Thanks for all the fish

Before we start re-living our trek in Nepal (and sorting through all the pictures and notes), I would like to extend a big thank you to the following:

Crossfit London UK – for whipping us into shape

Proudly wearing our CF UK Shirts

Proudly wearing our CF UK Shirts. I'd point out Everest in the background but I'm not sure if it made please Allan

Ronin Crossfit – for whipping Socs into shape in Dublin

International Adventure Treks & Expeditions – for all the support during the trek

With Our Team

With Our Team - Dil, our porter and Ang Dawa, our guide

The North Face – for providing excellent gear to the market for us to purchase and use

Vodafone, HTCFacebook and Twitter – for the wonders of technology in helping us share our experiences with the world (or a bit of it)

Our family and friends for the words of encouragement they have provided.

EBC Gear Series 6: Survival, Hydration and other gear

2x Lifesystems thermal blanket
2x Black Diamond Gizmo headlamp
1x Lifesystems Adventurer first aid kit
1x Lifesystems water purification kit
2x Paracord bracelet
4x Carabiners (non load bearing)

Given that we are heading into the wilderness for 3 weeks certain precautions are in order. Thermal blankets for emergencies, either out in the wild or in the lodge if it gets absurdly cold. Headlamps for nightly use. First aid kit, which despite its obvious purpose is our first time to own one. Water purification droplets to prevent us from getting sick from the water. Paracord bracelets to serve as emergency shoelaces and used for general purposes as needed (our total length is around 32 feet I think). Carabiners to hold and hang stuff off our bags when needed.

2x Nalgene 1L bottles
2x Platypus BigZip 2L bladders

We need as much water as we can drink to prevent and alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Hydration is survival and 3L should hopefully be enough for the duration of the day’s trek.

2 pairs Trekmates Peak Walker trekking poles
1x Philippine flag
1x Spyderco Adventura knife

We’ve never really used terkking poles before so we got these cheap ones as a starting point and see how it goes. They say these things can help out a lot, we’ll post our own opinions on this after the trek. Philippine flag to represent. It may also serve as an emergency blanket as it is made of silk. I’m bringing my trusty Spyderco knife as well as my standard cutting tool. I’ve been carrying this for some time and has been useful in various situations.

There are things still to bring and we will probably provide a final list prior to leaving. We haven’t listed the toiletries yet and we’re bound to add a few more items on our bags.

EBC Gear Series 5: Photography

LowePro Toploader Zoom 55AW
BlackRapid Women’s strap
Canon 40D camera (2 batteries)
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX DX lens
Canon S95
Hasselblad 500C/M body + 80mm f/2.6 lens
Hasselblad A12 filmback
Hasselblad A24 filmback
Various 120mm and 220mm film
Fujifilm 8GB CF card
SanDisk 16GB CF card
Transcend 32GB CF card
Transcend 32GB SD card
Transcend 4GB SD card
FreeLoader Pro Solar Charger
Freeloader Supercharger
Freeloader CamCaddy

Given that this is a trip of a lifetime for us, we would definitely want to keep a record of this adventure for ourselves and to share to family and friends. Continue reading

EBC Gear Series 4: Miscellaneous clothing

1 pair Outdoor Research PL base gloves
1 pair Marks and Spencer gloves
1 Polar buff
1 Sea to Summit trek towel

1 pair Outdoor Research PL base gloves
1 pair Thinsulate gloves
1 Original buff
1 Lifeventure trek towel

Aside from the standard tops and bottoms, we are also bringing a few miscellaneous items of clothing. Apparently the combination of the altitude and minimal cloud cover means that the risk of sunburn is quite high. So we bought a pair of Outdoor Research liner gloves each for this main reason. We decided that using this in conjunction with our standard ‘city gloves’ should provide us with the flexibility with warmer or colder days.

We’ve got buffs as well which is a nice piece of kit. It is basically a tube of cloth that can be used in a variety of ways such as a headgear, face mask, and neck warmer. These should come in useful on the dusty lower altitudes as well as up in the colder altitudes.

We’re also bringing trek towels, which are lighter and thinner than your bathroom variety but absorbs as much if not more water. I’ve had mine for a while and was used primarily for the gym but has been with me on most of my travels. It’s not as if we’ll be doing much showering in the mountains, but it will prove useful for the occasional wash and just in case we get drenched for some reason. It can also be used as added layering or blanket during really cold nights.

EBC Gear Series 3: Tops

Figuring out what a good combination of tops was quite an endeavour for a guy who’s only gear for trekking back home is a short sleeve cotton shirt. We had to worry about insulation, waterproofing and wind proofing. In the end we settled for the following:

1 Tog24 zipneck long sleeve shirt
1 Lagalag long sleeve trek shirt
1 National Geographic long safari sleeve shirt
1 Patagonia Guide softshell jacket
1 TNF Genesis Fleece jacket
1 TNF Flight series waterproof jacket
1 TNF Point Five Jacket

1 Tog24 zipneck long sleeve shirt
1 Trek shirt (to buy)
1 National Geographic long safari sleeve shirt
1 TNF Windwall jacket
1 Sprayway jacket
1 TNF Resolve Jacket (not in picture)
1 TNF Point Five Jacket

You definitely need 2 trek shirts for the duration, Socs needs to buy 1 more and I got a Lagalag trek shirt before I headed over here. I’ve always been keen on supporting the local (Philippine) brands especially with the basics, they’re cheap and they’ll get the job done so.

At the same time I’ve been a fan of the National Geographic store here in London ever since I saw it so I just had to get me one of their iconic safari shirts. And they were on sale to boot! Socs couldn’t find a safari shirt similar to mine that was on sale, but she got a very nice shirt ( a little too nice for the mountains I say). Things are pretty expensive on this store so it was sale or bust.

For insulation, fleece is the name of the game. Socs got her nice pink Sprayway kids fleece and I got my basic black TNF. For wind proofing, Socs got the very nice TNF Windwall which has a bit of insulation as well. I opted for the lighter Patagonia softshell which I’ve always been using for slightly cold days in Dublin and here in the UK.

For waterproofing, I’ve always used my TNF flight series jacket ever since I bought it in Vermont. It’s been up Mt. Mansfield (VT, USA), up Mt. Pulag (Benguet, Philippines) and the general wet weather back home. Socs bought her TNF Resolve jacket for the spitting Irish rain. But considering we are heading up the mountains of the Himalayas, we needed something better. Enter the TNF Point Five jacket. 0.5kgs of pure mountaineering waterproofness. We’ve tested these on our Silverstone F1 trip and well, they work. We are still bringing our lightweight waterproof jackets as reserve layers, won’t cost us much weight anyway.