The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blackberry blogging

My Blackberry Curve was bought more or less because i had read good things about it and quite a lot of more experienced bloggers were using it.
My first attempts at blogging with it were a disaster as i just couldn’t get it set up properly.
See here if you want to know why.

The Mobile Blogging page on the blogger site was no help as it is written for people living in the USA.

In comparison to Sheila’s HTC Desire the Blackberry was second rate.
Everything we wanted to do was easily accomplished with the HTC whereas the Blackberry was long winded and you never have the feeling that what you have done is correct.
We just seemed to be on the same wavelength with the HTC whereas months down the line i am still unsure with the BB.

I managed eventually to get the BB to accept new posts to my blog via emails and with the odd photograph. Nothing too spectacular though.
I was certainly not in the same league as Martin Banfield whose blog is here. or Mick and Gayle who’s blog is here. They didn’t seem to be having any problems with writing long posts with numerous photo’s, whilst on the move and on long trips.

One of the problems i had, was that when i mobile googled my blog and signed in i couldn’t answer comments or write up a new post, but i could make a new entry via email. Very strange.
I asked both Martin and Gayle if they could shed any light on the problem but alas they posted via email too instead of using the blog page as if you were sat in front of your Mac or PC.

I eventually put it down to me being thick and i resigned my self to posting via email or not bothering at all as it was all getting a bit tedious.
Also, one of the issues with mobile blogging is battery life. It certainly drains the battery quickly and drains the will to live too.

Then today whilst playing around with the phone menu’s i noticed that some tick boxes were not enabled. Eureka i thought, am i onto making a break through here.
I ticked the boxes and went on my blog. The comments box was lit up for the very first time and allowed the cursor to make text. It worked!
I have managed to write posts, to comment and answer comments. Fantastic.

So for those that have had issues like i have explained above, here this is what i did.
From the BB homepage go to the browser and highlight it.
Press the Blackberry button (the one with 7 dots)
Go to options and press.
Go to Browser configuration and press.
Enable, (tick) Support JavaScript
Press the return key (right of centre) and save the changes made.

I hope that this resolves your problem with blogging on the move and prevents you throwing the phone through the window. At least for now anyway.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Moffat Roundup

Our sojourn to Moffat ended today with the weather forecast being wrong again. It rained the whole way home.
Driving south, the Howgills looked bad as did the Eastern and Northern Lakeland fells. The Southern Fells looked ok from the car.

It has been a good trip despite the lousy weather. (Although it would be possible to dispute the weather from the photo’s but i assure you it was bad).
The photo’s of the trip are here. Sorry there are 145 of them.

So, what a beautiful area the Southern Uplands are. Moffat is a good place to spend some time with plenty of walks available, both high and low depending on the weather. The campsite is run by the Caravan club but non members are welcomed. No kids allowed so that was very pleasant.
The hotels and pubs seemed to be doing well and there is a good coffee shop culture.

The walk from Moffat to Ettrick head is pleasant with fine views but the Ettrick Glen was magic in the rain and the wildlife such a pleasure to see and hear. The path from the bottom of the Glen over to Tibbie Sheils Inn is clear and well marked and even in bad conditions is easy to follow.

The camping facilities at Tibbies are basic but adequate although there is no way they can cope with the volume of weekend campers. The ground is good but i hear it can be liable to flooding occasionally so be warned.
Once we got the tent up i was in need of a warm shower, i grabbed my soap and stuff and once in the shower, which was barely warm,  squeezed what i thought was soap on my hair, only to find out when it didn’t lather that it was Gerwhol foot gel. Back out to the tent for what i thought was shampoo and repeated the event with clothes wash. It was not my day. But we had a laugh later.


Tibbies itself is a great place, good bar and food and warm wood burning stove to dry out those wet clothes. Very helpful staff.

We managed to get a walk in up to Loch Skeen and the Grey Mares Tail in between the low cloud. This is a lovely walk and should not be missed. The surrounding hills were begging for us to walk them but it will have to wait until next time.

What about some of the gear we took.
Well before we went i couldn’t decide what to take regarding footwear. It was going to be very wet, we knew that. I decided to take my Meindl Softline Ultra GTX boots which have a membrane.
Big, Big mistake. I obviously had forgotten why we moved to trail shoes. They got wet and took on the guise of lead divers boots.
Yes, my feet were dry but back to the trail shoes asap! Boots are now redundant.

Sealskinz socks.
I have called these socks for ages because when i bought a pair years ago they leaked after about 1 hr and i never got over it. I bought Gore-Tex socks ever since.
However Sheila bought a pair against my better judgement but they turned out be slightly too big so i had them and wore them a couple of times through the week with my Inov-8’s. They were wonderful and didn’t leak at all. I take back my comments about them and i will wear them on future walks.

Optimus Crux gas stove.
I gave this stove another chance and to see if it could redeem itself to me after i was very harsh about it’s regulator. I thought that in a warmer clime and with full gas cylinder it would perform better but alas no.
The regulator is bad and only stays stable when full on.
Another piece of kit destined for redundancy.

Inov-8 130 Mistlite Overtrousers. 
We both wore these for most of the week and they did a really good job. I have no complaints about them whatsoever and they have had a hammering.

Tarptent Scarp 2
Love this tent. The inner space is huge for 2. I don’t know a better 2 man tent. It’s a bit awkward to pack up with having fixed poles but you learn to get by with it.
It developed leaks at the very ends of the 2 roof vents where the vent is final stitched to the fly. All 4 places were found vulnerable.
It was easily resolved, i bought a tube of silicon and spread a little onto the stitching and underneath. Problem resolved until we get home, then i am going to add a circle of silnylon under the ends to give it some extra re-inforcing. I know you shouldn’t need to do this and it may have become worse if i hadn’t been base camping but i will live with it.
I had previously sealed the seams but this area is a vulnerability in my eyes and needs to be changed.

Icebreaker base tee.
I have always liked this base layer and it excelled this week. Warm when damp and fast drying. It didn’t smell after 4 days of wearing it and that included the smoky atmosphere created with the bothy wood burner. I am so impressed i am going to look for a polo neck type with a front zip.
Those 2 items will then do all my walks.

Carn Cobra shoe.
Sheila wore her Cobra’s throughout and found them excellent. Comfy, good grip and supportive.
She finds that they do take longer to dry than her Inov-8’s but with wearing Sealskinz socks it didn’t matter on this occasion.

Well enough of gear. It can get a bit boring and we don’t want that do we.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, our last day. Loch Skeen.

It hammered down during the night but it has stopped raining for the moment.
Decided to go back down the glen and stretch the legs with a walk up to Loch Skeen.
3 cars in the car park and Mr Ranger is there.
It is certainly a steep pull up to the level of the Grey Mares Tail waterfall which was flowing spectacularly. (Photo from Google Images as i left my camera data cable at home)

 It took an hour and 15 minutes to reach the Loch which almost hits you full in the face as you arrive. It is a beautiful spot and we had blue skies at last with some sun.

All the tops were clear, first time this week. Absolutely stunning.
We soaked up the tranquility for a little while and took some photo's which i will post when we get back home.
As we turned to depart the first shower came and went. Nothing much thankfully.

Quite a few people were now on the way up the track and we were pleased to have got up there early as we had it more or less to ourselves. ( there was 2 guys fishing).
Reaching the main road we disturbed a hare and it shot off along the tarmac at a fair rate of knots.
A lovely day. Hurrah.

Thursday 23rd June. Peebles.

Checked the pubs out last night and cask bitter is hard to find. The Annandale hotel is serving Merlin Bitter and the Star (hotel bar not the back bar) has one cask beer.
The others have only keg beers. The Stag has Old Specled Hen in keg form. Yuk!
The Annandale bar closes at 11 pm and that means stop drinking and leave, please.
So the Star has our vote for best pub in Moffat.

Getting up this morning was in sunshine, yes, sunshine. It must have lasted 10 minutes and then the black clouds covered up the sun and that was that. Raining again.
We decided over breakfast in the Rumblin Tub Cafe to do a tourist run to Peebles. It's a lovely drive.
There was blue skies breaking through as we arrived but again it was just a blip.

Waterproofs donned we checked out the high street and into the outdoor shops. This was fatal and the old card took a bashing with Sheila getting a new Tilley Hat and a pair of sealskinz for her webbed feet.
We had a walk up through the estate in Glensax and they were still burning brush wood as they were in April.

A leisurely drive back to Moffat via St Mary's loch was taken and the car got another drenching. It is looking clean though.
Stopping for 5 minutes in the empty car park at the Grey Mares Tail we looked up but couldn't see the fall for mist. The ranger must have been fed up because his trailer was all shut up.
The forecast is a little better tomorrow.

Wednesday. Moffat Town.

Never stopped raining today and frequently very heavy.
No thunder and lightening thankfully so the weather men got that one wrong.
 We are now camped at Moffat Camping Site.
Locals say they have not seen the sun for 6 weeks. The only thing to do is check the pubs out.

Oh and the Scarp has developed 4 leaks. It is leaking where the roof air vents end. So off to the hardware shop to get some silicon seal. Forecast no better for Thursday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tibbies to Moffat

Had a good night in Tibbies. Watched the forecast which said heavy thundery showers, great.
Offered a lift back to Moffat in the morning if we wanted it, so we said yes.
Had a good chat with the landlord about windfarms and with a geologist aboUt the local hills which was very interesting.
The morning was lovely, have they got the weather wrong? No! It started to rain and then it lashed! It didn't stop for 24 hours.
Mist down to around 200 metres. You would think it was november.

David, the secretary has been sacked. To many wines.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scarp 2 at Tibbie shiels

A five minute break in the rain.

Sent from my HTC

Over Phawhope bothy



Sent from my HTC

Over Phawhope to Tibbie Sheils

I have noticed that my mobile blogging dates are incorrect. Probably due to lack of signal.

Awoke tuesday morning to be greeted with light rain. Cleaned the bothy, collected wood for the next people and left about 9.20am.
Mist was right down to the intake walls with no views what so ever.
Rain got harder and we made good use of the brolly in the downpours.
The walk down the Ettrick glen is wonderful however the track soon turns into a minor road. The walking is easy .
Lots of wildlife seen and heard including Curlew, Snipe, Oyster catcher, Meadow Pipet.
Eventually the signpost was reached that heads off into the hills and over to St Mary's loch.
Again visibility was poor, still raining quite heavy.
Within the hour Loch of the Lows was spotted just after the path splits from the Southern Upland Way. we made our way down to the Loch and then walked shore side to Tibbie Sheils.
Did we have a beer and Aberdeen Angus burger? You bet your life we did.

Getting the tent up now while we have a break in the weather and then we might try a few more beers.

Moffat to Over Phawhope bothy.

Sent from my HTC



Started 9.15am with a grey overcast sky.  Within the hour, we were in the forestry track following Cornal burn.

Once out of the forestry below Croft head, there was some blue sky showing through.  The track to Ettrick head is splendid with great views across Moffat dale.  At this point we decided to take the route to Over Phawhope bothy as this was new to us.

Again the view down the Ettrick valley is also splendid.
 Tomorrow we have a campsite booked at Tibbieshiels which is only 11 miles away.

As the bothy was empty we have decided to stay here tonight.  Just watching 2 deer as the sun starts to sink, below White shank.


Sent from my HTC

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our tent for the night.

Finally eased off raining.  Had a great meal here and merlin cask bitter. Quite expensive campsite!!!!!!.

Called in the famous star hotel as you must.  Looking forward to tomorrow.

Sent from my HTC

Moffat Arrival.

After a pleasant drive up the M6 (Ha) in a deteriorating weather front we arrive in Moffat.
Martin, the cloud over Appleby was very black and cloud base low.

It had rained off and on for most of the journey from Lancaster. This was a taster for the absolute downpour that greeted us as we got out of the car.
A local lady said the main street was flowing like a river last night. Oh Joy.
Another local is trying to rod the drains adjacent to our parked car. Currently the puddle is about 4" deep and rising.
Off for some eats now. More later. Probably more rain too!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Moffat Again

I did the Moffat to Peebles backpack earlier this year with Mike, Laura and Louise. Unfortunately Sheila couldn't get the time off work and so missed the trip.
So now that she has a week off it was decided to do a few days hiking a circular route from Moffat so that she could appreciate what a lovely area it is.
The likely hood route wise is that we will head across to Tibbie Shiels by the route we previously walked and then turn round and return by Ettrick or on the Southern Upland Way. I am not casting the route in stone.

The intention is to amble rather than march and get to know the area a little better. So it's all packing today because we are off to Moffat tomorrow and the walk will start on Monday. I hope the weather is not too wet.

We will try and blog our progress from the mobile but we havn't got a spare battery so once it's died that's it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Settle Wanderer

Settle in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales was the start point for this East Lancs LDWA walk.
22 people met up at the car park near to the railway viaduct at 9.00am , some paid the modest car park fee of £3.80 all day while others decided to opt for the freeby parking outside the church. (I think they were from the Yorkshire branch somebody whispered).

The walk was led by Norman Thomas so anything was to be expected. Unfortunately no group photo was taken. Shame.

Setting off to Upper Settle we were soon into our first “up" of the day past Constitution Hill, with it’s Georgian cottages.
Through some lovely meadows with grand views on a warm sunny morning it was a joy to be out. It’s going to rain this afternoon someone shouted as we stripped off the layers.
 Settle

A very sorry young crow was found and investigated and then returned, hopefully it survived.
A poorly crow
In a short time the path leads down hill, yes, after the “UP” we went kicking and screaming down hill to Langcliffe.
Here we had a very interesting few minutes at the old Craven Lime works which you can read about HERE
The kilns were built in 1873. Quite a lot of the oven is still there and as Norman said you can definitely come and spend an hour or so looking round the place as they are the best preserved in the UK.
 The Hoffmann Lime Kilns at Langcliffe

Norman pointing out some vitrified lime.

From Langcliffe the path we took followed the Settle to Carlisle railway line and leads us to Stainforth Village and pasted the Craven Heifer Pub which was shut. A bit of bad timing.
This was also the start of our next “UP”,  all the way up to Dale Head, crossing the Ribble Way at Moor Head Lane and giving us good views ahead of Pen-y-ghent at 694 metres.
Across Overdale with Pen-y-ghent in the background.

At this point we found a shovel, strange finding a shovel. Peter decided that just in case the weather turns wintery he would sacrifice the added weight and carry it with him for the next 14 miles or so just incase a snow hole was needed. Now that’s dedication or is it something else?

Norman spilt the beans by telling some that this pimple in front was the 1st real up and the next one would be Ingleborough.  Strangulation of our guide seemed apt here.

As we joined the Pennine Way path it was decided to have a 10 minute pit stop to give some energy for the route ahead and then it was onward and upward.

Just as we got to the height of 530 metres a path is joined on the left which leads to Horton in Ribblesdale. Norman went through the gate and smiling said he was only kidding about going up Pen-y-ghent.
This got a mixed reception. Some were obviously very pleased whilst myself, Sheila and 5 other fellows decided that the idea of another Norman descent was out of the question and the lofty height had to be overcome. That also included Peter with his shovel.
Pen-y-ghent was extremely windy and not a place to hang around. We achieved the trig point, took the ubiquitous photo’s, checked the map and retraced our steps. 
Pen-y-ghent trig point 694 Metres.
Trying to keep my hat on.
And the well travelled spade.
We now had to catch the rest of the party as we could only guess where lunch was going to be. The weather was also changing rapidly and the dark clouds brooding aloft.
Neil and Les shot off down the track at a fair rate of knots, like 20 year olds, while the rest made good progress at about 5 miles an hour. 

We met up with the team at the Pen-y-ghent cafe in Horton (now there’s a surprise) where due to the fact that we were half an hour behind them we only had 10 minutes for lunch.

Norman took a pound out of his pocket, yes, that’s the one he always carries. The only one he carries.
He gathered the congregation and asked if we could name a 5 day challenge walk starting and finishing at this cafe he would sacrifice his pound.
Well as you might know, nobody did and he kept his pound.
As it happens the walk is called the Yorkshire Dales Centurion walk which he proudly showed us the badge.

Rain started to fall although not heavy at this stage, as we set off again in the direction of Ingleborough, crossing the railway line and another “UP”.  
Ingleborough was looking closer and closer until after almost 2 miles a cross roads sign appeared. We turned left to the joy of the group. Ingleborough was not on todays jaunt.
Cross roads.

Limestone escarpment.
We stopped and waterproofs and over trousers were being put on. The weather was quickly closing in, the wind had picked up and the rain was getting heavy. Some braved the weather by staying in shorts.
Brave or stupid the verdict is still out.

Norman said that the route he had planned across the limestone escarpment was going to be changed due to the adverse weather. He didn’t want any accidents on his shift. 
We think he had lost his way and going for the easy option. Nothing is easy with Norm though!

The route we took skirted Long Scar and Crummock Dale  and eventually came out at Austwick village. There was a few tired legs now, me being one of them and the rain and wind had increased.

 It was enough for me, my pants were soaked and i donned the overtrousers because i was feeling cold. The showerproof Montane jacket was swapped for my full waterproof.

The fact that lunch had been taken so swiftly, (our fault for going up Pen-y-ghent) was also having an effect. I was in need of sustenance. 
Somebody was looking out for us because Norman led us to a coffee shop where he had arranged with the owners for a large group to visit.
The actual shop was full, so we entered the barn adjacent, which happened to be full of farm equipment and was treated to Tea, Coffee, Hot chocolate, scones, cream and jam. When i say treated, that doesn’t mean that Norman bought them. As previously mentioned he only had a pound!

Norman said it was just like being in his front room, funnily others agreed.
(Sorry the photo is blurred, i think the cold was taking its toll)

It wasn’t too long before we were back out into the elements and for the next hour we basically stared at the grass. Keeping our heads down due to the wind and rain which was lashing into our faces.
The going was thankfully relatively easy, but tiredness was starting to take it’s toll. The group got spread out and a couple of times we thought we had lost the tail enders.
I didn’t take any photo’s in the last hour because it just wasn’t fit to get the camera out.

Eventually we got to the River Ribble at the weir just below Stackhouse. The rain was starting to ease a little and within 15 minutes we were back at the car park in Settle, it was 5.30pm.

More photo’s can be found here
The route was 20.7 miles. (Including Pen-y-ghent summit).
The amount of “UPs”  were 4,498ft. and for those that didn’t do the summit 3,960ft.
Average walking speed (not counting stops) = 3.2 miles per hour.

Thanks to Norman Thomas for the walk and the talk. Thanks to everyone for the company. Most enjoyable day.

Gear review.
Satmap Active 10 plus.  
Be aware that this GPS is not waterproof, not even in its pouch. I now have water underneath the screen.
Outdoor designs eVent mitts. 
Not waterproof, both mitts had puddles inside. 
Very disappointing because both items are not cheap.

Over trousers. 
Inov-8 Mistlite 130’s, very pleased with these on their first outing.  Comfortable, lightweight, breathable and inexpensive.
Tilley hat, 
Brilliant.











Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lightweight gas cylinder inverter.

Following my modification on the Primus Express Spider support leg, i wanted to make inverting the remote gas cylinder better than just having the cylinder roll around on the valve head.
Today is a perfect day to have a go because the weather is appalling.

 I could of course go the whole hog and replace the existing valve for a flat head type with side regulator but that costs money and time and also you take a chance with your purchase that it will not be as good at regulating the gas flow as the original.

 So i decided the most cost effective method was to make a stand which would support the cylinder in the upright position and would allow easy use of the original regulator turn screw.

Do i make it out of aluminium or plastic or should i try and make it from wire?
All these thoughts were going through my mind about ease of manufacture, cheap, durable, simple to make, replaceable etc, etc.

I was holding the gas cylinder, the 125gr./225ml Go System and with it i had the Primus windshield that i used with the Optimus Crux last year.
I fitted the regulator from the Spider stove to the cylinder and then i fitted the Primus windshield. Once inverted it stood up quite well apart from the fact that i thought i could get it lighter and even more stable.

So this is where the impetus came from in coming up with this scenario below.

If you are like me, i tend to assess plastic food containers before throwing them in the bin because they are light weight and can be used for all sorts of ideas for backpacking, from bowls, cups, cereal storage and much more. (Sad really, i know).

Looking at the shape of the windshield and checking my pots i came across an old Prince’s hot pot container which is very similar shape.
(photo borrowed from Bob at Backpackinglight) hope he doesn’t mind.

The Weight of the Primus windshield is 60gr (Bob’s figure), and a nice piece of kit too. 

The weight of the Hot pot less the lid, wrapping, and contents obviously, is 31gr.

What i liked about the Hot pot, and a real benefit is that it has an alloy rim which gives good strength and stability.
I set about giving access to the interior and also the hole for the Cylinder lip. The side access holes are 60mm diameter and the hole in the base is 33mm.  They were cut using a hole saw.
The alloy rim also helped in maintaining the shape of the pot when putting the side holes in.

I had to slightly open out the small hole to make fitting the cylinder and removing it easy, but it was no more than 0.5mm and it’s now a slight interference fit which makes it self supporting.

Fitting the stove valve was no problem and it stood up very well.
Inverted cylinder in situ.

 Weight of finished inverter is 16gr. 
There is scope to get it a few grams lighter if you must, but for me i am pleased with the result.
It’s strong and stable.
 The pot is a perfect size to store the 125gr/225ml cylinder in.
It then fits neatly into my cup.
Which then fits neatly into my bowl. (I use a bowl for cereals, i know others don’t)


Well that’s about it, easy to make, does the job, takes up hardly any room and uses re-cycled parts so there is no cost. 
I’m pleased with the result. I hope you like it.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Karrimor Beta 2 man tent review.

The Karrimor Beta tent, kindly supplied by Millets for review, has been around for quite sometime and has evolved slowly over the years. I had the chance to review it at the Duddon Valley Fell Race in June 2011)
Karrimor beta 2 man tent. (Photo 1)

As delivered including bags and small repair kit the tent weight is 3.269 kg. (Photo 2)
Opening the bag was a nice surprise as the kit was neatly packaged. There was no forcing of the parts into the smallest space possible. There was also an instruction aid to pitching and a small repair kit.
Contents of the bag, poles and pegs in the centre of the tent bundle. (Photo 3)

Pitching.
I read the instructions once prior to pitching and they are clear and easy to understand.
This tent pitches inner first. Unroll the inner and assemble the 3 poles, a nice touch is that the 3 poles have coloured ends which match the colour on the tent sleeves. 
2 red for the inner and 1 blue for the flysheet. Slide the 2 red tipped poles through the mesh sleeves and locate into the relevant eyelets.
Inner poles showing red sleeve hem and pole tip. (Photo 4)
 End View (Photo 5)
Front View (Photo 6)
Locate the flysheet over the inner ensuring that the pole sleeve is central over the inner and positioned front to back.
Flysheet in position and showing the 1/3 mesh inner door. (Photo 7)
Locate the 4 eyelet ribbons on the fly and position the inner pole tips into the eyelets. Then pass the remaining pole through the sleeve and into the eyelet ribbon. 
You will find a long ribbon attached to the base of the groundsheet with a clasp on it, this locates at the bottom of the outer crossing pole and is repeated on the other side.
Complete pitch. (Photo 8)
 All that is left to do is peg it down at the corners and in the centre of the flysheet panels and also 2 guying points, 1 at each end.

We found this was a simple tent to erect and it took about 5 minutes to achieve.

Features.
This tent has 2 doors, which is a bonus, meaning that you don’t have to scramble over your partner to get out.
The inner door has a 1/3 mesh/nylon option for visibility, ventilation and to stop bugs entering. (Photo 7)
 (Photo 9) showing the inner storage space 3 pockets at ground level, 1 in the roof and 1 mid point.
 This is repeated at the other end also.
A roof light is located 1 each side. (Photo 10)
Ventilation and stay located at each end. (Photo 11)
 Enough room for 2 and with 2 porches there is good space for gear. (Photo 12)
Adequate head height of both doorways and internal. (Photo 13)

Specification, as per Millets webpage.



Tent Type2 Person
Weight Kilos3.03          (Actual as delivered, on my scales 3.269kg)
Tent Height 1 cm105
Tent Height 2 cm100
Pack Length46
Pack Width21
Sleeps2
Fly Sheet190T Polyester PU, Water Resistant, 3000mm
Inner Material170T Polyester, Breathable, Water Resistant
Groundsheet190T Nylon PU, Water Resistant
No of Compartments1
No of Doors2
Colour Coded PolesYes
Hydrostatic Head3000
PolesAlloy
Tent DesignSemi-geodesic


Summary.
Packaging excellent.
Pitching very easy.
Quality of materials and stitching:- Flysheet very good, lots of untrimmed stitching on the inner side walls and doors made it look a bit cheap which it isn’t.
Groundsheet excellent.
Floor space good.
Head height good.
Space at shoulder height a little disappointing. (see photo 5)
Ventilation could be improved by increasing the mesh to solid ratio on the inner door or by having the option of mesh or solid twin zip.
Poles, not the best but adequate.
Pegs. Poor and very heavy for a backpacking tent. Improvements can be made here quite cheaply.
Price £149.99.

Millets market this tent as for backpacking and trekking where weight is crucial. The tent does split down well between 2 people but i feel that at 1.7kg per person, that is right at the top end of what i consider backpacking or trekking weight. 
Ideal for cycle touring, canoeing, motorcycling etc, without a doubt.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Primus Express Spider modification

The Primus Express Spider is an excellent stove and especially so in colder weather. If i use gas in place of Meths then this is the stove i choose.
One of the 2 problems it has is that it is a little unbalanced on it’s legs. Unfortunately the designers decided for some reason not to put a supporting leg adjacent to where the tipping point is. That point is where the small bore rigid gas tube connects to the main body.

The other issue to be overcome is that the regulator is on top of the valve body which makes inverting the gas cylinder difficult.

I have now modified the stove to overcome the instability. I looked at taking the legs assembly apart and repositioning the stops but decided that would be too big a job.
It was far easier just to add an extra stabilising leg under the body but ensuring that it didn’t interfere with the folding of the legs for packing away or the subsequent storing in my pan and looked half decent.

Below are some photo’s of the simple job.







The leg started out life as a lightweight alloy tent peg. It had seen better days so after a bit of flattening, bending and cutting to length it was ideal to use it here. It was fixed to the body support with heat resistant Araldite.
Cost of mod, miniscule.
Time to do, about 30 minutes.

Could save you a lost pan of water or worse.
Cylinder inversion to follow.
Hope this helps.

Find it Here