Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Lakeland Bloggers Video

I've been tasked by Phil and Steve to put together a video from all the clips and we took over last weekends trip. I've been having a few IT issues my end and suffice to say it may be a while before the final version is put together.

I have however roughly strung my stuff together. Apologies for the quality. I'm still getting used to the settings on my phone and was recording in a medium setting (not so good) this combined with the wind and rain (no sound effects needed!) in places it's hard to hear whats going on.

Phil recorded all the funny stuff and all the stuff whilst we were on the move. Hope this keeps you going until the final version is done.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Lakes trip with Steven and Phil

Most of you may know Steven and Phil from the blog world. and Steven organised a little trip to the lakes this weekend. We did the Mosedale Horseshoe today after a windy wild camp last night. All of us have taken light weight kit and its had a good test.

Most of today was very wet and very very windy. Typically as soon as we were back to the car the weather picked up and the evenings turned out nice. I've done a video which will need editing and uploading when I'm back home but here's a few photos to be getting on with. The new tarps brilliant by the way!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Cat cut tarp II


Well the guy lines are on, the seams are sealed and it was pitched in the garden. You can see the little glitter glue bottle that I use for seam sealing. 10 minutes to do the seam and the tie out points on the tarp. For those of you lucky enough to have experienced seam sealing I'm hoping this tip will enrich your life.

The purpose of this tarp was to see if I've got the shape right and by jingo I think I've cracked it. Even though there wasn't much tension on the guys the pitch was drum tight. A flick gave a satisfying thud on the fabric. As you may be able to see there's only 8 tie out points. For the final version they'll be another couple of tie outs on each side to enable it to be firmly secured in harsh conditions. Hopefully it'll be blowing a hooley over the weekend so I can do a Bear Ghrylls extreme video.

New Tarp - Catenary cut solo tarp.

I've always liked the look of the catenary cut tarp. You see them a lot over in the states more so that over here. I used to assume this was because the states suffered less with heavy winds and rain than we do, which may be the case. So logically, in my mind anyway, I thought that they weren’t all that much cop for use over here.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve assumed a lot of things about lightweight gear before actually getting to use it. More often than not my assumptions proved baseless and the gear has performed beyond my initial expectations. Maybe so in this case too? I’ve never owned a cat cut tarp or even seen one being used. Also Colin Ibbotson has used one it seems in most conditions in this country and gets on well with it. So why not make one? Why not indeed…

I’ve done this project in proper low tech DIY mode. The material used was some cheapish stuff I found on the internet which looked and felt like 1.1oz Sil Nylon or 1.4oz when it’s been coated – around 40g m2. It turns out that after making a tarp for a friend which you can see in the previous pictures in the Lakes SUL trip, the material is actually coated and delaminates if treated harshly. The pattern was made by pinning the material to a flat wall and then plotting out where the corners of each side would end up. Then using further pins and heavy nylon cord the catenary curves were created and carefully transferred to the material. Obviously the material had to readjusted to plot each edge. Not only has the main seam got a cat cut also all the edges also have a slight cat cut so as to keep the fabric taught.

The tarps been put together pretty quickly as I want to use it this weekend on a trip to the lakes with Steven and Phil. I still need to attach the guy lines which won’t take long. I also need to seal the seam. This I do with two parts white spirit and one part silicone bath sealant. Most people use a paintbrush to paint in on but this takes ages. I use a glitter pen, the sort that squeeze out a glue with glitter in. Empty the glitter out and replace with the silicone solution and hey presto – a sealant pen. Much quicker and the solution doesn’t go off in the air like it does when you’re using a brush.

The re-enforcement panels are made from 35g m2 spinnaker fabric. I use this as it doesn’t stretch like nylon. I think the combination of the non stretch of spinnaker (but the catastrophic nature of which it can rip) and the stretchy nylon (and ability to withstand shearing) makes a good strong partnership. There may be a reason why other manufacturers don’t use this combination, if anyone knows please let enlighten me.

I’ll do another post after the trip and let you know how it gets on. We are forecast for 35mph winds, gusts up to 50mph and heavy, sustained showers (surely that means rain?)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

£1 Tenkara Rods

It's been a while since I've posted anything, mainly due to a combination of real life stuff and a bit of laziness. Apologies for that. Anyway, I was taking my two boys, 7 and 9 to the lakes for their first lakeland wild camp this weekend, but a spot of asthma has put paid to that, so we're off the Keld in the Dales instead. A lovely camp site by a river where you can have fires too.

One of the aims of the weekend was to test these tiny fishing poles that I found in the pound shop. As you can imagine the quality leaves a little to be desired. The eyelets at the end came off immediately so they've been glued and bound with a bit of epoxy glue and strong thin nylon thread. The poles will snap before these'll come off again.

Affixed to the poles is a length of cheap floating line with a 4' tippet on the end, making the line around 12'. The poles themselves extend to around 8' and are remarkably strong and flexible for glass fibre.

I'm not expecting much in the way of performance from these. I reckon they'll cope with trout up to around 6" in length which is what you can expect to catch in most parts. Not big enough for eating but a good bit of sport on such light tackle.

The pole itself weighs 39g the line and a few flies in the polystyrene box are negligible, a small lightweight outfit for backpacking and day packs.  I'll let you know how we get on!