My journey to reach the roof of Africa

Digging Some Retail Therapy


pocket_trowelI’m spending an inordinate amount of time online reading gear reviews and researching potential kit for Kilimanjaro.  I’m currently lusting after Berghaus’ Men’s Ramche 850 Fill Hydrodown Jacket as its very light and uses water resistant down filling (most down jackets don’t cope well with damp and quickly lose their insolative “loft”). I think this jacket would be just the job for summit night but I’m still shopping around trying to find a good deal as it isn’t cheap!  I’m also hankering after a thick fleece and waterproof shell jacket – possible a “3 in 1” style where they zip into each other. Apart from that I’ll need some base layers (probably Merino wool based to they don’t get stinky) and some head wear (sunhat and extreme cold mountain hat or balaclava). But whilst I continue my research and quest for killer discounts my gear pile is still growing. Whilst over in the USA last month on business I managed to fit in an evening tour of the local REI store and picked up the following:

Hydration –  MSR Alpine 1L Water Bottle as it had stellar reviews in a recent UK magazine. I’m currently planning to use this as a hot water bottle at night and during the day to carry an energy drink to complement the water / electrolyte mix in my Osprey 3L hydration bladder and insulated hose.

Sleeping –   A Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner for the sleeping bag. I plan to rent a sleeping bag from my climb operator as a good down bag that is rated to -10 / -20deg c is very expensive and I’d be unlikely to need it after the trip. Buying a liner give me both additional warmth and the peace of mind that I’m not touching much of a potentially unclean (or at least pre-used) bag. I also picked up a tiny COCOON Air-Core Pillow Ultralight inflatable pillow. I’ve since read some poor reviews for the pillow so I might end up resting my head on my jacket!

Personal Hygiene –  Multiple packs of Fresh Bath body wipes as I’ll be shower free for 8 days on the mountain (urgh) so these should help to keep my bits and bobs clean.  And for when nature calls whilst on the trail a delightful lightweight pocket trowel.


5 thoughts on “Digging Some Retail Therapy

  1. Pocket trowel? Also known as a poop chute?

    • Yes, leave no trace and all that… Hopefully I won’t need it and will be able to just use the facilities at the campsites (which are not much more advanced than a hole in the ground anyway). Not going to be the highlight of the trip me thinks…

  2. Nice jacket I’ve been looking at again, not cheap and maybe overkill for Kili?

  3. The PHD stuff is certainly high end! I keep rationalising that I don’t want to be freezing my *** off up kili wishing I had bought a better piece of kit. The risk with that approach is that I end up completely over-specing my gear. Anyway, happy shopping 🙂

  4. I’m set to climb this September, and been spending way too much time on the internet obsessing about gear. I originally thought of renting my sleeping bag from my operator as well, but then I started thinking about old musty odors, or other unacceptable smells, skin flakes, and generally “cooties” that may be on those things. 🙂

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