Sunday, 12 June 2011

Lucky Bag

The Gods of Fortune and Favour have smiled upon both Al and Phil.

Gentlemen, I have a pair of Grimlocs here with your names on them. If you send your contact details to *redacted*, they will be dispatched post haste.

You'll never lose your hat/gloves/enamel mug again.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Munky Business

It's not often that I'm at the forefront of something new and exciting but there's a first time for everything.

Back in October, last year, I got talking to Sean over on Outdoorsmagic about custom inner options for the  Hex 3. After a wee bit of persuasion, I got him to run me up a "winterised" OookNest (half-nest); bomber waterproof floor, solid panels with mesh higher up. In mid November, a neat little package arrived.

Truth is, I was bowled over by the sheer quality of the finished product; easily on a par with the big boys of the tent world. Sean had even added a couple of storage pockets, spare bungee cord and packed the lot up in a neat OookWorks stuff sack.

That's mine, that is. Image copyright OookWorks 2010

Munky Business

For a bespoke item, it really is seriously impressive. You can, of course, source these things from the U.S but I'd rather support somebody here in the UK. Well, Cumbria and that's practically Scotland :o)

So if you've got a shelter that needs a bit more porch space or whatever, get in touch with Sean to see what he can come up with.

I'm no' 100% certain that I was the first OookWorks customer but there's no doubt in my mind that there'll be many more in the future.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Maxpedition Grimloc D-Rings

I was rooting around the other day and came across some photies in a folder marked "Blogging". There's a bunch of stuff in there, all of it meant to illustrate blog posts that fell by the way side and never saw the light of day. There's no text with them so I can only guess at what might have been.

The Grimlocs are a case in point. As a habitual baseball cap wearer, I've been using clips of some description or another for a number of years. A wee clip thru' the D-ring on a shoulder strap is a handy way of securing a hat, gloves or whatever.

 Open and shut

Dammit, they're good for all sorts of things. I've got a decent selection of carabiners both large and small but it's the Grimloc that's been attached to my pack for a while now. Dead easy to use with gloved or cold hands and they weigh next to nothing. Reasonably cheap too; a pack of 4 can be had for less than a tenner.

There are cheaper alternatives, of course but these are "mil-spec" and that makes them way cooler than anything else :o)

I like them so much, in fact, that I've got two to give away. Simply leave a comment below and your name will be entered into a draw which will take place a week from now. No names or email addresses will be used for anything other than this glorified lucky dip. This blog is strictly a commercial free zone :o)

 Update 12/6/11: "Competition" (such as it is) closes at 3pm today.

Feersum Endjinn

I can't remember exactly when I first saw a wind farm in Scotland but I think it was about 5 or 6 years ago, on the road to Oban. Now, if I want to see one, I just need to drive about a mile and turn left. Go a wee bit further and there's another one. In the next year or so, I'll be able to see one from my front garden.

The proliferation of these things continues apace. Depending on which side of the fence you sit on, it's either driven by an overwhelming desire to save the planet or pure, old-fashioned greed. Personally, I think it's the latter. There's a huge amount of money to be made from "renewables" and there's folk out there grabbing it with both hands, aided and abetted by our (Scottish) government.

The public at large are blissfully unaware of (or perhaps don't care about) what's happening. Maybe if they planted a couple of turbines in Holyrood Park or Princes Street Gardens, folk would feel differently? While they're at it, they can change the sign at the border: "Welcome to Scotland The Klondyke"

It angers me. And I'm not the only one. Alan Sloman has done a power (no pun intended) of work and you can read about it here. It compelled me to get off my arse and do something. I hope it gets others to do the same.

Burn Motherfucker, burn....

Update: Additional Links

John Muir Trust - Info on the Campaign Page
Mountaineering Council of Scotland - Access and Conservation

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Finisterre Humboldt Mk II

As it's been a while, I thought my first post of 2011 should be gear related. And what a fine bit of gear it is; the Finisterre Humboldt Mk II.

Some folk will remember Finisterre from a couple of years back when they produced something that looked like a Paramo Velez, was made from the same material as a Paramo Velez, but was cut a tad more on the "athletic" side than anything Paramo produce.

Justifiably, they flew off the racks and quickly sold out. Happily, they're back, albeit in a slightly different form. Ah. Just checked and they're sold out again. Sorry about that. The Analogy fabric is gone and what we have now is something that looks like the bastard offspring of an unholy union between Buffalo and Paramo.

The similarity to the Velez is obvious but there are a few welcome refinements: the cut is oh-so much slimmer which suits me and my Racing Snake frame.

 Large Humboldt laid atop Large Velez Adventure for comparison

The sleeves are nice and long, something that Paramo never managed. The Humboldt has no internal, and frankly useless, handwarmer pocket. The hood volume adjuster runs up both sides of the head and works well.

The only niggle so far is the adjustable cuffs. I didn't know they made Velcro that wide.

 World's Widest Strip of Velcro

I've been kicking about in it and it's been great but I'll try and give it a proper outing soon.