It was time for a walk. I needed to think on recent family matters and autumnal exercise was required. I headed to the North Downs prepared to do battle with mud while labouring up a couple of modestinclines.
The North Downs of South-East England offered recently unexercised muscles the perfect antidote. An opportunity to find a variety on my not-so-local local walk and think a little while walking the paths through trees and fields. Family loss has visited recently and I realise I am simply one of many to experience this. An outward gruff and accepting exterior would benefit from physical expression, albeit a simple walk that provided time for thinking, as opposed to simply sitting and morosing.
I stood atop the North Downs with the Weald of Kent stretching left, right and ahead. At this times of year the days are short and the light was already fading. Pin pricks of light would soon be appearing in a hundred distant unseen homes. A cold wind rolling up the slopes bought tears to my eyes. I wiped them clear and turned inland for the two mile woodland walk back to my car.
While many have made the change to exclusive use of digital mapping, Three Points of the Compass is still using paper maps backed up by digital maps on the phone when on trail. Before I even leave home, there will be annotations on my paper map- phone numbers, arrows, circles, 'tent' symbols and drawings. These are invariably added to on trail. Anathema to some, but maps are a tool to be used and abused.
This map measure from Fritz Chatelain of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, was sold by Lawrence & Mayo in the early 20th century. The accurate and high quality instrument was later called the 'Universal Map Measure'.
Some backpackers prefer a wide burner head on their gas stoves. This feature can add both weight and bulk to a cook kit, but not always. Two canister top options from Fire Maple have proven themselves as reliable performers over the years, one is light and expensive, the other is heavier and cheaper, the choice is yours.
Many of us like to pack along a little knife when backpacking or travelling. But what to take when flying. Rather than lose a favourite to zealous security, there are some little tools that don't include a blade. Three Points of the Compass looks at three options.
The Russian made KY-A Curvimeter was made for both the civilian market and the Red Army at the fabled Zlatoust watch factory in the 1970s. Cheaply made from plastic and metal, it is a robust and reasonably accurate instrument.
The whole point of a multi-fuel stove is that it gives you options. One fuel may be more suited to colder conditions, another may permit better simmering, one could be the cheapest option, another may be the only fuel available. Aspen 4 is amongst the very best of fuel options for a liquid fuel stove.
Opticron are a UK optics company that produce monoculars, spotting scopes, binoculars and peripheral equipment. The great majority of their products are manufactured in Japan by 'elite optical manufacturers'. Products are good value, high quality and backed up by warranty and good after-sales service. The 8x20 monocular is quite an old product now, but has undergone a minor design revamp. It is an affordable and good choice for the lightweight backpacker.