TR – 2 Days – 71 Miles

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    Evan Davies


    Locale: Wales

    Very brief TR:

    In a few weeks I'm taking part in a 55 mile race around my local hills; I did the race last year but wanted to do a bit more recceing of the route, I figured this would make a good exucse for an overnight trip.
    I started from home which is about 10 miles and a couple of hills away from the beginning of the race route. The weather was overcast with temperatures in the high teens(C). The ace route can be split roughly into two legs, the outward leg travels more along the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, taking in a couple of peaks, until the westernmost "proper" peak of the NP. From there you turn around and begin the return leg, a more direct route but with steeper/bigger hills in the way.
    I tried to focus on walking fast and only ran the downhills and some of the flats. Day 1 ended up being 42.7 miles with 11,000ft of climbing which I compelted in just over 12 hours (about 3.5mph).

    I felt pretty good on the morning of day 2 but I knew I'd be slower and expected an average speed of 3mph. The weather was similar to day 1 and I was going well until 22 miles in when I pulled off my shoes and socks and found some bad blisters on my toes; my right achilles was also very sore so I made it 6 more miles down to the road where I phoned for a lift. I averaged the 28.5 miles (6500ft) at about 3.2mph.

    I can't upload pictures at the moment but I'll try to get some up later.

    I used my UD Fastpack 20 without the framesheet; this worked pretty well and once I had it all cinched down it was very stable. My shoulders did hurt quite alot but I don't know if that's just me or if I was carrying too much weight (6kg+ with full food and water) or if I didn't have it correctly adjusted. Otherwise, very impressed with it.

    I used a 2L Camelbak and a 700ml bottle up front. This meant that I didn't have to stop at all during the day to refill water. When I did eventually refill my Camelbak it was very simple to scoop water up from stream and just drop in a couple of ClO2 tabs. I mixed the water in my bottle with flavouring/energy powder, this worked well. Downsides are that it is a bit heavy when full and the water in the Camelbak gets disgustingly warm sitting against my back. Maybe some reflectix inbetween?

    Neoair Xlite and Exped UL Air Pillow were super comfortable and I had a great night's sleep.

    I took a 1kg tent, couldn't be bothered with trekking poles. I like having an inner too. Lots of condensation, otherwise fine and dandy.

    Weather was pretty benign so standard clothing really: shorts and t-shirt during the day, thermals and down jacket at night.

    Cookset: Fire Maple gas stove and Toaks 550ml Ti pot, boiled 400ml of water, that's it.

    This is a bit rushed but I'll try to add some more later and maybe do a full TR on my blog.


    Allen C
    BPL Member


    Evan, thanks for posting up!

    I have the UD fastpack 20 also. I cut a piece of ridgerest in the shape of the back pad – it weighs about 1.5 oz (vs over 3 oz for the pad it comes with) and gives good padding and will insulate your bladder as well. Also good as insulation/padding under your legs if you are using a short pad to sleep on. Just an idea…

    I have been using 2 500 ml soft bottles in the front and no bladder inside – I actually cut out the bladder sleeve since I wasn't using it. I got this pack to use in the sierras where water is plentiful, and I'd rather carry less of it in a pack like this. Having the water in front on both sides really helps balance the pack and keeps the weight down. If your shoulders hurt I'd try getting rid of the bladder which will save weight, and keep all your water up front if possible. Some shoulder discomfort is probably inevitable, but for me keeping the weight down to around 12 lbs or less seems to help a lot.

    Evan Davies


    Locale: Wales

    Thanks Allen.

    I've got some very thin radiator backing foam which I might experiment with.

    Do you treat your water at all? Do you carry a scoop to fill up you're soft flasks? (I've had difficulty completely filling soft flask from slow moving/still water in the past).

    I would normally use a sawyer mini but find it a bit time consuming and on this trip I wanted to minimize stopped time. With ClO2 tablets I could drop them in and leave them to do their thing while I carried on down the trail; only problem is they need at least 1L of water.

    One thought I had was to carry two 500ml bottles and a sawyer mini and use the sawyer mini as a straw to drink direct from streams through the day and when I stop at night use it with the bag to filter water into my bottles. This could be a good compromise.

    If I was somewhere like the Alps I wouldn't filter water at all.

    More experimentation required…

    Shoulder ache was much less than when I used a "normal" pack so I can't complain too much.

    Scott Bentz
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    Nice report.

    As far as water treatment with chlorine dioxide, many people use the drops and pre-mix. Pre-mix once a day. Then when you get to a water source you add the amount of drops that correspond with your water bottles. Mike Clelland has a nice video showing how this is accomplished. Of course, if you go on the Aqua Mira website they do not recommend this method, which begs the question(s) pre-mixing not effective which may show we did not drink "contaminated" water, or, pre-mixing is an effective way to go and does kill the "baddies".

    Enquiring minds want to know!

    Allen C
    BPL Member



    I treat the water on most of my trips, except when trying to go extra fast. I have used iodine and MSR tablets as well as the sawyer mini and the platypus gravity filter depending on the type of trip…sawyer mini is slow so not good when bugs are an issue or trying to go fast. but it is light. gravity filter is good for standard trips where speed is not really the goal. when really trying to go fast in the sierras I generally don't treat and have not gotten sick…yet. I'm somewhat selective about sources and taking water from upstream of the trail, but not super careful.

    I have not had a problem using the newer UD soft bottles with the wider mouth. they scoop pretty well so I don't bother bringing a separate scoop. I haven't used any other soft bottles aside from the platypus ones, which are a pain to fill sometimes.

    Evan Davies


    Locale: Wales

    Thanks Scott.
    If I knew for sure that pre-mixing Aquamira was ok I would probably use it.

    Good point on the UD soft bottles Allen. I've only used the Salomon ones in the past which have much smaller openings.

    Bob Moulder
    BPL Member


    Locale: Westchester County, NY

    I've been using the AM pre-mix for a couple of years. On a handful of occasions I've treated some really ghastly standing water. Not sick yet.

    Data point of 1, FWIW…

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