So much left to explore

On a wet winters morning when repeating a local hill walk for the umpteenth time simply doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, it’s easy to wonder whether after all these years, you’re beginning to exhaust the possibilities. But look a little closer at this small Island we live on and you realise you’ve only really begun to scratch the surface. Continue reading

My 2015 wild camps

 

In all I managed a respectable 31 nights out wild camping in 2015, in a mix of sublime and atrocious  weather, at locations from high mountain vistas to a sand dune bivvy.  Most of these were spent in a trusty favourite, my Tarptent Notch. But I also managed to squeeze in the odd night in my old Hilleberg Akto, a MLD Cuben Duomid, Trekkertent Stealth and a tarp. Here’s a montage of some of last years wild camps. Continue reading

Budget Down Booties

For a bit of luxurious warmth in your tent or bivi at night, you can’t do better than a pair of down booties. And if you don’t want to fork out a small fortune for something you might wear once in a blue moon, these budget booties would be worth a look. Continue reading

15g Coffee Filter

Being a Yorkshire man to the bone I generally have nothing but tea flowing through my veins. For most walks my standard pack includes four Yorkshire tea bags for every day.

Lately though I’ve discovered the joy of sitting outside at my evenings Wildcamp drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee. And as much as I normally prefer tea, I have to say that fresh coffee just rounds a day in the hills off perfectly.

So I’ve been on the look out for a cheap lightweight coffee filter.

I spotted the ‘MSR Mugmate’ on Amazon which looked perfect, but baulked at paying £16 for a piece of plastic and gauze. But a quick search revealed that identical unbranded filters sell for less than £6. so I ordered something called the Finum Brewing Basket.

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It’s really intended for brewing with loose tea, but works perfectly with ground coffee. It also fits perfectly inside my Alpkit titanium mug, bridged across the opening and holding the bottom of the filter just off the bottom of the mug.

Basically it’s just a plastic frame holding a fine stainless steel mesh basket. Holds back the coffee grounds very well, and easily washed in the dish washer at the end of a trip. It also comes with a lid which doubles as a drip tray once you remove it from your mug.

At only 15 grams, and for less than £6 including postage, it’s now a standard item in my pack.

And as for MSR……well they can keep their logo if it’s going to cost me an extra £10 for the privilege.

Weekend stroll along the Northumberland Coast Path

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Last weekend I spent a couple of days backpacking the Northumberland Coast Path, and it was such a delightful and peaceful walk that I’m simply going to let the photos sum it up. I highly recommend this as a gentle few days coastal walking, spending the nights sleeping under the stars to the rhythmic sound of the tide. Continue reading

Fire Maple FMS-117T stove : Gear Failure

Fire Maple 117T titanium stove

Fire Maple 117T titanium stove

The Fire Maple 117T remote canister stove has been my main stove for the past couple of years and overall I’ve been extremely pleased with it’s performance. Recently however part of the remote valve has become detached rendering the whole stove unusable. In the absence of spare parts it may now be destined for the bin. Continue reading

The Cuben Crisis – MLD Duomid Pole Mk2

Camped on top of Whernside

Camped on top of Whernside

A month or so ago I posted about a new pole set up my MLD Duomid. This used a length of carbon fibre pole to join a new pair of trekking poles I’d bought (Fizan Broad Peak). It was a neat solution and very light.

After a couple of nights recently in extremely high winds, I’ve been forced to go back to the drawing board and look again for a solution. And it’s forced me to think about one of the major short-comings of Cuben fibre as a tent material. It just doesn’t ‘give’. Continue reading