Thermal mug by lifeventure

Equipment Review – Thermos Mug

Thermal mug by lifeventure

Thermal mug by lifeventure

Very quick equipment review to start the new year, on something I hope will help keep you warm on those cold winter shoots. Thermal mug by Lifeventure, we got ours from Cotwolds outdoor shot http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/lifeventure-thermal-mug-d3432028
A warm drink in a small thermos flask will serve you well to lift your spirits on a cold day and an be used in summer months to keep a drink cold.
These are small enough to fit in the water bottle holder (65 x 65 x 160mm) on our quivers holding 300ml of liquid. There are relatively inexpensive and there are other manufacturers who produce similar products. One thing I would suggest is avoiding those that come with handles as they are a bit harder to carry on a quiver belt.
We’ve been using these for a few years and found they have worked well for us and keep the drink hot for a few hours about 3-4 hours. In fact I use one for travelling into work and found it good for keeping the coffee warm while waiting on the train station.
Thermos mug

Thermos mug seal

They are pretty robust which is good as I’ve dropped the one I use foe work more than once and have a sizeable dent in the bottom, but still works. The are  made of stainless steel and of course have an insulated wall, being pretty watertight with a seal on the lid.
 I tend to have a flask with hot fruit cordial on my belt and a larger flask of spicy soup in the car when it is really cold. The advantage of having a fruit cordial is if it goes cold its still drinkable unlike cold coffee or tea.
Overall 7/10 would be good if they could keep content warm for longer but still not bad for the money. For some more advice on staying warm in the winter have a read of my earlier post here.
Thanks for reading.

Equipment review – Walking boot review

Being a field archer means you are on your feet a lot, normally from 9 am in the morning when you get to the shoot grounds until 5 pm as you are leaving. You’ll be walking across mixed terain often including swamps,  streams,  rivers and steep hills.
This makes decent shoes or boots a must.
Sadly my old walking boots were approaching the point where they are promoted to gardening use only  (they had lasted 10 years of abuse so retirement is only fair). Though the soles and tred was still good on the old boots the heels collapsing and the rubber seals were cracked and torn. Still not bad for a decade of abuse.

Old walking boot

Old walking boot

So it was time for a new pair.
I didn’t want a leather pair and was wondering about a three sessions boot with a softer sole for better grip.

Local to us is a Cotswolds outdoor shop and I paid them a visit to see what they had to offer. I  was helped by a very patient and knowledgeable young sales assistant who took the time to accurately measure my feet and then suggest manufacturers that would be best suited to the shape and movement of my foot. I must admit to being very impressed by the quality of service and knowledge of the young lady on both the boot fitting process but also the differences in manufactures. It transpired that she was a very keen hiker and knew first hand the importance of decent boots. Top marks.
So I  ended up by in a pair of Salomon boots (Salomon quest 4d 2 gtx) which weren’t the cheapest option but felt the most comfortable at least in the shop offering support for the arches.

Salomon quest 4d 2 gtx

Salomon quest 4d 2 gtx

Having worn them round the house and a couple of time out and about, their real baptism of fire would be the USA road trip which would see them used in city walks and hikes up and round the Yosemite national park and Lake Tahoe trials.
Here are a few things I have noticed

  1. They are more snug fitting than my old boots and this means greater support. The best description I can give was when going from my old ski boots to new custom fit ones.
  2. No need for thick walking socks
  3. Good grip in wet conditions. There was a huge thunderstorm when hiking down the from the Upper Yosemite falls trail and in the 2-3 hours hike down they slipped on the loose grit and stones only a couple of times.
  4. Not ideal for summer and very warm weather as they are a bit too warm.
I  must say I have been really impressed by them. Obviously they wouldn’t be ideal for all people subject to their foot shape etc but so far so good.
Thanks for reading.