Saturday, 5 March 2011

BECOME A SOLOIST GEAR-JEDI ! (Pimp up your Helmet!)

As far as i am concerned,the next best thing to actually using climbing gear.Is trying to figure out ways to improve it! I love the Japanese "Kaizen" way of thinking (smaller,lighter,better.)and theres very little of my hardware that hasnt had at least one or more evolutions.This includes my museum of Helmets collected over the last 46yrs,as i hate giving any of my kit away.The old Fibreglass ones are my favourites,you could sit on them,use them as snow shovels.Or even club to death a charging Ibex if you were out of rations and feelling peckish!?My philosophy on soloing gear is that everything you carry must perform at least three usefull functions (more if possible?).And its amazing what you can do with a humble crash-hat!

My old Petzyl-Elios for example makes a great compartment for some of my useful bits of non-conventional kit and i didnt have to compromise its structural strength either!?
      1,Plastic flexible drinking tube.20cm.-As hydration is allways a problem at alltitude i keep this handy to suck clean meltwater from ice-pools,and rock-hollows whilst on the move.Its saves consumption of pack water supplies,and allso on the gas needed to melt ice to replace it.I secure the tube,by drilling two holes in the hemet liner to lock in each end of the tube.
     2,Aluminium Kitchen Foil.2sq-metres.-The most useful and versatile stuff a soloist can carry! Folded well,it can be used to make a Solar-Oven to melt snow.A Cooking-Pot,Drinking-Vessel,Nose-Guard against sunburn,Helio Signal-Panel,and insulation inside your clothing at night against Frostbite.(allso a really exciting hat to keep out evil "brain rays" from space aliens,or CIA anal-probers.) Its uses are only limited by your imagination,and it weighs sod-all!?It can be folded down to a 4inch x 1inch rectangle in a thin plastic bag and gaffer tapped inside the helmet.
    3,Reflective Safety Tape.-A thin strip or a few squares of this on your helmet can be seen for miles by day and night.Ok!so you may look a bit like "TRON,the Gamesmaster"?But if your lost and injured you can be easily spotted by rescue parties,while your bright clothing colours will vanish against a background of rock and snow!
These are just a few things that you can do to enhance your gear,and i will be adding to these over the next six blogs.I had hoped to put my Helmet pics up but it looks like ime gonna have to take a whole new bunch sadly?!Ile get them to you eventualy.