If any theme dominated the Christmas and New Year interlude in Auckland, it was "Lighten Up!" I put my pack on a diet and lightened that up. I feel embarrassed writing about what I decided I could do without but here goes:
- the over-large but otherwise excellent nylon tarpaulin (220 grams.) I used it only twice, both times because I could, not because I needed to.
- the Apple bluetooth keyboard plus two AA batteries (385 grams.) I blush with shame. What was I thinking of?
- a fleece jacket (about 200 grams.) I didn't use it and prefer my skinny down jacket.
- thermal socks (replaced by cooler, thinner, running socks.)
- the Trangia stove set (720 grams.) I'll try a much smaller MSR "Pocket Rocket" and butane canisters with a Trangia pot and plate lid.
- a two-litre water bottle. It takes up too much room.
- my Swiss Army "Spartan" knife (76 grams.) It's been a faithful companion since the mid-1980s but I have a lighter Opinel which is now my preferred weapon of choice.
- a heavy wool jumper for a lighter lambswool one.
- one pair of underpants, not two pairs.
I thought long and hard about replacing the "onesie" with my usual sleeping bag. I love it, it works but it is heavier so in the end I decided to leave it behind to save a few hundred grams. Believe me, it all adds up.
I can tell my pack is pleased. When I tighten up its side straps, it looks as svelte and chic as a heavy-duty canvas rucksack can. It seems to jump effortlessly onto my back.
I could swear it is preening.