Backpacking

Make Your Sleeping Pad Warmer

For the ‘budget hiker’ the sleeping pad and bag are no doubt the most expensive items. Such a pad need cost no more than US$13! If your expeditions are likely to only occur in the warmer months you can improve the insulative ability of a cheaper pad enough by simple expedients.  In this post I …

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How to Carry a Saw

A 31 gram 6″ hiking/hunting saw sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Complete with handle and sheath it cost me less then $A9. The Diablo saw blades are A$17.47 per pair in the Tools section of Bunnings. I will try to find an even better blade next time. Holding it in the vice I carefully cut …

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Mount Bartle Frere

We climbed this iconic peak back on 1st September, 2017. This year we are both having trouble for various reasons walking to the front gate – but we will overcome! It is Qld’s highest mountain a little over 1600 metres situated just North of Innisfail approximately an hour South of Cairns. 1622 metres might not …

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3F Ultra Cheap Tents

Some of these look very impressive (both weight and price). They should be worth a go if you are in the market for a cheap, light tent. A$50 (delivered) for a tough 2 person ultralight shelter is hard to beat! This 740 gram single person tent which is very similar to this one costs only …

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Ultralight Camp Shower

While we are on the subject of cleanliness, you should know that Sea to Summit make an excellent ultralight camp shower. They have reduced its weight over the years so that it now weighs a mere 120 grams. I suspect that this weight inclues the bag so you might subtract perhaps ten grams from that. …

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Hiking Washing Machine

In my last post I talked about what clothes I take with me hiking and mentioned that I usually wash them every day. I probably don’t get them as clean as one could (I usually just wash them in a river or stream without soap or detergent). And I usually just put them back on …

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How Many Clothes Should I Take in My Pack?

 I’m sure many people take far too many – just as they take far too much of everything else – and yet often not enough survival equipment, such as a knife or a roof or a satellite messenger, for example. I don’t think it matters whether you are just away for the weekend, or for …

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Womens Are Great in Bed:

(US$110.99 Today!) You have probably noticed before how much I have extolled the virtues of Thermarest’s wonderful sleeping pads. I particularly adore this one (the Noeair XLite Womens) as it as light as a feather (340 grams), ‘fits’ me perfectly at 20” x 66” (51 x 168 cm) and is superbly comfortable (moreso I think …

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The Compleat Survival Guide:

If you have no air, you have only about a minute to live. The absence of shelter and warmth may kill you in a few hours, lack of water in a few days, lack of food in weeks. Therefore it is clear where your priorities should lie, yet every year many folks perish/suffer mostly for …

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Thermarest Vesper Quilt

Thermarest have a new down quilt, the Vesper, available soon. It comes in 32F at 15 oz (0C & 428 grams) and 20F at 19 oz (-7C & 542 grams) and  insulated with Nikwax treated down. I would pair one with either their new Uber mat at 8.8 oz (250 grams) for summer or with …

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NZ’s South Coast Track: Westies Hut to Cromarty:

After you have completed the wonderful journey on the South Coast Track from the Rarakau Car Park to the magical Westies Hut it is possible to continue the journey all the way to Puysegur Point Lighthouse, the Te Oneroa shelter and the ruins of the old mining town of Cromarty way out at Preservation Inlet …

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ThermaRest NeoAir Uberlite

Thermarest has taken up the challenge of Big Agnes 270 gram AXL Air Pad and presented their new offering a 250 gram Uberlite pad at the Outdoor retailer Summer show in Denver. Of course it is also an uninsulated pad and so comes with a R-rating of 2.0 which would be fine for most summer …

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Ultralight Multi-Tool

‘Do you need a knife you barely notice is in your pocket because it is so unbelievable light and thin? German steel and Swiss precision makes it a great tool.’ Crono N3: Weight: 28 g Measures: 9.5 x 1.5 x 0.4 cm Features: Bottle opener, fish scaler, wire stripper, cm-scale, hexagon (4x), wing nut opener, …

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Hands Free Hammock Media Viewer:

The Hangtime Hook: This is a neat little gadget for watching a movie when you are lying back in the wilderness somewhere in your hammock. I can’t say I am so addicted to TV that I do this often, but I have done so a couple of times. It requires a ridgeline, which is a …

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How Warm a Bag or Quilt Do I Need?

I was asked this by a friend of mine who was planning his first overnight hunt (in winter) years ago in an area I often visit too. I have never needed a bag warmer than -1 to -3 C (and weighing just over half a kilo) even though I often sleep out in winter – …

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The Thermal Conductivity of Gases

It appears you can nearly double the R-rating of hiking mats or other gear by filling them with eg CO2 which is cheap and readily available instead of eg air or nitrogen. I can see how this can easily be done eg with closed cell foams, but for an inflatable mat you would either need …

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Pine Down Blanket

Ultralight on a budget. Over at Massdrop they have this interesting 3 season down quilt for just US$99.99 (July 2018). It can be used as a blanket or a quilt due to some interesting innovative features. If you pair it with their Massdrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad at only US$59.99 you have a very …

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Have you tried the new Pulse Pasta?

Made only from beans and peas instead of grains – and so much better for you. Especially if you have a blood sugar problem. Also gluten free. We have and found it delicious. It has more of a nutty flavour than normal wheat pasta: https://sanremo.com.au/products/pulse-pasta-spaghetti/ Of course you will need a sauce to go with …

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Exped Synmat HL Winter M

My thanks to reader (Belle) for alerting me to the Exped Synmat HL Winter M (I had overlooked) which weighs 430 grams and has an R-rating of 5.0 at 183 cm long 52 wide (35 cm at the foot) and 9 thick. You do need a 60 gram bag to blow it up, but this …

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AXL Air Down Pad

I am thinking of modifying one of Big Agnes’ AXL Air Pads (by cutting it down say to 5’4″) and adding in approximately 4 ounces of Hyper Dry Down. This should give me a pad which weighs around 360 grams is 4″ thick yet has an R-rating of around 6.0 – so suitable for say …

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