Stove Shield Bargain from Amazon

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You may have seen my little video a few weeks ago featuring the Alpkit Mytimug and Kraku.

Gratuitous plug of previous blog post and YouTube video.

Well it was a little breezy so i set about looking for a cheap and light shield for the stove.

I eventually found this little one on Amazon. I am sure there are a 101 similar ones available but at £5.99 I figured I couldn’t see the point in shopping around.

It flat-packs down, as small as my iPhone 6 and weighs only 120g.

The 9 detachable aluminium panels are very flimsy but this is what makes it so light. As you can see its the perfect height for the Kraku stove and is ideal for keeping the breeze off and letting the stove do its thing unhindered.

You can detach the panels if you wanted to make it smaller – I could take 2 off to make this a snug fit – and the end pins are longer allowing you to fix the shield to the ground.

So for £5.99, barely any weight and no real space needed to carry this is ideal.

Any questions, comments or if you have an experience with a similar piece of kit please let me know below.

On the trail with Alpkit

Before I met up with the rest of the gang for a ride  on Christmas Eve and before going home to begin the festivities I went for some solitude and made a little video with some of my favourite gadgets!

On the trail with Alpikt
Kraku – Cracking!

Alpkit Kraku stove, and 650ml MytiMug, all filmed with a GoPro Session 4.

On the trail with Alpikt
Kraku – Hot Stuff!

Are you getting used to seeing and hearing me on YouTube yet?

Please show some appreciation and subscribe to my channel…

Pannier

I don’t often just post a link to a website.

I am not about re-blogging other people’s content.

So this is much more than that. This post is an invitation to you to go and view my favourite website this week (maybe that could be a new feature of the blog #thinks#), go and wonder at expertly written content, fantastic photographs and beautiful illustrations.

Pannier is a website (with a little shop) that’s all about touring and bikepacking and I just love it.

Start here with this informative page discussing a typical kit list for a bike adventure:
https://www.pannier.cc/prepare/full-unsupported-touring-setup-cycle-touring-kitlists

And then stay a while looking at some of the journal entries  and finally marvel at the maps! Explore LEJOG on this one:
https://routes.pannier.cc/route/lands-end-john-o-groats-west

 

Plan B

Bike Packing
Luckily my NS Bikes Surge has a Bear Warning System

B is for BikePacking

We had booked the “Introduction to Bikepacking” trip with MTB Guiding a few months ago and three of us from the relatively flatlands of Wiltshire were really excited to be going on our first over night bike ride.

Meeting Tom Hutton at the Elan Valley Visitor Center at 10am on Saturday we discussed the plan. Along with the ins and outs of a guided ride we had the added complications that camping would bring to the ride and the extra gear and precautions we would need to take.

When bike packing in the mountains you have to carry all your usual gear that you would take on a long bike ride as well as a long list of other items to support an overnight stay.

Continue reading “Plan B”

Wildcat Gear – Bikepacking Kit

Wildcat Gear – Bikepacking Kit
Wildcat Gear - Lion, Tiger and Ocelot
Wildcat Gear L-R : Tiger, Ocelot and Lion

Good bikepacking and camping kit is not cheap. Lets get straight to it. To kit yourself out with enough gear to support you for even one night under the stars (or the drizzle!) can cost you £100s. Seriously this is not for the faint of heart or tight of pocket.

A good sleeping bag and by good I mean light, warm and one that can pack down to a manageable size can cost you £100 or more on its own. Ask around, hit the bike and bivi forums and you will get advice from regular bikepackers on where the best buys are – I recently looked at tents for instance and found that for a 1 man portable tent I could pay  anywhere from £50 to £200 – for a one man tent yes!

Don’t forget your sleeping mat, stove, food, change of clothes and all the usual paraphernalia that we carry on our backs for a long day in the mountains and on the bike. The shopping list is long…

MTB Guiding using Wildcat Gear
Tom Hutton of MTB Guiding

You can take your chances with weight, price and brand of all of this kit and do it on a budget, risking your night of comfort possibly and carrying some extra weight or you can go the other end of the scale and invest some money in good kit that is light. Which ever way you go you need to somehow fix all of this stuff to your bike.

Bar harness, seat post pouches, frame bags, etc – This is an area you should not compromise. Whatever you paid for your sleeping bag, you do not want it falling off the back of your bike in the mountains and getting wet and muddy or worse still it falls out and you don’t notice for a few hours!

And if you bought a super expensive tent or something that is maybe a bit on the heavy side you will want to make sure its fixed firmly to your handle bars (usually where it goes).

On a recent weekend bikepacking with MTB Guiding, myself and 2 friends were provided with a variety of different pieces of kit all securely fixed to our bikes using Wildcat Gear bikepacking harnesses. Once you have figured out the straps (this isn’t quite plug n play) its fantastic and the Lion bar mount and the Tiger for the seat post provide very sturdy platforms for your equipment.

We rode approx 90km through the Cambrian mountains in mid Wales and never lost an item and once secured the Lion in particular just seems to become part of the bike as it is fixed in 4 points to the fork and the bars.

The weekend with MTB Guiding was a taster as you can’t simply spend £100s and £100s on all this equipment to find that you don’t enjoy bikepacking and I certainly enjoyed it. I will be doing this again soon and at the top of my shopping list is this superb kit from Wildcat Gear.

You can buy in a few stores, or try the website:

Retailers – http://www.wildcatgear.co.uk/retail-stockists/

Web shop – http://www.wildcatgear.co.uk/shop/