Archive for January, 2013

And We’re Off!

Posted: January 25, 2013 by geeza11 in Uncategorized

Welcome back readers to our pre flight entertainment:

With packing going on late into the night on Thursday and a million items on the floor (from spark plugs to jars of Vegemite and of course our dog – though he was most definitely not getting a lift in my warm sleeping bag) we were beginning to panic that it would never all fit into our limited luggage and that somehow we would get to Siberia and have only thongs and a t-shirt because the dog ate the rest. But alas after much shoving, cussing and some sore fingers we managed to fit two sleeping bags, 2 ice fishing suits, heaps of freeze dried meals and sleeping bag liners into a somewhat small duffel bag. Talk about putting all your eggs in a basket, well at least there will be some warm baggage handlers if it does get lost! Our own personal bags did go rather smoothly and we managed to fit everything in with space to spare, however not without one slightly humourous story:

We had bought a tent just after Christmas from the quality stock at Ray’s Outdoors – where cold is determined by the taste of a beer and not by the seconds in which boiling water freezes. However we assumed that with super warm sleeping bags and mats that a tent would be nothing other than stopping snow getting up in yo grillz. So we grabbed the least expensive one there and with an arrogant air of YOLO purchased it. But luckily some weeks later, we had a bright idea of actually testing the tent out before taking it on a treacherous trip with bears/wolves etc and to our surprise we didn’t actually fit inside. If you could imagine a Chiko roll protruding out of the package and apply that to Patrick in the tent then you have a good idea of what happened. Lets just say it would have been “cosy”. So we’ve left that at home and are now hoping to buy one in Helsinki.

We managed to have an uneventful and rather unstressful drive to the airport, and thanks to the very kind lady from QANTAS secured some incredibly spacious exit row seats much to the envy of the passengers behind us! Her initial sassiness was quickly overcome.

Well the boarding call has just been made for our flight to Singapore and then to Helsinki so our trip is well on its way. With that in mind we would like to thank everyone for their support so far and we are very grateful for all the donations made.

Once again enjoy the warmth and next stop Helsinki!

Guy and Patrick

We did this after the seatbelt sign went on #badass

Selfies on the plane!

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Snowpocalypse: Russia

Posted: January 22, 2013 by blinkenzomg in Uncategorized

I really just wanted to share this link: http://rt.com/news/winter-snow-russia-weather-275/. It seems there’s been a bit of snow in Russia – nothing a trusty Ural motorbike couldn’t handle though I reckon.

Edit: “The polar circle city of Norilsk [about 500km east of Salekhard, where we will be riding] has seen snowfall build to a height of more than 10 feet, and entire apartment blocks have been barricaded by snow overnight, requiring city workers to dig passageways through the snow banks.

Meanwhile, icicles up to three feet in length have formed off every building ledge, breaking at random and causing a lethal hazard for pedestrians below.”

http://iceagenow.info/2013/01/unrelenting-snowfalls-unprecedented-travel-chaos-russia-photos/

Tsardines in the News!

Posted: January 18, 2013 by geeza11 in Uncategorized

With the date of departure arriving at a somewhat frightening pace heaps of things have been happening recently! Here’s us in the Post looking great in front of our incredibly clean garage:

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 6.13.28 PM

We also managed to get a Sat Phone for when we are in a spot of trouble far from nowhere!

 

We’ll keep you Posted!

Guy

Wolves, Wolves, Wolves and More Wolves

Posted: January 14, 2013 by geeza11 in Uncategorized

So I have been watching the news and weather recently, as you do before planning a large trip, and I came across something rather interesting.

No there isn’t an influx of dead iguana’s due to malnutrition, nor is there an immediate shortage of motorcycles, apparently Russia has declared a state of emergency in a region not too far from ours due to an insane number of wolves. Apparently “a shortage of mountain hares has caused the migration of hungry wolves” which are hopefully not too hungry for some Aussie flesh.

If you would like to devour the full article and gorge yourselves on some tasty morsels of information then go right ahead – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20932461.

In any count here’s a good video on how to defend yourself against a wolf:

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsItvxTW6DY

 

For a more lighthearted viewing try this:

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gAcCSdPK6Q

Well now I feel fully prepared! With that in mind – happy wolf hunting.

Guy

Stress testing the compass

Posted: January 12, 2013 by blinkenzomg in Uncategorized

compass-stress-testing
It was the cheapest one in the shop. Been in there a couple of weeks now, still works good!

More gear!

Posted: January 11, 2013 by blinkenzomg in Uncategorized

So it’s been a very long time since I did an update. This always happens: I go thinking “I’ll totally write a blog/get a gym membership/walk the pet iguana more and IT WILL BE AWESOME” and then the iguana gets walked like, twice, and then it dies from neglect*. Don’t tell the RSPCA please.

Anyway. We’ve been receiving a whole lot of gear, and I would like to share some of it with you and the future Ice Runners who will be reading this (because our gear list came from the blogs of the 2012 Ice Run group). Much of our gear has come from Striker Ice, and Jim there has been extremely helpful with advice and generously sponsored us a whole pile of awesome balaclavas, gloves, thermals, midlayers etc. Thanks Jim! They also make the really awesome ice fishing suits we will be wearing. Here’s a classy photo of my loungeroom floor covered in awesome Striker Ice gear:

striker-gear

Clockwise from the top-left we have: Lake Effect Superior gloves, cool Striker Ice t-shirts, a wide range of H2S balaclavas (the 3-peat, the Dickie Plus chest warmer, the fantastically-named Inferno Proclava, and the Longneck balaclava), Striker Ice HardWater jackets, Striker Ice HardWater bibs, thermal socks (to go under our fleece socks if it gets a bit nippy), glove liners (silver impregnated to keep them clean) and … a mysterious black square thing at the bottom-left. Hmm. Let’s assume it’s not important.

I’d like to write some more about the Striker Ice HardWater jackets/bibs, mostly because Google couldn’t find a whole lot of detail on them when we were looking to purchase a pair. I should probably preface this review with the fact that a) I hate fishing and b) I live in Perth, Western Australia, which is not known for snow or ice, and so the sports of ice fishing and snowmobiling are sadly underdeveloped. I can however report that my brother tried the suit on in 30 degree (celsius) heat and was extremely warm.

Note we have received sponsorship from Striker Ice as noted above (though we purchased the suits). I don’t believe this has affected my review below – (spoiler alert) I’ve got no complaints because I haven’t tried it yet in cold weather. It’s very nicely made gear, but we’ll post some more comments after we’ve given them a try in Siberia.

A quick list of features I thought were cool:

  • This is a suit for the extremely-cold-weather ice-fisherman/woman (don’t ask, apparently this is a thing. There are competitions) but have been also designed to work very well when snowmobiling – eg. the hood is removable if helmets are your thing
  • They float and will apparently efficiently drain water if submerged (after you get out)
  • Hood is removable (for motorbikingsnowmobiling I assume) and has a nifty memory-wire visor, plus some velcro to close it over your chin
  • Velcro strips along the bottom of the pants mean you can adjust the legs to three different lengths as required
  • Waterproof and windproof

  • Reflective tape around the chest and knees and at the ends of the arms
  • Lots and lots of handy pockets:

    • Inside the jacket in the usual spot (a zipper one plus a small pouch for a phone. My iPhone is a loose fit)
    • Two large velcro-shut mesh pouches around the inside bottom of the jacket
    • Breast pockets on the outside of the jacket, both sides, plus a zipper-shut fleece-lined pocket on each side
    • Large button-shut outside pockets on the bottom of the jacket, both sides
    • Small zippered breast pocket on the pants
    • Two large button-shut thigh pockets on the pants, with mysterious fleecy … handkerchiefs clipped to the outside. These are removable, but I have no idea what they’re for (wiping your fish? do you need to wipe fish after fishing them? who knows; there’s a reason I don’t do fishing)
    • Small zipper pocket at the end of the left arm
  • 3-way (!) zippers on the legs zip all the way down the legs from the top of the pants to the bottom, which have a nifty magnetic flap to cover them
  • Gaiters on the legs of the pants keep the wind out
  • Wonderfully soft neoprene cuffs on the arms to keep the wind out
  • Two drawstrings on the jacket (at the very bottom and about 20cm up) to keep the wind out. Velcro tabs on the ends of the sleeves let you close them tight around your wrists.
  • Zippers under the arms to open small vents if you’re too hot
  • The pants have a built in drink holder. I do not tell a lie. I actually didn’t realise this until I was looking at the list of features just now, so of course in the interests of Science and to make sure as readers you are fully informed I had to go and find a suitable drink to see if it worked. It was warm work wearing the suit, so it turned into a two-beer effort. Selfless, I know; I can report the Asahi was cold and tasty.
The built-in drink holder is shown here in the N+1 redundant configuration: in the event your beer unexpectedly runs out, another one is immediately to hand.

The built-in drink holder is shown here in the N+1 redundant configuration: in the event your beer unexpectedly runs out, another one is immediately to hand.

This is genuinely very nicely-made gear. Seams are well stitched, sealed, major zippers have flaps (button-down on the jacket, magnetic close on the pants). It is extremely warm: wearing the pants for 15 minutes as shown above in ~20 degree indoor-temperature, my jeans were saturated with sweat. Lots and lots of pockets. Drink holder (!) That said, as noted above we’ve yet to wear this in anything even approaching cold weather, and we’ll write some more notes with our thoughts when we do.

I hope the above helps you, future Ice-Run people. We’ll also be posting a full gear list in a future post, assuming I get off my slack arse and write it.

Until next time,

Patrick

*This may or may not be a lie. My vegetarian friends may now stop writing angry comments, you know who you are. Are you even supposed to exercise your pet iguana? Sheesh.