Backpacking

How Light Can a Tent Be

Well, let’s talk about a tarp really. You will need about an ounce I guess for the smallest Polycro groundsheet (unless you don’t use one, because you are perhaps desert hiking). To that you have to add the weight of a fly. I calculated that I could make my Pocket Poncho Tent (which weighed 185 …

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Tick Eliminator

These little pests are becoming more common in Australia. Of course in the States they carry the dreaded Lyme Disease. Carrying a safe means of removing them and/or treating tick bites on self/companion animals is becoming more urgent than ever.  Paralysis ticks have even spread to Southern Victoria. a couple of them (undetected for too …

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Hemmer Foot

If you are considering making your own tarp/shelter (you should) you might find one of these little gadgets a great help. You can buy a set of three (universal snap-on fit) from eg eBay for around $10. I will certainly be buying one. It should save me a lot of pinning. My finger arthritis also …

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Nuts to ‘Leave No Trace’

Leave No Trace strictures vs Vandalism: There is a better way. I have been involved in land management for nearly seventy years and have planted thousands of trees, even this year when I am laid up with this ‘broken’ back. Surely most who read this have also thrilled to depictions of just the opposite, such …

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Riding on the Sheeps’s Back

Or vice versa. Patagonia’s Woolyester Fleece (US$139 – Oct 2018) might  be a great mid-layer addition to your other wool clothing, your Kathmandu/Columbia thermal for example, and your Kathmandu or Columbia wool shirt. I rarely get cold enough (even in winter) when I am walking to need such a layer. I have probably put one …

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Whoopie Sling Guy Line Tensioners

I am surprised you can’t buy whoopie sling guy lines. I am even more surprised that high-end tents don’t come with them as standard. They have to be the lightest and most elegant option. You will have to make your own. I would say that the 1.75mm ‘Zing It’ would be an ideal size for …

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Two Great Cheap Tents

Two weeks ago I posted a suggestion that you could get a pretty good tent from Aliexpress for around A$50. I was so impressed by my own hype I ordered two of them on the 2nd September and they were in my mailbox on the 12th – all the way from China! I am still …

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Mac Cat Tarp

If you are looking for a lightweight intelligently designed tarp which will keep you safe and dry in the back country I think you should try one of these. I would probably go for the MacCat Standard Silpro model myself – 285 grams, US$117.95 (including seam sealing – Sept 2018). This low-stretch material which Brian …

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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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