Sunday, 26 April 2009

Back to nature

My love affair with synthetics is over. With a couple of exceptions (the Columbia Mountain Tech T-shirts and the Columbia Silver Ridge pants), I've been disappointed with the performance of my new synthetic gear. Worst is the Columbia Boar Butte Long Sleeve Shirt, which not only feels horrible but starts to smell very quickly. The Kathmandu Polartec long-sleeve top feels a lot nicer, but it also stinks.

Today I went into town and bought an Icebreaker Bodyfit200 Mondo Zip top (Black). It's made of 100% superfine merino wool, which according to the packet "responds to the climate to keep you at an even temperature". The fibres "lock in body heat in the cold, but are highly breathable so you don’t overheat". But best of all, merino wool "won't stink like synthetics". In fact, according to the Icebreaker website, "the known record for wearing an Icebreaker non-stop is 196 days in extreme conditions".

So here is my revised gear list. Gone are the Mont Bell long-sleeve T-shirt and the Kathmandu Polartec long-sleeve top. My new Icebreaker top, which I plan to wear on the plane, while walking if I need another layer over my T-shirt, and in the mornings and evenings when it gets cool, will replace both of these.
  • Osprey Aether 60 pack (Sunburst)
  • Yellow pack liner with outdoor survival tips
  • Mont Bell shoulder bag
  • Bum bag
  • Kathmandu Gore-Tex rain jacket (Ocean)
  • Mont Bell Gore-Tex rain pants (Black)
  • New Balance 965 shoes
  • Columbia sandals
  • Outdoor Research Nimbus Sombrero (Java)
  • Nike cap (Black)
  • Columbia fleece vest (Beige)
  • Icebreaker Bodyfit200 Mondo Zip top (Black)
  • Columbia Mountain Tech T-shirt (Night Train)
  • Columbia Mountain Tech T-shirt (Black)
  • North Face short-sleeve top (Light Blue)
  • Columbia Silver Ridge convertible pants (Fossil)
  • Kathmandu Almonte trousers (Granite)
  • Fleece pants
  • Cotton T-shirts (2)
  • Underwear (5 pairs)
  • Thorlos thick cushion running sox (3 pairs)
  • Small towel (White)
  • Olympus µ 770 SW digital camera & charger
  • Cellphone & charger
  • Shaver & charger
  • Timex Ironman watch
  • Tokaido walking map
  • Compass
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, lip balm)
  • Nail clippers
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Travel umbrella
  • Passport
  • Money/credit cards
  • E-ticket
  • Diary
  • Pen
  • Book
Distance walked today: 0km
Total distance walked since Tokaido training began: 228.1km
Days left until departure: 21

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