Monday, 20 June 2011

sea to summit x mug

As part of the AGG cookset.

I picked this up as a companion piece to my AGG three cup pan and coke can stove, and Bush Buddy cooksets. The reason being is that the AGG pan is too wide to drink from, and the Primus pot that I use with the Bush Buddy gets hot and, of course, sooty. I'm not keen on burnt lips and hickory smoked coffee.

The X Mug weighs 63g so that's the weight penalty, it has graduations on the inside and will hold 400ml, which is about the right volume for a Starbucks Via. It's USP is that it's stored flat. The X Mug fits happily on/or in both these cooksets. It's made from silicone and the sides are soft, so there's the danger of squeezing it and spilling your brew. Although, the rim is stiffened so you can drink from it as if it was an oriental vessel. Silicon is better than titanium to drink out of. And if your hot drink is too hot you wont be able to hold it.

It's a mug's game.

It's conical shape means that it has a smaller base to it's rim, on a flat surface that isn't an issue but on your average uneven campsite there's a danger of it toppling over.

I'm not convinced that with the number of disavantages (you can't cook with it either) that the mug has, is outweighed by the benefit of having something that packs flat. For all that it's better than the other options that I've used, and avoiding burnt lips is to be welcomed.

gsi microgripper

I've coveted these since GSI launched it's Minimalist cookset a couple of years back. And as I already own more pots and pans than I can use I wasn't about to splash out thirty odd quid for a small piece of orange silicon.

That said I have two cooking systems that would benefit from this piece of kit; an AGG three cup pan and coke can stove, and the Primus 1l pot that I use with my Bush Buddy. So luck was with me when I was doing a trawl of the gear shops on High St Ken at the weekend, as I stumbled upon the grippers being sold individually in Ellis Brigham.

The gripper weighs 12g which is less than half the weight of the MSR litelifter that it replaces. It also features a magnet which is useful with a gas fueled system as you can park it on the cylinder so it's at hand when cooking. The other use is for storage; you can park it in the concave bottom of a cartridge. Since both the systems I intend to use it with don't feature a steel cartridge I'm considering whether to cut the magnet out to save a few more grams.

Monday, 13 June 2011

golite shangri-la 3 floor

Reinforcing patch and sealed seams

I've owned a Golite Hex3 for a number of years. It was bought so I could take my son on camping trips because at the time the only shelters I owned were either too small (a Mountain Hardwear PCT1) or too heavy (a TNF Nebula).

In the past I used non fitted groundsheets usually single person polycro ones but for half term I needed to maximse the space available in the tent, so it would accommodate the three of us, plus Harry, and our rucksacks. And knowing that Ben would bring along some Halo or Gormitti figurines which would easily get lost in the grass I bought a floor. There is no problem with retro fitting a Shangri-la 3 floor to a Hex3.

And it worked. We had all the space we needed. The bungy loops go over the guy outs and there's clips to raise the top edge to the loops sown into the shelter walls. The depth of the bathtub depends on how high you have the edges but I would say that even if you have them fairly low there is still some protection from standing water.

Clip and bungy guy out

The Hex doesn't have a porch so the groundsheet goes up to the door, some might find this a bit of an issue if you were needing to cook under cover, but it's an easy matter of unhooking and unclipping the groundsheet from the door guy out point and pulling back the groundsheet.

The groundsheet has a reinforced patch in the centre but I also packed a lid from a Xmas pudding pot and stood the pole end that for added protection. With the shelter that crowded I knew that the pole wasn't going to be dead centre anyway.

My only grumble is that I bought the 2010 version of the floor which was advertised as being lighter than it's earlier incarnation at 425g, however on my postal scales it clocked 520g! That's big difference in weight.