Originally, this was to be a blog about my preparations to enter the TGO Challenge in 2012. For a variety of reasons that didn't happen, so this has now become the repository for my outdoor musings.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Acquisition - Part Three

The plan is that Pete, Chris and me will head up to Braemar on the 19th of May to do 3-4 days backpacking in the Cairngorms. This is part of the preperation for our tilt at the TGOC the following year, and will (hopefully) mean that when asked the question "You're not first time Scottish backpackers are you?" on the entry form, we can say with a clear conscience "Why no, we are not". There are also plans for a late September/early October trip too.

Anyway, to that end, I have also been accruing other bits and bobs that will be useful. First up, a Pico Freeloader. I am wondering about the viability of using one device for all my electronic needs on the trip: camera, gps, diary, mp3 player etc. I have an HTC Desire HD which is a fantastic phone, but a little battery hungry. Hopefully, by switching a number of the functions off, and using the Pico I might be able to get it last between charging opportunities. We'll see. It's a neat little unit, about 50 grams, so even if it's not wonderfully effective it won't be too much of a burden.

Next, feet. More accurately, things to go on feet. This topic caused some discussiom when I posted a query on the TGO message board. I have since then ummed and also ahhed, looked at options, read more stuff, mulled and mused. In the end I went with some Inov-8 Terroc 330s, bought from Up and Running in Cheltenham. Having weighed them, and my Scarpa ZG10 boots, the Terrocs give me a weight saving of a kilo for the pair. I'm sure there will still be some last minute decisions being made in May as to which footwear gets the nod, but after a walk from Cheltenham to Elkstone last Friday wearing the Terrocs I have to say I am very impressed by them. I need to fine tune my sock choice, and make sure they are broken in completely before we head off to the Cairngorms, but initial thoughts are positive.

Anyway, that's it for now, although I fear there may be more to come soon...


  1. Sounds like we could be seeing you in Braemar then?
    I am scheduled to get there on Friday (20th May) evening and I leave there on Sunday afternoon. Hope to bump into you all.

  2. Good to see some honest planning for a TGO Challenge application. Good kit choice by the way. I have a Pico Freeloader and it puts a bit of charge back in on the trail to a phone. Cost is low and weight is nothing in a pack.

  3. Alan: Our planned route is Derry Lodge Thursday night, north to Loch Etchachan, east along Glen Avon, overnighting towards the eastern end, and then southwards to Braemar for Saturday, where we hope to be able to pick the brains of Challengers! Hope to see you at some point!

    Martin: Thanks for your positive comment. It was seeing the Pico on your gear pile that convinced me to get one! I believe Chris Townsend uses one as well, so it's got a couple of good recommendations.

    Anyway, I'm off any minute to set my Trailstar up in a local park (the joys of a tiny courtyard garden!) and have a play with it.