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The Ultralight Comb

No longer happy with your old plastic comb to ensure you always look beautiful in the wilderness? ‘Vanity, thy name is man’ as Hamlet says. I know mine which has been in my pack for over twenty years  has a tooth missing (courtesy of my daughter, Irralee on the Dusky Track c 2007), so perhaps …

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What a Beautiful Knife

The CRKT Eros K455TXP Titanium Gentleman’s Folder available on Massdrop this morning for US$ 109.99 instead of the regular price of US$225 – over 50% off! What a bargain. Love this site! I know I don’t either need or deserve a new pocket knife but I am seriously temted (for Xmas perhaps?) It comes with …

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I followed my footsteps: Everest Base Camp Trek #4

Two years ago today: Walking the Everest Base Camp Trail: I creep into Kathmandu in the small hours when only giant mountain dogs and stray donkeys roam the streets. After two nights at the wondrous Himalayan Traveller’s Inn, Thamel (now the Hotel Sapana Gardens), I creep out again in the dawn to fly to Lukla. …

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DIY Air Frame Pack

This will make your frameless pack more comfortable, transfer load to your waist belt and help keep your back dry. You can still buy an ‘air beam’ from Granite Gear for US$50.  You will need to make a 3D wicking mesh pocket on the back of your frameless pack (one like this or this for …

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Alps Walk

This short post is courtesy of Gerard White. I have meant to post it earlier. He and a friend walked this wonderful track a couple of years back. It is a long way from Melbourne to Canberra, but you can do this bit in a little over a week. These three wonderful shots fairly make …

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Ramble On

I like the title. It sounds like something I would use myself! These folks have written a history of hiking. So far it is only available in paperback at US$18.95 from Amazon which is a bit of a problem for folks like me in Oz – but remember you can use Shipito. Perhaps there will …

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Guaranteed for Life

These ‘Darn Tough’ socks are just beaut! You can see on the packet that they are ‘guaranteed for life’. I don’t suppose they will last forever really, but at least they will definitely last through a very long hike which many socks will not so that you can omit carrying a spare pair – which …

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Kill Wasp Queens Now

Spring in Australia and the wasp queens are out and about. If you don’t kill them now there will be hundreds of these introduced pests everywhere come summer to spoil your barbecue or sting your kids. Last year I managed to tread on a European wasp’s nest and was bitten dozens of times. Let me …

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Electric Drill Earth Auger:

I have been substantially laid up with this back (slipped disc then back op. – basically since July dammit!). Slowly getting better I hope (?) Meanwhile however my daughter Merrin and I have planted about 300 trees mainly using this method which costs at most a couple of dollars ($A) and at least A$1 when …

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Minnow Gripper

What’s not to like about these little beauties? https://countycomm.com/products/minnow-gripper Made in the U.S.A. ‘Hold up to 175 lb (80 kg) & weigh only .35 Ounce (10 grams). These heavy duty tarp clips create a grommet instantly on any material. Powerful cross-hatch surface gripping jaws clinch tighter as tension is applied. Great for fastening plastic sheeting, …

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1200th Post

Every hundred posts or so I take time to highlight significant posts on the website over the last few months. In this case it is 200 posts since 6th October 2017 and my 1000th Post. In that time I have made some belated posts about our Qld trip back in September including our  ascent of …

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It’s Not My Fault

It’s Not My Fault: Self-help before you despair. On 02/10/2018 I had this post The Parting of the Ways (Below) in which I hinted that not only may there be a small group of themes which inform our lives but that there may be a small group of delusions which drag them down. As an …

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Cure Back Pain

Yes, it will! Try it yourself right now! This is a summary of the ‘McKenzie Method’. Try this before you let anyone cut into you! I have just had a laminectomy which has ‘gone wrong’. I should have stuck with this (and the instructions below) The 2/3 junction which had a disc bulge has been …

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The Ultralight Persuader

The Ultralight ‘Persuader’: I know many folks discuss carrying items for self-defence – and whether it is legal or not to do so. County.com’s Titanium Persuader is one such you might consider. US$45 (Sept 2018). It weighs only 1.1 ounce (31 grams) and is milled from solid titanium bar. It certainly looks like an innocuous …

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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 available here. Goodness knows why. You would attach this to the end of a pole …

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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 little practice to actually open your front door with it – and it may be …

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Cheap Insulated Pad

US$69.99 (Sept 2018) Paria Outdoors a Texas-based company (Denver) have these excellent mats in stock at almost half the price of a Neoair. ‘The ReCharge UL camping pad is the perfect size (72 x 20 x 2.5 – 189 x 50x 6 cm) and weight (20 ounces – 570 grams) for ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers’. …

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The Ultralight Barista

So you would like a decent cup of coffee on the trail. I know that this is a problem for Della. Me? I am a philistine. I actually prefer instant. There are some little luxuries though where you might want to add a few grams to your otherwise ultralight outfit so that you can savour …

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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 grams as it has a higher heat coefficient. However once I count carrying around the …

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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 famous Tachyon is also the lightest way to add a little warmth on a cool …

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