Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My sucksack and other kit issues

No. it's not a typo. My rucksack sucks. Well, that was maybe a bit harsh, since she has been the most wonderful rucksack for several (almost 8) years. Her name is Aura and she is an Osprey by name. We've seen a lot together, me and her.

Stone-stepping across a stream in the Paistunturi wilderness
area, Finland. June 2012.

But now, despite my desperate attempts in patching her up with Tear-Aid for the Challenge, it seems she just can't hold herself together anymore.

It's not like I feel a lot better at the moment, to be honest, since I'm suffering from a very tiresome flu and super achy knees, but I expect to get better before May. My Aura probably gets worse. Maybe it's just time to let her stay at home and swap her for a younger model.

I have tentatively looked at the new Aura AG 50 (sturdier, but heavier, but also comes with adjustable torso length and a zippered lower compartment) and Sirrus 50 (also heavier, but not as much as the Aura AG, also not as sturdy, but with both the aforementioned features that my current Aura lacks). I would love to have the Exos 48, speficially in blue and white to celebrate the 100th year of independent Finland, but even the smallest torso length is too tall for me. Bummer. Also, it might not be a good idea to get an ultralight pack since apparently I manage to trash a heavier one in less than eight years.

Since my hiking trousers (Fjällräven Keb Gaiter) surprised me and came out of the closet the other day well-fitting, as opposed to being too tight like they were two months back, I don't have to buy a new pair and thus could spend the extra money (What extra money? There is no extra money! Best regards, your bank account) on a new pack.

However, I'm already on the verge of a small panic regarding a lot of my current gear. Should I go for  lighter boots (although the last time I tried lighter boots I got really sore feet and a blister the size of Canada)? Should I get a new sleeping mattress (because my trusty old NeoAir is not that trusty anymore, it has the tiniest leak that usually never bothers me, but what if it starts bothering me on 2-week trek)? Do I need a new stove? Will my down jacket be a bit too much? Or a bit too wet if it rains all the time? Should I bring my Merrell barefoot sneakers for wading and camp (although it would mean that they get wet and I'd probably need to buy a pair of Sealskinz socks to go with them) or my Crocs Offroads (although they look hideous and wearing them in public is a fashion crime)? Getting a new rucksack was the ONE thing I thought I don't need to worry about.

Well, at least my back-and-forth with the tent has come to a conclusion. I am getting the Hilleberg Enan (2016 model with the slightly heavier but a lot stronger Kerlon 1000 outer material). In green, obviously. Sleeping in a red tent is a bit too Christmasy.

Now I only need to solve the twenty something issues with my other things and I'm good to go! 50 days left. Better start thinking about food next.

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