Well that’s the last full weekend practise hike finished and we are pretty sure that you are all capable of completing the event – after all you experienced 3 seasons in less than 48 hours and still kept going. Excellent start times both mornings – and we were really impressed with the very small amount of litter that was found Sunday morning.
Just like the real event Laurence and Rich did some spot scrutineering – just to ensure that you hadn’t left anything behind and equally that you were not carrying anything unnecessary. They made the following observations:
- No sun hat but 2 cold weather hats. Now you know that the sun can be fierce (high UV) you must bring a sunhat with a brim (or baseball cap). Why carry extra kit? You might need sunglasses if its going to be a scorcher.
- Change of clothing. If you fall into a bog then everything gets wet so spare underwear is a must –don’t forget them. Also although not on the army list you need to dry off so a small towel (packed in a small strong plastic bag) is not an option but a necessity.
- Sleeping bag. Good to see that those we checked all met the 0 degree rating at Comfort but this needs to be packed in a strong plastic bag which is in addition to the rucksack liner. You know how damp Dartmoor can be!
- Walking kit/spare kit. Whoops –only one pair of walking trousers –the second being “joggers” which are not permitted.
- Layering. We need to go back to basics to disentangle the muddle which has been created by the army changing the way in which it describes walking kit/spare clothing. You need 2 of each (one to be worn – one spare to carry)
- Base layer – preferably wicking
- Mid layer – this could be a microfleece OR rugby shirt with long sleeves OR the sweatshirt we give you at the start.
- Static Insulation Layer (1 ONLY). This can either be a substantial fleece (200gram) or a softshell type garment. The army website says that 2 lightweight fleece may be substituted for one substantial fleece. The problem is that many microfleece are only 60 gram weight (that’s woven weight not the weight of the entire garment) so 2x 60g is only 120 grams –far below the substantial 200 gram in the back of the army’s mind. What we don’t want is for a scrutineer to apply their (experienced) interpretation which is at odds with what you present.
- Rations. Good to find all water sterilisation tablets in date –just ensure you have sufficient for the event (at least 20). Emergency food rations – this should be enough to help you survive for an additional night on the moor. Must include a sachet in order to make a hot drink. These must be in a clear plastic bag marked “Emergency Rations” and sealed with tape. Other meals must be labelled “Breakfast” etc.
- Sun cream – missing from some kit checks. You need a small amount not enough for a family of 4 going to the Canary Isles for 3 weeks. Watch the weight –decant some if necessary.
- Spare batteries –the rules say you only need them for non LED torches but you will be asked to show that your torch actually works.
If you have any doubts about the standard of your kit – raise it NOW and we will review with you (your parents) if necessary. But just to ensure you do get it right we are going to do a full scrutineering check before the shakedown day hike as you will be carrying full kit (but not tents). Don’t forget we do have lots of spare kit so no need to go out buying gear – borrow it from us. Details for the Shakedown hike will be posted on the website – so keep checking.