aquapac

It’s ironic that you need to keep hydrated while on a trek, cycle ride, motorcycle ride, water sport activity, expedition etc., but at the same time keep your body and your belongings/equipment protected from any external water penetration; so that they are ready for use and you don’t fall prey to any high altitude and cold sicknesses. To avoid this it is important to be aware of the difference between the terms Waterproof and Water Resistant and select your gear accordingly. It is important to be aware of exactly to what degree your gear can protect you from rain, dew, shower or any water body during your adventure.

Water Proof vs. Water Resistant: What’s the Difference?

It’s ironic that you need to keep hydrated while on a trek, cycle ride, motorcycle ride, water sport activity, expedition etc., but at the same time keep your body and your belongings / equipment protected from any external water penetration; so that they are ready for use and you don’t fall prey to any high altitude and cold sicknesses. To avoid this it is important to be aware of the difference between the terms ‘Waterproof’ and ‘Water Resistant’ and select your gear accordingly. It is important to be aware of exactly to what degree your gear can protect you from rain, dew, shower or any water body during your adventure.

Waterproof and water resistant – the moment you start shopping for monsoons, you’ll stumble across these two terms, be it electronics, rainwear, jackets, gloves, luggage, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, watches or footwear.

Do they mean the same thing? Which one’s better? What’s the difference?

We at OTG are questioned about this difference quite often by our customers. We hope this blog clears the air for all readers and adventure enthusiasts, so that they can decide on the appropriate waterproof or water resistant gear for their use, according to their need in the outdoors.

Let’s look at the exact definitions.

Waterproof: Completely impervious to or impenetrable by water. That means the water cannot seep in through the stitches and zippers as well.

Water Resistant: Able to resist the penetration of water to a certain extent depending on the intensity of water droplets or shower.

In short, waterproof gear means no water can seep in, no matter what. On the other hand, water resistant gear will stop water to a certain extent, beyond which water will pass through.

But that’s really vague, isn’t it? You need to know the exact degree beyond which a particular piece of water resistant gear will fail, and you need to know this BEFORE making the purchase decision. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with gear that you bought to keep you or your stuff dry, falling short of the task.

Two different types of globally accepted rating scales are used for this purpose:

Ingress Protection Scale (IP Code): The IP code follows an international standard called IEC 60529 – Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures and it was developed by a technical committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

  • The IP Code classifies and rates the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact and water.
  • The scale takes into account three types of variables; the angle at which water hits the product being tested, the minimum duration for which the test must be conducted and the speed or force with which water hits the product.
  • The IP code is typically used for electronics, drybags, protective cases, etc.
  • The scale is measured from zero to eight, with IPX0 meaning no protection from water and IPX8 meaning protection against continual underwater immersion.

When buying gear that is certified under the IP code, you should look for the exact IP specification code on the packaging. Here’s what each of the codes in the IP system means in short.

The IP code follows an international standard called IEC 60529

 

Among the brands available on OutdoorTravelGear.com, Aquapac products are IP rated. The Packdivider DrySacks, Trailproof bags, Toccoa, Noatak and Stormproof bags from Aquapac have waterproofing rating of IPX6 , which indicates that these bags protect against powerful water jets / heavy seas / temporary flooding. These are great for heavy rains, but are not submersible. On the other hand, the Aquapac Whanganui cases have waterproofing rating of IPX8. This means that these are designed to not just keep out the rain but can also be submersed up to 30FT/10M under water for 30 minutes without any water ingress.

 

Hydrostatic Head:

  • Hydrostatic Head scale measures the degree to which a piece of gear can hold back water
  • Process: A patch of the material being tested is clamped at the bottom end of a clear transparent tube. The tube is then filled slowly with water. The idea is to see how high the column of water can get before the material lets water drip through.
  • The HH scale is typically used for fabric, tents, clothes, etc.
  • The scale is measured in thousands of mm. For eg., a Hydrostatic Head rating of 5000mm means that the column of water was 5 metres (5000mm) tall before the material leaked. The higher this number, the more protection a material provides against water.

(Source: bit.ly/GearWeAreHHRating)

1) Hydrostatic Head scale measures the degree to which a piece of gear can hold back water

 

In practicality, where you have water being pushed by wind and gravity against your gear, you will need a measurement of around 1000mm to resist light showers. Heavy rain and wind will create more pressure on your gear and it will require a higher rating of around 5000mm.

For really heavy-duty use, look for gear with a rating of about 10000mm. Gear with this level of rating should survive against water being pushed through by something physical, like a person or vegetation rubbing on it in the wind.

HH Rated Gear on OutdoorTravelGear.com

The Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent has 2000mm PU-coated Polyester which means that the material can withstand pressure exerted up to 2 metres (2000mm) column of water without allowing any leakage.

The Quechua Rain Cut Jacket available with www.outdoortravelgear.com has an HH rating of 2000 mm.

Some brands may not quote the waterproofing standards for their products, but may advise you on the water resistance / waterproofing levels of the gear. It makes good sense to defer to the brand’s advise and use the gear accordingly.

For e.g. a number of brands selling motorcycle luggage in India provide rain covers for their luggage that are water resistant. Dirtsack offers the Gypsy with ‘water retardant’ fabric that wards off light showers coupled with an external rain cover making the bag resistant to showers. Dirtsack also offers the Frogman series of bags made from heavy duty PVC material that are 100% waterproof dustproof and rainproof.

The Hurricane Rain Overtrousers from Mototech are technical rain pants with fully seam sealed tapes and Hipora fabric which is waterproof and breathable. Mototech also offers the Hurricane Rain Jacket as a water proofing solution sold along with Contour Air Riding Jacket as one unit.

So what’s the moral of the story? Now that you know the difference, the next time you want to buy gear that is waterproof or water resistant, find out what it exactly means for that product and see if the product is specifically rated under any of the two scales we saw above.

Don’t let the rains keep you home. Go ahead. GET OUT!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
# OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut

OTG: Tips and Tricks post: Gear Research Point Blog post_001

How To Do Research Before Buying Adventure Gear

“My budget is Rs. XXXX, which jacket will be perfect for me?”

“I want a waterproof bag, do you stock any?”

“I leave for a trek tomorrow, what should I take with me?”

Outdoor Travel Gear completed 10 years in 2015. Over the decade that we’ve been in business, we’ve been asked these and other similar questions, a countless number of times.

We don’t mind it when you ask us questions. On the contrary, we encourage every shopper to engage with us, in-store or online. That way we can be of best service to our customers’ needs.

More often than not, a buyer seems to have started his purchase process with either a specific product or a price point in mind. This reduces the options / choices that they would otherwise have had, and in that case, there’s a great chance that they end up with the wrong product.

From our experience, here’s our recommendation of the steps / process to follow and the research to be done before buying adventure gear, to ensure that the gear you end up buying is best suited for you.

  • Identify your need

Never start the process of gear purchase with a product in mind. Identify your need first. Contrary to popular belief, your need is not in terms of a product. Be aware of your need in terms of the utility that you want fulfilled.

For e.g., if you’re going on a himalayan adventure, you’ll need to stay warm and dry. If you’re getting into an action sport, you’ll need to stay safe while enjoying your sport. If you’re going camping overnight, you’ll need shelter and sleeping support.

  • Identify the features

Match your need with the features that will provide that utility. You shouldn’t be thinking in terms of a physical product yet. More than one type / category of products can fulfill your specific need. In listing the products, get as detailed as you can.

  • Understand jargon

In this decision making process, to make sure you end making the right purchase, it is very important to understand the jargon used for defining the features you want to understand.

For e.g., with the varied advanced methods of waterproofing available today, it isn’t enough for a brand to simply say that their product is waterproof. A product can be waterproofed up to various levels. The IPX grading system classifies these levels from IPX1 to IPX8, based on various parameters. The higher the number, the more waterproof that product is. In simplest terms, though an IPX1 rated product is waterproof, it is not submersible and the protection from water ingress lasts only for a short period of time. On the other hand, an IPX8 rated product can be submerged in water and remains waterproof for a long time. It thus becomes crucial to exactly specify your need and to match that need with the exact feature and degree of performance.

  • List the products

Prioritise the features you’ve identified. Mark them as “must-have”, “good-to-have” and “need-not-have”. Now find out products which are accessible to you and which match the list of features you’ve made.

  • Do your research

Most of the reviews are product oriented. So they’ll be of help to you only once you have arrived at the shortlist of products. Try to get your hand on comparative reviews. See online user reviews. Look for first impression reviews and long-term ownership reviews. Try searching for user videos.

But more than just that, talk to your friends, others who’re in the same sport/ adventure as you are in.Try talking with people who’ve been using the products you’ve shortlisted. Ask their opinion. Also find out the places that sell the gear you want to buy and go see the options available.

  • Project your usage

Think ahead and try to project how you’re going to use the gear. Be realistic about variables like frequency of use, seasons of use, ideal longevity, is this your first purchase in the category. Prioritize this list and keep it agnostic of budget.

For e.g.: Sleeping bags come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, warming factor, etc. If you walk into a store without knowing exactly when, where and how often you are going to need to use the sleeping bag, you’ll end up buying the wrong one and might end up in a tight spot, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

  • Make a shortlist

While shortlisting products, eliminate products from your original list that don’t meet your basic need criteria based on your online/offline research and understanding of the terminology.

  • Find parity and take your time

Now you have a shortlist of products. This is when you think about money for the first time. If any product is out of your range, but if it’s the perfect product for you, you should think of the following:

  1. How soon and urgently do you need the product.We repeat“NEED the product” and “Not WANT the product”.
  2. By how much can you stretch your budget.

Ideally, if you don’t need the product immediately, put aside the money you have and save up the difference and then go for the product. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

For e.g.: Let’s say you need to buy a helmet for motocross. Motocross is a high-risk sport. There really is no point in compromising on quality and your own safety, just because you can’t afford your ideal helmet. You might as well wait for a while, save up and then get that helmet.

Depending on the importance of the product vis-à-vis the sport / adventure that you are going to use it for, if needed, you may consider postponing your plans to get into that sport / adventure instead of using a sub-optimal product.

On the other hand, even if you can spend more than what the minimum required product costs, don’t overspend. Save the extra cash for a rainy day.

  • Be sure of size and fit

If you are sure about your size, shop online. Look for a sizing / fitting chart on the site where you’re shopping from. If this is your first purchase in the category and you want to shop online, be completely sure of the size and / or buy from a brick and mortar store.

If you are buying a motorcycle bag in a store, take your bike with you, if you are buying an overjacket, try it on with all the layers you’ll be wearing inside. If you’re buying an expedition pack, try it on for shoulder size and be completely sure that you can carry all that the bag can hold once it is completely loaded.

  • Caveat emptor (Let the Buyer Beware)

Anywhere you buy your gear from, online or offline, every brand is likely to have their own terms of guarantee / warrantee conditions. These conditions are set down by the manufacturing brand and followed by the reseller. The reseller typically cannot give warranty / guarantee if not supported by the brand.

Also, every reseller will have their own terms and conditions for incorrect size being bought, the customer not liking the product after making the purchase, defects in / after warranty period, etc.

Be apprised of these conditions before the purchase. Always carefully read the warranty, guarantee and returns procedures before purchasing online or in-store. Make sure none of the intrinsic terms of purchase are going to be a hurdle later on. If you are not able to get the complete return / warranty information from the website, then contact the seller through email, chat or phone and clear your doubts with specific questions.

  • Buy!

Go ahead and make that purchase confidently. You’ve done your research. You’ve deserved it!

 

We’ve really tried to detail out the purchase journey as we see it. Depending on your previous experiences, you may or may not go through all the steps individually. The basic idea here is to be aware of your specific need and the various ways in which it can be fulfilled.

Once you know exactly what gear you need, go ahead and buy it!

We love talking to our customers and sharing our experiences about the gear we sell. Do feel free to get in touch with us. You can:

Or, you can walk in to any one of our stores: https://www.outdoortravelgear.com/storelocator

Have a crazy adventure! And be safe out there!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
#OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut

Adventurers that inspire us at Outdoor Travel Gear

The adventure sports and travel community in India is still fairly small, but is very tight knit and is growing at a phenomenal speed! As adventurers in India, we’re lucky that wherever we are in the country, we have plenty to do and explore, always have a community we can draw on for help and support and to pursue our passion.

There are some crazy adrenaline junkies out there who’re expanding the boundaries of their sport and doing things that dreams are made of!

Here’s a list of adventurers that inspire us. We’re sure they’ll have the same effect on you too. Remember that while we’ve compiled this list with many parameters in mind, there are plenty of people out there who could possibly be on this but aren’t – mainly due to the fact that we simply didn’t have enough space for them all!

 Ishani Sawant (Mountaineer): OutdoorTravelGear.com had recently featured Ishani on our blog. For your daily dose of mountaineering, check out the Facebook page and website of Ishani Sawant – a 23 year old mountaineer from Pune. Her pictures faithfully record her daily moments, her mountaineering activities and her training, making it a fascinating and real portrayal of her life.

Ishani Sawant: FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Helmet Stories (Motorcycle Tourers): The dynamic duo of Harsh Man Rai and Vir Nakai has been inspiring riders for almost a generation through Helmet Stories. Started as a motorcycling touring company, their photos and videos of the mighty Himalayas are drool-worthy.

Helmet Stories: FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

 

Abhijeet Singh (Adventurer): Now what can’t Abhijeet Singh do? Mountaineer, adventure photographer, acro-yogi calisthenics athlete, and filmmaker. Follow him for guaranteed daily dose of thrills!

Abhijeet Singh: Instagram 

 

 

 

Sumitra Senapaty (Traveler): Sumitra Senapaty started the truly inspirational WOW (Women on Wanderlust). A platform for women to get together and travel, WOW has been steadily increasing in popularity over the last year with women travellers. Follow the WOW page to get a gist of some exotic Indian and international destinations.

Women on Wanderlust : Facebook – Instagram Twitter
Sumitra Senapaty: Facebook Instagram

 

 

 

Shubham Dharmsktu (Cyclist): Shubham is an #OTGAthlete who set out on The Great Himalyan Cycle Trip. OTG sponsored gear for him that would help him on his journey – AQUAPAC Wet and Dry Waterproof Backpack – 25 Ltrs, AQUAPAC Small Bike-Mounted Waterproof Phone Case, Gerber Compact Multi-tool, QuipCo Dune Tube Future, QuipCo Tundra Fleece Balaclava. He is an avid traveler and cyclist is currently working on his sustainable tourism venture – all about travel, cycling, home-stays, local food etc. Check out OutdoorTravelGear.com’s feature blog on Shubham to know more about him.

Shubham Dharmsktu : Facebook

 

 

 

 

Andy Pariat (Travel Photographer): For a taste of Meghalaya that will come close to making you swoon, check out Andy Pariat’s photography covering that magical and under explored part of India.

Andy Pariat :  Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

C S Santosh (Rally Raid Athlete): India’s Motocross Racing Champion. Unarguably India’s finest off-road racer. Enough said.

C S Santosh : Website– Facebook Instagram – Twitter 

 

 

 

H V Kumar (Explorer): With an encyclopedic knowledge of Indian roads, HV Kumar started up the HiVayKing Club, one of India’s most popular support groups on Facebook for travelers. His personal pages are also worth following simply for the number of people who are connected to him in some way or the other.

HiVayKing: Facebook
H V Kumar : Facebook Twitter


 

 

Abhinav Singhai (Travel Photographer): A travel photographer with a difference, Abhinav is intent on showing the world the beauty of the night sky.

Abhinav Singhai : Facebook Instagram –Twitter – Flickr

 

 

 

Shanu Babar (Travel Film-Maker): A film maker, editor and cinematographer -Shanu makes India come to life through a lens. His work is largely urban, and completely magical.

Shanu Babar : Facebook Instagram – Twitter

 

 

 

 

Swati Saxena (Explorer):If long distance walking is your thing, you can do no better than to follow Swati. An ex-accountant, she now ‘walks around the country’, and writes while she does it too. Her blog is full of helpful hints for those who want to explore on foot.

Swati Saxena : Blog – Instagram 

 

 

 

Jehan Driver (Kite surfer and Explorer)

Jehan is a kite-surfer – one of the few of his kind in India. He owns a travel and exploration brand – Quest Expeditions, which also undertakes training for water-sport activities like kite-surfing, kayaking, sailing and outdoors survival.

Jehan Driver : FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Rishad Bhumgara (Mad BawaMotorcyclist)

Rishad is a long distance rider who loves doing it the old school way. He successfully completed a solo ride from Mumbai to Myanmar and back; on his 30 years old Yezdi! Rishad has been a long standing customer with Outdoor Travel Gear and a dear friend. Recently, we had invited him to be a guest blogger for outdoortravelgearblog.wordpress.com. Check it out in our blog

Rishad Bhumgara : Website –Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

Kaustubh Khade (Kayaker)

Kaustubh is on a kayaking journey for life discovering bits about this own self along the way. He’s been literally making ‘waves’ at international kayaking circuit. Kaustubh maintains a blog showcasing his escapades. A must follow for any one who has an adventurous streak.

Sagar and Pritesh from Outdoor Travel Gear met with Kaustubh in summers of 2015 and amongst other things, they discussed kayaking, water-sports and adventure – #OTGathletes – Paddle Hard with Kaustubh Khade

Kaustubh Khade : Facebook –Instagram – Twitter

 

There’s also much inspiration outside our borders. Here’s another (very short) list of people you should follow if international travel and adventure is your thing.

 


 

Brad Ringstmeier (World Traveler): An aerospace mechanic turned travel photographer, Brad has been on the road for a year and half with his venture Perpetual-Moto-Discovery – collecting adventures, stories, memories, goodwill and friends as fast as he can ride.

Brad Ringstmeier – Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

Pete Mc Bride (Explorer): Pete Mc Bride is a film-maker and Nat Geo photographer, in addition to being a writer and speaker on all things inspirational. You can follow Pete’s work on his website. His focus is largely on the travel and environment.

Pete Mc Bride – Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

 

Tiffany Coates (World Motorcycle Tourer): Tiffany Coates is an inspiration to women the world over. Regardless of the terrain, Tiffany rides her heart out in conditions that would daunt the most adventurous riders.

Tiffany Coates :-Website – Blog – Facebook –  Twitter

Tiffany Coates (World Motorcycle Tourer)

 

 

 

Ewan McGregor (World Motorcycle Tourer): The famous actor and television producer is also a motorcycle tourer. His two movies – Long Way Round and Long Way Down are audacious on their attempt to document some of the longest rides ever.

Ewan McGregor : Instagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Eric Cedeno (Cyclist): Eric Cedeno instituted Bicycle Nomad with the intention of pursuing not just cycling, but also a cultural immersion. Through his cafe store, merchandise and dedicated documentation of his journeys, he inspires thousands to join him in to being nomads.

Eric Cedeno : Website – Facebook –Instagram 

 

 

 

Hubert Kriegel (World Traveller on a Sidecar)

Hubert Kriegel has been travelling the world ‘horizontally’ and ‘vertically’. This is the 12th year of the 10 years on road! His website is a must read for understanding how colossal sounding dreams can be achieved – simply by getting on to it.

Team Outdoor Travel Gear had a unique opportunity to track down Hubert when he was in India and spend quality time talking to him about his globe-trotting experiences –A day with Hubert Kreigel – The Timeless Ride

Hubert Kriegel – Website

 

 

 

Anders and Petra Stridfeldt (Biker Couple)

When their three sons moved out to do their own thing, Anders and Petra knew it was time to do theirs. So they sold their house and everything they owned, hopped on to their BMWs and started an epic tour round the world. They are an inspiration to many bikers around the world.

Anders Stridfeldt : Facebook –Instagram
Petra Stridfeldt: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter
Two Bikers One World : Website – Facebook


As you can see, the list of travellers and adventurers is immense… and growing! So whose name would you like to see on our next list?

Adventure Survival Kits – The why and how of it

Adventure Survival Kits – The Why and How of it!

There’s plenty of information on the web about survival kits and how to put one together. Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’ve already read up on the basics – a fire starter, a utility knife etc. However, regardless of how well put together your kit may be, it is most likely that you’ve forgotten one big aspect – as an adventurer, you are choosing to put yourself in high-risk situations. Any pre-assembled survival kit you buy is likely to be based on a certain premise, for eg: you will be in a city, or that there will be search and rescue teams out looking for you (think natural disasters like the floods in Sri Nagar). But as an adventurer, a climber, a camper, a rider – these assumptions may not hold good at all, rather, they may even prove fatal! So here are some tips on how to put together an adventure survival kit – something every adventurer should do without fail.

  1. Think Big: Most survival kit tips out there tend to focus on making them small and handy. These are kits that focus on convenience and the fact that you’ll carry the kit around every day, in work situations etc. While a kit like that is also a good idea, you should definitely carry a larger one on your adventures. Don’t limit yourself by size. A medium-sized backpack is a fair starting point. It can be carried around on all your adventures, while also being large enough to accommodate some of the bigger necessities.
OutdoorTravelGear survival kit -02

While a small kit is handy for daily, regular use, one should definitely carry a larger, more extensive and purpose built survival kit when on an adventure trip.

  1. Think tools and gear: Being an adventurer will put you in high-risk situations fairly regularly. With this in mind, seasoned adventurers always carry along the tools of their choice and spare parts or gear as well. However, do consider if you are prepared for a true emergency. Before setting out, assess the risks objectively and pack for the maximum risk. For example, if you’re a cyclist setting out on a solo ride or a cycling expedition; objectively assess the chances of all possible high-risk situations. You’re likely to be carrying a puncture kit, but imagine you having a breakdown in a completely remote area with no mobile connectivity. What could have gone wrong with your cycle to make his happen? Pack accordingly. If you’re a motorcyclist, carry the exact fuses, spark plugs, a length of electric wire, and jump starter set. Campers, trekkers think about a fire starter kit, a spool of paracord, etc. Water sports athletes; don’t forget your dry bags, spare towel and a change of clothes. If you’re out rafting or kayaking in winter, also think about how you’ll keep yourself warm after getting wet.

    Think tools and gear: Being an adventurer will put you in high-risk situations fairly regularly. With this in mind, seasoned adventurers always carry along the tools of their choice and spare parts or gear as well. However, do consider if you are prepared for a true emergency. Before setting out, assess the risks objectively and pack for the maximum risk. For example, if you’re a cyclist setting out on a solo ride or a cycling expedition; objectively assess the chances of all possible high-risk situations. You’re likely to be carrying a puncture kit, but imagine you having a breakdown in a completely remote area with no mobile connectivity. What could have gone wrong with your cycle to make his happen? Pack accordingly. If you’re a motorcyclist, carry the exact fuses, spark plugs, a length of electric wire, and jump starter set. Campers, trekkers think about a fire starter kit, a spool of paracord, etc. Water sports athletes; don’t forget your dry bags, spare towel and a change of clothes. If you’re out rafting or kayaking in winter, also think about how you’ll keep yourself warm after getting wet.

    Always carry along the tools of your choice, spare parts as well as gear, and be ready and equipped for emergencies.

  1.  A multi-utility knife, basic medicines, a small torch, a fire starter kit and a length of strong rope are definitely important. But don’t forget to include some more stuff depending on your activity. For campers, include a large knife (or a weapon of some sort) for protection. For trekkers and hikers, an additional set of warm clothes can go a long way in case you’re forced to spend a night in the open. For motorcycle riders or cyclists, a small bag of mixed nuts and bolts, some super glue and zip ties (cable ties) will come very much in handy.
OutdoorTravelGear survival kit -03

Research on small tidbits you’re that’ll be specifically useful for your type of adventure in an emergency. With time and experience, you’ll have a holistic kit.

  1. Pay Heed to the Forces of Nature: Irrespective of what season it is, in a terrain like Ladakh, for example, the weather can be really unpredictable. Ask anyone who’s ever travelled there and they’ll tell you. So carry some rain protection, some cold protection and an extra pair of socks everywhere. You may also want to include a set of bandannas, scarves or simple large squares of cloth that you can use in multiple ways – for shade, for warmth, for protection against dust, and so on. In countries like India, it is also a good idea to carry along mosquito or insect repellent. As a last resort warming solution carry packets of Warmee. Warmee is a self heating pouch that keeps you warm for 8+ hours. You can use it under the outer shell of your clothing or in the sleeping bag at night. It is also handy for keeping the batteries of your cameras and other gadgets from draining out due to the cold.
  2. Food and Water: One of the big mistakes we make is tending to forget these two simple things. In India especially, we tend to operate under the assumption that food and water are easy to come by. Never start your adventure without planning for these two things. Getting stuck even for a few hours in North India in the summer will put your body under tremendous strain. Now multiply that by days, and it can quite easily prove fatal. You should carry at least 2 liters of water in your kit, and emergency food rations are a must. When packing food, make sure you pack high-energy bars, peanut bars and the likes, to give you a boost of energy. Remember, this ration of food and water should go into your adventure kit and are quite separate from the regular rations you will carry on your journey anyway. These are to be broken into only in case of a serious emergency. It’s also a good idea to keep dry fruits with you as they are nutritious and have a high content of iron and protein depending on the dry fruit, and perfect for emergency nutrition.

    OutdoorTravelGear survival kit -04

    How long you survive in an emergency is a direct function of how well stocked with food you are.

As you start gathering things together for the perfect adventure kit, you’ll be tempted to add more and more items to it. Our one bit of advice on this is to restrain you only in the case of really large or really heavy items. The trick is to have multi-purpose, multi-use items in there, and you’ll need to draw a fine line between what you can reasonably carry along, and what you’re likely to need. However, do remember that it is always better to be over prepared than under!

After you put your kit together, the key is to maintain it. Ideally, (and if you’re lucky), you’ll open this particular backpack only once every few months to replace your stores of food, medicines etc as they expire. Water will, of course, need to be replenished just before the start of your adventure. Make sure you check the items for damp, rust etc when you open the bag. It is also a good idea to make the bag itself waterproof. Invest in a waterproof bag or a dry bag, keep your adventure kit dry and snug, and step out confidently, ready to face anything that can be thrown at you!

If you’ve ever been in a situation and have had to use your survival kit, we’d love to hear your story in the comments below!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
# OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut #OTGadventure

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear

Outdoor Travel Gear Meets Cyclist Shubham Dharmsktu

Edward Abbey, author and environmental issues advocate once said, “A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.”

Outdoor Travel Gear speaks to Shubham Dharmkstu, Design Student at NID and avid cyclist, who believes the same. Shubham recently completed one of his dream rides, the Great Himalayan Cycling Trip, where he cycled through over 6000 kms in the Himalayas, making it one of the toughest rides in the nation today.

Shubham is also one of the few people in India today taking baby steps towards creating sustainable tourism economies. We find out more.

One of our first questions for Shubham is about his choice of vehicle – why cycling as a means of travel? It’s a tough means to travel after all – unlike say a motorized vehicle.

Shubham says, “Cycling as a means of travelling gives me the perfect speed to observe things passing by when I travel. It keeps my mind alert. You won’t see someone who is cycling doze off, unlike someone travelling by car or bus! Also, what is the most delicious food you ever had? It’s probably not the last 5 star dinner you had, but the food you eat after you have been extremely hungry. And cycling does exactly that. It makes you hungry physically, but at the same time satiates the hunger for the beauty of the world, because you don’t miss a thing, you feel every meter when you cycle. It is the effort that enhances the experience”

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He elaborates this with an example.

“For example, while going to Khardung La, I cycled from an elevation of 50 metres above sea level to 5600 metres above sea level, while cycling uphill.I felt every single inch of elevation and almost fainted twice (just few kms before K-top) but the hunger to see K-top kept me cycling.And when I reached the highest motorable road in the world, it became a more magical and beautiful place than any other place I have ever seen, even though it wasn’t the most visually beautiful place I had been to.”

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Our next topic of discussion is obvious – the Great Himalayan Cycle Trip- and how to prepare for something like this. As we discuss this, something comes up that astounds us. It turns out that Shubham hasn’t even been to the gym a single time prior to the trip to prepare. He assures us it’s a mental game, “You need to be prepared to take on whatever comes your way. The biggest challenge in doing these rides is to be able to gather enough courage to start. Once the first step is taken, everything else after that will fall in place”. Another thing he cautions us about is that a traveller should have all the appropriate equipment for riding in the Himalayas since you can face snow, rain and storms all in the same day.

“It isn’t about completing a goal, or reaching the top, it’s about the journey. Travel has been the best teacher to me, and every journey I undertake has taught me new things about the vast world, and more importantly, taught memore about myself. Each river I cross, each mountain I ride over, each person I meet and each hardship I face builds me up as a person, and that is the most important thing for me”

For his trip, Outdoor Travel Gear had offered Shubham the use of some of the gear we promote. We were curious about how he made use of it all. So here’s the final list of things he carried and how he ended up using them.

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AQUAPAC Wet & Dry Waterproof Backpack – 25L – The backpack was waterproof, which saved all my stuff, including the filming equipment and my clothes from the extreme Himalayan weather.

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AQUAPAC Small Bike-Mounted Waterproof Phone Case  – One of the most helpful products during the journey, because I could easily access my maps as compared to earlier when I had to hold my phone in my hand. I additionally kept my money in it, so that the phone and money were both right in front of my eyes and I didn’t need to worry about losing either!

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GERBER Compact Multi-tool – This was also very helpful, I used it for cutting, tightening screws, fixing tire spokes. It was like a magic tool that solved all the mechanical problems I faced during the ride.

QUIPCO Dune Tube Future – This saved my face and head from freezing in the extremely cold himalayan weather)

QUIPCO Tundra Fleece Balaclava  – Though I have used other Balaclavas, this one was much better because it dried quick, and didn’t hamper my breathing.Basically, I didn’t have to keep taking it off to breathe, which really simplified things.

Next, we ask Shubham about his sustainable tourism venture, something we had only heard of second-hand. Shubham is very keen to explain the principles. According to the World Tourism Organization, all tourism causes a certain amount of impact on the local environment. This of course, is offset by the revenue earned through the tourism industry by locals. However, in most cases, a large percentage of the revenue earned (between 70-85%) goes to MNC’s and other non-local organizations. Shubham and his partners dream of starting a company that reverses this scenario. Their sustainable tourism venture ECOTraveler will be launched this year, and will give back to the local community in a way never before envisaged.

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“Tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing industry in the world and is the greatest form of love, capital and knowledge distribution that ever existed”

He also believes that cycling should be promoted as a means of commute and daily travel, not just as a means of exercise. “This will bring people around to the idea of travelling long distances on a cycle”, he says.

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To round off our conversation, we ask him about his other dream rides. He says “Dreaming is like traveling, once you done exploring one, you need to keep dreaming and traveling. Yes, The great Himalayan bicycle trip was one of the biggest dreams and after experiencing every bit of it, it’s time for the next journey. I do have a long list of dream trips which include

  • Cycle around the world,
  • Climb all of the top 5 highest mountains in the world
  • Travel in a kayak from country to country
  • Travel every Indian road

And a lot more insane stuff. With time, I hope to achieve all of these!”

Well, at Outdoor Travel Gear we say “More Power to you Shubham!”

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Gear from OutdoorTravelGear.com to keep you Monsoon Ready

The Monsoon is here, and for those adventure enthusiasts out there, we know that the rainy season makes for larger, better, grander adventures than otherwise. While the rest of the world may curl up at home, in front of the TV sipping hot tea, we’re more likely to be outdoors – riding, hiking, trekking, travelling and generally doing our own thing!

We all know how inflicting rain gods can be in India and if we are not prepared for the deluge, our adventure can quickly turn from being fun to being a punishing ordeal. We believe it is imperative to take extra care of two important things around in the rains: Electronic devices, and yes, your clothing. That you need to protect your electronic devices from moisture is obvious, but don’t underestimate how miserable you can get if your socks and undergarments get wet either!

At OTG, we know the passion and excitement monsoon generates in us, so we’ve put together a unique monsoon collection for all adventure enthusiasts. Featured here are the must-have items from our Monsoon Collection, products that we promise will take your monsoon adventures from ‘great’ to ‘awesome’.

AQUAPAC Whanganui Cases

AQUAPAC makes some great waterproofing products. At the foremost this monsoon are the AQUAPAC Whanganui cases for all types and sizes of electronic equipment. Pick a suitable size for your device (from micro to large) and use it comfortably in the rain. The cases are guaranteed waterproof to the International Standard IPX8. This means that these are designed to not just keep out the rain but also to be submersible up to 15FT/5M under water for 30 minutes, while at the same time providing a good degree of touchscreen responsiveness through the plastic.

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MUC-OFF Screen Cleaning Kit

Despite case protection, electronic devices can get wet, especially when you finally take them out in the open. Moreover, moisture tends to get built up inside the case, due to the highlevels of humidity in the air. Screens turn streaky and unresponsive to touch with moisture, and can get scratches when you try to rub them clean. No more! Try MUC-OFF screen cleaning kit. It comes with its own microfiber cloth that is specially designed for cleaning those delicate finishing on screens. MUC-Off products are internationally revered for their ability to clean dirt, grime, fingertips and oily residue. Now try it on your electronic devices.

Pro Tip: Throw in a moisture absorbent sachet into your case. You can easily buy these or sometimes even get them when you buy branded shoes or winter clothing.

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AQUAPAC Dry Bags

Dry Bags from AQUAPAC come in wide ranging sizes from 2-70 litres and are an excellent option for monsoon. These come in many colours, making it easy to colour code your stuff. Divide up your clothes or essentials into sets/categories and place them in bags for easy access. Imagine that you’re camping and you only need to retrieve a phone charger. Now it would be literally a nightmare to access the tiny thing that has slipped at the bottom of a large knapsack inside a tent. It is much easier to access stuff kept in colour coded smaller bags. They also have some brilliant innovations in design – like having handles at both ends so you can grab and pull, however you’ve placed them originally. These Drybags have international waterproofing standard of IPX6, which indicates that these bags protect against heavy seas / temporary flooding. These are great for heavy rains, but are not submersible.

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And now for what you should be wearing..

MOTOTECH Hurricane Rain Jacket

This Mototech Jacket has the admirable advantage of not just being backed by Mototech’s high-quality production values, but also being designed in wonderfully lightweight and compact manner. Any trekker or biker knows the pain of having to pack heavy rain gear with them that they’ve to lug all over the place. Mototech solves the problem, and also throws in a few nice touches of their own, like making the drawstring cords high-viz, fully taped seams and having Velcro and flaps in the front instead of zippers (zippers tend to let water and wind in, and over time, they do tend to stick a little). The fabric used for the jacket is super tough and durable making it a must have for your monsoon rides or hikes.

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QUIPCO Flash Hi Viz Suspenders

Quipco is a popular brand among the outdoors community for their stylish, yet functional products. This product from the Quipco stable stands out as a monsoon must-have. When it’s raining, water running of windshields and visors obscure vision to such an extent that there is real danger on the roads. These high-viz suspenders have a universal size and are wearable on anything you have worn which allows people to see you on the road from a distance. A great investment in your safety whether you are riding a bike or cycling or simply walking along.

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BONUS: AQUAPAC Puncture Patches

No list of monsoon gear is complete without mentioning these great little puncture patches, again from the house of Aquapac. These small patches seal off tears, rips and holes in almost anything – jackets, aquapacs, bags, tents, rainwear, seams of clothing and much else. Their utility is tremendous since they prevent leaks and stop rips and tears from spreading. Carry a set with you for emergency use anywhere.

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There’s a lot more stuff at our store that you might find useful during the monsoon. These are only our top-of-the-draw picks. Why don’t you head here and check out what else you would use during this rainy season?

Keep Your Stuff Dry With Aquapac Waterproof Bags and Cases

It’s not only your skin and hair that need care during the messy monsoon but so do your backpacks. Commuting in the rain can cause a mess of you and your bag. Not to forget the accessories and your vital electronic gadgets that cost you a fortune. Most of the time we buy the wrong backpack and spend a small fortune and most of these backpacks don’t even survive the rains.

Aquapac not only protects your gear against water but other elements like dust and sand and moisture. Aquapac products are made from 100% PVC-free material, mostly plastics which make them rustproof and surprisingly lightweight. These materials include TPU, ABS, nylon and polypropylene which are light and easily accessible.

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Aquapac gives us a fully-featured backpack which comes in 15L, 25L and 35L capacity and is ideal to commute, trek, camp or tour anywhere. The backpack also comes with an external mesh pocket to hold a 2L water bottle.

The bag is large enough to cart your laptop, camera, a small meal and a pair of clothes. The bag’s inbuilt partition allows one to store wet and dry clothing separately, hence the name Wet & Dry. Each strap of the bag comes with a lash tab which can be easily anchored almost anywhere. Aquapac supplies tested products which meet international waterproofing standards of up to 5metres under water. With a five year guarantee exclusive to animal attacks the bags can function at temperatures down to -40C.

Some additional features which no other bag except Aquapac offers, are as follows:
• Key pocket: The backpack comes with a key pocket so that you don’t have to dig inside the pack.
• Internal pockets in yellow: This helps to see the bottom of the bag easily.
• Reflective logo print: This helps you to be seen at night with reflective ink
• TPU-coated fabric with taped seams: Keep it in the rain for days and water won’t seep in through the seams
• Roll-seal: The roll seal is fantastically designed and can provide quick access to your belongings with ease, preventing water seepage.
• Removable back support/seat: This back support is removable and when wet can be dried and installed back without a struggle. Also the back support can be used to sit on anywhere in the wilderness.
• Sternum and waist straps: When you’re on the move the backpack securely remains in place. Moreover the waist straps can be removed if you don’t need them.
• External mesh-pockets: These pockets can be used to keep anything that’s the size of a bottle.
• Integral light-lash: you can add a light to your back which could come handy.

Now that we have found a solution for your bag and equipment, what about your mobile phone? It might stay safe in the backpack, but it would be a pain to halt and undo your bag to attend phones calls, take pictures etc. Aquapac also manufactures cases for handheld devices that prove to be lifesavers.

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The Aquapac mini and large cases are named after the Whanganui River in the North Island of New Zealand. They can be used to store mobile phones, Ipads, tablets, first aid and other travel essentials. These cases are ideal to protect your phone from dust, sand and water, moisture.

With these cases you won’t hesitate to remove your costly smartphone in the middle of a river jiggling to balance with butter fingers. You can simply slide your phone in one of these cases and use it without worrying about the weather. The Aquapac Mini Whanganui can fit your iPhone, blackberries, android phones and even your small gps units.

Besides the mini Aquapac also builds large Whanganui which offers more room to store and completely submersible. The case comes with an adjustable shoulder strap or which can be worn around your neck for added safety. The high frequency welded seams makes the case floats on water if you happen to drop. Whanganui are made from Polyurethane (PU) – 100% recyclable, thinner. This material stays flexible when it’s chilly, easier to operate equipment inside the cases. The clear material allows you to see everything that’s inside. The Aquapac comes along with ‘aquaclip’ which holds the bag together. It also consists of a spring loaded slider in the centre to adjust the length of the space available to put your stuff.

So there it is then. Equip yourself with the Aquapac waterproof backpack and phone case, and step out there with the confidence that your stuff is going to stay completely dry.

To see the complete range of Aquapac products available with Outdoor Travel Gear, visit http://www.outdoortravelgear.com/brand/aquapac

If you’ve used Aquapac products,we’d love to know your experience, in the comments below. Also, don’t hesitate to write in with your questions or enquiries.

http://www.OutdoorTravelGear.com

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