The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Twinned with Ecco Biom Terrains

A little while after the 2014 TGO Challenge. (seems ages ago now) I swapped my Merrell Chameleon 5 boots for a pair of Ecco La Paz boots. This was my first pair of Ecco footware.

They were very comfortable, light weight and waterproof. So much so that i more or less wore them daily and not just for hiking in. I was asked about them on numerous occasions and had drafted together a blog post about their attributes. Unfortunately as i was about to make the post public Ecco discontinued them and so my blog post was made redundant.

They are still in very good condition today and i am pleased to say that they are still waterproof and pong only very slightly, so whatever anti bacterial compound they used has worked well. I have enjoyed wearing them very much and would have bought another pair.
What i find annoying is that companies have to tinker with products that are first class.

The nearest boot in the Ecco range today are the Ulterra.

I wasn’t in need of changing my boots at this present time but Sheila was as her new Merrells were leaking like sieves within only a few weeks. Very disappointed and that saw off the Merrell challenge.

So i was pleased to see that Rohan had now started selling Ecco boots although not the whole range. It is also ironic that just as they started selling them, Ecco opened its first store in Manchester only a few hundred metres away. I checked out the store and everything was full RRP, the Biom Terrains being £170. Not for me i thought.

A couple of weeks later and we now both have a pair of them, bought from Rohan at the sale price of £114.50.

His and Hers Ecco Biom Terrain. From Rohan.

Now i just have to get over this bought of man flu to give them a try. I had a flu jab in October which i must say has worked well for me over the last few years. This time i have all the symptoms of flu without it fully knocking me for six. I feel lousy and weak but not debilitated.

I will do my review of them before they get discontinued.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Another local walk. 12km

Well it snowed here on Saturday night which is a first for us this winter. It wasn’t much, maybe 2-3 inches. It looked wonderful and gave us the impetus to get up and get out before the melt happened.
The land is so warm we knew it wouldn’t be around for long.

It was quite slippery under the snow as the evening before saw temperatures fall to -3C so treading carefully was necessary.

A group of runners passed us as we made our way up to the watershed, moving quite gingerly. I think i would have worn spikes.

We had layered up expecting it to be a touch chilly but it was warm and windless. Around 0C. Once at the top of our local hill which is a massive 222 metres high the views were good. Walking through the woods is always a pleasure with the sunlight filtering through the trees and plenty of children made use of the slopes for sledging.

So here are a few photo’s of our walk.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A short bimble-locally.

 Sheila sporting the jacket she got off ebay for £0.01p. Honestly.
 Rochdale canal lock 58.
 Unusual fungi - Tandle Hill Park.
The path is here somewhere.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tent Pegs for Scotland and other soggy places.

As anyone who is used to backpacking in Scotland knows, the weather can be pretty dreadful. The wind and rain can be fierce and snow is not unusual. I am thinking of May and June let alone December, January and February.
Pitching a tent on soggy ground, tussocks, peat and heather to name but some of the culprits is challenging to say the least.
My upcoming trip to backpack Scotland in May had me thinking about “the what if’s”. Be prepared i thought and i have been thinking of some fancy alternative methods of  keeping the tent grounded.

Numerous sketches have been drawn and discarded of all sorts of fancy regalia. My mind was wandering to methods so ridiculous that i daren't even list them here.

As it was just a simple tent peg is was trying to change that would cope with soft, boggy ground, i decided upon a cheap and cheerful upgrade that wouldn’t weigh to much, fit in my pack and would be cheap and pretty easy to make.

So here is my peg which should give me a decent nights sleep in the wilds.

The bottom peg is a standard “Y” aluminium extrusion that is provided with lots of backpacking tents and very good they are too.
The top peg is my “T” section Big Daddy peg.
I thought a “T” section would give the peg more resistance to being pulled inboard than the “Y” section. The extra length hopefully would be able to reach some firmer ground. The additional pull chord is necessary to remove the peg.

I am taking two of these pegs with me as i think two will /should provide the extra support i may need.
My peg weighs 36 grams. Not too bad. The alternative material titanium is too difficult to work with in my shed. I just don’t have the toolage to work with titanium so ally it has to be. The cross section is 15mm x 15mm and 1.5mm wall thickness.

So i got to thinking that some readers may fancy this peg, but don’t have the facility or time to make them for themselves. As far as i can tell, these pegs are not available off the shelf.
If anyone wants a couple then i can make some for £3.50 each. Plus Postage and packing.
Or you can make them yourselves.

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