Clothing

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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Blisters:

This guy is RIGHT: One way to prevent heel blisters is to learn to tie your shoes differently, eg: http://life.damn.com/the-secret-of-the-extra-shoe-holes/?utm_source=nym&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shoeholesnym One other thing is sure, as soon as the skin on your feet starts to warm up, pop on a blister pad – available from pharmacies. Always carry some! See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/foot-care/

Rain Kilt

On our recent walk on the South Coast Track NZ this interesting zpacks innovation worked really well for me, keeping me warm (but not too) and dry above the knees, and providing a dry seat whenever I wanted to rest on a log. At 54 grams you are hardly going to notice it in your …

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Hiking Gear

Some great new hiking gear here: I particularly like the Berghaus VapourLight HyperSmock 2.0, Adidas Boost Technology, the Bungee laces, & the Cubic Tech breathable 50,000 JIS laminate: http://gossamergear.com/wp/gear-love/winter-2015-outdoor-retailer-trade-show-gear-interest-lightweight-backpackers-new-technologies-new-products

Socks

Socks: I have always liked the Holeproof Heroes as a summer weight wool sock. Pacific Brands is at least still an Aussie company and the wool at least comes from Australian sheep. I have tried all my life to buy Australian products and am probably the last man standing  to wear clothing and footwear either …

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Great news for gear junkies!

Great news for gear junkies (like me). I am particularly interested in Sea to Summit’s new pad and NWAlpine’s new cuben rain jacket, but they will have to be very good indeed to beat Thermarest’s Neoair or Zpacks rain jacket: http://www.eathomas.com/2015/01/27/or2015gearreport/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=or2015gearreport

Lamellar Vest

Lamellar Vest: You have probably seen me out and about in this great vest (I have two, which has to be the minimum number!) I would prefer green, as you can imagine but it only comes in black and two versions of camo. Still a great windproof, waterproof vest with wonderful pockets. You should get …

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Shoe Laces

I know many of us wear pull-on boots (perhaps because we can’t tie our laces), but there have been some advances in shoe laces: eg. Aramid Shoe Laces http://www.moontrail.com/accessrs/a-misc/aramid_laces.html and Dyneema: https://www.rhinolaces.com/ And, if you need help tying them: http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/tying.htm

Buying Gear Online

If you have difficulty buying stuff online, check out http://www.shipito.com/ They are just great. You can (for example) buy that stuff on Amazon (which has free US shipping but which they won’t send to Oz) and have Shipito forward it (very cheaply). We do this all the time. We usually use Shipito’s cheapest freight rates …

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Some wonderful hiking ‘goodies’ here:

I liked the ‘Grip Socks, the ‘mylar survival poncho’ and the new ‘Vasque shoes’, for example: http://gossamergear.com/wp/buzz-blog/outdoor-retailer-delivers-again-loads-of-new-updated-lighter-better-and-outrageous-gear-and-some-items-you-didnt-know-you-needed-or-not

More pack weight savings: now 2kg less!

Already a lightweight hiker, I have nonetheless managed to shave off nearly 2kg from my pack weight in prep for our next foray into the Fiordland wilderness. These were amongst the savings: Cuben Raincoat (save 334 grams), http://www.zpacks.com/ Waterproof Over Booties (save 365 grams), https://goosefeetgear.com/ Extra Light Down Jacket (save 200 grams), http://www.montbell.com/ New Pot …

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New Cuben Fibre Raincoat

My new raincoat. 154 grams (in my size) in waterproof, 40,000ml breathable cuben fibre from http://www.zpacks.com/ It is spectacular. Rolls up to the size of a pack of cigs. It comes in this attractive white colour only. Can hardly wait for some rain so I can try it out! It has Spot’s seal of approval …

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Hiking Pants

A pair of hiking pants which you can wear for 365 days and even sleep in which weigh 75 grams and a raincoat that you can ALSO sleep in @ 123 grams. That’s REAL weight saving: http://hikelighter.com/2012/01/26/montbell-dynamo-wind-pants/ & http://hikelighter.com/2013/11/07/zpacks-rain-jacket/ Update: I bought a pair of these as a dry change pair and for sleeping in – …

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Waterproof Split-Toe Socks?

Waterproof split-toe socks: you would THINK the Japanese (& others) who wear nothing but thongs would have long since invented them, but it seems they do NOT exist! However, I have modified my ultralight thongs into ultralight adjustable ‘thandels’ (@ 61 grams per pair) so that I can wear them with my seal skin waterproof …

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Pack Weight Reduction Tips

Though still a bit stiff and sore (I think mainly from the VERY hot walk on Wednesday afternoon) I am pretty happy to be still able to walk 20+km a day carrying a pack (even in fairly rugged country). Of course it helps if you can reduce the weight of the contents of your pack …

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1000 Fill Power Down Jackets

For next year’s winter hiking warmth there is 1000 fill power down: (http://www.thegearcaster.com/the_gearcaster/2013/02/1000-fill-power-down-jackets.html) but this ‘Mirage’ jacket @$309 should keep Della warm enough this winter: http://www.moontrail.com/mont-bell-mirage-parka.php PS: Check out the freebies ($100 worth on this jacket) at Moontrail: they are a good company to buy hiking gear from. Tip: you may need a ‘shipito’ address …

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Astonishing Hiking Equipment by Zpacks

These two young people make some astonishing hiking equipment, including fully functioning packs (http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/blast.shtml) from 255 grams (Della & I both walked across Tasmania carrying one of these), This 2 person ‘tent’ (http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/hexamid_plus.shtml) from 133 grams, this double groundsheet/poncho combo (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/groundsheet_poncho.shtml) from 173 grams, a sub zero sleeping bag (http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml) from 376 grams and a …

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Lifesystems Thermal Jacket

Now HERE is a GREAT idea: Lifesystems’ Thermal Jacket. 51 grams. I bought some at Bogong in Little Bourke St yesterday. Here is a fetching photo of me modelling one. It MAY never catch on as chic apparel but WILL no doubt have a place at fancy dress parties & etc. BUT what a great …

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Lightweight Hiking Shoe

Who would have believed a hiking/running shoe which weighs less than 220 grams? http://www.inov-8.com/Products.asp?PG=PG1&L=26and these people have a river crossing shoe which weighs 53 grams: http://www.sprintaquatics.com/prodinfo.asp?number=901

World Travel Kit

When my son was planning to go backpacking overseas I made this list of essential items for him to have in his pack. A useful list for anyone who is interested in ultralight backpacking. ———– You need to start ordering around six months ahead as some items may take a while to be made/arrive. It would be …

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