Posts

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 — Leatherman FREE K2 Multipurpose Knife

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Every great adventurer needs a great knife. Not a 'knife-shaped-object' like the ones you can pick up in supermarkets; but a precision handmade tool that will last for many years of expeditions in challenging environments. Leatherman make great knives and great multi-tools, by hand in their Portland (Oregon) factory. I have owned several over my years, and they have all been invaluable aids on bikepacking, sailing, kayaking, hiking, and camping adventures. The new Leatherman FREE K2 Multipurpose Knife is the latest release from the Leatherman brand, and could be the perfect lightweight knife for outdoor expeditions. The FREE K2 features a 3.3-inch high-carbon stainless steel blade, as well as seven other tools; including a pry tool, package opener, awl, bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, medium flat-blade screwdriver, and a small grub screw screwdriver. Leatherman's unique magnetic opening and closing system securely and safely locks each blade and tool in place

Kit Focus — Aquapac Extreme Pro DockSystem Waterproof Phone and VHF Cases

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I have been using Aquapac waterproof phone cases for years. I bought the first one over 20 years ago when I started sailing, and have since been using them in preference to other waterproof phone and VHF cases. The quality of Aquapac's seals and materials are far superior to the competition, in my experience. So, whilst many phones and handheld VHF radios are now submersible, a waterproof case like those from Aquapac is still an essential piece of kit to protect your electronics from salt corrosion, dust, and mud. The new Aquapac Pro series is a great development of the already well-refined product. The critical difference is the new Pro DockSystem, which allows you to clip the case to belts, rucksack straps, fixed mounting points, and even handlebars. It allows you to store the case easily and safely, without the need for tethers, pockets, or pouches. For kayaking, sailing, hiking, and even cycling, this new product development is an excellent feature. The DockSystem uses a

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&#