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12/3/13

Night Glow Zipper Pulls by MSR |

Home /  Camping   /  Night  Glow  Zipper  Pulls  by  MSR

NOV

Night Glow Zipper Pulls by MSR

03

They Say  -­  New  for  2013:  Easy  to  find  in  the  dark,  these  glowing  zipper  pulls  are  a  convenient,  lightweight upgrade  to  your  tent’s  metal  zipper  pulls.  The  plastic  pull  glows  for  a  full  8  hours  and  recharges  in  ambient light,  and  it’s  easy  to  grip  without  removing  gloves  or  mittens.  Includes  4  zipper  pulls. See  them  online  at  http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/tent-­accessories/enhance/night-­glow-­zipper-­ pulls/product   We  Say  -­  Why  not  use  these,  if  you  have  the  opportunity.  The  zipper  pulls  on  the  Robens  tent  that  I  used them  with  were  easy  to  see  in  the  dark  anyhow,  but  these  just  made  it  easier.  Perhaps  MSR  might  also start  to  make  glow  in  the  dark  guide  ropes,  to  help  stop  the  drunks  falling  over  my  tent  at  festivals  and weekend  long  running  events!  If  your  tent  zipper  pulls  aren’t  easy  to  see  at  night,  then  these  additions from  MSR  are  a  good  idea. To  find  out  more  about  these  attachments,  and  MSR,  please  check  the  website  out  -­ http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr

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Night Glow Zipper Pulls by MSR |

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MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

Home /  Camping   /   MSR  ALPINE  DELUX  KITCHEN  SET,  QUICK  2  SYSTEM,  QUICK  SKILLET  &  TITAN  KETTLE

NOV 03

MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE

I used  this  selection  of  cookwear  every  day  last  summer  for  12  weeks,  half  of  that  time  whilst  camping  in the  Lake  District,  the  other  half  whilst  camping  on  an  island  in  the  Medway  Estuary.  I  used  it  every  day, got  to  know  it  well,  so  here’s  what  I  think  of  it.  I’ll  list  the  individual  items  at  the  start  then  review  them  all at  the  same  time.  Makes  sense,  since  I  used  them  all  in  conjunction  with  each  other  at  the  same  time. QUICK  2  SYSTEM

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MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

They Say  -­  The  Quick™  2  system  is  a  complete  cook  and  eat  system,  designed  as  the  go-­to  solution  for the  widest  range  of  backcountry  uses  and  meals.  Insulated  mugs  and  DeepDish™  plates  combine  with both  nonstick  and  uncoated  hard-­anodized  aluminum  for  the  ultimate  in  lightweight,  cook-­anything  utility. Includes:  (1)1.5L  nonstick  DuraLite™  DX  pot,  (1)  2.5L  hard-­anodized  pot,  (1)  strainer  lid,  (2)  DeepDish™ plates,  (2)  insulated  stainless  steel  mugs,  (1)  Talon™  pot  handle. Dual  Cooking  Surfaces:  Ultralight  hard-­anodized  aluminum;;  one  non-­stick  and  one  uncoated  for maximum  versatility. Compact:  Efficient  nesting  design  saves  valuable  pack  room. Comprehensive:  Includes  mugs  and  plates  for  two. Modular:  Nested  design  accommodates  additional  insulated  mugs  (sold  separately),  or  leave something  at  home  to  save  even  more  weight. ALPINE  DELUX  KITCHEN  SET

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MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

They Say  -­  The  Alpine  Deluxe  Kitchen  Set  is  our  most  comprehensive  set  of  tools  for  outdoor  cooking.  A releasable  webbing  handle  makes  the  protective  zippered  case  easy  to  hang  anywhere  and  inside,  two generous  mesh  pockets  replace  old-­school  elastic  loops  that  tend  to  limit  versatility,  stretch-­out  and  lose their  grip  over  time.  You’ll  find  innovations  such  as  our  new  combination  pot  strainer/cheese  grater, moisture-­resistant  salt  and  pepper  shaker,  folding  cutting  board,  stainless  steel  Utility  Knife  and  more. Includes: 100%  BPA-­Free  Materials Alpine™  Folding  Spoon,  Spatula  and  Strainer/Grater:  Spoon  is  calibrated  for  common  measurements and  Strainer  doubles  as  cheese  grater. Alpine™  Salt  &  Pepper  Shaker:  New  design  is  moisture  resistant  and  holds  plenty. Alpine™  Dish  Brush  /Scraper:  Nonstick  friendly  pot  cleaner  with  edge  radius  to  match  cookware. Alpine  Kitchen  Knife:  4.5″  Santoku-­styled  knife  in  a  ventilated,  plastic  sheath  is  made  from  440-­series high-­carbon  stainless  steel. PackTowl®  Dish  Towel:  The  original  travel  towel  absorbs  four  times  its  weight  in  water–over  and over–dries  fast  and  is  built  to  survive  years  of  abuse. Deluxe  case:  Zippered,  semi-­rigid  case  with  two  large  zippered  mesh  pockets  for  maximum versatility. Alpine™  Deluxe  Cutting  Board:  Strong,  hinged  design  for  durability  and  portability. Plus:  (2)  squeeze  bottles,  Bottle  opener/corkscrew. QUICK  SKILLET

They Say  -­  This  compact,  7-­inch  skillet  nests  efficiently  with  Quick  2,  Base  2  and  Alpinist  cookware, adding  versatility  to  your  average  minimalist  kitchen  without  adding  too  much  weight  to  your  pack. Includes:  Nonstick,  7-­inch,  DuraLite™  DX  hard  anodized  aluminum  skillet,  Talon  Pot  Handle. TITAN  KETTLE

outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-alpine-delux-kitchen-set-quick-2-system-quick-skillet-titan-kettle/

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MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

They Say  -­  Versatile  enough  to  be  a  pot,  mug  or  bowl,  this  ultralight  titanium  kettle  complements  the  Titan 2  Pot  Set  perfectly.  The  Kettle  holds  .85  liters  of  liquid  and  comes  with  a  tight-­fitting  lid  and  drip-­free  spout for  smooth,  easy  pouring.  Team  with  Titan  Tool  Spoon  (sold  separately)  for  a  bare-­minimum  “solo” cookware  kit. Ultralight:  Weighs  just  4.2  oz.  (118  g). Compact:  .85-­liter  capacity;;  nests  with  Titan  Cup™  (sold  separately). We  Say  -­  All  of  this  kit  made  my  kitchen  duties  a  hell  of  a  lot  easier  and  more  pleasant  than  they  usually are,  so  before  I  go  into  things,  I’m  giving  it  a  large  thumbs  up  to  save  you  reading  to  the  end  to  know  how good  it  is.  If  you  need  a  durable,  compact,  fit  for  purpose  camping/cookery  set,  go  get  this  stuff  now.  If you  need  to  be  convinced  some  more,  read  on. Everything  is  very  compact  and  light.  The  Kitchen  Set  comes  in  a  tough,  hard  wearing  little  bag  whilst  the Quick  2  System  packs  down  into  itself  so  that  all  you’re  loosing  in  your  rucksack,  space  wise,  is  that taken  up  by  one  single  pan. outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-alpine-delux-kitchen-set-quick-2-system-quick-skillet-titan-kettle/

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12/3/13

MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

Hard to  believe  but  inside  that  one  pan  are  two  dishes,  two  cups  and  another  pan.  It’s  ultra  light  too. The  two  cups  have  lids  which  keep  the  heat  in  well.  I  made  hot  drinks  and  it  took  about  fifteen  minutes before  they  were  cool  enough  to  start  sipping.  Yeah,  I  could  have  taken  off  the  lid  to  cool  them  quicker, but  I’m  never  in  that  much  of  a  rush  at  camp. The  dishes  are  thick  plastic,  so  you  can  rest  them  on  your  bare  knee  when  they’ve  got  hot  food  in  them and  you  don’t  get  burnt.  They  aren’t  really  big  enough  to  hold  a  full  evening  meal  in,  not  for  me  anyway, but  they  were  perfect  for  breakfast  cereal/oats  and  for  making  cous  cous. And  the  handle  is  very  easy  to  detach  (just  press  the  red  button,  lift  handle  towards  the  pan  whilst  pulling down  and  it  comes  away),  which  is  what  you  need  if  you’re  using  both  pans  at  the  same  time  but  only have  one  handle,  so  need  to  switch  it  quickly  between  the  two  without  fuss. The  Kitchen  set  is  well  thought  out  and  really  user  friendly.  The  chopping  board  is  sturdy  and  easy  to  wipe clean,  the  knife  is  extra  sharp  (guts  fish,  for  instance,  really  easy)  and  has  stayed  that  way  for  me  for  the full  three  months.  The  spatula  is  good  but  it  is  plastic,  so  if  like  me  you’re  used  to  using  a  wooden  one and  tend  to  leave  it  in  the  frying  pan  whilst  the  food  is  cooking,  don’t,  or  the  end  will  blister  up  a  bit,  as mine  has  done.  The  pot  strainer  tool,  which  doubles  as  a  cheese  grater,  is  a  marvel.  You  just  hold  it  to  the top  of  your  pan  after  the  pasta/whatever  is  boiled,  there’s  a  lip  on  it  that  fits  nicely  around  the  pan  top  that helps  keep  it  in  place,  and  then  you  tip  the  pan,  and  the  strainer  allows  the  water  to  drain  out  whilst keeping  your  food  from  spilling  all  over  the  place. Then  there  is  the  spoon,  complete  with  measuring  levels  inside  it.  I  didn’t  think  I’d  use  that  much  but  it’s proved  great  for  measuring  out  my  porridge  oats  and  the  water/milk  to  go  with  them.  The  two  bottles,  well, I  use  one  for  washing  up  liquid,  the  other  for  olive  oil.  And  the  final  thing  I  have  made  use  of  a  lot  is  the pot  scraper/cleaner.  It’s  been  designed  so  it  can  clean  the  bottom  of  the  pans  really  easily,  it’s  slanted edge  gets  right  into  the  angles  that  often  are  toughest  to  clean  and  it’s  brush  takes  care  of  the  pan  sides and  lip. On  that  subject,  this  kit  is  so  easy  to  clean  after  you’ve  cooked.  Not  just  the  Alpine  Kitchen  Set components,  but  the  pans,  dishes  and  cups  too.  I  found  I  could  leave  the  washing  up  overnight  if  I  Iiked, safe  in  the  knowledge  that  whatever  I  cooked  in  it  –  a  fry  up,  stews,  curry,  whatever  –  was  not  going  to take  more  than  a  quick  scrape  round  with  the  dish  brush  to  bring  it  up  clean  again,  however  long  I  left  it. As  I  said  above,  the  Alpine  Kitchen  Set  does  come  with  two  plastic  bottles,  one  of  which  I  stored  washing up  liquid  in,  but  even  though  I  was  always  doing  my  washing  up  in  river  water  held  in  a  bucket,  I  never once  had  to  use  the  washing  up  liquid  to  loosen  dirt  or  grease.  So,  I  can  say  with  some  certainty,  this  is kit  that  doesn’t  need  to  be  pampered! Well,  you’d  expect  that  I  guess.  MSR  are  a  brand  well  known  for  their  usability  and  durability.  It  still suprised  me  though,  how  easy  the  pans  were  to  clean. The  pans  convey  the  heat  well.  I  use  the  gas  canisters  in  my  stove  to  the  max,  so  that  sometimes  meals are  cooked  with  only  the  last  trickle  of  gas,  which  doesn’t  produce  much  of  a  forceful  flame  at  all.  It  takes a  little  more  time  to  cook  if  the  gas  is  low  like  this,  but  the  pans  distribute  the  flame  well,  making  sure  that everything  in  the  pan  gets,  and  stays,  hot. Another  useful  aspect  of  the  pans  is  that  whilst  they  keep  the  food  hot  for  a  good  five  to  ten  minutes  after you’ve  cooked  it,  I  can  take  the  pan  off  the  gas  and  put  it  straight  on  the  plastic  table/tent  floor,  without fear  that  it’ll  mark  it.  Not  sure  why  this  is,  it  works  good  though. outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-alpine-delux-kitchen-set-quick-2-system-quick-skillet-titan-kettle/

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MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

I do  like  my  cooking  area  to  be  as  tidy  as  possible.  It’s  so  easy  to  loose  kit  if  you’re  camping  on  long grass,  so  you  need  to  be  in  control  of  it  all.  The  compactness  of  this  MSR  kit  allowed  me  to  do  that,  as you  can  see  in  the  photo  below.  It’s  bright  red  colour  also  made  it  easy  to  find  things  if  they  fell  into  the long  grass. A  bonus  point  of  the  way  the  kit  packs  away  into  itself,  or  in  the  case  of  the  Kitchen  Set  into  the  hard case,  is  that  I  could  pack  it  away  effectively  after  use  and  not  worry  that  the  rats  that  invariably  came  into the  camp  at  night  were  going  to  contaminate  my  chopping  board/knife/bowls/pans  by  romping  over  it  all. The  Skillet  has  superb  nonstick  quality,  never  had  any  issues  getting  food  out,  or  cleaning  it.  The  kettle likewise  does  its  job  well.  I  stupidly  tried  to  use  it  to  boil  milk  one  day  though  and  the  inner  bottom  of  it turned  black.  Hell  of  a  job  to  clean  it.  But  that’s  my  fault,  I  should  have  used  a  pan  for  boiling  milk,  not  a kettle. Durability  wise  the  kit  has  aged  well,  and  hasn’t  shown  any  great  sign  of  wear  after  that  three  month intense  test.  I  used  it  twice  every  day  for  that  period,  which  equals  to  about  180  individual  uses  of  about 20  minutes  each.  The  knife  has  a  little  discoluration,  but  it’s  blade  is  a  sharp  as  ever.  The  frying  pan, which  got  the  most  use  of  all  the  pans,  has  a  few  chips  in  the  non  stick  surface  around  the  lip,  which  is where  I  would  always  knock  my  spoon  or  spatula  out  after  I’d  stirred  a  sauce  or  or  fried  eggs.  The  kettle  is a  bit  blackened  as  sometimes  I  used  it  over  the  open  campfire.  Thats  about  it  though.  So,  you  see,  apart from  the  discolouration  on  the  knife,  which  is  really  no  big  deal  at  all,  the  only  deterioration  of  the  kit  has come  from  me  abusing  it.  No  shame  there,  thats  what  we  campers  tend  to  do  to  our  kit.  And  this  MSR product  is  built  with  that  in  mind. So,  overall,  I  love  this  kit  and  will  be  using  it  for  the  next  few  years  at  least  I  reckon.  It’s  well  thought  out, hard  wearing,  lightweight,  compact  and  easy  to  clean.  Brilliant. To  find  out  more  about  MSR  and  to  see  their  full  range  of  outdoors  equipment  please  check  their  website out  -­ http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr No  comments  yet.

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12/3/13

MSR ALPINE DELUX KITCHEN SET, QUICK 2 SYSTEM, QUICK SKILLET & TITAN KETTLE |

outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-alpine-delux-kitchen-set-quick-2-system-quick-skillet-titan-kettle/

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MSR Whisperlite Internationale Combo Stove |

Home /  Camping   /  MSR  Whisperlite  Internationale  Combo  Stove

NOV

MSR Whisperlite Internationale Combo Stove

03

They Say  -­  A  multi-­fuel  version  of  the  legendary  WhisperLite  stove,  the  Internationale  stove  is  just  as strong  and  reliable,  yet  even  more  versatile.  Featuring  self-­cleaning  Shaker  Jet  technology,  it  burns  white gas,  kerosene,  and  unleaded  auto  fuel,  making  this  the  perfect  choice  for  globetrotting  backpackers seeking  lightweight  and  compact  multi-­fuel  versatility  backed  up  by  decades  of  dependability.  Package includes:  Fuel  pump,  windscreen,  heat  reflector,  small-­parts  kit,  instructions,  and  stuff  sack.  (Fuel  bottle not  included.) Proven  Reliability:  Simple,  durable  design  with  over  20  years  of  proven  performance  in  the  field. Multi-­Fuel:  Burns  white  gas,  kerosene,  and  unleaded  auto  fuel. Compact:  Folds  small  and  packs  into  most  MSR®  pots. Field  Maintainable:  Shaker  Jet  technology  and  smart  engineering  allows  complete  cleaning  and maintenance  in  the  field. Made  in  the  USA. outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-whisperlite-internationale-combo-stove/

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MSR Whisperlite Internationale Combo Stove |

We Say  -­  I  hadn’t  used  this  sort  of  multi-­fuel  stove  before  I  got  this  out  of  the  box.  Usually  I’m  the  sort  to light  a  campfire  (if  I’m  wild  camping  whilst  canoeing),  call  in  at  a  local  tea  stall  (if  I’m  hiking  or backpacking)  or  go  without  hot  meals  and  drinks  for  a  few  days.  So  it’s  testament  to  the  practical  design of  this  stove  that  even  with  zero  knowledge  of  how  to  use  it  I  got  it  up  and  running  after  only  2  attempts. I  had  a  slight  problem  at  first.  I  was  following  the  instructions  too  exactly,  I  think.  They  advised  me  to  let some  gas  into  the  recepticle  under  the  burner,  then  to  turn  the  fuel  valve  to  ‘closed’,  put  a  match  to  the recepticle,  step  back  as  the  ball  of  flame  puffs  up  and  then  after  2  minutes  turn  on  the  burner  to  let  more fuel  through  which  would  then  create  the  blue  jet  flame.  The  thing  is,  in  my  opinion,  you’ve  got  to  take  this advice  about  leaving  it  alone  for  2  minutes,  then  work  out  yourself  how  long  your  own  model  needs.  I  left  it for  2  minutes  at  first  and  the  recepticle  burnt  dry  and  there  was  be  no  flame  left  to  ignite  when  I  finally opened  the  fuel  valve.  Basically,  you  just  leave  the  ball  of  flame  alone  until  it  looks  like  it’s  burning  down, which  may  be  around  45  seconds,  then  you  turn  the  fuel  valve  to  ‘On’.  After  I’d  learnt  this,  I  had  no problems.  Not  with  lighting  it,  anyway. I  used  unleaded  petrol/gas  during  this  first  test,  as  that  was  what  I  had  in  the  shed.  Using  this  the  stove billowed  out  black  smoke  and  when  it  came  to  packing  the  stove  away  afterwards,  my  hands  were  left quite  dirty.  Not  the  sort  of  thing  you  want  to  happen  if  you’re  camping  rough  and  not  wanting  to  attract attention  to  your  position,  or  if  you  want  to  keep  reasonably  clean. I  learnt  though  that  this  is  just  an  issue  with  new  stoves  running  on  unleaded  petrol/gas;;  once  they’ve been  used  a  few  times  this  problem  fades,  as  do  the  black  fingers  (if  you  use  dedicated  white  gas  I’ve heard  this  isn’t  an  issue  at  all  though).  This  would  be  a  good  thing  to  mention  in  the  instructions;;  after  that single  test  in  the  garden  I  took  the  stove  with  me  on  a  5  day  hike  in  Wales  and  had  dirty  fingers  most  of the  time.  Ok,  so  towards  the  end  of  the  hike  the  black  wasn’t  coming  off  on  my  finger  as  much,  but  it would’ve  been  nice  to  know  that  this  was  going  to  happen  for  the  first  few  days  of  use  so  I  could  have  got a  stock  of  wet  wipes  in! Ok,  now  to  the  good  points.  It’s  very  lightweight  (less  than  half  a  kilo  even  with  a  bottle  load  of  fuel).  It  has a  long  burn  time,  with  each  bottle  of  fuel  said  to  last  at  least  110  minutes,  and  boil  about  27  litres  of  water, with  each  litre  taking  around  3.5  minutes  to  boil.

outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-whisperlite-internationale-combo-stove/

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To the  right  is  a  photo  of  some  Tibetan  Bhalak  bread  simmering  on  the  stove.  The  stove  is  good  for  this type  of  cooking  as  the  fuel  rate  can  be  adjusted  quite  accurately,  in  this  case  down  to  a  very  low  flow  so  it cooks  the  bread  all  the  way  through  without  burning  the  outside  too  much  (so  in  effect  the  bread  is  just simmering  away  for  15  minutes).  I’ve  found  this  aspect  of  the  stove  helpful  when  I  want  to  cook  things delicately,  rather  than  just  have  the  stove  on  full  power  to  boil  something  as  fast  as  it  can. I  take  this  MSR  stove  on  all  of  my  canoeing  expeditions  now.  It’s  small  size  is  obviously  a  very  attractive feature,  both  when  packing  and  whilst  in  camp.  As  you  can  see  below  I’m  a  messy  camper,  flinging  stuff everywhere,  so  it’s  good  that  the  stove  is  so  small  so  I  can  just  laze  around  it  after  cooking  with  no  rush to  pack  away.  I  use  it  mostly  as  the  photos  above  show,  when  the  people  I’m  with  just  want  a  quick  brew, or  when  I  just  want  to  fry  something  up  quick  (like  a  haloumi  salad)  and  I  want  to  set  up  with  less  fuss than  my  large  2  burner  stove  creates. To  the  right  is  a  photo  of  the  stove  in  action  in  Wales.  It  was  constantly  very,  very  windy  on  this  5  day outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-whisperlite-internationale-combo-stove/

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MSR Whisperlite Internationale Combo Stove |

hike, and  the  stove’s  windscreen  did  a  great  job  of  blocking  it  all  out.

Summary -­  I  didn’t  use  to  be  the  sort  of  Englishman  who  had  to  have  his  cup  of  tea  every  day  at breakfast,  lunch  and  tiffin.  And  generally,  if  I  did  want  a  cup  of  tea  whilst  on  expedition,  I’d  wait  until  I  was in  a  town,  rather  than  face  the  potential  problem  of  seeking  out  a  local  fuel  supply  before  the  trek.  The less  hassle  and  more  basic  the  better,  has  always  been  my  motto. But  over  the  past  few  months  of  using  this  MSR  stove  I’ve  become  something  of  a  convert  to  it.  I’ve  been really  impressed  with  the  stove’s  lightweight  feel,  it’s  small  size  and  the  speed  with  which  it  can  boil water.  It’s  far,  far  quicker  in  heating  food  or  drink  up  than,  say,  the  much  larger  Coleman  two  burner  stove that  I  have,  or  indeed  the  campfire.  This  is  important  as  even  though  I  really  enjoy  my  campfire  cooking, sometimes  when  I  break  from  a  hard  day’s  hiking  or  canoeing  I  don’t  always  want  to  spend  my  downtime working  the  stove.  It’s  ideal  for  backpacking  if  you  have  the  lightweight  pans  to  go  with  it,  and  it’s  one  of the  first  items  I  stow  in  the  canoe  when  I’m  preparing  for  a  long  weekend  trip.  Just  remember,  and  plan for,  the  dirty  fingers  during  the  first  week  or  so  of  use.  Although,  as  I’ve  previously  mentioned,  I’ve  heard that  if  you  use  dedicated  white  gas  instead  of  unleaded  petrol  you  won’t  get  this  problem. This  is  a  brilliant  stove.  It  hasn’t  let  me  down  at  all  once,  and  I’d  happily  put  my  trust  in  it  when  the  winter comes  and  a  hot  drink  or  meal  isn’t  so  much  a  luxury  as  a  life  saving  nessecity. To  find  out  more  about  MSR  and  to  see  their  full  range  of  outdoors  equipment  please  check  their  website out  -­  http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr No  comments  yet.

outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-whisperlite-internationale-combo-stove/

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MSR Whisperlite Internationale Combo Stove |

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12/3/13

MSR Zing Tarp |

Home /  Camping   /  MSR  Zing  Tarp

NOV

MSR Zing Tarp

03

They Say  -­  The  Zing  shelter  is  ideal  for  multi-­night  basecamp  endeavors,  easily  covering  a  large  picnic table-­sized  area  to  shield  you  from  sun,  rain  and  even  wind.  Two  included  poles  and  the  option  to  add  a third  leave  you  with  numerous  configuration  possibilities  ranging  from  maximum  protection  to  maximum space.  Ultralight  and  taped  DuraShield-­coated  silnylon  offers  waterproof  protection  for  the  long  haul.  A tight  pitching  wing  design  and  small  pack  size  makes  this  shelter  at  home  in  the  backcountry  too. Strong:  Two,  double-­tapered  aluminum  poles  with  reinforced  mid-­sections  offer  excellent  strength while  keeping  weight  to  a  minimum. Packable  Coverage:  Ultralight  fabrics  create  200  sq.  ft.  (18.6  sq.  m)  of  coverage  at  a  weight  and  size you  can  carry  anywhere. Versatile:  Use  two  poles,  or  an  optional  third,  for  added  versatility  in  a  wide  range  of  demands. Additional  Features:  Reinforced  guy  points  with  cord-­stowing  pockets,  (7)  Groundhog™  Stakes  and cord  tensioners,  reflective  guy  cord.  Additional  poles  optional. outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-zing-tarp/

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MSR Zing Tarp |

FULL WEIGHT  –  3.15  KGS We  Say  -­  First  time  out  the  bag,  I  tried  to  put  this  Zing  Tarp  up  in  a  high,  rainy  wind,  on  my  own,  and  it almost  drove  me  crazy.  It  went  on  to  shelter  me  ok  all  night  –  I  was  using  it  as  an  open  sided  tent  shelter with  just  my  sleeping  bag  under  it  –  but  I  was  cursing  it  for  days  after  whenever  I  remembered  how  hard I’d  found  it  to  put  it  up,  and  how  often  it  fell  down.  And  all  because  I  didn’t  bother  to  read  the  instructions properly,  or  give  the  direction  that  I  pitched  it  in  any  great  amount  of  thought. Ok,  second  time  round  was  a  different  story.  The  wind  was  light,  the  sun  was  out  and  there  were  2  of  us prepared  to  put  a  little  time  into  setting  the  tarp  up  right.  We  looked  at  the  instructions,  we  fitted  the tension  points  on  the  guide  ropes  the  correct  way  round  (yes,  I  hadn’t  done  that  the  first  time,  I’d  fitted them  the  wrong  way  round,  hence  the  poles  loosing  tension  and  falling  down  easily)  and  then  we  enjoyed its  shelter  over  our  cooking  area  for  the  rest  of  the  night  and  next  morning.  It  covered  the  picnic  bench well,  and  6  of  us  could  spread  out  and  cook  underneath  it,  no  problem.  It  was  a  real  delight  actually,  to camp  out  in  changeable  weather,  and  not  have  to  worry  about  whether  a  rain  shower  would  interupt  our evening,  and  also  to  have  a  focus  for  camp  activities.

The third  time  of  setting  up  was  in  an  exposed  location,  an  island  in  the  Medway  estuary,  with  another high  wind  throwing  cold  rain  into  our  faces.  But  the  tension  points  were  sorted  by  this  time,  and  I  knew  the tarps’  shape  and  how  to  set  it  up,  so  it  was  up  and  stable  inside  5  minutes.  But  when  I  really  got  to  know about  the  tarp,  and  how  it  works  best,  was  when  I  set  up  camp  for  6  weeks  on  the  estuary  island  recently, and  had  it  positioned  over  my  cooking  and  sitting  area,  during  one  of  the  wettest  and  windiest  summers we’ve  had  for  many  years. The  yellow  colour  looks  quite  bright  at  first  but  I  found  it  blends  in  well  to  green  surroundings.  I  was  told that  my  camp  was  easily  visible  from  miles  away  thanks  to  the  white  bell  tent,  but  visitors  were  surprised outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-zing-tarp/

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MSR Zing Tarp |

to see  the  tarp  when  they  visited,  that  hadn’t  been  visible  at  all.  Indeed,  when  I  canoed  away  from  camp the  tarp  dissapeared  from  sight  very  quickly.  I  liked  this,  as  generally  I  like  being  as  invisible  as  possible when  I  camp  (on  shorter  trips  I  wouldn’t  use  the  white  bell  tent),  I  don’t  spoil  anybodies  view  of  the landscape  and  also,  it’s  safer  that  way.

I adjusted  the  tarp  daily  –  the  height  and  angle  of  the  poles,  the  tensions  on  the  guide  ropes  –  according  to the  strength  and  direction  of  wind,  which  on  the  estuary,  as  in  the  mountains,  changes  frequently.  I positioned  it  so  that  one  of  it’s  longest  sides,  which  reach  down  lower  to  the  ground,  faced  the  prevailing wind,  which  in  England  comes  from  the  south  west. If  you  pitch  the  tarp  any  other  direction,  or  if  you  don’t  lower  the  poles  when  the  wind  gets  strong,  then  the least  you  can  expect  is  that  the  tarp  will  flap  around  a  fair  bit  and  be  very  noisy.  I  got  caught  out  by  a pretty  strong  storm,  very  fast  moving,  when  the  winds  got  up  to  50mph  and  although  the  tarp  stood  up very  well  to  the  battering,  one  of  the  poles  did  suffer,  getting  bent  out  of  shape.  It  was  still  usable afterwards,  but  I’m  going  to  have  to  replace  it  now  as  I  don’t  want  to  risk  it  breaking  next  time  I’m  out there. As  well  as  providing  a  dry  space  for  me  and  my  mates,  I  also  stored  all  the  firewood  under  the  tarp.  During the  frequent  storms  I  encountered  during  those  6  weeks  I  also  found  the  tarp  very  useful  for  collecting rainwater.  Just  pull  one  side  down  somehow,  either  by  pegging  is  more  tightly  into  the  ground,  or  putting  a bit  of  wood  on  the  end,  and  the  water  will  rush  off  and  into  any  pan  you  put  underneath.  I  collected  all  my cooking  and  washing  water  for  6  weeks  by  this  method,  got  about  a  litre  per  minute  during  a  medium  sized rainstorm. It’s  very  waterproof;;  never  had  an  instance  of  water  seeping  through  the  lining  except  once  when  a  guide rope  got  slackened  by  relentless  wind  and  a  pool  developed  from  which  a  drip-­drip  occured.  Keep outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/03/msr-zing-tarp/

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MSR Zing Tarp |

everything taught  though  and  there’s  no  problems. I  used  it  as  a  bivvy  once.  I  had  to  get  up  at  2am  to  catch  the  tide  so  didn’t  want  the  hassle  of  breaking down  a  tent  at  that  time,  so  just  stretched  the  tarp  over  the  canoe  and  held  up  the  front  opening  with  a pole  and  a  paddle.  There  was  room  for  2  to  sleep  under  it  in  comfort,  and  even  though  it  was  a  very  cold night  and  the  grass  around  us  was  heavy  with  dew  we  stayed  warm  enough  and  didn’t  get  wet. The  material  burns  easily  so  light  your  campfires  well  away  from  it,  far  enough  so  that  small  sparks  can’t carry  on  the  wind  to  it.  If  you  do  find  the  tarp  has  developed  small  burn  holes,  its  easy  enough  to  fix  with any  puncture  repair  kit  (not  sure  if  that’s  the  best  method,  but  it’s  the  one  I’ve  used  as  it’s  easy).  It  copes well  with  being  near  a  heat  source  though;;  my  gas  stove  was  only  about  half  a  metre  below  it  when  storms blew  the  tarp  downwards  for  long  periods,  but  there  were  no  noticable  effects  on  it. An  invaluable  plus  point  of  the  tarp  is  that  it  allowed  me  to  leave  the  tent  on  days  when  the  rain  didn’t stop.  I  find  that  staying  in  the  tent  all  day,  sometimes  for  2  days,  during  bad  storms  can  be  quite depressing.  But  with  this  tarp  set  up  I  get  to  leave  the  tent,  cook  safely  out  in  the  open  air  (cooking  inside a  tent  can  be  deadly  due  to  the  fumes  stoves  give  off),  look  around  at  the  scenery,  and  most  importantly, just  get  a  change  of  environment  for  a  while. My  only  issue  with  the  tarp  is  that  I  felt  that  the  written  instructions  weren’t  specific  enough  for  me.  I hadn’t  any  experience  with  tarps  before  this  and  didn’t  know  about  setting  it  up  to  lean  into  the  prevailing wind,  which  you  must  do  to  get  the  best  out  of  it,  or  how  to  fix  the  guide  rope  tension  points  up  correctly. Once  a  more  experienced  friend  had  showed  me  how  to  do  it,  it  was  easy,  but  I  could’ve  done  with  some help  at  first.  MSR  have  got  an  online  tutorial,  which  you  can  view  if  you  click  the  web  address  below,  but  I do  prefer  a  bit  of  paper  that  I  can  have  with  me  whilst  I  set  up. I  haven’t  spoken  at  all  about  the  performance  of  this  tarp  in  fine,  calm  weather.  That’s  because  this  is England,  and  summer,  and  therefore  fine,  calm  weather  is  a  bit  of  a  rariety!  I  had  about  3  calm  days  in those  45  I  was  on  the  island,  and  on  those  days  the  tarp  provided  excellent  service  as  a  sun  shade. Summary  -­  This  MSR  Zing  Tarp  has  really  changed  my  camping  experience,  for  the  better.  It’s  so  great  to have  a  focal  point  at  base  camp  that  can  host  6  to  8  people  in  the  dry/cool,  and  it  has  proved  itself capable  of  standing  up  to  weeks  of  heavy  storms  and  wet  weather.  It’s  also  nice  to  be  able  to  leave  the tent  and  get  under  it  in  bad  weather,  for  a  change  of  scenery  to  drive  off  any  depression  that  the  inaction can  bring  on,  and  it’s  easily  portable  too,  perfect  for  canoe  touring  and  backpacking  alike.  Erection  is quick  and  easy  once  you  know  what  to  do,  so  that  it  doesn’t  feel  like  too  much  bother  to  just  throw  it  up for  a  few  hours  to  protect  you  during  a  lunch  stop.  A  really  valuable  piece  of  kit,  we  recommend  it. To  find  out  more  about  MSR  and  to  see  their  full  range  of  outdoors  equipment  please  check  their  website out  -­  http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr No  comments  yet.

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MSR® UL-3 Trekking Pole |

Home /  MSR   /  MSR®  UL-­3  Trekking  Pole

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MSR® UL-3 Trekking Pole

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12/3/13

MSR® UL-3 Trekking Pole |

They Say  -­  Defining  simplicity,  efficiency  and  compactness  in  a  trekking  pole,  the  UL-­3  is  designed  for the  ultralight  backcountry  pragmatist.  A  mere  14.4  oz.,  it  combines  manual  operation  of  the  SureLock™ push-­button  adjustment  with  the  versatility  of  three-­section  compactness,  shedding  weight  but  preserving strength.  Ergonomic  foam  grips  deliver  added  comfort,  making  the  UL-­3  perfect  for  multi-­day  treks  or swift,  single-­day  ascents. SureLock™  Adjustment  System:  Positive-­locking  push-­button  mechanism  offers  the  confidence  of absolute,  no-­slip  performance  in  the  field. Streamlined  Construction:  Manual  operation  of  SureLock  system  for  those  seeking  simplicity  in design  and  the  lightest  weight  possible. Ultralight  Strength:  7000-­series  aluminum  delivers  exceptional,  ultralight  strength. Superior  Swing  Weight:  Adjustment  technology  is  housed  in  the  upper  shaft,  creating  a  high  center  of gravity  for  an  efficient,  effortless  swing. Foam  Comfort  Grip:  Ultralight,  ergonomic  design  works  with  a  broad  range  of  hand  sizes  and  delivers exceptional  comfort  on  long  treks. We  Say  –  We  had  one  of  these  each  when  Lamia  and  I  trekked  the  Lake  District  for  3  weeks,  and  we  did find  they  were  of  great  benefit.

Lamia hadn’t  done  a  lot  of  upper  slopes  trekking  before  and  her  pole  helped  her  keep  her  footing  whilst  on rocky,  unstable  ground.  I’ve  used  trekking  poles  a  lot  before,  and  I  found  a  few  aspects  of  these  poles very  pleasing. Firstly,  the  push  button  extension  mechanism  is  very  easy  to  use.  The  pole’s  extend  in  3  pieces,  and each  piece  is  kept  in  place  by  a  metal  button.  To  extend  you  just  press  it  in,  which  is  easily  done  even whilst  wearing  thick  gloves.  To  push  it  back  in  place  you  press  the  respective  buttons  in  and  push  the  end of  the  pole  onto  the  floor,  or  a  rock,  or  some  such  hard  place.  Of  course,  you  can  use  your  hands  if  you want.  The  process  is  really  quick,  smooth  and  easy  and  the  poles  are  small  enough  when  packed  to  be able  to  fit  inside  a  70  litre  rucksack  easily,  or  to  strap  to  the  outside  of  a  regular  30  litre  day  pack. The  handle  is  very  comfy  to  grip  for  prolonged  periods  of  time  (8  hour  hiking  days),  and  the  strap  is  made of  soft  material  and  fastened  by  velcro,  handy  for  securing  it  whatever  your  wrist  size.   And  the  poles  are  very  light  indeed! So  after  3  weeks  of  steady  use  the  poles  were  still  working  well;;  the  extension  mechanism  was  operating smoothly,  the  velco  wriststrap  had  remained  in  shape  (not  withered  or  hardened  by  sweat  at  all)  and  the soft  grip  wasn’t  cracked  or  otherwise  showing  sign  of  deterioration. outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/11/msr-ul-3-trekking-pole/

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MSR® UL-3 Trekking Pole |

In summary,  these  are  excellent  trekking  poles.  Strong  and  resilient,  just  what  you’d  expect  from  a trustworthy  brand  like  MSR. If  you’d  like  to  see  the  pole  online,  please  visit  http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/trekking-­ poles/poles/surelock-­ul3/product No  comments  yet.

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Recent Posts E-­Case waterproof  housings  for  Electronics Hummingbird  Swim  Pouch Hummingbird  Round  the  World  Document  Pouch Coleman  Multi-­colour  High  Power  LED  Headlamp LIFE  SYSTEMS  SOLO  TRAVELLER  FIRST  AID  KIT outdoors.trekandrun.com/2013/11/11/msr-ul-3-trekking-pole/

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MSR® UL-3 Trekking Pole |

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November 2013 MSR Media UKIRL  

Media coverage for MSR products in the UK and Ireland, November 2013.