Kit Focus — Eco-Friendly Expedition Eating / Drinking Essentials from Stanley, Camelbak and Humangear

By their nature, expeditions mean you are on the move — away from home kitchen comforts. Yet, with a bit of preparation it does not mean you need rely on single-use disposable plastics or takeaways.

This set of products from Stanley, Camelbak, and Humangear is a set-up I use to ensure I am as self-sufficient and eco-conscious as possible on my daily or lengthy expeditions.

Review — Camelbak Hot Cap Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug Not all reusable travel mugs are made equal. The Camelbak Hot Cap Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug is one of the best I have used.

The compact design uses Camelbak's patented 360 degree drinking Hot Cap. You unscrew the inner seal on the top, and then you can drink from any side of the mug — ideal for a quick drink mid kayak or trek. The Hot Cap also comes apart for easy cleaning.

At 400 ml the Hot Cap Mug is an adequate size for a medium takeaway coffee from most major chains, and it is a good size for making a drink at home that you want to take it with you.


Kit Focus — Victorinox Ranger Grip Boatsman Expedition Knife / Multi-tool

Executing successful expeditions relies on good quality equipment. The Victorinox Ranger Grip Boatsman is quite probably the only pocket knife / multi-tool that you will ever need; whether exploring the remote wilderness or chasing ocean horizons.

I grew up in a family of water-sports enthusiasts, and spent many summers teaching sailing to cadets. One thing that was drummed into me from an early age was the importance of having a good knife with you when you are on the water. A sailing knife is a necessity to handle tasks like seized shackles; but it is also a vital safety aid in the event of you becoming entangled in rigging or ropes — this hold true for both sailing boats or sea kayaks.

The benefits of a good pocket knife / tool are also evident for bikepacking, bicycle touring, hiking, and camping. Bike maintenance tasks demand a strong and reliable set of tools, whilst wild camping and cooking necessitate a good blade and accessories like a corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener a…

The #KayakRTI — Non-Stop Around The Isle of Wight

It began at 04:30. The low morning light rising on the calm waters of Bembridge Harbour. Sat eating a bowl of porridge the size of Jupiter, I have a thousand thoughts running through my mind: did I check that? did I charge that? what if…?

The arrival of my support boat crew — two lifelong friends that will accompany my parents aboard the escort yacht, snaps me back to reality. I finish my pint sized mug of coffee, and crack on.

06:00 and the boat is in the water. I position myself into the tiny seat that I have modified to try and make comfortable for what will be a minimum of twelve hours seated in this little capsule — that in itself is a challenge, for someone that is normally jumping in and out of a saddle, or climbing up mountains.

Sealed in. Watch started. I paddle quietly out of the harbour.

My route from Bembridge cuts close inshore, around the lifeboat station and over the ledge. Despite being high water, there is no way the support boat can follow me here; they need to go…

Expedition Plans – #KayakRTI Kayak Round the Isle of Wight

Last November, I rekindled a past passion of mine—sea kayaking. I purchased a 17.5 foot expedition level sea kayak and began paddling; reacquainting myself with the freedom of skimming along the surface of the water, using just your own willpower and strength for propulsion.

There was one objective, one thought, which lay in the back of my mind from the moment the first paddle stroke cut through the water… how far can I go? Much as my bike expeditions have previously taken me over many new horizons, I wanted to see where this new horizon would lead.

I set myself an objective… to kayak non-stop around the Isle of Wight during the summer of 2019. I have cycled and sailed round the Island more times than I can count, but the 95 kilometre route by kayak would be a whole new challenge, and the first of many new all-day horizon explorations.

I began training in the depths of winter; layered up like an onion, using a rag-tag bunch of cycling kit and sailing kit to try and provide protectio…

Kit Focus — Expedition Foods Freeze Dried Meals

Freeze dried meals should be taken on all back of beyond adventures, even when you plan to stop in local stores to get fresh produce along the route. The range of freeze dried meals from UK brand Expedition Foods has fast become my preferred option for 'Pack Light Ride Fast' adventures, as well as for back-up meals on long distance tours.

On the 'Coasts and Cols' trip I carried a freeze dried dinner and porridge breakfast from Expedition Foods. These were a godsend when on Day 5 of the tour I had to camp at the top of the Col de Portet d'Aspet and got caught out by Sunday shop closures in France; the hot dinner and hot breakfast were incredibly reviving. Since that trip I have used meals from the brand on numerous occasions, and have always enjoyed them.

My preferred option for meals when touring and on expeditions is to eat local, and buy lightweight dinners such as noodles, pasta, or rice along the route; accompanied by easy protein sources such as tinned beans.…