Geoscience Australia’s Free 1:250,000 Topo Maps

A complete topographical map of Australia is available free in 1:250,000 scale. This is quite adequate to find your way and prevent your getting lost. You can download the maps, copy them to a storage file on your phone and then open them with PDF Maps Or Avenza – if you want to be restricted …

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Never Get Lost – With Google Offline Maps

So long as you have a smart phone (with GPS and Compass – be sure it does before you buy it!) you don’t need a Garmin or any other GPS device, and you don’t need to pay for any maps or Apps. You can organise your phone so that you need never get lost. However …

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Garmin Inreach Mini:

At last a fully functional GPS, satellite communicator and epirb which weighs 100 grams (3.5 oz!) The new and improved ‘Poor Man’s Satellite Phone‘. I already own the earlier ‘Delorme Inreach’ model (190 grams) which I love, so can’t imagine just now spending perhaps A$499 (Jun 2018) on its replacement in order to save carrying …

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Mighty Tiny Phone:

Following the success of their ‘Jelly’ the smallest 4G smartphone, which is still available for US124.99 (May 2018) Uniherrtz have developed this little beauty the ‘Atom’ which comes with many other features (including now a really serious 16 meg camera). If you remember the Jelly weighs only 60 grams and fits in the fob pocket …

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Never Get Lost – Just $20:

Only 37 grams, the Brunton Get Back Mini GPS: Quickly shows the way back to your starting point by the shortest, most direct route. Instead of retracting your steps at the end of the day, you can head straight home, as the crow flies, always on course. Points directly back to any of three points, …

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Restore Pdf Maps Functionality:

I recommended this App back in Nov ’14: It’s great for viewing eg Victoria’s Topo maps in a Georeferenced form, ie the GPS on your phone will work to show your location, route etc on the map. All Qld’s Topo maps will also work and are available free here: Many folks have probably noticed that …

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Walking the Line

You have one leg slightly shorter than the other. Therefore if you are blindfolded you will walk in a circle. Clearly you need some other clue to stop yourself from doing this in the wild. There are a number of ‘tricks’ to learn. I have already mentioned how to use your observations of the ‘lie …

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Ultralight Hiking USB cables, etc.

This is my tiny bag of cables and other electronic goodies. The cable (17 grams) is only 6″ (15 cm) long and comes with interchangeable tips (5 grams each). Shown USB, micro USB (x2) and Sat Phone charger plug (comes with, so total = 27 grams) – this will get all my hiking devices charged …

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Don’t like Google’s intrusiveness?

You can get most Apps here without a Google account: If you go to their site you will see that each App has already been checked by perhaps 50 Anti Virus programmes to be safe – no doubt you can also run it past your own. This may be the next best thing to …

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Get Lost. Get Found: Best Plb/Epirb:

Which one to buy? A two-way message function and a tracking function are nice add-ons. If you just want a straight emergency beacon, the decision is relatively simple: weight, battery life, replaceable battery or not, will it work where you’re going…but there are many devices out there which offer much more. Some (such as Spot) …

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Personal Locator Beacon

130 grams is not very much to carry to save your life, these GPS Personal Locator Beacons look very useful: See also:

Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones: so many things to know…When buying one you really need to check out the frequencies covered, eg it must have 3G = 850 to function on Telstra’s nextG network, which offers superior connectivity in rural areas. Nearly all Samsung phones have an external antenna connection point under the back cover (you may have …

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Buying Gear Online

If you have difficulty buying stuff online, check out 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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Waterproof Snaplock Bags

Aloksak make really great waterproof to 200 metres snaplock bags. This one is even big enough to put your rifle in (great for canoeing/boating/hunting trips). It is the only waterproof gun bag I know of: