Sunday, 7 September 2014

What works for me: Shelters

A look at the Tarptents Stratospire and the Notch.

Most of my readers will know that I prefer to hike with pacer poles, which I have used for the last 8 years or so my review of them can be found here.

So when hiking I would prefer to use the poles as support for my shelter, thereby saving a little weight. Over the years I have experimented with a number of walking pole supported shelters but it is only in the past couple of years that I have found what works for me.


Having recently returned from a trip above the Arctic Circle, I felt it was time to write a comparison of my two preferred shelters, the Tarptent Notch (originally purchased in 2012) and Tarptent Stratopsire 1 (purchased in 2014). You would be right to say that they are practically the same so why have both? In the following paragraphs I hope to explain what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of each shelter in particular environments. But first some details.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

What works for me: Freeze Dried Meals

I was first introduced to freeze dried meals in the late 1960’s when a New Zealand company Alliance Freeze Dried meals first released Freeze Dried meat products. If I recall correctly they were okay, but more importantly they enabled the hiker to carry meat on longer trips.

Roll on quite a few years as well as a change of hemisphere and the Freeze Dried meals have changed significantly. Over the past couple of months I have used the three brands shown in the above photo. So what are they like? What do I like/dislike about them? Taste of course is one issue and is very much a personal choice. For me, I prefer non spicy low fat meals and as a consequence I have spent some time reading labels for the contents and nutritional information.

Preparing the meals: No matter which brand of meal I use my preparation follows the same procedure, determine how much water is required from the label, then add a bit more (maybe 10% or so) boil the water add to the bag, place the bag in the cozy and wait the 10 minutes plus a bit before eating.