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EBC 3: And Onward to Xanadu:

‘I confess to having bored countless Eng Lit students of mine with my passion for Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”. Little did I suspect that I would one day discover Coleridge’s Xanadu in the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazar. I saw so many parallels to the poem, but perhaps the most relevant is the fact that …

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Everest – Days 1 & 2: Lukla to Namche Bazar

with overnight stop at Benkar’. (Della) ‘Main street of Lukla The road out of town Other trekkers: The person in front is carrying a largish day pack whilst the hired porter behind is carrying the rest of his/her gear. This was normal procedure for almost all trekkers. We, in contrast, proudly carried our own packs …

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Preventing Batteries From Going Flat at High Altitudes:

This is my ‘Poor Man’s Satellite Phone‘ after two weeks at between 3.000-6,000 metres elevation during our recent EBC trek. As you can see still 94% charged. ‘Normally’ such battery devices would be pretty much flat after just one day (even without use) – as I found out on my first time on the EBC …

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EBC Starting out: Kathmandu to Lukla.

‘Flying to Lukla is the adrenaline-filled beginning to the Everest Base Camp Trek. Reputedly the most dangerous airport in the world, Lukla Airport has a landing strip just 500 metres long, with a sheer cliff on one end and a brick wall on the other. We took videos of both our landing and takeoff to …

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9 Days Trekking the EBC

Della: ‘And so we are back! 9 days trekking along the Everest Base Camp trail, Lukla to Dingboche. Our final climb above Dingboche was as high aa Everest Base Camp, but I never wanted to experience the cold and privation of the last 2 days of the trail, so we were happy to call Dingboche …

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Geoscience Australia’s Free 1:250,000 Topo Maps

A complete topographical map of Australia is available free in 1:250,000 scale. This is quite adequate to find your way and prevent your getting lost. You can download the maps, copy them to a storage file on your phone and then open them with PDF Maps Or Avenza – if you want to be restricted …

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Never Get Lost – With Google Offline Maps

So long as you have a smart phone (with GPS and Compass – be sure it does before you buy it!) you don’t need a Garmin or any other GPS device, and you don’t need to pay for any maps or Apps. You can organise your phone so that you need never get lost. However …

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Fire on the Snow:

Obviously you can light a fire on the snow but it will quickly melt the snow, sink into it and go out. And this is just when you most need a fire, so what to do? Find somewhere clear of snow is the easiest choice: often there is little or no snow under trees. It …

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Cooking For Two

My wife, Della and I used to carry two complete cook sets but we have shrunk that down a bit. Mostly we carried two pots because it simplified heating water for a shower, but as Della almost always takes a sponge bath and as all the food we cook will fit in the one pot …

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Light from Heat

Although they are not (at present) ultralight, I really like the concepts behind these wonderful lamps. Lumir-k: Cooking oil fueled LED lamp:  & Lumir-C Candle Powered Led lamp: Lumir C: Lumir K: This is a similar concept, power from heat: https://drop.com/buy/biolite-campstove-bundle#overview & this: https://www.theultralighthiker.com/2015/07/20/power-from-heat/ PS: You should be able to make this system work with …

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Ultralight Folding Coffee Cup

This cup has been officially classified as a work of art in its home country, Sweden – which it certainly is.  It is a folding coffee cup which folds down to just 1″ (2.5cm) high but it weighs just 25 gram (which is well-nigh impossible to beat for hiking). It holds 237 mls just shy …

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Best Coffee on the Trail

While you are over at Tier Gear…This one has to be a bit lighter than the old coffee pot that John Wayne boiled over so many Western campfires. In Polypropylene Munieq’s Tetra Drip coffee filter weighs a mere 12 grams and it folds flat making it a very solid competitor to Vargo’s 36 gram titanium …

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Most Beautiful Ultralight Windscreen

This brilliant 14 gram windscreen by Munieq of Japan (and available at Tier Gear Tasmania for A$39.95 (Oct 2019) has to take the prize. You can use one eg with an alcohol simmer stove such as Tinny’s that I wrote about here or you can join two together eg to use solid fuel. ‘Flame visible …

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Nitecore Continues to Push the Boundaries:

They have a variety of ultralight rechargeable torches, as well as this excellent charger/powerbank which is all you need to charge them (and anything else!) I already wrote about their remarkable Tube torch here and here. Now they have much brighter models available such as the: Thumb (85 lumens + 25 grams with rotatable head …

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Small is Beautiful:

Tiny Containers: The search for small receptacles to stow various necessities is ongoing. My friend Meg loaned me these lovely aluminium ‘tins’ to evaluate. She uses them for some of her tiny art works such as her fabulous ear-rings & etc. The smallest one here is perhaps a 10 ml model (and weighs less than …

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Trees and Tree Guards:

This is a genius idea of Rowan Reid’s for cheaply planting trees in sheep paddocks. It will also protect them from wallabies. You can plant cuttings of willow/poplar for example in situ and clearly you will have a pretty decent sized tree in twelve months time particularly if you start with a large cutting in …

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Wonnangatta: Kingwell Bridge to Black Snake Creek

This section and the next (to Hut Creek) are the best family canoeing opportunities on the river. When our kids were little (just a quarter century ago) we must have canoed them a hundred times. In the morning you can drop in at the Kingwell Bridge, spend two delightful hours on the river (much more …

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Corner Inlet

Corner Inlet (above Wilson’s Prom) is such a treasure. If you are walking from Phillip Island to Eden along the coast (which you must, one day) you can wander along its amazing foreshore bird watching etc for days and if you have a pack raft you can even manage to get across the few spots …

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Canoeing the Macalister Again

Yesterday was the first decent day of Spring: 28C and with enough water (1.73 at Licola – ideal) for a decent trip down from Basin Flat to Cheyne’s Bridge. This is one of the few sections of river that you can canoe alone (as you can readily hitch a lift back to your canoe after …

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Ultralight Waterproof Fabric

I am after some light waterproof fabric to make one of my new 10 x 10 Tarps and new versions of my Pocket Poncho Tent and my Deer Hunter’s Tent. I would like to source the fabric out of China (where most of it is made anyway) and have been trying and trying (with Alibaba) …

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