Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The price of your first steps into trekking

Operation 'Summer in Iceland' is approaching big time and I've been panicking a bit those last couple of days, I admit it.

I do not have any gear needed for trekking, especially in a bit of a cooler climate. Thus, decided to ask my friends for advice, asked A for advice, asked store assistants for advice - I've asked pretty much everyone around. Am still as stupid as I was, trekking gear wise, and even more confused than I thought possible - there's so much choice and such price ranges that I'm at a loss.

First, it was the shoes - the most important part. I knew it was gonna be expensive (of course, 'expensive' has a different meaning for everybody, for me 100e on a pair of shoes is definitely so), but was hoping for something under 500zl (125e). I don't see that happening, though. Almost everything I've been advised is 150e and more. I've come to terms with it already, especially that a trekking shoe from a decent company should last you a decade. I guess when you think about it in terms of an investment and break it down to 15e a year for comfortable and safe shoes, it's not so much anymore.
Also, trekking shoes are not enough - a good pair of sandals is a must as well. Up until now, I walked everywhere in my pair of beloved sandals I got myself on Mallorca 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I had to let them go.. They were glued so many times, I've lost count. However, this proves you don't need damn expensive ones to hike, cross rivers, dance in clubs and sight-see churches in, as that's all they were used for. And more. So, I have officially 'sold out' to the 'backpacker's must's' and got myself a pair of Tevas (hate it that wherever I go, everyone will be wearing the same freaking shoes; though they are supposed to be super comfortable and unbreakable - we'll have to wait and see)

The old (10e) and the new (129.99zl = 35e). Oh, and yeah - the old ones used to be green as well ;)

You need something between the shoe and your bare skin, so you oughtta buy some socks as well. Excuse me, not just some socks - trekking socks. Not even just trekking socks, 'cause there are tens of those. Male and female; long and short; light, thicker and thick; more breathing or more cooling or more warming; with more or less amortization (seriously? never thought of my socks as something that gives/doesn't give me amortization..); for blisterless heels or odourless feet. And the list goes on and on. And the brands. And the prices. How do you go about spending 80 zl (20e) on a pair of socks, if usually u don't spend more than 8zl? I had a slight moment of madness when I was considering Icebreaker's socks but luckily came back to my senses. Have ordered a pair of 29.99zl (7.70e) Brubeck ones and will get myself some other pair tomorrow, so I can compare different companies and see how much truth there is to it, and how much of the same ol' we get with every other kind of purchase.

Then, I started thinking about the sleeping arrangements. I have gone camping before, but never in a cold or even mildly cold weather. The average temperature now will be around 4-5 degrees, so my plain sleeping bag will not be enough. Was considering buying a new one, but the price I was quoted (430zl = 110e for a small warm cotton sleeping bag) got me running out of the store as if I were being chased. Then, I figured I could get a silk sleeping bag liner - it is supposed to make a bag a couple degrees warmer, plus can be used as a sleeping bag itself in warmer places (which I hope to be going more and more to). However, that also is a bit of a cost - around 50-60e. Still remains to be bought, will get back to ya about that one.

A sleeping bag will not be enough though, so we come to the subject of mats. As we know, the amount of heat we lose when sleeping on cold ground is huge, so however warm the sleeping bag is, we need a mat. I wanna buy the simplest lightest one out there (probably around 20zl = 5e), not really thinking about it as something that has to last. My parents are convinced I need the self inflating one (cheapest at 160zl = 40e). We'll see whose conviction's on the winning side.

It turns out trekking calls for special underwear (same as any other sport these days, I guess). I wonder, how did people ever manage to do anything outdoors 50 years ago? Without all those wonders traveller and sports stores are full of, I mean..
Nywayz, back to the underwear - it might be chilly at nights, that's for one. Walking a couple of hours a day makes you sweat, that's two. Of course trekking underwear can get expensive, that's three. Luckily, Brubeck's on winter/spring collection sale, so ordered myself some pants (39zl = 10e) and two tshirts - a 64zl (16e) and a 45zl (11.5e) one. That's actually a good deal, I think.

Already before going to Roskilde I got myself one of them fast drying travel towels (120zl = 30e) I'd had my eye on for a long time. Tested it and although it takes some time getting used to the texture, it definitely does dry you, and itself, faster. I think I'm gonna get another one (after all, a month and a half with one towel, however fast drying, might not be the best idea). This time I'll probably buy something a bit cheaper and check out the difference. 

One of the accessories I wanted to get was a head torch. I remember how sorry I was in Indonesia that I didn't have one and had my hands freeze whenever I wanted to see anything. Which was quite often, seeing how I was trekking a volcano in the middle of the night. Again, the choice is huge. Not wanting the shittiest one (though couldn't find any real cheap one in the real world - Allegro's full of them) but neither wanting to spend 50e on it, I went for a 28.89zl (6e) Energizer (33.58 zl = 7e with batteries) - should be enough. 

Another thing I still need to buy is a decent warm polar blouse. A nice thermo longsleeve would come in handy as well, although I don't consider it a necessity. Other than that, I believe all the basic equipment's been covered.

Oh, you might wonder where the tent's gone missing. Luckily, that part's being taken care of by A. Thank you A! :)

If you think I've forgotten anything, please lemme know!

7 komentarze:

Salah said...

Et oui !!!! Ca coute cher tout ca ! ;-)

Magu Bee said...

Comme je le sais :)

Mais toi, Monssieur Salah, t'avais deja eu des choses avant de partir, non?

Amuse-toi bien a Sydney!

mwd said...

1st — :D

And… Omigosh, 120zł for a towel? I bought mine for 29zł @ Decathlon, and it's the biggest of my towels — like 180cm x 70cm or sth like that.

Socks — fast drying, NOT cotton.

And, as I was telling you — softshell, water–resitant/waterproof.

I keep my fingers crossed for you!

Magu Bee said...

1st - so true! :)

Yup, that's how much that one goes for around here. Will check out the one in Decathlon then.

Will get me some shoes today, next socks will be bought as well, I guess.

Thanks, I'll need all the crossed fingers my friends can spare me!

kinga ewelina said...

Teva shoes - good choice girl! ;-)

Magu Bee said...

I certainly do hope so!
Will have some rivers to cross soon enough :)

life2short4cheapwine said...

I was buying some "trekking" equipment myself and for linen sheets I recommend Intersport (Arkadia).
Was there today they sell them under 150 zl (less than 40e)

Also about the towels I agree with Marcin: Decathlon has the best prices (I think I bought towel similar to his last year) But the ones over 50 zł have a nice bag where you can squeeze the towel - very handy.