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Clean Expeditions – The Zero Waste Mentality

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The above photo was taken on the #KayakRTI —if you look closely, you will see a drogue net streaming out behind the support boat—a side project to the 90 kilometre sea kayaking challenge was to gain a greater understanding of the pollution in the waters around the Isle of Wight; as well as create content that promoted a 'zero waste' attitude to outdoor adventure and life. We went fishing for plastic… The sea pollution sampling project on the Round the Isle of Wight Kayak was the start of a notable change in my personal mentality towards waste and recycling. I have long been an advocate of recycling and reusing materials, and making the sustainable choice; but researching and then seeing the extent of pollution in my local waters, and knowing also of the level of roadside and landfill waste, motivated a conscious personal decision to adopt a 'Zero Waste' mentality to expeditions and life in general. Zero Waste for me, means minimising wherever and whenever possib

Kit Focus – Helinox Chair Zero Lightweight Camping Chair

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Last year, I wrote a piece on lifeinthesaddle.cc titled ' The Importance of Comfort (and Tea) '— the post was intended to highlight my ethos of making smart decisions to avoid discomfort—as the saying goes "any fool can be uncomfortable". With my sea kayaking expeditions becoming increasingly adventurous and challenging, I started to consider what I could do to enhance my comfort levels on long-distance paddles. Thinking 'outside the boat', I looked at my stop-over setup, and decided that to rest my back muscles and legs at a mid-paddle stopover, a lightweight camping chair would be a worthwhile investment. The model I set upon was the industry leading Helinox Chair Zero. This is my review... The Helinox Chair Zero is the ultimate lightweight camping chair. Weighing in at just 510 grams, it is a small burden for the amount of comfort that it can deliver; letting you relax, recover, and enjoy your mid-expedition stopovers on kayaking, hiking, and campin

Kit Focus – Stanley Master Unbreakable Trigger Action 0.35L 16oz Insulated Travel Mug

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I have a bad habit of breaking Thermos flasks… throwing them out of bottle cages; dropping them on slipways; knocking them about in kit bags. The result is that I have wiped-out at least four in the last year of adventuring and expeditions... A thermal insulated mug or flask is a fantastic companion for all kind of cycling, kayaking, sailing, and hiking adventures though; letting you take a comforting hot drink (or ice-cold beverage) with you when you head out into the wilderness. That drink could save you from hypothermia or heat-stroke, if things get really out-of-hand. In the pursuit of an unbreakable thermally insulated mug, I turned to the heritage brand Stanley. Known worldwide for their range of bombproof lunchboxes, mugs, and flasks; Stanley looked to have the answer to my quest… The Stanley Master Unbreakable Trigger-Action Insulated Mug is my new adventure companion. Made from thick food-grade stainless steel—it is rugged and rust-proof, and built to last. Using Stanley&#

Kit Focus – Helinox Chair Seat Warmer and Vibram Ball Feet

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A few months back I reviewed the fantastic Helinox Chair Zero . The super lightweight camping chair has fast become a vital accessory for all my adventures by land or sea; supplying comfort and relaxation after strenuous challenges. This product is near perfect for its intended use, but I recently discovered two additions that can improve its functionality and comfort even further: the Helinox Vibram Ball Feet—to stop the chair sinking into soft ground; and the Helinox Seat Warmer—for extra comfort in colder temperatures. Vibram® Ball Feet (45 mm) I have been using the Helinox Chair Zero for kayaking and hiking adventures; it is perfect for beach stopovers and resting your legs with a flask of coffee at the top of a big hill. The problem I discovered a few times on such rest stops though, was that I had a bit of a sinking feeling… I am not a heavyweight, but on soft sand and mud there is a tendency for the feet of your Helinox chair to sink into the ground; something that make

Kit Focus – Craghoppers Kiwi Trek Hiking Boots Review

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2021 started with a lot more hiking than normal. A fall on ice on Christmas Day morning enforced a need to take four weeks off from cycling, kayaking, or sailing—due to a broken elbow. I embraced the demand for change though, pulling on a new pair of hiking boots from Craghoppers and heading out on the coastal paths and hills of the Isle of Wight… The Craghoppers Kiwi Trek Hiking Boots appear to be traditional leather hiking boots at first glance, but in truth they are a modern feature-packed boot for off-road treks and hikes. The Kiwi Trek boots have a full leather construction, with classic d-ring lacing and a soft leather lining. A Vibram outsole supplies the grip required for all surfaces, and the Aquadry waterproof membrane ensures your feet stay dry and comfortable within. The full-grain leather construction has a padded collar and tongue for added comfort; the latter has been treated with Craghoppers’ patented NosiLife tech—to keep those pesky insects at bay in the summer