I wonder if this is becoming a problem. I bought, in addition to several layers, also several rounds of overnight clothes.
First things first: this is not a commercial blog post. All the products listed were hand-picked and paid for, found on sale or used.
The only exception, although unrelated to the blog, is the Pinguin sleeping bag I got for posting on Tunturiin.fi.
This might be considered a collaboration so I wanted go over it before the actual post. I don’t receive any compensation from the 7gear online store clicks, don’t worry. I heard about the sleeping bag from a friend beforehand, so I knew what I was buying. After trying one out, I bought two more.
I often get asked about my gear. So this is a fairly detailed list with makes and models. These products aren’t one of a kind or of supreme quality because I can’t afford such luxury.
This also serves as a log of our overnight gear, what we took with us into the woods and back. Just in case someone can learn from our mistakes.
I left the hammocks out this time, since I covered them earlier.
First trek approaches (a couple of years ago)
When we started off, the idea was to give this outdoor stuff a fighting chance. We weren’t sure we’d get into it with out lack of experience. We bought a tent and a Halti tube backpack from a Red Cross thrift shop. I can’t remember how much they set us back but it couldn’t have been more than twenty euros.
The tent was a McKinley – from the 90’s I think. The bottom is basically waterproof and the whole thing must weigh like 4 kilograms. It’s still in storage!
I happened to have a Halti backpack and had a distinct memory of it being uncomfortable. So Heikki tested it out and yes, yes it was.
We bought a down-filled sleeping bag for Heikki and it’s still in use every now and then. Unlike the music festival sleeping bag, which has been downgraded to a dog bed.
Are music festivals just warmer in general, since they sell stuff that are the equivalent to wrapping yourself in a frozen pile of moss?
We grabbed out sleeping pads from Prisma. You can’t find a thinner and cheaper solution anywhere!
The nights were cold in May but we didn’t let that stop us. We were already living the theme of “Go crazy over Nature”.
Overall cost so far: 150 euros. So you don’t need to spend too much money to get started, when using thrift shops, borrowing or renting stuff. The most expensive purchase was the down-filled sleeping bag a comfort level of +6 but it was still just a 100 euros.
Weight: 4 kg. I mean we didn’t weigh the rest of the stuff but carried them along.
Bad equipment start getting to you really quickly – they weigh a ton and stop working. I don’t think The Red Cross has weekly deals on cheap gear that still function after a while. Expensive and good quality things are just that: expensive and of good quality. So save up, hunt for sales and set up an alarm for new offers on Facebook groups.
Round two: Varusteleka: functional but heavy
It was cumbersome enough, trying to locate enough layers during those cold nights, so we decided to make some investments before our next trip.
We were still sporting tube backpacks, now two since the one found from storage gave Heikki some serious back pain.
The big, black modular Varusteleka sleeping bag was warm, sure. It also repels water and dirt.It’s gigantic, however. But since it fit in the backpack, problem solved.
Except everything was extremely heavy.
We also bought a tent from Varusteleka. Sadly it hasn’t seen more than like 10 nights. Because it was also extremely heavy. At the time of the purchase, which was last Winter, we stayed a single night outdoors and that was in a lean-to.
During the Holidays we spent a few nights in said tent when we were visiting my grandma. It was snowing, heavily, but the tent held on.
Overall cost: sleeping bag about 70 euros, second tube backpack 15 euros, and a heavier yet in hindsight, very useful tent 80 euros. In total: 165 euros.
Weight: this new tent about 3,5-4 kgs. Sleeping bag about 2,5 kg. Both way too big.
Round three: Abandoning tube backpacks and cheap tents
Before our Lapland hike lighter burden seemed like the thing to do. And on our visit to my father’s, we went for it. We tested a few Deuter backpacks in a Scandinavian Outdoor outlet and threw a bunch of money at the cashier.
Thankfully Heikki’s was bigger. My giant sleeping bag wouldn’t have fit inside mine. But there was no room in our budget for a new one at this time.
The self-inflating mattresses set us back about 70 euros a pop.
So we put the sleeping bags into each others backpacks and took on the Hetta-Pallas hike like that. We had a brand-spanking new tent as well, a Marmot Vapor 3, which as it happens, wasn’t included since it simply wouldn’t fit.
Overall cost: two backpacks for 330 euros in total (they were on sale), tent for about 300 euros. Self-inflating mattresses were about 140 euros a pop.
Semi-satisfied hikers (as I’m typing this)
Latest update on gear is that we switched our giant sleeping bag to two smaller man-made-fiber ones. The brand on both is Pinguin, comfort level -9. We also bought two self-inflating Exped mattresses and a Helsport tent, which can actually fit in our backpacks now!
We’re missing three season sleeping bags but since our long treks usually take place during Summer, it’s not that big of a deal.
Overall cost: 280 euros for the sleeping bags, 105 euros for a used Helsport Rondane 3 tent and two self-inflating mattresses, 300 euros in total.
Weight: sleeping bags 2 kgs per item. Tent 2,4 kgs. Mattresses 600 grams each.
Tent is always a compromise: this time around it weighs 2,4 kgs but fits in a backpack. It’s made from a strong fabric which can’t be said from lighter options. The Helsport Rondane 3 is available as a slightly renewed version at 449 euros and its lighter comrade for around 800 euros.
So in short: you don’t need to buy everything at once and let’s face it, I couldn’t have either.
So you can buy all kinds of things and then wonder why the storage room door doesn’t close with enough things to arm a 60’s expedition with.
I’m thinking I’ll testament the gear I don’t use anymore to someone who loves nature as much as I do. Or for an exhibit in a Nature Center. You know, the one they’re going to hold in my honor after I’m gone?
P.S. This wasn’t a commercial blog post, unfortunately. But if your company would like to sponsor us, expect my next list to be totally sponsored.