The Best Laid Schemes

(As Robbie Burns opined) “o’ Mice an’ Men. Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain” (‘To a Mouse’: The photo of Spot and I testing out the new Klymit packraft ( on the farm dam give no hint of this. I need to inflate it some more I think. I …

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Fitting Your Backpack:

This is really good advice. Apart from having a backpack which is too heavy and too large, the next biggest mistake people make is not having chosen/made it the correct torso length, then not having put it on correctly: That being said though, I think these standard instructions (which might be fine for slim, …

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Sleeping Pad Pack Frame:

If you don’t own a Gossamer gear pack but want to add an Air beam to another frameless pack for load transfer you could try this idea: We added this system ourselves with some elastic to a pack (plus one Klymit Air beam) with spectacular results, not least being a dry back! Mountain Laurel …

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Backpack Repairs:

You may have noticed this photo in one of my recent posts about the South Coast Track: Della making stirling efforts to repair my backpack under trying conditions: overcast, rain, sandflies etc at the Waitutu Hut; a woman to die for: Now that we are home she has properly repaired my old backpack ( …

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Ultralight Hunting Daypack Update:

Need a tougher daypack? Some folks have commented that they want a tougher pack than say the Osprey ( or Sea to Summit ( or Zpacks Zero ( – now the Nero 309 grams: so they can carry lots of meat/etc betimes (and are happy to carry over 100 grams! They should maybe move to …

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Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack:

Great new hiking day pack: 18 litres, three compartments, water bottle pocket, 90 grams assorted colours, available: I think you could squeeze an overnight trip into it. Worth a try anyway. Add it to the suggestions here:

Segmented: Stuff Sack Organizes Your Gear

The SegSac has internal dividers to keep clothes and gear from floating around in your pack or luggage. See also:

Klymit Air Beam Inflatable Pack Frame Update:

After initially failing to inflate the pad from totally flat by mouth, I staggered to the incorrect conclusion that I needed some artificial means of inflation – hence the post about making an adapter for a Platypus bottle (which would work). Somewhere in there I bought a pack of Pope 4mm Sealing Plugs (possibly .1 …

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Air Beam Pad:

I have always used Gossamer’ Gear’s ‘Sitlight’ pad as padding and partial load transfer in my GG and Zpacks packs. This new pad beats them hands down for comfort and getting that weight down onto your hips where it belongs. The pad itself (12” x19” x ¾”) weighs 68 grams compared to the ‘Sitlight’ @ …

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Ultralight Pack:

It is quite difficult to buy a sub-600 gram pack (@55 litre) ‘off the shelf’ for reasonable money. I have tried a number over the years and would not carry anything else. The ‘list’ below is not exhaustive but intended as a good starting point: Gossamer Gear’s (now 54 litre ‘tried and true’ G4 …

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Woven Dyneema:

New fabric for hiking packs etc. This stuff should be ultra tough yet very light. It will be difficult to even cut it with a knife! So far these folks seem to be the first to make it into a pack, but I’m sure more will follow. I am hoping that it will also come …

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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 (, 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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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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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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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:

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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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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Astonishing Hiking Equipment by Zpacks

These two young people make some astonishing hiking equipment, including fully functioning packs ( from 255 grams (Della & I both walked across Tasmania carrying one of these), This 2 person ‘tent’ ( from 133 grams, this double groundsheet/poncho combo ( from 173 grams, a sub zero sleeping bag ( from 376 grams and a …

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Six Moon Designs Dyneema Pack Review

I don’t know whether I posted a report on my Six Moon Designs Dyneema pack, the Swift – which I think my wife gave me earlier for Xmas. It has proved wonderfully comfortable and durable. It would be hard to beat in a 428 gram pack (at $110!). I switched the waist belt for a single one …

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