Well, sometimes stuff changes and plans are quickly altered, and before I knew it a mini-backpack was put together for last Saturday night. James, Reuben and Yuri duly turned up at our house in the afternoon and after a muffin or two, we were all set to take the steepest route possible out of Hayfield and on to Kinder.
Having been on a bit of a spending spree after Christmas, I had several new items to try out backpacking:
1) A new Superlite Voyager Tent
2) A RAB Neutrino 600 sleeping bag
3) A Neoair X-Therm mattress
4) An Osprey Kyte 66 rucsac, and a
5) RAB Neutrino Endurance down jacket.
Nearly forgot, I also had a Mountain House Chicken with Noodles in Black Bean Sauce to try.
An excellent spot was found, with fantastic views. Only trouble was, it was about a 10 mile walk to get water…….. Still, Yuri offered to go and get it all for me, so Dixie and I guarded the tents while Yuri, James and Reuben wandered off to a distant spring.
Now I know a RAB Neutrino Endurance duvet jacket is no lightweight backpackers item but it was a tad breezy out there, with a bit of an arctic wind, and I have to say it was extremely cozy. I was very pleased I’d bothered to carry it up. And when we retired for the night, Dixie was also very pleased that I’d taken it.
The Chicken in Noodles and Black Bean Sauce was another matter, though. I won’t be buying that again.
It continued to be pretty breezy for most of the night, although I did sleep well, only stirring a handful of times.
The tent was brill – I knew it would be mind, I’ve had two other Voyagers in the past – giving me and Dixie plenty of space for both us and all our gear. Even when I’m on my own I rather like the extra space in a tent like this, allowing me to drag everything inside without feeling squashed.
And as for the RAB Neutrino 600 sleeping bag and the Neoair X-Therm, positive luxury! I always sleep in lightweight thermals (keeps the bag clean), but by midnight I was so hot I had to half undo the zip and cool down for a while. (Yes, I am of a certain age as well, but it wasn’t all that.)
I have a couple of other Neoairs – the original model and an All Seasons – but I got this one for its light weight and high R-value – 5.7 apparently. I have to say that it did feel so toasty, like it really was reflecting all the heat back to me.
I inevitably had to get up around 6am, so took a few snaps at the same time.
Dixie said she wanted a lie in, and never stirred at all while I made the first cuppa of the day.
She also said she wasn’t going to eat her breakfast outside in that cold wind either, so I let her have it in bed for a treat.
We all kind of surfaced slowly, enjoying the sun starting to warm the air. There was no particular rush.
We all got motivated eventually though, and Yuri set off to walk to Glossop whilst James and I went off round the edge path on a circuitous route back to Hayfield.
The weather was delightful; in fact it got so warm in the afternoon that I even took my Paramo jacket off.
My new rucsac was so comfortable I forgot about it – which was nice.
And there were even some blueberry muffins left when we got back to the house.
And the reference to James in the title? Let’s just say, I was glad my tent was miles away from his overnight.
James has, however, done his own excellent write up of events, over here.