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Anyone heading for the Undiscovered Atlas ??

Anonymous
Tue, 11/05/2013 - 15:53

Hi,

I'm waiting in hope that my booking for this will go through as the trip says it's guaranteed I'm guessing there must be a few others going so it would be good to find out who.

As this will be my first trek like this (fingers crossed) I'm keen to hear recommendations on what I will really need to take for this.

Thanks

Anonymous

Hi,

   My friend and I are going on the December 7th trip.  Unfortunately neither of us have ever been either, so I'm not much help.  I hope you get on the trip and have fun!

Anonymous
Thu, 11/07/2013 - 16:31

Hi brit33,

That actually means you might be even more helpful as you will go and be back just before I go !
So if you do happen to come back on here after please feel free to let me know any hints/tips & recommendations !!

Great news is my trip is now confirmed !!

So ..... Anyone else on here going out on the 21st December ?

Anonymous
Tue, 11/12/2013 - 17:27

Hi Dabberz,  I did this trip in October last year.  My main tip for any point to point camping trek is to take less than you would for a hotel based trek - make sure you have room to rummage in your kit and that everthing fits in without a struggle. I'm not sure if it happens every time, but our guide gave us the opportunity to leave stuff we didn't need on the actual trek in a seperate bag and he took this to the last hotel for us so take a seperate bag for this.  For the trek itself take merino wool t shirts, they don't get smelly, fold up small and 2 will be enought for the whole trek. It doesn't matter if your outer clothes get grubby on the trek, - one pair of trousers is enough.  Most people carry a fleece but I find a lightweight down jacket to be warmer, lighter and compress to a much smaller in your daysack. Always carry your waterproof jacket - we had heavy rain appear out of the blue. A down sleeping bag is warmer, smaller and lighter than sythetic and the nights in the mountains are cold.  I find merino wool baselayers the warmest and most comfortable thing to wear inside the bag.  If you have a large down jacket then take that for the cold evenings when you will be sitting in an open dining shelter.  This then doubles up as a pillow at night (take a pillow case to hold it in place, it will fill 1/2 of it).  A headtorch is a must, there will be no lighting around the camping area and also very useful is a small tent lantern as it makes it much easier to find things in your tent.  Take good quality baby wipes deoderant and toothpaste but don't bother with shampoo (this will be in the bag taken to the final hotel).  The tents were allways pitched on rocky ground so even though foam mattresses are provided you really need a self inflating mat as well to be comfortable.  Take trainers for the evening as flip flops aren't substantial enough for the rocky ground and you'll get cold feet as night falls. On a couple of days we made camp quite early and had a few hours there before it got dark, there's not much to do except read so take a book and maybe a thermorest frame to turn your mat into a chair.  We had worn out tents on our treck which I'm sure will have been replaced by now but even so, I would take some large safty pins for the doors in case the zips are broken and a large plastic bag for you boots and kit bag which will have to be left in the porch area if you are shring a tent.  Don't leave anything small in the porch, we camped on the edge of villages and often had dogs around the tents in the night who would grab things and run off with them.  Take ear plugs, apart from the noise of dogs barking, our camp cook snored like a banshee.

If there's anything else you'd like to know, post here and I'll look in again in a couple of days.

It's a great trek! 

Anonymous
Wed, 11/13/2013 - 23:38

Hi FrancisAnne, that is a fantastic review with just about all the info I needed - THANK YOU !!

last questions ....... What is the setup with bags / sleeping bags etc. what do they carry / what did you carry in your daypack?  

I now have a few weeks to get all my gear together and sorted..... looking forward to it !!

Anonymous
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 07:48

Nearly forgot, Immodium, it is N. Africa after all and a few of us suffered even though the food was always freshly cooked. If I were to repeat this trek I'd go vegetarian. Loo roll, it's not supplied on the trek. Insect repellent - although we had many flies we were largely untroubled by biting things until one of the final days when we walked along a wadi and they just appeared en masse. The guys wearing shorts were literally covered in bites even though it was the middle of the day.

Exodus send you the kit bag (tie something around the handle so that you can pick yours out easily in the pile) this will take your sleeping bag, spare clothing, large down jacket, book, self inflting mattress, book, toiletries and anthing else for the tent in the evening.  This is transported by van.  In the day sack I take the following:  waterproofs, plasters, immodium, thin merino jumper, lightweight down jacket (cheap ones in uniqlo!), cap, mini airosol of insect repellent, water, snacks, small foam mat (about £4 in any outdoor shop) to sit on for lunch - not all the rocks are smooth! Lip salve, small amount of loo paper, camera, hand gel, pen knife, spare boot lace, tenacious tape (in case boot falls apart or waterproof/backpack rips), mini bottle of sun lotion.  I only carry a smallish pack but because the down jacket and merino wool sweater are so compact it all fits in easily.

Finally, if you enjoy a nightcap before bed then take some with you in a sig as there's no opportunity to buy any out there.  Spiced rum does it for me!  

If you'd like to see my photos of the trek or a have a copy of my packing list, you can drop me a line at alternativeuse@hotmail.co.uk and I'll send you a link.

Frances 

 

Anonymous
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 08:35

My final tip for cold camping - take some warm jogging trousers and before it gets dark, put on your night time base layers with the jogging trousers and large down jacket over the top. Then you're all set for bed after dinner without having to strip off in the freezing cold.  The jogging trousers will also serve as an emergency pair to walk in if necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anonymous
Mon, 11/25/2013 - 00:17

So many things I hadn't thought of, thanks so much for all that info Frances.
I've already made several purchases that I just hadn't even contemplated until I read your review.

Is there no one else on here going on the 21st December??

Anonymous
Fri, 11/29/2013 - 20:53

Hi Dabberz, I'm going too.  Looking forward to it.    See you there.

 

Elaine 

Anonymous
Sat, 11/30/2013 - 09:15

Hi Elaine, it certainly sounds good if the reviews are anything to go by so fingers crossed !

See you in 3 weeks !! :)

Anonymous
Tue, 12/03/2013 - 19:26

Hi Dabberz !

I'm not on your trip but the one before on Dec 7th. But I have been on a few treks and have to say that all the comments above by Frances Anne are very useful and  more or less covers it all ! Thanks FrancesAnne ! Great info.

It's a short duration, so travel light but do cater for cold nights !

Have a good one.

(see you Brit33 on the 7th !) 

Tony 

Anonymous
Tue, 12/03/2013 - 20:11

Hi Tony,

Ah not long now for you !! Enjoy !!

One thing that hasn't been mentioned much is water during the day .... Is it worth taking my CamelBak hydration pack or will two water bottles be better?
I have just taken delivery of my drinksafe-system Travel Tap purification bottle so I thought that maybe that plus a 2nd bottle that I'd fill from that may be enough ??? How "available" is water?

Thanks

Anonymous
Tue, 12/03/2013 - 23:19

Don't worry about water purication, the team buy a stock of bottles and carry it with them in the van - you then buy the two litre bottles off them as you need it (in my case a fresh one each morning). Whether you use a bladder or bottles is just down to personal preference, I always use the camelback as it means you can sip without stopping and loosing your rhythm - especially welcome on the steep 'ups'.  

Make sure you have a bottle of water for the first night in the hotel as no drinking water was provided in the room.

Anonymous
Wed, 12/04/2013 - 10:05

Ah that makes it easier.
Thanks Frances, your info has been invaluable as this sort of info really isn't explained anywhere on anything from Exodus, in fact the paperwork tells you to bring your own purification tablets as they no longer provide iodised water on trek.

Thanks again.

Anonymous
Wed, 12/04/2013 - 20:44

Well there's allways the possibility that you will be with a team who do things differently so it can't hurt to be prepared - especially as Exodus have stated you need them.

Have a great time & a happy (brussel sprout free) Christmas.

 Frances 

Anonymous
Wed, 12/04/2013 - 22:49

Hi Dabberz and Eliane, I'm also on the trip departing the 21st of Dec, really looking forward to it! see you in just over 2 weeks! :)

 

Hi Frances, thanks for your detailed posts, invaluable information for! 

 

Mel 

Anonymous
Thu, 12/05/2013 - 07:27

Hi FrancisAnne, thanks for the information! Wonder if it'd be OK to email also for a copy of your packing list? I'm on the trip leaving in a couple of days, so thought might be good to check if I've missed anything!

 

Pip 

Anonymous
Thu, 12/05/2013 - 07:54

Hi Pip,

I have my kit list on an excel file so if you drop me an email I'll attach it to the response.

alternativeuse@hotmail.co.uk

 Frances 

Anonymous
Thu, 12/05/2013 - 12:34

Hi Frances, 

Thanks!! That's really helpful :-)

Pip 

Anonymous
Thu, 12/05/2013 - 13:53

Hi,  I'm also on the trip departing the 21st of Dec, looking forward to it and meeting you all!

Vesna 

Anonymous
Fri, 12/06/2013 - 00:23

Hi Vesna & Mel,

Great to hear from more people going, it sounds like we should have a great trip and it's only 2 weeks away now !!

Look forward to meeting you all.

Anonymous
Fri, 12/06/2013 - 10:02

Hi FrancisAnne, you posts are so helpful, would it be OK to email also for a copy of your packing list? 

Vesna 

Anonymous
Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:31

No problem Vesna:

alternativeuse@hotmail.co.uk 

Anonymous
Sat, 12/14/2013 - 14:36

Well you should be flying back from your adventure today ..... I hope you had a great time !!

Let us know what you thought of it and please can you share with us any hints and tips from your trip and anything you would recommend we take or do?

Thanks

Anonymous
Mon, 12/16/2013 - 14:34

Anyone else having trouble packing? I don´t have exodus kit bag  - I’ll start the trip from Portugal, and Exodus provide kitbag just for UK residentes, so…I’m trying to fit everything in a big sports bag, Hm.. not going well so far.

Anonymous
Tue, 12/17/2013 - 01:19

Hi Vesna, don't worry, you are not alone :) ... I have the kit bag and it's not easy to get everything in !! Everyone says travel light .... but I thought I was !! I will have to pack much better to get everything in. Did Frances's packing list help?

Anonymous
Tue, 12/17/2013 - 09:40

Oh yes, her packing list is great, it helped me a lot, not just the list but all the info she gave about the trip.

Now I just need to fit everything in a bag...hm, I might just buy a bigger one :)

 

Anonymous
Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:23

Hahahaha ...... The bigger bag sounds like a great idea !! You can fit some luxury items in too :). Perhaps I should get a copy of the list, I'm bound to forget something !!

Anonymous
Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:32

Hi Dabberz,

Just back from the Trip.

Excellent walking, longish days (8 hrs buit with lunch stop). We were lucky with the weather, sunny during the day, but it is still COLD, especially at night. You will need a good sleeping bag, and/or some thermals at night. The trekking days are in wonderful remote locations , although the going can be tough walking on loose rocks. Take solid comfortable boots. However, the scenery is magnificent, and the camp sites are remote. 

Take a fleece/down jacket for the evening mess tent. No problem for the water, since we all bought 2x5 lt water bottles which was more than enough (so no need for the tablets). The food was much better than expected, both at lunchtime and the evening. Maybe take trail mix, but not necessary.

Early morning were still cool so woollen gloves and a beeny hat are very useful. Even though a sleeping matt is provided, I took my inflatable sleeping mat which ensured a good (!) nights sleep. Lots of rocks !

All the above hints from various people are spot on.  Your day rucksack should be big enough for the extra layers required in the morning, as well as any waterproofs just in case. The nightcap hipflask was very welcome (thank, Frances Anne) !

Enjoy your trip.  

Anonymous
Fri, 12/20/2013 - 17:11

Thanks Tony, hopefully with all that info we will have a great trip !!

Look forward to meeting everyone tomorrow !! Safe journeys !!

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