.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Number 20 - Time for another Gear Review...........

Here's a brief look at a few more of my favourite things............

Vaude Kiowa Basic 200 Sleeping Bag
Now this is not the lightest bag - nor is it a very trendy down filled thing BUT it is COSY..........

It doesn't compress as well as a down bag but it does fit (eventually) into the bottom of my rucksack quite neatly. I believe it weighs about 1.3 kg which is quite respectable.

I bought it for last year's Challenge. The Lafuma down bag it replaced was rather thin and a bit prickly. So although it packed small it was also not very warm or comfortable.

The Vaude bag came with an internal pocket with a zip which I have carefully removed. It also has a good hood and baffle. The material on the inside is very smooth, warm and lovely to snuggle into. The shorter length means my feet stay much cosier.

And I find the synthetic filling much more to my liking than the down I had before.

{Photo of a sleeping bag exactly like mine}

Ridgerest Sleeping Mat
This year for Christmas I was lucky enough to get a new Neoair mattress. Despite this I think I will probably still carry my Ridgerest mat with me. I find it to be a brilliant insulation against cold ground. It fits perfectly into the sleeping space inside my tent. Along with the mattress it should help me get a good night's sleep when camping.

I like to use it for lunch stops too. Being able to sit with my legs on the heather or ground without getting chilled or wet is a great advantage. The weight on the outside of the rucksack is negligible. The only downside in carrying it is that it makes my pack a bit wide for narrow spaces!

{Photo of a Ridgerest mat like mine}

JetBoil Stove with stabiliser
I didn't actually buy this stove nor even ask for it. It came as a surprise Christmas present from my eldest son, Sam. At first I thought it would be difficult to carry as it's not tiny nor very light. However I was wrong and it fits well into the rucksack. So thank you Sam.............

{Photo of JetBoil Stove }

And it works a treat.

Lights first time (up till now!) and boils water super-quick. I found it uses a very modest amount of fuel. One 125g cannister of gas lasted me about 10 days on last year's Challenge walk.

I did buy a folding stabiliser thing to steady the stove in use - it does seem top-heavy when boiling a full cup of water.
{Photo of JetBoil accessories}

The gas cannister stabiliser folds up and tucks away inside the stove. It comes with a pot support which apparently converts the stove so it can take a larger pan - but I've never used this.............

Well next time it'll be number 21 - will that mean I'm a grown-up at last................?

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