Originally posted 2/08/2011: ‘Back early from three days’ hunting/hiking in Wonnangatta-Moroka NP due to sore toes (Have to do more research into boots) and accidentally taking the three-quarter length Neoair mat which was a bit harsh on my bad back. However saw lots of deer, some of whom visited me during the night.’ (This is all I wrote back then)
Sore feet can spoil a trip ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/foot-care/). I had clearly not trimmed my toenails well beforehand, but unless you can get the correct size boot (for me a half size = 8 1/2) and especially if you are doing a lot of hill-siding or down-hilling this is likely to happen. Preparation is all.
I am now better able to use a 3/4 length mat, having had a back operation in 2013 though I usually use the Neoair Women’s (340 grams – http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/) which did not exist then. They had also not then trimmed the extra 30 grams from their 3/4 length model back then so it weighed 260 grams instead of the current 230. You can put something under your feet to lift them a little. I would now use my Airbeam Pad (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/air-beam-pad/), or a Graham Medical pillow (watch for future post) with my http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/.
My camera choice has improved since then. I had only a 4 megapixel camera with 3X zoom back then – and was still not in the habit of taking many photos – having grown up with film cameras which were so expensive, and made one positively stingy. I have found some snaps I took however, and have added them to this update. My current camera has 20x zoom ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-camera/) and there are even better (though not lighter) ones available. Sony now have a pocket camera which weighs 245 grams and has a 30X zoom https://www.dpreview.com/products/sony/compacts/sony_dschx80. Another great choice is the Canon SX730 with 40x zoom though it weighs 300 grams: https://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/compacts/canon_sx730hs Coupled with eg this http://www.theultralighthiker.com/4-gram-string-reverse-tripod/,
These were about as good a photo as you could get with my old camera. I told you I saw ‘lots of deer’!
Top: A doe and fawn crossing the river at dusk. Below a very nice stag thrashing just to the right of the centre. He is just to the left of the ‘vee’ of the twig from the tree on the right.
They do not compare well to the photo of the doe I took last Saturday ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/avon-river-walking-track/):
Back then I see I was still using my ancient 7’x7′ (210x210cm) 2oz/yd2 home-made polyester-nylon tarp as a shelter. I have made some improvements since then, but it did keep me warm and dry, and was the inspiration for many better models. I used to have to drop this one down when I wanted to go to sleep, and sleep diagonally – but it did use to work. In the new 1 oz/yd2 Membrane Silpoly it would have weighed about 160 grams including tie-outs. An 8′ x 8′ (240x240cm) tarp would work a bit better. It would weigh about 210 grams. I am thinking of making a larger version of my poncho tarp ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poncho-tent-update/) in these dimensions. To be announced. It would then also be great as a hammock tarp.
Here is my old 7×7 tarp.
And here is my 8’x8′ cuben tarp (weight <150 grams):
Mind you there were some good stags about:
You will note that you can walk up and shoot a quite satisfactory stag wearing a blue tee shirt!
Of course in future I will be using this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poncho-tent-update/ In silnylon it will be a tent which fits in a breast pocket and which weighs under 180 grams! I will be calling it The Pocket Poncho Tent. I may be selling them. I am investigating manufacturing in Asia. As they say, ‘Watch this space!’
I have long since worn out my original 53 litre cuben fibre zpacks Zero/Blast pack you can see in the photo. I replaced it with a 4.8 oz/yd2 Dyneema model. The latter is still under 400 grams instead of 230 grams, but is much much more durable. I hope I do wear it out actually! I am still using the same Big Agnes Cyclone Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cyclone-chair/ – since 2006!) My blue $1 5 and 10 store cup has been going for over 20 years now. I am yet to find a lighter one
I only wish I was still as young now as I was in 2011 – but I am still going, which is the main thing!