Friday, 30 April 2010

A Drink Problem...

I don't know if you noticed it, but there has just been one hell of a winter. Up in Scotland it has been particularly severe, with the deer & sheep being hit badly as their grazing has been under feet of snow. They have died in far greater numbers than usual.


This means that it is important when taking water from normally clear streams to check for contamination from rotting carcases that may be upstream. With the TGO Challenge coming up in less than two weeks, I don't fancy getting any nasties to ruin my trip. For the first time in years and years I have decided to take a small water filter. Taking a leaf from the World's Greatest Gear Monster's book, this afternoon I have been on the blower to Uncle Bob at Backapackinglight Towers to order myself a Travel Tap. The benefit of this ingenious device is that it it is quick and easy to fill and then you can drink from it as you would a normal water bottle.

windshieldIt's rather nice to have a bit of a brew at lunchtime, especially when walking with company. I have never managed to get to grips with floppy windshields; they always seem to fall over, get blown away or just get in the way of things generally.

I remember when walking with Robin last year in the Carneddau that he had a natty Primus windshield. Well, it re-emerged last weekend as Lord Elpus produced the same bit of kit.

It does it for me. My lunchtime brew will now be quicker to the boil and I stand less chance of burning my trousers / laces / sitmat etc etc...

Both these items can be bought from Bob's magnificent online emporium:

Phew! A post about gear! I think I shall go and have a lie-down now and recover from the shock... I might have a small whisky to calm the nerves.


  1. Gear Freak -whats wrong with Lilo's balloons and sheet of turkey foil that has lasted 10 years.
    Inspired by our brief meeting in the Park last year I have forsaken my loved Gust for a shiny new Exos 46 and NeoAir wotsit - heavier but easier on the shoulders.
    I'm off a week earlier (7th) from the Lordship of Gower on my version of the Cambrian Way but will in idle moments be thinking of y'all and hope to cross again in 2011.
    Not all Lilo's ideas are genius tho- don't try his suggested weight saving idea of substituting loo roll for the readily available pine needles..............fred

  2. Good point Alan. Many years ago, I drank deep from a mountain burn. I remarked to my wife that it tasted rather sweet. A few yards up the burn a rather green and decomposing sheep was right in the middle of the water. Never did me any harm though! What did do me in, was spilling parafin on my sandwiches one winter..

  3. I use the Aquagear bottle, bought from Bob and Rose last year, but until then I'd never used any filtration system or indeed purifying tablets. As you say Alan,it certainly makes sense to use a filter this year given the carnage caused by the severe winter up here.

    I also have the Primus Windshield (from Bob and Rose) which works well I think.

    By the way where are you starting from this year, if you don't mind me asking?

  4. Fred: I remember nothing from the Park Hotel past 9:00pm... The tape has been wiped clean. Good luck with your Cambrian Way - by all accounts it's a fantastic walk.
    I think you might have misheard Lilo ideas for substitute loo roll - I think you will find he prefers pine cones rather than pine needles! Neither sound too appealing though.

    Alister: All my boyhood years spent wandering with tents bring back the memory of the reek of meths and parafin.

    Gibson: No problem with my start point - Lochailort, with about a million other Challengers. Should be a good night in the bar...

  5. ... it is important when taking water from normally clear streams to check for contamination from rotting carcases that may be upstream.

    You leave my morning ablutions out of this!

  6. I'll take my changes in the Black Cuillin next week. Not much lifestock upthere.

    Word=bergen (=Dutch for mountains, how appropriate)

  7. Hmm, I purchased my Travel Tap from Bob and Rose a few months ago in preparation. Prepared well in advance, as it turns out! Nice to know I'm making the right choices though.

  8. Phil: You never break into a sweat - no need for that feminine washing thing at all until you get to Montrose.

    Theo: You are right of course - the Cuilins are just bare rock! Not many deer graze on rock Have a great time with your son.

    Louise: "Nice to know I'm making the right choices though." I wouldn't say that choosing something that I have plumped for is the right choice... All my mistaken gear fills a blanket box, two chests of drawers... etc etc etc


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