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backpacking

Gear talk: the Opticron 8×20 Gallery Scope

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.
Gear talk: the Opticron 8×20 Gallery Scope

Gear talk: a plea for the monocular

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.
Gear talk: a plea for the monocular

Gear talk: the Fire Maple FMS-300T ‘Wasp’ gas stove

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.
Gear talk: the Fire Maple FMS-300T ‘Wasp’ gas stove

Trail talk: the Gritstone Trail

Backpacking along the edge of the Peak District, with hills to my left and the Cheshire Plain stretching far off to my right. It snowed, rained and (occasionally) shone brightly for this three day February trip. The Gritstone Trail went up, it went down, very rarely was it flat. Regardless of the gradient, mud was a frequent companion.
Trail talk: the Gritstone Trail

Trail talk: the Miner’s Way

The Miner's Way is a now largely forgotten trail that loops around the East Kent countryside, visiting the former collieries of the short lived Kent Coalfield. Once heralded as a fitting tribute to the miners who came to toil, live and die in brutal working conditions, local authorities now seem to be doing their best to ignore this trail.
Trail talk: the Miner’s Way