The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bloggies 2014 Award. Part the Second.

I would just like to thank Every 1 who voted for me to achieve joint third place in this years Bloggies Awards.
It is indeed quite surreal to walk side by side with fav outdoor blogger Alan Sloman.  We didn’t hold hands on the red carpet btw.

The winner of this years ordeal went to, drum roll……….Alen Mcfadzean with Because they are there blog he is a worthy winner and has my respect as somebody who provides a great read with lovely images and just the odd advert of which i am sure he has no control over.

The long term blogger award went to Mike Knipe with Northern Pies another absolute stalwart of the bloggersphere. Nice to see. Unfortunately he didn’t make the awards in person as he is still trying to extricate 20 followers from the snowdrifts of Durham. His dog Lucky has drank all the whisky and can’t find his way home.

Yes, i know its all a bit too much but its great to get a mention from fellow bloggers who do actually read some of the stuff we pen rather than some company pushing itself.

Thanks again and hopefully if my initials are AR and my blog is A Blog on the Landscape and my better half is called Sheila i may achieve stardom again next year .

Thanks must go to OM for staging the event and providing the banter.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Christmas Walk via The Cat and Fiddle.

Sheila and I always look forward to this event that is put together by fellow blogger Martin Banfield. It involves a walk of around 16km with Christmas lunch included half way. The numbers vary from year to year but roughly about 25-30 hikers attend. Its a jovial affair with like minded souls with good banter. Usually due to overstaying in the pub it ends with an evening where the sight of 25+ head torches marching across the moors may cause locals concern. So far no Mountain Rescue teams have been out to check on the strange lights.

However this year with my poorly knee, we had to miss the walk and just drive to the pub. The Cat and Fiddle. England's second highest pub with lots of history.

Martin and the crew were due to arrive between 12.45pm and 1.00pm. We made it in good time, had a chat and a coffee with the Staff and waited the 1/2hr. The fog was well down and visibility poor although the occasional break did allow split second views, but you had to be quick.

Right on time the first 4 hikers appeared out of the gloom. We didn’t spot them until they were about 50 yards from the front door. Although the temperature gauge said 4 degrees it was very windy and with that the wind chill felt well below zero. Five minutes later the whole crew was accounted for. All had bright red faces from the wind.

As if by magic within a few minutes of arrival it started to rain quite heavily. Great timing.

Lunch was a credit to the chef and staff, i would go as far as to say it was the best Christmas Lunch of the 4 years we have partaken.
It was simple, tasty, fresh fare. We chose Potato and Leek soup and the Turkey lunch followed by Mince pies and Coffee. There was plenty of it and i’m just glad that we didn’t have a pudding on the menu. Others said the same.

Martin always runs a quiz which is only to do with hiking and consists of about 25 photographs where you answer a question or two about the image. We did well this year achieving 28 points out of a possible 35.

Eventually with numerous folk looking at their watches and noticing that it was getting gloomy outside the party had to end. We applauded the Chef, paid the Lady said our farewells and watched as the intrepid lot set off back onto the moor.

Its a beautiful area to walk and we were really sorry that we couldn’t participate. Next year hopefully.
Here are a few images of the afternoon.

Thanks to Martin and Sue for organising another event and to the Staff of the Cat and Fiddle for making the meal so pleasurable.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Xtar H1 Commander Multifunctional head torch

A few weeks ago i was contacted by a lady from the Shenzhen xtar company in China asking me if i would be interested in reviewing one of their “Professional” flashlights. 

As it happened my forthcoming itinerary included a hike this coming weekend as part of a large group where a torch would be a necessity.
A number of emails went back and forth between us and i was very wisely sent the Xtar H1 Multifunctional Head torch. It came today along with a really smart VC2 charging unit but alas no batteries. The unit takes the 14500 type of battery as well as the std AA battery we are all used to.
What better a time to put it through its paces.

However, in typical fashion i have hurt my knee and the likelihood of me being able to walk this weekend is looking slimmer by the day. I am still hopeful and fingers crossed that the swelling around the knee joint will subside and the pain disappear. I am doing all i can to make it happen.

I plan to do an end user review of the H1 and the charger as soon as possible and so i won’t bore you with spec’s etc here. Anyway, anyone who is interested can have a glimpse at this address. Its a nice piece of kit that’s for sure and i can’t wait to try it out.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A passing interest worth sharing.

While i was consoling myself at the failure of the Montane Minimus Mountain jacket, i searched the web to see what other folk had been saying. During that endeavour i came across what i considered to be a very interesting piece on a Gear review site called Blister.
I had not come across this before but having read quite a few pieces within it i thought it was put together rather well and the reviews were excellent.

It must have quite a widespread audience because it covers Mountain Biking, Skiing as well as Hiking and all the ancillary components thereof.

Anyway just as a taster for any other outdoors people who may be interested. I will let you make your own mind up with this piece Here.
(Outerware 101 is also interesting and worth looking at.)

And if you like it you may wish to explore it more. It certainly gave me something to think about because it is quite hard to keep up with all the new fabrics and coatings from so many manufacturers. Or if not, then there is nothing lost except a bit of time.

Just thought i would share the info.

Find it Here