Backpacking

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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Spot’s Hunting Adventures #1: Mystery River

I needed to give the ‘Tyvek Solo Fire Shelter’ (I posted about here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-solo-fire-shelter/ ) a little practical test. What could be a better opportunity than the coldest June night since I was born, I thought. Combining Google Earth http://www.theultralighthiker.com/google-earth-gets-a-facelift/ and the GMA maps showing where it is lawful to hunt deer, (http://www.gma.vic.gov.au/hunting/deer/where-to-hunt/deer-hunting-locations/deer-hunting-in-eastern-victoria) I thought …

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Soylent

Emergency (No-Cook) Hiking/Survival food, hopefully NOT such a by-product as in the film ‘Soylent Green’ (Book: “make Room! Make Room! Harry Harrison); 459 gram sachet = 2000 calories: ‘Soylent is a simple, efficient and affordable drink that possesses what a body needs to be healthy. Soylent is a new option for maintaining a balanced state …

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Hiking for Voyeurs

Following hot on the heels of ‘Wild’, Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’ is soon to hit the big screen with Robert Redford in the starring cast. Della will want to see this. I admit I enjoyed the book, though I suspect I would enjoy the walk even more, so long as too many …

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Keychain goodies:

Spyderco Bug Knife (1 1/8” blade): add this to your Photon Freedom Micro (torch) and Verbatim Store’n’go Micro USB Drive (now in 32 Gb) on your keychain. There are so many other keychain knives to choose from though, eg: http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?ttl=key%20ring%20knives&eqpif5datarq=key&a=folder& Of course you CAN have it all-in-one with Victorinox Swiss Flash LED 16GB!

Survival Laces

Put a fire starting kit on your feet. When out in the wilderness, it can be a good idea to take along a backup fire-maker, just in case your matches get damp or rubbing sticks gets you nowhere. With this in mind, Survival Laces include a small fire starting kit, and some fishing line too, …

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Hiking Food: McKenzie’s Quick Cook Soups

McKenzie’s Quick Cook Soups (180 grams per packet). We tried the first of these, Hearty Vegetable tonight. I expected it would need a bit of spicing up but it did not; it was excellent. HIGHLY recommended. Also discovered that you can thicken a soup (and add nutrition) by stirring in some Continental (Deb) Mashed Potato …

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The Ideal Pack

PACKS: A comfy pack will certainly make the difference between a hiking experience being enjoyable and its being a nightmare you are not going to want to repeat. When I was a young teenager I started out with an old ex-army framed pack which was hideously uncomfortable as soon as you put any weight in …

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Wirilda Track

A couple of delightful hours yesterday afternoon. The lower half of the track follows the one of the original Morwell water supply pipelines. There were/are a series of weirs (lowest shown) on the Tyers River long since replaced by the much larger Moondarra Dam. The first pipeline was wooden – you can see the carefully …

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