Have a happy new year everyone :).
I’ve been buying more stuff for my trip across Canada. I was so impressed with the La Sportiva Bushido shoes I had (they were the wrong size) that I’ve decided to order a bunch of different models in a bunch of different sizes. It’ll probably cost a bomb returning them which I’m not pleased (I’m being bled dry and I haven’t even walked a mile in Canada yet), but I want to find the perfect shoe for Canada :).
I have also received more camping and hiking equipment, and I will be doing a few modifications to my backpack. I have the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 4400 Southwest. I wasn’t sure what size to buy in all honesty… For hiking in England, I’ve always just used whatever is at hand. If I didn’t have enough bag space, I’d literally carry two bags (lol.)
I think I’ve bought the right size though. It can roll up quite small, but for river crossings I can throw all my camera gear in there. I need to find a way to attach a camera bag to the side of the backpack. I’m thinking a simple piece of nylon webbing, some paracord and some creativity will allow me to have my camera at hand.
I plan to put a cuben fibre stuff sack inside of my camera bag, this should aid water resistance but I’ll probably have to pad it with something. When I’ve thought on it a bit more, I’ll start making some stuff, photograph it and show you what I mean :). At the moment, I’m just rambling because I want to get into the habit of updating my site more frequently.
Best shirt ever? I really like Arcteryx–their fabrics are awesome. I bought a thermal jacket (synthetic) and I’m in-between a medium and a large (long limbs but I’m slim.) That’s a bit disappointing because the large looks baggy on me, (that’s not arcteryx’s fault per-se; it’s mine for not being fat enough or whatever.) However, the sleaveless acteryx skyline shirt fits really well in a size medium, and the fabric is amaaaaaazing. I’m really fussy about that kind of thing; it’s stretchy like a gym shirt, and it’s really soft but it’s kind of formal looking. I wish I had about ten of them, haha.
I decided to go against people’s advice and buy the Montbell Storm Cruiser. It’s slightly heavier than the recommended Montbell Torrent flier. My logic was that I could fold the hood away (as per a YouTube review I saw) and use it in England, as a main sort of jacket. Wrong. They’ve removed the hood hide away thing, so you’re stuck with a hood.
Ironically, it’s much lighter than I thought and it’s perfect for what I want, for hiking. I’m really glad I got this model of jacket, but for slightly different reasons. The zip pockets go above my backpack belt, which was a concern, so I’m pleased about that. Again, I’ll write a review on this stuff but that’s just my initial impression of the Montbell Storm Cruiser jacket.
The Japanese site sells it a lot cheaper, but it’s out of stock and I was unable to find out when it would be in stock. Montbell was slow to respond to emails, said the price difference was “currency fluctuation” (get out of here) and I’m not sure what to make of that… The product is great so I’m pleased but I wasn’t impressed with the customer service.
I bought the biggest and widest ZPacks Sleeping bag, a ZPacks Altaplex tent and a few other things. They were quick to respond, posted the items quickly and they look great. I haven’t tried the tent yet but I have tried the sleeping bag.
One concern was the girth of the bag. I have wide shoulders but as I said, I’m slim. I thought 61 inches would be okay but I went for the 66 inch model, really worrying it’d be way too big. It’s just right for me, I think. I think I am about 50 inches around my chest, and they say to add 8 inches, so 58 inches. Yet for me, I wouldn’t want the smaller 61 inch model. This was pure luck on my part :).