Sunday, January 22, 2012

It`s the inside that counts

I like skiing. I don`t like blisters. Somehow these two get mixed up with my Scarpa T4 low-cuff telemark boots. I felt that was a bit strange as I have been extremely happy with my, now sadly disposed of, Scarpa T3 boots. These boots have seen me through a lot of fun stuff but were eventually falling to pieces. And the liners smelt like nuclear waste.

So. Off I went and got myself a pair of T4s, hoping they would be as good or even better than my T3s.

But so far I have been a bit disappointed. Because I get nasty blisters on the side of my feet.
I do not have blisterprone feet, as opposed to my wife who attracts them like honey to the bee.

One advice in a local shop was to drill a hole through the liner just next to where the pressure point is, but I decided to go for another option. A new, thermal liner.

This would have at least two nice benefits. A thermal liner is lighter and, more importantly, is custom fitted through the heating process, and should thus reduce the chance of blisters.
I have such a liner in my Scarpa T2 boots and really like them. Tried these in my T4, but felt they were too high for normal touring. Instead of blisters on my ankle, they would introduce blisters on my shin.

A bit of online research and a look in my wallet led me to Palau of France, and their TPM model which should be suitable for low-cuff telemark boots.
Palau TPM

A few days ago these arrived and below are some of my initial reactions.

For starters they are a lot easier to get in and out of than the stock liners, no disadvantage in really cold conditions, when you want your stuff to work with you, not against you. The stock liner is particularly difficult to get out of the shell. Not so with the Palau liners. So, round one. 1-0 in favor of Palau.

Like I mentioned above they are lighter. They weigh 242 grams each without a footbed, 270 grams with the original footbed that came with the stock T4 liners. In comparison the stock liners weigh 414 and 442 grams. Round two. 2-0.

The plastic shell, by the way,weighs 1246 gram each so in total the shell and palau weigh 1516 grams, the original version weighs 1688 grams. Not superlightweight, but plastic does provide more fun/stability going downhill.

The molding process was taken care of following Dave`s excellent step by step tutorial.

One disadvantage is that they are taller than the stock liners. How much of a problem that will turn out to be is something future trips will tell.

We went for a skitrip today, but with a 2.5 year old boy on, for him, long and wobbly skies, long distance skiing is not the first word that comes to mind.. I took off on a small hill nearby and managed to squeeze in a few turns. This was also the first time I tried skiing without the cuff on one boot. Worked quite well, but I guess 500 meters don`t give conclusive evidence :)

Looking forward to getting to know these liners. And go skiing!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dr. Livingstone, I presume

I thought I was alone.

Many years ago I first dipped my toes into the delicious pool of lightweight backpacking.
I was a student on a low budget and tried various inexpensive ways of shedding packweight. My peers thought I was a weirdo and I gradually let go of most of my lightweight principles. Until last year.
Somehow I stumbled upon some interesting websites, and imagine my delight when I discovered that there were indeed more scandinavians "doing the light-thing" aka the Nordic Lightpacking guys (no gals yet?). I have since been a avid follower of HendrikNielsen BrownJörgenMarkDaveGustavThomas and many more. And then there is Joe. Heck, we even live in the same town (beautiful Bergen on the westcoast of Norway).

For some time I have been lurking in the shadows, just reading what this fellow was up to. I guess any familyman can attest to there not being enough hours in a day to cover everything you wish to do."Life is a box full of compromises, you never know which way you really want to go". (slightly adapted Forrest Gump citation). My focus was work and family.

Until today.

Today we finally got to meet in person and go for a walk in our backyard. We decided on a walk across the mountain platou near our homecity, Over Vidden

More photos

And a fine walk it was. Up in the mountains there is winter, down in the city it is almost springlike. It was good to finally be in the right place at the right time. Joe was excellent company and it is clear that we share many of the same values. Looking forward to sharing more trips with him in the future.

Hooray! I`m not alone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What`s in a name

Hi, and welcome to my inaugural post.

My name is Odd Arild Røen, hence the somewhat odd looking header. I`m norwegian and the name Odd is not so odd or even misplaced here at all actually.In old Norse the word means sharp end of an arrow or edge of blade. Thanks Wikipedia!

In fact when I studied in Australia, (one) of my nicknames was Sharp Arrow :)

My intention with this blog is to somehow document my journey towards living more with less. I have a keen interest in the outdoors so the main focus will be on lightweight backpacking, kayaking, packrafting, bikepacking etc. I also do rather enjoy taking photos, so expect a photo now and then.

My problem is that I am constantly torn between a desire to declutter while at the same time being a gear affecionado at heart.. The compromise, get rid off all unnecessary stuff and keep or aquire only the best (within my budget)

The header also suggests that I do not get out as much as I used to. Outdoorslife has taken a new direction after becoming a dad, so lengthy trips are out the window. Instead I have to hone my skills as a weekend warrior.

I take great pleasure in following other like-minded people on the web, and I hope this blog can be of interest for someone out there.

Take care and follow me on Twitter for short messages!