The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 3 March 2007


We have an entire spare bedroom of backpacking and camping stuff. Strictly speaking, there is nothing that we don’t have that we need. But, we don’t have any other expensive habits or hobbies, I try to avoid ordinary clothes shops and don’t do make up or hairdos. All of which seems to justify our obsession with outdoor gear.

When we first made the bold step from just walking into backpacking, we bought a whole pile of new lightweight stuff. Unfortunately, at the time I hadn’t found the OM forum and hadn’t done a whole lot of research. A number of those items turned out to be functional, but not ideal from a lightweight point of view. Other items turned out not to even be entirely functional.

I have now learnt a lot and I spend plenty of time reading people’s opinions.

I’ve also come to realise that what’s good for summer is not necessarily the best choice for winter, and vice versa.

So, despite having an entire spare room full of stuff, I still have a ridiculously long wish list. Today inroads were made into that wish list. The carrier bags contained:

- A Paramo Vasco top for Husband (he wanted a jacket rather than a smock, good for me as I’ve been lusting after the Velez for quite a while and I didn’t want to be ‘his and hers matching’ yet again; today I resisted buying the Velez in any case)
- A Paramo Velez Smock for me (okay, I resisted it at the time; on the 3 hour journey home I realised my mistake and ordered it as soon as I got home)
- A pair of Inov8 Roclite 330’s for Husband (must talk about the service in George Fisher separately and about my experience and thoughts on the Terrocs)
- One of those ridiculously lightweight towels for Husband (I make do with a small chamois-esque towel, Husband likes something larger, this seemed like a good compromise)
- A pair of Icebreaker boxer shorts for Husband (I’m contemplating the Smartwool alternative for myself, but again, that’s a different story; for Husband, I was relishing the ‘no stink’ claim!)
- An Osprey Aura 35 litre (I had the 50 litre for Christmas, but one can never have too many backpacks (surely?) and I think that this one will get a lot of use);
- An Osprey Atmos 50 litre for Husband (he just has to copy…)
- A Rab thermal pro fleece for Husband.

I think that completes the extravaganza. As you will note, I was a whole lot more restrained than Husband was.

More about individual items to follow.

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