Keep the info series going Jim - helps fill the freezing days and nights
Will do, Steve. I'm really using these reviews as an exercise in 'discovering' what my essentials are. I'm trying to reduce what I take with me. I thought of starting with tents, sleeping bag, etc. but I'm not sure how useful that might be. It's the small but essential stuff that's often left out of the reviews I've seen on YouTube and so forth.
PS. The gel fuel was in impossible to get during the first lockdown, folk twigged on to the fact that it's a very good hand sanitiser!
"Call that a knife!"
A British P1858 Naval Yatahgan Sword bayonet that was given to me by a neighbour just before he emigrated to New Zealand many years ago. I stupidly put a good edge on it just after i received it . . . then promptly sliced my hand trying to catch it one day when it slipped from its hook on the garage wall . Took the edge off it once I'd stopped leaking red stuff. The small, 3.5cm bladed SAK is there for comparison
Not saying that I've got a "thing" for blades, but here are a few others I have laying around along with some light knife reading material . . .
1 – Survival Knife as found in the survival pack fitted to ejection seats
2 – Fairbairn-Sykes Commando knife
3 – Shrade lock knife. Given to me by a old pal many years ago. Makes a great gralloching knife
4 – Gerber Gaitor lock knife. Bought on my first tour with US forces
5 – Leatherman Multi tool. Gifted to me by the US EOD team I served with on my first tour. Sits in a pocket of my bike jacket
6 – Small SAK. Sits nicely in the pocket of my bike jacket alongside the Leatherman
7 – Leatherman Multi tool. Eldest got it in the US
Now, how many axes do I have?
Quite a collection there Steve
My motocamping gear #5 | Insulated mug/cafetière
I love a cup of hot, fresh brewed, Italian-blend coffee. It's my morning ritual at home or when I'm camping! I'm not a fan of steel or aluminium mugs and I like my coffee hot so when I found an insulated plastic ABS mug with a built in cafetière function I bought it. That was over 15 years ago and it's still going strong .
As I've had this mug for a long time, I didn't hold out much hope of finding one online but, much to my surprise you can still get 'em! I'll put a link at the bottom of the page.
And. here it is in action, somewhere in southern France, in 2018.
- Very strong, robust construction
- Wide base proportionally making it much more stable than those tall stainless steel mugs I see on a lot of campsites. It makes it easy to wash out too, and I've just seen I can put it in the dishwasher when I get home from a trip.
- The cafetière function. Just brilliant for my morning 'cup of Joe!' I didn't think it was going to last long, I was wrong, it still functions perfectly.
- It's plastic - light and no burnt lips or need for those silicone lip-guard things.
- Insulated - keeps my beverage of choice nice and hot
- Absolutely none. It's perfect.
If your requirements are similar to mine and you're still looking for that 'perfect camping mug' here's an AmazonUK link.
My motocamping gear #4 | Trangia 27-1 (with spirit and gas burners)
I bought the Trangia complete with the gas burner from SteveT a couple of years back. I've since added the kettle and bio-gel burner .
- Quality Swedish construction
- A traditional spirit burner for meths addicts .
- You get a firm base and windbreak for your pans/kettle/etc. and the whole kit nests in a relatively compact form.
- The gas burner gives you the option of using the ubiquitous screw-on canisters.
- The wind break feature of the Trangia means your fuel heats water/food quicker and will last longer too, as the heat is channelled rather than blown away by the breeze.
- The meths burner and bio-gel burner operate silently (unlike my Coleman Sportster or the mis-named MSR Whisperlite!)
- None as far as I'm concerned.
As I'm not usually in a rush when brewing-up or cooking, I can't see the advantage of Jetboils, etc. In fact, I've only used the Trangia’s gas burner once. All the other times I've used this Vango bio-gel.
It's clean, doesn't spill and seems to be readily available. You can also use it as hand sanitiser and, conversely, use hand sanitiser to brew-up on your Trangia!
My motocamping gear #3 Lansky Blademedic
A blunt or dull blade is 1. unfit for purpose and 2. much more dangerous than a sharp one. I was taught (in the Scouts again) that if you cut yourself with a sharp blade you get a wound that knits cleanly (ask Flyfifer), whereas a dull blade tears and leaves a ragged wound.
I've had a sharpening stone and leather strop at home for years, but on the road something that can touch-up a is blade useful. I use a Lansky Blademedic. It's not as versatile (or expensive) as a multi-angle sharpener, but it's simple and does the job when I'm out an about.
I suspect the Blademedic is a 3rd party item branded for Lansky as there are plenty of very similar looking devices out there. But, in the field of blade sharpening, Lansky is a name I trust so that's what I bought.
The tungsten carbide jaws and diamond rod are good for restoring a blade while the ceramic jaws 'polish' the edge. The ceramic 'blade' is for serrated edges but I've never used that. The Blademedic very simple to use, just three of four strokes though the jaws is usually enough and I've used it with both stainless and carbon steel blades.
It weighs next to nothing and is only about 3" long. I keep it with my kitchen kit. The current price is just over £12 on Amazon.
My motocamping gear #1 Morakniv Bushcraft Black
I’m reviewing some of the tried and tested things I take on my moto-camping trips, a decent knife that’ll hold an edge is one of those essentials. For the last five years I’ve been using a Morakniv Bushcraft Black which I can highly recommend.
I’ve used this for all sorts of tasks from light whittling ? to ‘kitchen work’ to batoning wood for kindling. I’ve never carved a spoon ? but I have no doubt it’d do the job ?.
Pros: A reasonably priced knife from a well-respected Swedish manufacturer. Carbon steel blade which holds an edge and is much easier to sharpen than stainless steel. 4” / 11cm long, 3.2mm thick scandi ground blade.
Cons: None I’ve comes across so far, though always look after my knives, axes, etc.
As it’s a fixed blade it usually lives in one of my panniers along with the camping gear, for a folding knife I usually carry an Opinel No 8.
My motocamping gear #2 | Olight H2R Torch/Headlamp
Last autumn my Petzl head torch finally gave up after 16 years of faultless service. Obviously lighting technology has come on leaps and bounds since 2004 so I did a lot of research and eventually purchased an Olight H2R.
I bought it with a substantial discount in an Olight ‘flash sale’ as the H2R has been replaced by the Perun, which is slightly more powerful at the highest setting (2500 Lumen as opposed to 2300). I paid just over £50, but I think the price was (and the Perun is) about £80. Not cheap and I wouldn’t have bought it at that price; to be honest, I was in two minds at £50 but then I am a cheapskate with both Yorkshire and Scottish blood running through my wallet. ?
My thoughts after 3 months use...
I’ve not used it for camping yet, but I have used it a lot around my place for this and that, and for night time walks. So far I think it’s brilliant in both senses of the word ?.
The good stuff:
- You charge it from a USB a port which makes it bike friendly and avoids having to carry spare batteries.
- There are a number of brightness settings - ‘moonlight’ (1 lumen) low, medium, high and ‘turbo’. Turbo is like a searchlight and it automatically switches back to your previous setting after a minute to prevent overheating and a rapid discharge. I’ve left it mainly on the medium setting which is plenty bright enough for what I’ve been using it for. On medium a charge seems to last for ages, I’ve only charged it three times so far and I’ve used it quite a lot, even then it was never out of charge, I just thought it wise to keep it topped up.
- It has a magnetic base that I’ve found very handy - just position it on something ferrous-based and it stays put. The magnet seems fairly strong.
- Overall build quality is impressive, it seems very robust.
- I comes with a substantial head strap that it snaps to magnetically and you secure it further with a rubber strap that’s included. It feels very secure. You can rotate it to position it where you want.
The not so good stuff:
There are two ‘downsides’ I’ve found so far, minor issues as far as I’m concerned.
- First, as a head torch it’s not as ergonomically comfortable as the Petzl it replaced. It’s okay for short stints but presses uncomfortably on my forehead after a while. Strap adjustment might improve that but most of the time I’m wearing a woolly hat which provides a cushioning effect.
- Secondly, there’s no red light setting so your night vision is pretty much shot for 20 minutes after use, same as any torch without a red light.
Overall, I’m really pleased with it and expect to get many years of use out of it. The Olight website has regular flash sales so, if you’re in the market for a robust, quality torch, keep an eye out. ?
They will have to put a steel plant, someplace, on overtime soon the number of Hooks I am getting through fly tying !
Aye, I’m spending a bit of time behind the vice too. I was hoping for some grayling action this week, but Boris has put paid to that!
Aw feck, here we go again.
I am SERIOUSLY thinking of letting out my house when/if this is over, slinging my tent on the back of the GS and naffing off for an indeterminate length of time.
That sounds like a plan ?
All the best for 2021 folks?
Let’s hope we can ride our bikes a bit more, notwithstanding Outrunner’s impressive mileage this year!
Sad news indeed ?
Hi Philip and welcome to the forum.
We’ve already exchanged a greetings over on my ADVrider thread... unless there’s another Philip Barrett from Dallas TX on that forum! ?
When are you making the move to Skye? And, are you really sure you’ve thought this through! ???
I’ve been rereading some Christopher Brookmyre (One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, Pandemonium & Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks) and Carl Hiaasen (Tourist Season & Razor Girl) recently - light, easy, entertaining reading. ?
I could do with something new though, might have a look for something on Amazon.
We are a trio of mid life crisis victims from Ayrshire , 4 and a half lungs , and 5 kidneys between us
Looking to swap stories and routes / recommendations
How’s many legs, arms, eyes and brains between you? ? Full disclosure required! ?
'Could always bore a tunnel thru the worst bits. I think there's a good used Hitachi boring machine in Seattle we could let you have for the shipping alone.
Yes, they’re not thinking this through are they! ??
I think there might be a spare tunnelling machine left over from the Chunnel or DLR extension.
Having said that R&BT is a brilliant biking road on the occasions when it is open! ?
Welcome Alan. ?
We asked Steve for photos of the alleged car park drop. None were forthcoming so, officially, it didn’t happen ?
An adventure bike doesn't have to be an Adventure Bike ---- but personally I avoid anything that goes Potato Potato Potato Phart Phart !
Jimster just needs to wrap some different parts around that Sportster motor ???
A Buell Ulysses!... the very best or very worst of both worlds, depending on your point of view.
Oh yes, welcome to the forum Jimster.