Bank holiday weekend & a little short of cash so what better time to set off on a microadventure?
I had grand ideas of biking the South Downs Way but fitness (& cost of transport) was putting me off, deciding instead to bivvy along the banks of the river medway.
Living no more than a 5 minute ride away from the river yet having never camped out on its banks, this microadventure would be a backyard affair but also a first for me. It would also be a first trip out for some of my new Alpkit bikepacking gear, namely the Koala seat bag, the Stem Cell cockpit bag & the Kraku stove.
Bike loaded, I set off out the front door and quickly joined the towpath running the length of the Medway.
Ticking off locks, weirs and little bridges against my map as I rolled along, I soon arrived at my chosen spot and promptly set about putting the Kraku stove through its paces.
This thing is seriously impressive, fits in the palm of my hand (actually two could), weighs just 45g and punches well above its weight – pasta, water (for coffee) and soup were all heated up in quick fashion.
Naturally, being a bank holiday weekend in the UK it rained & as I took shelter under a bridge I instantly regretted not bringing a tarp. Still it’d be a good test of just how waterproof my bivvy bag was!
Despite on and off rain throughout the night my bivvy bag did its job, keeping me dry & snug, the only interruption to sleep being a couple of late night pee breaks, no doubt a consequence of sleeping close to running water!
Awaking to birdsong, the quacking of ducks and a lovely view, I’d have loved to linger & enjoy my surroundings but adhering to the “arrive late, leave early” approach to wild camping, I set off for home after a quick caffeine injection courtesy of the mighty Kraku.
All in I only covered 20 miles, so not much of a test for my bikepacking gear but both the Koala & Stem Cell fitted easily & did what was asked of them.
The Kraku stove certainly did the job and perhaps most importantly of all, despite such short distances covered this trip was a reminder that adventure doesn’t need huge packs, expedition beards & exotic stamps in your passport – it can be found anywhere, even in your back yard.