10 of the best bits of kit that I took to India.
1. Orthotic insoles and trainers
Profeet and Mizuno Wave Inspire 5
£149 (insoles and fitting), £68 / 252 grams (shoe)
I used to associate long distance running and walking with inevitable injuries and pain. No longer. Since I began using Profeet’s orthotic insoles I have had no more shin splints or knee or hip pain.
2. Lightweight Pack
Raidlight Evolution II (19 + 5 litres)
£99.99 / 690 grams
A backpack designed for ultramarathons. Outer pouches and mesh pockets come in really useful, as does the 5 litre pack on the front. It is so small that it forces you to be ruthless with your packing.
3. Lightweight Pan
MSR Titan Kettle
£42.99 / 118 grams
This tiny, lightweight pan takes up barely any space in your pack. It holds .85 litres and comes with a tight-fitting lid for faster cooking times. You may have to cook two portions though if you are really hungry!
4. Water Carrier
Ortlieb 10 litre water bag
£25.50 / 160 grams
I take this bag with me on all my trips. It is very strong and packs down to virtually nothing. Also makes a very comfortable pillow at night.
5. Inflatable mattress
£109.99 / 260 grams
A mattress that is as small as a 1 litre water bottle and as comfy as your bed at home. Comfortable, warm and stronger than you fear they may be. One of the first things into my pack on any journey.
6. Audio Recorder
£216 / 200 grams
Taking an audio recorder on an expedition forced me to really listen for the first time, opening up a whole new aspect to the experience. High quality recordings onto an SD card using just AAA batteries. Consider adding an external microphone if you really embrace audio recording.
7. Digital Camera
Olympus mju Tough 6010
£229 / 165 grams
At last – a camera that is as tough as your expedition. Waterproof, shockproof, freezable. A normal, decent compact digital camera, but one without the worry of having it break just when things are getting interesting.
8. Silk Sleeping Bag
Gelert Silk Sleeping Bag Liner
£34.99 / 55 grams
Sometimes it is too hot to need to carry even a small sleeping bag. A silk bag is tiny and keeps you cool. It is also nice to have when you are sleeping in a hotel where the sheets have not been washed for years.
9. Walking trousers
Mountain Equipment Stretchlite Guide Pant
£60 / 360 grams
If you are going to wear the same pair of trousers every day for weeks on end then they have to be comfortable. These are strong, quick-drying and look quite ‘normal’. Also has a useful zipped security pocket in the rear.
Petzl Tikka Plus Headtorch
£39.99 / 78 grams
A headtorch will always come in useful. You will appreciate this whether you are writing your diary under a mosquito net, fumbling round a hotel room in a power cut or cranking out some late night miles down the road. Powerful, lightweight and the LED bulbs means that the batteries last for ages.
…to take an old fashioned diary to record your experiences. Decades from now you will not want to re-listen to your multimedia podcast, but a fireside reminiscing back to your glory days will certainly still be in fashion.
This article first appeared, in a similar form, in Geographical magazine.