Hiking

Closed Cell Foam Pad  Reinvented

Nemo Equipment have ‘reinvented’ the closed cell foam pad. Agreed, it is bulky Well possibly even bulkier – at least than an inflatable) but their new 2 cm thick ‘Switchback’ pad promises much greater comfort still with a very acceptable weight (293 grams in 51″ length and 415 in 72″) and greater durability without the …

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A Snippet in Time

SOG have a very nice little multi tool in competition with the Leatherman Micra, the ‘Snippet’. ‘Not every situation warrants a large, full-featured multi-tool. Sometimes you need something that will fit on a key chain, or even disappear into your pocket. For times like that, we have Snippet. A tool designed to help with quick …

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510 Gram 2 Person Double Walled Framed Tent

Not so long ago people thought this was impossible. I have been complaining for years that hiking manufacturers could not get their heads around making their products seriously light, so I have been making my own (such as this and this). Now, Big Agnes have made one for those of you who cannot do so …

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Twenty Most Popular Ultralight Hiking Posts

Just to whet your appetite as to what this blog contains I have gathered together some of my most popular posts over the last three years into one spot – and here they are. Each of them has been read by tens of thousand of people. Hope you enjoy them too: Sambar Deer Stalking #101: …

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Suppose you had just one pot

What pot would it be? I have previously suggested this Vargo 450 ml pot at 62 grams for an overnight camp or for emergencies. It is an excellent mug (though lidless) with a wonderful cool lip – so you don’t burn yours!  but it would never do for a longer trip. I have pointed out …

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Sand and Sea Training

I am starting to recover a bit from my back op so time for a wedding anniversary toddle around Sandy Point/Shallow Inlet South Gippsland Vic. As usual Spot leads the way through the Tea Tree tunnel to the inlet. Where we are greeted by this wonderful view. Wilsons Prom in the distance. You can see …

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DIY Crampons

I bought a pair of Yaktrax Pros for my Everest Base Camp walk. You need some extra traction when you are going to be crossing glaciers like the Khumbu where a fall can be decidedly fatal. I have since seen even lighter ones such as Vargos but I need such things so little I doubt …

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To Build a Fire

Jack London was one of my favourite writers when I was a kid He wrote lots of stories especially about the Klondike gold rush at the turn of the C20th. If you have never read White Fang or Call of the Wild for example it is about time you did. They are just about the …

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Best $5 Spent on Camping Gear Ever

What is the most useful piece of gear you can buy for $5? Over the years I have posted about lots of things I carry which cost less than $5 – and some which cost nothing at all! You will notice many such items in my gear list on this post: A Gorilla in the Hand but here …

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Follow Your Nose

As a deer hunter I have failed to follow my own advice on this one more than once to my regret as you can read in my account of my recent Dusky walk below. Trust your nose, Somewhere upwind possibly just in sight is something important you need to pay attention to. More about New …

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Aeon Li

At last from Henry Shires a pyramid tent which you can have open when it rains but the inside doesn’t get wet – and also an acceptable weight at 496 grams including stakes – for the single model.  It looks a little like my Deer Hunter’s Tent. Parallel evolution is fascinating. Like my tent it …

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Dry Change 5.7 oz

The Massdrop Veil range has to constitute just about the lightest and cheapest dry change you can carry when hiking. I have had the similar thing in Montbell (a few grams lighter) and dearer for many years. I have used them a lot (of course mostly in camp) and they are still as good as …

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More Fun in the Rain

Ponchos, Umbrellas or Raincoats? That is the question. What’s the best way to stay dry in the rain and enjoy yourself in the outdoors while doing so? I have been soaking wet, all over, every ‘warm’ layer down to my skin, more times than I can count. Mostly of course it was when I was …

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Gully Walking

Most of the ‘great’ walking tracks (like the Alps’ for example) head along the tops where I admit the views outward and downwards can be truly awe inspiring. They do lack for water (and fish) however, are often windy and/or with very changeable weather that can be a challenge for tents and even survival. Often …

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Why These Umbrellas Will Last Forever

Davek Umbrellas. They are confident: ‘Unconditionally Guaranteed For Life: Every Davek umbrella comes with an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee. If, during its lifetime, the umbrella should fail to function properly for any reason whatsoever, the company will gladly repair or replace it for free.’ https://au.davekny.com/ The lightest appears to be: The Davek Mini: https://au.davekny.com/collections/umbrellas/products/the-davek-mini under 1 …

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The Loop Alien

This is a really great idea for tightening your guy line or tarp suspension. No knots. Will slip through a loop on your pegs to make a very secure guy line system on particularly windy nights. I like it. It is not intended as a weight bearing device. I think you can see from the …

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Thindown:

A new down insulation material. Thindown creates this fabric by adding an adhesive to the down after it has expanded which then traps the down between two ultralight layers of fabric so what it can no longer move around. This means that the resulting product can be used in many different ways to create a …

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Ultralight Cigar Case

Something for the ultralight hiker who has everything (with Xmas always coming up). But these might also be quite serviceable as ultralight glasses cases, if you can’t afford a plastic jar of Hormel Bacon Pieces at 33 grams (which I keep my spare pair in) or this free idea at 12 grams! Massdrop price US29.99 …

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Liptrap to the Five Mile:

Fit young people might complete this walk in a single day, but folks with more age or sense will take two or more. It is a beautiful, isolated part of our coastline which we plan to walk again as soon as/if my back is better. Then I hope for an extended foray to Mt Darling …

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Beginning Hiking

(or hunting). Too many people are ‘gear junkies’ or ‘gear snobs’. However, remember this: Grandma Gatewood completed the Appalachian Trail (twice – at 67 the first time!) equipped with a shower curtain as a raincoat, a home-made duffel bag (& etc). I’m sure John Colter and Daniel Boone crossed the continent with considerably less – …

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