Sunday, 7 June 2009

Break-up Food

I got these for a pal yesterday, when I was in Matthews Chinese supermarket yesterday.

dried lover plums

It just reminded me of the joke that ends “well, sometimes the bull wins”.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Osprey Exos 58 litre (Large)

I got my Osprey Exos 58 litre as a special order from – they had a limited supply of the large backs.

IMG_2998 Exos 58

My rational for going from the Atmos 50 litre (L) up to a pack that has 61 litres capacity was simple. I can do simple. The Exos 58 (L) is lighter than the Atmos 50 (L). The larger capacity Exos can allow me to transport a larger load than the Atmos. The Exos can be compressed down so that there is no excess material.

I’ve had the Osprey Atmos since 2006, and it has been my overnight pack, my weekend pack, my long-distance-walk pack (West Highland Way, Southern Upland Way). It is very comfortable, and a great load-carrier. But I’ve often had to strap the Akto’s fabric on to the outside of the pack in it’s compression sack. It just doesn’t look nice. I don’t go climbing, so am not concerned about dragging my pack up cliff-faces on the end of a rope.

First impressions of the Exos. Light. Straps are thinner. More ways to pack items on the side. Belt pockets seem easier to reach. Pocket under the lid is useful, and is now home to a XSS Exped waterproof bag.

I don’t like the official “backpanel sleeve” for hydration bags (loads move as the bag is emptied), and hung mine from the wee strap in the main compartment, and down through the zip into the frame space. I did this on the Atmos, however that was designed to do it, the Exos is not. The zip in to the airspace compartment is on one side only, so cannot fully close (hmm, not neat).

The manual is up to the usual high standard, and the whistle is still present on the chest-strap (and confuses birds no end).

More to follow over the Summer.

Honey Stove aus 2009

Honey Stove 2009 in use as a windshield and pot-holder. Alpkit’s MyTiMug (750ml). Tinny’s BlackFly#4 meths stove (1 oz fuel). The new design allowed me to move the Blackfly closer to the base of the pan. When the fuel ran out, I had enough hot water for two mugs of tea. It still amazes me that such a small amount of fuel can give 2 people a cuppa each – truly a marvel.


Honey Stove in wood-burning mode. A few scrapes off a ‘maya’ stick with the pocket-knife, on to cotton-wool coated in Vaseline, and quick blast from the gas-lighter, and fire was made. I’m sure the Ancients did it the same way.

I boiled enough water for another brew for us both. Then to rehydrate my dinner. Then to wash the dish. Then just to stop the fire from going out.


After the fire was done, I left the stove to cool down, and activated the cloaking device.


Designer and retailer:

Bob and Rose are selling an Upgrade Kit for owners of the 2008 version.

For me, if I’m taking the meths stove, this is a standard accessory. I amn’t counting the grammes, but I am looking at a flat-pack kit that just slides into a side pocket and is multi-functional.

Pro Action Hike Lite

I felt guilty about making Mike haul the old Wild Country New Ilanos, so looked at the old “Tiger Paws” tent that pops up on Outdoors Magic every now and again. That’s “paws”, not “feet” (thank you, George).

A quick check online, and a trip to Argos last Thursday meant that a smaller packed unit went into the Atmos. Of course, I’d swapped the pegs out for a mix of lighter standard pegs (from Blacks) and some ground-grabbers from Alpkit.

Stats from the Argos site:

  • 2000mm hydrostatic head. [The Akto’s is 3000mm]
  • Taped seams.
  • Tension adjusters.
  • Quick clips.
  • Size of overall tent (H)300, (W)120, (L)105cm.
  • Size of each room 110 x 290cm.
  • Size of living space 110 x 290cm.
  • Packed size (H)15, (W)15, (D)40cm.
  • Weight 2.1kg.
  • IMG_3123 Pro Action

    IMG_3122 Pro Action

    IMG_3069 Pro Action

    IMG_3070 Pro Action

    IMG_3072 Pro Action


    IMG_3106 Pitch

    There wasn’t much of a wind, and it wasn’t raining. During the night, the temperature dropped to 4°c and rose again to 14°c by the time we broke camp. Mike carried it, pitched it, dozed and slept in it.