Delivery from HMG!

Here it is! My new tent, the UltaMid 2 from Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

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Without the packbag and additional strings attached to the tent it weighs in at the astonishing 499g. With the strings, stuff sack and the UltaMid pole straps it sums up to 645g which is very light for a huge tent. Cuben fiber looks to be an awesome material!

I also got my new book and some accessories from HMG.

I’m really excited to go out and pitch this tent now during the weekend, perfect now that Easter is just around the corner. However my new trekking poles hasn’t arrived yet and my new backpack but they should be here by the end of April.

Should you get the GoPro Hero3+ Black- or Silver Edition?

I’ve been a Contour camera guy for as long as I’ve known about helmet cameras. When the first GoPro camera came out I laughed hard at the guys buying them win the ridiculous FOV and bulky housings. As the years have passed GoPro has sailed past the Contours in terms of image quality, not so much at the mounting part as they still were quite bulky. Lately when the Hero3 was released the bulkiness has come to a stop and the mounting options has been improved. It’s still not possible to attach it to a helmet the way I prefer it (on the side) but that might just be the only thing they really cannot do (in a way that the Contours can).

So I went to the store today after browsing and contemplating hard for the past week or so. I didn’t really know how much difference there were in image quality between the Hero3+ Black Edition and the Silver Edition.  The guys at the store basically were just talking bigger sensors and improved battery time but not that much about image quality. And when I asked about it he couldn’t really tell the difference so I bought the Silver Edition, happy with saving about 1000SEK.

On my way home in the car I was trying to tell myself that I’ve done a great deal and that it couldn’t be that much difference between the two. When I was in the store I even did some quick Google-Fu but I couldn’t really make out which one to get… Probably because many forums are full of crap and that there’s no real information on most of them. Just people arguing with small non-interesting, non-vital stuff on the cameras.

So, as I’m a nerd, there you go, I’ve said it… I started going on YouTube and really looking at the most important part, the image quality, and I found this video…

In the video this guy, Mark Hawk, really goes with an in-depth review on the Black- and Silver Edition. And I don’t know why I didn’t watch this one before but the first frames that comes out of it I was immediately aware of that I had bought the wrong version… Yay!

The picture to the right looks better, Silver Edition, not as flat as the Black Edition.

The picture to the right looks better, Silver Edition, not as flat as the Black Edition to the left.

The Silver Edition is pretty much pre-color graded, meaning that they have changed the output of the video right out of the camera. The Black Edition however isn’t. To anyone that doesn’t care, or know, the Silver Edition might come out as the better camera as the image isn’t as flat as on the Black Edition. But! Because the Black Edition isn’t color graded you have much more information left in the picture to work with in post-production. Post-production is the part where you edit your video before putting it on YouTube, Vimeo or whatever, making it look good.

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Here you can see that the Silver Edition has much more vibrant colors.

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However what this does is it gives less data to work with when applying grading and doing color correction in post. It’s like editing a .jpeg picture compared to a RAW-file.

The other part of image quality is the quality itself meaning the sharpness. The Black Edition is waaay sharper than the Silver Edition. In the picture below you can see the same place as in the first picture in this post but with 100% zoom. The Silver Edition is really blurry and you can’t really make out any detail in the asphalt as where the Black Edition is really sharp. This was the main difference why I went back to the store and got the more expensive one.

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Zoomed in 100%

Here you can see the Silver Edition in the middle at 200%. Quite a big difference huh?

Here you can see the Silver Edition in the middle at 200%. Quite a big difference huh?

Good for me though I never unboxed the damn thing so I could return it to the store and get the Black Edition instead.

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For anyone doing some serious video-work you should get the Black Edition, no doubt about it. You also get the WiFi remote basically for the cost that it costs to buy separately, if you need it that is. Also with all the other added bonuses in terms of video quality… But if you don’t really care and only want to get some nice footage of your latest skiing trip or whatever you’re into – just get the Silver Edition and be happy. It’s still a great helmet camera and you won’t be disappointed!

Here you can see the complete video that I’ve referred to in this post.

Jotunheimen route 2014

Jotunheimen2014This is our planned rout for this summers visit to Jotunheimen nationalpark in Norway. We’re at a five day trip, more or less. Our starting point will be at the little village of Gjendesheim where we’ll take a boat early in the morning to our drop of at Gjendebu. From there we’ll hike up to Kyrkja (click for picture – same for every link) and just a little bit further before we make camp.

On the second day we will get up early and start moving towards Galdhøpiggen, the highest mountain in Norway and Northern Europe at 2469m. Galdhøpiggen will basically be a one day trip to the top and down from our starting point.

Day three we’ll be going for Glittertind which is the second highest mountain in Norway at 2465m – arguably depending on the depth of the snow it can be the highest. So for our first three days we might have the best views of the trip. The third day is planned to end at the shores of Russvatnet, maybe we’ll take a swim?

Day four, this is the day where we have an optional route up the Surtningssui via Bessegen. This is all depending on how or bodies feel and even more how much time it’s taken us to come this far. If we’re lagging behind we might just skip this route and move directly to Memurubu and the last leg.

The fifth day will hopefully be quite easy going as we’re going for one of Norways most hiked routes, Memurubu – Besseggen – Gjendesheim.

On this trip, if we complete it all with the extra routes and if we don’t use our two pre-planned shortcuts, we’ll be walking roughly 110km over a five days time. Any feedback or thoughts about our route will be appreciated or things that we shouldn’t miss on the way.

New backpacking wallet

My new wallet arrived with the mail today. I got one from Granite Gear and it’s one of their Air Pockets. It’s made out of ultralight 30 denier Cordura and weighs only 14g. I got the small versions that will be big enough for my passport, some cash and a credit card, 5″x7″. Might even hold my car keys in a pinch.

To get rid of some extra weight you could use your scissor and cut of the Granite Gear label because that one feels heavy. You could also remove the hangers, the two ears at the top, if you don’t plan to attach it to anything.

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Besides the pocket/wallet itself it comes in a handy zippered pocket that you can use for something else. Right now I don’t really know what I’d use if for but the things that come to mind is a pen case, cable management, memory cards, spare batteries etc.

Being sick makes you poor…

…in more than one way with the loss of income. But also that I tend to buy stuff when I have the extra time to look at stuff. So here we go! A new tent is on its way from HMG, or Hyperlite Mountain Gear. I ordered a UltaMid 2 and some accessories… Now I definitely need to get better 🙂

The UltaMid 2 is basically the larger version of the DuoMid from MLD, Mountain Laurel Designs. The UltaMid is preferred by many when you’re actually going on a trip with two persons. The DuoMid is thought of like a palace for one and a little cramped for two, the main question being – where do we store our gear? You basically have two options, either placing it outside or under your sleeping mat. None of the the two is something I want to do as I’m carrying a quite expensive DSLR and the fact that it’s not that practical. The UltaMid 2 on the other hand promises what the name tells you, a tent for two… Just look at the pictures below from Hike It Like It

UltaMid 2-person:
Weight : No Guylines 16.6oz (470g) – With Guylines 17.6oz (499g)
Width: 83”
Length: 107”
Height: 64”
Square Feet 63

HMG’s Cuben Fiber UltaMid pyramid tent provides maximum coverage at minimum weight. The UltaMid is constructed using ultralight, ripstop, waterproof and non-absorbent Cuben Fiber for four season use in all environments, from the hottest desert to the mountains in winter. The UltaMid is available in 2-person and 4-person sizes. It uses your trekking or ski poles at the center for support. Features: a pair of vents at the apex, ample tie out points and a waterproof zippered door. HMG’s UltaMid has been tested and proven in extreme conditions to be stable and dry in wind, rain and snow.

Here are some videos of the UltaMid 2 and DuoMid.

 

What’s left now to complete the tent is a inner-net to keep the bugs out which is needed most of the time here in Sweden if it’s not cold. Been looking at a few different options that vary quite abit in price from 60USD to 295USD. S2S cheaper but heavier net or the one from MLD that’s built for the DuoMid.

Another option is getting some lightweight bivy bags with built-in mosquito nets. There are a few that’s interesting but from previous experience I’d rather skip the bivys…

Waiting for a new book

I’m home and sick so what else can you do besides feeling sorry for yourself? To help gg_covermyself getting better I bought a new book by Andrew Skurka – The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Techniques to Hit the Trail.

You can read more about it here and see some of the content.

I have a “bad” feeling about today that if I don’t get any better… It’ll hurt my wallet…! Damn you I-need-this-to-lighten-my-backpack-thoughts….

HMG UltaMid anyone?

New First Aid Kit

I’m not talking about the Swedish band but rather a kit to help you when you get hurt 🙂

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The complete package weighs in at roughly 100g and the yellow ripstop bag weighs about 8g so it’s really lightweight. Inside the bag there’s a zip-lock bag that’s really easy to open and close to get to what you need. This makes it really easy to refill and still keep the kit waterproof after its first use.

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Content

Content

Archaeopteryx

Today we have made a bold move into the future. With an obvious next step in our evolution as a globally recognized brand, we will official be leaving our shortened name behind. Effective immediately the company will be rebranded to the easier to spell and pronounce ‘Archaeopteryx.’ The company is soaring to new heights globally and needs a strong brand image to be seen as a leader in the outdoor apparel industry. There are no shortcuts in evolution.” For the full press release and video you can go to our blog… blog.arcteryx.com

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This was funny and very well made 🙂

Västanåleden revisited

Last summer we did a three day trip but we ended it early due to a big thunderstorm that came in over us. We were quite happy that we didn’t sleep in a tent that night because it caused massive problems with flooding etc. So this time we went on an overnighter to complete the last leg, the last 16km. Västanåledenclick to see trail info and maps.

Pre-planning and packing. Big thanks to Jon that helped with the pack an some other stuff as my calendar has been packed.

Pre-planning and packing. Big thanks to Jon that helped with the pack and some other stuff as my calendar has been packed.

We started on Friday as soon as I came off work and we drove to Gränna north of Jönköping (Sweden). After unpacking the car and doing some last minute adjustments and distributed a few things to balance the loads we started walking. It was now a few minutes past five. At this point we had about 2,5 hours of light before the sun set.

The small village of Röttle hosts a many treats like this waterfall and the Jerusalem mill.

Jerusalems Mill in Röttle.

Jerusalems mill in Röttle.

And the beech forrest.

About one hour in we took a short break making some coffee as the sun was going down in the background.

One of the missions on this overnighter was to see how much fuel the Primus Omnilite TI burner used for a days worth of cooking. We found that three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner with an additional three boils for coffee water we used about 1dl of fuel. We used Primus Power Fuel and the temperature were between 0 degrees Celsius and +12 on the last day. We didn’t really go all in on saving fuel – our thoughts were rather:
– If we do this as comfortable as possible how much fuel will we spend?”

Trying out a new concept for us - Freeze bag cooking! Worked like a charm!

Trying out a new concept for us – Freeze bag cooking! Worked like a charm! Couscous with cheese.

As soon as the sun set it got dark really fast and we had to pitch the tent in the dark. But with our headlamps on but it worked great. Team work pays out!

Saturday morning – waking up around 06.30 – rise and shine!

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Heading down the steep slopes to get water for cooking and the morning coffee.

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Filling up the Platypus bottles.

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Jon is happy in his Arc’Teryx down jacket – cozy and warm.

After breakfast we took off quickly again to gain some momentum and getting warm as it was quite cold this morning.

Taking a quick breather after gaining some altitude.

Back in Röttle for a quick coffee before moving on again further north.

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A light breeze strikes the water – It’s all warm and nice, feels just like a summers day.

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Shoes off! Waiting for the freeze dried food to get ready.

End of the line – back where we ended our trip the last time when the thunderstorm came in on us. A great two days of walking!