Dutch Army one man tent

This tent was was introduced into the army to replace the classic pup tent in the early 90’s. Most of them are marked KL-94. Usually from the company Wittock Industry. The design of the classic pup tent was almost unchanged since WW2;  two shelter halves that can be connected into a tent without ground sheet for two persons. This new design came with a bath tub rubber floor. Quite luxury for army standards.

KL Pup tent
The DPM Woodland camouflage makes the tent perfect for stealth camping.

Although advertised as a 2 man tent it is more convenient as a one man tent. Maybe when you’re in a really close relationship this will do as a 2 man tent but that will be very tight. The dimensions are approx 225 x 90 x 115 cm.

The NSN number written on the stuff-sack of the woodland DPM version is NSN 8340-17-106-6375. The NSN number written on the stuff-sack of the desert version is NSN 8340-17-106-6376

The materials used for this tent are heavy duty rubber / PVC for the groundsheet and strong cotton / canvas for the single layer walls. This all result in a quite heavy tent of 7,40 Kg.

The tent has zippers on both sides so that you can connect two ore more tents together to create a large tent. If you also connect the bathtub tents floors to each other please keep in mind that water can enter the tent trough the zipper.

Waterproofness
A common problem with this tent is leaking water through the corners of the tent. This is caused by the zipper that connects the rubber ”bathtub” with the canvas side walls. At the 4 corners of the bathtub there is a small hole where water that runs from the sidewall downwards can enter the tent.

Another small issue can be that the canvas is totally dried out by years of storage. When rain hits the sloped roof, small drips can find their way to the inside of the tent. However after a few times out in the rain the canvas is so called seasoned. The fibers will swell easily when getting wet and the fabric is waterproof by itself. If you don’t trust on this you can always use some waterproofing spray.

How to solve this leakage problem ?  The answer is very simple: Zippers should be covered with a extra flap of fabric. Just like you will find on most schoolboys rucksacks. Some of the tents were (later on) equipped with a extra flap that covers the zippers. Both the horizontal zippers and the vertical zipper for closing the door. Especially the corners are then no longer exposed to rain water finding its way into the tent.

The guy here (Black Country Woodsmen) also uses a tent that has the zippers covered with extra fabric.

 

Furthermore: It should be mentioned that this tent was intended for use in the cold, windy and rainy climate of Europe. Therefore there is no large mesh net that can cover the door so you can sleep with the door partly open without flies and other insects will enter your tent. Only some small ventilation flaps in the top on both sides of the tent have mesh nets to keep the flies out while allowing some cool air to enter the tent. For camping in hot tropical climates like Thailand you want to use a tent that have large mesh net doors. This assures you from not getting a overheated tent in tropical nights since the temperatures wont drop that much.

Available at:

Woodland
www.varusteleka.com
www.militarymart.co.uk
www.armyandoutdoors.co.nz
outdooradventurer.co.uk
www.nicks-kit.co.uk
www.asmc.com
www.goarmy.co.uk
www.xmilitarystore.com
www.sportsmansguide.com
www.armyworld.pl

Desert
www.surplusandoutdoors.com
www.sportsmansguide.com
www.xmilitarystore.com

Hotels with rooftop swimmingpool at Khaosan Road, Bangkok

Khaosan Road (Thanon Khaosan, ถนนข้าวสาร) is a true backpackers sanctuary with many reasonable priced hotels. Prices between 20 and 50 Euro/dollar are not uncommon. Backpacking doesn’t mean you have to live without the luxuries of life. Some of these hotels even have a swimming pool at the rooftop ! Since Bangkok is ranked among the warmest capitals on earth, this is a welcome amenity to get used to the climate of South East Asia.

D-and-D Rooftop SwimmingPool Khaosan Road Bangkok
Rooftop Swimming Pool at D&D Inn, KhaoSan Road Bangkok

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Airport shuttle buses in Bangkok

First of all; Bangkok has 2 different airports. Suvarnabhumi, the new modern airport for mainly intercontinental flights and Don Muang, the old airport mainly for domestic budget flights. A common mistake by travellers is to order a taxi and just say “airport”. The result is that many people end up on the wrong airport. Same counts for bus station. Bangkok doesn’t have a main bus station but around 4 different major bus stations.

Suvarnabhumi airport – Don Muang airport
If you end up on the wrong airport or you need a connecting flight from another airport there is a free of charge shuttle-bus between Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang. The shuttle bus journey time – dependent on Bangkok’s frequent traffic jams – is about one hour. The distance by road is around 45km.

Shuttle bus Suvarnabhumi - Don Mueang

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Dutch army mess tins

The Dutch army mess tins are almost identical (just a little smaller) as the British army mess tins. It is a two-piece set of a smaller pan nesting in a bigger pan. Both pans have a fold out handle. The design dates back to the days of the 2nd world war. Armies around the world are still using this style of mess tins. Modern outdoor equipment suppliers as Highlander and BCB are still producing this design for the civilian market. That says something about the quality and practical usage of this type of mess tins.

Dutch army mess tins 04

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Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21

The Fjällräven Rucksack No21 looks like a classic canvas backpack from decades ago. However it is a modern pack. The base material is G-1000, a combination of 35 % cotton and 65 % polyester. The water resistance can be improved by waxing it. Fjällräven sells his own wax product for this: Greenland Wax. This is made from a mixture of beeswax and paraffin.

 

 

 

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Suanphung

Suan Phueng (Thai: สวนผึ้ง) is a district in the western part of Ratchaburi Province, western Thailand. It is about 200km west of Bangkok at the border with Myanmar.

It is a popular destination for Thai people living in Bangkok due to its cooler climate. Due to the cooler weather (depending on the season) it is a popular region for recreational bicycling. The climate is also suitable for holding farm animals that are more likely to be seen in Europe, New Zealand or in the hills of South America.

alpaca hill suan phueng
Alpaca Hill is a popular destination to see unusual farm animals. Source: www.facebook.com/AlpacaHillThailand/photos

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Rice terraces in Thailand

Rice terraces are known from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Thailand is lesser known for growing rice in terraces on the slopes of hills.

The most famous place with rice terraces in Thailand is Ban Pa Pong Pian บ้านป่าบงเปียง (sometimes spelt as Pa Pong Pieng or Ban Pabongpiang ), Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai province. It is located in the mountains on the western side of Doi Inthanon national park in the proximity of Chiang Mai city. Rice fields are very beautiful (green) during the rain season. Please be warned that the unpaved roads on the county side may turn in a big muddy and slippery affair. Bringing a vehicle that can handle these though conditions is recommended. Due to it’s remote location it is a great option to experience off-the-beaten path Chiang Mai, and its full natural beauty away from the tourist crowds.

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A guide to Dutch army Backpacks (Bergans)

The Dutch Army used and uses modern backpacks that all have in common that they have detachable side pouches  These pouches (aka rocket pouches) can be zipped together into a improvised small backpack. After years of using the Berghaus Vulcan backpack the the Dutch army switched to several models and sizes of Lowe Alpine backpacks. The sizes are 40 liter, 55 liter and 130 liter. They all come with 10 liter side pouches.  The 40 liter backpack has a minimalistic hip belt and static shoulder straps. The bigger models have a padded hip-belt and shoulder straps that can be adjusted according to the user length.

Initially they were made by renowned backpack manufacturer Lowe Alpine. Later the Dutch army ordered copies of these backpacks at the Belgian company ARWY. Also the Army ordered copies of the backpacks without a brand in countries like Vietnam. A real Lowe Alpine version of these backpacks can be recognized through the label under the cover lid and the Lowe Alpine logo on the metal button clasps that keep the aluminum frame inside its sleeves.

The fast majority of the produced backpacks has Dutch DPM camouflage. Smaller quantities are made in US Woodland camouflage for the Marine Corps and in black for the Military Police. Lowe Alpine itself produced the backpacks also in Olive Green for the civilian market.

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Austrian army backpack system

During the 80’s the Austrian army had a load carrying system that consisted of a large backpack that looked like a US army Alice Pack and a smaller bag that could be carried as a front pack or as a butt pack. Alternately the small bag could also be worn as a shoulder bag or a small backpack on it’s own. The bags are made from Nylon (Polyamide) and usually carried in combination with a pistol belt.

The idea from a front pack was copied in later years by the Dutch army. They had a small duffel generally known as the Rotota bag or soldiers handbag. This was also attached to the shoulder straps of a backpack. However the Dutch used plastic fast release buckles while the Austrian pack system uses metal hooks. Another difference is that the Dutch front-pack is carried on the chest while the Austrian front-pack is carried a little lower, on your belly. Perhaps this was done so the soldier has more space to handle a rifle.

2037-austrian-military-4-pc-backpack-pic2-1200x1200
The Austrian backpack and front-pack. Source: www.swisslink.com

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Quechua Arpenaz backpack series

Travel equipment doesn’t have to be expensive and complex. Quechua, the home brand of Decathlon sports and outdoor shop, makes very simple and therefore lightweight and cheap backpacks. The Arpenaz backpacks don’t have side pockets. They consist of just one large main compartment with a additional 2nd compartment. The bags are padded with a small layer of foam on the back and made out of water repelling fabrics. On top is a small loop for hanging your bag on a hook in a public toilet or so. Unfortunately there is no large grip handle on top to pick up your bag easily. The Arpenaz backpack series has a 10, 20, 30 and 40 liter variants and is available in all kind of colors.

Arpenaz series

For the 10 and 20 liter the 2nd compartment is a front pocket. For the 30 and 40 liter variants the 2nd compartment is located in the cover lid. Al the variants except the 10 liter have mesh pockets on both sides. All backpacks except the 10 liter variant have a minimalistic hip belt. Since the volume of all these backpacks are not that big and there is no option for adjusting the shoulder straps at a different hight you might not using it at all.

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