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Getting Back Into It

Steve’s back prevented many planned activities in 2010 but it has improved a bit so we have been more active this year. For example, in early March we walked the South Coast Track in Tas with a friend, Kerri Cleaver. This was to be a shake-down for the Dusky Track in 2012 but it was …

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Fenix LD01 Torch

Must have for Xmas? Look at this new torch: 788 lumens from a single 3.7V battery! Twice the best torch of last Xmas! Things just keep on getting better. My favourite pocket torch is the Fenix LD01 which takes a single AAA and outputs 85 lumens. If you (carefully) screw off the lens cover (it …

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Faux Packraft VS Alpacka Raft

Well, we have tried our faux packraft against our Alpacka raft on a four hour Grade 2+ section of the Wonnangatta River on an overnight trip (during which we saw 9 deer!) and apart from some slight abrasion to the lamination of the poly tarp (nappy) the $40 raft stood up splendidly. I found a …

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Great Inventions

15/12/11: Other great inventions: the (1) Themarest Neo air (regular 370g) shown made into a chair using the (2) Big Agnes Cyclone Chair (150g) in the photo: ‘Tyvek wigwam’! All that is needed to make this scene perfect is Bacardi 151 (and Della, of course!) 15/12/11: The faux & real pack raft & the Tyvek …

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Hunting inside a Whale

When we lived at Tarwin Lower we once hunted a house-sized dead whale on the shore of the inlet with hounds. We put foxhounds and bloodhounds right INSIDE the whale and shot nearly twenty foxes, some of which even came out the blowhole. Whether they were vixens making the traditional cry, ‘Thar she blows’ accurate …

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Big Cats in the Bush?

A friend thinks that reports of ‘black pumas’ etc may well be ‘thylaceo leo,’ the marsupial lion (there being no large black cats anywhere in the world only spotted ones) but this is a VERY long bow, though it would be nice. In 50+ years in the bush I have never even seen a large …

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Crepuscular Birdsong

Crepuscular birdsong why? Interesting to see this question answered in the latest New Scientist: it is because there is a temperature inversion then and sounds transmit better. Hope to live long enough to hear it again in our silent bushfire-ravaged forests. Bee-eater Wonnangatta River just above Waterford Bridge (Jan 2018). Update: Further to my post …

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Hiking Food: Soup

I am currently trying Ainsley Harriott’s Southern Cajun Gumbo Cup of Soup for breakfast. Yum! Some people ask what food I take hiking. This is too hard a question for ONE post but here’s a tip which also works well for a snack or lunch. Combine a sachet of 2 minute noodles sans flavour sachet …

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Cooking Oil Fire

Cooking oil fire: really important lesson. Who would have thought it could so easily be turned into something like a nuclear explosion? Only 34 seconds, please watch:

Kumato Tomato

There is a ‘new’ tomato called a ‘kumato‘ apparently originally from the Galapagos Islands which is interesting – though this may be spin. It is deliciously sweet. I recommend you try some, & save and plant the seeds. it is a small tomato so you should still get a crop if you are quick.

Bebook Ebook Reader

Best gadget we have bought in the last year a 5″ Bebook reader but you can now get the new Sony 6″ model for about the same weight @ 160g but it won’t fit in your shirt pocket. It does not require you to pirate books but it sure makes reading a lot cheaper if …

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Home Made Pack Raft

I bought a $40 raft (Intex) from Clark Rubber and reinforced it with a layer of poly tarp which can be attached to it with polyethylene tape (from greenhouse suppliers), ‘Gaffer’ or ‘Duct’ tape. You could also use tarp clips if you prefer. This makes it well-nigh indestructible. The tarps come in three weights: 100grams/square …

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Pack Rafts

We have the ‘Fiord Explorer’ which is a bit heavy but takes two. I took it down the Seaforth River in Fiordland afer a 3.5 day hike in! For a one person boat you could try the ‘Alpacka‘ or the ‘Scout’ (if you are as small as Della). These boats will handle any water you …

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Hiking Fishermen

Hiking Fishermen: This is good: http://penfishingrods.com/shop/product_details.php?category_id=13&item_id=126 and so is this: http://www.moontrail.com/accessrs/a-misc/handline.html

BLR Lightning Rifle

Maybe you are thinking of an interesting Xmas present for your beloved. Maybe consider a Browning Lever Action (‘BLR Lightning’) rifle in ‘take-down’ format (ie it splits into halves to stow in your pack). Della bought me one for my 60th. Perhaps I should have got it in Winchester Magnum instead of .308 but I …

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Packraft Video

You could imagine Della and I doing this Grade 5 water in our Alpacka raft but the truth is water a little more gentle than this. Don’t try this sort of thing in any other brand of pack raft though:

Many Deer: Mt Darling- Snowy Bluff Wilderness

Back from the bush after seeing MANY deer. Four beautiful days of fine weather and camping out. On the last day I walked out 20-25km of rough bush walking in 8.5 hours which I consider pretty good going for an old bloke. My new stove worked a treat http://packafeather.com/. It will simmer @ 1ml/minute – …

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Lightweight Hiking Shoe

Who would have believed a hiking/running shoe which weighs less than 220 grams? http://www.inov-8.com/Products.asp?PG=PG1&L=26and these people have a river crossing shoe which weighs 53 grams: http://www.sprintaquatics.com/prodinfo.asp?number=901

Ultralight Backpack

Should you become interested in lightweight hiking, try this site: http://jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com/

New Hiking Mat (425g, No: 340g)

This new hiking mat @ 425 grams and R4.4 and US66.95 from Amazon looks great: http://pacoutdoor.com/sleeping-pads/view/peak-elite-ac-womens It has been surpassed by the Thermarest Neoair Xlite Womens 2 340 grams R 3.9:  http://www.cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/fast-and-light/womens-neoair-xlite/product See above: This is now my favourite mat. I cannot recommend it too highly. Get one fore your next birthday!