Shepherd’s Crook:

I bought one of these in Hawick during our trip to Scotland in May. The local feed and grain store had any number of excellent products and gadgets for caring for and saving the lives of sheep which are not … Continued

Ultralight Pocket Lockpick

54 grams: The SouthOrd Jackknife Lockpick. How could you go anywhere without one? Why bother to carry keys at all? They are probably heavier then this anyway. A great substitute for the Keychain Reinvented. Of course it might take a … Continued

How much weight in fuel?

Alcohol weighs 0.789 gram per cubic centimeter (or per millilitre – same thing). I use about 7 ml to boil one (250 ml) cup of water or about 5-6 grams. If I used butane I would use perhaps only 4 … Continued

A Wind Shell and an Umbrella

Might be your best choice combo for keeping dry in unexpected squalls without the need to carry a heavy rain coat. (You would be looking at around 5 oz/72 + 86 = 158 grams). A wind shell such a Montbell’s … Continued

How Light Can a Tent Be

Well, let’s talk about a tarp really. You will need about an ounce I guess for the smallest Polycro groundsheet (unless you don’t use one, because you are perhaps desert hiking). To that you have to add the weight of … Continued

Tick Eliminator

These little pests are becoming more common in Australia. Of course in the States they carry the dreaded Lyme Disease. Carrying a safe means of removing them and/or treating tick bites on self/companion animals is becoming more urgent than ever.  … Continued

Hemmer Foot

If you are considering making your own tarp/shelter (you should) you might find one of these little gadgets a great help. You can buy a set of three (universal snap-on fit) from eg eBay for around $10. I will certainly … Continued

Nuts to ‘Leave No Trace’

Leave No Trace strictures vs Vandalism: There is a better way. I have been involved in land management for nearly seventy years and have planted thousands of trees, even this year when I am laid up with this ‘broken’ back. … Continued

Riding on the Sheeps’s Back

Or vice versa. Patagonia’s Woolyester Fleece (US$139 – Oct 2018) might  be a great mid-layer addition to your other wool clothing, your Kathmandu/Columbia thermal for example, and your Kathmandu or Columbia wool shirt. I rarely get cold enough (even in … Continued

Whoopie Sling Guy Line Tensioners

posted in: Backpacking, DIY, Hiking, Shelter | 4

I am surprised you can’t buy whoopie sling guy lines. I am even more surprised that high-end tents don’t come with them as standard. They have to be the lightest and most elegant option. You will have to make your … Continued

Mac Cat Tarp

If you are looking for a lightweight intelligently designed tarp which will keep you safe and dry in the back country I think you should try one of these. I would probably go for the MacCat Standard Silpro model myself … Continued

Make Your Sleeping Pad Warmer

For the ‘budget hiker’ the sleeping pad and bag are no doubt the most expensive items. Such a pad need cost no more than US$13! If your expeditions are likely to only occur in the warmer months you can improve … Continued

How to Carry a Saw

A 31 gram 6″ hiking/hunting saw sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Complete with handle and sheath it cost me less then $A9. The Diablo saw blades are A$17.47 per pair in the Tools section of Bunnings. I will try to … Continued

Wire Tricks: Cobb and Co Hitch

This is a wire variation of the Spanish Windlass whose name harks back to the C19th days of Chris Cobb and his wonderful coach service which opened up outback Australia. Do you remember the 60s TV programme ‘Whiplash’ based on … Continued

The Spanish Windlass

My father, Lawrence used to use this trick sometimes to pull stumps out of the ground. He would wrap a rope around a crowbar (as shown) then wind the rope up with a stout branch. This windlass applied enormous force … Continued