all on thei thread, but I've always regretted sitting down in the snow to do anything by ending up getting cold, and was struck by how much being knackered can affect your ability to think a few years ago in some amazing snow in the Lake District, which might make caffeine tablets worth thinking about taking (while not being a substitute for being fit...).
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> My tip concerns equipment for winter walking. If you want a walking stick, take one, rather than have a so-called walking (ie long) ice axe. Carry an axe which isn't long enough to use as a walking stick (50 - 55cm) as it will be the right length on steep ground which is when you need an axe. If you are traversing a slope then walk with your (short) axe on the uphill side and the walking pole on the downhill side for balance (if you need it). Put the stick away when ascending steep ground and probably when descending steep ground, although sometimes then the pole will be useful in the other hand.

The other thing I've seen many times on the hill in winter amongst walkers, is holding the axe wrong.

On snow or softish neve, you should carry the axe with the adze pointing forward, as if you slip, the pick is next to useless as a break.

If you're on hard neve or soft ice, then it's pick forward.
Dr.S at work - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Carry your waterproof trousers in a supermarket carrier bag.

When you want to put them on, slip your foot into the carrier bag before putting it into the trousers, the slippy fabric helps the shoe slide through, and keeps mud off their insides.
Rick Graham on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:
> The other thing I've seen many times on the hill in winter amongst walkers, is holding the axe wrong.

> On snow or softish neve, you should carry the axe with the adze pointing forward, as if you slip, the pick is next to useless as a break.

> If you're on hard neve or soft ice, then it's pick forward.

and if you expect to be able to perform a self arrest in the real world ( whats possibly left of it for you ) , practice. .

otherwise, as G says, rely on quick reactions, rather than thinking about how to effect a stylish textbook SA,
worked so far for me and ( most of ) my mates.
Post edited at 16:52
Dr.S at work - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> The other thing I've seen many times on the hill in winter amongst walkers, is holding the axe wrong.

> On snow or softish neve, you should carry the axe with the adze pointing forward, as if you slip, the pick is next to useless as a break.

> If you're on hard neve or soft ice, then it's pick forward.

Surely if it's hard neve or ice you really want the adze forward so you can get into a good breaking position?
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> and if you expect to be able to perform a self arrest in the real world ( whats possibly left of it for you ) , practice. .

> otherwise, as G says, rely on quick reactions, rather than thinking about how to effect a stylish textbook SA,

> worked so far for me and ( most of ) my mates.

As long as you don't get over enthusiastic and end up giving the adze a love bite requiring four stitches and a level of embarrassent even more painful
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Surely if it's hard neve or ice you really want the adze forward so you can get into a good breaking position?

Have you tried getting an adze into hard neve or ice in under 2 seconds without putting the the pick through your shoulder or chest, irrespective of the fact the adze will just bounce of a hard surface.
Rick Graham on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> As long as you don't get over enthusiastic and end up giving the adze a love bite requiring four stitches and a level of embarrassent even more painful

I managed to push a new and very sharp North Wall hammer pick thro my breeches and thigh ( still got a scar ) pushing the shaft into the wall of a bergschrund once.

Regarding ice axe breaking, I gave up practicing in 1970, relying on the quick reaction technique on non fatal consequence positions and the do not fall policy elsewhere.
Dr.S at work - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

But if the adze is facing forward, then that will end up in my shoulder, not the pick - at least the way I was taught to arrest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94QFImjdEAo
MG - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
Carry you waterproof trousers unzipped. That way you don't have to unzip them in the wind when it starts raining and you are getting wet.
Post edited at 17:16
James Jackson on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Timmd:

> I gathered the salient point in Goucho's post to be that fast and light is safest for people who have good judgement and experience and who are fit, with with it becoming less so for people who aren't (to varying degrees), meaning that it isn't quite 'blanket good advice' like some of the other advice on the thread,

Indeed - I recall making a similar point in a similar thread last year. It's about personal attitudes to risk, and understanding mitigation appropriate to the context (i.e. fitness, experience, weather, etc etc).
Clint86 - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Timmd:

Yes, just like lots of advice. You take from it what you want.
Jim C - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Kevin Woods:
> If you're going to take your rucksack off on a 50 degree neve slope, chop a damn ledge first ....

Put you car key in a bum bag ( or similar secure place ON your person- not in a rucksack)
Don't touch the key again until you get right back to the door of the car ( especially in the dark)
Only when you arrive at the car, retrieve the key from its safe place , (and before packing anything away) put the key IN the ignition.
Post edited at 17:42
Clint86 - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Of course. But going light can be a big part of success. You may well take a bivvi bag, but the irony of taking the bivvi bag and as a result of the extra weight, having to bivvi, is the point. Alpine climbing like many other sports is about making good decisions, I agree.


wercat on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Yes, I just tend to judge completely unscientifically whether the wind is going to cause me problems with warmth, particularly the hands. I started getting cold hands more easily in my 50s and it was a while before I discovered avoiding cold drinks helped so much. And putting gloves on before I got too cold.
TobyA on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to wercat:

Yep, absolutely wind makes a massive difference to how cold you feel and particularly how quickly you get cold. My first winter back in the UK after many years in Finland reminded me of how much harder it was to stay warm winter climbing in just the little, friendly Lake District at maybe -1 or -2 than ice climbing in a Finnish forest at -15!

But people often say things like "it was -20 with the windchill!" thinking that is like -20! If the temp is 0 degrees your water bottle is not going to freeze no matter how windy it is.
angry pirate - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Dr.S at work:

This is possibly the most genius tip I've ever heard! Definitely adopting this idea.
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> I managed to push a new and very sharp North Wall hammer pick thro my breeches and thigh ( still got a scar ) pushing the shaft into the wall of a bergschrund once.

> Regarding ice axe breaking, I gave up practicing in 1970, relying on the quick reaction technique on non fatal consequence positions and the do not fall policy elsewhere.

When it comes to a real situation Rick, I've found the text book method goes out of the window quicker than a bag of coke from a drug dealers Range Rover
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:

> Of course. But going light can be a big part of success. You may well take a bivvi bag, but the irony of taking the bivvi bag and as a result of the extra weight, having to bivvi, is the point. Alpine climbing like many other sports is about making good decisions, I agree.

In my experience, going light can also be a big part of getting frostbite or spending the night shivering so violently, that you'd happily change places with Melania Trump when The Donald is feeling frisky.
girlymonkey - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to alasdair19:

We have skin socks, they are brilliant! :-D
Goucho on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> But if the adze is facing forward, then that will end up in my shoulder, not the pick - at least the way I was taught to arrest


Some like to rotate into chest then drop onto the ice. I prefer to get the axe in then drop onto the axe because I prefer to have my left hand on the top and right hand on the shaft.

In reality though, as I mentioned in another post, the survival instinct kicks in quicker than the text book methodology, and I've used my method half way up the opening ice field on the Matterhorn NF, and I'm still here to tell the tales

ads.ukclimbing.com
Clint86 - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

I think we just think differently about it. I guess you have a big rucksack.
Dr.S at work - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to angry pirate:

Think it was in trail or TGO at some point
Dorchester on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Wearing a miners helmet will save the additional weight of carrying a head torch.
Dorchester on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
Practice walking through deep powder snow by filling your kitchen with Quavers.

Timmd on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:
> I think we just think differently about it.

Or pack different combinations of things, or go out into different situations.
Post edited at 21:52
BusyLizzie on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> In my experience, going light can also be a big part of getting frostbite or spending the night shivering so violently, that you'd happily change places with Melania Trump when The Donald is feeling frisky.<

What a horrible thought. No amount of shivering would make me want to change places with her. Aagh.
aln - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Carry your waterproof trousers in a supermarket carrier bag.

> When you want to put them on, slip your foot into the carrier bag before putting it into the trousers, the slippy fabric helps the shoe slide through, and keeps mud off their insides.

Brilliant!
Jim C - on 12 Nov 2016
In reply to steveq:
> One of the best tips I picked up from a Glenmore Lodge course was to carry gloves, gloves and more gloves. There truly is nothing worse than cold wet hands for destroying morale and it's also so easy to drop one.
> Stephen

Buy gloves with elastic that slips over your wrist allowing you to remove them and let them dangle whilst you do whatever is needed( quickly) You can sew some elastic to gloves if they don't already have them. ( but I agree always good to have spares)

On the Maps, before you leave, and in good light, take a few photos of your map of the day on your/ camera or phone.
Some close ups, and a overall view, can be very useful for a quick look( , particularly handy if you lose your paper map)

On batteries, the cold does not discharge them, it just stops/slows the current flowing, so have two sets , and keep a set close to my body, and rotate them when a set starts to fail, when warmed up they will 'recover' so you can use them again fairly soon.

As was mentioned, gloves can be hard to get on if your hands are not dry and warm, don't struggle with them, just slip them over you fingers as far as they will go easily, and walk on, your hands will soon be warm and dry enough to slip your hand in fully easily.
( Or use liners, as mentioned)

On the risk of a reversed compass, have at least one spare, ideally two ( they don't all have to be full size) and check they all agree before you head off (keeping them away from smartphones)
If you have two compasses that don't agree, it may not be obvious which one is not accurate, so 3 is better, and the chances are if two do agree, those are the correct pair.
Post edited at 23:03
lordyosch - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

I follow the carrier bag / gaiters approach
Second Headtorch is less faff then spare batteries
Carry about a fiver in coins for emergency pub and chocolate

First aid kits need to be minimal and waterproof and tell your partner where the first aid and the car key is.

Waterproof socks are too hot/sweaty to walk in but feel lovely at camp inside wet boots

If you use Vaseline to treat arse-chafe have a second one for lips!
Clint86 - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Timmd:

Of course. There are just so many combinations of circumstances that a comment on the internet can't cover. But as a guiding principle to gavmac, I would say 'go light' has always stood me well.
Dorchester on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
When hill walking if parking your car in a risky spot, pull the radio out, smash some of the windows and put a 'Police Aware' sticker on the windscreen. I have always returned to my car to find it untouched.
Michael Gordon - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> The other thing I've seen many times on the hill in winter amongst walkers, is holding the axe wrong.

> On snow or softish neve, you should carry the axe with the adze pointing forward, as if you slip, the pick is next to useless as a break.

> If you're on hard neve or soft ice, then it's pick forward.

Most nowadays do it differently to the above so this doesn't strike me as useful advice. (in other words, they aren't doing it 'wrong' at all!)
Goucho on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> Most nowadays do it differently to the above so this doesn't strike me as useful advice. (in other words, they aren't doing it 'wrong' at all!)

If you follow the text book method, In the time it takes to think, rotate the axe into the body and drop forward, you'll already by sliding down the hill at speed - especially if you're wearing hard shell outers - making arresting the fall even harder - ever noticed these videos of how to SA are always on gentle slopes, never steep ones?

Getting the axe in first gives you more options, because as I've said before, when it happens for real on a steep slope, the first thought to enter your head will be 'oh shit', not a replay of that video on how to self arrest you saw on YouTube.

Of course it's all down to personal preference and experience. Maybe my methodology is considered 'wrong' these days, but it's a methodology I've used on several occasions in the real world.
Post edited at 10:43
Michael Gordon - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Yes I'm not saying your way is necessarily 'wrong', just that most climbers using the text book method aren't wrong either.
SenzuBean - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> use the map pocket in your coat or rucksack?

66% of the time I'm not even wearing a coat, and the side pockets on my rucksack are too small and better filled with water bottles. Pockets on my jackets don't fit a map easily or quickly either. It's just easier to stow under straps
Tricadam on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Dorchester:

> Practice walking through deep powder snow by filling your kitchen with Quavers.

Walking through the kids' end of the swimming pool is more like it. It certainly was the other day heading in to Coire an Lochain - including the soggy-at-the-bottom factor. Mmmm.
Jim C - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

- ever noticed these videos of how to SA are always on gentle slopes, never steep ones?

On my WS course, ( which thankfully was not videoed) started on gentle slopes, then it went to a pretty steep slope, where we were asked to dig a hollow deep enough to sit in it feet facing UP the hill holding our axe in our least favoured hand.
The instructor walked the line of feet occasionally suddenly lifting our feet and tipped one of us suddenly headfirst down the slope.
None of us successfully arrested before reaching the run out at the bottom on the first attempt.
( especially the first guy who was not at all expecting it)
As you say, it was hard enough on a steep slope even when we were the right way up and with axes in the preferred hand.


Tricadam on 14 Nov 2016
In reply to Jim C:

Yes: realistically, if you fall head-first down steep neve on your back, you're not gonna get your brake on before reaching terminal velocity. So make sure you walk/trip in such a way that this doesn't happen! In fact, you've got to be pretty creative or particularly incompetent to find yourself in this situation - fortunately.
Jim C - on 14 Nov 2016
In reply to Tricadam:

We did wonder why they did this, maybe to reinforce that point.

I have only had one occasion where I had to arrest, and , it was whilst I was going to get my Axe off my sack (too late as it happens) It was on Ben Lui luckily and I just went flying down a long slope, and I just had to climb back up again, so I just lost height, a bit of pride, and not my life.

I now take my axe off the sack at the bottom and stick it between the sack straps behind my head, easy to reach back to get at it, and of course I do now get it in my hand earlier than I should ever need to.
wercat on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:
I think my Toppest tip is that you can get out and do a lot with spending comparatively little, providing you develop the judgement to understand any limitations of cheap clothing and equipment.


By cheap I don't mean bad, for instance you can pick up very respectable axes and crampons 2nd hand, sometimes for a song, but you need to know how to check they are OK.

One thing I don't skimp on is footwear, other than buying when I see a bargain. It's a good idea not to wait until you need something then go out and look for it, as you may not find it cheap then.
Post edited at 11:33
benp1 - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Lots of little tips - none related to climbing but just being outdoors

Eat little and often
Take food that you don't have to cook for lunch, makes eating in grim weather easier
Cut your nails before spending a few nights out - dirt under your nails makes you feel more dirty than necessary
Make sure you warm your feet up before going to bed, they don't really generate much heat on their own. Talc them if possible, and ideally put on some dry socks for the night
Remember to drink when it's raining, when you're wet you assume you're hydrated, often not the case
Take layers off as you warm up and before you sweat into them

I'm sure there's more, these are the ones that came to mind recently
Dell on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Clint86:

> The opening salvo of Yvon Choinard's Ice Climbing resonated with me as soon as I read it years ago. 'Don't take bivvi kit, you'll only bivvi'

Which won't be a problem, as you'll have bivvi kit.
Bwox - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to lordyosch:

> Carry about a fiver in coins for emergency pub and chocolate

Now they're waterproof, just carrying a fiver is lighter and less rattley!
Dell on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

> those new juice squirty things make the combo lighter still...


Not sure what you're referring to here... Grapefruit? Lemons? Mrs Trump?
iksander on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Mostly obvious tips I've picked up for winter

Big dinner, small breakfast
Drink loads (~1.5 L) before setting off, carry 05-1L
Pack 25L of stuff in a 40L sack
Gaffer tape bottles/flasks
Start cold in windproofs and liner gloves, when staionary layer up while still warm
Take a long battery life brick phone
Give your partner a spare car key
Leave a note of your plans and mob numbers on the dashboard
A thin hoody's better than a hat
Only take high energy food you'll want to eat, have it handy and nibble continuously
Personally, crampons on = helmet on
SOLAS tape on anything crucial/droppable
Strip your rack/ tune it for dual use gear: alpine drawers better than QDs, tricams better than cams etc.
Pack "just in case" things (2nd headtorch, spare clothes etc) proportionate to objective/ subjective risk
Dead arm for anyone faffing
benp1 - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to iksander:

"Leave a note of your plans and mob numbers on the dashboard"

That would depend on where you're leaving your car no? Someone looking to break in will have a fairly good idea how much time they'll have...
benp1 - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

I've just thought of another one that I fell foul of on my trip to the Alps a few weeks ago

Attach your bottles to your bag somehow - carabiner, clip, string etc

I lost both of my bottles, just both, from the side pockets of my rucksack. I had a sketchy moment so they may have dropped out then, or potentially at another point. Thankfully my friend still had his bottles and I had a 3 litre fold up bottle in my bag so it didn't affect us too much

I lost a couple of bottles I really like though. Hopefully won't make that mistake again!
Dorchester on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Bearded men, pretend you are an upper class Arctic explorer by putting tippex in your beard, painting your nose blue and cutting several fingers off.
Dorchester on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

When camping with others prevent disturbing them by pulling apart your buttocks before you pump. Hey presto no fart noise.!
rossn - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

My tip is quiche. A couple of slices of quiche for hill food. Better than sandwiches, quicker to get ready in the morning. Bacon and egg in a pie case it's practically health food. Seriously. And gradually reduce what gear you carry until you distill it down to a practical minimum.

RN
jonnie3430 - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Dell:

Assuming you were serious, there is super concentrate juice kicking about now, a wee squirt does a litre and fits easy in the jetboil.

Totes agree on hydrating in the car before you start, but I only carry a half litre bottle and always finish it and top up at rivers as they are crossed. The bottle never freezes as it lives in the inside pocket of my das when climbing, along with belay mitts, choccy biccies and chocolate.

Totes, you say? WTF? I had a great day at work today. Smiley.
Toerag - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Don't use a water bladder - if they leak they leak in your bag, if you manage to rip the bite valve off you'll lose loads of fluid before you notice, and you don't know how much you've drunk without emptying your bag.
Water bottles - either buy a proper one (sigg/nalgene) with screw on lid or use fizzy drink bottles - nothing else works, either the material is weak or the lids pop off. It's often easier to stuff bottles in rucsac pockets upside down.
Carry water rather than flavoured drink - it's more versatile (you don't really want to wash something with ribena or coffee).
Put things that need to stay dry in plastic bags in your sac even if you have a rain cover.
Dr.Karg's tomato/mozarella crispbreads are hill pizzas .
Muesli bars are all well and good but they're no substitute for a savoury sandwich.
Dorchester on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

Ex Special Forces?
Make a great deal of money from the general public by making 'Adventure' films. Repeatedly telling everyone how dangerous it is, Strange camera angles, hidden ropes and constantly staring at the camera in an intense fashion with a muddy face will complete the illusion.
Dell on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Dorchester:

I think most of your responses have been nicked from the pages of Viz
Tricadam on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Toerag:

Get one of the Nalgenes with a narrow mouth. Way better for all purposes apart from filling from streams and pouring in melted snow. Particularly drinking sticky juice on bumpy car rides.
jonnie3430 - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Tricadam:

Get a peach tea bottle, does the same job, squashes flat and you don't mind losing it or chucking it at the end of a trip.
Tricadam on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

And one of the self-adhesive bandaging rolls from Boots in your first aid kit will solve a multitude of probs with minimal faff. Looks like this: https://www.google.nl/search?q=boots+self+adhesive+bandage&client=ms-android-samsung&source=... Weighs nothing.
Dorchester on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Dell:

Couple are mine your right, some from Viz but well worth repeating!
Clint86 - on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to Dell:

........but of course, you weren't planning to bivvi.
alasdair19 on 16 Nov 2016
In reply to Dorchester:

all true but i believe bg is ex territorial SAS. maybe a colleague from the forces can enlighten us as to the difference...
Dell on 16 Nov 2016
In reply to alasdair19:

Territorial means they like to mark their patch with piss....and occasionally drink it too.
nocker - on 17 Nov 2016
In reply to Tricadam:

If its the blue stetchy self adhesive strapping, you can get it from Savers/ Poundland for you guessed it &pound;1.
josh12345 - on 17 Nov 2016
In reply to Tricadam:

Similar to your suggestion, I was going to suggest take some pre-cut lengths of kinesology tape (aka KT tape / Rock Tape) with you. I find it's muscle strapping purpose very effective but its also better than micropore tape for sticking things to your body (plasters etc) and can also be used to cover blisters or any rubbing.

On maps, I use a thick A3 laminating pouch as a map case and keep it tucked under a strap on my rucksack. this is easy to do when walking with company, more of a faff when on your own.

Don't keep a camera in anything with pile insulation in it, the fibres can / do get everywhere (including into the lens). This probably applies to any electronic device...
damowilk on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to gavmac:

I think some of this might have been mentioned already, but some of the things I've found most useful are:

Using several small dry bags, instead of the 1 big one I used for years. It allows me to have a regular system where I know where everything is, it stops ingress of water down to things like my sleeping bag that I don't need access to during the day. I also use a heavier duty kayak bag for the bottom one that my sleeping bag and mat go into, so if water gets into my sac, it doesn't force itself through a lighter dry bag.

Getting some removable hip belt bags made. These are great. One holds sunglasses, compass, sun screen and sandfly repellant, the other snacks, so I can quickly access without getting my bag off, on the move.

Wearing light approach shoes as much as possible, and carrying boots to change into when it gets technical, particularly in NZ where there are long bush approaches with multiple river crossings. The extra weight is more than made up for.
exiled_northerner - on 25 Nov 2016
In reply to damowilk:

>>Getting some removable hip belt bags made. These are great. One holds sunglasses, compass, sun screen and sandfly repellant, the other snacks, so I can quickly access without getting my bag off, on the move.

+ 1 for the dry bags and the hip belt bags. What do you use? I've been struggling to find anything suitable
damowilk on 25 Nov 2016
In reply to exiled_northerner:

Probably not much help as I used a gear repair and alteration service here in Christchurch, NZ. But they also do a lot of military stuff, and they use a lot of kit pouches etc, so could be worth checking if you have somewhere that does that nearby.

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