Nordlandsruta: The gear

I guess I spend 12 months thinking about the gear I used last summer, and what I will use the next summer, during that process I read many blogs and other reviews and integrate the information given with my own personal views on what will work (and I will be comfortable with) on my next trip to Lapland.

When I returned from Lapland last summer, I felt I was mostly happy with my clothing and cooking setup, the shelter was okay, but I had some concerns in windy environments, my pack was fine, albeit a bit small. As a result I have looked at all my items and considered what may need to change.

In the mean time I have read many articles from authors whom I respect, in particular;

Will’s excellent set of articles at BPL.com on Mountain Superultralight backpacking, which can be found here (membership required) and whilst many of Will’s suggestions may not work for you, the gear concepts and approach are worth considering.

Equally on clothing Mike’s blog post ( and his previous post) has made me seriously consider the clothing I wear.

Then there is Mark’s excellent set of posts on Ultralight Makeover Redux

There are of course many others, my almost final gear list is given at the end.


Some observations  about the gear;

Shelter
Camp beside Miehtajohka

Last year I used a Tarptent Notch, which I feel is an ideal shelter for below treeline when you are using walking poles, which I do. However, I was concerned that on long trips a broken pole can cause significant problems with the shelter (especially as I spend a lot of my time above the treeline), also I found that the Notch struggled, a bit, in strong winds. But when Henry introduced the Tarptent Moment DW which replicated all the features of the Notch that I liked and provided the advantage of a little more structure I was sold. Whilst I expect there will still be some movement (flap) in the wind, I feel that the Moment is a better option to withstand the conditions that I have experienced in the past 3 years in Lapland.

P5021395

 Sleeping

I have vacillated between down and synthetic, quilt or sleeping bag, and have come to the conclusion that I prefer down sleeping bags, in part because of compressibility of the down bag. I also prefer a bag especially when combined with the Klymit mat. So my system for this trip is my trusty WM Megalite, a Klymit Inertia X Wave, combined with a Laufbursche UL mat which is also used during the day for relaxing.

Backpack

P7042570

Last year I took the HMG Porter 3400, and I was very happy with it apart from the volume, so this year I am using the HMG Expedition Porter, now known as the 4400 Porter  which will enable me to carry more food for the longer stages of the trip.

But, perhaps the most important issue is food and what to cook with.

Cooking

My use of the Jetboil Sol Ti, and in particular the issues I had last year, have been well documented (here and here). This year I have been in two minds as to whether to take the Jetboil, or use a Ti Caldera Fissure partnered with the Evernew 760 ml pot. Resupply is the critical element here, if I can resupply every 10 days then the Evernew becomes the lighter option, but if not then the Jetboil is the best option.

Decision, after further contemplation I have chosen the Jetboil, in part because it is a fuel miser.

P3281092

Footwear, I had intend to use Inov-8 295’s this trip but as is often the case I could not get a new pair in my size, so I resorted to the 315’s. In my view the new model of the 315’s is not as good as the previous version however, I may have a different view upon my return.

Packing, the Sea to Summit eVent stuff sack is heavy but, it is waterproof and when closed the eVent bottom does allow for increased compression, though it does inhale as time progresses. I use the Sea to Summit daypack, as my “hand luggage” when travelling and once I start walking it becomes one of my storage bags within my pack. It can be used for side trips or as a shopping bag. A very handy item, which after 3 years of use is beginning to show its age.

Poles, I own CF and Alloy Pacer Poles, for longer trips I prefer alloy poles as they bend, not break, when I stumble.

Clothing, I will spend a lot of time above tree line and if its windy, wet and cold I need sufficient layers which is why it may appear that I have more than would be required for lowland walking.

ULA rain wrap and Montane Featherlite Pants provide me with more options than just a pair of rain pants. After all in hot weather I could just use the rain wrap as my lower half clothing which would provide more air circulation.

Shelter, the Carbon Fibre crossing pole  for the Moment weighs 10 grams less than the alloy pole (read “no real saving”), as well walking poles can be used for the same purpose (not an option on the Notch), so I may go without the extra crossing pole. The removable inner of the Moment DW can also be removed (surprisingly) and hung in a hut/shelter for bug protection, if needed. For those wondering, it was needed at Kuokkimajärvi, near the Sweden, Norway and Finland corner (Treriksiröser). For pegs I am carrying 2 Easton 9″ stakes, 2 Easton 6″ stakes and 2 Clamcleat (Y stakes). The Moment only needs 2 stakes, plus 2 for the side guys, so it is easy to set up quickly in bad weather.

Kuokkimajärvi



My complete list is:

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Use Item Weight (g)
Camera Gorilla Pod SLR 162
Olympus 40-150 lens 145
Olympus 9 to 18 lens 198
Olympus E-P2 no lens 289
Pacer Pole Camera Mount 16
SitckPic 16
Clothing Carried BPL Cocoon Hoody 339
BPL Headnet 9
BPL Merino Hat 21
BPL ULHoody (sleeping) 180
Defeet Gloves 67
Defeet Wooleater Socks Spare 49
Icebreaker Merino Legless 205
Montane Featherlite Pants 128
Montbell Tachyon 69
OR sunhat 54
Patagonia Capiline 2 184
Macpac Fleece 278
Rab Demand (sadly no longer available : ( ) 225
Southern Cross Buff 35
ULA Rain Wrap 91
Zpacks Overmitts 24
Clothing Worn Defeet Wooleater Socks 49
Inov 8 315 401
Macpac Merino Boxers 84
Montane Terra Pants, heavy but robust 332
OR Radar Pocket Hat 57
OR Ultra Trail Gaiters 79
Pacer Poles Alloy Pair 700
Poles Patagonia R1 Merino SS 122
Kitchen Jetboil Sol Ti with Ziploc Cup and cozy 284
Kupilka Cup 85
Mini Lightmyfire 13
Platy 0.5L 20
Platy 2L 35
Short Handled Ti Spoon 9
Miscellaneous and Navigation Compass 22
First Aid and repair 100
Garmin Dakota 153
Maps CC Cards etc 200
Packing Sea to Summit eVent Stuff sack (Sleeping Bag) 70
Various Cuben Stuff sacks 120
Rucksack HMG Expedition Porter 920
HMG rear pocket 116
Sea to summit daypack, travel and side trips 68
ZPacks Pocket for Camera 85
Shelter Tarptent Moment DW 1000
Tarptent Moment DW CF Crossing Pole (may not take) 180
Pegs Pegs: Blue Clamcleats, Easton 6″ and 8″ 76
Sleeping Exped Pillow 43
Klymit Inertia XWave 330
Laufrabushe CCF Mat 150
Western Mountaineering Megalite 750
Total Carried (gms) 6913
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4 Responses to Nordlandsruta: The gear

  1. Looking forward to a pic of you in a ULA skirt and nothing else 🙂

  2. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks for the comment Niels, if such a photo was published this blog would immediately be banned by PET and all other government institutions in the known world.

  3. Joe Newton says:

    The CCF/inflatable pad combo has long been a UL 'winter' staple but I'm finding it very versatile all year round, especially as pad weights keep falling but also as I get older and appreciate more comfort on my 'breaks' ;)I just went through the whole Caldera v Jetboil argument with myself this week as I pack for Alvdal Vestfjell. The Jetboil wins this argument all too often.

  4. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Joe, I have experimented for a while with CCF and inflatables, my problem has been "leg drop off" the end of short mats. The XWave over comes this problem for me at least while still providing the comfort I desire. Jetboil, for me resupply with alcohol every 10 days would be lighter, but convenience wins every time, especially in bug season. Enjoy your trip.

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