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Complex question about everythig

Complex question about everythig


Postby adamkam » Fri May 22, 2020 8:29 pm

Hello,
First of all, I’m new here and I have a few – I hope – simple questions. I spent some time searching for information I need, but with moderate success. I’m trying to complete equipment almost from scratch. I’m not advanced walker/mountaineer, so I’m looking for equipment with good quality/price ratio. Most of the time I will walk alone or with my 9 years old son. In most cases we will have 1-night trips. After this introduction I’d like to ask:

    1. What is the best place to buy equipment, (ebay, Go Outdors, etc.)?
    2. What maps do you recommend? Is there a good Highlands guidebook for those, who start the adventure?
    3. Tent: somebody recommended me Vango Banshee Pro 200. It think this is quite popular one. Anything better for similar price?
    4. Sleeping bag: What is suggested minimal usage temperature shell I look for? (Highlands, late spring, summer and early autumn). Any particular model?
    5. Mattress: something self-inflating?
    6. Cooking: I was wondering, if it is worth buying something like BioLite CampStove. Personally I thing it takes too much space in a rucksack, and is quite expensive, but maybe you’ve got good experiences with this.
    7. Jacket and boots: Could you suggest just a brand, please? (good quality/price ratio)
    8. Head torch: Petzl, Black Diamond, anything cheaper?
    9. Thermal clothing: any brand?

I think that’s all for now. It’s quite comprehensive post, I hope not too much.

Regards, Adam
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby kenncunn » Sat May 23, 2020 11:18 am

Hi Adam,
There is a huge array of outdoor clothing out there some good some not so good.Rather than answer all your questions you can buy the May 2020 issue of Trail magazine which you can do online which has a gear guide that covers everything you will need with items that have been tried and tested.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby Mal Grey » Sat May 23, 2020 12:11 pm

adamkam wrote:Hello,
First of all, I’m new here and I have a few – I hope – simple questions. I spent some time searching for information I need, but with moderate success. I’m trying to complete equipment almost from scratch. I’m not advanced walker/mountaineer, so I’m looking for equipment with good quality/price ratio. Most of the time I will walk alone or with my 9 years old son. In most cases we will have 1-night trips. After this introduction I’d like to ask:

    1. What is the best place to buy equipment, (ebay, Go Outdors, etc.)?
    2. What maps do you recommend? Is there a good Highlands guidebook for those, who start the adventure?
    3. Tent: somebody recommended me Vango Banshee Pro 200. It think this is quite popular one. Anything better for similar price?
    4. Sleeping bag: What is suggested minimal usage temperature shell I look for? (Highlands, late spring, summer and early autumn). Any particular model?
    5. Mattress: something self-inflating?
    6. Cooking: I was wondering, if it is worth buying something like BioLite CampStove. Personally I thing it takes too much space in a rucksack, and is quite expensive, but maybe you’ve got good experiences with this.
    7. Jacket and boots: Could you suggest just a brand, please? (good quality/price ratio)
    8. Head torch: Petzl, Black Diamond, anything cheaper?
    9. Thermal clothing: any brand?

I think that’s all for now. It’s quite comprehensive post, I hope not too much.

Regards, Adam



Hey

Some thoughts, but with a list that long and so many people on here, you will likely get more confused if we all answer your questions with specific items!

1.I think as you're starting from scratch, a visit to a decent outdoor retailer (once they're open!) would be the best starting point, to get some expert advice face-to-face. Depending on where you live, this could be an independent, a Tiso, a Cotswold or whatever, somewhere where the staff are trained and clued up. Set yourself a budget, and ask them to work within it to advise on all your requirements.
2. Learn to use proper Ordnance Survey maps (Or Harveys). Learning how to navigate properly will stand you in good stead, and I would only start using mobiles apps and the like once I was experienced enough to know its limitations. A proper map also adds much to the experience of the day, not just how to get from place to place, for you can put your route into context, see the whole surrounding area, and learn so much about landscape, geology, even history from reading a map.
3. Banshees are a good balance of price, quality and weight. Both Go Outdoors and Decathlon also have good own brand options.
4. I'd look at something with the minimum Comfort temp of -5c or thereabouts. To me, that's 3 season.
5. Yes, self-inflating are good, though in my experience none of them truly self-inflate! A few puffs to top them up is fine though. Lots about, but think about weight and pack size. Remember this is an important part of keeping you warm, so don't go too thin.
6. A small gas burner then allows you to choose a small or large gas cylinder depending on the trip. It should fit in a lightweight pan set too. Alternatively, if generally you're just heating water or "instant" meals, a "jet boil" style unit can these days be got quite cheap.
7. The most important thing is that footwear fits and is appropriate, everything else is personal taste. Spend as much as you can on these, but try lots on to make sure they're correct. Waterproofs are quite a personal choice, but get one with a hood that fits well and moves with your head when snugged down.
8. Hundreds on the market, most are fine these days and you can save money here. Alpkit quite good. LED Lenser very good.
9. Almost any!
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby rockhopper » Sat May 23, 2020 12:27 pm

Adam
There's such a variety around and different people like/need different things that it's probably not possible to answer your queries to suit you precisely. From my own perspective, I started hillwalking several decades ago and bought at that time mainly from Blacks, Tiso and Army/Navy stores as I was very much on a budget being a student. After a break from the hills raising a family I got back out about ten years ago. Even then I started off with a fairly basic, less expensive kit and gradually over time improved it. I've noted below the sort of items I started back using and those which I now use to give you an idea. I'm certain that others will have their own ideas and all will differ. Hope it helps a bit.

1. What is the best place to buy equipment, (ebay, Go Outdors, etc.)? For me, mainly Cotswold Outdoor (shop and online), Tiso (shop and online), SportPursuit (online), Nevisport (shop and online)
2. What maps do you recommend? Is there a good Highlands guidebook for those, who start the adventure? I prefer OS 1:50,000. Guidebooks for me - mainly SMC's The Munros, SMC's The Corbetts.other hills, Andrew Dempster's The Grahams, WH's The Munros
3. Tent: somebody recommended me Vango Banshee Pro 200. It think this is quite popular one. Anything better for similar price? I started wild camping with a Vango Banshee 200 in 2011 and have been happy with it. At 2kg it's a wee bit heavier than some more expensive tents but it has plenty room for rucksack/kit/me, stands up to winds and rain, fine with summit camps. I keep the outer and inner attached and pack in a compression/drybag, tent poles down a corner of the rucksack and tent pegs in a bah at the top of the rucksack.
4. Sleeping bag: What is suggested minimal usage temperature shell I look for? (Highlands, late spring, summer and early autumn). Any particular model? I started off with an inexpensive Highlander synthetic bag which was supposed to go down well below zero but generally in April I found it rather cold. It also weighed about 1.3kg. Have been using a Mountain Equipment Xero 300 down bag for the last few years which is a lot warmer and weighs about 700gr. When I can manage to get out, I camp earliest from April through to end September generally.
5. Mattress: something self-inflating? This is important to get right as you can lose a lot of heat into the ground. I started with the basic foam roll mat then a 3/4 length self inflating mat which may have been Vango but not sure. neither really worked for me and I still felt the cold. I now use a Thermarest NeoAir XTherm which has a very high R-value and is keeps me well insulated form the ground. It's also less than 500gr though I do need to inflate it - I use the inflating bag which comes with it as I find that breathing into it to inflate it can put moisture into the mat and breath is warmer than surrounding air so the volume reduces during the night - works for me anyway though others may disagree.
6. Cooking: I was wondering, if it is worth buying something like BioLite CampStove. Personally I thing it takes too much space in a rucksack, and is quite expensive, but maybe you’ve got good experiences with this. I just carry a small stove like a Vango compact stove, a gas canister (100gr or 230gr) and a lighweight or titanium pot about 800 - 900ml with lid. I don;t cook - I only use it to boil water for freeze dried meals, couscous and instant custard powder. Stove, gas, lighter, spare matches, tin foil for wind break all fit inside the pot/lid.
7. Jacket and boots: Could you suggest just a brand, please? (good quality/price ratio) Very difficult question. Main jacket - I started with a Regatta waterproof jacket which wasn't waterproof. Then went on to a Berghaus longer Goretex jacket but it was a bit too heavy/bulky so now use a Berghaus Mount Asgard Goretex pro which weighs about 400gr, packs down well but don't think it's available now. Some people like Goretex like me, others prefer different technologies. Boots - best to go into a shop and try on different types. For me Meindl Burmas GTX, Scarpa SLM3 - older and used less frequently, Scarpa SL Activ winter with crampons and Salomon Quest prime GTX for summer/autumn. That said, I'll generally use the Scarpas for camping trips to give me more support with a heavier pack.
8. Head torch: Petzl, Black Diamond, anything cheaper? I mainly use two so that I have a backup - Alpkit and LEDLenser but don't know the names. The LEDLenser has a battery pack at the rear of my head and the Alkpkit has batteries in the same front unit with the lens.
9. Thermal clothing: any brand? My own preference is Bergaus fleeces and I have several. I also use a Berghaus ignite hoody which is a lightweight synthetic belay type jacket for keeping heat in at stops or camping. Also a RAB down jacket but haven't taken it with me yet - easier to wash the synthetic jacket.

Lastly, you didn't mention rucksacks. I started out with a Vango daysack which dig into my back and a very large Tesco rucksack for camping which was very uncomfortable. Now use Osprey packs - Kestrel 38 for winter daywalks, Talon 33 for other daywalks, Exos 58 for camping.

Hope this helps a bit. If you ask ten people, you'll get ten different answers. Best thing perhaps is to go into a shop or shops (when it's allowed again), try things on and have a chat with the assistants. Many of them may also be hillwalkers.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby adamkam » Sat May 23, 2020 1:05 pm

Hi,
thanks all of you for information.
To avoid being confused I would stop the topic for a while and go through provided suggestions.

Thanks, Adam
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby davekeiller » Sun May 24, 2020 11:58 am

Definitely best to go into a physical shop, talk to staff and try things on. This is especially true of boots - a pair can be the best boots in the world, but if they don't fit your feet then walking in them will be agony. Lots of people on here like Altberg because they come in 5 different widths, which makes it more likely that you'll find a good fit.

For maps, you've basically got 3 choices: Ordnance survey 1:25000 (orange cover), Ordnance Survey 1:50000 (pink cover) or Harveys.
Probably best to use the Ordnance survey when you're starting out because they cover the whole country. Most people find that the 1:25000 is better in lowland Scotland and south of the border, and 1:50000 is better in the highlands. The additional detail is useful in lowland areas, but can sometimes make it hard to see the bigger picture in highland areas.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun May 24, 2020 3:24 pm

A very good book for those starting out, and for the more experienced to remind themselves after being away from the hills for a while, is Hillwalking and Scrambling by Steve Ashton, available on Amazon for much cheapness. Or request it from your local library. He advises on clothing, reading the weather, map-reading, compass work, footwear, etc. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/094628458X/ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=1590329414&sr=1-2-fkmr1

As for shops, I find the mainstream big names like Tiso, Cotswold Outdoor, Nevisport, etc. are overly expensive. Decathlon has good kit for much cheapness but the sizing is weird so you really have to find a shop on line and then go into the shop to try stuff on. Don't let anyone sell you special hiking trousers for £75; track suit trousers for £10 out of Primark do just as well. Waterproof over-trousers are handy and cheap from workwear stores. As well as waterproof they add a certain amount of wind protection.Tescos sell fleece hats, gloves and snoods (neck things) for much cheapness, Debenhams do good quality waterproof jackets and fleece tops for very reasonable prices, much cheaper than the 'outdoor' shops. And Ordnance Survey maps are the bees knees. New ones are expensive but old ones can often be found in used book stores and charity shops. Enjoy!

Camping at Kingshouse.jpg
Camping at Kingshouse, back in the Olden Days before the world changed.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby LeithySuburbs » Sun May 24, 2020 5:16 pm

1. Online independent shops are usually good value, but I use GoOutdoors, Tiso, Cotswolds etc as well. Depends on who has what I want at the time at a price I'm willing to pay. Mind you, I very rarely buy anything other than gas for the stove. Hats, gloves, fleeces, baselayers, trousers, socks can all be bought inexpensively at non-specialist stores.

2. OS Landranger series is fine for most walks.

3. Not tried the Banshee but read many good things about it. We use a Terra Nova Voyager 2.2 which is discontinued - I genuinely dread finding a new tent when it gives up finally.

4. I would look for a comfort rating of -5C or so. Ideally, weight would be under 1.2kg.

5. Try to find one under 500g, as warm as you can afford.

6. Depends if you are cooking or just boiling water. We use my Primus Eta Power for cooking which has served me well for 15 years but probably too big/heavy for just one person. Not tried JetBoil thingies so can't comment.

7. Not going to recommend a brand but would advise 1 piece leather boots for Scotland. There are some horrendously priced jackets out there but I would still recommend GoreTex - you should be able to get something decent around £100 if you shop around.

8. Don't over-think this. You rarely need it outside of winter and even a cheap one is plenty bright enough in a tent.

9. What, like long johns? I have a lovely pair which I picked up in Sainsburys about 10 years ago for £6. Again, don't over-think it.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby Marty_JG » Mon May 25, 2020 1:35 am

1. Online, Amazon (returns policy), Aliexpress (cost savings). Offline, depends what you have near to you.
2. OS Maps are the default. You can get OS phone apps too, but they should supplement not replace physical maps & compass.
3. Lots of good Naturehike options. For example the Naturehike Mongar has good room for two and side entrances so you & a kid are not climbing over each other to get out for a midnight pee.
4. AegisMax do some great value ones.
5. Get an inflatable, in 3-season you'll be fine with GEEDIAR (search for them on Amazon).
6. A much better option for cooking is a lightweight gas cooker, e.g. BRS-3000T. That burner is too big a beast to carry, I can give you some advice for affordable twig stoves but they should be a backup to a main cooker.
7. Do this in-store for advice & fit.
8. For camping nights in summer and autumn? Under-a-tenner ones on Amazon.
9. Cheap & cheerful will do.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby Tringa » Mon May 25, 2020 7:30 am

Excellent advice already.

I endorse the Banshee tent. I don't have one myself but my daughter has been happy with her's.

Also have a look at Viewranger ( https://www.viewranger.com/en-gb )for digital maps, but knowledge of a map and compass are, IMO, essential. You might never need to use them(and I have needed a compass bearing VERY rarely) but ....

There are navigation guides on line and also many books, too. Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff was recommended when I did a mountain walking course many years ago

Look at the walks on this site. There are lots ranging from gentle strolls to mountain ascents and many are circular and all are well described

Always be prepared to turn back if the weather turns nasty. There is no disgrace in calling it a day.

Have fun

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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby jacob » Mon May 25, 2020 10:32 am

1. What is the best place to buy equipment, (ebay, Go Outdors, etc.)?

Although I'm not UK but mainland, I'd say there is no best place. There is best advice, and that can be got in any shop, depending on who's in front of you.

4. Sleeping bag: What is suggested minimal usage temperature shell I look for? (Highlands, late spring, summer and early autumn). Any particular model?
5. Mattress: something self-inflating?

There's no buying a sleepingbag and mattress. There's buying a sleeping system. A -5C sleepingbag is a waist of money if bought with a 1.5 Rvalue mattress.
Two warnings concerning brands: some sleepingbags present their limit temperature as their comfort temperature, calling it comfortlimit. Be aware of that. Second warning: Rvalues now come standardized. Be sure the number given is either conform new ASTM standard, or keep in mind it could be lower when tested to this new standard.

7. Jacket and boots: Could you suggest just a brand, please? (good quality/price ratio)

Jackets: be sure it's membrane, not coating. Be sure the hydrostatic head is no lower than 10.000. But anything higher than 25.000 is nothing but boasting numbers that are of no use whatsoever.


8. Head torch: Petzl, Black Diamond, anything cheaper?

For torches also be sure you're not fooled by too high Lumen ratings. More importantly is autonomy. You don't need anything much brighter than 200 to 300 Lumen for walking if the terrain isn't too technical, but you need greater autonomy than a few hours if you're on a multiday trek.

9. Thermal clothing: any brand?

Any brand to keep you warm. Not any brand or type to have high breathability, as warm and breathable are eachother's consession, not eachother's added value.
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Re: Complex question about everythig

Postby Jorja the Dug » Mon May 25, 2020 10:42 am

adamkam wrote:Hi,
thanks all of you for information.
To avoid being confused I would stop the topic for a while and go through provided suggestions.

Thanks, Adam



Good plan.

Once you're up to speed, we can start the whole Goretex v Paramo thing.

;)
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