Adventure Bear

We have a new member of the Escape route team

Yarg The Adventure Bear

Meet Yarg the Adventure Bear, named after the Cornish Cheese that is wrapped in Stinging nettles. Yarg is Gray spelt backwards named after the Gray family of Cheesemakers that devised the Cornish cheese.

Yarg the bear is totally hand made and I expect most of my vast readership will think that he was created by the Extreme knitter, but no.

Move over Extreme knitter and make way for the Wild Bear maker, yes me. You didn’t see that coming did you.

Ok, I did get a lot of sewing advice from the Extreme Knitter.

He is a little rough and ready around the edges, but not to bad for my first attempt.

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Candle Power

The Extreme knitter gave me a candle lantern for Christmas.
Not just any old lantern, but a UCO camping lantern, complete with three candles each with a nine hour burning time.
Sitting below the wind out awning of the camper van at night, sipping a Bacardi & coke, Rhubarb & Ginger Gin or a beer under the warm glow of candle light is going to be bliss.

The Extreme knitter received a gift this Christmas that was obviously labelled incorrectly and must have been intended for me.
A white ceramic survival stove fuelled by a tea light candle.
Although the portions that I cooked were very small and I needed to eat each ingredient of the meal individually while I cooked the next one. It was surprisingly good.
It works at maximum efficiency with two tea lights.
The flowery box it came in contained some smelly wax type substance, which was probably just packaging, so I threw that away.

Bacon sizzling away

Baked beans simmering away and bread being toasted at the same time. Thats multi-tasking.

A mince pie that I managed to bake.

And at last after a lot of practice a complete meal produced on the survival stove.

This is definitely my go to stove if ever I get lost in the wilderness. I shall have to mention it to Ray Mears when I see him next. Not that Ive ever met Ray Mears, but if I did, I would certainly mention it.

For some reason the Extreme knitter wasnt happy with me commandeering her prezzy, ranting on about oil burners and wax melts for air freshening or something like that.

She was just the same when I used her black pencil for my colouring in book. How was I supposed to know it was for use on her eyebrows.

Lenser. Let there be Light

I rarely review equipment, but when a product excels my expectations I need to pass it on.

I had been using my LED Lenser P7 torch and a Lenser P3 in the course of my work to carry out safety inspections on machinery for many years. Perfect to illuminate those dark recesses.

When I saw a new Lenser P7 in a sale I purchased it and put my original work P7 torch in our campervan.

It has always been a reliable torch and when you run a 22year old campervan it is invaluable especially when trying to keep the old girl mobile.

Recently it had started to flicker, so I opened it up and a battery had leaked, causing corrosion on the terminals. These torches aren’t your usual throw away items. They are built to last, so much so that a quick look on the Lenser website showed that they offer a 5 year warranty with all new products.

That shows confidence in their products.

For obvious reasons an old leaking battery isn’t a warranty claim. I really should have changed them before it got to that state.

In this throw away society I can’t get out of the idea that if a quality product is manufactured, it can be repaired if parts are available and I begrudge throwing anything away.

I had the opportunity to experience the Lenser after sales service. After a quick e mail to them asking if replacements for my corroded parts were available, they sorted out my problem without a quibble that day.

If you want light use a Lenser. Well worth the long life investment.

Lenser website

Lenser Sales website

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Adventure Overland show and Campervan show

Next April just got better, after the announcement of an extra campervan show along with the Adventure Overland Show at Stratford on Avon Racecourse. The whole event is supported by The Overland Journal.

Overland Journal

Adventure Overland show

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Announcing the launch of the INTERNATIONAL CAMPERVAN SHOW [ICS].

Covering mostly two-wheel-drive vehicles, the INTERNATIONAL CAMPERVAN SHOW is the sister event to the twice yearly ADVENTURE OVERLAND SHOW [AOS]. Now into it’s 8th year, AOS held at Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse has Spring & Late Summer editions.

The inaugural INTERNATIONAL CAMPERVAN SHOW will take place at the same Racecourse venue directly alongside the Spring edition of AOS … that’s 27-28 April 2019.

The result of this expansion means that visitors booking either show – AOS or ICS – will have unlimited access to both shows … basically that’s “two shows for the price of one”!!!

In conjunction with the world renowned adventure travel magazine ‘Overland Journal’, the INTERNATIONAL CAMPERVAN SHOW is a major festival of all things related to two-wheel-drive campers and “homes on the move”.

Much like the AOS, the INTERNATIONAL CAMPERVAN SHOW will span professionally-built ready-made motor caravans, companies specialising in build to order van-to-campervan conversions or simply ideas for your next self-build project.

Whether your preference is 4×2 or 4×4, the event now covers all types of overland vehicle!

INTERNATIONAL CAMPERVAN SHOW

On Top of the World

The wind and rain had died away in the morning and what a view to greet us.

It doesn’t get any better than this. Well, I suppose it does, but not at that particular moment.

Our Overnight Spot

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As always when we are on tour our morning starts get later and later. On to the A68 and heading to Bishops Auckland, in particular the local Morrison’s . We needed fuel, Propane gas and the use of their facilities. After getting lost in the one way streets of Bishops Auckland I eventually found a Calor Gas depot  behind Morrisons to get a replacement bottle of gas.

After our fourth night in a row of staying off grid we were starting to stink. It was becoming obvious that the Extreme Knitter was getting tired of washing with wet wipes and a flannel and my suggestion of a hospital type bed bath didn’t go down well.

Ohh er Matron !

“We’ll not have any of that malarkey ” she said.

With a swarm of flies following us down the road we headed in a sea ward direction.

We found a campsite just south of Whitby near to Robin Hood bay and booked ourselves in for three nights. The showers were clean and hot. It’s amazing how hot water can make you feel invigorated

I looked at a map in the evening and realised how close we had been to ” High Force Waterfall” the previous night. I could kick myself for not visiting. I really must start looking in more detail when doing my research.

 

 

 

 

We hit the Wall

Morrisons at Hawick was our first port of call in the morning to use their facilities yet again. I like to think of Morrisons as our version of Walmart in the USA, although they don’t let us stop over in their car parks as Walmart do.

I had a plan. not a good one, but a plan all the same.

We needed to be beside the seaside and on our way we stumbled across Hadrians Wall.

Hadrians Wall

A section of Hadrians wall at Cawfield

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Apparently Hadrians wall took six years to build. I imagined that after 2 years Mrs Hadrian was losing her patience with him taking so long on his DIY project

“Hadrian”.  “you had better get that back wall finished before my mother visits”.

I set the Sat nav for a seaside destination and followed the back roads that she suggested. (yes, I do call my Sat nav a “she”) which isn’t normally a good thing, but this time she surprised us with a fabulous trip. It was obvious we weren’t going to reach the seaside before nightfall, so we scouted around for somewhere to pull over for the evening. After inspecting many places that neither of us could agree on, we eventually found a large parking area at one of the highest point of the North Pennines called Killhope Cross on the A689

Killhope Cross

We parked up just as the sun was setting. The beauty of places like this is the dark sky. As night fell it was pitch black and the cloud less sky was awash with stars.

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The only thing the extreme knitter was concerned about was that the strong wind might blow us over.

About 10 pm the gas ran out, so in the pitch black with the rain and wind lashing down on me, I ventured outside the camper van to swop over to the spare gas bottle.

Why doesn’t the Gas ever run out during the daytime.

 

 

Adventure Overland Show Sept 2018

Saturday morning and I’m making my annual trip to the Adventure Overland Show at Stratford on Avon racecourse.

Adventure Overland Show

The weather forecast wasn’t good, predicting rain at 4 pm. Well they lied, it rained at 12 pm. In typical British spirit, a drop of rain wasn’t going to put me off, especially as I paid an entrance fee.

I find it difficult to judge whether the show is bigger or busier than the previous show as the layout varies each year.

It’s always a good show with a laidback feel and some interesting characters. I must admit after a long conversation with an overland travel writer he showed me places off the beaten track in Spain that were stunning and accessible in our campervan.

There is always something in the car park that catches the eye and this VW T4 Doka certainly did.

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I managed to meet up with fellow blogger Mike Brailey the director and editor of the Overland Journal European issue.

Overland Rover

Overland Journal

Overland Portal

The Overland Journal is a massively popular publication in the States and finally the UK has its own edition published 5 times a year and edited by Mike.

It’s easy to think of it as just another magazine, but it is a journal in the truest sense, imagine an oversized paperback book and you would be nearer the mark.

It’s not all about size though; the content gives a fascinating insight into travelling the world by various means of transport with superb photographs.

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The Overland Journal Landrover

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I’m a glutten for teardrop trailers and this example made by Boondock Trailers was perfect. Comfortable and rugged.

Boondock

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The Mercedes Sprinter 4 x 4 van has really taken off here and in the States as the must have campervan.

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This Ford Transit by Lifes Adventure Overland had the best Raptor paint finish I ever seen and their bespoke fabrications were top quality.

Lifes Adventure Overland

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Gull wing side door, a powerful BMW engine and large split rim wheels make this Renault Traffic van a jaw dropper

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Unimogs galore this year

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The Camper Van Culture Managon

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And finally the arse end of the post A bumper dumper and a rifle case, just what every camper needs.

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