First results regarding my gear after four weeks of trekking:
In the shop I had said: I want to walk a long distance with a maximum backpack weight of 20kg
I was offered Meindl Jersey Pro 12/46 and Lowa Tibet LL size 12,5 but recommended the latter because they are more stiff and provide more assistance for the feet.
I believed the sales assistant and purchased the Lowa shoes.
After walking them several days I can tell this:
* They needed about four days (with ~80km) to break in although I walked them at home already 30km.
During these four days my feet and lower calfes ached really hard. Now I have only troubles when I kneel down (e.g. to take a closeup picture) because the leather is still quite stiff.
After two days I had so much pain and started limping so hard that around 14:00 I thought it was 18:00 (that’s relativity for you). My host of that day told me later he thought I was disabled since birth or by accident.
* Although I waxed them a lot during several hot days and at least 50g of SnoSeal wax went in the shoes got quite wet inside. Not sure if this was caused by the wet grass I walked through or by sweat. The shoes needed three hot sunny days to get completely dry.
* The shoes are by far overkill for trekking. They are so heavy that my knees started to ache, too, and after the first week I carried them only on my backpack. I walked in most simple sandals about three weeks with no troubles. Interestingly the sales person who sold me the Lowa shoes said: “Well, you may even walk in flip-flops, but you really shouldn’t.”
Well, I’ll do so since it is nice and spares washing and wear and tear on socks. :)
conclusion: Most expensive bad buy I ever had.
I will put them in my shoe board and will try to buy and make friends with some Waldviertler shoes fair produced in Austria.
I had purchased a used Crux AK 57 since I was told it is really tough and nearly everlasting.
After four weeks of trekking the total was :
* The fabric near a zipper was ripped
* Three seams had given up by half. One of them belonged to a hip belt so I stitched it up again
* Both ends of the frame punctured the bottom of the backpack.
Because of this I wrote Crux an email, five days later a second. After nine days I got reply with apologies and serious sounding will to help even I was only a second hand buyer.
But since the time I could order and receive a new backpack was running out I had already ordered a similar light and waterproof backpack: an Exped backcountry 65.
I also told this my contact at Crux and she meant that she will also give me a helpful hand when I come back some time later.
She also said the holes made by the frame are caused by incorrect insertion which is not unlikely since I removed it for stitching the hip belt seam.
Originally I had bought an Arcteryx trouser but since it is too warm for the summer time I left it at home and bought a maier sports zip-off Tajo 2.
It is lightweight, fits well, has stretchy fabric and a belt which is comfortable to wear below a backpack hip belt.
The bad side is its durability. After three days of wearing the inner button fell off. Luckily I found it and could stitch it on correctly.
After three weeks the first seams started to give up. Some days later only by luck I saw I had lost some batteries in the forest on the leaves on the ground.
I hadn’t realised the seams were already this bad. I stitched the worst parts together and during a short return back home I used a sewing machine to sew all seams I thought important.
German readers my read my Amazon review.
Image: sewing nearly new Maier Sports trousers
Image: sewn nearly new Maier Sports trousers
German readers my read my review on Globetrotter (written by T.B.).
I had bought a Helsport Reinsfjell Superlight 2. So far I like the roomy tent but its bottom is really slippery due to the fabric used. Thus I sent the producer this mail:
Like these two low rating voices* I really disapprove the slippery bottom of my Reinsfjell Superlight 2 tent.
I already use a thin foam mattress for anti slip inside the tent - but then the bottom slips around in the ground sheet until I fear ripping bottom seams.
How csn I get a more static tent bottom and how long would that take?
At the moment I am walking the Way of St. James from Germany to Spain.
To be not too verbose here just the last mail I wrote Helsport:
since changing the bottom would take about five weeks and cost me about
130-150 EUR I won't let your partner change the bottom.
I don't have the time since in two days I will start trekking again
(that's why I started this conversation 16 days ago) and for a tent for
which I paid already more than 900 EUR (with ground sheet) I surely
won't pay another 150 EUR to fix an issue which shouldn't have occurred
I wrote a regarding review:
After much reading and thinking I purchased the simple and “thin” Loden jacket “Sigi” from Lodenwalker in Austria.
It is really what I expected: Not smelling, quite warm, light rain doesn’t go through, it breathes and doesn’t smell, you can crumple it and it doesn’t keep folds and it is had to get it dirty.
Already three years ago ago I purchased the Stetson Bangs felt hat in size L. I am quite satisfied with it. It protects from sun, the glasses don’t get wet in usual rain, rain doesn’t go through and when you wash it carefully inside it loses the smell from weeks of sweating but keeps its form.
Sufficient cleaning of the outside of the hat can be done with a brush. You’d be surprised how much dirt you get out.
I bought a Thermarest Neoair XTherm. Until now I had a foam pad but wanted more comfort although a had bad experiences with a Thermarest in 2007.
The Neoair is really comfortable but had a hole near the valve. This I closed with a drop of seam grip.
After ~two weeks of trekking the mattress lost air again. Some days later as I had the opportunity to fix it I found tel hole – in the upper side. I can only think of the zipper of the backpack which could probably caused the puncture…
After I found the hole the repair was easy – I applied a repair dot and was done.
Earlier I used trekking poles but on two of three treks of about three weeks one broke. And since Leki’s “ten year spare parts warranty” isn’t worth the bytes to write it I won’t bother with such toys anymore and chose a more reliable solution.
I made a staff from hazel-wood cut this spring. Just sliced of the bark and hammered a big hand forged nail from a hundred years ago into the lower end for more durability. Before doing so I drilled a small hole to avoid splitting the wood. The staff is about 2,20m long and not too heavy.
Image: with staff on the way