How Long Till Sundown?

Here is another neat trick. If you hold your hand out at arm’s length, the width of your fingers approximates to 15 minutes. You can use this to judge how long it is till sundown (and remember you have approx … Continued

‘Man is the Measure of All Things’ (Pythagoras) Some handy estimation tricks.

This astonishing Pre-Socratic was a brilliant mind. I guess everyone knows his ‘Theorem” about right angle triangles. The saying above might not be quite so well known (or his enjoiner, ‘Eschew beans’! I think I know why!), but we can … Continued

Epirbs are not Taxi Hailers:

Lots of people are misusing these tiny devices. I guess because they are (relatively) cheap, but really if you want to spend time in the wilds, spend some money to get a decent communication system eg either a satellite messenger … Continued

Wings and Water:

My favourite airline operates out of Te Anau Fiordland, New Zealand: I have flown in to or back from Supper Cove a number of times, so I have a collection of snaps which will maybe whet your appetite to … Continued

A Ball of String and a Feed of Cray:

Once you have your feed of trout (See Below) you will have some heads, tails, fins etc left over. Now you have your cray bait for the next course! All you need to catch them is a bit of string. … Continued

The Ultralight Fisherman

Today is using a 1 oz (30 gram – including a selection of flies and leaders) hand line made from a 100 ml plastic ‘spice’  bottle which easily and accurately casts 30 – 40 metres – as you can see! … Continued

19 Gram Dyneema Camp Shoes

(Correction: 17!) I just finished making this pair of US Size 9 ultralight camp shoes for my Dusky track walk which I start on Monday. They are made from 3.6oz/yd2 Dyneema fabric. Together with a pair of  down socks from … Continued

Camper Crane:

As you know we have a slide on camper for our Defender. These usually come with detachable wind-up legs which are quite awkward to operate. I decided to instead suspend the camper on this crane arrangement in the old dairy … Continued

Ultralight Travel Toothbrush:

posted in: Backpacking, Hiking, How To Guide, Hunting | 0

Not an ultralight hiking toothbrush perhaps. For that most folks cut their standard toothbrush in half, but this one is really good for travel, being very slim, compact and light and giving very nearly as good a result as a … Continued

Catching Your Breath – Walking Uphill

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I am often gob-smacked by just how bright Willis Eschenbach is, but THIS observation was astonishing. Could breathing OUT more combat the breathlessness you get by strenuous walking uphill. I tried this out on my recent hunting trip, and it’s … Continued

Adding Down to a Sleeping Bag:

I have a Montbell Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 ( which will take me comfortably just below freezing (-1C) but on my recent Everest Base Camp and Three Passes hike it was likely to get down to maybe -14C (at … Continued

Side Insulation:

Gossamer Gear’s Sitlight Pads are just great for this if you cut them in half lengthwise. They can be still used in your pack’s pad sleeve but when it comes time to make your bed, either on the ground or … Continued

Fire Tent

  Further to my post about being able to light a fire in the rain, ( I have also long toyed with the idea of carrying/constructing a fire rain hat or raincoat so that heavy rain doesn’t put out your … Continued

Inflatable Bathtub Groundsheet:

The lack of a bathtub floor is one of the chiefest comparative drawbacks of tarp camping vs tenting. I have been toying with this idea for some time. I used to usually collect some suitably lengthed dead branches and drape … Continued

Waterproofing Tent Floors and Ground Sheets:

I have mentioned this brilliant idea before but apparently I had not done a post about it. Jim Woods has this great treatment which dramatically increases the waterproofness of silnylon (or other) tent floors or groundsheets. It simply involves mixing … Continued

Hip Belts:

posted in: Backpacking, Hiking, How To Guide, Hunting, Packs | 0

On packs can often weigh more than the pack I usually carry (a Zpacks Zero in Dyneema at 300 grams with pad sleeves, tent, bottle and back pocket, & various other mods such as gear attachment straps, internal pockets, etc) … Continued

The Umbrella Redesigned:

Blunt umbrellas may not be the cheapest umbrellas but they may well be the sturdiest. They have been wind tunnel tested to not fail in Force 9 winds and have a two year warranty. If you are seeking a hiking … Continued

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