Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Peak District Weekend Part Two

We had decided that we wouldn't camp at the campsite where the backpackers club were, for two reasons firstly because we wanted to get away early the next morning and secondly there didn't seem to be a great deal of room.

Leaving Ashford-in-the-water; we headed South-west towards the village of Sheldon, this involved a steep-ish climb out of Ashford and got the leg muscles working after sitting around for a couple of hours.

The climb up finally flattens out after a mile and opens up views across to Magpie Mine.

Usual on maps with mine (dis); you normally only expect to see some lumps and bumps on the ground but here there is a great example of a 19th century lead mine.


Magpie Mine

There is plenty to see in and around the site from the Cornish Engine house to the mine's cottage.  I could of spent a couple of hours walking around the site and taken photographs.


Winding Gear

From there we continued South-west and came across this big fellow.


Luckily the footpath to Monyash didn't go through this field.  Once back in Monyash we headed straight to the Smithy cafe. From there we went back to where we left the car and meet up with the owner of the campsite.

He informed us that there was a group of about 20 D.O.E's down on the site.  Keith decided that he couldn't take another night of, no or little sleep; so we set of home.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Lightweight Show

The first port of call was the camping site where the Backpacker club were camped.  It seems as the camping area was split in two; one side for the campers and one for all the lovely shiny new tents.

Although I'm not in the market for a new tent (yet!) it was nice to see the big range of lightweight tents out there.

While at the campsite I bump into a couple of old BPC friends and a reader of the blog (trenthamwalker).

The main and most interesting part of the show was a 10 minutes walk away at the Village hall; where most of the well-known lightweight traders were.

Backpackinglight.co.uk, Alpkit, Expedition Foods, Ultralight Outdoor Gear and The Outdoor Warehouse.

The one great thing about this show was that you could get all touchy feely with a lot of the gear we see on the Internet. Although I'm not really happy using an alcohol  stove, it was nice to see the Caldera cone in the flesh.  Also seen was the White box stove and Triad stove; with which Bob did a demo with.

As I wasn't staying at the site; I couldn't buy to much as I had to carry it.  I picked up a tick remover and some freeze dried food from Expedition foods.  I'm looking at maybe taking these to Scotland instead of dehydrating my own food.

One of the items that did turn my head was the new GoLite  Shangri-La 2 tent/tarp this look a nice piece of kit and at a weight of only 708g but with as much room as my Hilly Nallo2. Even with the floor added the weight is still only 1200g.

While at the show I managed to link up with John, Dawn and Darren. After a lot of faffing about trying to get some lunch in the two pubs we descended on the local village shop who were happy to serve us, then back to the village hall to sit on the grass and shoot the breeze about gear and forth coming trips.

As usual I spent more time chatting and looking at equipment, that I forget to take any pictures of the show.

Again it was good to see some old friends there and the few people who recognised me from the blog.


As usual on a Monday; Bob has a new podzine out.

A great podzine for you this week with an extended deadline on the competition. We speak with Catherine Whitehead from Paramo who are
committed to ethical production, to Andy Rouse to hear about the lifestyle of a wildlife photographer and to John Penny from Canon Uk, who has
given us a Canon G9 as a prize for this week's show!!

The Podzine 28/4/08

Download MP3 File

Peak District Weekend Part one

This weekend was arranged to fit in with the lightweight show that was being put on in Ashford-in-the-water and not wanting to spend the whole weekend on one site, it was decided to do a full backpack and take in the show on the Saturday.

It was also a chance to test out some of the equipment I maybe taking to Scotland in May.

Monyash was decided as the best place to start out from to have a good walk on the Friday, to then give us a short walk in to the show on the Saturday.

The Friday didn't start to well, when my pocket rocket didn't want to connect with the Coleman's  Gas canister I had brought for the weekend. After some heavy handed tightening I finally got the stove to work.

This problem has happened on a couple of occasions and I think one of these days , I'm going to strip the thread off the stove.  Maybe it's time for a new one.

Our intended route was to go north from Monyash, through Deepdale and Monsal Dale then get up onto the edges above Great Longstone, then onto the Eastern edges above Curbar and Baslow.

We followed the route until just West of Baslow; where my legs decided that they didn't fancy a climb up onto the edges, so we dropped down in to Baslow and made our way to the little shop/cafe just outside Chatsworth Park.

By now it had started raining so it was on with the waterproofs.  We took the lower path through Chatsworth to the Robin Hood Pub and then up to the Eric Byne Campsite.

In total we covered just under 13 miles; which wasn't bad for a first day's walk for many months.

The site was empty where we arrived but this was to change over the next few hours.

Anyone who knows the Eric Byne, will know that it is a massive field, room for probably 200+ tents.  So why this it that when a group of D.O.E's arrive; they have to camp right next to us.  Not only this but as the evening wore on more groups arrived and set up around us.

I now know how Custer felt.

They were a very noisy bunch; I had my MP3 player going most of the evening and then earplugs during the night, so missed most of the problems.

Next morning; Keith told me, that the noise was so bad that he had left his tent and bivvyed in the next field to get away from them.

There were about 50-60 D.O.E's all around us, so we had a quick breakfast and set off for the lightweight show.

The route was back into Chatsworth but this time taking the higher level over Dobb Edge then down to the main house.

Going through the park we saw some deer and I had a 'johnny Kingdom' moment trying to creep up on them to get a better picture. I was using a big boulder to screen myself but by the time I got there they had run away (I need to work on that!).

After this we walked through Edensor village to Bakewell and a slight detour to get an original Bakewell pudding for SWMBO and then on to the lightweight show.

View Larger Map

Sunday, 27 April 2008

More Pictures

Full Set of pictures from the weekend

Saturday, 26 April 2008


Donkeys, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.


Pony in chatsworth

Pony in chatsworth, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Pony in chatsworth

Friday, 25 April 2008


DSC00668.jpg, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.


Boulder in chatsworth

Boulder in chatsworth, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Boulder in chatsworth

Monsal Dale Viaduct

Weir monsal dale, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Weir monsal dale

Weir monsal dale, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Deep dale

Deep dale, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Deep dale

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Derbyshire Dales

Derbyshire Dales, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Derbyshire Dales

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Gear packed

All my gear is packed and ready to go.

Base weight is about 8kg with a bit of food to go in, so should be well below 10 kg.

I'm off to the Peak District for 3 days with a trip to the lightweight show on Saturday as well.

I hope to meet up with a few of the other bloggers who maybe there and also get to look at some new shiny gear.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


There are 7 new podcasts from Bob available tonight.

I must admit, I don't know how he does it. I have enough trouble writing one blog post!

For your listening pleasure this week; we have; five in the Cicerone Press series:-

Cicerone Press - Cycle Touring
Cicerone Press - The Ribble Way
Cicerone Press - Life As A Writer
Cicerone Press - The Book Of The Bivvy
Cicerone Press - Walking In Scotland

Followed by:-

The Gourmet Hedgerow

and then of course the weekly podzine

The Podzine 21/4/08

As I'm off to Scotland in a few weeks (yes; that what the train tickets were for!) the Walking in Scotland should be an interesting listen.

As usual all are available through iTunes or from The Outdoors Station


Ripple in the pond

So was this the ripple in the pond?

Summertime Blues

Was this the moment that someone though; Hey! it's about time that we in England & Wales have something similar. If it was, it certainly seems to gotten people interested.

Well when I say interested I mean the 1355 people who have signed the E-Petition to legalise Wild Camping in England & Wales.

Now although 1355 doesn't sound a lot of people; it has passed the figure that the Scottish Parliament had when it was deciding about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. The difference with the Scottish number is that theirs was a public consultation on the matter, where as our E-petition is only a petition to get the chance of legal wild camping looked at.

1355 signatures is a good number of people considering that nearly all of the information about the E-P has come from bloggers and word of mouth; all of the big players (Ramblers Association, BMC)in the outdoors arena have managed to ignore the E-P, even small groups like the Backpacker Club have chosen to act as if it doesn't exist.

Also a lot of the outdoors forum groups have been quite dismissive of it and some have been quite nasty in replied comments.

But through all this the E-P has been collecting votes; back in March I thought that the votes had peaked and that they would only be increasing slowly, on the 15th March the votes stood at 770 votes; so 580+ votes in a month is not a bad return.

A big thank you to everybody who have already signed; and if you haven't here's the address again

Legalise Wild Camping in England & Wales

Aquagear water purification filter bottle part II

Aquagear water filtration bottle


The Aquagear Survivor arrived as seen, with a printed double-sided A4 sheet with information and instructions on how to use the bottle, the same instructions are painted/silk screened on to the bottle.

The first thing you notice this that the top of the bottle does not unscrew; I found this out after two attempts and then reading the instructions.

Personally I've never see a water filter bottle that works by filling up from the bottom but because it does, this means that the bottle can have a pre-filter fitted.  This is the 40 micron sieve which looks like a tea strainer, and help to keep large objects from entering the bottle. The filter sits between the bottle and the base. The base also has a little screw-off compartment to place either a iodine or chlorine tablet in.


40 micron pre-filter sieve & base


40 micron pre-filter sieve, base & iodine/chlorine container

This bottle only weighs 180g with the neoprene sleeve or 156g without it. The bottle is also sightly tapered; the base (7cm) being wider than the top (6.5cm), the length of the bottle is 23 cm. The body of the bottle is made from a soft plastic, this is to allow for squeezing of the bottle to push the water through the filter. It can deliver 100-300 ml/minute.  The drinking cap is a normal sports pull/push type but it does have a dust cap to help keep it free from dirt and contamination.



2 micron filter

The main filter unit is built into the top cap. This filter does all the work removing not only waterborne diseases like Giardia, Cryptosporidium & E-coli but can also remove taste & taint, Chemicals, Hebicides, and Heavy metals.

This filter uses a system called 'Tortuous path technology'.

The high-tech porous plastic micro-filter is impregnated with both the finest granulated activated coconut Carbon available and Seychelle's exclusive adsorbing media for superior analyte removal capability.

In addition, the controlled 2-micron filter contains thousands of omni-directional pores that result in a "torturous path" for superior analyte reduction.

This gives the water bottle a capability of 99.8% reduction in 4 areas of Contamination:-

  • Aesthetic
  • Microbiological
  • Chemical
  • Dissolved Solids


neoprene sleeve

So far I have only tested the bottle with normal London tap water, and the bottle seems to filter this as good as the water filters we use at home.

Next weekend; I am off to the Peak District for a few days and will be taking the bottle with me to test in the rivers and streams up there.



Bottle top & dust cap

One little niggle I have is that after only 4-5 dunkings in water, the print on the bottle is starting to come off.  Although not a major issue; it is a bit annoying especially as the flaked off print seems to stick to my hands quite easily.

Print coming off


Monday, 14 April 2008

A full Monday

It looks like Bob has been busy over the weekend; as there are three new podcasts to enjoy.

As usual there is the weekly podzine show.

In this environmentally friendly Podzine we chat with the original hippy celebrity cafe owner Pete Norton in Snowdon, catch up with John Hee one of the main organisers behind the Legalise Wild Camping campaign and discuss the recycling ethics within the tent industry with Andy Ayers from Green Outdoor. Plus announce the winner of last weeks camera competition and set this week's challenge.

The Podzine 14/4/08

Download MP3 File

Next up is the first of an Outdoors Show special; all about gear.

More from this year's Outdoors Show at the NEC and a podcast dedicated to the wonderful subject of gear! We hear what is coming soon from Alpkit, all about the Freeloader charger from Solar Technologies, have a clothing update from Montane, catch up with Sam from Shewee, understand more about Pacer Poles and speak to a man standing in a bucket of water! Diverse or what?

Outdoors Show 08 - Gear!

Download MP3 File

The Second Outdoors Show special is about 'Getting Out'

Lets get out and about in this podcast from the 08 Outdoors Show. For social inspiration why not try the Ramblers Association. Perhaps the John Muir Trust could do with your help? For younger female outdoor enthusiasts there always the Guiding Association. Show sponsors, Ordinance Survey explain their on-line portal and who can resist Ireland's North West cycle trail.

Outdoors Show 08 - Getting Out!

Download MP3 File

There is also a fourth podcast available; which is about a new lightweight water filtration and purification bottle.

The Aquagear Survivor is the lightest proven system in the world. This affordable, light, flexible bottle will solve all the dilemmas you've ever had, when wondering if your available drinking water is safe. Perfect for the hiker, cyclist, kayaker, bushcrafter, traveler and business person.

Aquagear Survivor - Pure Water Anywhere

Download MP3 File

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Early Podzine

Bob has managed to post the latest Podzine a day early.

In this weeks Podzine, we hear about some great new cameras by Olympus especially made for the outdoors person, talk with a 'get away from it all' bed and breakfast in British Columbia run by a British couple and discuss rights of way and access issues with the British House Society. Plus of course our diary section and a fantastic new competition.

I have heard that the competition prize is a great piece of equipment but you'll need to download the podzine to find out what it is (I`m not telling).

As usual the all the podcasts can be downloaded via iTunes or your favourite podcatcher, or at The Outdoors Station website.

Or click on the player below:-

The Podzine 7/4/08

Download MP3 File

There is also Bob Bushcraft Weekend podcast

A Weekend With Nomad-Bushcraft

Download MP3 File

Snow In London

Snow In London, originally uploaded by londonbackpacker.

Awoke to this in London. We don't often get snow like this.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


One of the reasons I moved back to Blogger was that I find it easier to work with.

Over the last few days I've been adding bits and pieces and exploring what else I can do with Blogger.

One of the major things I have found is that Flickr will allow me to add pictures via email or my mobile phone to the blog. The only problem with this, is that flickr set the size of the picture. These sizes are thumbnail 100x75, small 240x180 and medium 500x375.

The first two I found to small for my taste and the medium one wouldn't fit correctly in the blog; it overlapped into the sidebar.

So I played about with the setting on the blog and have come up with a new setting that works with the 500x375 pictures.

Hopefully now I with be able to send pictures from my phone to the blog and they will look O.K.

The phone has a 2mp camera so the quailty should be fairly good on here.

Now if only I could find a way to connect my digital camera to the phone via bluetooth I could upload them as well.

Happy now

After yesterday's little rant; I'm all happy today.

I managed to change my holiday dates in work, then get the train tickets booked for the trip I mentioned.

So in a few days time I should have in my hands a return ticket to...(maybe I should keep it a secret a bit longer).

Before this though I have a 2-3 day backpacking trip to the Peak District; this is arranged to take in the lightweight show that the Backpackers Club has going on up there at the end of April.

So I go from someone who thought that he wouldn't be getting out at all this year, to someone who has 2 trips in the space of 4 weeks.

Yipeee!!! for me.