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Day long hike with a group of seasoned hikers across and around the South Downs, finishing at the site of a Prehistoric Hill Fort.


High 20’s (°C), sunny, brisk wind on the Downs


Prometheus Design Werx S.H.A.D.O.


Hiking Pole
PDW Every Day Carry Organiser
Storm Whistle
PDW Stash Pouch with pain killers and minor First Aid items
Drybag with spare socks
PDW Admin Organiser with a few bits for fixing or hacking on the go
ITS Tactical patch
Lunch box
Nuts and dried apricots
Team Rubicon Cap (earned not bought!)
Camelbak 2.0L – proved to be just enough!
Full area map
PDW Versa Bear with Sun screen
Stash Pouch (including Ru-Marker) with emergency FAK
PDW S.H.A.D.O. Pack
Waist belt and Gear Trap
Pack Config Risk patch
PDW Compass
Mechanix Wear Gloves, the updated Woodland Camo pattern rocks!
Stealth LT

Field Report

I’ve often had a little chuckle to myself at the remarks about the SHADO Pack being too long (especially for those sub-6 foot), or not designed for small people. I’m 5′ 5″, but I know Patrick (one of the main designers on the team) isn’t tall either and therefore I placed an element of trust in their design abilities when I picked one up. They have shortened the straps, which I do understand, as I do have them fully tighten when I’m using it without the waist belt, but that works alright for me.

In my opinion though, the waist belt is the key. When it’s attached, and properly adjusted, it just works. The pack is held at the right point on my back and comfortable for the duration of whatever I’ve thrown at it, in this case between 7-9 hours of hiking in hot (for the UK) conditions. My wife has become more and more a part of my packing process, and she helps me cut out a lot of the “overpacking” nature I’ve developed. This time I actually noticed the difference in weight, so thank you Mrs Pack Config!! You rock!

I love my Mystery Ranch ASAP, the yoke and loadbearing system is great. But even after switching between this and my SHADO a number of times before heading out this time, the SHADO just felt so comfortable on my back (even after I re-adjusted the ASAP to be sure!) and was my first choice this time…

The view of the Prehistoric Hill Fort, Chanctonbury Ring.

I usually attach the Gear Trap when I’m hiking, it’s often an invaluable accessory for storing a wet item or whatever. This time was no different. My Dad is a big inspiration for me, particular in terms of fitness, as he seems to have increased what he’s doing and how far he pushes himself as he gets older – what a trooper!

His shoulders (among other things) were giving him some issues right near the end of our hike, so I offered to carry his pack. The Gear Trap handled it with ease, and my lighter packing enable me to cope with the extra weight without breaking a sweat… Ok, I was already sweating profusely, but you know what I mean!

To assess the overall carry, the spare socks, work gloves, full location OS map and a couple the ‘fixing’ bits that I carried were the main overkill areas this time. But it’s a fine line between overkill and being prepared, plus I had significantly reduced my usual hiking carry already. But there’s still room for improvement. Oh and it’s England, so a raincoat is never overkill. 😉

Configeer #002

Piggybacking my Dad’s pack onto mine, oh and a water stop! Photo from Uncle Udder’s blog.

 Our morale boosters – left to right, Tylor (front) Braego, Frank & Wilson. Taylor & Braego even have their own blog!

Tony, Hiking Coordinator and Navigator, on the left. “Uncle Udder”, the person who translates the Samoyed language for their blog, on the right!

The hill that usually causes some amount of pain to everyone’s knees!

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