While the rains pours down outside, it seems like a good opportunity to sit down inside and plan my next overnight excursion. Whilst looking for nice two day routes from Brecon, it is also an opportunity to review the gear I took with me for the Welsh Ride Thing. So, for the benefit of the curious:
Sleeping bag – Rab Quantum 200, stuffed into a POD compression drybag, with homemade handlebar strapping system. I was really pleased with how well this worked. Everything stayed nice and tight after a few adjustments early on, and the dry bag did its job despite some poor weather.
Tent – Terra Nova Laser Photon stuffed into a Granite Gear No. 1 stuff sack.
Sleeping mat – Thermarest Neolite short. A comfy, if slightly noisy, compact and lightweight mat.
Stove – Vargo Triad – titanium meths stove; 100ml of methylated spirit (enough for two days), homemade stove base and wind shield. This worked well, easily boiling the water for me to re-hydrate my Expedition Food meals.
Pan – Tibetan Titanium 550ml pan with wire handle. Capacity to hold enough water for a meal or large drink, small enough to fit nicely over the end of the tent.
Misc – Black Diamond Ion head torch, first aid kit, survival bag, waterproof trousers.
Food – Expedition Foods dehydrated meals, some flapjack bars, small bar of chocolate and some chocolate coated coffee beans. Do apricot flapjacks count towards one of your five a day?
The frame bag is lovingly stitched together by Beth from 2oz denier coated fabric, with a waterproof zip, good thread and 2in wide velcro to keep it snug within the main triangle and sealed with seam grip to keep out as much water as possible. Overall cost about £15. Weighs only 87g. This is the second version Beth has made, with a few improvements over the first version in terms of width, zip design and stitching the straps in with the main seams. The fabric, whilst light, is not likely to be as durable as a 4oz fabric, so a third version is likely to be required at some point.
In terms of somewhere to go, I’m inclined towards the area around Llyn Brianne, via Mynydd Eppynt. I’ve not ridden Doethie Valley at all this year, which is one of my favourite pieces of trail in those parts.