I’ve Got Gas!

I figured out why I couldn’t get my cooking unit to work during my garden camp…


It was because the unit was a screw on but the gas can a push/click on. What an idiot! It’s been that long since I went camping that it’s hard to believe.

There seems to be a shortage of gas as a consequence of people not being allowed outdoors so production being slowed to meet little demand. That’s how I ended up with a different type of gas can. That’s my excuse anyway!

I still intend to try again with my old appliance but am waiting on some cans that I’ve ordered from an outdoor store. I’ll possibly do a review on the gear that I receive from that company.

Following failure, the Campinggaz stove that I purchased above has a lot going for it. I’ll get to the one annoyance first… you need matches/a lighter! That means that you’ve got to carry matches around and keep them dry. You can take a lighter of course but need back up.

The unit uses a push on ‘Easy click’ method. It pushes/drops/clicks onto the gas can then you twist a little. The triangular section is all connected so less fathing than my other one. You simply pull them around to make a triangle. You then twist the gas output level before lighting.

I boiled a small amount of water for a cup of tea and first impressions are that the unit is easy to use and works well. I really like that it’s all connected unlike my other where you have to put the three legs in. I also like that it folds down nicely into a plastic container. You do need to be certain that you’ve turned the knob off, as far around as it will go before removing the unit from the can. Also, make sure that the metal has cooled down. I believe that in previous versions you couldn’t detach once you’d hooked upto a can… far from practical!

In its container, the unit weights about 220kg. The small gas can is about 300kg, in fact, it’s called CV300… maybe that’s why?! Plus, you’ve got your matches/lighter… obviously. I don’t think that the weight of the unit is bad.

In terms of the camping that I’ll likely be doing, I think that I’ll be heading to a campsite in the car, pitching for two nights with somebody joining me for a hike on the middle/full day, so I’ll take both cooking units just incase!

Look out for more relearning to camp posts in the future!

Yorkshire Three Peaks… again!

On Saturday, my friend and I walked the Yorkshire Three Peaks!

The three peaks in question are Pennyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The mountains (Not hills!) are between 694 and 736 metres (About 2,220-2,400 feet). The 24.5 mile route also features stunning views of Ribblehead Viaduct, an active railway line. (Sorry, I don’t think that I got a great photo of that part!).

The route was busy and I mean busy… before thinning out later on. Certainly the first two peaks were traffic heavy. My friend’s eight-year-old son was with us but I can’t claim that he or the traffic slowed us down massively, not that it was a race. Many many years ago, in a slightly larger group, I’d clocked a time of 9 hours 55 minutes. This time we’d return to the starting point of Horton-in-Ribblesdale after 10 hours 7 minutes of walking.

It was a favourable day following so much rain. Though a little misty on the top of Pennyghent, Whernside was clear enough before the clouds parted as we reached the broad and windy summit of Ingleborough. From there we could see the sea… on the WEST coast!

The walk has finished off my boots… and I better get some new ones soon as I’ve got a couple of hikes planned in June! I generally felt good, even for the last few miles but my ankles have suffered. Pennyghent is a bit of a scramble but we shot up, Whernside more gradual but dragged a little and Ingleborough has a brutal climb but we took it steady and I felt okay. Unlike the last time, my legs didn’t feel like jelly for the last few miles!

I didn’t really enjoy the crowds, and overhearing other people’s conversations. At one point, I had a woman hanging on my shoulder for ages and I also got sucked into the middle of a few groups at one stage with nowhere to go. Heading up Ingleborough though, with the clouds parting, sun shining and views to the sea, was incredibly satisfying.

Maybe I’ll do it again in another ten years!

iWalk Pocket Battery

Whenever I get back to the car from a walk my phone battery is dead!

I was a bit late to modern phones but my friend explained to me that the phone was using battery looking for a signal. I want my phone on so that I’m able to take photos (You know, incase I see a big wild cat!) and airplane mode was suggested. I could possibly charge my phone in the car. I’ve got an old car but maybe there’s an adapter that connects to the cigarette thing. I’m a bit ignorant about these things!

Anyway, I’ve bought the item pictured above. It was supposedly half price, something like £16 instead of £32 but isn’t everything these days? I can charge my phone once I get back to the car and at least check for any important messages. It’ll be useful when camping too. I don’t want to be on my phone all the time but don’t want to be uncontactable either. You charge the unit via a normal plug socket at home and it should provide at least one full charge.

We’ll see how it goes if I ever actually go camping, other than in my garden…


Garden Camping

Having advised that I was craving camping…


I went camping… in my garden!

This was a more than worthwhile exercise. The camping that I’m practicing for is having to carry everything on my back. Even if that’s not really the case, I like to imagine that I’m on some epic wild hike!

My old Vango Helium 200 tent, is, for the most part, okay. The inner droops a little close to my face but it’s manageable. That said, it didn’t rain but fingers crossed that it can still keep the water out! I used a Vango groundsheet beneath the tent and had my new Levin sleeping mat. I think that I need to revisit inflating the mat! The instructions aren’t clear but you need to pump it but also ‘let it’ inflate.

I’ll admit that I was cold! I’ve got a foil sheet on order but it’s yet another thing to carry. My sleeping bag is okay but claims to be two-season. I’m not quite sure what the temperature information on the bag is telling me! It’s mid-May and I was at low elevation in the UK so if I was more exposed I could’ve been struggling. I have seen some suggestions of buying hand warmers (Not actually sure how these work!) and putting them inside your sleeping bag.

I do have some thermal clothing that I picked up in an army surplus store in Auckland over a decade ago. The New Zealand military must freeze to death though… because it’s useless!

Crucially, I couldn’t get my old cooking implement to work. It has been in the attic a while but it did seem to be trying to spark. I’m not sure that the gas was leaving the bottle. The screw end of the cooking ‘stove’ didn’t quite seem to attach 100%. It may just be that the portable unit is old. The only thing that I can do is buy another (About £20). That said, my current one fit perfectly into my cooking pans. Will a new one?

Above is a photo of my gear. I previously had a blue backpack that got me around New Zealand and Australia for fifteen months. Red wouldn’t be my choice but the compartments on offer are good. The bottom section is a great fit for my sleeping bag. In addition to the things that I’ve already mentioned are items such as waterproofs, food and water, Swiss Army knife etc. Having weighed most things, I think that the bag weighed below 10kg but a sufficient amount of water plus more food would push it closer to that mark.

I tried to practice as real as possible. Being able to pack things away is as important a camping skill as any and of course I could have to do it in strong wind and rain!

In summary, it’s practical advice to test out equipment before heading off. I’m not a complete novice… but feel like one!

If you have any camping tips or experiences that you’d like to share, then please let me know…

Oh, one more thing! I previously posted about the sound of birds….


Well, sleeping in the garden made me realise quite how much variety there is. They went on late into the night and were up early. It wasn’t quite as loud as in New Zealand but it hardly induced sleep!

Five Songs With People’s Names in the Title

We’ve had animals…


Place names…


Today, it’s people’s names…

Sutherland Brothers and Quiver Arms of Mary

Bat for Lashes Daniel

Ray Lamontagne Hannah

Kenny Rogers Lucille

The Front Lawn Andy

Did you enjoy? Were you already familiar with any of today’s songs? What will next week bring?

Hiking T-Shirts

I have two round neck tops that I wear when hiking that cost £9.99 from Mountain Warehouse… but have just bought the t-shirts pictured above!

Like my other tops, the above are 100% polyester but crucially have both a collar and button up neck/chest area, ie: protection for the two areas that I get sunburned!

I bought the redish/carbon ones online (eBay) for about £15.99 after seeing the green one in Trespass. The store didn’t have my size and nowhere (And I mean nowhere) on the net had it in stock. However, after purchasing the other colours, I returned to Trespass and low and behold, they had a large green one there on the rail!

Having purchased three works out well though as I can use them on family days out or even going to the park with the kids on a sunny day, not just when hiking.

The end of the sleeves are, I wouldn’t say tight but they’re not loose. I’m not particularly well built so struggle to get my head around grown men wearing medium size tops. I’ve always found large to be comfortable with a bit of give but not baggy.

I look forward to wearing these when I’m out an about… starting with the Yorkshire Three Peaks on Saturday!

FC Nantes’ Survival Bid

After seemingly being destined to drop into Ligue 2, Les Canaris produced a stunning turnaround by winning three consecutive matches before taking on basement club Dijon in the penultimate round of games.

What could possibly go wrong? Nothing… they won 4-0!

Well, not quite nothing. The other teams flirting with relegation all managed to pick up points too. That means that the men in yellow will need to get something from their final game against Montpellier at the Stade de la Beaujoire. A draw could be enough to preserve Les Canaris Ligue 1 status as they have a far better goal difference than two of the three teams that are all just one point ahead of them.


Eighth place Montpellier will be no pushover though!

Craving Camping!

I’ve got an urge to go camping!

I’ve done plenty of hiking but only a little multi-day hiking/camping…


My wife and I have been camping a few times but since having children, the opportunities haven’t been there. That’s not to say you can’t go camping with kids but our eldest daughter has some additional needs and our youngest only turned two this year.

There are also cabins/pods etc and we are staying in a caravan soon. Camping is easier said than done though. Wild camping is technically illegal meanwhile many campsites are almost like cities and even basic ones often don’t allow one night stays.

I do hope to go camping this year, even if it means abandoning the family for a few days. I’ll make it up to them! I’ve been checking out my gear that’s been in the attic for a while. One torch fell apart (Or the batteries inside did!) and the zips on my rucksack are done far.

My Vango Helium 200 tent (Pictured above) seems in good nick though. Having previously had the 100, I’m sure that I won’t be the first person to recommend always buying the two-man version of a tent, to accommodate your bag as much as anything. It only weighs about 1.3kg though is quite long when packed down. Once you move onto the tunnel tents, you’re looking at additional weight and quite a chunky tent when packed down. Remember that a sleeping bag is also required as is a sleeping mat. Do not underestimate the value of one! I’ve just ordered a different style of mat. I do hope that it (Easily!) folds down as small as it claims to.

There’s then obviously food, cooking equipment and clothes amongst other things to carry as well.

Soon, I’ll be doing a trial camp in the garden. After a lengthy dry spell, it’s been constantly hammering it down for days here. I don’t mind testing myself in the rain but just couldn’t see how I’d be able to dry my tent! Mentioning the rain, I’m relieved for the fish that I saw in the River Skirfare…


I still need to get some gas to see if my stove still works and want to wait until I’ve got my new mat etc so that I’m practicing with my actual current equipment. Look out for details of a night in the back garden then in the not too distant future, hopefully … a genuine camping experience!

Disclaimer: I’m well aware that the tent was pitched shoddily. It was a quick check with inquisitive children and rain around!