Sunday, April 30, 2017

.....Because I Dislike Headlamps!

Or should I say " I dislike running into people wearing headlamps. I recently purchased an

E-Case eSeries 9 Case with Jack with the help of a meager REI dividend to assist me in using my iPhone for a flashlight. The case has lash points for me to attach a lanyard around my neck, from the roof of the tent or on my bike, the headlamp does not adapt well to anything other than just the head.

So you think that this is not such a good idea because it will be a big drain on the battery life? That does not seem to be true. On a recent test, I charged my iPhone to 100% then turned on the flashlight accessory. After 6 hours, the light was still on, bright and the battery was registering 80%. 
The E-Case is water tight and has a jack plug-in so I can also listen to my music.











Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Trangia Tundra Lid





Trqngia introduced this product as a canister stove setup, but I was only interested in the lid to fit my 25 Series pots. Unfortunately, USA dealers do not sell just the lid, but the Canadian dealers do so I bought from them instead. The shipping was more than the cost of lid but still cheaper than buying the entire kit from an American Trangia dealer.


Underside of lid.

The lid fits the 1.5 and 1.75 liter pots that come in the 25 series kit. It will not fit the smaller pots that come with the 27 Series kit or the Mini.






I purchased the lid to pair with a 1.75 titanium liter Trangia pot and use as a 2 man kit for an upcoming trip to visit Mount Langley in the High Sierra. Trangia no longer makes titanium pots.



I will use the Vargo  windscreen, Decagon alcohol stove, Trangia pot grip, fuel bottle and smaller primer fuel bottle that holds the perfect amount of fuel to load the burner with. When done correctly this stove really puts out the heat, then you simply blow it out and pour the unused fuel back into the bottle.


If I am not a total gram weeny, i would bring the Trangia Windscreen, but it's too big and heavy. Without fuel, this set up comes in around 12 ounces.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

San Nicholas Island with Channel Islands Restoration



In late April I spent 4 days on San Nicholas Island, one of two Channel Islands that are Military bases, the other being San Clemente Island. I was able to do this trip as a volunteer with Channel Islands Restoration (CIR) whom the Navy has contracted with to assist with the restoration of the island. Above, is an old Naval image of what the island was like- a windblown mess as a result of overgrazing before it became a base, and constant disruption from Military needs. Today, it is much improved, especially on the northeastern end where we spent most of our time combing surveyed terrain in search of the very invasive Sahara Mustard. The techique was simple- find it then carefully pull it without the seed pods erupting their contents back onto the earth. It wasn't all work, Our CIR leaders made sure we saw the entire island, visiting such places as "Rock Crusher", on the western most point on the island and a pristine canyon on the southeast side, containing many native species.

A word about the Island for what it is today- a Naval Military base with many missions, one being the  maintenance of the "Outlying" airstrip located on the eastern end. The runway is huge, capable of landing a B-52 or a C-180 cargo plane. After we landed, we had a brief orientation with the Military Police, and the message was loud and clear- do not take pictures or wander away from the group or explore on your own. Even in "Nick Town" we were told not to walk anywhere but to and from the dining area and commissary. The only people allowed to take pictures were CIR staff.

Everyone stays in Nick Town. We were in the "Motel" that was actually very nice with single occupancy rooms that were modern and clean. As with all Military bases, we saluted the flag raising at 8AM and flag lowering at sunset.



 The CIR crew at work bagging mustard.



 The Enemy!






 One of two predominate animals on the island- Island fox.







 and the California Sea Lion.


 It was windy!



Every beach was a rookery.

Every door welcomed the resident fox.




Sunday, April 10, 2016

Santa Cruz Station and Creek 2016

After a long pause from camping and hiking, I finally got a trip together to Santa Cruz creek. The Los Padres NF website said the 1st crossing was closed and  I was prepared to hike the extra 2 miles via Alisos canyon, but as it was, the gate was open to Little Oso, glad I checked. Always nice to hike only what is needed to get to a destination.


Water from the spring below Happy Hollow on the front side of the mountain. I propped the pipe up with my one of my sticks to get a clean catch.





Year or the Poppy! Distant hills were dabbed in gold.







Little Pine Spring Camp was in good shape and getting some use.



Bush Poppy on the 40 Mile Wall.





Many of the sites at Santa Cruz have suffered from the fire and drought. There is only one good one now, nearest to the cabin.


The oaks and hanging in there with fire and drought.




The flies and gnats were at there worst from mid morning to dusk. I had to cover up for that and the sun.






All and all, a very nice trip, but the fishing was tough. I did see fish, but they are not plentiful and very easily spooked.

Post trip update... poison oak on my arms!