All posts by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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Nemo Apollo 3 – really a 3 man tent?

I this video I setup and show off the Nemo Apollo 3 – advertised as a 3 man tent.. but is it really?

 

What is the Apollo 3:

The Nemo Apollo 3 is advertised as a three man, lightweight backpacking shelter. It is in fact a more or less pyramid tent that is complete with tent pegs and center pole. A great value for money, but is it any good?

Weight:

595grams without center pole, 704grams with.

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Nemo Hornet 2 – gear demonstration

Okej, very excited here as a finally got home the Nemo hornet 2 as well as the Apollo 3. Two ultralight tents. To be honest, I was mainly looking forward to the nemo hornet 2 as I have been longing for an easy to setup tent with a large net innertent – that can easily be used separately from the fly. In this video I demo the Hornet 2, set it up, play in it and show it’s size the best I can.

 

About the Nemo hornet 2:

The Hornet is Nemos lightweight tent series designed for trails like the APT or CDT in the Usa. Basically long walks in varying climates. The tent can easily be setup semi-free standing. You can make it work with rocks if needed.

Weight:

The Nemo Hornet 2 weighs just 910 grams complete with tent pegs, seam sealed and tent pole. In otherwise, a fairly light tent for one person, and superlight for two.

Use: 

I would use this for just about any trip I would like to go on. I will debate bringing it along on the TGO Challenge. It’s large for one person, big vestibules, double entry and exits as well as removable fly make this an excellent choice.

 

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This tent can be bought in europe: at https://backpackinglight.dk/tents/2-person-tents/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-backpacking-tent

Or in Sweden: https://backpackinglight.se/talt/2-personstalt/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-backpacking-tent

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DJI Spark – A video review of the ultimate backpacking drone

don’t be that guy, you know the one I’m talking about.. The ass that sits at his computer and bitches about drones. Don’t do it, drones exist, except it, have fun and enjoy life! With that said, don’t be the ass that flies drones over peoples heads, or chases bikini clad girls on the beach. Be respectful.

Now, with that out of the way, here is my review of the DJI Spark drone. I bought this drone in earlier in the year when it was first released here in Sweden. Stupid as I am I couldn’t wait for the fly more package and instead bought everything separate – what is now around 500usd, cost me roughly 1000usd or more.

 

Weight: 302 grams for drone and battery

Total weight for complete kit: 903grams for drone, two extra batteries, case and controller

Flight time: 12-13 minutes (actual flight time)

Camera: 1080p HD

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My return to the USA – culture shock and family reunion

Spent this last Christmas and new year with my brother and his family in Ozark, Alabama – together with our parents.. This is the first time we have all come together an had Christmas together, and the first time in 20 or so years since my parents, my brother and myself have spent Christmas together. Anyway, I had a great time, and as always I have mixed emotions about my homeland: I love the fact that parking is free in a lot of places, public toilets are generally everywhere and not to mention a lot of great places to eat and shop. I am however heart broken about many things, signs of a fallen nation just waiting to crumble, a populace that willingly accepts it’s dumbing down by a broken news media and a willful ignorance to find out the truth. George Orwell once coined the term “double think” – Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. This couldn’t be more true when talking about politics with people.

There is another term that unfortunately is lost on me now, but the idea is that it takes an incredible amount of intelligence to realize you don’t understand something. Often, the least understanding individuals are the ones that will argue loudest for the ideas or concepts they don’t understand – and not realize they don’t understand.  I find this prevalent beyond belief, not only doublethink and the willful ignorance associated with that, but also the complete lack of understanding for general ideas – which often leads to pointless discussion on subjects that I may have studied for years and have a general understanding of, and find myself in the middle of discussion with people who obviously have no clue. Simple facts that are easy to prove or disapprove are simply ignored, often ideas of conspiracy are preferred over simple explanations; in the world of modern USA 2+2 does not equal 4. 2+2 is equal to whatever and whomever decides to argue the loudest.

Ideas that once could be expressed and a discussion could take place existed in a not too distant past, today I can be called a nazi and a snowflake in the same discussion with no thought or mental process from the accuser being apparent. Names and terms have become a kind of acceptable replacement for rational thought and discussion. I think these terms are crutches for the conversational cripple and it says more about the accuser than the accused.

In discussions people will simply refer me to look up the “facts” on Alternet, PragerU or Breitbart, Alex jones, or whatever Trump decides to vomit up as his latest wisdom. (disclaimer: I’m not generally for or against Trump. If he does something good I acknowledge it, if he does something shitty, I say it.) I was left with the feeling that there is no going back, when simple conventions and truths that society are built on are simply ignored, it creates an unnatural conflict, an unwillingness to change and learn. The radicalism that I have simply seen online was put on display in so many ways. I don’t just mean left wing radicalism, but also right wing. It’s all there, it’s not only online, it’s right there, just beneath the surface in everyday situations with real people.

Simply put, I believe it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better – and there is no guarantee that it will get better. 

With that said, in general I love the people, the workers the survivors: because if nothing else can be said about the USA, one thing is certain, Americans are survivors. Life is not easy in the USA, the reality of working two full time jobs and still not make ends meet, is very real, and you see it everywhere. I sat down with my family to eat at Wendys, my son started playing with another kid who I thought was sitting with his family, then his “family” left him there, alone. Well, turns out his mother was working, at Wendys. These are the people the media likes to call “welfare queens”. Working their asses off, surviving, hustling and just trying to get by.

 

Video filmed on DJI Spark drone and Olympus OMD EM5 II

In any case, I have put together a few pictures and so far one video here from my trip to Ozark, Alabama and a couple days along the Florida coast in Panama city and Pensicola.

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Sarek national park 2017 part 3

The journey continues! I setup camp in Snavvavagge and in this video I make the trek down into Rapadalen and end the night near Aktse cottage after an incredible walk along Rapadalen and ride a boat in Rapadalen with the incredible beauty of Nammatj beckoning adventurers into the vastness that is Sarek.

I look at these videos, and I can’t help but be inspired, certainly not by the videos, but by the journey itself, the memories of it all.

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Sarek national park in Video part 1

So I finally got around to editing some of my Sarek video from july, I’m not really sure the direction I want to take the films.. should they be long, with long melodic segments of nature and so on, or do I cut it down like I did here to show what I want to show then move on? It’s one of those issues I have with video really.. What is it I want to show? Do I talk, do I not talk? Let me know what you think and I will keep it in mind for the next videos.

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Gear review: Cumulus panyam 600 sleeping bag video review

Make a lovely trip out during the weekend and made time to finally review the Cumulus panyam 600 sleeping bag. In this video I discuss the panyam make, size and weight as well as my ideal uses for the bag.

 

 

About the Cumulus Panyam 600 sleeping bag:

The Panyam series bags from Cumulus are lightweight, high quality bags that start the Cumulus winter series bags. The Panyam 600 is 850 down quality, -6 bag that weighs in at under 1kilo. These bags are built to the highest standard and the baffles are sewn with trapezoid style baffles.

Trapezoid Construction:

The use of the trapezoid design in the Panyam means that with a comparable weight of down, the trapezoid is a more advanced design than the box structure, because there is less likelihood of “cold spots” than with “H” chambers.

Weight and temperature ratings:

The Cumulus Panyam 600 weighs in at just 1kilo for the standard size. This is good enough for users up to 190cm according to Cumulus. I would say however that the standard size might be a big short for a 190cm user – I am 190 and find my feet hit the end of the bag and the shoulder draw cord doesn’t completely close around my shoulders. Simply put, I am too tall for this bag. I would say a more proper sizing would be 188cm or less for the standard bag.

The Panyam 600 is rated with a comfort temp of -6 celcius and a limit of -13. This is a fairly accurate rating in my tests, and I would even say it’s a bit on the safe side. I found it to be considerably warmer than the rating lets on.

Quality:

My overall take on the Panyam 600 and all cumulus bags are that they are high quality bags selling at a low quality price. Which of course is awesome for most shoppers, however, many people still base “quality” on price and “brand”. But as many more small local cottage companies come along, I think this stereotype is starting to vanish. The panyam 600 and the panyam 450 are some of the best quality bags available at the 850 down range, and definitely the cheapest at that quality.

Winter layering:

An ancient indian technique (talking out my ass here) for maximizing warmth in the winter is to layer bags. The Cumulus panyam 600 is a great first layer for deep winter, and layered with a synthetic quilt on top, say an As tucas sestrals blanket apex 167, could easily push your winter kit to -30 celcius. At minimal weight.

Conclusion: 

Watch the video.. But in all seriousness, if you are looking for a high quality winter down sleeping bag that packs down tightly and has minimal weight and cost; You don’t need to look any further than the Cumulus panyam 600.

 

Where to buy:

In Sweden: https://backpackinglight.se/sova/sovsack/vinter/cumulus-panjam-600

Throughout Europe: https://backpackinglight.dk/sleeping/sleeping-bags/winter/cumulus-panjam-600

 

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Working hard on video…

I know it seems that I am rather unengaged with ultralight and comfortable as of late.. as far as writing goes I am, too many projects at the moment 🙂 I am however very engaged at backpackinglight.dk where I even send out a newsletter now and than. I also have been working tirelessly on video as of late as I like the format for reviews and showing off gear. It’s funner to play with gear, test it and show it off on video than taking pictures and writing reviews.

With that said I have put up about 40 videos in the last couple of weeks all gear related. Still finding my style and quality in the videos, but I think the project is heading in the right direction. Let me know what you think! Also if there is any gear you would like me to do a demonstration of, let me know as well!

https://www.youtube.com/ultralightandcomfortable

A demo video as well: