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Lightweight, Compact Camping Kit - Para-Trekking!!


bignos
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Hi guys,

At the fly-in I was asked about the tiny bundle of ‘stuff’ that I was carrying to camp with so I thought that I would list it all on here along with my findings when choosing it.

I put together a collection of kit so that I can go touring, stopping at paramotor or microlight fields to refuel and setting up camp to stay the night (even in the corner of a field near to a petrol station). I have started calling it ‘Para-trekking’ (it seemed to fit).

Right then, the kit, I have listed three options for each category – cheapest, Lightest & my choice – you decide

The Tent

Cheapest option

A plastic sheet, pegged down with a string passing under it tied from your motor cage to a peg in the ground (commercial versions are available called tarps, but cost more).

Lightest Option

A bivvie bag – (or just a bin liner) that covers your sleeping bag – some include the sleeping bag

My Choice

A tent, I opted for flysheet and inner tent combo, slightly heavier but no condensation to bump into! To my mind I need a LITTLE luxury that means a fly screen to keep the bugs out, a flysheet to keep the condensation away and a bit of space in the tent for storage and for me to move around! I opted for a Gelert Solo (good reviews); it has heavy steel pegs, which I swapped for lightweight aluminum ones (39p ea) making the tent weigh approx 1.2kg

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Gelert-Solo-Tent_ ... 1252wt_941

Or if you want a bit lighter with only a single skin (condensation) I would have opted for a Vango Ultralite

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vango-Ultralite-1 ... 286.c0.m14

The Sleeping Bag

Cheapest Option

Lightweight sleeping bag from somewhere like lidle or aldi – (approx 0.7kg) approx £5

Lightest Option

An ‘ultralight mummy bag from a camping shop (approx 0.7 kg) - £60 ish

My Choice

I bought a ‘square’ bag from aldi, it’s for summer use only but its square (more room) and it’s just as light for a fraction of the price! I also have an emergency silver blanket to put on top if its cold!

Sleeping Mat

Also get a self-inflating mat as they give more comfort and insulate you from the cold ground

Cheapest option

A foam mat, cut it down to shape (you only need to support from your hips to your shoulder)

Lightest option

No mat, just a thicker bag

My Choice

The foam mats do not compress enough for me, so I bought a vango 3/4

Self-inflating mat, not the lightest mat (only by a few grammes) but the best value

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vango-Ultralite-S ... 2358wt_824

Plus and inflatable pillow! (You can use clothes)

Cooker

Cheapest

An old pop can or cat food tin! - http://www.andrewskurka.com/advice/tech ... tstove.php

Lightest

As above!!

My Choice

I tried several, and settled on a solid fuel tab and titanium stove as its absolutely tiny!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Titanium-Esbit-Wi ... 753wt_1167

The Swiss army gel stove was also a good option (fairly light and compact)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Swiss-Army-Gel-Co ... 500wt_1182

Cooking

Cheapest

Gelert Solo cookset – just use one pot and the lid

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GELERT-ASCENT-1-C ... 2672wt_991

Lightest

Titan titanium kettle & lid

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/camping-equ ... ACCD321158

It will also take a little gas stove and canister if you want it to (but it adds to the weight)

My Choice

I used the gelert cookset with one of the pots; I can fit the cooker and fuel etc inside nicely

And don’t forget to get a Spork!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/One-Spork-Light-m ... 877wt_1167

I then removed all of the original packs and bags and rolled them together mat in the center then the tent followed by the sleeping bag (most compressible items on the outside) then when rolled the pot / cooker combo pushes inside from one end, next to the mat. It all then fits into a tent bag (from a tent spares shop) that has compression straps around its diameter instead of end to end like most compression bags, these straps can also be used to fix it to your motor (I fixed it on my l/h side below my arm (where the reserve might go). It all compresses to about the size of a reserve (20mm x 40mm) and weights about 2.8kg

I hope this is interesting and some more of you guys will take it up next year, if you want to know more look up “ultra light camping” on google but bear in mind that they talk about hiking. We do not need bad weather gear or more than a couple of nights out whereas they may be up a mountain for a week with no shops near by!

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Thanks for a really interesting post bignos.

Lots of practical tips - I particularly like the eco (and wallet) friendly) cooker option of a catfood tin :)

Just in case you haven't come across this yet, here is a good related article based on feedback from Franck Simonnet after his 'para-bivouacing' trip over in France :http://www.paramotormag.com/articles/2009/01/710/

Also like your name for this branch of the sport 'para-trekking' - has got a good ring about it.

Maybe you should do a similar article based on your own experiences, and the slightly more challenging British climate?

Cheers,

Andy

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Hi bignos.

That info is great. I love all that type of camping stuff and want to buy it even if I would never use it. I was camped near you at the fly in and liked your kit for size and weight.

Ive done paratrecking across France a couple of times now but only ever carried motor spares oil etc. Weight and space preventing carriage of luxarys however I failed to research options like you have.

I have found that the wing when placed over the motor and consertina'd under you makes a reasonable bivvy / lean to, also keeping your harness seat dry for the morning. Even in summer when paratrecking in France cold is a problem at night and first flight of the day. Trouble is condensation collects which makes you damp and cold. I said this to Mike CJ's Paramania fame, he suggested a silk sleeping bag used when wrapped inside the wing prevents condensation. It weighs nothing and packs away to the size of a pair of socks. I havn't tried it but if it works it would save on tent, matt and sleeping bag.

But your setup would svoid the damp and pavks away very well considering how many items you are carrying.

France trip next year is going to be great.

Whitters. :D:wingover:

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the wing over the motor idea was one that i looked into, but i'm always thinking of uV, every hour in the sun is another hour off its limited life (300ish hrs that works out at about £8.60 p.h. on my wing!!).

I forgot to add that i also packed the smaller uV protected stuff sack in my setup for my wing (you have to fold the wing to get it in)

The next mod is a simple quick release for the fuel tank to remove it and take it to a petrol station, if i cant blag any fuel, lol! I hope to do more next year!

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Hi Bignos,

Fantastic thread, been looking into this stuff myself. I have MSR eWing tarp with treking pole. Bivy bag Titanium pot and BushCooker solid fuel stove. And a spork!!

Now looking at the NeoAir inflatable mattress in a small size for ultimate packability. Still struggling to do much about my sleeping bag. Technically already small and light it still seems huge to me.

When all is said and done I sometimes struggle to get off the floor with the extra weight of my reserve let alone the camping kit but will keep persevering.

Looking into the fuel situation and a demountable fuel tank would be great. Any ideas?? I know the Baileys have one but I don't have a bailey...

Lets keep this thread going with more updates.

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My idea for obtaining fuel without a demountable tank, is a flexible bladder for petrol. Think in terms of a 'CammelBac' but for fuel. Such a beast is available in Aus., but not been able to track them down locally.

An option for tentage, is when two are flying together, split the load of a small two man tent. I have a great 'Mountain Equipment' tent that comes in at about 2kg. This could be seriously reduced by using Ti tent pegs, so about 750gramme each for two people. Not even that cramped, so almost luxurious.

Cooking, I have a 'Primus' lightweight stove that with run on anything from diesel, jet A1, petrol or bottled gas. If I run it on petrol, then I only have to carry the flask/pump assembly, and fuel it from the motor. The best home made accessory I have is an aluminium stove windshield made of six squares of ali and some ali piano hinge between the sections so it concertinas up. This speeds up boiling times hugely, reducing fuel requirements. I could make it lighter yet.

If going somewhere without access to water, I have an ultralight water filter that goes down to micron levels to make just about any water pottable. A small carbon filter would take out any tastes left behind.

I have also picked up an 'A Bike' on ebay, and would love to get off the ground with that so I could cycle to the petrol station. :lol:

Great thread, Phil.

PS, I still like Vol Biv as a name though.

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Very good Alan :-)

I actually keep a length of such essential in my airborne tool kit even when not 'vol-biving'

Out of interest, what do others carry tool/spare wise? Mine runs to;

Leatherman with screwdriver adapter & bits (do they make a Ti version?)

3 Sockets that'll fit on the above

Small double ended box spanner that will do plugs & prop nuts

Spare plug & cap

A length of throttle cable inner

A couple of spare prop nuts

Zip ties

'Bog' roll!

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Tools wise, all that i carry is - 2 allen keys (fits 95% of my machine) a bit of copper wire (to secure hot things) a few zip ties (to secure other things), as i see it i can land and mend most things in a field with this kit, if anything else bigger happens is it worth doing it in the field? if you keep it well maintained and check after and before each flight (along with getting to know your machines quirks) you should only have little dramas, i take the plug out and inspect it regularly whilst waiting to fly (bigger tool kit in my van - plus a small motorbike one that has all the right things in it!) some people may not agree but i need to fly light!

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My kit list includes.

a 6ft x 6.6ft x 12ft vented box trailer

180ah battery with 240 V 1000w invertor.

a 20cm thick memory foam matress with a North Face -30 Tundra sleeping bag

a 3 bar 3kw gas heater

Laptop

Stereo

O yes... not forgetting the 25l of water and kitchen sink.

And a gor tex bivi bag for if it's cold.

SW :D

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My kit list includes.

a 6ft x 6.6ft x 12ft vented box trailer

180ah battery with 240 V 1000w invertor.

a 20cm thick memory foam matress with a North Face -30 Tundra sleeping bag

a 3 bar 3kw gas heater

Laptop

Stereo

O yes... not forgetting the 25l of water and kitchen sink.

And a gor tex bivi bag for if it's cold.

SW :D

surely thats wheeled and would therefore require a liscence?

Dave

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I borrow Fulumpa Lumpa Simon's. :D

To get back on thread....

There is a missing bit of kit for summer and winter use.....

A gore Tex bivvy Bag!!

This is the one that I have, In the summer no sleeping bag required, in the winter a ground mat, and flight suit is good enough for a night or two. Bivvy folds and fits into map pocket!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GENUINE-ISSUE-BRI ... 286.c0.m14

If you are feeling posh, this is the ultimate one to go for!!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Carinthia-Explore ... 286.c0.m14

SW :D

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