Last year, I had noticed that the adhesive seam tape used by the manufacturerto seal the seams of my tent’s fly was degrading and flaking off. I resealed the seams with a product that smells like plastic model cement and sticks to skin like crazy glue.
I have used a Therm-a-Rest “Original” or Classic mattress since the 1980’s. For front country camping I have also used it with a second mattress a closed cell pad – an old blue Airolite by “World Famous” sold by United Army Surplus in Winnipeg. Like a yoga mat but thicker. This kind of mattress is still on market. I tried a Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest (the model that MEC was carrying last year), and found it to be thin and uncomfortable – an slippery to that I was sliding downhill when my tent was pitched on uneven ground.
The inflatable air mattress is back with products including Therm-a-Rest’s BaseCampAF and NeoAir Camper and others, Eureka, Big Agnes and house brands. An electric pump that runs off automobile current is good for front country camping (a battery powered electric is an option for backcountry but that gadget may not be worth its weight requirements). Inflating a mattress to the point that it is bouncy is not necessary. A mattress should be firm enough to keep objects under the tent from being noticeable, but soft enough to settle in. So, a new mattress was in order.
I have a Primus Omnifuel, a pressurize burner stove that burns white gas (“coleman” fuel) and special mixed gases in pressure cans. It is light, but needs to be managed carefully. The Wikipedia on portable stoves goes into the history of the gadget. The original Primus was a burner attached to fuel source. In the US, Coleman made stove like that too. The military version was the G.I. Pocket Stove. It was a standard design, before MSR and others introduced pressured burner stoves with the fuel bottle separate from the burner. There are modern pressurized cartridge stoves made up of a burner that screws directly on the pressurized cannister.
The standard camp stove for front country camping was the two burner Coleman that used white gas. There are still several white gas lanterns and stoves on the market. The 1 pound stubby Coleman propane cylinder has become common as a power source for lanterns and stoves by Coleman and others. The cylinders are two heavy for back packing but can be used if there is space and a way of transporting them – such as a car for front country camping. The small cylinders are not refillable and should not thrown into garbage or left laying around. I find that they are not stable. I had a Coleman product made up of base ring to held a propane cylinder, and a burner that screwed directly on the propane cylinder. The gas cylinders have a dimpled metal base and plastic rings glued to the dimples. Shoving that into the stove base does not create a safe connection. The cylinder would not line up, or the glue bond would fail. Putting a pot or kettle on a heavy metal burner on top of the cylinder puts the center of mass high. And the burner had no wind screen. I decided to get a two burner – flat, stable, with a lid that tips up and create a wind screen.
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