Generally speaking, I don’t prepare for things. I prefer to leap at things and see how they, and I, cope with the situation. However, there are certain essential items for any adventure I intend to undertake.
So, in an uncharacteristically organised spree, I attempted to buy some things for my forthcoming adventure.
It has gone badly. Very badly. Simply put, the Gods don’t want me to be organised. Either that or customer service these days really is as shit as the Daily Mail would have people believe.
Being a writer, I need to write whilst I travel – so I need a laptop of some variety.
What I considered: £1500 Macbook, until I realised:
- I’d never be able to relax without knowing it was safe.
- I’d inevitably break it in days.
- I hate Apple’s stance on music and therefore don’t want to be associated with them at all.
- I can do a lot of adventuring for a grand and a half!
What I bought: £250 Lenovo Thinkpad X121e, because it’s sturdy, light and has just enough RAM and processing power to perform most the little tasks I want it to.
What happened: The 3-5 day Lenovo delivery guarantee turned out to take 2 weeks. My laptop will therefore not arrive before I leave. I now have no laptop.
Having a tent means I can pitch up just about anywhere in any weather, giving me TOTAL FLEXIBILITY! The thing is, tents typically take up a lot of space and weigh quite a lot – so I needed something light, that packs down small as well.
What I considered: £120 Wild Country Zephyros 2, which is essentially a cheaper version of their amazing but staggeringly expensive Lazer tent. It’s still super light and super easy to set up.
What I bought: £36 Coleman Cobra 2, because it does a similar job, isn’t too much heavier and, if I don’t end up camping, the extra £80 could be well spent.
What happened: The tent advertised turned out to be a different tent altogether, which was totally inappropriate.
It took the company so long to tell me of the mistake that I’ve now run out of time to buy one online and so will have to grit my teeth and pay high street prices… Or not. So I now have no tent.
For those times that don’t require a tent, just something to let me crash under the stars without getting covered in bugs and dew.
What I considered: £250 Australian Swag Bag, because it’s AWESOME!
What I bought: £33 Gelert Adventure Bivvi Bag, because it’s 650g instead of 5000g, but does a similarish job.
What happened: Despite buying next-day-delivery, the bivi bag hasn’t arrived. I now have no bivi bag.
My old cheap foam sleeping mats is fine for keeping my body off the cold ground, but it is bulky, very uncomfortable, and generally falling apart through use and being strapped to the outside of a bag.
What I considered: £100 Therm-a-rest Neo Air Xlite, which is super light, apparently super comfortable and has brilliant reviews all over the place.
What I bought: £100 Therm-a-rest Neo Air Xlite, because of all the above. Just hope it doesn’t pop…
What happened: It actually arrived! I mean, I don’t have a sleeping bag, bivi bag or tent – but at least I can lie on an exposed mountainside in comfort! [Update: I left this on a train to London in October, where it was stolen.]
I still need to replace my sleeping bag and get hold of some gear for Adventurethon. This time, I think I’ll stick to the high street… [Update: I eventually bought a Vango Ultra 650 sleeping bag, which I also left on the train to London. It too was stolen.]
What I considered spending: £2000
What I actually spent: £400