Showing posts from July, 2009

Argos Pro Action Hike Light 1

Some items of gear are bought in the knowledge that you will use it to destruction or use it a fair bit with no chance of selling it on because the residual value is so low that you may as well donate it to the local Scout Group. You may even buy gear against the chance that it may not see a great deal of regular use, but if the purchase price is low enough does it really matter?

I have read plenty of favourable reports on the web about the Argos Pro Action 1 tent over the past few months. The latest being the Lake District trip report over on BG's blog where he used this tent for a multi-day backpacking and wild camping trip. That was good enough for me, I took the plunge and shelled out £24.44 for one of the last three remaining at my nearest branch of Argos. I also bought a packet of wine gums with the change from 25 quid!

The tent fills a gap in my camping quiver. I wanted something that I can throw in the back of the car or backpack for a few days away. The intended use is for …

Mac Book Pro...bloated battery!

It started with a perceptible lessening of battery capacity, then the trackpad and clickpad felt decidedly wrong. Then there was an audible crack.
I figured my 17" Mac Book Pro was unwell. Putting the Mac down on my desktop confirmed my fears as it rocked back and forth. The battery had bloated!

Steve Jobs if you're reading this (which I doubt), your hardware is gorgeous, your software is edifying, but your outsourcing and qc in China sucks! This failing of a battery is unforgivable on what is supposed to be professional standard equipment.

The upside is that a quick trip to The Apple Store in Leicester had the offending battery replaced with a brand new one, free of charge, by a very nice and helpful chap called Adrian.
"It's caused by a chemical reaction!" He said.

Wrong, Adrian. It's caused by cost-cutting, poor r&d, cheap outsourcing, crap quality control, poor manufacture and an unshakable conviction that your products are beyond reproach.

It will b…

White Box Solo stove

I have been looking for a good lightweight brewkit alternative to gas and the ubiquitous mini Trangia for a long time. I think I have finally found it on Bob & Rose Cartwright's Backpacking Light UK website!
The White Box Solo and the GSI halulite kettle are a perfect match as a lightweight brew kit for day walks and paddles either side of full winter conditions. It's a simple, robust and lightweight combination that I have found difficult to beat. An ideal solution with little, if anything, to go wrong. It complements my Bushbuddy perfectly.
There is ample room in my Innov-8 Race Pro 12ltr sack for the kettle with stove nested inside the infuser, meths bottle, mug, windshield and firesteel, with room left over for a Berghaus PacLite smock and cereal bars.

Some items of outdoor gear are so simple and efficient in design and function that they are a pleasure to use. The latest version of the White Box stove is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any dedicated alcohol…

GSI Halulite Kettle

This GSI Halulite kettle caught my eye on the Backpacking Light UK website. It's very light weight and is made of a hard anodised aluminium alloy. It is a simple, functional design that is impossible to fault. The manufacturer claims that the alloy used has superior heat transfer properties to titanium and other metals. I wouldn't argue, it just gets on with the job!

What makes it slightly different from most kettles such as the Trangia offering is the infuser that sits inside under the lid. I'm an avid tea-drinker and this seems like a simple but useful idea. No more fishing tea bags out of a mug, simply drop them in the infuser and brew up! The kettle is well made and has a robust feel to it, the handle is very substantial with a plastic grip. It stands high up when the kettle is on the boil, well away from the heat source and doesn't flop around when pouring boiling water into a mug.

One major benefit of the infuser, whether you use it for tea bags or not, is…

Bill Bellis

I have been working away recently and did not have time to post this before I left for Ireland.

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Bill Bellis after a fall on Am Basteir on 26th June. I met Bill through mutual friends a few years ago and had the pleasure of his company on some great walking and scrambling weekends in the Lake District during the time I knew him.

With deepest sympathy to Bill's family. He will be missed.