Tag Archives: Wild Camping

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I have been tweaking my lightweight backpacking cooking kit.

lightweight backpacking cooking kit

I have replaced my Alpkit Kraku stove with the latest version. I bought one of the original models when they were released in December 2013 and it has done excellent service, but the o-ring seal became unreliable in September last year. Alpkit sent me some replacement rings but they kept failing – the latest design has a higher valve assembly and a different type of o-ring. So it was time for a new stove.

I have changed my tea-towel for a lightweight pack towel, replaced the battered homemade windshield for another homemade windshield and found an even lighter lid to use as a chopping board.

Spice box for camping

I bought this Light My Fire spice box in the summer in Scotland, but I only found it again this morning when I went to sort out my camping food tin.

Light My Fire spice box

The spice pot was in in a sale box for a pound as the packaging had been lost. There are markings on two of the sections – “S” and “P” but as I use salt and pepper packets from cafes I have put sumac, in the “S”, smoked paprika in the “P” and garam masala in the third. All of these spices are very useful when I am camping or backpacking as they are “shake over” rather than “cook in” spices so I can easily jazz up my food.

Testing the Alpkit Kraku stove with the Alpkit MytiMug 400 @Alpkit @OctagonT

Alpkit MytiMug 400

Before another busy week at Octagon Technology I thought I would get out and try out my new Alpkit MitiMug 400 mug with my trusty Alpkit Kraku stove.

Testing the Alpkit Kraku stove with the Alpkit MytiMug 400 @Alpkit

The wind shield, in the photo, is homemade from heavy duty aluminium foil cut from a serving tray bought “two for a pound” from a pound shop. The wind shield is really practical as I can bend it to give maximum protection from the drafts and wind and it weighs only a few grams.

This new Alpkit MitiMug 400 mug/pot fits really well on the Alpkit Kraku burner and is very stable when in use – the stability is essential if I am going to safely use this combination in the porch of my lightweight tent. The lid is a good fit – it is much improved over the lid supplied on the original MitiMug – purchased before there were 400 or 650 models. I am really pleased the lid has changed.

Another change, for the better, with this Alpkit MitiMug 400 is that it has a flat bottom – the original MitiMug had a ridge in the base, which when I cooked in the mug always allowed food to burnt there and that also made it difficult to clean. I cooked (well reheated) baked beans in this new Alpkit MitiMug 400 and the beans did not burn. You do however have to take care when using any titanium or thin walled cooking pot on a stove like the Alpkit Kraku stove which concentrates its heat in a small spot on the pot base:

  • Do not turn the stove up to “flame thrower mode” keep the flame very low and heat the food slowly
  • Stir continuously and thoroughly, getting right into the corners
  • Hang onto the handles or the pot can skip off the burner
  • I also, continuously, gently move the pot over the flame so the heat moves around smoothing out the hot spots

Afterwards it was easy to wash up the pot – this base design is another well thought out improvement.

My thoughts:

  • Overall this mug/cooking pot is a great piece of gear for the solo traveller, camper or backpacker who just needs to cook for themselves.
  • The size saves space in anyone’s pack. Titanium saves weight.
  • Even if you do not plan to use the mug for cooking the lid makes the mug a useful storage container and keeps the flies out of your drinks when outdoors.
  • Alpkit is a great UK company producing excellent gear – we should support them.

I think the next thing to add to this mug/pot, stove set is an Alpkit SnapWire Spoon. The folding spoon, stove, tea bags and milk powder will all then pack neatly inside the Alpkit MitiMug 400, inside the supplied netting draw string bag for easy packing when travelling. I am going to add this to my Christmas list.

My lightweight gear list

New Alpkit MytiMug 400 titanium mug @Alpkit

Jeremy has bought me a new lightweight titanium mug from Alpkit a MytiMug 400.

Llightweight titanium mug

Llightweight titanium mug

At last a company is supplying a “mug sized” mug with a lightweight lid for the solo camper and backpacker. When I combine this with Alpkit’s Kraku stove it will make a very compact lightweight cooking kit. I was lucky enough to have a friend who was able to make me an aluminium lid for my other titanium mug, so I had a solo pot/mug, I can now replace that with Alpkit’s lighter solo pot/mug.

Water treatment methods and their effectiveness

Whilst browsing Pinterest this morning I found a excellent document published by the USA government organisation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about water treatment methods. This is a particularly useful, one page pdf description about the ways to treat water when wild camping and their effectiveness against various water borne pathogens.

Water treatment methods

CDC A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Methods and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use click here to go to the CDC page

a guide for individuals intending to use untreated or poorly treated water as a drinking source

Link to the CDC page – A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use.

More about water – Backpacking water,  bottles and bladders

Star Wars Wild Camping trip to Black Combe – Lake District

Black Combe Wild Camping

This wild camping trip had been planned for months – the only issue was we chose the time over the Bank Holiday weekend when the weather was not splendid! However even with the wet, we had a great weekend.

Wild Camping Black Combe
The Lake District from Black Combe – click on the above image for a larger version

The route and site we chose for this camping trip was one I had checked out last January and it did not disappoint.

There was a suitable parking spot reasonably nearby – with a short walk from there to the start of the path, some care has to be taken as there is not footpath and the road is narrow. There is a car park at the actual start of the path, which is much safer for both the walker and the car driver, but unfortunately the local parish council prefers to see it empty overnight.

Wild Camping - Black Combe

The view on the way up.

Black Combe Wild Camping

The first look at the trig point on the summit of Black Combe.

Black Combe

We found an excellent area to camp, over from the trig point towards the edge of the summit.

Wild Camping Black Combe

From here we had great views across to the summits of the Lake District.

Wild Camping - Black Combe

Wild Camping

click on the above image for a larger version

However once we had taken some time to photograph the view and get a group shot at the trig point it started to spot with rain. This rain became heavier and the visibility dropped to a couple of hundred meters. We each retreated to our one man tents for the evening – conversation was then shouting at each other.

The visibility was no better at sunrise.

Food and Water

As I had to carry all my water up with me for this wild camping trip, I chose my menu so it needed no water in the preparation. All the water I had with me was used for drinks or hygiene. I had planned to take up 2l of water but at the last moment I added an extra 500ml bottle of water to which I added two SiS soluble electrolyte tablets. I am glad I did this as I used this drink on the way up. I made a much faster pace to the summit than the other two, with barely a stop and only one quick photo opportunity. They on the other hand took the much more sensible way up with plenty of rests and photo stops. When I got to the summit I was very hot and I needed the extra water/electrolyte drink.

For my evening meal I made spicy sardine sandwiches with the Warburtons Brown Sandwich Thins which was a great success, I shall use this bread again. It comes pre-sliced which is convenient but even better it resists the inevitable crushing that food suffers in the backpack. However my crackers and breakfast biscuits did not survive so well when Richard turned my pack upside down.

Alpkit Kraku Stove

I needed the wind shield for the stove because of the wind

Even in the flapping, windy conditions it was quite safe to boil water for my drinks in the porch of my MSR Hubba tent.

POP tarts and breakfast biscuits make an easy, filling breakfast with fresh coffee and tea. It is something I can prepare whilst still in my sleeping enjoying the view! The only thing to improve on my menu was the bacon bap Richard cooked and brought over to me in the morning, complete with Heinz tomato ketchup.

Two litres of water was enough for this trip – I had planned to have six hot drinks and some water for the walking. This worked out and included using a little water to clean my spoon, pocket knife, plastic mug and teeth. I also used KFC wipes and anti-bacterial hand cleaner for my hands and face.

Star Wars Day

After breakfast we packed away and left no trace of where we camped – inspecting the site carefully for wind blown litter or “lost” kit.

Heading back to the car on Star Wars Day – the visibility only improved once we were below 300m


Other posts about this wild camping trip:

Breakfast

Forest walk

Cream Tea

Sunrise

Backpacking gear I packed for the weekend

Food for the weekend