Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rock Empire Apache Kid's full body harness

For sale: One Rock Empire Apache kids harness. The recommended sizing is for kids up to 40 kgs and between 100 cms and 140 cms. Our two kids have both used it from the age of about 3 up to 8 where they both started using sit harnesses.

The buckles on the Apache are the reassuring thread-back 'old style', not the more modern ziplock type. It's a bit fiddly if you are swapping it between kids of a different size, but once done up it is snug and the buckles don't loosen at all and hence feels very secure. My kids both found it perfectly comfortable and enjoyed swinging around in it!

This harness is about six years old but was used only on occasions when the kids fancied climbing and was always stored carefully, out of any sunlight etc. Obviously, being for youngish kids, it was only ever used for gentle top roping; so never had to hold hard falls or got wear from belaying etc. So it has had a much easier life than an adults harness! It is obviously used, but still in a good condition and there is loads of life left in it for another aspiring little climber.

The pics that follow show it in use and roughly taken all about a year apart, hence showing it going from fitting a 3 year old to a 8 year old.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Thomas the Tank Engine track, trains and play sets

Thomas the Tank Engine track and play sets. There are a number of different sets mixed together here so not every piece can be used to make one big tracks with all the loops closed but lots of fun can be had seeing how big and complex a track you can make with the pieces that are there! A few pieces like the tunnel are a bit battered and show how much my kids played with the track (and loved playing with it) but they are still safe and usable.

The engines originally all worked by batteries but now some of them need to be pushed along by a little engine driver! The motor in Spencer definitely works, but I couldn't get Percy and Thomas to work with a new battery although they are very simple electronics so if enjoy fiddling, you might be able to the motors). The status of James's and Henry's engines is unknown as I don't have the right size spare batteries to test them!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Patagonia H2No winter pants with braces

Patagonia H2NO winter pants with braces. Size "30 Regular", which I guess is equivalent to "small" in the S/M/L/XL system. These are made with Patagonia's own H2No (waterproof/breathable), have braces, reinforced instep (crampon/ski edge protection) and full-length side zips. Tough materials and mesh liner makes them a bit heavier (881 grams) than simple over-trousers but also a bit warmer in winter. Two front pockets and one on the back. My wife bought these for ice climbing and skiing but they never fitter her very well, so they have been sitting folded up in a cupboard for the last five years. I can't find any scratches, scuffs or damage on them, so you should get some years of service out of them if they are the right size for you. Perfect thing for thrashing through Finnish metsä in February looking for new icefalls to climb!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

For sale: Kona Blast (19 inch frame)

Wanted: one adventurous soul to continue exploring the tracks and footpaths of Finland with my dear old friend and trusty-steed, Mr Kona Blast. Really nothing fancy, but a well used and well loved 'proper' mountain bike, that has proven itself safe and competent on rockiest and rootiest of southern Finland's single track. The frame is 19 inch, meaning the bike suits people around my height (176 cms or just under 5'10") or taller if you want standover height.

The frame is the classic aluminum Kona. The suspension basic Marzocchi; nothing plush but soaks up the hits well enough for the type of xc riding I've done. The gearing is Shimano Deore which I think works amazingly well for money (one of the visual indicators on shifters snapped off in an unwanted bike/rock/me interaction but that doesn't effect the function). I have upgraded the brakes to Hayes Nine hydraulics from the original mechanical disc brakes. They are great and give assured control on even the steepest of descents (or just when some prat lets their dog run in front of you on a Helsinki cycle path!).

The drive train (crankset, cassette and chain) were all been replaced last year, so there is loads of life in current set up. I replaced the back tire just a few weeks ago.

I will supply the bike with a spare set of studded, winter tyres, some spare inner tubes and the original Kona flat pedals.

It's a great bike for Finnish cross-country terrain. I've had some great adventures on it, including bikepacking on some southern Finnish trails like the including parts of the Ilvesreitti and the 7 Brothers Trail. I would happily keep using it myself, except for we are trying to streamline our stuff before moving to UK. It is the perfect bike for someone who thinks they want to try out "proper mountain biking" but does not want to invest in buying a pricey brand new bike yet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sea To Summit Alpine II Sleeping Bag

Size regular. The Sea To Summit Alpine II sleeping bag is a beautifully-made and very technologically advanced down sleeping bag using very fine quality down. It use what Sea to Summit call a "3D nano shell", a very light layer of synthetic insulation between the down and the outer shell. This means that dew-point - where perspiration travelling outwards through the bags insulation from the person in the bag condenses - is in the synthetic outer layer and not in the down. This means the down stays drier and, hence, the bag warmer when used on multiple nights where you don't get the chance to dry the bag in the sun/warmth. The bag is rated by the EN 13537 standard as having a comfort level of -9 and a comfort limit of -15. I've slept in it without a tent happily at -15 on a number of nights, so think this is a pretty accurate indicator of the bags warmth.

Sea to Summit's page on this model with loads of technical information is here and my full review of the bag is on UKclimbing here. The bag comes with a lightweight compression sack, a big cotton sack for washing the bag in and a clever box-shaped 'bag' that stores the sleeping bag uncompressed but fits easily into a cupboard or similar.