This weekend we’ll be hosting a free Trek and Mountain event with talks from expedition veterans Ian Parnell of Climb magazine and Tim Nicholl from KE Adventure. We'll be offering cracking (in-store only) deals on The North Face and Rab and you can enter a prize draw to win a Rab Microlight Alpine jacket, amongst other essential goodies.
For those of you who can't make it to Hathersage, we asked our very own resident high mountain expert Tom Richardson to suggest his own top tips on expedition gear:
Top Ten Mountain Must Haves:
1. First thing you want is warm feet! For treks up to 5000m, try The North Face Verto 6K Glacier Boots; for above 6000m TNF 6K Extremes - both at 30% off in-store for the Trek and Mountain weekend. Team with a pair of possibly the best socks in the world, Lorpen Primaloft Powerstretch for properly toasty toes.
2. Crocodiles are gaiters (and a bad pun) made by Outdoor Research. They are almost indestructible, but if you do manage it, they have an infinite guarantee. The last pair of gaiters you'll ever buy.
3. Four legs would be brilliant. Failing that, you’ll want a pair of trekking poles. Flick lock adjustment is the easiest and most reliable. Check out Black Diamond Trail or Leki Thermolite XL
4. Seems obvious but worth saying; you’ll need a bombproof hardshell. For trekking and mountaineering go for a Gore-Tex Pro jacket. The harshest conditions require the best fabric.
5. Fluids and food: if the task is to keep hydrated at altitude or in cold temperatures the MSR XGK multi fuel stove is the absolute business. For the first night of a trip use Wayfarers boil in the bag food (heavy but good) after that dehydrated Trek and Eat will do the trick.
6. Sure footing: probably the most versatile set of crampons for mountaineering is the Grivel G12 New Matic. Replace the link bar between the heel and toe with a lighter spring steel one. They fit on most mountaineering boots, though it's always a good idea to double check.
7. Extra layers: buy a down jacket to layer on top of everything else. No point in removing a layer when you are cold only to put another on. Lots of great brands around but some really amazing deals available on Rab down for the Trek and Mountain event.
8. Lighting: The Black Diamond Storm headlamp (coming soon) is state of the art for dark alpine starts and days that run into nights on the mountain.
9. A good night’s kip: Our top sleeping tip - take a Multimat Expedition Extreme (a yellow roll mat). Fold it or cut it, then tape it with duct tape so it can be zig-zagged and shoved down the back of a pack. It’s the perfect indestructible warm mattress and this way, you avoid the cumbersome roll.
10. HatMandu hats. Somehow they manage to be both the coolest and warmest hats for the mountains!
Things you should consider but can't get in an outdoor shop:
1. P20 sun block. It lasts 10 hours with one application making life a whole lot easier.
2. Cable ties. Essential for travel security and repairing nearly anything.
3. A SIM Card for the country you are in for your phone.
4. Finger Oxymeter to see how well you are adapting to altitude.
5. Emergency food. Buy food you really dislike so you aren’t tempted to eat it when it isn't an emergency!
6. Hand sterilising gel. When combined with a robust constitution this stuff goes a long way to avoiding the dreaded "Kathmandu Quickstep"
For all other questions and adventure planning know-how, you'll have to come down to Outside this weekend!