Archive | July 2013

My kitchen for 14 months… MSR Dragonfly

2013-07-20 21.54.10

Here it is. I all it’s glory.

A lot if research whent into it. And to me the Choice was easy.  The Kitchen for my 14 month long trip around the world will be the MSR Dragonfly.

Weight, ease of maintenance and the ability to burn several different types of fuel made it the logical choice for a trip to places only a very few people are stupid enough to go of their own free will.

Check out the vid made by MSR here

The ability to burn diesel, gasoline, kerosine and white gas makes it a safe bet.
I suspect it works out ok with fermented goatsmilk as well.

I tested this puppy resently. On a family boat trip I was lucky enough that the onboard gas reservoar was nearly depleted. GREAT! A legit chance to test my new and barely opened MSR Dragonfly kit 🙂

The youtupe vid above makes it seem very simple.
How hard can it be to ignite gasoline in mistform right? Hard. Almost impossible. Really? Gasoline in mistform?
There was a lot of cursing, not to loud ’cause of the kids near by, and grinding of teeth.

Then after revisiting the cursed user manual, I discover a few things about valves and the direction the pump inside the multi fuel bottle needs to face..

But as all these ducks came in a row, the gasolinefueled fire roard heartily.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88-RdWnNT0

Tested twice and put back in storage for the Shakedown trip and later the real deal in july 2015.

MSR Mutha Hubba. The tent, bought and tested..

Those of you who have read some of my research know I have looked at quite a few tents.

Factors where as follows but not in any spesific order..

  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Price
  • Ventilation
  • Space
  • Pack size

After much pondering I ended up choosing the MSR Mutha Hubba, a 3 man, 3 season tent. In adition I also got the MSR Hubba Gear Shed, and extension for storage space. Yes it is a lot of space but it is also a 14 month trip. With many many nights in a tent.Comfort matters. A lot.

Arguably there are other tents out there that will score better on one or many of the key factors I was looking for, but overall the choice where made without any doubt.

I wanted a tent that could be pitched without the rain-fly cover, with only bug protection and a lot of ventilation. Also I am a fairly tall guy at 189 cm and some change, so I needed a tent that allowed me to sit upright properly. Ease of pitching is also important if your doing it 4 or 5 out of every 6 nights. And a good vestibule option for sorting out stuff and/or drying clothes on the road.

MSR Mutha Hubba

So far I’m very happy with the choice. The only thing I am not 100% happy about is that the Gear Shed does not fit the 3 man tent Mutha Hubba as well as I assume it does the Hubba Hubba, the 2 man version. It works, and with some adjustments to the straps I’m confident that there will be no problem. But I always like it to be ready out of the box when the salespitch indicates it will..

Anyway. See below for the test-pitching of my home / office for 14 months on the road. I’m only sad I can’t go right now. Still gotta wait on visas to Russia and Mongolia, and seasons (I wanna get 3 summer seasons, not 3 winters..).

354 days to go..

 

First curious setup of inner tent and poles.

First curious setup of inner tent and poles.

 

 

Yay! Bug net / inner tent setup in 2 chakes :-)

Yay! Bug net / inner tent setup in 2 chakes 🙂

 

2013-07-10 12.59.54 2013-07-10 12.41.42

Fly sheet setup complete. Not bad. Not bad at all :-)

Fly sheet setup complete. Not bad. Not bad at all 🙂

My son, the Labrador Leo. Carefully following my lumbering from the cool shade...

My son, the Labrador Leo. Carefully following my lumbering from the cool shade…

 

The Gear Shed. Not a Perfect fit, bus some minor alterations and we're golden. Good thing it can easily be added when there is need, but can just as easily stay in the bag.

The Gear Shed. Not a Perfect fit, bus some minor alterations and we’re golden. Good thing it can easily be added when there is need, but can just as easily stay in the bag.

 

 

 

Rural Internet connection

So, 2 weeks at the cabin. The internet connection is not great.

Which is good for rekaxing. And for reserching how internet-usage on the big trip will be like. Slow, that is..

I did manage to get an order through for Mudslings from http://www.nippynorman.com

Will deal with all the rest once we gwt back to our urban hideout.

Must say, I do love it at the cabin! Thanx to my girls mom for letting us stay here for two weeks! Think I may move here and have the postal guys bring me my snailmail here in stead 😉

The mother of all shopping lists..

Research, research, research. And the mother of all shopping lists…

The last 2 weeks I’ve spent with my girl at her mom’s cabin. Great place and a lot of free time to research trip routes and the enormous list of things neede to make the bike adventure worthy. Everything from crashbars to paniers to gps to ridinggear..

Tomorrow is the day when I order a Mudsling from http://www.nippynorman.com, adventure crashbars from http://www.wunderlich.com, skidplate from http://www.motooverland.com. In addition I’m sending a list to Touratech Nordic to get a quote. There’s so much stuff i want/need from these guys that they hopefully will give me a proper discount…

We’ll see.

Can’t wait to upgrade the bike 🙂

I’ll post before and after picks when it’s all said and done..

Time flies – a 6 week recap..

Time passed since my last confession is nigh unforgivable. So much has happened since may 23rd! 

2 day offroad cource – Greatness!
The third weekend of May I took the trip to Säfsen in Sweeden to have a go at Touratech’s OffroadSchool. Their Basic cource was to be a friday-saturday thing. I was planning to go there on my new ride, but bike delivery got delayed. So some quick reorganizing and I flew to Oslo and picked up a Rental there for the 3 hour drive into Sweeden. (On a side noet; the rental company, Europecar, upgraded my chosen GOLF to a brand new BMW 316. VERY good start on what was to be a great weekend)

I concider my self a fairly skilled rider, on tarmac. But this class would focus on gravel and offroad driving. Previous to this class I had the total of 10 meters experiance on gravel. (5 meters going in on a dirt road with a Fazer, then rethinking the stupidity of my mini adventure, and 5 meters out again..). Given my previous experience I was more than a little apprehensive. Adding that I crashed and completely destroyed my trusy Yamaha Fazer FZ6 in november (check out the disaster-post here) I was somewhat less confident than I would prefer.

The basic class was awsome. And also on a Toouratech rented BMW F800GS, som I would get to play with the same bike I was waiting for back home 🙂

The first 100 meters on gravel just as a means of transportation from the Säfsen Resort Hotel and to the training ground was not fun. I felt the bike was splashing all over the place in this very hostile new environment. But we emediately starting training on some very basic driving skills and soon enough I started to enjoy the feel of control and could play around more and more. Each day was ended with everyone taking a drive on the gravel roads in the lokal area guided by one of the instructor from the OffroadSchool. Awsomeness! From freaking out (very discretely in my helmet,- noon needed to know at that point) that same morning at the first sight of gravel, to enjoying a gravel backroads trip riding standing up for about an hour.. And then the next day doing it all over again.

Stuff that was covered was roughly as follows (all based on riding standing up)

  • Basic balance techniques
  • Turning on gravel
  • Various cone-slalom drills
  • Enclosed 180 deg. turn
  • Enclosed 360 deg. turn
  • Enclosed figure 8 turn
  • Breaking with and without ABS
  • Hill ascent (40 deg elevation!)
  • Hill decent (40 deg elevation!)
  • Water crossing
  • Different ways to pick up the bike without breaking bike or rider…

I already look forward to the advanced cource next spring..

Bikes delivered
After I got home the bikes where delivered. Very happy!
Wait! Bikes??!? But you only need one right?
Yes, I do only need one. But my girlfriend got one as well. Same make and model and colour (will upload picktures here, I promise..).
Wait! Girlfriend??!? But you said “bla bla driving all by my lonesome..” You where very spesific…
Yes, girlfriend, yes I know what I said, but sometimes theres just not enough reason to go around, and so life change.. But don’t worry, the grand trip is still happening.

Apartment sold, Appartment bought
Also, during the last year I’ve been planning and dreaming of the grand trip, and a major milestone has been selling my old apartment. very big and very costly, and all my funds where tied up in it.
I have done a fair bit of remodeling, especially the kitchen that got a new everything. And soon after putting the apartment on the market, it was sold for more than asking price! Now, the remodeling, I put hundreds of hours in it. And I had help from family and then friend, later girlfriend (who says that remodeling will break a couple up??) and I was very pleased with the result.
My former neighbor now tells me that the new owner is tearing out everything to do it again her own way… Ironic, perhaps, but I have to look at it in terms of job done and paid for..

Apartment bought?
Well, the afore mentioned girlfriend and I bought a large walk-in-closet about a third of the size of my old apartment. I like it, I love that I don’t have to rent, and it’s very close to everything. In fact it’s so close to work that these days I’m always late..

Still waiting to buy that one piece of furniture that we have room for. Its a draw between a lamp and a chair.

But, the bikes (yes, plural) stay side by side in an in door garage parking space. About half the size of the afore mentioned walk in closet. But not to worry,- the parking area already have a lamp. And considering it is much cheaper, I finally can free up capital ang get proper momentum on the preparations of my project, not only in theory, but real physical momentum. 🙂

Life is good, enjoy it while it’s there 🙂