Since I stopped smoking five [?] years ago, two things happened: I got an appetite and a belly, and I had enough energy to like, leave the house and shit. Once I got uni out the way and got a job, I found I could afford a car, and expensive synthetic clothing, both of which make venturing outdoors in Scotland, well, easier.

So anyway, after deciding last year that the guitar which had sat in the corner untouched for months was unlikely to ever be played again, [given my slow realisation that I’d fallen out of love with playing it, in part due to my inherent lack of musicality, but also the discovery of many great musicians whose sheer brilliance makes you think: ‘why bother?’ BTW, Boards of Canada had the same effect on my attempts at creating electronic music], I sold it. The proceeds bought a Hilleberg Akto and I’ve been spending a small fortune on assorted hiking/camping/outdoor paraphernalia ever since…

OK, getting to the point now: Camping trips require planning, at least mine do. Routes, maps and kit all need to be sorted out, so I know where I’m going and what to take, but also, given I usually go solo, so someone else knows what my plans are, in case I break a leg or walk off a cliff in fog.

Carrying tent, stove, sleeping bag, food, etc quickly adds up in weight, so [here’s the reveal – a borderline autistic compulsion] I weighed all my kit and made a spreadsheet to see where the bulk of the weight was and identify where I could reduce it. I have two lists, one for summer, one for winter.

Q. Why the lightweight FAIL!?

A. 3.5-4.5kg of photography kit. My summer pack would be a respectable 6.5kg without it…

Anyway, you can see for yourself here [PDF!]

P.S. the tampon is for starting a fire with in case of emergency… 🙂