Heading out on shorter walks and the fact that the weather could be ‘changeable’ I found the rigmarole of fidgeting with a rucksack cover somewhat a pain! Especially when carrying items you need quick access to or repeated access.
Being on my mountain bike lately, I was also looking for a pack that was waterproof and able to cope with back spray from rear wheel and easy to clean…..hello Cloudburst!
A lightweight pack with hip strap, sternum strap and easy access/closure ( roll top ), not forgetting external webbing that can be used to adjust volume and hold a jacket or cycle helmet for example.
The best thig is the air can be trapped inside the bag giving it a full shape which also gives padding.
Cleaning…..Get it home after a day on the trails and hose it down, job done.
I bought this item from Argyll Outdoors who have a shop on Ferry Brae. Great service and prices to.
An alternative way to spend the night in the great outdoors!!!
My friend has a similar (newer) set up to this ,I was never convinced on the whole hammock concept . However whilst on a recent walk looking for a nice flat, clear site that’d suit a tent….I found nothing.
Whilst browsing the classifieds of an outdoors forum I found these up for sale at a bargain price. Older versions but never used.
DD Travel Hammock
DD Multicam Tarp
The advantages of a Hammock are the fact your off the ground, can be pitched over rough terrain or even on a slope. Disadvantages are slightly longer set up time ( this will improve over time) , the sleeping position may not suit everyone and … the need for trees!!!!
Dependant on weather it could be Tarp first then Hammock, Hammock then Tarp or even just the Hammock on its own.
Tonight was just a trial set up, seeing what goes where. Plenty of room for improvement, fine tuning the set up to make it easier and faster. At one point it had more lines set up than a British Telecom exchange.
The Travel Hammock has a built in mosquito/ midge net. A second layer in the base to allow a sleep mat or under blanket to be inserted and a waterproof base that means the hammock can be used as a bivi if ground dwelling.
Hammock set up
Net lifter with stick ‘spreader’
The newest version comes with small poles as standard , but the spreader loops are designed to take sticks. These are attached to the tree either end but can be put onto the ridge line of the tarp if using one.
Looking forward to trying it on an overnighter to see how I take to it. Never know you may see it for sale……at a bargain price.
Will report back after I’ve survived my first night with this setup.
Tinder on a Rope
-Easy to light even when wet.
-All natural & environmentally-friendly.
-Up to 80% resin content.
-It is the resin (oil) that burns not the wood.
-Burns with a hot flame compared to paper and paraffin.
-No “dangerous goods” shipping restrictions
-150x22x22 mm, 50-70 g.
A great way to start a fire. I’ve only tried this out in the garden so far, but it’s always good to familiarise yourself with new products before using it in a real scenario.
The tinder lights up straight away, burn time is dependant on how much fuel you use and the thickness you shave off the tinder stick.
A wee demo video…
( excuse the blunt knife and lighter, I now have the LMF Fireknife).
-Flexible and sturdy profile-grounded blade.
-Sheath with clip.
-High-friction rubber handle.
-Includes an original Swedish FireSteel® firestarter.
-Lights campfires, gas-stoves, gas-barbecues.
-Works equally well when wet.
-Predictable performance at all altitudes.
-Produces a 2,980°C (5,400°F) spark.
A knife and Swedish Fire Steel in one….perfect.
Will update as I trial…….
Both items available from Argyll Outdoors
Fly: 40D/230T Siliconized nylon ripstop fabric
Fly: HH 2000mm
Inner Tent: High density nylon mesh
Floor: PU Coated nylon with HH 4000mm
Guys: 11 supplied with glow in dark line locks
Weights: Tarp 710g, Nest 418g, Pegs 116g = Total 1244g
A lightweight shelter that can be erected with the use of a walking pole or an adjustable tarp/tent pole. It even has a loop so it can be pitched from the branch off a tree!! Basically an outer and an inner, the inner taking up half the floor space giving plenty of room for storage or cooking in the remainder.
The inner has a ‘bathtub floor’ with netting to keep the bugs out. This is attached to the outer pegging points and to a hook at the peak of the shelter……simple.
The outer is made from siliconised nylon ripstop fabric, light and strong. The corners have a stiffening band giving a box like construction ensuring the outer is kept low to the ground, minimising draughts.
Attach a light here
Best thing about this is the weigh….1224kgms ( excluding pole).
I’ll update as I put this to use, hopefully soon.
See a video by the stockist ‘Bob’ for further details. Or visit his site HERE
Took the Sil out for a walk today. An ideal haven for a coffee stop away from the elements.
Carried out a wee modification, seen it on the Internet. The 4 main pegging points are loops at the end of the adjustable webbing. However with these being flat they need to be twisted when pegging down. Simple fix, some triangular loops threaded onto the webbing allowing a straight even pull.
Letting the bike take the strain !!!
Having bought a rear rack and bike mounted luggage from eBay (combination of bargains) a while back, it was time to put it to full use.
Not quite sure what size the rear panniers are but I’m guessing 32-40lts combined, plenty of room for a night away……plus additional nights. Bar bag probably giving 3lts of space, enough for bridge camera and some other camera stuff.
Despite a balmy 7 degrees forecast decided to take my 4 season sleeping bag and my tent as supposed to bivi bag. Might as well let the bike take the strain and sleep out in comfort.
Loaded and ready for the bike.
Destination, ruins of Stuck Farmhouse.
Flooded roads and landslides but we made it…….
Fed up trying to break firewood like the Karate Kid, I decided a more elegant means must be available.
A hand axe that’s small and light enough to carry, 14″ (355mm) length and 640 gms seemed to fit the bill. Can also act as a hammer for that stubborn ground that won’t accept a tent peg to easily.
Full details HERE
A new addition to the gear list.
An Exped Synmat UL 7, the UL standing for Ultra Light and the 7 refers to the thickness of the mat. I managed to get away with the short version as I’m only wee , but there’s plenty of other options in the range.
The reason for this purchase is I’m trying to cut back on weight and bulk on what I carry on my back, kayak or panniers on the bike.
Size n weight for the 7 range
UL 7 S – 163 x 52 x 7cm, 410g
UL 7 M – 183 x 50 x 7cm, 460g
UL7 LW – 197 x 65 x 7cm, 590g
Full spec details click HERE
Best thing is, I bought this item locally.
Check out all the available products HERE
Prior to this purchase I used a Vango sleep mat ( twice) and this gave a great nights sleep and at 3 cm thick gave a bit of insulation too. But it was too bulky and weighty for my weight loss programme, so it had to go.
To give an idea of ‘packed size’ comparison of the two here’s a wee pic. Ok , the Exped is 20cm shorter but it’s 4cm thicker and 570gms lighter!!
Mat and additional dry bag.
I’ll update this thread is I use this new addition, hopefully in the next few weeks.
Demo vid from YouTube
Introducing my latest purchase, the Inov8 Roclite 390 GTX. A lightweight (760gms on the kitchen scales) pair of mid boots with a Gore-Tex lining.
Justifying this purchase, I’m going for the fact that these are more than half the weight of my current boots (1600gms, 4 season Brashers).
Ok, the Inov8’s aren’t full on 4 season boots but I’m sure with the right socks they’ll mange in the colder seasons on lower level treks……maybe beyond.
I’ve been covering quite a lot of hardcore paths lately and the Brashers with their stiff sole (crampon compatible ) are not the best choice, but my only boot…..until now.
That’s me justified to myself, now to convince the wife!!!
Initial impression….definitely light, a good fit and what seems like good support despite the Mid height.
Will update this post as I put them to task.
Covered a walk of 7 miles, 5 of that on open hillside with no tracks. Wet underfoot,but the boots held out keeping feet dry. No issues with support over uneven ground.
Another walk, covering 11 miles of forestry road. Thinking the minimalist boots and sole would feel every stone on the road, but this wasn’t the case. Surprisingly fresh after the walk with no aches or pains. Certainly notice the lighter boots over longer distances.
Over the last few day’s I’ve been playing about with the Viewranger App on my iPhone. I tended to use it for measuring distances whilst route planning and plotting my position when on the hill. However on looking at other trip logs I noticed people adding pictures to their tracks……………this I had to try.
Please see below links for details of my two trials. As well as pictures it goes into great detail when it comes to statistics…..I like numbers!
Kilbride Red Route and forestry road.
Kilbride Hill Track,Sunrise.
Really happy with the results,they give a great insight into the tracks and what to expect on route.
Messing about with the Bivi and Tarp, practicing different set ups. Giving enough shelter to get changed or cook in if the weather turns bad. Whilst they could be set up separately I think it’s ideal to have everything close at hand.
Guy lines,Tarp,sleep mat,bivi,sleeping bag and walking poles…..home from home.
Bivi and sleep mat.
Set up 1
A good set up giving enough room to sit up and cook
Set up 2
Not so handy, should have pitched further back towards to foot of bivi. Just meant a longer crawl to bed.
Set up 3
My favourite. Found by accident as I moved things about!! Sits well round the hoop of bivi with enough room to cook/get changed…..plus the doors close,ha. Doors closed,tied back or pegged out.