This gear list contain all items we plan to use in our Svalbard expedition. On completion we will add our review for each item.
|PLB - MicroFix 406 GPS||ACR||Yes||small and easy to use EPIRB. never tested it though...|
|Rain Top - Alpha SV Jacket||ARC'TERYX||Yes||Love it. if you are not a climber, get the version with the pockets...|
|Fugitive Hoody Fleece||ARC'TERYX||Yes||great fleece, a bit short in front.|
|SolarRolls? 14||Brunton||No||Easy to use, easy to roll, but a bit too big. It is impossible to roll really small (it might damage the solar cells). I missed more adapters, had to buy some for my standard battery charger and cameras.|
|REAL Turmat Expedition food||Drytech||Yes||simply great food. big meals, tasty (as much it can get as a ready meal) and easy to make. I am looking for less bulky pack though, same stuff but in a loose pack where I can put it in a thermos and add the boiled water. it would have saved a lot of room in the kayaks. price might be an issue.|
|K-2 XT tent||Eureka||Yes||Good tent, easy to handle. lots of room inside. with the right support it had no problems handling force 8 winds.|
|Arctic Goose WB Sleeping bag||Exped||Yes||great sleeping bag. warm and nice, even for the north part of Svalbard. a bit big, good only for extreme conditions|
|DownMat 9 DLX||Exped||Yes||we had two inflating version, the new one is, by far, easier. great mattress to sleep on, fold to very small, but inflating it every day can be annoying sometimes. but, hey, you end up sleeping well...|
|GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suit||Kokatat||Yes||great suit. didn't leak at all, even when falling into the water while walking on the ice.|
|Ronin Pro PFD||Kokatat||Yes||comfortable and well designed. the pocket system is not bad, but needs some improvement.|
|Neo Kayak Mitt||Kokatat||Yes||didn't like it too much, a bit heavy and bulky, but did the job of keeping me warm. Next time I will try their soft version|
|Paddle - Kinetik touring crank shaft||LENDAL||Yes||It was the first time I was using LENDAL's carbon blades, in past expeditions I was paddling with CF blades, I was worried about strength.|
I am not looking back. they are strong and good paddles. I am hooked.
|EPIRB - Fastfind Plus PLB||Mcmurdo||No||bigger than MicroFix, but other than that it is easy to handle. never tested it though...|
|Satellite Phone - 9505 (Iridium)||Motorola||Yes||extremely important to have, but this phone have a few problems:|
1. interface is terrible.
2. messaging is hard, no predictive text and if you pressed the wrong button the messae will be gone!
3. loosing reception even while the phone is stationary.
4. short battery life
|DSLR D40x||Nikon||No||I wasn't sure which camera to buy, this one turned out to be great (although check out the new version the D60)|
It is smaller then the D80, D200 and other cameras, but without loosing much of the SLR qualities. It does limit you in getting lenses though.
|Digital Camera - Mju 770SW||Olympus||No||for its size, it provides good shots, not as an SLR camera, but it is great to have it attached to the PFD at all times.|
|EtaPower MF stove||Primus||No||This stove is good and efficient.
two problems prevent it to be great:|
1. needs very careful use in order to work properly. it took us a week to understand how to operate it properly. once we did we had no problems.
2. the pack is very big.
tip: use the small bottle supplied, don't be tempted to bigger bottles!!
|NDK Explorer||Sea Kayaking UK||Yes||I am using NDK's for many years now. The boats have an excellent design, but sometimes suffer from minor problems due to the fact the boats are handmade. nonetheless, I will never replace this boat. it's wind and sea handling is superb and it excel when loaded.|
|Spraydeck - Armortex||Snapdragon||No||Just perfect.|
|HD Handycam® Camcorder HDR-HC7||Sony||No||The camera is good and easy to use. but the waterproof housing I bought with it is way too big and bulky. They made it big to fit almost every sony camera in the market, including older generation big ones. they should have make a smaller version of it!|
last updated April 2009