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.
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.
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.
Nalgene bottles are one of the original pieces of modern backpacking gear. Having updated over the years, they remain one of the best options for a rigid sided bottle on trail
Three Points of the Compass has spent years looking for a pillow to suit side-sleeping while backpacking. A glance at some near misses and what is now working
The Wenger Esquire was a 65mm knife with blade, scissors and nailfile. There have been subsequent rebrands and changes over the years, many of which deserve consideration
Many will be aware that lindal valve gas canisters can be expensive, while bayonet connector butane cartridges can be much more affordable. There is a cheap, tiny, copper transfer nozzle available for putting the contents of one, in to the other...
Two Victorinox models provide good options in a modest 84mm frame. Unburdened by unnecessary function, the single-layer Bantam is the simplest while the two-layer Cadet offers just a few more tools. Both models come with attractive alox scales and weigh very little.
Three Points of the Compass looks at lightweight tripods for use with phone or camera on trail
The BRS 3000-T is possibly the smallest and lightest that a gas stove can practically be