It’s a rare day I actually get chance to update my kit, the limited funds I have normally get spent on Kel updating her walking gear, after all you can’t have enough pink and purple base layers cos you never know when you might need them!
However, if you read my previous blog, boots were on my list and after researching and researching I’d narrowed it down to Scarpa or Brasher, and it would be down to the actual ‘trying on’!
So a visit to Go Outdoors in Stockton was planned to see if I could choose. First we had to get passed the bin of all the reduced tents near the door, grrr damn those tent bins. We have had a bit of trouble with our base camp (sounds a bit Everesty that dunt it!?) tent after a soaking earlier this year. But that’s all water under the bridge, and through the seams, and through the zips! Anyway after inspecting a few of the tents in the bin, we decided again we’re having a new one, but that’s a different story, back to my boots.
The problem with Go Outdoors is they put all the base layers and fleeces on routé to the boots and trying to get Kel past all that kit is frustrating, Jesus Christ woman you own all the base layers under the sun, I want my boots!! At last we’re at the footwear dept and we got immediate attention and before I knew it, I had Brasher Fell Masters, Scarpa Terra GTX and a pair of Berghaus the assistant suggested I try. I’m no kit expert, I don’t pick the most expensive bit of clothing because it’s one of the top names, and I get what I like (as long as it’s green that is). I had a look at the Berghaus and to be fair they were quite comfy, well the right foot one was, the assistant couldn’t find the left. So Berghaus was out for that reason. I tried the Brasher’s on and they looked the part, walked well and the leather was very soft. I have big feet, well size 11 with a good instep and ‘piano toes’, they’re not fat feet by any stretch of the imagination. The ends of the Brasher’s were very roomy and I could wiggle my toes a lot, which I could foresee a few problems on steep descents. So I tried the Scarpa’s on, very nice, fitted well and the leather was very soft. Kel swears by hers and I had to take that into consideration as she’s a fussy one. The Scarpa’s had it!
My first ever Scarpa product was in the bag and I was happy. In the early 90’s I’d spent many a winter with the marines in Norway for winter warfare training and those boys knew their stuff on the kit front. The ML’s were very experienced with mountain life and to sit and listen to those guys go on about kit was very interesting. They used to go mad for Scarpa kit and even a certain element of the group, which I cannot talk about, raved for the make, that’ll do for me!
On route to the tent section I managed to convince Kel we needed a new shelter for my daysack. I’d been carrying my old army poncho as a shelter, which would easily do the job if called upon but it weighed more than I had wanted. The new one is a 3 man bright orange dome with windows and draw cords to keep in the warmth, and weighed next to nothing.
The drive home was good knowing I’d get a chance to try out my new boots next weekend as we’re planning a walk in the lakes, plus the weather looked testing so straight in at the deep end for the Scarpa’s, let’s hope the shelters not needed.
I have mentioned a couple of brands of kit in this blog and I have to say, sometimes it’s not the make that determines my decisions on buying kit, it’s just my taste. I have Berghaus base layers that are excellent and have used for years, plus throughout my army career all I’ve ever used is Berghaus bergans. I use Brasher socks that are great and continue to buy when I can.