I am definitely a self confessed adventure gear geek. To me a rucksack is the equivalent of a new super-duper sound system or iPad (don’t get me wrong I’d love them too). There is something incredibly reassuring about having enough equipment in one rucksack to be able to survive and thrive (using the buzz words). This concept is also very sobering too as I contemplate whether we really need some of the trappings of modern day life, or is one bag enough. Those of you reading this and thinking that I have just contradicted myself could be correct. I love the thought of having a bag filled with well designed and functional high tech equipment.
Therefore, I am constantly on the search for the best equipment for me. Naming this post #3XLadventure reveals some of the challenges that face me. I am not ‘average build’ and never have been. I am constantly looking for gear and equipment that are suitable for the ‘above average’ sized man and although it may be perceived as being fussy or hard to please, but I am looking for kit that fits, has a clearly defined functional use AND is also lightweight enough to be able to fit into my one bag.
Practical examples of what I mean could include: sleeping bags compact enough that don’t need their own, seperate bag, a rucksack with a waist strap that buckles up securely but doesn’t rub and cause friction burn for an entire trip, trousers that don’t make me look like ‘Huckleberry Fin’, belts that’s don’t break if I bend over and most importantly cooking equipment that is not designed for a sparrow (clearly I need to fuel my 3XL adventure). I am also probably being very understated when using 3XL as it could be closer to 4 or 5….. but the constant battle to maintain my stature is definitely for another blog, another time.
I’d also like to demonstrate that being 3XL does not limit my fitness or at least my desire to try. I recently took part in the JCB Mudrun 2017 and totally loved the challenge as it reflected how far I have come in the last year. However it also served as another example of my #3XLadventure dilemma. The biggest size in the event T-shirt provided was 2XL and I received it alongside a comment of “It may be a bit on the small side…” Although I am used to these situations, it is now a challenge to see if I can ever fit into it – nothing’s impossible right! Having completed the run in just over 1.5 hours, I was exhausted, emotional, hungry and slightly overwhelmed. I was also undoubtedly, the only participant to still have a clean keepsake of the day (as I was not wearing the event one).