Tuesday, 7 August 2007

A Year With An Akto

My Hilleberg Akto arrived last year at the beginning on July. So far, I can count 34 nights out in it. That's less than a tenner a night, and getting cheaper.

New tent in briefcase2

Well, it was small, and lighter than the water bottle that I had carried in that morning. It would go with me on more than 400 miles of treks in the year, and up a few Munros.



Packed Zpack


Osprey Atmos pack

Weather at top of Coire Dhondail


Top of Coire Dhondail


Sgor Gaoith

Snow in the corries


Lochan Uaine from Derry Cairngorm


Snow on Braeriach

Pitching in the Cairngorms

2006 - the first night out - Camping in Lairig an Laoigh at 750m

Camping in Lairig an Laoigh at 750m

And the morning after - warm in tent, cold outside

I'm not a morning person

A year later, I'm still not a morning person, the tent didn't change that.

First cup of coffee

But the guylines are better placed.

Akto Magic 2

And finally, I was going to do a gear review, but there's more to life than the eternal search for what you take out on the hills. Is not the quality of your soul more important than the quality of your sole? Hike your own hike, pick your own nose, and best wishes for the rest of your own hiking year.



Martin said...

Fantastic post, Aktoman! Virtual camping - inspirational!

I'm particularly interested in your kit - partly because I'm a similar build. Can't get my Terrocs to work for me right now (finicky feet and new Terrocs, perhaps), but I'm eyeing up some pacerpoles for the WHW in September... so they be the next thing to fry my credit card.

Due to the very nature of this blog, we don't hear about your life outside of walking - and perhaps you don't want to give that away.... but you do work, don't you?!


It's just that I sit here at my desk in work and read all about your splendid exploits. I know there are gaps in between postings where you must be doing other stuff... I just thought I'd cheekily ask, that's all!

AktoMan said...

Thanks, Martin. It was one of my aims when I went off last week.

Not much has changed since the Southern Uplands Way, and the video clips (link ). The waterproofs are now the Montane Quick-Fire and the Paramo Cascada trousers.

I think I've decided that I prefer the Scarpa ZG65s for Munro bagging. So, I'm saving the Namches for path walks. As to my lovely Terrocs, well, I'll need to give them another outing.

I'm taking less 'extras' these days, since Simon went through my kit and asked me questions like "if you only wore those once when you walked across Scotland, why do you think you need them this weekend?"

I'm also more conscious of bulking up the pack with water when I don't need to.

Yes, I do have a job. I have alluded to it a few times. I also have other things going on beyond the outdoors. But the main audience for this blog is me. It helps me stay focussed, otherwise I'd return to my natural couch potato habitat.

I'm not a fan of city life, as lots of people seem to just go looking for arguments, so I'd often just think "sod it, why get worked up fighting through crowds to go up town shopping, I'll just stay in and watch a dvd". Since 2005, I've walked more and been out more than I've ever done. This blog reminds me of that.

It helps friends and family keep in touch with what I've been up to, and being able to post photos and videos is easier than mass-posting emails with attachments or updating web sites.

Last year my Cairngorm trip involved lots of planning and reading, this year I decided to go, and an hour later I was packed and driving off.

Packing has become a routine, so I use the bed to lay out the kit I'm taking. I have a terrible memory, and you don't leave anything essential behind. As I don't take duplicates (except socks), but would rely on my natural cunning to make do, if I forgot my folding spork, say. I don't weigh items. I don't leave waterproofs behind if the forecast is sun and more sun. Likewise, I don't leave suncream home if it is snowing.

It is all evolutionary. Not just the gear, but the human side of things too. I never thought I'd voluntarily read poetry.

Which reminds me, I didn't get to Waterstones yesterday.

Martin said...

Ah, the SUW kit videos - yes, I remember those. Thanks for the kit reminder. I clicked through the 'label cloud' (how cool is that?) and didn't spot anything gear-listy. I shall check it out again.

I used to carry an enormous amount of water, and now seem to have gone to the other extreme. I need to get a balance - this w/e I got quite dehydrated and I certainly want to avoid that on a long distance walk. Like you, I'm very forgetful and need to ensure my aquastraw is back there in my pack!

AktoMan said...

I've not drawn up a gear list - don't know why. I think it's because my gear has and is, evolving. Much kit is shown in photos.

Water on LDWs is down to planning, I think. Where's the next water stop, how much to carry, etc. I've started carrying powders to drink in the evenings - sports drinks, isotonic, whatever I have picked up in the shops.

I've not tried the aquastraw, using aqua mira instead when I feel the need. I've considered buying a filter, but will hold off until I need one.

Simon said...

Nearly time for an update on this :o)

Alan Sloman said...

Now is the time Dunc - let's have an update?


AktoMan said...

LOL, ObiWan, you are wise with the ways of the time calendar

I guess I'll have to head out for Year Two then.