Well, I have been hanging out for the 1st of July for a few weeks. Today bookings open for the Overland Track hike in Tasmania. It is a popular track with people from all over the world so they have a limited number of spots available each season for walkers to protect the environment/track/huts/tent sites etc. Bookings opened today, by the time I got online at lunch time already the 28th Dec was booked out, the next day had 15 spots left so we grabbed 5 of them for Christine myself and the 3 girls.
It is a 6 – 7 day walk depending on how many side tracks you take. It has some nice huts along the way, but you have to carry a tent by law in case the hut is full. They let a limited number of people onto the walk each day and you can only walk north – south. It sounds all regimented and I guess it is, but I think it is better than being crowded out on a walk that feels like St Georges Tce…Pitt Street? (depending on what your main street is!) There are many spots to camp and the camaraderie at night with other walkers is all part of the experience. It’s certainly is not a walk you do to be away from people, but away from everything else – it is! The country is amazing. I did this walk under cloud and rain in about ’87, then again in good weather in ’93 on my honeymoon. Christine and I can’t wait to share the experience with our kids!
Over the past year my trusty old sleeping bag that I got to go to Nepal and stay warm in has blown itself to bits. Well I guess Nepal was in ’87! So 21 years, not bad! Considering I would sleeping in it maybe 90 – 100 nights out of 360!! Not always but over the last few years that has been the case. I think I went through a ‘no outdoorsy’ stage towards the end of the Whitford years. To busy doing ministry to enjoy God’s creation.
Last Sat night whilst sleeping on the floor in a church in Northbridge the holes all lined up and released a great dump of soft duck down all over the floor, up my nose, in my mouth and in other crevases of my body! So after trying to stitch it up so many times, I have decided to take advantage of Main Peak’s members sale and get myself a new bag. This will be a Santa Claus gift from someone so I am not allowed to see it yet.
But, do I go down or synthetic? All those in the game would know there are many issues surrounding this question.
Synthetic, you need more fill, to get more warmth, hence more weight and more size.
BUT – It keeps you warm even if it is a bit wet and it dries much more quickly. This is good for me as I am wanting to do a bit more Kayaking this year now my shoulder is on the mend. These bags are good solid bags and much cheaper…it was this last point that helped me decide – I am going for a Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20. For all you sleeping bag techs here are the stats – Welded layer construction so it maintains loft in the bag through repeated washings and compression cycles. This comfortable, roomy, mummy cut bag is insulated with ThermicMicro™ fill. Face gasket and Ergo Draft Collar work together to seal in warmth.
Rated at 20 to -6
Weight 1346 g
Here is a pretty pic for you –
I bought a Mountain Designs sleeping mat, one of their top of the range series, in fact they call them the “Pro” series of self inflating mats. In fact they are marketed as being so brilliant this is what they say;
The Pro series is the best performance and comfort choice. High quality materials combined with die-cut zones to reduce weight and size. These mats are wider through the torso and the base is coated with urethane dots to prevent slipping.
Sounds great hey? NOT!!! “Best Performance and Comfort” they say – NOT!!!
7 months after the purchase it began to go down at night. Not a problem for me as I know about these things… – (smart guy!) these things can get small holes in them, anything inflatable can get a puncture, right?
So I did the bath test. I imediately picked up a small hole in the seam area, odd, but I stopped then and there and patched it. Next week camping – it went flat again.
Bath test – another hold near the seam. – was in a hurry, so patched it and went on my way.
Went down again…
Tonight I went to the bath again… determined to give it my best shot. I discovered that all along the seams of this thing air was coming out!!! What the????
This is not good enough. Lets just see how good these guys are at Mountain Designs, I have been impressed in the past, they have done me well. So I will keep you updated.