traveller

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

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Beat the Heat this Summer with OTG Products

Hot Summer Gear from Outdoor Travel Gear!

Summer has rolled in, and while a blistering day isn’t the most conducive to adventure activities, it certainly isn’t going to stop us from stepping out, is it? The joys of a clear sky, great light for photography and fresh breezes make up for any trifling discomfort of high temperatures. Still, it’s better to go out there prepared. So this summer, don’t just invest in sunscreen, check out these great products from OTG that’ll help you beat the heat!

Hydration Bladders, Packs and Bottles

These hydration bladders are the best way tote around water when you’re outdoors. Buy the bladders and use them in regular backpacks, or buy them with the packs made especially for that purpose – you can’t go wrong!

Camelbak Antidote Reservoir

Available in both 2L and 3L sizes, carry this amazing hydration pack on all your adventure activities. What’s great about Camelback’s Antidote Reservoir is that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s functional too, the snap lock makes it leak-proof and the access port is large enough to put your hand in, so cleaning it becomes a breeze.

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Camelbak Hydration Packs

Our range of Camelbak Hydration Packs is just the right thing to combat the heat. The hydration packs are a great combination of size and weight, making them the ultimate backpack for a range of physical and adventure activities.

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Camelbak Podium Big Chill Water Bottle

This 750ml bottle has a special Closed Cell Foam Technology within a double walled construction that keeps your water cooled for longer – twice as long as a standard bottle. Its ergonomic design allows you to grip and squeeze easily, and even better, it’s spill-proof with Camelbak’s patented Jet-Valve technology.
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CAMELBAK Arc 2™

CAMELBAK Arc 2™ is double barreled hydration on the run. The Arc 2™ runner’s belt comes with two 10 oz Podium Arc bottles held securely by the bottle cages attached to the belt. The Podium Arc bottles feature Camelbak’s patented Jet Valve™ technology for hydration on demand, with a simple squeeze!
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Everyday Wear and Clothing

Looking for something that you can wash and wear whenever you step out in the summer? Here is a great collection of tees and pants that will keep you cool and protected through the summer – no matter what the activity.

QUIPCO Ranger Camouflage Trek Pants

The Ranger Camouflage Trek pants are one of a kind. Cotton based, with an elastic waist, they’re purpose made for trekking, hiking, riding or other adventure activities.

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CRAGHOPPERS Nosilife Cargo Trousers

These cargo pants come with permanent insect repellant, as well as NosiLife’s Solar UV Shield, making it the perfect partner on those long treks and rides. They’re available in different sizes as well.

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CRAGHOPPERS Bear Grylls Core Trousers – Men

These men’s trousers are sleek and built for activity. With a multitude of pockets, and adjustable hems, these ultra-lightweight trousers are great for those long treks and hikes. They’re also equally sun and rain repellent – adding to your comfort on the trail.

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CRAGHOPPERS Bear Grylls Trek Long Sleeve Shirt

This tough, long sleeved shirt has a vented back, is sun-protective and comes with stretch panels for perfect trekking comfort.

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KNOX DRY INSIDE – Comfort Fit, Short Sleeve Tee

The Knox base layer tee comes in a comfortable loose fit, and the material is specially designed to wick away sweat from the skin. The short sleeved design is perfect for summer, and the product even promises to keep away odour through its anti-bacterial properties.
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HORIZON Coolmax Hiker Technical Socks

The Horizon Coolmax Hiker Technical Socks series is a must for the warm weather. These not only wick away sweat, but also have built-in ventilation channels that keep your feet cool and comfortable. What’s more, these are soft and have fine seams that prevent blisters from occurring. Designed for hiking and trekking, the socks come with soft grip sections that don’t allow your feet to move within your footwear.

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Caps and Hats

Who doesn’t need a hat or a cap in summer? However, this year, invest in a technical hat or cap that has been specially designed to beat the summer heat and keep your head and neck warm.

QUIPCO Explorer Anti UV Explorer Cap

The explorer cap is perfect for summer. Made from a quick drying, wicking material, it has UPF 50 Anti UV protection across the top, front and on the back flap. What’s extra-cool about the hat is its removable back flap, which converts it into a regular peaked cap for those days when you want the breeze to reach your neck!
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QUIPCO Commuter Anti UV Hat

Looking for a more safari like experience? Try the QuipCo Commuter Anti UV Hat. Soft, comfortable and lightweight, it comes with a wide brim to protect your face from the sun and your eyes from the glare. It also has UV protection over the top, front and back.

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CRAGHOPPERS Nosilife Ultimate Hat

The ultimate hot weather hat, this hat comes with a wide brim, and an all-round face mesh that protects you from roving insects and mosquitoes. The mesh means that this hat’s ventilation is unmatched, and it even has a permanent insect-repellent built in. What’s more, it is lightweight, foldable and easy to pack away.

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CRAGHOPPERS Nosilife Desert Hat

A true adventure hat, this product comes with a UV protection SolarShield technology and permanent insect repellent technology. In addition to the flap that keeps your neck cool, it is lightweight, the peak is foldable and it has a cooling inner headband for those hot, hot days!

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Camping & Outdoors

Summer is a great time to take off on a camping adventure with friends and family. Escape the heat of the city; pitch your tent by the side of a river or on top of a mountain. Enjoy the cool breeze and share stories while the stars come out. But don’t forget to carry these camping staples along.

TRIMM Summer Sleeping Bag

This trim and slim sleeping bag is best used at temperatures above 11°C. What makes it an invaluable camping companion is its volume to weight ratio. It’s great for hiking, trekking and generally for just carrying around!

 

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MOS-QUIT-O  – The repellent blanket

A real find for all those late evening sunsets at a campsite, this mosquito repellent blanket actually comes in 2 sizes! The W.H.O (World Health Organization) standard mosquito repellent property of this blanket makes it an easier, more hygienic, and more environment friendly solution than any cream or spray in the market today. The easy to carry case is also a big plus.
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MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern

This solar lantern beats all the others in that it is inflatable! When deflated, it locks down to a slim profile, making it very easy to carry on a trip.
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ET Stone Solar Charger, Lantern & Torch

Originally a solar power bank, this device puts solar power to good use through the smart integration of a powerful torch and solar lamp. It also comes with standard charging options – great for that overnight camping trip!

 

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Multi-function Tubes and Headwear

These great pieces of versatile head and neckwear keep out the heat and dust very well, making it perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities.

QUIPCO Dune Tubes –

Versatile, lightweight and helmet friendly, the technical Dune tubes are perfect for outdoor activities in the summer. These are available in different styles and colours as well.

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WIND X-TREME Mint Wind Multifunction Headwear

This unique headwear makes life so much better! It releases an aroma of mint, reducing the harsh odours of high summer and pollution.

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Motorcycling Apparel

Motorcycling Apparel protects a rider from the elements. It provides protection from impact and abrasion and keeps the rider safe. An explosive rise in the popularity of motorcycling as a sport in India has meant that a lot of thought is being put to make gear that makes riding in hot and humid Indian conditions as bearable as possible, without compromising on the safety and utilitarian features of the gear.

Mesh Riding Jackets:
Jackets meant for summer are typically made from purpose made mesh fabric, or a mix or poly textile and mesh. These jackets typically include heavy padding on the elbow, spine, and shoulder regions. Ventilation for the torso and protection for the impact areas are the key features of summer riding jackets.

RYNOX Air GT:
The Rynox Air GT comes with Heavy Duty European Standard F2 Mesh with Polyester Frame for strength and durability with two separate detachable liners – Rain Liner and Thermal Liner.

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RYNOX Asphalt: Rynox Asphalt jacket is a dual season mesh protective riding jacket and also comes with Detachable Rain Climate Liner.

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RYNOX Tornado Pro:
Tornado Pro is everything that seasoned riders wants in their summer riding jacket. It comes with KNOX® Protectors and DuPont Cordura® reinforcement at impact zones that provide a rider with un-compromised protection.
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CRAMSTER Breezer 4S: The Cramster Breezer 4S is an all weather riding jacket – designed for all 4 seasons. This jacket comes with Heavy Duty Aramid TechMesh.

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CRAMSTER Breezer – Lady:
Breezer-Lady is redesigned to fit women, with all the features of the original men’s version retained. It is a true all weather 3-in-1 mesh riding jacket with dual detachable multi climate liners, consistent comfort and safety in any climate, specially summer.

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Motorcycle Riding Gloves
Similar to summer riding jacket, summer gloves are typically made of mesh with a combination of poly textile and / or leather. Knuckle and finger protection and palm protection from abrasion are the key features.

CRAMSTER Twister Gloves
:
Twister Gloves  are general purpose gloves suitable for all forms of casual riding. These gloves also have full genuine leather semi gauntlet to cover the jacket cuff. The gloves are long lasting and comfortable.

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RYNOX Rampage Pro:
The Rynox Rampage Pro gloves are meant for daily use. They’re made from a combination of leather and textile. These gloves come with TPU knuckle protector with memory foam insertion with ample air ventilation at fingers and knuckles.

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RYNOX Shield Pro:
A perfect blend of protection and ventilation are the Rynox Shield Pro gloves. The gloves have a leather shell construction with mesh inserts designed to provide optimum air ventilation.

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KNOX Hand Armour Oren (OR 1) Off Road MTB Gloves – 2014:
The Knox Oren Off Road Gloves are MTB gloves. They allow natural heat of the body to escape through the fabric. The gloves flex with the natural movement of the hand and do not restrict body movement.

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Motorcycle Under Shirts and Shorts

Motorcycle under-armour is worn under the outer clothing of the rider, immediately next to the skin. The under-armour is typically made from thin heavily breathable mesh, and is elasticated to flex with body movements.

KNOX Defender Shirt – 2014
:
KNOX Defender Shirt – 2014 is an adventure shirt with a focus on fit and performance. It’s fitted with Knox Extreme Impact Armour for the upper body.

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KNOX Urbane Shirt – 2014:
Designed and manufactured in Britain by Knox, the Urbane Shirt offers comprehensive upper body protection with a classic look. It has amazing ventilation and is perfect for touring in hot climates.

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KNOX Venture Shirt – 2014:
The Knox Venture Shirt is designed so you can wear whatever outer clothing you choose knowing you are protected underneath. It’s a perfect solution to uncomfortable bulky armour in standard motorbike gear. This versatile garment will appeal to commuters.

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KNOX Venture Trooper Top – 2014:
The armour in the Knox Armour Trooper Top is low profile and so comfortable that you can hardly notice it. This under shirt is a technical short sleeve top with the added benefit of impact protection. It is part of the Award Winning bike clothing collection of Knox.

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KNOX Defender Shorts – 2014:
KNOX Defender Shorts are suitable for all types of action sports. These are high performance shorts with fully articulating hip, thigh and coccyx protection. These are designed and manufactured in Britain by Knox, and made from breathable British knitted Meryl Lycra, a superior fabric chosen for its wicking and fast drying properties.

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KNOX Trooper Shorts – 2014: KNOX Trooper Shorts – 2014 allows the body’s natural heat to escape through the fabric. These flex in 2 or more directions and do not restrict body movement.

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KNOX Guerilla Shorts – 2014:
KNOX Guerilla Shorts – 2014 allows the body’s natural heat to escape through the fabric. These have soft waist elastic for a comfortable secure fit.
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Motorcycle Riding Pants
Wearing the right motorcycle gear is essential for a smooth and comfortable ride. Whether a person is a sports enthusiast or a motorcycle commuter, owning quality motorcycle clothing items can make any ride safer and more enjoyable. That’s where motorcycle summer riding pants come in. Purpose built for riding in summer, they’re highly ventilated and duly armoured.

RYNOX Advento Motorcycle Riding Pants:
Rynox Advento Pant is the flagship pant with some exclusive features which make it perfect for all terrains. The pant comes with patented AERO-FLIP mechanism which gives the level of ventilation never seen before. It also allows you to adjust the KNOX leg armor as per your height, comfort and riding posture.
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MOTOTECH Storm Balaclava

This free-size face mask makes riding a breeze in the summer. Its soft cotton material is hard-wearing, washable and completely breathable, making it your best bet for under-the-helmet conditions.

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So go out there and get sunburned, with the assurance that OTG has your back!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
#OTG #OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut

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.
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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.
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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.

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    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.”

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear 3

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.

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear Aquapac 4

 

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.

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear Aquapac 5

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!

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear Gerber 6

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.

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear 7

“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.

Shubham Dharmsktu Cyclist - Outdoor Travel Gear 8

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!”

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com #OutdoorTravelGear #OTGvelo #GetOut #OTGathletes

OTG How to Pack a Backpack_Feature Image

How to pack your Backpack?!

Packing your backpack – How difficult can it be? We’re sure you’re asking yourselves right now whether you really need to know the RIGHT way to pack your backpack!

It IS pretty simple, but there is a technique to it. And once you get it right, you’ll notice the difference immediately!

A properly packed backpack, however heavy, will feel balanced and centered on your back. Nothing should be moving around inside and the weight needs to be evenly distributed.

Ideally, get acquainted with your backpack before leaving from home. Spread out everything you’ll be taking with you, use the right process to pack it and make a check list to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything.

When packing, we recommend using the following process. It is the most logical way to pack your backpack. The process focuses on optimizing the center of gravity of the backpack and ensures access to the most used items from your gear.

START PACKING FROM THE BOTTOM

Least Used Gear

OTG How to Pack a Backpack_Blog_Least Used Gear

Just like a building, a backpack packed with a solid sturdy foundation is a stable one.

Use the bottom of the backpack for gear that you won’t need throughout the day, till the time you camp at night.

Stash your sleeping bag, night clothes right at the bottom. If you’re going to be taking along items like an inflatable pillow, a sleeping bag liner etc., throw in those too at the bottom. If you use a carry mat that rolls up into a tiny shape that can fit into the bottom of your backpack, stuff that inside too.

Any other gear that you will need only after you’ve halted for the night, should go at the bottom, except for your torch or flashlight. Always keep your source of light handy and in a readily accessible place.

PACKING THE CORE

  1. Heavy Items
OTG How to Pack a Backpack_Blog_Heavy Items

So spend some time on this step and get it just right.

Usually, the items you place here will be things like rope, cookware, your food stash.

  1. Lighter Items
How to Pack a Backpack - Lighter Items

Next up, pack lighter and softer items around your heavy gear. This will make sure that the heavy gear is packed tightly and wont tumble around when you’re on the move. Use things like your clothes, jackets, tent body etc. for this purpose.

PACKING THE TOP AND PERIPHERY

Frequently Used Items

OTG How to Pack a Backpack_Blog_Frequently Used Items

Ideally liquids should be packed in external / side pockets to avoid any spills due to pressure of other items around it. If you’re carrying liquid fuel, to avoid a snafu in case of a spill, make sure the lid of the container is tightly secured.

Make use of daisy chains or loops on the exterior of your pack to attach gear that wont fit inside. There might be things like tent poles or carry mats, the dimensions of which are larger than those of your backpack. Take care to secure things tightly so they don’t snag on branches when you’re walking.

PRO TIPS

  • Try using pack dividers or smaller stuff sacks when packing things inside your backpack. This helps in dividing and better organizing your things and makes it easier to load and unload the backpack.
  • When stuffing gear at the bottom, make sure that it doesn’t catch on any aroma from your edibles. Also ensure against oil/liquid seeping into your sleeping bag, clothes etc. Not only will that spoil your gear, but it will also attract animals, insects at night; who’re very sensitive to smells. You don’t want them thinking you’re food!J
  • Always carry a rain cover for your backpack, even when you know it is not going to rain. A rain cover helps to protect the exterior of the backpack from the elements.
  • Know your weight carrying limit before you leave from home and make sure the weight of your backpack is a little lesser than that. If you have to buy some gear, food or other things during your trip, you don’t want your backpack to become heavier than what you can carry.

So that’s it then, the right way to pack your backpack! If you have some tips of your own that you picked up during your travels, then share them with us in the comments below.

Have an awesome adventure out there!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
#OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut #OTGadventure

The amazing Luci Lantern and why every traveler needs to own one (A Luci Lantern Review)

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“Dear Luci,

Thanks for the constant company. And thanks for throwing light on dark situations. Travelling without you would have been tough indeed.

Yours,

The Traveler.”

 

Once you’ve used the Luci lantern for even a single night, you can relate to this Traveler, who so eloquently praises the mighty Luci in his letter from the road. To quote from a cliche, “big things come in small packages”, and this small, inflatable, solar powered LED lantern-slash-task-light from the house of Mpowerd is the perfect example.

It is quite simply the most versatile, maddeningly simple and refreshingly practical accessory for a traveler since the Swiss knife was invented.

The Luci was originally developed as an affordable and reliable lighting solution for those parts of the world that lack the necessary infrastructure, and it is being extensively deployed in the right places for this purpose; for example, Africa. As a matter of fact, every time anybody buys a unit of Luci lantern, the manufacturers donate another unit to the people who need it but can’t buy it.

The features that its developers gave the Luci also make it the perfect must-have accessory for a traveler. It is as light as a feather, waterproof, bright, sturdily built and to top it all off, its inflatable.

Off the shelf, the Luci comes out of its box flat and if you haven’t seen a lit Luci before, it looks quite unimpressive. However, dummy-proof illustrated instructions on the back of the packaging that it comes in succinctly elaborate how to use the Luci. Open the air seal, blow into it a couple of times with your mouth, reseal it and the Luci is ready.

If you still are wondering whether the Luci is really that different from a torchlight or a head mounted lamp, well yes, it is quite different. And better. The torchlight or the headlamp might have the upper hand in one or two specific aspects, but the Luci is the seasoned all rounder and wins by a long mile. Let’s see…

Solar Powered: The Luci is solar powered. It has a small but efficient array of solar cells on the underside, which are chargeable not only in the Sunlight but also in incandescent light. This means that even the lazy traveler can still charge it inside their homes, under the white light of home lighting.

What happens if you charge it and then don’t use it for a while? Well, Luci’s inbuilt battery has a standby duration of 3 months, which means it’ll remain charged even through disuse of 3 months and still work as intended.

Three Modes of Operation: Like everything else about it, the three modes of Luci (dim, bright and emergency flashing) are simple but well thought out and perfectly executed. In the bright mode, and when placed properly, the light from the Luci sufficiently illuminates an area of almost 15 square feet.

When fully charged, the lantern can run for 12 hours in the dim mode and for 6 hours in the bright mode. The next morning, sling it from your backpack or keep it next to the window through the day and it’ll be fully charged long before evening.

Waterproof: Look at it this way, how can it not be waterproof? It’s an airtight plastic bag with solar cells and LEDs in it. When closed tight properly, the Luci is completely waterproof and will float on water. Though this probably doesn’t mean that the lantern is submersible under water for any length of time, it definitely means that you can use it in even heavy rains without a drop of worry.

Durable: Again, it’s a plastic bag with air in it, which means that unless your intended use involves somehow puncturing the Luci with a sharp object, the lantern will last you for a long time. It doesn’t require replacement of batteries, its non-polluting, can be stowed away practically anywhere and is virtually maintenance free. Durability doesn’t get much better than that.

Additionally, the Luci has 2 other clever features that further increase its ease of use.

There is a strip or a handle on either side of the lantern. This makes it very easy to hang it from anywhere or carry it in your hand, as required.

There is a translucent dark film on the top side of the lantern, letting the user stare directly into the lantern from the top without hurting the eyes.

In short, whether you are a camper, a wildlife photographer, a motorcyclist, a family traveler, a backpacker or a traveler of any shape, size or kind; the Luci lantern will be a worthwhile addition to your bag. Don’t leave home without it.

For a more detailed look into the technical specifications of Luci, visit http://goo.gl/odMMeV

Oh yes, lastly, the Luci is a great conversation starter. When your friends see you taking it out of the bag, inflate it and switch it on, it is bound to spark off a series of curios questions that you’ll be only too happy to answer.

Need we say anything more?!

The Luci Lantern is available online at www.OutdoorTravelGear.com and at the Outdoor Travel Gear stores in Mumbai, Goa and Thane.

If you’ve used the Luci on your travels, we’d love to know your experience in the comments below.