Here’s a quick roundup of some of the gear I used on my trip on Dartmoor:
Trailstar/Oookstar nest. I’ve not used the Trailstar for a while. It was nice to have the space that the Trailstar provides. The only real drawback is the constant bending down is a bit of a strain on my back.
Tramplite pack. Superb. Very comfortable. Quite simply one of the best packs out there.
MSR Guardian water filter. I was glad I took the Guardian as the cattle were out on the moor and the water sources at the beehive hut and Taw Marsh both had cattle dung at the water’s edge. I dare say a Sawyer would’ve been adequate but it was nice to have the peace of mind with the Guardian. I also had to filter water for my friend, so it was a lot quicker than a Sawyer.
Railriders Ecomesh trousers. Really nice trousers for summer. The long vents make them a lot cooler than conventional trousers in the heat. Thin but tough material and very comfortable to wear. They look quite smart too. I love them. I bought a second pair. It’s a shame you have to order them from the US, which puts up the cost considerably.
Rab Interval T and Long sleeve shirt. I love these. Thin and silky, they wick sweat quickly and don’t smell. I use the long sleeve around camp and to sleep in at night. The only drawback is being very thin, they are a bit delicate and I caught a thread on the T.
The rest of my gear was all stuff I’ve used regularly for some time.
Last week I had a lovely time on Dartmoor. I walked from Ivybridge to Okehampton, accompanied by an old school friend who wanted to try backpacking again. I followed a similar route to the walk I did in 2011. We were very lucky with the weather, which was generally fair but not too hot. Rather than do a detailed trip report, I’ve put together a slide show on YouTube.
Day 1: Ivybridge to Piles Copse, 5 miles
Day2: Piles Copse to the beehive hut on the East Dart River, 18 miles
Day 3: Beehive hut to Taw Marsh, 9 miles
Day 4: Taw Marsh to Okehampton, 5 miles.
The one surprise was how wet underfoot it was between Pupers Hill and Ryder’s Hill and around Statts House. All in all it was a great trip.
Sad to report that Sean is giving up and closing Oookworks .
Alex Roddie has written a feature for the TGO Magazine website on the experiences of six Challengers. I was part of the group asked to share our experiences and you can read the article here: https://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/news/digital-feature-what-makes-the-tgo-challenge-special/
Readers will remember Geoff Crowther had a problem with his Olight torch burning a hole in his groundsheet.
Olight have agreed to replace Geoff’s tent, which I think is excellent service from them and gives confidence that any problems will be dealt with properly by Olight. Read Geoff’s post here
I wrote a short trip report on a Trek-Lite forum aborted meet. I didn’t think it was worth publishing here, but if you’d like to read it, follow this link
Photo: Geoff Crowther
This is not about the Olight H1 torch that I reviewed but about its big brother, the H2R torch. Geoff Crowther was given one to review. While he was positive about the torch overall, he made an unpleasant, potentially dangerous discovery. He briefly placed the torch face down on the floor of the tent and such was the heat and intensity of the light that it burned a hole in the groundsheet of his tent (pictured above). Read about it here.
There are no warnings in the instructions about this, so I feel it’s important to draw the attention of readers to this issue. Now, the highest setting on the H2R torch is an incredible 2,300 lumens. By way of comparison, the maximum on my Zebralight H600W Mk3 is 1,126 lumens and only 500 lumens on the Olight H1.
I’ve run both my torches for a few minutes on a high setting to see how hot they get. The Olight H1 doesn’t appear to get anywhere near hot enough to cause a problem. You can put your finger on the bulb without discomfort. The Zebralight is a fair bit hotter, but still touchable but quite hot. I wouldn’t have any qualms about the H1, but I think I’d exercise a bit of caution on the Zebralight.
I’m guessing that other high output torches are going to start appearing on the market, so the Olight H2R may not be the only one to be careful with. In my view, the Olight H1 Nova is plenty bright enough for backpacking at 500 lumens for the maximum setting. The lower settings are more than adequate. Indeed, second lowest mode is fine for around camp. So, I’m very happy to still recommend the H1 Nova as a backpacking torch/headtorch.