The pedalling photographer

Pictures on the move


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Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Kitchen Sink

For all those who, like us, like to travel with everything including the kitchen sink(!), we would like to point you in the direction of Sea to Summit’s new Ultra-sil lightweight kitchen sink. This bowl is as large in capacity (10 l) as the well-known Ortleib folding bowl but a fraction of the weight (approx. 5.2 g compared with 260 g) and is much smaller in packed size – although you do need a degree in origami to get it back in its carrying pouch! It does provide camp entertainment should you find yourself with a few spare moments to while away the time!

This bowl, as any other camp bowl, can be used for washing up, washing clothes, collecting water, rinsing fresh food, etc. It can be turned inside out (as you can see from my photo – unintentional!) and used for personal washing, if required. The bowl is made of Ultra-sil Cordura nylon fabric, is seam sealed and leakproof and dries very quickly after use. The carrying handles are made of Hypalon and are also lightweight and strong. The only drawback I can think of is that it could be easy to puncture with a sharp pointed knife, for example, if you weren’t careful.

I would certainly recommend this bowl if you’re looking for lightweight equipment.ImageImage


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Helinox Chair One

If, like my wife and I, whenever you go on extended cycle camping trips, the two things you miss most are a decent pillow and a chair to sit on. We solved the pillow problem last year by buying a Thermarest compressible pillow. This year, just before we were going on a 3-week cycle camping trip to Brittany, France, we came across the answer to the chair problem on the TravellingTwo website (http://travellingtwo.com/). They had just placed an order for two Helinox lightweight camping chairs. Although not cheap, these seemed ideal. We immediately looked online to find a UK outlet (http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/helinox_chair_one.html) and placed our order.

These chairs are fantastic and we’re so pleased with them. Time will tell to see how they stand up to the rigours of cycle camping but they appear to be very well made. When packed, the chairs are approx. 35 cm long by 13 cm deep by 11 cm high, so they fit snugly into the bottom of our panniers. The chair weighs (on our home scales) 873 g and the bag weighs 83 g. One thing that occurred to us before we went away was how to solve the problem of that sinking feeling, when the chair legs slowly subside into soft ground! I had a flash of inspiration and we spent the next few weeks saving the caps off 2-litre plastic milk containers. By placing one of these under each chair leg, the problem was solved!

We found the chairs to be very comfortable and supportive and they were just the right height to be able to sit in and do the cooking or, at the end of a day’s hard cycling, sitting back in the warm evening sunshine sipping a glass of red wine! Heaven!!

Some people may baulk at carrying the extra weight, but when you get to a ‘certain age’ a little bit of comfort is well worth those few extra grammes!

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