A picture speaks a thousand words

Today was a very exciting day.  It was my ‘finalise my list of things from Cotswold day’.

I actually love going into that store because it kind of makes my crazy dream a reality.  And I mean, it really makes it a reality.

Today we decided some important things:

Synthetic vs Down sleeping bag

After much deliberation we have decided to opt for the Synthetic one.  The main reasons for this being the balance of weight (someone else is probably going to be carrying it), durability (water does not affect it in the same way as it would affect a Down bag), storage (Down tends to store to a more compact size, but actually we tried the Synthetic and it really didn’t seem that bulky at all) and the most important one for me right now, price (Synthetic more than 50% cheaper than the Down temperature equivalent).

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There was definitely something magical about the Down bag.  Just the feel of it made you feel all warm and toasty.  You knew that if you were to crawl into that bad boy at the end of a hard day trekking you probably would never crawl back out again.  After a few cursory pats, I bade the Down bag good bye with a ‘maybe one day’ sort of look.

Until then, Synthetic all the way!

Courtesy of Cotswold

Courtesy of Cotswold. NB-Still need to figure out my exact bag, but this will give you an idea

Walking poles

Just yes.  Your knees will thank you, and yes they can be stored INSIDE your bag.  This was my concern, what if someone nicks them on the way there?  I’ll be raging if that happened.

Day bag

We have found the most perfect day bag for a tiny person such as myself and I can honestly say, I have not felt happier.  Here you go-Osprey’s finest for tiny people.  Make sure you specify ‘short back’ if you indeed do have a short back.

I am in love, and it's purple.

I am in love, and it’s purple.

The only other important thing that I all of a sudden have realised may require a little more thought is CAMERA:

My main issue with Cameras is really this: price.  Because for some reason I have terrible luck when it comes to cameras and always seem to cause them to cease turning on.  I suspect that has something to do with dust and lens and all sorts of complicated things that I do not understand, but in the last 24 hours I have picked up a few tips which will make my camera selection a little more thorough than I had originally thought.  Also, the bottom line is, despite what everyone else thinks or tells you, you have to be happy with it because it will be your baby, not theirs.

Camera buying tips:

  • Take your time– Shop around, in store, online, ask friends, ask people who are well travelled, not so well travelled, particularly people who are travelled up the same mountain you are going to climb.  Keep networking and you will pretty soon realise a lot of your lifelong friends are secret camera buffs.
  • Think about charging– This I am still getting my head around.  The camera I purchased (and returned) had no USB charger but just a regular plug charger, which in this modern day and age did baffle me somewhat.  Have cameras not evolved in such a way that they can be charged via USB port?  Because all these fancy portable battery charging devices, solar panels etc operate through the USB system so why does mine have a plug?  I was a little less than impressed when I was told, ‘you don’t need a spare battery, it’s rechargeable’.  Really?  Up a mountain?  Are you sure?  (I returned the camera out of pure annoyance more than anything else).  And also, the tea huts have charging points but would you really rely solely on this?
  • Bring lots of spares– This I think is very sensible.  Spare memory card and spare batteries (find out your camera’s exact type and a quick google search will tell you amazon have everything even if your local camera store does not).  The only thing with this is ensure you have enough time for delivery and any potential returns (maybe I’m a glass half empty kind of person these days, but you can never be too careful).  I have to say though, one nifty piece of advice that I have read and also been told first hand is to store the spare close to your skin so it is warm.  Apparently cold weather and batteries do not mix.  Cool huh?
  • Don’t forget your adaptor-Or you’ll be raging.

And just to end on a high, after my last post about being all scared and depressed I went in search of some inspiration.  Here’s what I found:

25 reasons why trekking or living abroad is an unforgettable, unmatchable, and irreplaceable experience..

Enjoy.

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4 comments

  1. It’s definately fascinating delving into the world of outdoor gear shopping. I didn’t realise there were so many choices to be made 😉

  2. Neither did I… If I didn’t have my handy Cotswold friends to set me right, I think I may have ended up going in shorts and a t-shirt… :S

  3. Good luck! And absolutely yes bring spare batteries. And the keep-camera-in-warm-pockets trick do absolutely work… it does get a bit suspicious though if you’re caught rummaging through your many (many, many) layers of clothing only to brandish a warm little black item triumphantly… just sayin’! My bets on you, not the mountain, happy climbing!

    • Thanks! The old camera battery tucked away did indeed work and incase you’ve not been following, made it to Gorek Shep just 180m short of my target before the altitude got me and I was made to descend. It was, however, FANTASTIC! I’ll definitely be going back!

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