Saturday, 28 February 2009


I saw these last year but for a variety of reasons never got around to getting one, I think they were out of stock for a while for one thing. I was ordering a mk2 Mitymug so I decided to get one of these too. From what I've seen of the Gourdon so far I think it's great with some really neat features. The toggles on the top to double secure the Roll-Top is pretty clever and the way the chest strap is mounted is a neat design, wonder who the designer was or if it was a Colab product. The backpad is removable and it came with a pack of repair patches. Looking forward to trying it out once my shift is finished (haven't actually started it yet)

One last thing, can anyone identify the jacket I'm wearing in the last pic?
I reckon you'll know immediately or not have a clue :-)

Friday, 27 February 2009

Work for Idle Hands

4 days off and I didn't get out once, sometimes it seems like you run into a wall no matter what. I ended up spending the whole 4 days building stoves, well trying too as I'm still waiting on a cutter that I ordered a week ago. I finally managed to contact the guy only to be told that they'd been out of stock and were only just back in, you'd think he would have let me know!!

Still, the Devil makes work for idle hands so I made this, I'm sure I could manage with a 450ml mug. It'll effectively hold 350ml (or 1 1/2 cups if you're using Sarah Kirkconnell's book Freezerbag Cooking) so that should do nicely.

The burner is an open top design with a wick for pre-heating, the wick is inside a cup affair which means that it's easier to prime than stoves with an external wick with less spillage, also if you overfill it and the fuel level rises above the jets as it heats up the outer cup catches it. Once it's fired up the mug sits on top Minibull BIOS style, a welded wire pot stand improves stability and is pretty much a necessity, the top off a large bean tin just about fits the mug as a lid. Now if I could build a woodstove to fit the 450ml mug.................

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Woodstove test Videos

Finally after letting the computer stay on all night I managed to get parts 1,2 & 3 of the Einzel Kocher Intro & Test loaded to Youtube and then embeded to the Einzel Kocher website.

I'll post them here too as the website can be a bit slow at times.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Testing woodstoves and Youtube Problems

I shot a video this morning about the EK750, I had to edit it into 3 parts to get it onto Youtube. For some reason part 1 uploaded and was fine, part 2 uploaded and was decleared a 'Success' however when I went to find it it said 'Failed, file size too small' Strange as part 2 was bigger than part 1. I've been having a few issues with Youtube lately, maybe it's time to look at the alternatives. If anyone has any recommendations I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Trostan Snowboard Project

I went for a drive up to the Antrim Hills on Saturday and was surprised at the amount of snow compared to last week, I got this idea in my head that if I hiked it up to the summit of Trostan from Glenariff forest park I could maybe snowboard it all or most of the way back. I set off this morning and was on the hill just after 10.00. It was a bit of a slog to be honest and to add to the pack weight (35lbs in fact) I couldn't wear my Snowboard boots so had to carry them clipped into the bindings and wear a pair of lightweight boots that I could shove in the rucksack on the way down. I wore my HiTec V Lite Fast Hike Mids (nice name!!) but I used a pair of Breathtex boot liners as the boots themselves leak like a sieve in spite of their claim to be waterproof. The Liners came from an Army Surplus store and I'm pretty sure they used to be actual Gore-Tex, the credit crunch must be affecting the armed forces. Anyway, they worked brilliantly, the snow was knee deep in places but my socks were still dry when I got home 5 hours later.

The attempt to decend by snowboard was a bit of a disaster to be honest, it was a virtual whiteout so I couldn't really pick a route and kept ending up in dead ends between peat hags or bailing out thinking I was heading for a drop off. I managed to try out a new Wood/Alcohol combi stove prototype that I've been working on though, I used it in alcohol configuration with a Jason Klass style tealight and it managed to heat enough water to re-hydrate my pasta (Bachelors Cup Pasta) but a slightly larger capacity would be better, the tealight only held about 1/4 fl/oz.

It wasn't exactly the kind of day I'd envisaged but good fun none the less. If the snow lasts I'll try again from the North side which might well be a better option.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Einzel Kocher

Time for a bit of shameless self promotion. I've decided to try my hand at selling lightweight and compact backpackers Wood Burning stoves. I'm calling them Einzel Kocher and I've got 2 different models available. The 1st (EK900OB)is designed to fit the Tibetan Titanium 900 pot and is the most basic design. I've listed 5 on ebay at £15 each plus £3.50 shipping 1st class Recorded, The second model (EK750OB)is designed to fit the Alpkit Mitymug and while it's essentially the same design it has a few extras, I haven't listed it yet but I'll probably need to sell it at £17 plus £3.50 shipping as it's a bit more difficult to make. I'm supplying both stoves with a Ripstop stuff sack. I have a 3rd model built to final prototype which is a bit different than the others, it'll also fit the Mitymug as long as the mug lid is fitted upside down (the stove is about 5mm taller than the mug) There's more information on my website if anyone is interested.



Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Stealin' Time

Looking West from Colin Top
I had to go into the town yesterday afternoon and as we had sleety rain all morning I hadn't done much except footer around in the garage. As I left the village I glanced in the rear view mirror and noticed snow on the hills, a closer look and I asked my wife if she had her mobile phone with her. She got the picture immediately and asked if I was phoning in to work to book the next day off (Should have been starting my shift on Wednesday) Less than 2 miles after leaving the house the job was done and the die cast.

I decided to take my old Telemark skis in the off chance that there would be sufficient snow, not entirely a wise decision as I haven't skied in over 10 years and I wasn't all that good anyway. Set off this morning and was on the approach through the forest by 10.00am but as sods law would have it the snow cover was thin and icy!!. I ended up carrying them most of the time as any attempt at downhill running resulted in being forced to adopt the 'Luge Style'. They came in handy on the uphills though once I put the skins on so it wasn't a total waste of effort. Seems that there were 2 temperature ranges today, too warm and too cold but a good day all in all. I used the Minibull GWK again and it works well.

I invented a lightweight compact teaspoon last night too, searching for a plastic teaspoon at 1.00am I could only find a double ended medicine spoon. I cut a slit across the small end and it now clips/slips onto the handle of my GSI long spoon. It isn't robust enough for anything other than spooning coffee/sugar/etc and stirring but thats all I need it for anyway so I'm happy enough with the result. I've included a pic for clarity.


I think this about sums it up though. ;-)