Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, X

There’s an unfamiliar sight on my back below, an OMM Mountain Mover. I got annoyed with it because the side mesh pockets hold onto bottles about as well a Dalek. Not the modern type, one from the 60’s movies with Peter Cushing. They were good daleks, big and badass. Some had a pincer hand instead of a plunger, so that’s the ones I’m meaning when I’m thinking of poor grip. Although in the first movie, a dalek with a pincer hand did take one of the TARDIS’ Fluid Links from Peter Cushing’s pocket. I’m sure a stage hand Sellotaped it there when we weren’t looking.
The extra room (it’s 55+10 litres) means less careful packing, more snacks and with that padded hipbelt it’s a lovely carry. The external stowage is great (apart from bottles), the two extra side pockets are brilliant. With the chest pouch I never missed the hip-fin pockets. So, it’s redeemed itself to a large extent, and it’ll be going out again. I don’t think it looks like a 65L pack either?

The Berghaus Temperance made its debut as the wind picked up and spindrift lashed at my coupon, and what can I say, the fit, comfort and usability were all fine and the hood, ah the hood. This is a hood that was born to look for bad weather and spit in its eye.
It’s not perfect, the pocket zips are a little short especially with gloves on, and the fastened ends of the hood drawcords make a quick tighten a little more faffy than it needs to be. Just niggles and no more however, it’s looking good.

I had the Marmot Powerstretch Half Zip on which was brilliant, and has been underused of late, clothing elsewhere was pretty much the same as on Lomond last week. Indeed some of it still had some Lomond on it…
I had Keen Growlers and Kahtoola Steel crampons this time, I wasn’t risking stiff boots on bendy feet on what might have been a very long day.

Another familiar sight was an Optimus Crux Lite stove, a new shiny one from the distributors after they learned of last years scary pyrotechnic mishap with my old one.
It’s had a tweak or two the new version, it worked well, and feels like an old pal. The gas was “Energy by Optimus”, 100g of Butane/Isobutane/Propane in a bright green can. We’ve talked about stove performance a lot, and one variable has always been gas. I’ve been sent a box of the Optimus fuel, so that’s all I’ll be using for the next wee while and hopefully it’ll help with stove nitpicking.

Now, I took my Merino Buff and Chocolate Fish Tuara to do a head to head of sorts after Toby posted a comment, and it was enlightening stuff.
The Buff was worn from the motor, through the night and onto the top of the hill. By this time the front where I had been breathing had frozen into a corrugated lump and was hanging off my face, all stretched to hell. Off it came and the Tuara went on (below, just in view). It only got a few hours use, but the thicker fabric, and the sewn double-layer construction looked as if it’ll take these conditions better, the inner layer got wet from my breath, but never froze. It is warmer though.
It’s like a thought, no winner between the two, more like summer/winter siblings. Good to know.

31 thoughts on “Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, X

  1. Gotta say – that hood on the Berghaus has had me wondering how on earth I put up with the hoods on my other jackets. Can’t say I’ve adjusted it since I got it, spent an hour at home fiddling with the adjustment and I’ve left it at that… zip up and zip down. Just gotta find me some Buffalo mitts for the winter skills in Feb, seem to be sold out in M/L every shop I’ve been in – seem to me to be the perfect solution from what I’ve read, I’m a bit of a shocker fro taking my gloves on and off, resulting in a wet inner. Least I hope they’ll work out if I ever find any to try.
    Oh arr – my daughter loves those Lyons coffee bags, seems the shopping budget for home just went up.

  2. I’d get XL’s, unless you take a size small in regular gloves there’s a good chance they’ll be fine. They’re super small made, the XL’s just fit over thin liners on me and I’m usually a large.
    That Temperance hood does make a lot of other efforts look half arsed.

    That Lyon’s bags comment reminds me, bags here ready to post away and nobody is sending me their addresses. People?!

  3. Buffalo mitts, sold out in Betws Cotswold today too.

    Ah, the joys of face protection from serious sub-zero or sandblasting…. I find a Buff as beanie and a Buff as neckgaiter pulled up to nose (both just the standard Buff) do the job 95% of the time, but when it gets mentally bad, the lower Buff drops back down and this little monster does the job from neck to goggles….

    http://www.rei.com/product/725712

    Neofleece Masque – no mouth moisture, no freezing up… just remember to take it off again before you go pay for your petrol!! ;O)

  4. Seeing as you have had to archive the ‘comparing notes ‘ page i’ll ask here if I can be so bold.
    Flicking through tgo I saw an advert for the Vaude scrotum. I see that they have re-named it ,to the far more sensible and accessible ‘Power Lizard’ :-/ .

    Are you going to get one of these for test ? Vaguely recall you were getting a pre pro model,guess that didn’t happen. A quick search on t’interweb turns up little, £256 at amazon,no stock. Any info you know of, i’d thought this would generate a fair bit of interest ?

  5. Thanks for the link! That post’s specific URL is http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2010/02/limits-of-wool-quick-review-of-wool.html because it will start dropping down the blog a bit as I post more.

    Sounds like you have exactly the same thing happen once out in sub-zero temps with the wool Buff. But then it has warmed up here a bit and I was out ice climbing yesterday in far more civilised temps around -3 and the Buff was great at keeping the snow from going down my neck as we crashed through the trees to get to the cliff.

  6. Toby – I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with a Survival Aids (as was) meraklon headover. It has worked for me for the last 20+ years so I never get that excited about Buffs. OK, it has a seam and is heavier than ‘modern alternatives’, but at pence per wear it is probably my best ever buy!

  7. More-On,google did throw that up for me but i chose to ignore it on price !

    I would certainly want to hear about it first, and have a first hand look too. Aye, a smaller lighter one man would be even more interesting

  8. The Lizard is really a 1+ tent from memory. But if the weight isn’t a big fat lie, it’s a luxury home for one.

    I really think we shouild have tent meet as some point.

    Merino Buff? I think if they made it an inch narrower it would be fine, all merino stretches. I love it, it just got all upset on that trip. I wonder how many washed it’ll take before it goes like a string vest though?

  9. A very sound idea, but only if you promise not to laugh at my Lightwave thrashing around in a 5mph breeze…

    Seriously though, it would be great to see all the options in one place and hear what they are really like. Would be a great way to spend a spring weekend I’d say.

  10. Aye, we’ll sort something out for spring I think.

    BBF, it’s guaranteed as soon as you get that vital Item A the conditions for which it was designed only arise again a week after you sell it on ebay.

  11. Bought the new Trail at lunchtime. That’s another £3.99 that I will never be able to spend again. :-(

    The Hollywood hills theme was stretching an average idea far too far (Ben Alder and Trainspotting – Please!).

    Not many decent small hills in the north of Scotland it seems.

    Graham Thomson’s insulated jacket review was not his finest hour either (banging on about jackets without hoods – some people wear warm hats Graham)

    [Sighs sadly an counts his change]

  12. I can stand proudly by my contributions to this issue!

    I’ve got a lot of wee bits and pieces in this one, I was especially pleased to get the Kilpatricks a wee mention.

    As odd as it may seem, the daft wee route I did for the Highlander (trekking poles instead of a broadsword, I really tried with tha photie on the castle bridge) tie-in is one of my favourites. I’d never been in there, it’s wild, desolte, rugged and I’ve wanted to go back and explore more ever since.

    I’d really hoped to see a 633 Squadron Cairngorm route from someone :o(

  13. Your honourably excepted, and I was thinking exactly the same thing about 633 Squadron. The 39 Steps of From Russia with Love would have been better than some of the kack contributers thought up.

    I think where weight might be a critical factor (e.g. insulated jackets), they should get you to do the reviews rather than Graham. The seem to cope with two gear reviewers over at McNeish Towers.

    Finally- tried on an Exos 46 with a bit of weight in this morning. Merely served to reinforce my hate-hate relationship with Osprey harness design. I think I’m now even grumpier than I was yesterday.

  14. Ah bugger!

    I’ve got a Haglofs Matrix pack here for test with a hipbelt that feels like the soft gloved hands of Rachel Welch (in the 1960’s) gently pressing on my hipbones.
    I’m constantly amazed how different pack harnesses are when they all say that their designing for the same customer; us.

    I actually proposed a 633 Squadron route (I never go up the A9 enough, to my shame), a Rob Roy one (using the bridge near Loch Arkaig that they used in the most recent film) and a David Niven/ Bonnie Prince Charlie one on the Corryhully Horseshoe as it starts at the monument and the real landing site as used in all the movies.
    I love putting the lists together as I sit there with books and mapd pondering the possibilities.

  15. Aye – Osprey must be designing their packs for a version of me that has has undergone a neck and shoulder ‘reduction’ operation.

    The Matrix looks like a decent pack (what size have you got to test?), although not all that light and not single compartment. Might not matter. Interested to hear how you get on.

    I’ve always thought that a Local Hero walk would be a good one. Or better still, a Local Hero crossing from Pennan to Camusdarach (via the pub in Banff where the hotel scenes were shot!). Might have to add that to the to-do list.

  16. My inlaws are dotted all over the NE, I’ve spend many a day around those wee villages. A lot of history up there.

    I got a Matrix 60, I wasn’t sure whether that or a 50 would be better, but I don’t have any big packs these days so I took a gamble.
    It’s about the same weight as my OMM Mountain Mover, and the extra space should be handy for extra food and less precise packing for longer trips.
    We’ll see!

  17. That’s what I’ve been wondering myself.
    The Mountain Mover is “alpine” derived, with some backpacking features tagged on, the Matrix is a backpacking sack with some alpine features tagged on.
    I suspect there won’t be an outright winner, but I’ll get it out soon on an overnighter and get my first thoughts up.

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