24 04 2013

Mother Nature’s engine is beginning to rev up. The flowers are blooming, the trees are filling out and the earth is sucking up the water that has been lying after a prolonged and very wet winter. The blog always takes a hit when the first signs of spring allow me to trade the keyboard for the pedals and I woulnd’t have it any other way. So what has been happening?

First I was both surprised and happy to see one of my posts had been shortlisted in a competition on Hiking in Finland. This website is an oustanding resource and I would recommend it as a bookmark. It features gear reviews, beautiful photography and superb accounts of travels and adventures. All fuel for planning mischief!

There will be a final vote on the best piece and I’m proud that my post – S240 – was included because the other pieces are excellent! Read them all on Hiking in Finland, HERE and don’t forget to vote!

Oddly enough, this week, I received my eagerly anticipated Sweet Roll from Eric at Revelate Designs. It is beautifully made, as ever, and the improvements over the previous version are going to make this an essential piece of kit. I will be keeping my harness system, I *do* intend to purchase and learn to use a pack raft and the harness will be useful for carrying one. I will obviously report back once I have a few rides with the Sweet Roll.

It reminds me of the first bags I received from Eric. He christened these trunk turtles, iirc. They sit atop a dry bag and cinch down onto the OMM racks I used to employ. As confidence grew, I left the kitchen sink behind and travelled much lighter. They were very functional, though, and if I ever need to carry a *lot* of stuff again, they will be back in service. They can be seen here, on my under-utilised IF touring bike.

I have also been testing a Camelbak All Clear for Singletrack Magazine, recently. It has really made me consider my water carrying/use for longer rides, but also anything down to 4-6 hours where you need more than 1 bottle. In Scotland you can hardly throw a stone without hearing the ‘plonk’ of a water source, so recharging supplies along the way *as long as it is quick, convenient, tasty and safe* may well be the best way forward. More on this once I have my thoughts together and some trials done.

Last for now, I have enough time on the Krampus to present my thoughts. I will cover that in the next post…but meantime, the sun is out, so I ought to be!




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