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.
For those backpackers amongst us that like to carry a small optic for nature watching and the like, there are surprisingly few decent options. The Viking 8x25 ED monocular is a well made instrument with features that belie its reasonable price.
Three Points of the Compass recently made a plea for those venturing into the outdoors to consider carrying and using a lightweight monocular. But what to buy? Just a few minutes browsing Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and the rest of them immediately reveals how much dross there is to choose from. Take your time, read up on the subject and specifications and choose wisely.
Three Points of the Compass only occasionally carries a little monocular on multi-day hikes, but one of these little gadgets almost always accompanies me on a day hike. I tuck it into my packs hip pocket, there to be (fairly) quickly pulled out should I see something of interest. I actually seldom use it, but just occasionally it has really proven its worth.
None of us require much in the way of a knife or multi-tool when backpacking. A small blade will normally cope with most tasks. However greater functionality can be useful on multi-day excursions. The diminutive Leatherman Squirt S4 has been a favourite of Three Points of the Compass across thousands of miles of trail.
The Fire Maple FMS-300T gas stove is a well made product from a manufacturer with many years of experience in producing stoves. This particular stove has been on their catalogue for ten years now. In that time Fire Maple have sold tens of thousands of them and they remain a favourite for those looking for a truly lightweight small burner, specifically for heating water rather than cooking. In operation, the stove benefits greatly with protection from the wind and if treated with due care should perform faultlessly for many years. While not the cheapest, or the most efficient, or even lightest for that matter, the FMS-300T will fill a particular niche more than adequately.
The Minerva Curvimeter, model number C-01, is a beautifully crafted Swiss made map measure with one of the smoothest tracking mechanisms to be found on this type of instrument. This is unsurprising, considering this measure was made by a company skilled in producing high-quality watches.
The Katadyn BeFree filter has been a favourite piece of gear for the past five years. Unsurprising as it is light, compact, easy to use and has been successful in preventing me from getting sick on trail
Katabatic Gear make some of the best down quilts available. Three Points of the Compass is fortunate enough to own two of their range. They have been used for hundreds of nights while backpacking and each is amongst my favourite pieces of gear. They are superb. I take a look here at the Katabatic Palisade 30°F and the Katabatic Flex 15°F quilts