Category Archives: Equipment

Staying hydrated on hikes

Once this water has been treated it will be good enough for humans
Once this water has been treated it will be good enough for humans

When you’re re drinking two litres of water a day in Europe on long hikes, or 4-5 litres a day on Kilimanjaro it’s easy to get sick of the taste of water.

I use SiS hydration tablets for long hikes. They don’t offer any energy (i.e. they are calorie-free), but they taste nice (which encourages you to drink more) and replenish good thingies in your system. During the summer I was getting some cramps on cycling commute and after using these (one every other day) I stopped getting cramps.

As with all these things, try them before you go hiking. Continue reading Staying hydrated on hikes

Berghaus Men’s RG1 Shell Jacket long term review

Snowdon in the Snow
Snowdon in the Snow

Both my wife and I have used the Berghaus RG1 Shell Jacket for a couple of years now, and they are the best everyday waterproofs we’ve owned.

This is a waterproof top layer – there is no insulation, simply a fabric mesh inside. I prefer this – it means you can wear it for protection against a summer shower without overheating, and wear a fleece underneath during the winter. Continue reading Berghaus Men’s RG1 Shell Jacket long term review

How to pack clothes in a rucksack

This is how we have been taught to pack clothes in a rucksack when we go camping at Scouts.

It works for a single night (in fact, it works even better for a single night), or a 9 day summer camp. It is just as applicable for lightweight camping such as a microadventure, or a family camp.

An extra tip is to put 3 or 4 days of clothes wrapped in this way, into a large Ziploc bag to keep them waterproof. Continue reading How to pack clothes in a rucksack

13 Top Tips for Camping in the Rain

One surprise outing during our wettest summer camp was to the local laundrette
One surprise outing during our wettest summer camp was to the local laundrette

This year we had our wettest-ever Scout summer camp. It’s not one of those awards which one looks back on with any smiles or pride, other than the thought that “we made it” through the camp.

Although rain isn’t welcome during any type of camping, it’s inevitable here in the UK. Some of the prettiest places in the UK are in the top 10 wettest places.

So it’s worth being prepared. Here are some top tips about camping in the rain. I’ve split the tips into two sections – kit related, and at-camp related. Continue reading 13 Top Tips for Camping in the Rain

Steripen water purifier review

Steripen - a great way to make water drinkable within a minute
Steripen – a great way to make water drinkable within a minute

Last week I drank from my bicycle water bottle on the way home from work. I had that immediate feeling of “that doesn’t taste right”, but it was very hot and sunny, and there was still half a mile of a hill to climb.

Half an hour later at the end of the ride I was at home kneeling in front of the toilet, with my body getting rid of the water as quickly as possible. It wasn’t pleasant. Continue reading Steripen water purifier review

Leatherman Raptor review

Leatherman Raptor Scissors - be careful when folding them away
Leatherman Raptor Scissors – be careful when folding them away

Along with the Leatherman knife that we were asked to review recently, we received a strange pair of folding scissors from the US company.

I was travelling in the US with work, and called home. Now my wife, who isn’t usually excited about camping gadgets, had opened the Leatherman box, glanced over the knife and opened the scissors package. Continue reading Leatherman Raptor review

Leatherman Wingman review

Leatherman WIngman - lots of functionality, with a weight penalty
Leatherman WIngman – lots of functionality, with a weight penalty

I’ve grown up with Victorinox Swiss Army knives, although Ishai’s first penknife was a Leatherman – a generous present for his 11th birthday.

A Leatherman isn’t as comfortable to hold as a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, so still prefer the red knife. However my Victorinox has been getting blunter and blunter so we’ve been taking Ishai’s super-sharp Leatherman away with us recently despite the weight penalty when hiking. Continue reading Leatherman Wingman review

Scarpa Ranger II GTX Active boots review

Scarpa Ranger II GTX Active boots - the most comfortable boots I've used
Scarpa Ranger II GTX Active boots – the most comfortable boots I’ve worn

Since the moment I first put them on, these are simply the most comfortable pair of footwear I’ve ever owned. It’s the equivalent to wrapping your feet in a new duvet – you can feel the boot all around the foot. These boots arrived supple, and didn’t need any wearing in.

I’ve worn the boots now for the three peaks (not in 24 hours) in addition to approximately 50 miles of hiking in all weathers. I also used the boots to climb Snowdon in the snow with some cheap crampons. Continue reading Scarpa Ranger II GTX Active boots review

How we pack our kit – budget vs ultra lightweight?

A backpack always seems to feel heavier with each day of hiking
A backpack always seems to feel heavier with each day of hiking

There are two schools of thought with overnight hiking – whether your kit can be fabricated on a shoe string budget, or weighing and then losing every last milligram of kit.

As a keen cyclist I know the cycling world is besotted with equipment weight loss. Manufacturers are always promoting their carbon frames and super light components. But the cheapest way of losing weight when it comes to hiking or cycling is off the walker/ cyclist. Losing a few kilos from the person will always provide the best weight saving. We won’t cover those here though.

When Ishai and I have gone hiking, we try to balance weight and budget. Continue reading How we pack our kit – budget vs ultra lightweight?

Mountain Leader First Aid Kit review

The lifesystems mountain leader first aid kit. Absolutely marvelous.This first aid kit is so good that it’s become our general purpose kit for all camps, hikes and holidays, for our scout Group and family. The kit contains pretty much everything that a competent first aider requires – standard scissors and field scissors, a proper pair of tweezers, different bandages, a clean mat, gauses, dressings, tapes and safety pins.

The kit is in a water resistant case which unzips and then folds in a Z-shape. Each section of the case is labelled for its main use – great in an emergency. Continue reading Mountain Leader First Aid Kit review