On my recent trip in Jutland I came across this sign.
Friday, 25 September 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Hendrik over at Hiking in Finland has provided an excellent video on the operation of the Ti Tri Caldera Inferno with his Tibetan 1100 pot. Similarly this BPL.com review thread provides reviews of the Inferno.
I have used the Inferno stove on a recent 3 day trip as well as on 2, day walks. My overnight hiking meal routine involves a boil in the bag meal such as Real Turmat, soup and cup of tea (or 2) at night. For the mornings I need some hot water for coffee, so I heat no more than approximately a litre and a half a water a day. When I am hiking with a fuel stove, alcohol, esbit or gas I am always worried about how much fuel I am using and how much is left and usually as a result have spare fuel when I return home. The benefit of the wood stove is that you are only dependent on wood being available in the vicinity of your campsite, which is not an issue in Scandinavia, unless you are up high. (See The bearable lightness blog for a discussion of the use of the Bushbuddy above the treeline in Sweden). Hendriks review along with reviews at BPL.com support my positive experiences with the Inferno, it is efficient at boiling water quickly, it is easy to place wood in, the multi use aspect of the stove (wood, alcohol, esbit) provides the ideal arrangement for the hiker. I found that the fire took less than 5 minutes to become hot enough to place the pot on and in less than 10 minutes I had 800 ml of boiling water in my BPL.com 900 ml pot. Hendrik has reported times of 7.5 minutes for a litre which reflects my experiences.
The boiling times for the Bushbuddy maybe a little slower, but I have not done a side to side comparison to determine this. Importantly there is very little ash left over with the Inferno, a similar result will be found with the Bushbuddy.
The major differences between the 2 stoves are:
-the compactness of the Bushbuddy over the Inferno
- the ease of adding would to the inferno
- the coolness of the base on the Bushbuddy when compared to the inferno
- more assembly required on the inferno
- the Caldera is a multifuel cooking system
Comparing the weights of the Inferno and the Bushbuddy in use
In both cases I am assuming that I am using the same pot (BPL 900 ml.)
Ti Tri Caldera Inferno, Caldera, Ti base plate mesh and grid for inferno. Total weight (on my scales) is 116 gms
Bushbuddy Ultra weight 144 gms.
However, this is not the end of the story.
In use weights will normally be higher, in my case if using the Ti Tri Inferno I would also take the caddy to protect and hold the stove and the caddy weight is 80 gms.
The Inferno in use weight plus caddy is 196 gms
Whereas for the Bushbuddy I will need to take a cup and will use the pot or the freezer bag as a bowl the total in use weight with a FoldaCup is 169 gms.
In the morning I would not use a wood stove but rely on a small fuel stove, normally Esbit.
In the case of the Caldera I could take the Gramcracker for an extra 3 gms and would have a complete Ti Tri Caldera system for 199 gms. (lets call it 200 gms)
A second stove with the bushbuddy is a little more problematic, Hendrik has described making a small alcohol stove for his bushbuddy, however, I would prefer to use an esbit stove such as the HPS stove weighing 5 gms combined with some ti foil for a windshield weighing 8 gms. Providing a complete Bushbuddy system for 182 gms. Unless you are a diehard gram counter the difference between the two set ups (17 gms) is not worth worrying about.
So which is better? Neither really, I think it will come down to personal preference, they are both great wood stoves and will serve you well in the outdoors. Which will I be taking on my next trip? I am undecided at the moment and it ultimately depend on the type of weather expected.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
For the trip to the west coast I took the Gossamer Gear Gorilla. The total volume of the pack according to Gossamers Gears website is 46 litres with 39 litres in the main bag section, which seem about right to me. The pack therefore is a good size for trips up to 4 or 5 days, depending on the volume of your gear.
The pack comes with bungy and cord locks as well as foam inserts for the hipbelt and the shoulder straps and the Sitlight pad which has its own sleeve on the outside of the pack. I inserted all the foam inserts in their respective places but felt that the shoulder inserts tended to push the shoulder straps into my neck which I found uncomfortable. However, the beauty of these packs is that you can open the shoulder straps and put in socks or hats etc. for padding. So I replaced the inserts with Gossamer Gear 1/4" foam which worked perfectly providing both a comfortable fit and cushioning where it was needed. The weight of the large pack on my scales was 730 gms which included the Sitlight Pad. The pack has their U shaped frame which is similar to the Haglöfs LIM 45 as described in an earlier post. To the pack I added two Gossamer Gear Hipbelt pockets (20 gms each) and one shoulder pocket (19 gms) giving a total pack weight of 790 gms.
I started the trip with a total weight of gear, food and water in the pack of a little under 10 kgs, but as explained in the trip report late on the first day I loaded up with an extra 2 litres of water taking the carry weight to approximately 12 kgs. With this weight in the pack it was still comfortable for me. The packs hip belt is much softer than some other manufactures belts, but when tightened up it is effective at supporting the load. The frame works well and in my view allows the base of the frame to flex when walking while staying rigid at the top, such flexing aids in the walking and the pack feels like it is hugging your back. The three mesh pockets are functional and stretch easily to accommodate items such as platypus water bottles, bivies, tarps, Caldera caddies etc. The Gorilla is Gossamer Gears heaviest pack partly due to the heavy duty fabric used for the body of the pack and as a result the pack has a feel that it will withstand a fair bit of punishment either on or off trail.
My opinion, it is a comfortable pack capable of carrying 12 to 14 kg with easily accessible side pockets and an efficient roll top closure. The addition of hipbelt pockets and shoulder pockets ensure that all the gear for the day is on the outside of the pack and there is no need to open the main bag. It is a pack I will use often depending on the conditions and the location of the trip.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
After 6 hours and 3 different trains I arrived at the township of Thisted where I boarded a bus for the 30 minute trip to Klitmøller. By then it was lunchtime so a visit to the Bageri was my first stop before heading south out of the township along the West Coast Trail, part of the North Sea Trail and signed with lifeboat emblems to reflect the trails heritage as a the lifeboat path used to rescue stranded sailors along the exposed North Sea coastline.
The first section of the trail out of Klitmøller follows the road south about a kilometre inland from the sea, before entering Nystrup Klitplantage, a pleasant forest with a mixture of pines, birch and heath.
Throughout the first day I was either walking along small gravel roads or along the original life boat trail in Vangs å Hede. There were not many people around and certainly away from the car parks I saw only one or two people. After crossing Vangs å Hede (heathlands) I headed out to Bøgsted Rende with its imposing registered sea mark atop the dunes.
After attempting to take photos in the blustery winds near the sea mark I set off down to the shoreline before turning inland towards Tvorup Klitplantage and ultimately camp. However, being a coastal region and very few streams I had to load up with water for the next 3 km of trail along with water for cooking leaving sufficient to get me though another 3 km in the morning. So with an extra 4 kg in my pack I set off towards camp.
Camp for the night was in Tvorup Klitplantage on the fringes of the heathlands. Here I pitched the MLD Grace Solo Tarp and laid out my BPL.com Vapor Bivy. See this earlier posting for a photo. I was soon into the making of dinner using the Trail Designs Caldera Inferno with the BPL 900 pot. The beauty of wood fires is that you do not have to worry about fuel, but with the many fire warning signs around as well as firefighting equipment near the shelter it was also obvious that care needs to be taken at this time of the year.
I awoke the next morning to a beautiful but breezy morning I was soon packed and headed out along the slightly overgrown trail through the heathlands, passing many different colours as I went below the photo shows what is know as Lyng in Denmark
The walk along the trail in the cool of the morning was very pleasant and with the wind at my back I was able to look around and admire the flora and the large sand hills to the west.
Soon however, I was returned to the reality of bitumen roads that led to Nr. Vorupør a popular tourist destination along with a fish smokery, of interest was the fishing cutters on the beach. These cutters are still used and provide fish for the adjacent Fish smoke house.
Passing through Nr and Sondre Vorupør I headed towards Stenbjerg another small fishing village with its unique beach landing place where the fishing cutters were also launched in days gone by. However, as I followed the trail through the heathlands I noted the old survey mark from the late 1800's apparently used to mark the lifeboat trail.
After Stenbjerg the trail crosses Lyngby Hede which stretches for about 10 km from the outskirts of Stenbjerg to Lodbjerg lighthouse. The afternoon sunshine made for a warm afternoons walk, especially as heading south (with the wind at my back) meant that I was walking into the sun the whole time. approximately halfway across the Hede you enter the village of Lyngby with its old life boat station which can be reserved for overnight accommodation for hikers and cyclists. The Lyngby life boat station is one of approximately 60 lifeboat stations that were placed along the west coast of Jylland.
Leaving Lyngby I returned to the hede for the final 7 kilometres to Lodbjerg Fyr, camp for the night. The lighthouse is located approximately a kilometre back from the coastline. The walk through the heathlands continued to provide a wide variety of scenery with some large sand dunes appearing along the coast line.
The shelter and campsite near the base of Lodbjerg lighthouse reminded me of a wind tunnel and with a sign indicating that 12 persons were staying the night in the shelter or its surrounds I headed to the forest where the was only a slight breeze and a beautiful mossy campsite. As day walkers walked nearby I got many perplexed looks at the tarp and bivy arrangement, no one asked but I am sure they wondered what I was doing there. Having had dinner as the guests with there bags of food and alcohol (it is a 200 metre walk from the parking area) arrived, I decided to go for a stroll around the area safe in the knowledge that the noise of the wind would drown out the sounds of late night revelry.
My neighbours and I awoke to a beautiful morning and whilst my campsite was neat the same could not be said for theirs, but in all fairness they were not that noisy and they did clean the area up as they had breakfast. I set off towards Agger and the peninsula that would take me to the ferry and then the train and then home.
After a short walk through through the heath lands to the shores of Flade Sø I followed the trail around the Sø till it met up with the coast, it was still windy but the sun was warm so the views of the waves breaking, the seagulls playing in the wind made for a pleasant accompaniment to the walk to Agger.
Past Agger the trail follows the Agger Tange a 10 km spit of land which has high sand dunes on the west and flat marsh areas on the east. Out of the wind the warmth of the sunshine could be felt with the many aquatic birds singing it was a relaxing walk. As the trail followed the flat land I would occasionally climb up onto the sand dunes over the sand covered access road to look and admire the sea. It was on one such diversion I was reminded yet again of the man hours spent during world war 2 constructing huge gun emplacements.
Turning away from the trail I followed the bitumen to the ferry to take me across the Kanal, as it is called, to Thyborøn, only to find that it was another 2 km of walking to the railway station (in reality the station is only a raised platform) to catch the Lemvigbanen to the mainline and then another train home. The Lemvigbanen can be best described as an interesting rail service where the conductor uses a mechanical ticket machine similar to that seen on London Buses 30 years ago, the station names are interesting with one being Victoria Street Station. So the end of the trip provide some amusement to what was a very enjoyable walk along the coast. I am already planning the next excursion further up the coast.
Monday, 14 September 2009
Well I am back from a 3 day trip in Denmark's first national park Thy National Park. The walk followed the coastline along the Redningsdvejen (The Lifeboat Trail). The sun shone and the wind blew and it was a very enjoyable trip. A trip report will follow as well as some gear comments especially on the Gossamer Gear Gorilla, Trail Designs Caldera Inferno as well as the bivy tarp combo used. The photo shows the MLD Grace Solo tarp and the BPL Vapor bivy.