The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The South Loch Ness Trail

I was very interested to read that the south side of Loch Ness has now been opened up for walkers.

So as my walking exploits are having to take a bit of a back seat for a while, i decided to copy the article from OutdoorsMagic and give it some more free advertising.

It’s certainly a great addition to the area and may be of interest to TGO Challengers during the planning stage of the walking route.

Click on the image to expand it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tarptent new models, Autumn 2011

2 new offerings from Henry Shires at Tarptent are due out soon (Autumn), called the StatoSpire 1 and 2. (Click on the link for full specs and more photo's.)

 The SS1 above and the SS2 below.

The SS1 will sleep 1-2, the floor does take 2 mats
SS1 floor and bug mesh inner.
Weight is 0.9kg and uses your own trekking poles for support or trees can be used to suspend them.

The SS2 sleeps 2-3 and the weight is 1.1kg. Both tents can be erected within 2 minutes.

Costs are TBA. And it is not clear yet if there will be a solid interior released with the 1st production run. I would presume there will or maybe a half solid half mesh at some point. We will have to wait and see.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

test photo post

Just a test post.

Thanks Maria it worked eventually.
I appreciate your helpful guide to getting the image on the blog. Now i need to fix the path in my head so that it becomes second nature. That might take some time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No rain today Pt.2 Great Burney

Friday turned out to be a very warm sunny day so we set of for a walk in the Woodland Valley in South Cumbria and go up Great Burney where the views are stunning on a day like today.
It was not a long walk by any means and more of an amble.

We parked the car at the No Parking sign just off the A5092. The sign looks like it’s been shot at, run over, but significantly nobody has taken any notice of it for years.

The first half a mile or so is a single track road walk with good views out to the estuary and across the Woodland valley. Today we could see for miles.

Just past Burney farm we took the footpath which heads off in the direction of Knittleton on a very heavily fern ridden path. Ideal tick country.
Passing the small Burney tarn on our left and gaining an insignificant rise before hitting the single track fell road.

Easy walking for another half mile brought us to the T junction with the fell road to Broughton. We carried straight on across the road and had to be careful with our footing as it was a bit boggy in places. The view of Great Burney filling our view to the south.
Prior to reaching Crooked Birch farm the path heading south is indistinct although many people have walked this way before. There is no chance of going astray though.
 Great Burney

The Coniston fells
Very soon a better track is reached and this leads you all the way to the summit and trig point of Great Burney. On the way up the views just get better and better and it’s difficult to make progress as we stood and stared at the magnificent scenery in all directions. Black Combe, The Corney and Birker fells, Scafell range, Duddon fells, Dow Crag, The Old man of Coniston, Wetherlam, Helvellyn, Kentmere fells and on and on into Yorkshire, Ingleborough 30 miles away could be seen. Stunning today.
View North from the summit
View South across Kirby Moor with Ulverston in the distance. Double click the photo to enlarge it and the Hoad Monument can be seen (Centre).
Summit trig point.
 There was a cooling breeze crossing from the west so we headed for a hollow on the east side of the Trig Point for lunch and made a coffee with the new Coleman F1 Lite.
As Gayle quite rightly pointed out in the comments of the previous post, the Primus wind shield is just a little bit short on the F1 and it leaves a gap under the pan. We reverted to a foil windshield which as well as being much lighter than the Primus does a better job of shielding the burner.

Lunch over we walked to the West side of the summit finding an unfortunate ewe that had been lunch for a fox or two, before heading down the very steep section of path South, back down to the car. We also spotted another walker making his way to the summit. The only person we saw.

Just about half way down i was taking a photograph of some Tormentil a few feet off the path and as i knelt down i spotted in the grass what i thought was a glasses case. It turned out to be a damp but still working Mobile phone alongside a whistle and a torch attached to a carabiner.
I checked the contacts and found Mum. The items are now on the way back to a lad who had lost them last weekend whilst out walking with his Grandad. The luck that i was off track, on all that open fell side, photographing a flower and spotting a phone that had only just recently been lost is uncanny.

Wainwright says in his book The Outlying Fells, that there is a small stone circle to the south but like him we never found it either. To be fair though the ferns were too dense to make any identification possible at this time of year.

How nice this walk is on such a lovely clear sunny day. Pity the weather changed again so soon. The weekend being wet again but with good visibility for quite a lot of the time. Only the high fells being shrouded.

More photo’s of the views/walk are available  here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No rain today

We have had a great day with terrific 360 degree views. Woodland in Cumbria. More to follow.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A milestone reached.

I/we are not bloggers who take much notice of statistics. We don't constantly check up who or what is driving the blog forward. I/we post what we feel we want to share and that is the jist of it.
So it does surprise us that the statistic on show, the number of hits on the site, has reached the amazing figure of 30,000+.
We never imagined for one minute that so many would have checked out the site for one reason or another. There are some amazing blogs to read on the web so it's all the more of a surprise. Staggering in fact.

So can we just say a big thank you to all who have taken the trouble to visit and hopefully taken something of use away with them whether it be gear, retail or MYOG or a just short walking route.
Many Thanks

Alan and Sheila.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coleman F1 Lite compact stove.

I bought the Optimus Crux folding stove awhile back for summer backpacking when i wanted a change from using my homemade Meths stove. 
However, it has never functioned as i consider a stove should function. That is that the gas should be able to be regulated all the way through the range from - to + without dying or spluttering.

So i had been on the look out for something else that wouldn’t cost the earth and hopefully perform better than the Crux. I had set a budget at £25.

As it happens i settled for this Coleman F1 Lite. 
Now i had seen this stove many years ago but for some reason i never paid it enough attention. It was quite a surprise that i read it weighed 77gr. so i decided to go and have a look at one.
I think it came onto the market about 2002/3 so it shows that it has stood the test of time.

I walked into Manchester a few weeks ago along the Rochdale Canal and i called into GoOutdoors which is adjacent to the waterway. They had the stove at £25 funnily enough and less if you had the discount card. Unfortunately my card had run out of date.

As it felt a nice light weight stove i thought i would check out some others but keep this one in the back of my mind as No.1 contender. 
I ended up leaving the store without a purchase although i could have spent a fortune in the nice new store.

A few days later i was checking out some stoves on the web when i found the F1 Lite for sale at the cheap price of £13.95 from Amazon via Outdoor Value plus £3.99 shipping.
I ordered one and it duly arrived.

Since i ordered it, a few days later it was and still is available from Amazon via the well known Winwood Outdoors for £11.50 plus £4.00 shipping.

 So, still pleased with the price i paid i checked out what it weighed in reality.
 77gr advertised, 74gr on the scales.
The pouch, which you may or may not want to carry it in, weighed 9gr against the 11gr advertised.

The burner assembly splits into 2 pieces for ease of storage under the gas cylinder. It actually fits better than my folding Crux.
At first attempt at assembly i thought it was a bit fiddly but having used it a few times  the job is not that bad. 
Make sure leg no.2, (they are marked) goes into the slot and the other 2 between the stop lugs and screw the two parts together. Then screw the assembly to the cylinder.

The good thing is that you cannot over tighten it as the regulator body acts as a stop. Very good.
 The F1 Lite assembled
 The F1 Lite split and stowed
 Like all upright gas stoves you have to be careful with the set up tipping over on uneven ground so it’s recommended that the cylinder stand is used.
Also a wind shield will be required in most cases and it was good to see that the Primus wind shield fits ok.

The specifications of this little stove are quite surprising;-

Output 4,600 W.  16,400 BTU
(Now some web sites are showing output as 4,800 W but my instruction sheet shows 4,600.)
Usage rate 330g/h
That’s 50mins on high output and 2 hours on low.  227gr cylinder.

This stove has an alloy body and regulator with a plastic mount under the burner. Initially i wondered if it would cope with the heat. But it seems ok. It says it’s a technologically advanced material called Polyether ether ketone or  PEEK for short which is capable of withstanding up to 320℃ and down to -60℃ and is also shock resistant.
The 3 legs/pot stands are steel as is the burner.

The boil time for ?L is 3 minutes and 5mins 40 secs if it’s windy. 
No web sites, not even Colemans own site tells you what the volume is it will boil in 3 mins etc. Odd that no companies have queried this and amended the specs. Maybe they were going to come back to it but forgot. 
I guess it’s 1L.

The regulator is excellent. Right thought the volume range from minimum to maximum. No problems simmering cooking with this regulator.
I have also used it when my gas cylinder was coming to an end and the supply and regulation hardly changed. 

I have been surprised at the massive variation of prices that i have seen with this stove. Varying from £39.99 at the high end to £11.50 at the bottom.

Overall - Very impressed with this lightweight 3 season stove, especially for the price it is available at.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gosforth to Nether Wasdale and return

Thursday evening as we drove our usual journey to Sheila’s mums via Birker fell, it was raining. It had been raining for most of the day.
Everywhere else had seemed to be enjoying the sunshine. We certainly were prior to setting off.

We stopped, again as usual, to take photo’s of the Scafell range and around to Harter Fell. It doesn’t matter, raining or sunny it always worth a few minutes stop to take in the landscape.
 Photo. 1 Looking across Eskdale to Scafell
 Photo 2. looking across Eskdale towards Illgill Head.
Photo 3. Looking across Birker to Harter Fell.
We always go to our usual haunt (Gosforth Hall Inn) for a beer or two upon arrival. It’s the stress of the driving you know.
 It was good to see the new build making rapid progress. A new 13 bedroom annexe is being built in beautiful red sandstone, cut from the quarry near St Bees head.  (The one on the Coast to Coast route).

And then Friday was shopping day to Whitehaven and on return, a trip to Nethertown for lunch and a visit to the best Garden centre in the area.

It was quite a surprise then when Dorothy suggested we go for a walk on Saturday. There was no kicking or screaming, no gouging or biting either. Standing back in amazement i realised we hadn’t brought any walking gear. It was unexpected.
The only compromise was that she suggested the walk.
This was from Gosforth village to Nether Wasdale with lunch at the Scree’s pub. Sounds ok to me i said.

It rained quite heavily during the night but the day was a lovely sunny day with clear views of the fells.

The route is below and the balloons show the route and mileage in Km. (Click on the image to zoom in)

 Photo 4. Taken from around the 3.04km balloon looking North East at Scafell Pike and Great Gable in the background.
 Photo 5. A Female Ringlet butterfly. Taken halfway between the 3.04 and 3.93 balloons.
 Photo 6. A little unsure here but i think this is Feverfew. Anyone know for sure?
Taken at aprox 3.93km balloon.
 Photo. 7 Getting a little arty. Taken at 4.20km balloon.
 Photo 8. Meadowsweet Taken at 4.44km Balloon.
 Photo 9. Dandelion taken at 4.44km balloon.
 Photo 10. Taken 200yds west of  6.25km balloon. Scafell, Scafell Pikes and Illgill Head.
 Photo 11. A big fellow. Taken at 6.25 Balloon.
 Photo 12. Taken at the woodland between 6.44 and 6.80km balloon
 Photo 13. Dorothy and Sheila at the 6.80km balloon.
 Photo 14. Low Wood Hotel at Nether Wasdale
 Photo 15. Lunch stop at the Screes Pub.
 Photo 16. Leaving Nether Wasdale on same route back to Gosforth.
 Photo 17. That big fellow still hasn’t moved. Must be tired out.
 Photo 18. Meadow Vetchling.
 Photo 19. Young fawn in escape mode. (centre, click to zoom). Taken north of 4.84 km Balloon.
 Photo 20. The Old Bridge no longer used over the River Irt Taken at the 4. 20km Balloon.
Photo 21. Back in Gosforth Village for an ice cream. 
The leaves are starting to get Autumn colours already and some
 are starting to fall. Oh No.

Well we enjoyed the walk on a lovely sunny day, nice not to have to wear waterproofs, not that we had any mind you.
Mileage 14.50 Km there and back at a very gentle pace. Not much in the way of ascent. Plenty of stops.

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