The Vault Regulars

Monday, May 24, 2010

Optimus Crux stove

I bought the Optimus Crux stove for this trip. I admit that this is the first gas burner i have bought for decades.
I see lots of gas stoves in the hills but i have always used meths stoves. So i thought i would take the plunge and give one a try.

I also purchased the small Optimus pan set with it.

When it arrived from Ultralight outdoor gear, which took 2 days from ordering. Fantastic company by the way. I couldn't believe just how small it was and how it all fitted nicely together underneath a gas cylinder.
It weighed 90 gr.

I purchased a 120gr Go Systems iso/butane mix cylinder and couldn't wait to try it out in the field.

I kept a log of how much water 1 off 120 gr cylinder would boil. It achieved 5.67 litres. I thought that this was a fantastic achievement. I was very surprised, it just kept going.

One thing to take into consideration was the high ambient temperatures which i guess averaged around 20 degrees and topped 29 degrees one day. So for planning purposes i would take off around 20% and work on 1 cylinder boiling around 4.5 litres.

One thing i wasn't too pleased with was the simmering and the controllability of the gas power. When the gas was turned down the regulator decides to go to the absolute minimum it could get without going out.
I always had to check and see if it had gone out or not.

When on high output it was brilliant and very fast. The most water i boiled at any one time was 0.5L and it took just a couple of minutes.
I was also using the Primus windshield which worked very well.

Summarising then, i think there may be better burners out there that regulate finer. But to simply boil water and pack away into a tiny space it cannot be knocked. A bit expensive as well i thought at £45.
It would be interesting to compare how the new Go Systems stove, which looks just like the Crux but costs £25, works out against it.

Our Lakes walk photo's May 2010

I have now loaded the photo's from the Lakes walk and they can be found here. We hope you like them.

This was our first night wild campsite GR NY22572 06288. Just below Central pillar on Dow crags, Upper Esk.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday 23rd May 2010

We are back home now after another scorching night and day.
Its been a very pleasant trip and i will put the photos on when i have time to download them.

Although the day that we wanted to do Bowfell and the Crinkles didn't come off we still enjoyed the walks we did.

We tried out the new Optimus crux stove and i was very surprised with it's performance. More on this to come.
We enjoyed the Mug shots for lunch which were recommended by Gibson, his very good blog is here. So thanks for that Gibson we will be getting more.
One of the best new things we tried was the Real Turmat dehydrated food. I must agree with Alan Sloman, his very good blog is here,  that the Wolfish casserole is number 1 and closely followed by the Game casserole.
But to be fair they are all very nice. They are a bit pricey but worth it in taste.

Next to our pitch in Seathwaite, came 2 chaps who were getting fit and gear testing for the Saunders marathon. They had purchased the new Vaude Power Lizard. I had a good look at it and i was surprised to see that it had equally as much floor space as our own Odyssee winter. It weighs in at 1Kilo.
Both chaps were taller than me, i guess one was close to 6ft and the other about 5ft 9. They said it was great and better than the Laser comp.

The pegs looked poor and would pull out quite easy in strong wind, i would guess. They may be ok for comps but i think i would change them for backpacking even though it might add a little extra weight.

I will certainly be interested to read any reviews that have been written by any one using the Lizard on the current TGO challenge.

The first few days of our walk was also a try out of Sheila's new blogging phone. The HTC Desire.
As you can read, the blogs posted ok but the spelling was a bit poor as was the punctuation. I could go back in now and edit the posts but i am going to leave them so that we can laugh at them later.
She just needs to get the hang of the keyboard and adding photos. It is certainly a smart piece of kit and the camera quality is fantastic.

Right, now to get the washing machine loaded.

Saturday 22nd May 2010

We left the Coniston Hall campsite at 8.15 and we are glad to be on our way. This campsite is like Glastonbury but without the music. It was guy rope to guy rope.
We were quite surprised that although it was packed there was no noise after 11.00 pm.
However there was some very large fires and we were glad that there was only a small one near our tent.

We were looking forward to a breakfast in Coniston village but we found out that nothing opened until 9.00am. We decided to wait as we didn't want to set off up the Walna with empty stomachs.

Our bacon barms, orange juice and coffee was purchased from a very nice Italian cafe just opposite the main carpark. I think it was called the Lakeland. We can recommend this place.

So at 9.25 we set off up the road past the Sun hotel and onto the track proper. Wow is this road steep!
It had been a few years since i did this route and somehow i had forgotten how steep it was.

The temperature was a scorching 26 degrees and blue sky. We must be reasonably fit because we started to pass the day walkers who only had small sacks, or no sacks and just a map. Sheila was quite impressed with this as she always thinks she is finding the up's a struggle.

It was a very hot pair of backpackers that set down the sacks at the top of the Walna and it was nice to get a bit of a breeze blowing over from the Duddon side. The temperature was 29 degrees.
We drank lots of water, the travel tap we bought from Backpacking light was certainly working overtime.
We stopped for about 15 minutes for lunch and then headed off for Turner Hall campsite at Seathwaite Duddon valley.

We arrived there and found the site relatively quiet and we had no problems in pitching. So once pitched, we were off to visit our friends in the village and to sample the local beer in the Newfield Inn.

A very good night was had.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday 21.5.10

set off langdale this morning, still very cloudy and overcast but looked promising. followed the track past blea tarn to fell foot. across the bridge just after fell foot farm and picked up the track for tilberthwaite. went up tilberthwaite ghyll after a ten minute stop. weather has really picked up and the tops are now becoming really clear. very hot now 25 degrees as we approach copper mines valley. walked through coniston to campsite arrived at campsite at 2pm. very hot 28 degrees. just going for a dip.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday 20.5.2010

Thursday . set off from the campsite up onto lingmor fell and Brown How .Walked into the mist, no visability above 300 metres. Followed quarry track down to little langdale where we are now having lunch. good low views across the valley. we will be heading to Baysbrown and not the 3 shires. along the river track to langdale campsite. yes the old dg. hope the mist clears tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

wed 19 may

having found the motorway, sorry path from ESk hause to Rossett ghyll we made our way down to the olddg. just had tea and a hot shower. the weather has booked up overcast but at least not raining. hope to get up the crinkles tomorrow .

lake walk

we set of from seathwaite yesterday morning and headed up the esk towards scarfel.lovely day Sunny and clear. wild camped at lingcove beck. woke up today in the mizzy. no view raining but not cold. found ESk hause . very foggy decided not to go up higher but head down to langdale.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lakes backpacking

We have been sorting the gear out for our weeks walk in Cumbria. We have not decided on a complete route as we want it to be a leisurely affair, and not that we have to be somewhere at a certain time or day.
We are starting off in Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, where we will leave the car with friends. From here we are heading off through Wallabarrow Gorge, past Grassguards, skirting Harter and heading for Brotherilkeld.

From here we will head up the Esk towards Lingcove beck and find somewhere to park the tent.
Then we will head up to Esk Hause and go to Great End, then back to Allen Crags and Glaramara before finding somewhere else to park up.

From here it gets sketchy, we have not decided whether to head across to Raise and then into Grasmere or whether to go Bowfell/ Crinkles route and then through Little Langdale, Tilberthwaite, Coniston.
I think it may be the latter.

Like always, i have packed and repacked the rucksacks, put this in take that out syndrome has been prevalent.
I am reasonably happy now, the rucksacks weigh 11 kilos including food for 4 days, spare clothes, tent, fuel, sleeping bag etc etc.

Checked my Golite Flytrails and i have noticed the sole on the heel of one shoe is detaching. Just what i needed today.
So i got the Araldite out and glued it back together. I just hope it stays together for a week.
I am a bit surprised at this because they have only done about 100 miles.
I really like them and didn't want to part with them so soon, but it's looking like i will buy a new pair of Inov-8 Roclite's at the Duddon Fell race when i see Pete Bland next month.

We are not putting boot to trail until tuesday morning. We have to go to Gosforth first to Sheila's mums and then we are visiting Seathwaite and staying with friends on monday night.
We are so looking forward to this trip and i am sure Sheila will be trying out her new blogging toy when ever we have a signal.

Monday, May 10, 2010

TGO challenge

I thought it would save quite a bit of time and typing if i put a message on my blog rather than everybody else's individually.
So for all those lucky people  taking part in this years TGO Challenge i would like to take this opportunity to wish you all good luck, a safe and extremely pleasant trip. 

I hope that all the super new gear that you have been buying up, and denting those credit cards, works well and i look forward to reading your reports on what worked and what didn't. And the walking/drinking  reports of course.

Sheila and i will be off to the Lakes for a weeks backpacking. Not the same really is it but there we go.

Their will also be a first for us on this trip as we will be using a gas stove! Aghast! Not used gas since i was in the scouts 40 something years ago.
I have purchased an Optimus Crux, so we will see if i like it better than my little meths burner.

Sheila has had to buy a new pair of Integral Designs shortie gaiters, as she has lost one of her original pair. They are so light and small that you can easily lose them without realising. Not cheap either.

So for now. Bon Voyage everybody.

Friday, May 7, 2010

HTC Desire phone

I (sheila) have to say that i am very impressed with the new HTC Desire phone.  It does everything we desire. pun

The Digital compass is very clear and precise as Alan has checked it against his silva compass.  The maps are very clear and the free gps works.  He must be sick of me saying OMG this is wonderful.  We have also tried blogging and this is fine and the emails work great.

It is such an easy phone to use, once you understand the principle of the android system.  There are loads of free apps and after ten hours of playing, i have decided to keep it instead of going for the apple.  The only disappointing thing was that with it being an Android phone i expected it to be delivered by R2D2 and it wasn't. HeHe.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More blogging phone stories

Prior to Sheila getting an iphone on her contract renewal, she has got an HTC Desire, just to try for a couple of weeks. Does anybody have an opinion on this phone and is it a decent blogging phone?
It looks the business and i am envious but i would like to hear from anybody who blogs with it so that we can make a decision if to stay with it.
We have decided not to use a phone as a mountain GPS, so that issue has been put to bed, thankfully.
Any assistance would be most welcome.

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