Backpacking

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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Point Smyth Coastal Reserve (Venus Bay).

This is a lovely spot to go for a long or short walk. You can walk all the way to Cape Liptrap (or further) if your heart so desires. Went for a little drive (and walk) with the dogs here after closing the shop yesterday. The dogs really enjoyed their run. It was difficult to …

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Pitching the Poncho: Warning: This may save your life:

  Some folks did not find my instructions quite clear enough about this (here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-deer-stalking-102/). These pictures may help. You can pitch a 5’ x 7’ nylon poncho as quite a good dry shelter (with a fire out the front). Tie the centre of one of the 7’ sides to a tree (or stick) about …

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Fiordland Moose:

Contrary to popular culture, these monsters are NOT a myth, but are alive and well and living in Fiordland. My own observations are that they are quite widely dispersed. This is more than confirmed by Ken Tustin’s Herculean efforts over 40 years to spot just one of them. During many trips along the Seaforth River …

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The Last Rebels

If this is true http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-19/last-rebels-25-things-we-did-kids-would-get-someone-arrested-today (and I suspect it IS) there is much to be done (removing countless Nanny State regulations is only one of them). A world where DIY is a novelty or adventure rather than the norm is a world gone mad. Fortunately for them my kids could easily double this list before …

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Golden Eye Mini Spotting Scope:

Some people have quizzed me about this scope which fits in a 35mm film canister. Old hunting friends probably still have one of these from me courtesy of Xmases long ago, but alas they have not been available for a number of years. Keep looking though. They are great! As you can see, it is …

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Hunting Daypack:

Most everyone carries too much gear (whether multi-day hiking, or just as a day pack). After my first solo hike of the Dusky Track Fiordland in 2006 (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/dusky-track-adventures-1/), the first thing I did when I came home was throw mout  my old expensive hunting daypack. I had spent some time working out how to carry …

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One Pole Tyvek Tipi:

  The ‘skin’ of a tipi is very nearly a semicircle. If it is a ‘normal’ 60 degree (cone) tipi, then (apart from a slight overlap for keeping out drafts), that’s exactly what it is. A semicircle with radius ‘R’ (eg 10’ – the width of the widest roll of Tyvek) will make a tipi …

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Tyvek Twin Fire Shelter:

I have completed this design today. I know it will make a wonderfully comfy shelter for 2-3 people. The photos are of the prototype. The tent is 6’ (1.8m) high at the front. Some finishing work and bush-testing is needed, but if you are keen to make your own and try it out, here goes: …

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The Ultimate Survival Gun:

My first one of these was my Armalite AR-7 .22 calibre. What a beautiful little gun it is: the way it folded up into its own stock with its 8 shot magazine is just excellent. At 1100 grams (2.5 pounds) and 400 mm (16”) long it is ideal for backpacking. Unfortunately as it is a …

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Sambar Deer Stalking #101:

I have hunted sambar deer for over 40 years in the Gippsland mountains (and elsewhere). Mostly I did it because it was fun and an excuse for a day out in the bush which I love. I still prefer lamb, and having been a sheep farmer for just as long, I always had plenty on …

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DIY Hiking Gear:

I guess I started doing this over 50 years ago before I was 13 (or so). One of my first projects was (what is now called – there was no name, or thing then) a bivy bag (or swag) which I sewed out of PU coated 2oz green ripstop nylon as I didn’t have a …

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Cuben Stuff Sacks:

Weigh less than half what snap-lock bags do (and beat everything else hands down), eg a camera pouch weighs 1.6 grams! Given that you need to sort your pack gear some way, you probably have a dozen or more bags which could be replaced with these beauties – probably saving you the equivalent of ½ …

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Cuben tape:

This stuff is wonerful. First, there is its obvious utility in joining/repairing cuben fibre. There is a single-sided and a double sided version – and it comes in various widths). You normally use it to make joins to create a wider tarp, or to make ‘no-sew’ cuben fibre stuff sacks. Where it really comes into …

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Smithsonian Multi-Tool Circa 1880

Even contains a PISTOL! Might be a little hard to lug around though. If you hanker to be a an ultralight hiker, you might decide to trim this down a little but, but the pistol could be handy for scaring bears – and other varmints on the trail, or to harvest some critter for the …

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Dehydrated Water:

Short of water: Suck a Pebble. This was my dad’s advice when I was a youngster. I thought at the time it was just a trick to prevent a dry mouth; something like chewing gum, but it has a more important feature: it prevents you breathing out through your mouth, THUS enormously reducing respiration water …

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Dinner Expedition Planning at Jeeralang:

That’s a map of the Mitchell on Matt’s phone, the (white) Tyvek tent between me and Spot, the Brasslite stove sitting on an upturned plastic bowl (a 19 gram leveling aid I am trying out) next to the box of Kiwifruit, my camo vest on the back of the chair, two magnifying glasses we have …

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Water: Rivers in the Sky: NEVER die of thirst:

Surprisingly perhaps that’s where the world’s largest rivers are. Extracting this humidity from the atmosphere is not necessarily that difficult. In the Atacama Desert in South America there are whole towns which garner their water supply from dew/fog screens which harvest humidity http://www.windows2universe.org/vocals/water_clouds.html . Pliny the Elder wrote of desert island (Hiero in the Canaries) …

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‘Supercharging’ LED torches:

Single AA or AAA LED torches are impressive enough with their 100/150 lumens output on a single 1.5 volt battery but these Cree LEDs on which they run are usually designed to run on 3 or more volts which means you usually can run them with either the AA (14500) or AAA (10440) sized lithium …

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Tent Lanterns

I have long used Fenix’s LD01 torch for this purpose, which I now see they have upgraded (the new LD02 model giving approx 20% more light on the brightest setting). It has three settings: 8, 25 and 100 ANSI lumens. The reflector is Loktited on and needs some careful work to unscrew it for the …

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