My TGO Challenge kit list

by backpackingbongos

Well I suppose that this is where I should put up a nicely designed spreadsheet showing all the kit that I will be taking, alongside a list of weights and stuff.  To be honest I can’t really be bothered.  Instead all my kit is sitting in a heap on the spare bedroom floor, looking slightly larger than the rucksack it is meant to fit in.  So here is a rough list of the main stuff that I will be hauling from one side of the Highlands to the other.

Clothes worn

– Terra Pack pants (very lightweight, fast drying and a good comfy fit)

– Smartwool baselayer (The best baselayer I have ever owned. Comfy, pong free and in a nice shade of yellow!)

– Rab Micro fleece (very lightweight and dries fast)

– X socks Trekking silver (On test from webtogs, meant to be anti-pong)

– M&S Ultra fit active long trunks (Come down to mid-thigh so stops chaffing)

– Inov-8 Flyroc 310’s (They served me well on the Southern Uplands 4 day backpack, only concern is that the inner heel section is just beginning to show signs of wear.  If they deteriorate I will seek replacements in Aviemore)

Clothes carried

– Spare smartwool baselayer (For when the other is in the wash, or when being civilised in the pub)

– Montane featherlight pants (A very lightweight pair of pertex trousers, for when my main ones are being washed or as a spare for camp. The only downside is they look like half a shell suit from the 1980’s!)

– 2x M&S Ultra fit active long trunks (To prevent chaffing I prefer to keep myself clean down there.  Two days max for each pair of undies!)

– 3 pairs of socks – mix of smartwool and xsocks (Three pairs is probably overkill, probably manage with two but I do like to keep one pair for wearing in bed only)

– M&S lightweight thermal leggings (Nice to change into before slipping into my sleeping bag, also helps to keep it clean)

– Rab Cirrus windproof top (Brilliant to pull on when the wind is biting through my fleece and don’t want to wear my waterproof)

– Rab Generator smock (Lightweight warmth, don’t need to worry about dampness as much as a down jacket)

– Cheapo hat and gloves plus smartwool buff


– Rab Demand pull-on (Water beads off this lightweight beauty, love its simplicity)

– Rab Drillium pants (Not yet worn as a recent birthday present, received impressive reviews though)

– Short sealskinz socks (Hopefully will not be worn but just incase I start developing trench foot.  Nice to wear in my shoes around camp)

– Integral Designs event shortie gaiters (To keep the muck out)

Camping, sleeping and cooking

– Scarp1 tent (Not the lightest but I love the two porches and the internal space.  Bomb-proof in the wind, lets hope it is waterproof now!)

– PHD Hispar 500 sleeping bag (I look forward to a cosy nights sleep, may be a bit warm but not yet time to crack out my summer bag)

– Thermarest Neoair regular (I still rate this mattress, for me a full length mat is essential for a comfy nights sleep)

– Exped air pillow (The best lightweight pillow I have found, weighs next to nothing)

– Caldera cone with Tibetan Titanium 1100 pan in homemade cosy (I love the caldera’s simplicity and it is a good choice for when it is windy, the protective cover doubles as a mug saving a bit of space and weight in the pack.  My homemade pot cozy means that I do not have to simmer, just boil and let cook in the cozy)

– 500ml meths in a Trangia fuel bottle (500ml of meths lasts me about 4 nights with lots of hot drinks.  The Trangia bottle is a little heavy but spill proof and tough)


– ULA Catalyst (I really need to get around to doing a review of this pack which I have been using for two years now.  It is simply the best pack I have ever used.  Not the lightest out there but I do like a full internal frame.  It is just about big enough for a backpack of this length)

Odds and Sods

– Homemade first aid kit

– Washkit, i.e toothbrush, wet wipes, foot cream, anti-chaffing gel, suncream

– Biox aqua water purification

– Book (One of the joys of wild camping is laying in a tent whilst the rain pours down with a good book, on this trip I will be reading Call of the Wild)

– MP3 player (Again not essential but nice to have)

– iPhone

– Spot2 messenger (keeps my partner happy knowing when I have reached my destination for the night)

– Maps for the whole crossing (3 Ordnance survey 1:50,000 plus my own print outs on waterproof paper)

– Platypus 1lt with a Platypus 4ltr bag for the evening (The four litre bag is probably overkill but means I can camp far away from water sources. Also means once in my tent I don’t have to venture out for more water)

– Panasonic Lumix LX3 camera

– Petzl Tikka XP2 Head Torch

– Microfibre towel and small amount of shower gel

– Pacerpoles carbon (I would probably fall over even more frequently if I was not using these whilst backpacking, heavy but worth it for the stress they take off my knackered knees)

I have probably missed off a few items but you should get the general gist of what I am taking.  I have no idea how much my pack will weigh, probably more than I would like.  Is there anything that could be left behind?  Maybe a pair of socks, the book, the 4ltr water bag, a few toiletries and the Spot2, is a towel necessary?.  All in all maybe 1/2 to 1 kg could be shed off the weight.  However I want to take these things so I will!  I am sure that the ultralightweight brigade will pour scorn!  Tomorrow I will pack, add four days food and stand on my bathroom scales to see what the total weight is.


13 Responses to “My TGO Challenge kit list”

  1. Some familiar favourites in there and some favourites of mine too. Cannot beat Terra pants for my money – the best all round UL trouser there is. Still migrate back to my Smartwool LS Zip T every time I need versatility so I am with you on that. I think a windproof is a good thing to have as even the Rab Demand (like my OMM Cypher) is going to get you sweating when moving in muggy conditions so a pertex windshirt is essential. I like the Generator – I use a Patagonia Nano-Puff (not quite as much insulation but a lot lighter). In the wet Scottish weather down is not going to cut it in the long term. It only needs to get wet once. Caldera Cone – a timeless classic now – I’m going to try the Ti-Tri Inferno Sidewinder this year. Hispar sounds like overkill to me, but better safe than sorry, especially if you sleep cold. Great list and I am VERY much looking forward to you and Martin getting reports back.

    Call of the Wild I liked. Krakauer gets a bad press from time to time, especially after Into Thin Air but I liked it. MP3 player AND iPhone? That I don’t understand…

  2. small amount of gaffa for repairs of all descriptions? don’t forget the bog roll!

    I’d like to read about the catalyst, and about pacer poles. in the meantime, have a lovely time J

  3. James, I would say this is about right. I like a bit of comfort and if somethings are a bit overkill – so what. On a long trip like this it is best to start with these, you can always post some stuff back home on the way if you really think it is not worth carrying. Dave is right you can never take enough gaffa tape and a good length of nylon twine, comes in useful for all sorts of things

  4. I really like your kit list, several things I either have myself or have drooled over. 🙂 I have considered the Hispar, and I like the idea of the Hispar Combi (btw when googling hispar 500 your post about it comes out on top!) Still thinking about Western Mountaineering though as I can at least try out the size at the local sports shop. My worry with the hispar is that it’ll be too narrow for me or my wife.

    One thing I find is always missing from peoples gear reviews is always trousers and it drives me insane. And now you post one that looks nice and it gets the thumbs up from Maz. Excellent. How wind resistant would you say the Terra pants are?

    Base layer/underwear seems fairly impossible to review as opinions on them are like arseholes, everybody’s got one. To me it seems like the only way to differentiate wool base layer is how scratchy the wool is. (Though I have to say that the Silkbody Pilot top has lived up to peoples reviews.)

    Like seeing your pictures of the Scarp, I’ve bought a scarp 2 for me and my wife, though I’m still waiting to get some use out of it (Netherlands is not a country for wild camping and a 8 month old daughter isn’t helping…)

    Absolutely love my Caldera Sidewinder, must probably get a bigger one for family outings… 🙂 I have the Evernew 900ml pot version, not sure if I would have preferred a mug type pot instead though.

    Love Rab’s service. When I got myself a Rab Microlight Vest I shortly after needed sizing advice on a womens vest too and they went above and beyond to make sure it would be a good fit.

    Good luck with the TGOC!

    • The Terra pants are extremely wind resistant. In Glaskogen they got drenched and still my legs, in driving rain and wind, did not suffer. Great pants.

  5. Thanks for sharing your list. I’m not a participant in the Challenge but it is interesting to see what people are taking along with them. It looks like a pretty sensible set of equipment to me and I know I’d be packing a few luxuries if I was away for that length of time. Good luck with the TGOC and I look forward to following your progress!

  6. J-Cloth – Always handy.
    And jelly babies.
    And Jelly babies.
    Hand sanitiser – important! Loads come down with “mysterious bugs” that aren’t so mysterious.
    Tiny tin of vaseline for your delicate places…

    Have a great trip James – no – still haven’t packed either

  7. The Terra Pants are Ace Maz, I bought that version without the patches so much lighter and cooler when it is hot. The Hispar is probably overkill but I only own that and a lightweight summer bag. It can still drop below freezing in the Highlands in May, dont mind a couple of hundred grammes extra to be warm. The book I got is Call of the Wild by Guy Grieve, about a British guy spending a year alone in Alaska, thought it apt for a solo backpack! The MP3 player is a tiny thing and runs on a single AAA battery, my iphone is crap on battery, would run it down in an afternoon listening to music on it.

    Gaffa is in the toiletry bag (dont ask why!), packs of travel tissues for the nose and bottom Dave. I will review the Catalyst and Pacerpoles when I return. Cheers.

    Cheers Mark, you are right if after a few days I decide I don’t want something I will post it home. It is a long time to be away from home so good to carry one or two luxuries.

    Thanks Tor, your right not many people mention their trousers. I find it hard to get something that I like. It was really windy when I wore the Terra pants but warm so can’t really comment on windproofness as did not think about it! I found that the Hispar is just about right, I can still turn within it. If you are over 6ft the regular may be too short though. I hope that you get to use the Scarp2 soon. Thanks

    Cheers Nick, there will be loads to blog when I get back.

    Jelly babies brought today Alan. J cloth in my Caldera cone combo thing. Not thought about hand sanitiser, good idea. I got some good anti chaffe cream for ‘down there’ – very important that especially if it gets warm! Whisky – I may will hang around you during the wake if you have some to offer…………….

  8. Have a great time. Look forward to reading about it.

  9. First off, have fun James!

    Looks like a good list there. As you said, you could drop one or two things, but your time would be a bit less comfortable if you did. I’m interested in how heavy your pack is when you finally cram everything in, so let us know!

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the heaps of blogging that will entail, from you and all the other bloggers going out. It’ll help me drag myself through my exams at any rate.

  10. Lots same stuff for me James. Terra pants, Rab Generator smock, Demand top, LX3 and Sealskin socks. All good kit mate and fine walk to use it on coming up. Have a good trip and see you soon.

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