Posted by: rogerdane | 31 May 2011

New kit testing – 29/04/11

As I had some time on this particular Friday and it was a nice day I decided to get out some of the new kit that I’ve acquired and give it a test run.

First up was the Trangia 27-6UL cookset (http://www.trangia.se/english/5614.27_series_ul.html).  It seems very simple to use and clean and produced some lovely sausages in a relatively short space of time.  The kettle boiled quite quickly as well.  I’d say that it produced a lovely cup of coffee but I would assume that boiled water tastes the same whatever cooker you use 😉  I was using it with the meths burner which produced a good heat.  It would be interesting to do a comparison with a gas burner as well but there isn’t one available for this model of stove.  If you would prefer to use gas then this is a consideration to take into account when buying.  My feeling is that when you get out on a long trip it’s more likely that you’ll be able to acquire meths (or a similar fuel) than a specific gas bottle but I have no empirical evidence to back that up.

Next up was the Hilleberg Akto tent (http://www.hilleberg.se/products/akto).  This is a super lightweight one man tent designed for backpacking but ideal for packing into a sea kayak due to its low weight (1.6 kg) and size. It’s an absolute doddle to put up with only one pole to assemble and then it just needs to be pegged out.  It is small inside.  There’s only just about enough room for my large 6’2″ frame but then the small size is the major point of this tent.  Having got it up I used it overnight and although the weather got a little blustery and rainy it wasn’t really tested to any serious degree.  I’m very happy with it though and look forward to giving it a serious test sometime this year.

The other photos are of my new sea kayak! 🙂  This is a carbon/kevlar composite Valley Aquanaut HV (http://www.valleyseakayaks.co.uk/content/boats/composite/aquanaut-hv).  As you can see it’s gorgeous!  I got it out on the water a couple of times the weekend before this kit test.  I stuck to the local bay and used Runkeeper to track my trips (http://runkeeper.com/user/NIViking/activity/32600146 & http://runkeeper.com/user/NIViking/activity/37557372).  As you can see I basically paddled around  a small bay as I was concerned about going any distance on my own.  It occurred to me afterwards that these trips didn’t give an accurate idea of the boat as sea kayaks aren’t really designed to go round in circles, being long and thin they’re meant to go long distances in straight lines.  Still, it was nice to get the boat out on the water and a more realistic test will have to follow.

  I’m still getting my head around some of the tech that I’m trying to use.  The second Runkeeper track ends in the sea again although this time it wasn’t due to a capsize but because my iPhone ran out of charge.  Note to self charge up the damn phone before setting off!

Oh well, onwards and upwards.  The next post will be for the first serious outing for the Aquanaut.

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