What’s Your Gear?: Kark Bushby, Global Trekking

THOUGHT YOU WERE TOUGH after Bloomsday last year? Maybe you felt like you could walk another seven miles. How about 36,000 miles? That just happens to be the distance of the route of the Goliath Expedition.

The Goliath Expedition is, as its website relates, “Karl Bushby’s attempt to walk around the world with unbroken footsteps.” Unwavering in his determination to complete this quest, Bushby has spent the last nine years trekking up the spine of South America, then through Central and North America. He became the first Brit to walk across the frozen Bearing Strait, and made his way into northeast Russia. There, he ran into permit and supply issues, and currently has returned for a breather before returning to continue his journey.

Bushby was certain to break a record somewhere along the way, but “the record aspect is not what it’s about-it’s about the challenge, and what would I have to live through to survive it.”

Here’s a look at the gear that’s getting him through his epic trek:

BOOTS: “When I left the UK, the only sponsorship I had was Zamberlan boots,” Bushby said. “I used a few different versions as we came thought the warmer climates, and now I’m using a more sturdy boot for crossing the tundra.” Those who complain of blisters, he says, “they aren’t wearing Zamberlan boots.”

SOCKS: Pekkos, a small company in the UK, supplies his socks of choice. Bushby says he usually wears two pairs: one pair of liners and one for cushion, but sometimes he adds a third for better wicking in warmer weather.

BASE LAYERS: On top, Bushby said he usually will wear a mid-weight base layer, and a fleece. On colder days, he’ll add another fleece, “and then if it’s really starting to blow, I’ll throw on a shell.” On the bottom he layers a shell-type pant over wool leggings. Ibex and North Face have been providing most of the layering pieces for him.

Now that he’s traveling through what most people would call a frozen wasteland, “it’s a little more complicated, and I’m carrying a lot more heavy clothing,” mostly furnished by North Face.

SUPPLIES: For most of his journey, Bushby has traveled through more or less civilized areas, and hasn’t had to carry too much with him, “but it becomes a concern when you get to the more remote regions up north.” On various stages of his journey, he has used a trolley, a sled, and a backpack to haul his gear.

TENT: Upon his return to Russia, Bushby will be using a North Face Mountain 25 tent. It’s a two-man tent, which he prefers “especially for arctic survival, because you need the extra room for administrating and stuff like that.”

SLEEPING BAG: North Face’s Dark Star synthetic sleeping bag, rated to minus forty degrees.

STOVE: The MSR WhisperLite was the stove of choice in warmer regions. “It’s a good stove to not draw attention to yourself,” he says, but recently he switched to the XGK stove. “It’s a more powerful version, and you need that for melting snow.”

FOOD: “Dehydrated food and high calorie stuff,” he says, “it’s all about keeping the weight down.” He eats almost exclusively Mountain House brand, as a matter of preference. He especially enjoys the Mountain House banana and mango dehydrated pieces, and chocolate bars, of course.

LIGHTS: The Princeton Tec SureFire. “Just a headlamp. I don’t really carry a torch, because there’s no need to with the LED system.”

TOOLS: “A decent survival knife is absolutely necessary, and I also carry a Leatherman for the more technical aspects,” he says.

TRANSPORT: For arctic crossings, Bushby skis. “We’ve used various skis, but at the moment we’re looking at a very interesting pair by Goode,” he says. The skis are carbon composite, making them exceptionally light.

NAVIGATION: “A good map, a good compass, and a Garmin GPS,” are Bushby’s essential tools.

TECH: A Panasonic Toughbook laptop, “because I need to be able to connect with the outside world.”

Bushby also carries an Iridium satellite phone in case of emergencies, and batteries. On a trip like this, “you’ve got to make sure everything uses the same kind of batteries,” Bushby says.

Check out the Goliath Expedition online at goliath.mail2web.com-it just keeps going, and going, and going.

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