Archive for the ‘Kit Review’ Category
Up until a few months ago I was of the opinion that vacuum flasks were of no use in relation to bushcraft. I believed they were only useful for taking a hot drink to your place of work. Or perhaps a family picnic. How wrong could I have been? After visiting Northern Sweden in mid winter back in January this year I soon learnt the error of my ways…
The Blade tech sharpener is a small sharpener measuring only 75mm x 25mm x 3mm thick, and weighing a mere 14g. This makes it ideal for slipping into a pocket or bag, giving you a highly portable knife and tool sharpening system.
I certainly wouldn’t recommend this sharpener over a set of sharpening stones and the necessary skill to use them. But, as a means of putting an edge back on a dull blade while out in the field, it excels.
Imagine you’re a day hiker or a canoeist whose trapped out over night or longer – in your day sack you carry a waterproof, fire starter and a water bottle – the night time temperatures plummet around you and you long for a warm drink to stop you shivering and beat off the creeping cold……….. Or maybe you’ve found a source of water which needs boiling to purify! Maybe you’ve come across a fellow hiker who’s less well equipped than you and who soaked and cold is slowly succumbing to exposure!
An outdoorsman needs a good jacket – fact! A windproof is a boon – a waterproof is a god send and a warm jacket on a cold day is a pleasure …….but what if you could get them all in one jacket?
Over the years I’ve tried and tested numerous jackets and smocks from isotex to Ventile and back again, Gore-Tex and Aquafoil – you name it I’ve tried it. Some granted are good Lowe Alpine triple point ceramic is excellent but the price tag isn’t.
Well it’s not very often you get a garment made in the UK with materials sourced and woven in the UK giving a well known brand made in china cheaply made garment a run for its money but Roger from Bison Bushcraft has managed it with the Guide shirt!
I saw the prototype garment and immediately wanted one, and now it’s here and its set to knock the RM popularised Swanndri off its shelve in my opinion.
Up until quite recently a single person or solo tent would mean a shelter which quite frankly resembled a coffin. You would have to wriggle through the door and get yourself into your sleeping bag, there you would lay until it was time to rise, sleeping with the tents inner fabric only an inch or so from your face. There was invariably little room to move let alone enough space to sit up or dress and undress within the protection of the tent. It was never a joyous occasion to wake up to the patter of rain and realise you would have to unzip the tents door, wriggle from your sleeping bag, out of the comfort of your tent and into the elements when only then could you manage to don much needed clothing.
Now with the development of new lightweight materials and improved flexible poles this has all changed. Solo tents are now small and light when packed yet spacious and airy when erected. The MSR Hubba HP is one such tent, a three season free standing shelter. This newly developed solo tent weighs less than its predecessor the MSR Hubba, yet offers increased protection.
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System has been available for a few years now and has overtime proved itself in the field, becoming very popular with all manner of outdoor enthusiasts, from back packers to sea kayakers.
So, what is a Jetboil PCS? Basically, it’s a one litre aluminium cooking pot (mug), fitted with an extremely efficient burner base. It comes with a built in pietzo ignition system that will allow you to light the stove with a simple press of a button. Most interestingly, the Jetboil packs well; all its components including the fuel canister are packed easily within the cooking pot for simple carrying and portability.
Over the past three years I have carried a Jetboil quite regularly. What follows are my observations after using the stove in the field in all weathers and seasons.
The Leatherman Tool Group was founded by Timothy S. Leatherman, a 1970 graduate of Oregon State University who majored in mechanical engineering.
Leatherman apparently came up with the idea of a ‘Boy Scout knife with pliers’ during a 1975 driving tour of Europe with his wife. When he was unable to use his pocket knife to fix his repeatedly malfunctioning car.
Leatherman spent several years perfecting his prototype, getting his first patent in 1980. He also spent those early years refining his sales model. He originally expected that industrial companies with large staffs of technicians would be his largest customers, but attempts to sell the tools to companies such as AT&T failed. It was only following the advice of a contact at the Early Winters catalogue company to simplify his product that sales began to grow. It was mail order catalogue companies such as Early Winters and Cabela’s that gave Leatherman his first significant sales.
A while ago I did this review and posted it on another forum. I thought it may be of interest to folk on here too, so here it is.
From left to right:
• Tatonka (minus legs)
• Vargo Triad Ti
• SA Trangia
• Standard Trangia – taken from a 15 year old stove
Modern purification pumps and gravity filter have become quite common and popular. Which is pretty obvious since water sources throughout the world have degraded in the last few decades. But these modern filters have drawbacks: their filter elements are usually made from fragile ceramic. They do not like to be exposed to shock or cold, as they might crack. Also the pumps, valves, O-rings, etc. can fail. That’s why a simple and reliable water purification system like the Millbank bag is still popular among some.
A millbank purification set is made up of a millbank bag and a form of chemical purification, usually iodine. It most also includes neutralising powder to neutralise the taste of iodine. A downside of the millbank is that it can not and will not remove chemical contamination, because it lacks a carbon element.
The principle is simple, chemicals like iodine or chlorine will usually stick on larger particles, so you will have fewer chemicals in the water to kill any bacteria, viruses or other biological threats, when many particles are present in the water. That’s why you use the millbank bag first to filter most of the particles and the larger organism out of the water. Allowing the chemicals that are added after the filtering process to do there job effectively. Also the millbank prevents you from having lots of sand and other things between you teeth. But filtering is slow and combined with the reaction time of the chemicals it will take even longer.