Tuesday, August 28, 2012

THE BUSH LAB is on vacation.....

....all reviews are on hold while i take 2 weeks to blow off some steam!

update! took my vacation, Incredible fun times! LINK  been non stop since then, lots of weekend adventures, plus work. Been super busy at work, a few of my fellow truckers are down for the count for a while.

Once the busy season dies down in November,  I will be back cooking in the Lab.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


under construction :)


Picked up the GSI INFINITY 4 PERSON TABLEWARE SET intending to use it on a camping trip with the GF and the 2 kids.

Basically the kit contains everything needed for 4 people to eat and drink off of and out of. No cutlery though. Everything is made of BPA free plastic (GSI calls it INFINITY), an alternative to poly-carbonate plastic. There is a plate, bowl with cover, a insulated hot drink cup and a water cup for each person. All in different colors so you do not mix up your tableware with your camp mates.


POSITIVES: cheap (less than $60 CDN), bang for the buck, the entire kit stacks and nestles neatly in the included drawstring bag, hard to crack, color coded, hot drink cup keeps your drink hot during the meal.

NEGATIVES: my only beef with the kit is the bowl lid....it is supposed to snap tightly onto the bowls to keep food and liquids in.....sadly it does not even stay on the bowl, despite many repeated attempts to get it on the bowl. I even exchanged the set for a new one but it too had the same lid fitting problem.



The SCOUT TARP is designed and sold by Mountain Equipment Co-op here in Canada. It is made overseas, in Vietnam. The Scout Tarp is a 75 denier polyester ripstop, polyurethane coated, 9.5' x 6.9' dimension, tarp, with some grommets and webbing loops. Weighs 692 grams. Comes with a storage stuff sack. Available in grey or orange. Costs $45 CDN bucks. I paid for this with a gift card i got from family.


POSITIVES: cheap, bang for the buck, waterproof, large coverage area, MEC's iron clad warranty (something happens, return it and get a new one). A good tarp for the masses, easy to rig multiple ways, be it paracord or tent poles/stakes. Easy to stow away in a pack for emergencies or solo camping.

NEGATIVES: The number ONE negative is MEC itself............they CENSOR any reviews that mention the bad stuff on their website. They are so afraid of offending anyone. My review on the tarp was censored and removed from their gear reviews section. Here at THE BUSH LAB, i say it like it is, no censorship! More on this is the post review below. Too few rigging loops for bombproof tarp set up in windy conditions. MEC could easily double the rigging loops and this tarp would be not bad at all. Polyurethane coating.....yea.....while waterproof for a few years, eventually the polyurethane coating sloughs off the fabric like a case of leprosy. There is also a weird smell over time with polyurethane coated products, the coating exudes a fishy shit like smell, much like a girl I once went home with after a good bender and was horrified to discover she didn't bathe herself very well. The webbing tape loops are thin, easy to wear thru (if you use paracord like so many do) and there simply is not enough of them. The center pole support is ok, but could be beefier.

Not a bad tarp, like i said bang for the buck for OCCASIONAL USE or EMERGENCY USE, but I would NOT recommend this tarp to hardcore hikers or military service people. There are plenty of tarp makers right here in North America, why does MEC farm out its gear to third world sweatshops? Furthermore, thanks to the censorship of many reviews on the MEC website, I give this tarp a low rating.

I give the MEC SCOUT TARP a BUSH LAB rating of 5/10

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The STANLEY 1913 STORMTROOPER COFFEE MUG is a rather innovative design. Stanley PMI designed this series to be fully recyclable once the product reaches its useful end life. The 1913 commuter coffee mug is comprised of an outer stainless steel removable cup, the main cup is made from recycled food grade plastic. There is a lid that twists to seal it from spills and the seals are all made from medical grade silicon. A handy plastic loop lets you attach the mug to your pack.

POSITIVES: - inexpensive, very well made, recyclable, can be used to mix boozy drinks, outer SS cup can be used for many things after the cup itself reaches its end life. Slim low profile packs easily. Holds 16oz of coffee or spirits. Quite a stylish design. 

NEGATIVES:  - does not really keep drinks hot for very long due to no insulation. However if you drink the amount of coffee like i do, this is a moot point.

Great mug, i use it for both camping, commuting and home use. The removable SS outer cup is just a bonus...you can heat up water in it over a heat source , this makes this mug valuable for a survival situation...you can boil water in the outer SS mug and pour it into the main mug! (please note that the paint will peel off the outside SS mug if you subject it to fire)

I give the STANLEY 1913 STORMTROOPER COFFEE MUG a BUSH LAB rating of 9.5/10

Sunday, August 19, 2012


under construction :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Picked up the CAMELBAK ALL CLEAR UV PURIFIER recently from the local Mountain Equipment Co-op, here in Vancouver BC. Cost me $110 CDN plus taxes for the kit.

The concept is simple, subject water to UV light and disrupt the viruses, bacteria & protozoan cysts reproductive cycle, thus making them unable to grow in your gut and make you sick. Same treatment our local municipal water treatment plant uses, but in a carry anywhere format.

This purifier will not remove heavy metals, particulates, chemicals, solvents, oils, bad tastes/smells etc...one needs to use other filtration methods (pump filters, carbon, etc) to deal with those.

To use, one simply fills the bottle with water from a water source, be it a puddle, stream, pool, whatever. The water HAS to be prefiltered (clear) for the unit to effectively work. Screw the UV filter unit cap on, and press and hold the blue button for two seconds. The UV light will come on and start its process for 60 seconds. There is a countdown timer on the LCD screen, and at the end of the 60 second cycle the UV light turns off and a check mark appears in the LCD display, indicating the water is good to go. DURING the purifying process you HAVE to shake the bottle back and forth to ensure all the water in the bottle gets exposed to the UV wavelengths. Once this is complete, unscrew the purifier cap, and screw on the regular bottle cap. The UV cap also fits on Nalgene wide mouth bottles, but Camelbak recommends only using the included bottle.



POSITIVES:  The unit is a nice sized package, easy to carry in a shoulder bag, backpack or similar carry device. It works when used as directed, i never got sick even though the waters I tested it on were very suspect. A single charge from a USB port on a computer will last about 80 treatment cycles, or 60000 ml (approx 60 Liters) of clear water. You can charge it from a portable USB battery pack as well, but don't expect a FULL charge as the charging cycle takes 5 hours. Easy to use, the instructions are printed right on the bottle, as well as in the manual. The UV purifier head is well built, rugged, and very water/impact resistant.

NEGATIVES: No prefilter cap is included in the kit. WHY? Camelbak sells one separately, but I feel they should just include it in the kit. Most people will not know how to fashion a field expedient prefilter, so why not just include one?  The USB cable charged lithium ion battery is not replaceable, for that matter neither is the UV light element. Once either of these craps out, you are basically left with a $110 water bottle. I would like to see Camelbak redesign the unit, and allowing the use of CR123 lithium batteries, and having a replaceable UV lamp. As well, I would like to see a prefilter that will remove chemicals, sediments, smells/tastes etc. Its a bit pricey considering these negatives....

OK, now that we have described what the ALL CLEAR does, costs, etc, its time for an honest uncensored and unbiased review. I purchased this unit with my own money, it was not given to me by CamelBak. I have field tested it both in the city and in the woods, using it more than 50 times.

Bottom line, do not think that the Camelbak ALL CLEAR is a be all end all only filter/purifier that you need.....its not. HOWEVER, pair it with a good pump style filter, like the KATADYN or MSR units, and you have a good system for ensuring you don't get sick from the water you drink. This unit would be an IDEAL travel companion for hotels and tours where the supplied drinking water may be suspect...

I give the CamelBak ALL CLEAR UV PURIFIER a BUSH LAB rating of 8/10