DIY

Thermoplastics #101

I have been playing a bit with heat sealable materials. I decided to buy a sealing iron $A50 – a sound buy. Tried it out on one of the pillows I bought for my sleeping pad side insulation which I had been reluctant to touch as I was finding it so comfortable, but at 100 …

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A Wider Lighter DIY Sleeping Pad

Unless you are tiny (like my wife Della) I’m sure that you have found that when you sleep on your back your arms fall off the sides of a ‘standard’ 20″ sleeping pad such as my wonderful Exped Winter mat shown. This is both uncomfortable and cold. Of course you could buy a (much) wider …

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Even More Free Stuff for Hiking

Yet another sixteen ‘free’ ultralight hiking ideas. Enjoy. A Cure for Slippery Mats: I have just spent a couple of weeks sleeping on my new Big Agnes AXL Air 300 gram mat in Scotland. It is indubitably the most comfortable mat I have ever slept on, but it does suffer from being a tad slippery. …

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Tim Tinker

I am tossing around some ideas concerning DIY tent stoves – as you know, so I was delighted to stumble upon this amazing website: https://timtinker.com/ by a fellow Gippsland Senior – we are good for something still after all. As you will see Tim camps in the snow all the time, so his ideas clearly …

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Seamless Tyvek Tipi

How big a tipi can you make in a single piece out of a 3 metre (10’) wide roll of Tyvek? I began this project as I want to take one in and leave it in a canoe drum along with a small wood heater to warm it on winter nights at ‘our’ new ‘hidden …

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Extempore Hiking Poles

You can use Pipe Insulation to make extempore hiking poles or tent poles when you are in the bush. The piece shown weighs 5 grams. It certainly saves you carrying hiking poles when you don’t need them. When you do you can cut them to length with this 28 gram DIY ultralight saw. If you …

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Embryo Wire:

The Americans call this ‘O.B. Wire’ (for ‘obstetrics’). Vets use it to cut up a stuck calf inside its mother! I have used this stuff to de-horn hundreds of goats in past years (It is not possible to breed poll goats as the poll gene is linked to hermaphroditism). You can quickly tie a length …

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Cheap Comfy Hiking Pillow

I was after a couple of cheap light weight pillows for another project (more about that later), so I sourced two of these on eBay for less than A$20 delivered (the pair). These pillows are approximately 18” x 12’ x 4” (45 x 30 x 10 cm) and weigh 100 grams.They have a delightful soft, …

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More Free Stuff for Hiking

My first sixteen posts about free stuff for hiking proved popular, so here are another sixteen: Home Made Pack Raft I bought a $40 raft (Intex) from Clark Rubber and reinforced it with a layer of poly tarp which can be attached to it with polyethylene tape (from greenhouse suppliers), ‘Gaffer’ or ‘Duct’ tape. You …

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Free Stuff for Hiking

You really don’t need to spend up big to have great stuff for hiking, hunting etc as I posted recently here: https://www.theultralighthiker.com/2019/01/30/best-5-spent-on-camping-gear-ever/. For example, for years I carried a $50 .303 Lee-Enfield which has still harvested more deer than the newer guns Della bought for me for special occasions (50th Birthday, 40th wedding anniversary etc). …

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Xionel: Cheap Flexible Solar

I am looking for a way to efficiently charge a Mavik Pro drone battery in the field multiple times. I plan to take mine ‘hunting’ with me so I can get some really good aerial footage of sambar deer.  Obviously I will not be using it to help me kill a deer. Clearly I will …

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DIY Air Frame Pack

This will make your frameless pack more comfortable, transfer load to your waist belt and help keep your back dry. You can still buy an ‘air beam’ from Granite Gear for US$50.  You will need to make a 3D wicking mesh pocket on the back of your frameless pack (one like this or this for …

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Kill Wasp Queens Now

Spring in Australia and the wasp queens are out and about. If you don’t kill them now there will be hundreds of these introduced pests everywhere come summer to spoil your barbecue or sting your kids. Last year I managed to tread on a European wasp’s nest and was bitten dozens of times. Let me …

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Electric Drill Earth Auger:

I have been substantially laid up with this back (slipped disc then back op. – basically since July dammit!). Slowly getting better I hope (?) Meanwhile however my daughter Merrin and I have planted about 300 trees mainly using this method which costs at most a couple of dollars ($A) and at least A$1 when …

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Minnow Gripper

What’s not to like about these little beauties? https://countycomm.com/products/minnow-gripper Made in the U.S.A. ‘Hold up to 175 lb (80 kg) & weigh only .35 Ounce (10 grams). These heavy duty tarp clips create a grommet instantly on any material. Powerful cross-hatch surface gripping jaws clinch tighter as tension is applied. Great for fastening plastic sheeting, …

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It’s Not My Fault

It’s Not My Fault: Self-help before you despair. On 02/10/2018 I had this post The Parting of the Ways (Below) in which I hinted that not only may there be a small group of themes which inform our lives but that there may be a small group of delusions which drag them down. As an …

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Ultralight Pocket Lockpick

54 grams: The SouthOrd Jackknife Lockpick. How could you go anywhere without one? Why bother to carry keys at all? They are probably heavier then this anyway. A great substitute for the Keychain Reinvented. Of course it might take a little practice to actually open your front door with it – and it may be …

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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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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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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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