17 Mar 2014

Helinox Lightweight Walking Poles

Oh boy, I have hit the jackpot here. I thought I was on to a winner with the Fizan walk poles and have used these for a couple of years. These weigh in at 185gms each. But just got my Helinox - these are soooo light and collapse to 52cms!!

Stumbled on to these through sheer luck, I was looking to buy a Stick-Pic (more about that later) for my Fizan poles to accommodate my camera, but the supplier said the Fizan pole was one, of the very few, they do not fit to. I started to hunt around the web for the ultimate lightweight pole that can take the Stick-pic. Found Helinox out of Australia www.helinox.com.au/helinox-walking-poles.php

Here's my logic: In planning for a PCT long thru hike. I feel, given a 70% cell phone coverage, carrying a smart phone would make sense, However, power supply was a major draw back. Enter the Suntactics solar S5 charger (234gms) - a separate review on this after next tramp and field test. Now I could do away with my Samsung light camera (185 gms) and use the iPhone (141gms).

I also needed a way to attach the iPhone (camera) to my hiking poles to take video and photos when by myself and on the move. This is done via the Stic-pic (11gms) www.thestickpic.com  and a smart phone holder (50gms) - the Glif www.studioneat.com/products/glif

OK, are you getting a bit confused now!

Here's the benefits...

No more spare batteries, camera, maps. Take the iPhone, that's all you need. It has a torch app or get the "core" power unit for the Petzel headlight that can be charged off the Suntactics Solar unit.

The iphone also gives me email, internet, music (with lightweight earphones - 14gms) and through a host of APPS many other "delights" like weather, GPS, compass, stars etc etc.

Here's the weight breakdown:

Helinox Poles - 150gms each - replace my Fizan at 185gms each
iPhone - 141gms - replace camera at 185gms, but a huge range of additional benefits with built in maps, GPS, emergency contact, email, music, lighting, time, alarms, loading pics and reports to blog/FaceBook/Google+ etc.
Stick-Pic and iPhone holder - 61gms
Suntactics solar power supply - 232gm - no spare batteries

Here are some pictures - I will be "road testing" this set up April 10 weekend in Nelson and Easter Weekend on Stewart Island, but I do insist I am concentrating here on a one month plus thru-hiking with cell coverage 70% of the time.

Suntactics Solar Charger
Suntactics with UBS

Helinox Poles
StickPic with


16 Mar 2014

The Power Pot

This has got to be the most ingenious hiking invention ever - the Power Pot. Light a fire, put the pot, full of cold water near the flames, plug in cord to your iphone (or any UBS chargeable device) as the water heats up your device charges. It is quite heavy though at 500g.

I think I will stick to my Suntactics at around 250g. But if your interested check it out at http://www.thepowerpot.com/powerpot-v?ref=cat_img

PS: Just tested my Suntactics today. Review on the way

3 Mar 2014

The Lightest Poop Scoop on the Planet

OK, to hell with the weight, I'm going "green".

In the early days my bush loo was a hole dug with the heel of my boot. Toilet stops became more "sophisticated" when I started using hiking poles. Now I could scrap a bigger indent. But at the end of the day these disposal techniques were rudimentary and not bush friendly!

Enter the titanium Cathole Scoop. At 17grams it's a small price to pay to ensure my waste gets a decent burial. I love their inclosed instruction of how to use and the benefits to making Poop Soup. A lot of info here that opened my bowels  err I mean eyes to how to best dispose of human waste in the outback.

Check out http://www.qiwiz.net/trowels.html

Here's a photo of my 18cm Big Dig model - can't wait to make Poop Soup!