Sunday, 16 March 2014

OMM adventure light 20

End of OCT - both with the same bag
Supporting the BG
I've had this bag for a while. Quite a while, and I just realised that I haven't reviewed it yet.
How remiss of me. 

Here is the short version. 
It's Brilliant.

And here is the longer version.
I was looking for a decent fellrunning bag for quite a while. The important points were that it needed to
1 - have waist belt pockets
2 - be able to carry water either in easily accessible bottle form or in a bladder
3 - be about 20 litres or so, with excellent compression so that it didn't bounce around
4 - be comfortable

You'd think that there would be a fair few bags out there that would tick all these boxes, but funnily enough, I started to discount quite a lot of them on one or more of the above points, and it was really only the Adventure 20 that actually ticked all the boxes. Even though it did, I still held off buying one for a while, and eventually ended up getting one for a birthday. And I am VERY glad that I did.

compression clip on the side of the pack
The rucksac comes with an elastic cord which you can use for compression, but it doesn't actually tell you HOW to attach it, or indeed, which configuration is best for optimal use. I think that is perhaps partially because there is no "best use" really. You can, should you so wish, buy a gear rack type thing that sits on the outside of the bag, providing more compression, and also external storage space... I'd love to show you what it looks like, but I don't own one. So you'll have to use your imagination- or failing that, a google search.

The Bag itself is very comfortable. The shoulder straps are pretty thick, and actually provide a decent amount comfort - which is surprising for a bag this lightweight. If you are a dyed in the wool lightweight fiend, this should not put you off, lightweight does NOT have to mean
discomfort, and this is a real reflection of this rucksac.
It sits well on the back, and is held in place very securely by the waist strap (with a zipped pocket on each side, TICK!) and also the chest strap, which has the inevitable emergency whistle attached as well.
Thats MY version of compression

Stretchy side panel pockets are positioned in such a way as to be accessible on the run. They are just about the perfect size for waterbottles, and there is also a pouch and routing holes for a waterbladder. OMM also continue their trend of giving you a sit-mat/camping mat (if you're hardcore enough) in the back as a part structural/ part comfort back plate. I've not used it to sleep on, but its good enough to sit on, even if it is a bit of a mare to get it back in again.

All in all, this is a bag for carrying as much stuff as I like on a run (generally this happens in the winter), with enough on-the-go accessible space for food/water/torch to not actually
stop for the entire run unless the weather closes in, or I need a bigger bit of kit from inside the bag.

Usage in the snow-scape of the rhinogs

As to the size- well, it says its 20 litres. I reckon it must hold a bit more than that if it really wants to. Maybe up to about 23, which is perfect when using it as carry-on airline luggage.

Thick straps
So. Is it any good? I think I might have answered that already.
This is my go to bag for any run where I'm going
to be carrying more kit than I can fit in a bumbag. As a general idea, I had an Arcteryx Atom SV, 2-man bothy shelter, first aid kit, spare gloves and hat, waterproof trousers and a couple of other bits and bobs in it the other day, it was maybe half full, but compressed onto my back perfectly. It was the bag I used when supporting the BG last year, the bag I used for the OCT as well, and has been pressed into service when on the MRT fast party.
Lightweight. Stowable. Easy Access to food and other gubbins on the run, but still robust.

At 50 quid or thereabouts, it should be a no-brainer. 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

It's March

That makes it a quarter of the way through the year.
You remember january 1st. That point in the year when you planned all those great things for the rest of the year? The time when anything seemed possible. The time when you thought.. THIS year, really, things will be different. Things will get done.

Now is the time to look back to then. We are 3 months in, what has been done? What has changed? If you are on the road to improvement, those hill reps are coming on, you have a list of things that need to be done and they are getting there, brilliant.
If, however, the list was written down in a pique of excitement, followed for 5, maybe 10 days, and then left alone for a day, only to become disgarded, dusty, under a pile of other stuff and life got in the way, perhaps now is a time to dig it out and think back.

Are these things realistic? Can you change your habits, or are you just stuck, being the same person you always were, meandering along in a sort of semi-trance, waiting for things to happen to you?
I realised that although I loved running in the hills, in order to get faster, hills aren't the only thing that need to be done. Andi Jones is insanely fast on hills, as is Steve Vernon. They train on the flat. There has to be something in it. So I decided I needed to get out and train on some flat stuff.
However, there is a difference between thinking about doing something and actually doing it.
If you think you can do it, or dream you can do it, you can do it.
Don't just sit there thinking and dreaming. Damn well do it. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

This is Why...

Sometimes I get asked why I run.

I was out on Saturday morning, running across the tops. The clouds came in. The clouds cleared. It started snowing- and I was in the middle of no-where. Ice crystals floating through the air, and no-one else around. just grouse and curlews crying across the moor.

I plunged down a valley and up the other side. Alport Trig point - again no footpaths, no foot prints, ice on the ground, snow in the air, Grinah stones across the way with the sun playing on the faces.

A beeline across moor and broken ground, and glorious views up fabulous valleys.
Not even an hour and a half from my front door.

What a great morning out.
Across the moor and into the Alport. And the trig is on that hill in the distance.

Falling Snow and Ice at Alport trig

Look at that. Not even an hour and a half from the front door.
Had me grinning from ear to ear for ages. Well - until I had to climb the hill on the right.
THIS is why I run.