I promised reviews of the equipment I took on my Pyrenean adventure, and they will appear here. What I will do is a set of reviews under the headings listed below. As each one is published I will update the list to include a link to the review in question. The kit reviews are actually on a separate blog and if you are really keen you can subscribe to that and get email advices as they are published.
I think my 55 day walk was a severe test for most of the equipment I took, and I am pleased that mainly it passed with flying colours. I am particularly happy with the "big three," ie rucksack, tent and sleeping bag, all of which were sourced from Zpacks, and all of which performed brilliantly, above and beyond the call of duty. Here is the list, then there are a few more general comments below:
Phone, watch & digital
Maps & guides
Food & cooking
Remember that I am taller than average, 6ft 4 1/2" (1.94m) and that coloured some of my choices, eg I picked a 2 person tent and a longer, bespoke sleeping bag.
I am also getting older, and for this trip, I decided I should do what I could to reduce my carry weight a little more. I replaced my faithful Terra Nova tent, Gossamer Gear rucksack and Marmot Helium sleeping bag with Zpacks products which saved me 2Kg right away. But would they cope with a rugged walk?
Otherwise the only major change from my previous visits to the Pyrenees was that I went 100% electronic: no paper maps, no books or guides, everything went onto the smartphone. This worked very well although in the end it didn't save a vast amount of weight.
Overall my rucksack weighed 12.2Kg when I set off, including food and 1.5l water. There is a full equipment list here. I was pleased with this, but I am pretty sure it weighed quite a bit more during some parts of the walk. Weight creeps on.. you take clothes off when it's warm, and stuff them into pockets; you go to a food shop and stock up.. you buy one or two other essentials you forgot.. it rains and the tent gets wet.. I reckon the total carry weight went up to about 15Kg at its maximum, but I cannot be certain as scales are rare in the mountains!