The Power of Nostalgia

We trudged through hop field after hop field, along shady lanes and even a bit along the road. Barely noticing our surroundings and wrapped up in our conversation – a conversation that had been going for several hours now. Frequent breaks, hidden stashes of sweets, Special Brew and Benson & Hedges. A burning hot day and progress was slow. So slow that we were pulled out and transported to the campsite. Continue reading “The Power of Nostalgia”

Tales from the Dehydrator: No. 3 Beans, Apples, Raspberries & Blueberries

My dehydrator, an Andrew James model, is marketed primarily as a tool for dehydrating fruit and vegetables and making a bit of jerky. It’s not explicitly promoted as a device for dehydrating wet food into backpacking meals. Nevertheless, before buying I’d seen that someone in one of the Facebook groups had successfully used one for this purpose, and I even managed to find a review of the product from someone who’d done it (although this took a lot of wading through fruit and jerky-based reviews). This is important as the Andrew James costs a mere £40, instead of the £150 plus you’d have to shell out for an Excaliber, for instance. So far, the cheaper solution has worked out fine.

Given that the popular thing is to use this for fruit and veg, I thought I’d give it a go. Continue reading “Tales from the Dehydrator: No. 3 Beans, Apples, Raspberries & Blueberries”

Tales from the Dehydrator: No. 2 Beef in Red Wine with Mash

The dehydrator is washed and ready for action again, and having crafted this week’s menu specifically to generate a meal for dehydration, it’s time to get on with it. Today it’s Beef in Red Wine, a sort of poor man’s Boeuf Bourguignon. This is just the sort of meal I like to eat cowering from a biting wind on top of a mountain. I’m hoping it works… Continue reading “Tales from the Dehydrator: No. 2 Beef in Red Wine with Mash”

Review: AZ Adventure Atlas

So I was reading this review by Catherine Redfern, aka London Hiker (@LondonHiker), and picked up on the point that these atlases include OS 1:25k mapping, which we all know is the best kind possible. I’d been vaguely aware the atlases existed but somehow this had passed me by. I had a look at A-Z’s own site for a bit more detail and the only potential flaw I could see with them was that the paper’s not waterproof. I happened to mention this on a tweet to @LondonHiker and all of a sudden A-Z were offering me a map (and case) to try out. Clearly they wanted to change my mind about these. Continue reading “Review: AZ Adventure Atlas”

Review: Hi-Tec Trek Go Activity Tracker

By now anyone who’s stuck to rash New Year’s resolutions to get fit after the excesses of Yuletide is probably struggling to keep it up, what with the novelty having worn off and the generally depressing state of being back at work for a few weeks now. What’s needed is some additional motivation. Continue reading “Review: Hi-Tec Trek Go Activity Tracker”

Can We Have Gruel Instead ?

It’s a little known fact** that the version of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist that we all know and love is in fact not the original version serialised starting in 1837. For instance, the most famous scene originally went thus…

…The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook’s uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the Ambronite was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons. The Ambronite disappeared; the boys whispered to each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery***. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:

“Please, sir, could we have gruel tomorrow instead.”

Continue reading “Can We Have Gruel Instead ?”

Target Dry Element Jacket – Updated Review

It’s been a couple of years since anyone’s sent me gear to review – not because I haven’t had the offers, but simply because I only accept those offers that fit into the type of activity I do and are the sort of thing I would at least consider buying myself. And being able to do the review justice. Continue reading “Target Dry Element Jacket – Updated Review”

Playing with the Hexpeak

In a recent post, I mentioned that I’m giving up on my failed experiment with the Trailstar, and switching to a mid instead – specifically, the Luxe Hexpeak.

The new shelter arrived on Tuesday and I had to wait a couple of days before the weather and the ground was dry enough to pitch and do the seam sealing. And I’ve now had a chance to pitch the shelter for a second time and get her properly ready for use in the field. Continue reading “Playing with the Hexpeak”