Walk • Trek • Travel
A photographic record and journal of our walking, trekking and travelling adventures.
ArcticDry Xtreme Waterproof Socks – My best bit of gear for 2019
ArcticDry Xtreme Waterproof Socks – My best bit of gear for 2019

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Waterproof socks are not new. They have been around for ages. For some reason, I can’t quite recall; they just never made it on to my kit list. I have always had a pair of waterproof boots and a pair of waterproof hiking or approach shoes, so why would I want to waste money on waterproof socks? After all, they are quite expensive as socks go. Everything changed at the end of 2018 when I decided to do the Camino Portuguese the following year. I knew that I would be doing a lot of the two hundred miles or so on paths and roads and I knew or hoped at…

Osprey Stratos 36 Pack – Review
Osprey Stratos 36 Pack – Review

Friday, 08 February 2019

So, the time has come to say goodbye to yet another rucksack and, as is now customary, I feel obliged to say a few words before it departs this place and heads off into the sunset for a new life in a better place. Cornwall. I purchased my Osprey Stratos 36 rucksack about two years ago. I had had found that my Osprey Talon 33 would be uncomfortable with heavier loads and wanted a similar sized rucksack that had more padding on the shoulders and hips and also some sort of a frame for support. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved my Talon 33, it is probably the…

Oh no! another Scarpa Mistral failure!
Oh no! another Scarpa Mistral failure!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

In January 2018, I wrote about the demise of my Scarpa Mistral GTX walking boots whilst walking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. At the time, I was very impressed with the customer service provided by Scarpa through the Mountain Boot Company and the speed with which they handled my complaint. In August of this year, I wore the replacement pair on our Pembrokeshire Coast Path trek. It was the first time that I had wore the replacement Mistrals on a proper walk since they had arrived. Until that time, I had only tried them on for size and worn them on a short walk to check for rubbing etc. I had…

A tale of two Synmats
A tale of two Synmats

Friday, 10 August 2018

In September 2017 I wrote about the failure of my Exped Synmat UL 9 while walking the Isle of Wight Coast Path. I had purchased the Synmat sleeping mat back in 2014 just after my partner, Susan, had purchased one because I was so impressed with the one that she had bought and wanted the same thing. At the time I wrote the article I had been pleasantly surprised by the customer service provided by Amazon who contacted the UK distributor for Exped and between them they arranged for a credit which I used to purchase the newer version of the same product. Now, here we are in July 2018…

Outdoor Gear Exchange UK
Outdoor Gear Exchange UK

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Today I spent the morning sorting through some gear that no longer fits me and some equipment that I no longer use. I plan to sell these items to raise money to buy new gear for our forthcoming adventures. I did the same last year using the Facebook group Outdoor Gear Exchange UK and managed to sell three waterproofs, one down jacket, four pairs of trousers and a handful of shirts. This funded a new rucksack and a new stove which were put to use immediately unlike the items I had sold that were languishing in cupboards around the house. The basic rule of Outdoor Gear Exchange UK is that…

Buff – My best bit of gear for 2017
Buff – My best bit of gear for 2017

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Of all of the walking gear, I possess no one was more surprised than I to discover that one of my favourite bits of ‘kit’ would be the humble buff. This lightweight tube of fabric is so simple in design and so lacking in gadgetry that for many years I deliberately shunned them. In fact, I positively disliked them! I have never been keen on having things around my neck because I always had that feeling of being constricted. I never wore scarves and wouldn’t dream of hanging a camera around my neck and as for neckties? Like most men, I have always begrudged having to wear one. I don’t…

Thermarest NeoAir Sleeping Mat
Thermarest NeoAir Sleeping Mat

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

In 2010 I purchased a Thermarest NeoAir for my Wild Camping trips and up until recently, it has performed perfectly and I have been very happy with it other than the now infamous rustling noise. In August 2017 I noticed that the NeoAir had started to deflate overnight. I suspected that this may be due to a small puncture so in an effort to try and find the puncture I inflated the NeoAir and submerged it underwater in the bath hoping to see a trail of little bubbles that would lead me to the location of the puncture. However, I was unable to see any bubbles so concluded that it…

Scarpa Mistral GTX Walking Boots
Scarpa Mistral GTX Walking Boots

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Ipurchased a pair of Mens Scarpa Mistral GTX GoOutdoors in July 2017 because my old boots were no longer waterproof and I needed something for an up and coming hiking trip. This is not a review of the Scarpa Mistral GTX walking boots but a record of my personal experience as a user and a customer. Recently, after a few wet walks, I noticed that they were also no longer waterproof and in spite of several attempts to re-proof them I was unable to prevent them from leaking.Then, while on a trek in Nepal the boots started to fall apart and I was worried that they would not make it to the end of the 160-mile route I was trekking.

Exped SynMat 9 UL Sleeping Mat
Exped SynMat 9 UL Sleeping Mat

Monday, 18 September 2017

In August 2014 I purchased an Exped SynMat 9 UL for a trip to Iceland. Susan had purchased one a few weeks before and when compared to my Thermarest is was better by miles for comfort and for the speed and ease with which you could inflate it with the schnozzle bag. But on our recent Isle of Wight Coastal Path trek, it developed a fault and I awoke to find myself tilting to one side.Two of the chambers had become one during the night and the new chamber was much bigger than the others. I had purchased the mat from Amazon and so used their website to contact…

Gear Review – 5 Days Backpacking the Isle of Wight Coast Path
Gear Review – 5 Days Backpacking the Isle of Wight Coast Path

Saturday, 02 September 2017

Last month, Susan and I hiked the 65 Mile long Isle of Wight Coast Path over five days and four nights. We camped on three of the nights and stayed in a hotel for one after an equipment failure. We carried everything we needed with us and only purchased food along the trail. In this post, I am going to briefly summarise what worked and what didn’t and provide some feedback on what we thought about our gear and equipment. Shelter MSR Elixir 2 Person Tent (2015 Model) I bought this tent in 2015 and paid around £160 for it which included the additional footprint. It is a little heavy…

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