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Katadyn has been in the business of water filtration since the 1930’s.They control over 50 percent of the water filter market worldwide with products ranging from industrial and municipal water supplies down to your personal water bottle. Their products can remove particulate matter, bacteria, and even desalinate water, and their personal pumps see use all over the globe. It’s no surprise then that we had high expectations for their Base Camp MicroFilter when it showed up at our office.The first thing we noticed when we looked at the Base Camp was the well constructed bag the components came in. It’s an attractive black Nylon affair with two loops on either side to allow secure stowing options, with a sturdy black zipper. Inside we found a folded 6 Liter Bag with a port at the bottom and top folding bar, a filter attachment, a combination shower and output attachment, and an output hose and filter cleaner.We decided the best way to test out our new toy was to take it down to our local Rivanna River and see how it did in the real world. We chose a bend with easily access to both fast flowing and slow flowing water and got down to business. Filling the bag was as easy as screwing in the right attachment to the bag’s port, and dragging it through the water until it was filled.Once it was filled we folded the top of the bag down using the folding bar at the top, and searched for a low hanging branch sturdy enough to hold the bag. Which is where we ran into a problem. There weren’t any.Six liters weighs a little over 11 pounds, and since we were short on low lying tree limbs we had to hold it up with our arms for the 12 minutes it took for the bag to empty. It’s also worth noting that it’s not possible to switch out attachments to the bottom of the bag when full due to the inability to seal the top of the bag. Neither of these issues are large, but something to be aware of.In the end the only thing that matters is, does it work, and the short answer is a resounding YES. The filtered water had no trace of grain and tasted great, compared to the unfiltered river water. Two thumbs up as far as the filter is concerned.Speaking of the filter, cleaning it was a breeze. We removed the filter protector from the corrugated filter proper and simply used the provided sponge to remove what visible particles there were. All the other parts of the assembly were equally easy to clean with water and soap.In the end we really like this product. It has just the right amount of capacity for a small group of people to fill their water bottles, or an individual to take a shower in the woods. We’re looking forward to taking it with us on our next long hike.Pros:1. Great Filtration of both particles and bacteria2. Plenty of Capacity for a group or personal shower3. Simplicity of operation is idiot proofCons:1. The top’s not 100-percent water tight, so it requires a friend or tree branch to use correctlyVerdict:GET IT!–Editor’s Note: We sincerely hope Blue Ridge Outdoors intern Wil Geyer does not get giardia from this very thorough product test; but we do appreciate his excellent writing and hard work. read more
Strong equity markets helped Finland’s Keva return 7.5% over the course of the first quarter, as assets rose above €45bn for the first time.Keva, the local authority pension provider, said its equity portfolio returned nearly 16%, with CIO Ari Huotaro describing the market development as “very lucrative”.Jukka Männistön, the fund’s chief executive, also struck a positive note on the first three months of the year, calling results “exceptionally good”.On back of the 15.8% return from equities, which accounted for 40.1% of Keva’s portfolio, assets under management rose by €3.1bn to €45.2bn. Fixed income holdings, which accounted for just over 41% of all assets, saw significantly lower returns of 2.7%, while direct property and real estate funds returned 1.4%.Outside of real estate, alternative assets outperformed bond holdings, with private equity returning 4.8% and hedge funds 3%.Keva’s returns were broadly in line with those of other Finnish pension investors, with many previously enjoying strong equity returns on the back of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme.However, Keva’s results are so far the best of the larger pension providers and mutuals, with only Ilmarinen coming close to its results with a return of 7.1%, largely down to a strong equity performance close to 18%. read more
Vitol Netherlands has acquired 19.62% of the total voting capital of Latvian Shipping Company (LSC), LSC said citing a notification from energy and commodities company Vitol.This is equivalent to a total of 39,249,118 shares in the tanker shipping company.The sum Vitol paid for the shares was not disclosed.Since 2002, the largest shareholder of LSC has been Vitol’s subsidiary JSC Ventspils Nafta, owning 49.94% of the share capital.Given that Vitol’s existing shares in LSC amount to 99,880,361, the group’s total shareholding is now equivalent to 69.56% of the voting capital of LSC, the shipping company said in a statement.Currently, LSC’s fleet is comprised of sixteen Handy and MR ships with carrying capacities from 37,211 to 52,684 tons. read more
Hoddle, Fabio Capello and Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino have emerged as contenders for the position after Andre Villas-Boas’ abrupt departure. The former England boss was in charge at Spurs between 2001 and 2003 but has not been in club management since Wolves in 2006. “It is a wonderful job at the end of the day. It is a big squad and a superb squad.” Sherwood, who is already on the coaching staff at White Hart Lane, is to take charge of Spurs in an interim role, beginning with Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup quarter-final at home against West Ham. Sherwood’s interim role could be extended for a longer period depending on the club’s search for a permanent successor. The Hammers won 3-0 in the Premier League contest at White Hart Lane in early October and face a Tottenham side without captain Michael Dawson and midfielders Paulinho and Sandro. Paulinho misses the first of three matches for his dismissal against Liverpool, while Dawson is banned for one match and Sandro is expected to be out for around a week with a calf injury. Danny Rose (toe), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Vlad Chiriches (knee) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) could all return, but defender Jan Vertonghen (ankle) is out. Glenn Hoddle has been backed to revive Tottenham by his former Spurs team-mate Ossie Ardiles. Press Association Gary Lineker was among those backing Hoddle, and Ardiles, Spurs boss from 1993 to 1994. “For me, the man for the job is Glenn Hoddle,” Ardiles told TalkSPORT. “I think he is a wonderful manager and he is a lot more mature, so I think he will be a wonderful choice. “He knows everything about the Premier League and Spurs especially.” Villas-Boas was sacked after Sunday’s 5-0 loss at home to Liverpool, with Tim Sherwood placed in temporary charge. Despite the Reds reverse and the earlier 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, Ardiles has confidence in the Spurs squad. The former Argentina midfielder added: “I believe whoever is the manager will have a wonderful, wonderful squad. They have one of the best squads in the Premier League in fact. “Unfortunately, things have not gone right this season, but in terms of the quality of our players it is absolutely second to none. read more