Fun with Sticky Tape: Mylar Poncho:

49 grams and five minutes that may Save your Life: Follow the instructions here:  As you can see you can sit down against a tree in front of a fire wearing it and be perfectly dry – with a little help from your small dog, Spot!   See also: Actually you can buy …

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Toaks Bail Handle Pot

These folks have re-introduced billies with bail handles (along with side handles): It adds a little bit of weight but means that you can cook by suspending it over a fire. You have to buy the frypan lids separately unfortunately, eg: This goes with this:

Hole-less Poncho/Shelter/Hammock Tarp:

  Here is  my poncho/shelter which I promised some time ago. When we first made this (back in 2000 – for my first ‘moose hunting’ trip to Supper Cove, Fiordland) there was no such thing as a waterproof zip. As you can see we used 2 oz ripstop and Velcro. Della made three of them …

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Soda Can Stove:

If you are not using an alcohol stove you should be. There are serious weight savings to be made with them particularly on short trips – and of course they are much more environmentally sensitive! Easy to Follow Instruction here: See also: Lots more stoves here:  

Making an SUL Tarp& Pack:

  Making an SUL tarp, pack, and stuff sack out of a single 5-yard piece of spinnaker fabric: What a great project – even lighter in cuben, of course:

Mckenzie’s Country Chicken Soup with Lemon & Black Pepper Tuna

i This meal (which we had for tea tonight) is quite delicious. I added only HALF the water on the directions, making roughly one litre of soup – I have an 1100ml pot – a good quantity for two. You need to simmer for approx 15 minutes, after which I added two sachets of Safcol …

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Roman Swiss Army Knife:

Category: tool/implement. Name: compound utensil. Date: 201 — 300 AD. Period: Middle Roman. Description: eating implement, folding, with three-pronged fork, spatula, pick, spike and knife. Production Place (legacy): Mediterranean, production, region. Material(s): iron; knife, silver. Dimension(s): height, 88, mm, max width, 155, mm, max

Power from Heat: The Candle Charger

This device can power your phone in a blackout or when you are camping: ‘When the power is cut, modern life is thrown into disarray. But thanks to a new project you may not have to worry about your smartphone dying. The Candle Charger is described as an “indoor power plant for smartphones,” providing USB …

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Upper Yarra Track Historic Photos:

Courtesy of Thomas Osberg, here are some wonderful photos of the track in bygone days. They begin at approx McVeigh’s Hotel (now under the Upper Yarra Reservoir), and finish at Walhalla. The captions are my surmise (and might not be correct). The changes in hiking costume and gear from that day to this are …

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Ultra-cheap, Ultralight Rain Gear:

Neat idea: Jacket =149 grams; Chaps = 74 grams:  Youtube video: 

Tray-Top Camper

This is our rig. We have a Landrover Defender – the 1995-99 models with the 300TDI engines are best – after that vehicles all became electric and impossible to fix when things go wrong, especially in the bush. In 2010 the camper cost us under $20,000 delivered. The vehicle cost us $10,000 around 2005. This …

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Ultralight Knives

Can Knives get any lighter than this 3 Gram Knife: It makes the ‘Dermasafe’ I posted about here ( positively cumbersome, as is the Gerber zip-Blade mini knife: by comparison.   I really like this new one which weighs 16 rams including the sheath:  This is a beauty too:

Toaks Ultralight Titanium Cook System:

This Toaks ultralight cooking system would be hard to beat: US$58. Weight: Total: 4.4 oz (122g) Includes: Pot with lid: 550 ml; 3.0oz (85g) Dimensions: Pot: 3 1/2″ (95mm) (external lower part) (D) x 3 1/8″ (80mm) (H); Solid alcohol folding stove: 0.5oz (13g); Folding spork: 0.7oz (18g); Windscreen: 16″ x 2 7/8″ (405mm x …

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Hiking Food: Continental Spring Vegetable Simmer Soup

Making (delicious use) of everyday supermarket dehydrated food instead of those awful backpacking meals: Continental Spring Vegetable Simmer Soup + 500 ml water (1/2 quantity) + I Tablespoon (approx) Surprise Garden Peas + 8 Teaspoons Continental Deb Instant Mashed Potato. Try it. Yoou could try adding some of this to it if you want some …

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Hiking 101:

If you don’t know that you must NEVER wear COTTON in the bush (if it gets wet, hypothermia and perhaps death will follow soon after!), then these elementary tips ARE for you:


  If you don’t use one you are likely using twice, maybe three times too much fuel – which you most likely had to carry many hard miles. You can check this out for yourself: 250 ml of water should boil with about 7 ml of methylated spirits. Try it yourself on a home-made ‘Supercat’ …

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DIY Head Torches:

You can save some weight and have fun by making your own head torch with a length of hat elastic, a couple of O-rings (or elastic bands) and a micro cord lock to convert eg any AAA torch into a head torch – or you can sew a couple of pieces of elastic together to …

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Spot’s Hunting Adventures: Mystery River #2:

So, Spot and I headed back to the ‘Mystery River’ for another look-see. I have become more vague about naming such places as I see lazier folk wanting to track me there – someone had visited only the day before, though last time I was there clearly no-one had been there for YEARS. (I will …

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Lightweight Packrafts:

Some new packrafts and paddles will make it easier to cross rivers and lakes. These two (suitable for flat water/Grade 1 rapids) weigh less than a kilo: Alpacka ‘ghost’: @ 1.5 lb & $595 and Klymit LiteWater Dinghy: now 35 oz & $199. Note also this ultralight paddle: @ 365 grams! Many …

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Hunting in Fiordland:

  It is incredibly difficult country. Some ‘easier’ areas (eg along the South Coast Track) are flatter and safer. There are both pigs and deer there. In NZ they have these excellent DOC (‘Dept of Conservation’) huts all over the place (roughly a solid day’s walk apart with a pack; all have a helipad) which …

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