Welcome to Nepal

Welcome to Nepal

Friday, 1 September 2006

Sleeping bag

Iceline 950

With temperatures down to minus 15 degrees centigrade not unusual at Everest Base Camp, I have to purchase a sleeping bag that will keep my tootsies warm. I am tempted to go for a Mountain Equipment Iceline 950, mainly as I have always found their products to be superb. Some suggest that Rab equipment is superior, but I haven't any experience of this manufacturer which concerns me slightly. When one is spending between £200-300 on something, you need to be confident it is up to the job.

But... do I buy now... or nearer the time? Will prices rise or fall? If I wait until next year, I qualify for a 20% discount at a particular outdoor supplier, but I don't know whether they will have the product I have researched and want. So it's a long shot and I have decided to try and source a bag now at a bargain price, rightly or wrongly, just for peace of mind. I hope it works out for the best.

I still have two Mountain Equipment Fitzroy bags that have provided excellent service over the years, but these are not sufficient for the height/temperatures we expect to encounter. I intend to sell these and recoup some of the costs of the new bag. These are still in good condition for their age and still have plenty of loft and thermal properties... and can continue to provide comfort for others. It is one of my contributions towards recycling!

Of course, there is still other kit to buy. I will need to source a decent head torch that will use AA batteries. I also intend to purchase a solar panel for my backpack that can top up my rechargeable batteries that I use for my digital camera. I should then be self sufficient for my electrical gear. One little luxury I might buy is a wristwatch that measures altitude, min/max temperatures etc. My old Seiko Sports watch has finally given up the ghost and had to be binned. The throwaway society - can nothing ever be repaired nowadays? I'm sure there will be a multitude of other small items that will be needed nearer the time. I must make a list so that I do not miss any of these items. It will be too late once I am in the Himalayas and discover I have forgotten something. What is the saying: 'Proper planning prevents piss poor performance'.

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