Category Archives: Micro Adventure

Using a Garmin Forerunner 310xt for Mapping and Navigating a Cycle Tour

The Garmin Forerunner 310xt is something of a gem for navigation. The sparsely detailed line drawings it creates provide you with the bare minimum of navigational information to get you from one point to another via a chosen route. I’m intentionally refraining from using the word ‘map’ when talking about the Garmin’s display as that’s too grand a word.

I know that introduction didn’t sound too favourable but bear with me, the Garmin 310xt is still an incredible GPS device. Admittedly the breadcrumb style line routes that it draws may only be adequate, but look at it another way and you’ll see that they’re just good enough! Couple this adequate display information with a 20 hour battery life and a waterproof chassis weighing only 72g and you have a really neat little sidekick for travelling. Continue reading Using a Garmin Forerunner 310xt for Mapping and Navigating a Cycle Tour

Canoeing the Whanganui River

Rivers have great names around these parts; the Te Henui river snakes around our garden and is just big enough to swim in, for exercise I run alongside the Te Henui to the sea, down to the beach, then across the sands to the Waiwhakaiho river.

The Waiwhakaiho is a larger river than the Te Henui and boasts one of New Plymouth’s proudest constructions the Whale Bone Bridge, and finally last weekend I had the chance to paddle the swollen waters of the Whanganui river that flows through the Whanganui national park in the region of Whanganui (north island, New Zealand) and, unsurprisingly, terminates at Whanganui – the city. The names may sound exotic but as you can see the Kiwis have been very practical in their application.
Continue reading Canoeing the Whanganui River

‘Snow Day’

Ellie and I by the lake on the Pouakai ranges.
Ellie and I by the lake on the Pouakai ranges.

Taranaki doesn’t typically get snow in the winter. I think there was a few millimetres in 2009 or 2010 and it’s still the talk of the town. For the most part this is great news; I can cycle all year round on my road bike and growing veggies in the winter is no problem, etc. But sometimes I miss how beautiful it can be and the childish excitement that probably stems from  the association with ‘snow days’ when I was younger that would force the schools to close and every child would get a bonus day of mischief charging around the park in a hat and gloves. Continue reading ‘Snow Day’

Conquering our nemesis; Snowdon

Checking out the mines
Checking out the mines at Glaslyn

Twice before I had attempted to climb Mt. Snowdon and twice I had failed. Both times were in February and on the miners track and both times I had wanted to push on but was forced to retreat. Snowdonia in the north of Wales is a beautiful wild and rugged national park, the highest point at 1,038 meters (3,406 ft) is Mount Snowdon. It’s not that high certainly but a great climb depending on what routes you take. Most people take the long and gradual Llanberis path which is a great introduction to walking and there’s also some pretty serious ridge routes such as The Snowdon Horseshoe. The miners track that I’ve attempted twice before lies somewhere in between and finally on my third attempt, and my dads third attempt, we made it. Note: we had not tried to climb Snowdon together before now. Continue reading Conquering our nemesis; Snowdon

Micro Adventure

cycling on a snow day
the least appropriate type of bike

Anyone that spent early February in England will know that the country was blanketed under heavy snow for a few days. Knowing this was on the way, and putting my trust in the weather reports, I rallied the troops and decided it was time for a micro adventure.

The plan; to ride from my house to Bradgate park just north of Leicester and camp out with a few friends in the snow. I was eager to test out the MSR AC Bivy and a new sleeping bag from Alpkit so this forecast cold snap was irresistible. Continue reading Micro Adventure

MSR AC Bivy Review – Updated

It’s time for me to update my MSR AC Bivy review. I’ve spent quite a few nights in this yellow cocoon and have formed some new opinions on it.

MSR AC Bivy Review

The MSR AC Bivy is generously sized, it’s the kind of bivy you can place a full-sized ground mat, a large sleeping bag and a daypack into and still have room to shuffle, it opens from the top with the zip going straight across the width of the upper side at about eye level. I’m only a mere 5ft10 or so but this bivy would be fine for people bigger than me as the pictures hopefully show. Continue reading MSR AC Bivy Review – Updated