Shelter

New Ultralight Survival Shelter:

Terra Nova Superlite Bothy Bags. There are occasions when you just may not survive unless you have a roof, even when you are planning to arrive at a hut or paid accommodation (See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/) If you are not carrying a tent (or even an umbrella See eg http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-in-the-rain/ or http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-umbrella-redesigned/)  you should think about one …

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Fire Tent

  Further to my post about being able to light a fire in the rain, (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-light-a-fire-in-the-wet/) I have also long toyed with the idea of carrying/constructing a fire rain hat or raincoat so that heavy rain doesn’t put out your fire. The two occasions when it is really important to be able to light a …

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Inflatable Bathtub Groundsheet:

The lack of a bathtub floor is one of the chiefest comparative drawbacks of tarp camping vs tenting. I have been toying with this idea for some time. I used to usually collect some suitably lengthed dead branches and drape the edges of the tarp over them on the appropriate uphill side if rain threatened …

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Waterproofing Tent Floors and Ground Sheets:

I have mentioned this brilliant idea before but apparently I had not done a post about it. Jim Woods has this great treatment which dramatically increases the waterproofness of silnylon (or other) tent floors or groundsheets. It simply involves mixing some (tube) silicon with odourless turpentine (ratio approx 1:3), painting it on and waiting for …

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The Umbrella Redesigned:

Blunt umbrellas may not be the cheapest umbrellas but they may well be the sturdiest. They have been wind tunnel tested to not fail in Force 9 winds and have a two year warranty. If you are seeking a hiking umbrella which will not fail you in the wilds, this may be the choice. It …

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Henry’s Original Tarptent & Tarptent-for-2

The Tarptent sleeps 1+ (me, gear, +) and weighs 18 ounces complete with poles, stakes, tie lines etc. The Tarptent-for-2 sleeps 2 (or huge for one), weighs 24 ounces complete including generous beak, and has some additional room for gear. Both tents are floor-less, completely screened with zipper opening door and made from 1.1 oz …

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Hammock Pad Extender:

Ed Speer hit on this lightweight way to ensure that you stay warm in your hammock many years ago. You could make this yourself in a lightweight nylon (eg .7 oz/yd2, such as this: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/online-shop/argon-67) I don’t need the insulation for my knees as I always sleep on my back in a hammock, so mine …

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DIY Netless Hammock:

Over the years we have made lots of hammocks, but we would have made a better job if we had followed some expert instructions. The following instructions and photos were kindly provided by Simon McGuire at Tier Gear, Australia’s own Hammock and Tarp manufacturer and Outfitter. See them for all the materials needed to build …

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Poly Tent by The Ultralight Hiker on the Cheap:

As part of a series on economy backpacking, I bring you my new poly tent made from a ‘standard 8’ x 10’ poly tarp bought from the local Churchill Australia $2 shop. This one cost me A$7.99 and took only minutes to make. Mark out the tie-out positions as shown. Use Tarp clips (eg http://www.theultralighthiker.com/easyklip/ …

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Make Your Own Tarp or Hammock:

Tier Gear DIY Guides: Aussie Outfitter Tier Gear has an absolutely wonderful page of instructables here: http://www.tiergear.com.au/28/diy-guides which show in profound detail how to eg make your own superb hammock &/or hammock tarp – amongst other things. You can also buy all the materials from them. They deliver incredibly fast Australia-wide from their home in …

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Hammock Camping – Double Bunking:

Have you tried camping two up in a hammock with a single tarp? There are significant weight savings to be made… This is an 8’ x 8’ (2.4 x 2.4 metres) cuben tarp to which we sewed two 4’6” x 8’ (1.35 x 2.4 metres) ‘wings’ so we could close it off as a tarp …

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Backpacking Gear Advice: The Three ‘Biggies’:

I wrote this in reply to a query from a reader about what backpack, tent, sleeping bag he should buy. As you can see, I do not always recommend people ‘buy’. Hi (Reader) – and Thanks. As you can probably see from my light posting – and from my post this morning (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pneumonia/) , I …

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Vapor Barrier:

Whether in hot wet or cold weather humidity is one of the biggest problems. For example, you must never breathe inside your sleeping bag (or sweat). You are filling it with water which must be evaporated, so you are making it colder. There is a solution. The following information is from Stephenson’s Warmlite page. They …

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Hammock Hunting Till Dark:

The best hunting strategy is to be about where the deer are in the dawn and dusk. The easiest way to achieve this is to hammock camp so that you stop hunting when it gets dark, sling your hammock and tarp between two trees and start again at first light. If you have to knock …

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The Ultralight Bush Chair

Reader Jenny wrote to tell me about these wonderful chairs she makes when hiking. She thinks she could get the pack weight of her chair down to 50 grams. She writes, ‘The material is just a rectangle of fabric, with big seams top and bottom (bottom for the cross piece of wood to thread through; …

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Hiking in the Rain:

This is a very useful article. The author (http://gossamergear.com/wp/rain-guide-to-backpacking) is certainly right that after a while you are bound to get soaked to the skin. This may mean you have to camp early to get yourself under a roof and warm up (See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/) or it can be avoided by using an umbrella or (I …

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If you could only carry two things in the bush, what would they be?

Now I mean: if you suddenly found yourself there, having fallen out of a boat, after a plane crash which you miraculously survived – or if you were just magically transported there from your living room in just your shorts. Hauroko Burn Dusky Track Fiordland NZ. I think they should be things which you could …

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Inflatable Insulated Clothing:

 I am surprised this idea has not taken off more given that it is (trapped) air which is the insulator in all warm clothing, the more air trapped per unit weight being the yardstick for cross comparison. A product known as Aerovest (http://www.survivalmetrics.com/store/Item/id_aerovest_emergency_survival_vest) was available a few years ago. This provided a waterproof inflatable mylar …

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A Soft Pillow and a Warm Bed Under the Stars:

 Comfort. That’s what it’s really all about. A few extra ounces ought not to be sacrificed to inadequate rest. That’s why we always carry our Cyclone Chairs (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cyclone-chair/) @ 180 grams so we can really enjoy the time at the end of the day. We use Thermarest Neoair Xlite Women’s (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-hiking-mat-425g/) sleeping mats @ 340 …

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Easyklip

A good emergency lightweight tarp clip that will not let go: http://www.easyklip.com/ Mini = 12 grams. Of course, this remains the lightest tarp clip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/worlds-lightest-tarp-clip/