/ Kit you've only just discovered

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Denni on 07 Apr 2019

Evening all,

Doesn't have to be cimbing kit, it can be anything that has been around for ages, you may or may not have known it existed but you've only just discovered it and you're a bit miffed you didn't find it sooner.

I was given a RAB Boreas pull on stretchy top as a present and honestly, it hasn't been off my back. It's one of those bits of kit I've seen loads of folk wearing and thought, I don't need that, there's no gap in the market for another windshirt type affair. How wrong I was.

Even my kids are asking if I have any more clothes!

Over to you....

peppermill - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

I'm going to backdate this to two years ago;p

That grid pattern fleece stuff that seems to be silly expensive. I bought a second hand Patagonia R1 hoody from a mate for £20. It's amazing, freakishly warm for something so lightweight and completely bullet proof.  I'd add decent softshell trousers (again bought second hand from the same mate)

I have a lot of second hand kit but these are the two things I would consider paying new prices for when they eventually die, which isn't any time soon.

doz on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Socks

Pyreneenemec - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to doz:

Deviating a little, but  WTF.

Reminds me of the time my friend Ray ( getting on a bit and absent minded) forgot his jacket and fleece on a trip to Snowdonia from his home in Ledbury. No problem,  he bought the required items in charity shops. The jacket I can't remember, but he got 2 fleeces for a fiver ( this was 2006). He was of course correct when he said they're all the same, you pay for the name  etc  etc ! I'm currently getting quite a kick wearing kit that's up to 40 years old. Anyone remember those checked  cotton shirts  made in Romania from the Army & Navy ? I've got a couple and they're in great condition ! That's how I started : check shirts, army pullover and red army boots, all from the Army & Navy ! My first real bit of 'mountain clothing' was an orange Henry Lloyd  neoprene jacket. I still use it for sweeping the chimney !

1
Trangia on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

A couple of weeks ago, I found a sock which the sock fairy stole from me doing a wash nearly two years ago now, lying at the bottom of a drawer. Sadly it's no longer of use because I chucked the other one away last year....

DubyaJamesDubya - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Not sure if this is exactly what this thread is for but I bought a Moon chalk bag a while back, one of the ones with the folding top (no draw string). It's hard to believe that something as basic as a chalk bag could be made significantly better but it really is the best I've had. The closure doesn't leak chalk as much as any other bag I've owned, can be opened and shut one handed, more quickly than the draw string equivalent, no matter how tricky a position you are in (particularly good on windy days) and the size is good ( I've got the large). A small thing but a very good one.

girlymonkey - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Trangia:

Just wear it with another whose partner has been swiped by the same sock fairy!

I don't pair socks. I have better things to do with life than pairing socks, and it also saves binning perfectly good socks just because the other has a hole or is missing!

Embrace the odd socks!

2
james1978 - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

I thought the same until the little plastic popper that keeps it shut broke after less than a month...

wercat on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

>Doesn't have to be cimbing kit

Arduino, amazingly easy to get started and get results.

Also the Si5351A used as a method of frequency synthesis controlled by the above with a tiny OLED display.

wilkie14c - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

18650 batteries. Rechargeable Li-ion 3.7v (the cells that are used in laptop batteries, drill batteries etc)

Have these as a permanent fixture in my ebike battery pack and started with a couple in my ecig. Realising how good these are (high discharge, high capacity) I’ve since got a little DAB radio that runs on one, bike lights that run on them, a head torch that runs on one, a couple of power bank boxes that run on them, a camping lantern that runs on them. They are great, cheap and readily available. I’ve recently raided the battery bin at work and got a few old laptop battery packs, ripped them open and each one harvests 6 of the cells. Got a decent charger that will test capacity as well as charge and runs from mains or 12v. I’ve got about 40 now!

GridNorth - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Slightly off topic but I have to say I never understood what the Rab Boreas was meant to be.  Mine sat in a drawer for many years but once I started wearing it the penny dropped and it became my "go to" garment whatever the weather, it's always with me in the outdoors.

pasbury on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

The MSR pocket rocket, I’d never bothered to keep up with how light a stove could be, having started backpacking with a Coleman Peak 1 and eventually got a primus omnifuel.

The pocket rocket is tiny, weighs nothing, and can be making me a brew in ten seconds. I love it; even if the rest of my backpacking gear is heavy I know I can’t do better for cooking.

wintertree - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to wilkie14c:

> ripped them open and each one harvests 6 of the cells.

Which may not have the vital safety/protection circuits you want when charging and discharging in random consumer electronics...

1
captain paranoia - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to peppermill:

> That grid pattern fleece stuff that seems to be silly expensive.

Doesn't have to be silly expensive:

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/mens-mnt-1-2-zip-sweatshirt-id_8495181.html

Or even cheaper at the moment if you're female:

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/1-2-zip-alpi-f-indigo-fleece-id_8495183.html

Not as warm as the R1.

peppermill - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

No. Millets have a rather nice one on sale for £30 also. Usually is for a fleece though.

Dave the Rave on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to pasbury:

Yeah. I have one and it’s very light, but don’t you find it really unstable and annoyingly the flame sits just above the height of most windshields? There’s a good trick with a few cable ties and tent pegs to stabilise it. Prefer the spider, me.

wercat on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to wintertree:

I charge mine from old computer power supply/chargers and an arrangement of 12/24v vehicle lamps to regulate the current till they need to be voltage limited

wintertree - on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to wercat:

Safer with lead acids, then the bubbling noise tells you when to add another headlight bulb.  Lithium ones just sit there all happy looking until very suddenly they’re not.  It’s amazing what you can charge a lead acid from when you really need to...

pasbury on 08 Apr 2019
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I use it with 250g gas canisters for my usual 2-3 day trips with plenty of brews. This makes it stable on the ground.

I don’t use a windshield, just choose the less breezy side of the tent and get max shelter. I’m a semi fairweather backpacker!

Blue Straggler - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

 Not “only just “ as it is a few years ago, but... Bodum “travel mugs” with a French-press plunger in the lid 

Seriously my favourite kit discovery in the last ten or twenty years 

DubyaJamesDubya - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to james1978:

> I thought the same until the little plastic popper that keeps it shut broke after less than a month...

Bad luck?

No problem with mine so far...

Xharlie on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Proper meshes to stick one's skins to when they're not on the bottom of one's skis, cut between 60% and 75% of the length of the skin so that one can apply a single skin without taking the other one out of ones pack and getting it wet. Genius.

Also: a skin bag that isn't white. (Dynafit, I'm looking at you!)

doz on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

The sleeve things you get with Montana skins.. for years would give them to the kids to make puppets...then one day tried them out in a typical Scottish gale- genius!!

Andy Johnson on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Alpkit Heiko jacket (https://www.alpkit.com/products/heiko-mens / https://www.alpkit.com/products/heiko-womens)

Nice bit of kit. Warm enough for spring to autumn, weighs next to nothing, tougher than it looks, squashes down small. I wore it all the time last year.

galpinos on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

They are too well insulating keep the coffee too hot. When I make coffee, I need that coffee and mine has resulted in too many burnt tongues........

qwerty123 - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Aeropress coffee maker.  Sat in a drawer for years then started using it, best coffee maker ever.

Blue Straggler - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> They are too well insulating keep the coffee too hot. When I make coffee, I need that coffee and mine has resulted in too many burnt tongues........

I do agree there is that. But I just put a bit of cold water in it at the start, or arrange my journey so that I start the coffee late. Also I have one that is plastic which is less insulating and works for a quicker cooling. 

Post edited at 10:46
GrahamD - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

An Aldi £9.99 skiing base layer now used as a mid layer for skiing, climbinh, cold weather cycling and walking.  Long enough not to leave a cold patch in the small of the back, high enough to protect the neck and genuinely warm yet compact. 

RX-78 on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Well not just discovered,, but walking poles and a water filter (Sawyer mini).

wercat on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

Mountain Warehouse merino balaclava not bad either, either as a neckwarmer or balaclava according to the need - thin enough to fit under a cycling helmet too

Post edited at 11:58
Fiona Reid - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to doz:

> The sleeve things you get with Montana skins.. for years would give them to the kids to make puppets...then one day tried them out in a typical Scottish gale- genius!!

Ah, yes they are damn good. If anyone is looking for them the Montana version are called "skinnys"  and often come with a set of skins. However, Coll Tex also do them as "Pro Skin" and these are available from Facewest. Infinitely easier to use than cheat sheets as the skin can't stick to anything except the sleeve. 

Fiona Reid - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

> Also: a skin bag that isn't white. (Dynafit, I'm looking at you!)

Just go touring in Scotland... the skin bag or indeed any of your kit won't stay white for long due to bog and heather encounters ;-)

Actually the G3 skin bags (like a big envelope with velcro closing) are pretty rubbish too...unless it's totally benign weather, I've yet to work out a way to get my skins back in the bag and the bag shut. 

Fiona Reid - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Water-to-Go or similar filter bottles for hillwalking, climbing etc. I've used one for a few years ago and the difference it makes is phenomenal as now I just carry a small amount of water and pick up the rest whenever I need it as the filter keeps the nasties out. 

Thus no more lugging a rucksack full of water and no worries about the dead sheep that might be above you when drinking from the streams. 

krikoman - on 09 Apr 2019
Timmd on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Just wear it with another whose partner has been swiped by the same sock fairy!

It's not the same fairy, you know, there's a few of them.

1
Xharlie on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to Timmd:

Two different species of fairy for left- and right-socks, too. That's a widely known fact in the scientific literature.

Timmd on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

The one who pounces while you're walking to the washing machine while carrying washing is the one who catches me out, I find the sock on the stairs and that's the start of it vanishing. 

Post edited at 13:36
L Pefa on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

From aged 16 to age 34 I went to work in wind, rain,hail, snow and sunshine everyday for many miles by bicycle. Hanging up clothes to dry at work, keeping a big towel in my locker,bike upside down cursing in the rain as I fixed  gears, chains, punctures at the side of the road or in work etc then in year 2000 I thought sod this and got a licence for one of those smelly wee rooms with 4 seats and 4 wheels.So yeah discovering and enjoying the comforts of that which I had despised since 1982, the car. 

Post edited at 16:57
DubyaJamesDubya - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Shoe covers for cycling. Cannot believe the difference in comfort and the feeling of pleasure derived from arriving at work with warm feet instead of cold, painfully numb feet. 

mullermn - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

I’ll go one further on that - cycle specific clothing. 

I’m only an occasional cyclist and I spent years thinking ‘I’ve got loads of outdoors kit, I don’t need any cycle specific stuff’, but discovered a year or so ago how great it is having proper cycle wear that is cut to fit right when you’re on a bike.

I’ve now got a goretex jacket with removable sleeves that has made any ride in cold/chilly/wet conditions infinitely more comfortable. 

DubyaJamesDubya - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to mullermn:

I have to agree. Bib-shorts/tights were unexpectedly beneficial for me after years of not seeing the point.

mattrm - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

In reply to the Aeropress, I had an original model and it's not great.  But they've updated the plastic and the newer ones are much better.  I still think they're a bit over rated.

Not a new to me thing, but the Zojirushi flasks are amazing:

https://www.kitchencraft.co.uk/brands/zojirushi/zojirushi_stainless_steel_black_360ml_non-stick_vacuum_travel_mug.htm

The lid never leaks ever and they're good flasks keeping stuff warm for ages.  I've had mine for years now but I wouldn't be with out it.

On much the same note, the Casio F-105 is also great.  I was a happy 91 owner for years but the 105 backlight is miles better.  Also it's a weirdly good way to bond with people.  I tend to find that people who wear 91s/105s are always people I'll get on with.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to mattrm:

Agreed. Recently 'upgraded' to a 105 too.

oldie - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Cheating a bit, probably over last decade:

After years using closed cell Karrimat my son persuaded me to use self inflating  mats which made life much more comfortable (since got lighter, easily inflated Neoair XLite). Still use a small indestructible karrimat for bivis.
Also recently started taking eye masks (or reversing balaclava) and ear plugs.
Using 8mm polyprop rope where I only needed it to ab (eg Cuillin): ultralight, ultracheap, adequate friction for lots of descent methods. Really a rediscovery as I started climbing on sandstone toproping with it (though thicker) in the 60s.
Using stainless steel paperclips plus cheap flexible glue to mend zips, seams etc.
 

jonnie3430 - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Waterproof socks instead, lovely!

jonnie3430 - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to oldie:

> Using 8mm polyprop rope where I only needed it to ab (eg Cuillin): ultralight, ultracheap, adequate friction for lots of descent methods. 

Wowser! Good effort with that. Any drawbacks?

DubyaJamesDubya - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to jonnie3430:

But are they warm enough at 1°C ?

deepsoup - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to jonnie3430:

I almost think oldie is trolling.

Polyprop rope is much more susceptible to UV damage than climbing rope and has a much lower melting point.  And of course it also helps it to be relatively cheap as chips that it doesn't go through a quality control regime anything like as rigorous.

If the length of the ab or the 'descent method' is going to get your belay device/karabiner/whatever good and hot, you'd better not stop moving for a second!

oldie - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

No, I'm serious. 

UV damage is irrelevant as the rope is not exposed for weeks on end. It lives in a cupboard, and is even in a rucksack on its very rare outings ie just exposed a few minutes while in use!

Cheap is nice but largely irrelevant  but it does mean I don't mind cutting it into shorter lengths if needs be. I think mine has a quoted breaking strength of 960 kg, and I'm considerably lighter, in fact a safety factor of more than x10 which should be sufficient to cover any less quality vigorous control regime. The rope has to be sufficiently strong to be reliable for multiple industrial uses eg lashing loads etc.

From experience I can say that used sensibly melting is not an issue. Polypropylene ropes (thicker) were used for years on southern sandstone where they ran under load through a krab at the top while bottom roping (mine was used for years and quite knarled old ropes were available for hire and used for teaching.....in fact very few people used dynamic climbing ropes there at the time. 

I tried it out from a tree before using it for real: abbing with krab and sling, belay plate, rope twisted round spine, and classic (actually no risk of melting with latter method). Prusiking also.

Mine works out about 23g/m which is comparable to the 5mm static line used by some as a light ab rope. While that is even stronger it obviously requires much more care to get sufficient friction, whereas normal methods are fine with the 8mm polypropylene. It also doesn't absorb water, in fact it floats, which I believe is useful for sailors.

Its should obviously only be used by experienced people with due consideration of all its properties. Incidentally mine does tangle easily but thats OK if I'm only using it a couple of times a day. I only use it for abbing, though I would  use it as an emergency toprope if nothing better was available.

In an old thread UK climbers in the Gulf States were using polypropylene for abseil slings as climbing rope/tape wasn't readily available, unlike polyprop.

deepsoup - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to oldie:

> It also doesn't absorb water, in fact it floats, which I believe is useful for sailors.

The one isn't directly connected to the other - it floats for the same reason it's a bit lighter than a 'proper' rope: polypropylene is slightly less dense than water, whereas nylon is slightly more so.

Here's a link that might be of interest: https://www.marlowropes.com/material-properties

> Its should obviously only be used by experienced people with due consideration of all its properties.

If at all, then yes, definitely.  Your choice of course, and as long as it's an informed choice and the only neck you're sticking out is your own I would absolutely defend your right to make it.

jonnie3430 - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Aye, you can wear them on their own, or over another pair for warmth/ smell. I would say sealskin cos that's what I have, but there's other equally good brands available now. I bought these for a colleague secret Santa and they were over the moon to have warm feet on the commute https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dexshell-DS642HL-Ultralite-Waterproof-Socks/dp/B00IYPTQMQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=dexshell+waterproof+sock&qid=1555079991&s=gateway&sr=8-2 

oldie - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

> The one isn't directly connected to the other - it floats for the same reason it's a bit lighter than a 'proper' rope: polypropylene is slightly less dense than water, whereas nylon is slightly more so. <

Actually I hadn't intended to imply that. Good link to comparative properties of ropes. I remember being surprised after finding my first dry treated climbing rope floated (presumably due to trapped air), though the effect soon wore off.

Timmd on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> From aged 16 to age 34 I went to work in wind, rain,hail, snow and sunshine everyday for many miles by bicycle. Hanging up clothes to dry at work, keeping a big towel in my locker,bike upside down cursing in the rain as I fixed  gears, chains, punctures at the side of the road or in work etc then in year 2000 I thought sod this and got a licence for one of those smelly wee rooms with 4 seats and 4 wheels.So yeah discovering and enjoying the comforts of that which I had despised since 1982, the car. 

Climate wrecker, where's your solidarity with the worldwide working poor who'll be most affected by climate change?

;-)

Post edited at 14:17
L Pefa on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to Timmd:

LOL you're right Tim I did cycle everywhere for 18 years because I was a wee environmentalist who despised the pollution caused to the planet by mankind. And as any cyclist knows we get the full experience of pollution from motor vehicles. So many times I remember being out of puff cycling like mad up some big hill or stopped at traffic lights to be overtaken by some car/bus/lorry exhausting pure poison and trying hard to hold my breath until it cleared or I could get away from it so I didn't breathe in a lung full. I used to curse cars. Now I curse if I don't have one. 

DubyaJamesDubya - on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Aye, you can wear them on their own, or over another pair for warmth/ smell. I would say sealskin cos that's what I have, but there's other equally good brands available now. I bought these for a colleague secret Santa and they were over the moon to have warm feet on the commute https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dexshell-DS642HL-Ultralite-Waterproof-Socks/dp/B00IYPTQMQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=dexshell+waterproof+sock&qid=1555079991&s=gateway&sr=8-2 

I'll have to keep them in mind as an alternative for when the over-shoes give out. Are they bulky? (will they fit under tight shoes?)

tripehound - on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to Denni:

Not quite a recent discovery. The original Helly Hansen fibre pile jacket from the seventies, a fantastic bit of kit for rock climbing and on the hill. Pile is vastly superior to fleece.

jonnie3430 - on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Probably not tight shoes, no.


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