1 Aug 2016

Yak Wool Hiking Clothes

A few weeks back I posted a blog about Kora, a company that manufactures hiking clothing made out of Yak Wool. They make some pretty bold claims, that if proven true by consumers, could give icebreaker a run for their money. But speaking of money, they are very expensive!

I live in Icebreakers 150 half zip tops (got three of them!). I think winter down here in Wanaka could be a good testing ground to checkout Kora's 230 weight - same design as Icebreaker. Here's a picture.

As usual they are using a model build like very few of their customers! This makes it difficult to understand fit. I mean is this a pic of a muscle man in size small? Plus they do not state and weights .

To check out their site go to https://hikelighter.com/2016/07/31/kora-shola-230-zip-top/

9 Jun 2016

Carry Less, Visually Check Gear in Total

Last night I had the pleasure of giving a 'lightweight gear talk' to the members of the Upper Clutha Tramping Club. I took along most of my gear for members to view. One of my first suggestions was to buy scales, weigh all current gear and start up a spread sheet.

This week's Backpacking Light blog post from Ryan Jordan reminded me of another suggestion. He said, "One of the most effective ways to see how much unnecessary crap makes its way into your pack is to lay it out in a small space so you can see it all at a glance. When everything is visible, it's easier to evaluate whether or not you need it than by just looking at a gear list or spreadsheet.

I usually do this on the bed in the spare room a few days before a trip, frequently wandering in to make adjustments. 
Try it. It may help to get more weight down.

Remember, you are an adventure in paradise, not a pack horse!

8 Jun 2016

Helinox Walking Poles

I have posted in the past how great these poles are. I have tried many poles over the years and it's difficult to find ultralight collapsible poles that have a degree of strength. In ultralight gear, there is always a compromise between these two continuum's.  

Helinox poles have proven to be a good balance over the last couple of years and I have only had one breakage. This happened a couple of weekends ago on an overnight trip. The track (if you could call it that!) was muddy and slippery. I was coming off a drop and slipped. I used my right pole to break my fall and fell on heavily. braking the lower section.

I contact Helonix in Australia to ask if they provided spare sections and at what cost. To my utter surprise they replied with, 'yes, we have shipped one to you at no cost'. Covered 'under warranty' they said!

Is this customer service, will I be screaming their praises from the roof tops (and my blog), yes!

10 out of 10 Helinox - I hope you can feel the love all way from Wanaka NZ :-)

12 Mar 2016

Yak Wool

OK us Kiwis are really 'sold' on Merino. But I came across a so called better product made out of Yak wool. Lighter, warmer but more expensive! This is a British outdoor company. Check out their gear at www.kora.net 

Love to get your feedback.

27 Feb 2016

The Te Araroa Trail

It's arrived. The new 'coffee table' photo expose of the TA Trail.

What a stunning book! Mark has done an excellent job at capturing trail shots from different vistas than we normally see. I have include photos of the cover, plus a couple of internal page shots to give you an idea of the format.

Altra Lone Peak 2.5

In previous posts I have waxed lyrically about these wonderful shoes. Well, I have finally worn out my current pair, the Lone Peak 2 version (see previous post of some handy in field repair work).

My recent trip to the USA offered a perfect opportunity to purchase replacements. The 2.5 version certainly seems a bit more robust. Here are some shots straight out of the box. I did wear them everyday in the USA as we were doing a lot of street walking. So comfy!

I could resist including a shot of me modelling the Altras at the original 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign.


2 Feb 2016

Sun Protection Arm Sleeves

A couple of week's ago I wrote a review on the OR Sun Gloves. From this review, several people alerted me to sun sleeves. I think if you hike in a long sleeve shirt, the gloves suffice. But if you're a T shirt hiker, these sleeves would be great on sunny days with, say suntan lotion on back of hands.

SParms are made from 90% Meryl Microfibre and 10% spandex. UV 50+, cool and quick dry and antibacterial. They were developed for golfers and many of the Ladies PGA players use them.

I know, you want to know the weight - how does 35 grams grab you?

These come on large, medium and small sizes, standard and extra long, plus colours. I got medium and extra long as my Icebreaker T shirt has short sleeves. There is quiet a lot of stretch, so you need to take that into account. This photo shows how far up my arm the extra long goes.

The cost was $A29.95, including postage $A37.23.

The website is http://www.sparms.com.au/