The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Gadgets Galore

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me-e-e-e
Happy birthday to me

As usual outdoorsy presents predominated.

I am now the proud owner of a Bushbuddy Ultra ( I always knew that it was amazingly lightweight as portable woodburners go, but on first touch and feel I was surprised at quite how light it is considering its size. The metal seems almost flimsily thin, but as others have commented, it appears to be a very well made piece of kit.

It was, of course, obligatory to go out into the garden, gather some twigs and boil a kettley thing of water. Admittedly, it may have been considered as cheating to use a blow torch to get the fire going rather than using all those skills they taught us in the girl guides, but it did the trick nicely, and in a surprisingly short space of time I had 700ml of boiling water (which made me a very nice cup of tea).

The Buhbuddy in action

I also now have a Garmin Foretrex. It’s not a gadget that I needed, but it is one that I wanted – and what better time than to obtain frivolous electrical gadgets than on your birthday?

The reason that I didn’t need it is because I already have a Garmin Etrex. The ForeTrex does very little that the Etrex doesn't do, and in fact does nothing extra that I would ever use when out walking. The appeal of the ForeTrex was how much smaller and lighter it is, combined with the fact that it attaches onto the wrist via strap, rather than needing a separate holder (more weight saved). In that for the last few years I’ve only used the GPS to obtain a grid reference, and because for most of the time it gets carried without being used, the smaller model rather appealed to me.

Comparing the two gadgets side by side, I was really amazed at how much smaller the new one is. Having tested it outside of the house, I can confirm that it does exactly as I wanted it to: it tells me where I am. It will become a well-carried item, even if it is seldom used.

I’m also told that there is a pair of Pacerpoles coming my way. Alas, that will make Husband and I ‘his & hers matching’ again, but after suffering a thumb injury back in January (that still hurts some 6 months later) due to the hand grip on my old Leki poles, I recently sold those in anticipation of getting some Pacerpoles. After disproportionate amounts of consideration, I’ve opted for the new carbon fibre ones. I’m hoping that I’ll be sufficiently careful with them not to break them, and thus the weight saving will be worthwhile when they’re attached to my pack.

So, all in all, I’ve been having a rather good day, trying out my new toys and sharing an excellent roast dinner (a big thank you goes out to Husband for cooking it so expertly) with Mother, Ma-in-Law and Gran.

(A small amount of alcohol may also have been imbibed, as a result of which, my fingers aren’t behaving very well on this keyboard – so for any typos that I’ve missed, I apologise!)


  1. Happy birthday and what wonderful presents! You probably know that Pacerpoles are great (though I have the alu version) and I've heard great things of the Bush Buddy, so I'm very jealous.

  2. Husband had a pair of Pacerpoles for his birthday back in February. As so often happens, I then became quite jealous of items that I had selected for him.

    He had to get me a pair of my own really - just so that he gets to use his own on the times when he needs them. Too often, he finds that they're not attached to his pack, but are in my hands!

  3. Congratulations. You'll have hours of fun!