Tomorrow I start my 4 day adventure in the Black Mountains. I have been there before, but this time I’m exploring the Eastern half. This is the first time I have been out in Winter conditions. To that end, I have a lot of new Winter kit on trial to see if my jaunt across the mountains remain comfortable.
As with every trip I do, I always muster the kit to make sure everything is there. The last thing you want to do is be on the mountains only to realise you have forgotten a vital piece of kit!
In addition to the kit muster, I have also been checking out my kit to make sure that all the parts are there and that they are all serviceable. In the above photo I’m checking the Akto tent out.
Other preps involve checking how much water each of my dehydrated meals will require. Luckily on this trip there are only two measures needed: 550ml and 200ml. 550ml is covered off, in that by coincidence, my Trangia Kettle holds exactly this amount. For the 200ml measurement I have scribed some marks on the inside of my kettle to show me how much to use. This is important as Freeze Dried meals are very sensitive to the amount of water you put in them.
Finally I’m all packed up and ready to go. Pack weighs in at around 17kg which is very similar to the loads I took to the Black Mountains West side and my Dartmoor trips last year. In theory, apart from the extra weight of a wet tent, the overall pack weight should decrease over the four days as fuel and food are used.
Speaking of fuel I decided to take my 1 Ltr Trangia bottle, even though theoretically, with frugal use, I could have got away with the 500ml bottle. I figured that with the expected weather (bad overall), I didn’t want to be constrained in terms of making hot drinks between meals.