Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gear talk

I am still totally for G-1000 - the wonderful 35% cotton 65% polyester mosquito proof blend by Fjällräven, and I would not like to miss my field trousers model Barents. The models Greenland and the slightly reenforced Vidda are also good, but I have lately come to prefer Barents with its slightly tighter legs with no irritating "rubber bands" at the ankles - which I always detached. The Keb shirt made of the slightly lighter but still mozzy proof G-1000 SC is great when it is warm. If Greenlæand/Vidda/Barents is the ultimate field trouser this is the ultimate field shirt. OK - one thing: the chest pockets are too small! It always looks like it has just been ironed and is therefore good for those occasions where you need to be casual chic ... The Gutuila anorak is also still in service but after 3 1/2 seasons it is getting pretty worn. The front pocket zipper gave up last year and the hood misses a few ways of adjusting by design. I recently discovered another Swedish outdoor wear company; Klättermusen and this season I brought two jackets from them. The waterproof shell Froste with the world's longest pit zips. They go from the elbows to the hips! I am a fond user of pit zips but did not think I would use the option of rolling up the full back. This was however quite useful as I went skiing by Scoresbysund. You get protection from the "motion wind" in the front while excess heat and moisture can get out on the back (in high mosquito density places it is less useful...). Klättermusen also has many other well thought out details like built-in safety devises as a recco transponder, a compas and a whistle. Also, the super lightweight down anorak Loke is great to bring for the short breaks. Only criticism is that the arms are angled so as to raise the hole jacket if you lift the arms. I guess the designers thought that it would not be used much in activity and they are probably right. I am considering getting a few more items from those guys for future adventures. Also, I totally dig the woolen underwear from Norwegian Aclima. The warmwool hood sweater is just great with the belly pocket and the hood always available and pre warmed on your back when you need it. In Scoresbysund while skiing I also used the woolnet versions of long-sleeved shirt and trousers with great success. They are lightweight, have a nice snug fit but give amble insulation under another garment. When not wearing the hooded sweater I always bring a balaclava 200 from Swedish Woolpower and this year I have also enjoyed their socks 200 as a liner within a pair of thick HMAK socks. Last year I had the Swedish company Lundhags make a custom version of the Professional High boot with a somewhat wider base for me. It is not as expensive as you would think. I have used Lundhags boots since 1997 and have always been happy. There seems to be a problem with their new way of attaching the soles though as they come loose after some rough use. They are normally very good at repairing but sometimes your cannot wait for that. Lastly, my OR sun runner cap may look funny but it is excellent at keeping those ears out of the sun! I better buy an extra one before it is taken out of production! Anyone said I was a gear head?