Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents

Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents.  I like the idea of having a choice of whether to hang between the trees or ground dwelling when there are no trees or weather and environment puts you on the ground.

Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tentsYou have the ability to adapt and also being lightweight you are not carrying items that you won’t need.

 

Kit required

To be able to deal with these scenarios my kit is as follows.

  • 3 X 2.8 DD Hammocks super light tarp (460g)
  • DD Hammocks Frontline hammock (620g)
  • 3 season down sleeping bag (800g)
  • Tyvek sheet cut to size of sleeping mat
  • Exped down lite sleep mat (620g)
  • DD Hammocks Poncho (370g)

Total of 2.87 kg

Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents

This then gives the ability to hang or ground dwell. In the hammock setup you won’t feel the cold on your back as the sleep mat will be used in the hammock with the sleeping bag.

In the ground setup with your can setup a a-frame tarp using a ridge line if you have anything to tie too or you can use your walking poles and guy lines.

Hex peak setup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another option for Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents is the hex peak setup but this leaves the tarp open on the front but utilising the poncho as a door you can overcome water egress.  In this setup there is plenty of space in side to keep out of dripping rain but it is vitally important to setup with the rear of the shelter facing the wind.

Fully enclosed setup

There is an option for a fully enclosed tarp tent, this will stop any water egress apart from running water underneath but down fall is it will heavily condensate up due to no air flow.

So using this setup you have the ability of both hammocking and ground camping. If you had the DD jungle hammock you could lose the poncho as the base of this hammock is waterproof but I like the idea of having the poncho if the heavens open whilst walking, using it as a temporary shelter whilst stopping for lunch etc or using it as a door with the hex peak setup.

This setup with the rest of your lightweight kit shouldn’t bring your weight over 10% of your body weight.

 

 

Tarps and Hammocks By DD Hammocks

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Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.

I always say try to fit work around your life and not the other way around and with me working a shift pattern which is different to friends that enjoy the same mentality towards life and same interests it is rare that we get the time to catch up and head out for a micro adventure.

This night was one of those rare occasions when the planets where inline and we could do a Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.

So a late start we got the beach around 19:00 with a few dog walkers still about we assessed the area to find there was a bit of ground swell and the tide had been nearly up to the cliff so sleeping on the beach was a no go.

A little while later we had found a space within the bracken that we could setup our tents and get stuck into our micro adventure wild camping on a beach. Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

Camping on the cliff

DD hammocks 3 x 3 tarp setup as a shelter.

I had planned to hammock camp but brought a sleep mat on the off chance I would be able to hang so used my 3×3 tarp to make a shelter to sleep in.

This setup is really versatile but does leave the opening at the front open to the weather.

I had thought about this the other day and quickly had a go at developing a door using my poncho which worked really well so I am happy to use this setup whilst walking the lakes later in the year.

https://sjohav.se
Mosquito Repellant https://sjohav.se

 

 

 

I thought I would take this opportunity to try a product I was sent from a company in Sweden called Sjö och Hav that produces eco friendly products such as mosquito repellent, soaps and shampoos that are perfect for use in an outdoor environment actually in any environment as they are all biodegradable.

sjohav.se

The mosquito repellent was nice smelling, not oily like some of the ones with a high percentage of deet and felt really refreshing to put on.

That’s all ok but the main thing is do they stop those devil worshiping blood sucking, tiny, flying insects.

I always get bitten nothing has really stopped me getting bitten but that night I was bite free and considering I was sleeping in an open shelter I think it done a great job.

So hats of to Sjö och Hav tack så myket it works!

Their items can brought online although website is in Swedish it can be translated through Google.

Steak dinner

With shelters setup our Micro adventure wild camping on a beach was in full flow,  it was time for a beer and get a fire built.

Using a traditional flint and steel striker, charcloth and birch bark it wasn’t long before the steaks where on the go (apart from mine that got dropped in the sand).

I can deal with a bit of grit but pebbles are a different story.

Fed and watered well the beers start flowing we are discussing lightweight options and realise that the weight we where carrying was down to the amount of beer we where carrying.

About midnight we hit the hay and I was very comfy on my Expedition downlite.

Next Morning.

At about 04:00 I woke up and looked out the shelter to see someone walking along the beach.  I thought he’s keen, got up for a wee and realised it was my Kiwi counterpart so I decided time to get up.

Eagle Products
Sun rising over the North Sea. Eagle Products 75cl Camp Kettle.

It was an amazing sunrise, the fire didn’t need relighting just a helpful push to reignite and coffee was on and then the bacon.

Lol still trying to move the tree with his Jedi powers.

Once we where fed I had a quick dip in the sea and started to pack up.

The only downfall with using a tarp like this for shelter is the fact that it condensates dramatically as there is little top ventilation which has me thinking do I need a tarp tent?

But then that’s more kit! The idea is to carry the correct kit to be able to hammock camp and floor camp if needed. I had taken under blanket and quilt for hammock so slept in them.

Ideal setup would be…

  • Hammock
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleep mat
  • Light weight Tarp

With this setup I can cover both tree dwelling and floor dwelling if the need arises but having to put up with a wet tarp in the morning.

By 07:00 we where packed up and heading back before people started walking along the beach.

It is such a shame that we have to resort to stealth camping in the UK we left no mess, looked like we hadn’t been there at all and took what we brought in but this is how it is.

If you like your micro adventures then try this Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

http://betweenthetrees.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img_0175.mov

Time lapse of sunrise.

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Revolution Race GPx Trousers

Revolution Race GPx Trousers.  I’ve seen this company pop up on my Instagram feed a bit and seen that a lot of people in Scandinavia wearing there stuff so thought it was time to give them a try. 

Revolution Race is based in Sweden and only sell online.

The idea for RevolutionRace and Fritidsfabriken was born on a hike to Everest Base Camp in Nepal a couple of years ago.

 

revolution race GPx pants

The co founder of Fritidsfabriken, had trouble finding clothes for the trek with a perfect fit.

The garments she found wasn’t up to her expectations, being too expensive and the fit being far from what she was after.

The cheaper brands were even worse, not able to impress her with neither function, design nor fit.

She thought that someone should go about and address these issues, offering an outdoor brand who made functional clothing with a great fit at affordable prices.

The clothing looks well made and it seems as if someone has actually designed and tested them for the environment they are designed for.

They don’t use retailers so there clothing can only be found online and with tracked delivery the trousers I ordered where here in 4 days.

I was trying out the Revolution Race GPx Trousers.

They are a multifunctional hybrid pant with stretch.

It has reinforcements on the knees, around the seat and in the lower legs.

GPx is developed for multifunctionality, it is suited for all kinds of activities like hiking, fishing and generally anything outdoors.

The reinforcements in Duralite flex is both wind and water resistant, the stretch panels ventilate and gives an incredible comfort.

The knees are fitted with pockets for knee pads.

Revolution Race GPx Trousers suit most outdoor activities and has the advantage that it can be waxed for greater water resistance in the reinforced parts on the seat and knees. 

First thought:

Revolution Race GPx Trousers

They are quite figure hugging so a good fit is needed, looking at reviews a few people have ordered them too small and got them replaced with larger sizes with no bother.

Personally I wear trousers that are quite baggy so I have lots of movement.  With the 4-way stretch this isn’t needed and having them figure hugging has its benefits.

I had just put these trousers on when I was called to a fire (I work as a on-call firefighter).

Revolution Race GPX pantsThese trousers where worn under my fire fighting PPE.

I thought was going to get really hot and sweaty.

I found that after 5 hours arduous work I was still very comfortable in these trousers.

They had a real baptism of ‘Fire’ (excuse the pun!).

 

Now how water repellent they are has yet to be tested.  I have waxed the seat, knees and ankles to give a bit more waterproofing on these areas.

All in all they are great item of clothing and I look forward to trying more of their clothing.

I would recommend wearing the Revolution Race gpx trousers during day hikes and long thru hiking.

I wore these whilst spending 5 days hiking and wild camping in the Lake District or would wear them during the Fjallraven Classic.

Pockets

The revolution race gpx trousers has 7 pockets in total.

  • 2 x leg cargo pockets (left pocket has internal phone pocket), right pocket has a zipped side pocket,
  • 2 x hip pockets (these are in the stretch material so not much can be stored in these
  • Rear right zipped pocket.

 

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Power storage outdoors

Power storage outdoors
Porta-Pow Solar Charger opened on the back of my 50l bag.

Power storage outdoors.

So many people are taking powered devices with them when they head for the hills nowadays.

Whether the device is for navigation? Photos, videos or something else they mostly are power hungry so if you are out for a while they will need recharging.

A smartphone is a great companion when out as it can cover nearly all aspects of many devices.

It can be your map, gps, camera, video camera and obviously emergency contact (if in range).

But they all need a recharge at some point and having a Power storage outdoors is a must.

With the increase of drones being used for filming its either a case of increasing your pack weight by carrying portable power or carrying something to recharge enroute.

Battery Packs

I’ve tried a few options  for portable power and the best setup I have found is a 22400 mAh battery pack and a small solar charger.

Power storage outdoorsThe battery pack in itself isn’t light but it can fully charge a iPhone 7 times and if you have you smartphone on low power mode it won’t need charging fully everyday.

This is a great way to have a Power storage outdoors.  I use this battery pack for up to 4 days hiking.  This will charge phone and a few camera batteries.

 

 

Other things to save power consumption on your smart phone:

  • Turn off WiFi & Bluetooth if not needed
  • Put device into airplane mode if you don’t need to receive calls
  • Turn brightness down on the screen
  • Make sure no apps are running in the background.
  • Purchase a battery pack cover for smartphone
Extend your battery by using a battery case.

Solar Chargers

Now, as battery packs there are many different solar chargers from the small solar chargers that will trickle charge a battery pack to the larger panels that will be able to recharge a battery pack or a device (depending on the weather).

The panel I use is from a company called ‘PORTAPOW’.

It has Two voltage regulated USB output sockets with SmartCharge technology to charge the latest smartphones and tablets from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia etc directly at high speed.

PORTAPOW solar panel.

It weighs 310g / 0.7 lbs and a compact 23cm x 16cm x 2cm when closed (smaller footprint than an iPad) or 23cm x 32cm x 1cm when open – making it significantly smaller than other solar panels with similar power.

Flexible 22% efficiency PET laminated monocrystalline panels woven into a tough waterproofed polyester fabric case making it suitable for use in the rain, a pocket on the back keeps the USB sockets protected.

Folds shut with hidden magnetic clasps for storage.

8 mounting loops around the panel to attach it to a backpack, bicycle, etc.

The pocket is large enough to store a smartphone during charging.

The built-in stand lets you angle the panel towards the Sun and keeps the panel clean and off the ground.

Angling a solar panel correctly can have a huge impact on the energy captured.

I have found that this panel will directly charge my iPhone or camera but I find it is best to have the panel recharging the battery pack constantly and have to device plugged into the battery pack to charge to keep your Power storage outdoors.

Even on a cloudy day there is enough power to recharge either my camera battery or iPhone.

One other point is not to reply solely on a electronic devices especially for navigation or emergency assistance as devices can fail leading to no power or if they take a tumble or get wet always have a backup method of summoning assistance like leaving a copy of your route with a check in time or using a GPS tracker.

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Micro adventure – Scuba Diving

This all started about 22 years ago when I had my first experience of this Micro adventure -Scuba Diving.  I was working in Corsica and I done my first try dive.

I have always loved the water grown up paddling, swimming and surfing and learning to dive was on my bucket list.

It wasn’t until the next summer when working as a instructor in a hotel in Southern Italy that I started to climb the ladder of scuba diving where I took courses up to advanced diver.

The following year I was working in Tunisia where I done some more diving but it wasn’t until I went to the island of Rhodes in Greece that I studied up to the level of Divemaster.

The following year life took me out to Cyprus where I started working in Viking Divers and also done my instructors training.

Viking divers. Photo taken at Green Bay in Protaras

I worked as a instructor for 6 years teaching recreational and some technical diving so my boys have grown up hearing my stories of diving adventures.

Micro adventure – Scuba Diving

This year it was the turn of my youngest to learn. The easiest and more time beneficial way to learn is to either do all the theory at home or theory and confined water training.

You can purchase a android or apple app which does all of the theory, knowledge reviews, final exam and will send the diving centre you will do the open water dives your results.

Micro adventure: scuba diving
Swim tests

So theory completed it is a case of 5 confined water sessions and 4 open water dives. Now the youngest is 10 so his maximum depth to dive as a junior open water diver is 12m.

Micro adventure - Scuba Diving
Pre-dive briefing

The whole cost of learning to dive this way was €400 including his certification card.

 

 

The main issue with children of this age learning to scuba dive is their size compared to size / weight of some of the equipment so some assistance is needed donning and removing equipment also some skills they have to complete can be difficult due to size of equipment.

 

 

Dive Safari

Once all of his skills where completed and open water dives done we spent a day on a dive safari where we all could dive together and enjoy diving without skills and assessments.

We visited Cape Greco and done a dive that I always loved taking divers to ‘Tunnels and Caves’

This is a great dive site where the dive finishes surfacing through a hole in the roof of a cave.

Second dive site of the day Xylofagou

I would recommend participating in a try dive first to see whether they like it first as it is quite expensive if they decided they don’t like it.  A try dive is also a great little Micro adventure – Scuba Diving

 

 

 

The adults had planned to dive the Zenobia wreck but due to illness this didn’t happen.

Zenobia Ferry

The Zenobia is a 180m three deck Ro-Ro ferry full of truck and cargo that lays on its port side at 40m that can be reached at 18m so to deep for the boys but a fantastic wreck for all to enjoy.  This dive is its own micro adventure.

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