Jun 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm #1275062
Addie BedfordBPL Member
Companion forum thread to:Jun 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm #1746176
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
A month unsupported, wow. Congratulations to you both!
Any opportunities with all that water, to supplement your diet with fish?
Thanks for the article and fine photos.
RickJun 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm #1746232
Fantastic photography and videography! Congrats on your journey!Jun 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm #1746239
George MatthewsBPL Member
Great pics. The video was fantastic. Good work!Jun 7, 2011 at 7:05 pm #1746264
Philip DelvoieBPL Member
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
Wow…enjoyed the video. Heck of a trip.Jun 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm #1746287
Chris CBPL Member
@cvcassLocale: State of Jefferson
the video was well made and I'm sure what wasn't shown was even betterJun 8, 2011 at 4:18 am #1746356
Your trip looks amazing. Congratulations for going out there and doing it. The video makes the country look surreal!Jun 8, 2011 at 6:22 am #1746376
Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
What an adventure! And so well documented. From the looks of your photos and video, the weight of your camera gear was well worth it.Jun 8, 2011 at 11:14 am #1746481
@arcticmanLocale: Southern California
Hello…how about a route map.Jun 8, 2011 at 11:42 am #1746488
Soft Englishman? Not from what you've shown! Excellent adventure and a well told story. Your 5DII's served you well!Jun 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm #1746507
JASON CUZZETTOBPL Member
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
Bad ass!Jun 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm #1746519
@cfischLocale: South Florida
I hope to work up to a journey just like this one day. Great job on the photos and video.Jun 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm #1746528
Carl DavisBPL Member
Is Greenland next? Terrific video– beautiful, fun, and inspiring– thanks!Jun 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm #1746554
WOW, I am not usually a jealous guy, but…… trip of a lifetime!!!Jun 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm #1746802
That was the coolest thing I've seen in a while.Jun 9, 2011 at 9:47 am #1746968
Sharon BinghamBPL Member
Phenomenal…Jun 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm #1747080
@aeronauticalLocale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
The sheer beauty of the surroundings belies the hardship of the journey.
That's one hell of a test of mind and body… Which you clearly passed with flying colours!
Great write up and video, thanks for sharing your amazing adventure.
And very, very well done!Jun 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm #1747106
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
That picture of crossing the screaming-cold river was worth more than a thousand words.
You said: “In future trips I would be interested to try a tent or tarp system that uses the paddles and trekking poles for support”
Here is a very small, very expensive tent, you would need two: “Using ski poles for the vertical support creates an incredibly tight tent. It is really easy to create a ton of tension in the tent walls. Because this fabric has such high tensile strength, and all the stitching is well done, you can pull “hard” on all the tensioning systems.” (The Cuben fiber (metallic coated CTF-3) Rocket Tent by Brooks-Range Mountaineering is billed as able to handle all four seasons, weighs under 1 ½ lbs (620 g), and is reviewed with LOTS of pictures at: http://www.alpineambitions.com/Alpine_Ambitions/Rocket_Tent.htmlJun 10, 2011 at 1:51 am #1747355
alastair humphreysBPL Member
Wow – thank you all for the really positive comments!
I was a little anxious doing this piece as I know that I am less of an expert than many of you guys on this forum.
So I'm glad you enjoyed the story!
Any advice on lightening my load gratefully received…
firstname.lastname@example.orgJun 10, 2011 at 9:29 am #1747464
@dirtbagclimberLocale: Pacific Northwest
First off, I wish to congratulate you on completing a fantastic, and fantastically difficlut, trip in excellent style. I am very impressed in every way. The photos and video are fantastic, and I would love to see a feature-length documentary.
A couple of comments on gear come to mind. I'm impressed that you got anywhere at all with 80kg of weight. I suspect that all of the gear trimming you could do would not seem that significant, but since this is BPL, here goes.
The heaviest thing you carry by far is food. I notice that you show a bunch of "cook in the bag" meals. Aside from issues of flavor I've always disliked how much packaging these involve. Carrying large volumes of trash later on is not pleasant, and if you could leave it all at home to begin with that would be better. Consider Re-packaging that sort of food into larger bags and than re-hydrating it in pot.
You used a white-gas MSR stove. This is a bit heavy in and of itself but mostly it makes a great deal of fuel to carry. It doesn't look like you had melt snow for water but still, 25 days of cooking is quite a bit of gas. This is one of the areas where an integrated system, such as an MSR Reactor, might work out to be lighter. Possibly the new Soto white gas stove combined with a heat exchanger pot might be a contender, but we don't have any info on it's efficiency yet.
Another idea would be to burn wood. It looks like you spent quite a bit of time in areas where there wasn't any fuel though. If you did spend time in places where natural fuel was plentiful than planning to build a fire might be a good fuel-saving strategy. Perhaps even carrying a small wood-burning stove as well as the other stove.
I suspect that far and away the best option of a backpack for carrying such large loads would be a custom-built Mchale "Bubble Pack." There are other options out there, including the new Kifaru packs (which might not be durable enough for this sort of trip), the Titanium Goat pack (which looks good, but I don't think has really been proven with nearly that much weight), and the Cilo Gear 75L. I suspect that a true custom-fitted suspension, with very strong stays and adequate hip-belt and shoulder-strap padding, attached to a big bag with very few features, will prove to be the best option.
As far as shelter goes. A small, but not too small, double-peaked pyramid with mosquito-netting skirt is probably the lightest reasonable possibility. A standard pyramid would be quite reasonable as well, although not quite as good in the wind. A Golite Shangri-la 2 or similar. Methinks one could be built out of .75oz cuben and weigh around a pound.
The camera gear is the big kicker. I'm not sure what can really be done to make it lighter. I suppose some MYOG experts around here could probably brew up a tripod using your trekking poles and one other poll (maybe your paddle shaft?) That is adequate for filming. I know some still photographers who consider a mono-pod adequate for serious backcountry photography. I guess the real hope is that the camera companies will continue to evolve smaller-lighter micro-four-thirds equipment so that it can serve for this sort of thing.
Once again, congratulations on an amazing trip.Jun 10, 2011 at 10:16 am #1747484
Mark HurdBPL Member
@markhurdLocale: South Texas
Beautiful, audacious, captivating, humbling, epic, and bold!
I am taken by the video. Obviously you did some extra hiking to get the long shots of the two of you.
Just incredible stuff.
-MarkJun 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm #1747654
As good as it all was the lip syncing was the best partJun 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm #1747732
Travis LeannaBPL Member
Awesome. Just awesome. Wonderful trip, and amazing wilderness. I call dibs on tagging along for the next trip you plan.Jun 11, 2011 at 5:32 am #1747780
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Fantastic trip & video! Thanks for sharing.Jun 11, 2011 at 6:08 am #1747783
+1 on the route map, but with more detail than on your site… please.
I was actually on your web site months ago looking ( read: dreaming big…) over the trip, as well as Skurka's site who walked west-east.
Really interested in any planning tips, including basics on exactly which maps you used. I don't think I would packraft, but just walk instead. But the beautiful & eerie landscapes have sold me.
Thanks for posting!
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