Hiking

What a Beautiful Knife

The CRKT Eros K455TXP Titanium Gentleman’s Folder available on Massdrop this morning for US$ 109.99 instead of the regular price of US$225 – over 50% off! What a bargain. Love this site! I know I don’t either need or deserve a new pocket knife but I am seriously temted (for Xmas perhaps?) It comes with …

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I followed my footsteps: Everest Base Camp Trek #4

Two years ago today: Walking the Everest Base Camp Trail: I creep into Kathmandu in the small hours when only giant mountain dogs and stray donkeys roam the streets. After two nights at the wondrous Himalayan Traveller’s Inn, Thamel (now the Hotel Sapana Gardens), I creep out again in the dawn to fly to Lukla. …

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DIY Air Frame Pack

This will make your frameless pack more comfortable, transfer load to your waist belt and help keep your back dry. You can still buy an ‘air beam’ from Granite Gear for US$50.  You will need to make a 3D wicking mesh pocket on the back of your frameless pack (one like this or this for …

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Alps Walk

This short post is courtesy of Gerard White. I have meant to post it earlier. He and a friend walked this wonderful track a couple of years back. It is a long way from Melbourne to Canberra, but you can do this bit in a little over a week. These three wonderful shots fairly make …

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Ramble On

I like the title. It sounds like something I would use myself! These folks have written a history of hiking. So far it is only available in paperback at US$18.95 from Amazon which is a bit of a problem for folks like me in Oz – but remember you can use Shipito. Perhaps there will …

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Guaranteed for Life

These ‘Darn Tough’ socks are just beaut! You can see on the packet that they are ‘guaranteed for life’. I don’t suppose they will last forever really, but at least they will definitely last through a very long hike which many socks will not so that you can omit carrying a spare pair – which …

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Minnow Gripper

What’s not to like about these little beauties? https://countycomm.com/products/minnow-gripper Made in the U.S.A. ‘Hold up to 175 lb (80 kg) & weigh only .35 Ounce (10 grams). These heavy duty tarp clips create a grommet instantly on any material. Powerful cross-hatch surface gripping jaws clinch tighter as tension is applied. Great for fastening plastic sheeting, …

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1200th Post

Every hundred posts or so I take time to highlight significant posts on the website over the last few months. In this case it is 200 posts since 6th October 2017 and my 1000th Post. In that time I have made some belated posts about our Qld trip back in September including our  ascent of …

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Cheap Insulated Pad

US$69.99 (Sept 2018) Paria Outdoors a Texas-based company (Denver) have these excellent mats in stock at almost half the price of a Neoair. ‘The ReCharge UL camping pad is the perfect size (72 x 20 x 2.5 – 189 x 50x 6 cm) and weight (20 ounces – 570 grams) for ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers’. …

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The Ultralight Barista

So you would like a decent cup of coffee on the trail. I know that this is a problem for Della. Me? I am a philistine. I actually prefer instant. There are some little luxuries though where you might want to add a few grams to your otherwise ultralight outfit so that you can savour …

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How much weight in fuel?

Alcohol weighs 0.789 gram per cubic centimeter (or per millilitre – same thing). I use about 7 ml to boil one (250 ml) cup of water or about 5-6 grams. If I used butane I would use perhaps only 4 grams as it has a higher heat coefficient. However once I count carrying around the …

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A Wind Shell and an Umbrella

Might be your best choice combo for keeping dry in unexpected squalls without the need to carry a heavy rain coat. (You would be looking at around 5 oz/72 + 86 = 158 grams). A wind shell such a Montbell’s famous Tachyon is also the lightest way to add a little warmth on a cool …

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How Light Can a Tent Be

Well, let’s talk about a tarp really. You will need about an ounce I guess for the smallest Polycro groundsheet (unless you don’t use one, because you are perhaps desert hiking). To that you have to add the weight of a fly. I calculated that I could make my Pocket Poncho Tent (which weighed 185 …

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Tick Eliminator

These little pests are becoming more common in Australia. Of course in the States they carry the dreaded Lyme Disease. Carrying a safe means of removing them and/or treating tick bites on self/companion animals is becoming more urgent than ever.  Paralysis ticks have even spread to Southern Victoria. a couple of them (undetected for too …

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Hemmer Foot

If you are considering making your own tarp/shelter (you should) you might find one of these little gadgets a great help. You can buy a set of three (universal snap-on fit) from eg eBay for around $10. I will certainly be buying one. It should save me a lot of pinning. My finger arthritis also …

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Nuts to ‘Leave No Trace’

Leave No Trace strictures vs Vandalism: There is a better way. I have been involved in land management for nearly seventy years and have planted thousands of trees, even this year when I am laid up with this ‘broken’ back. Surely most who read this have also thrilled to depictions of just the opposite, such …

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Riding on the Sheeps’s Back

Or vice versa. Patagonia’s Woolyester Fleece (US$139 – Oct 2018) might  be a great mid-layer addition to your other wool clothing, your Kathmandu/Columbia thermal for example, and your Kathmandu or Columbia wool shirt. I rarely get cold enough (even in winter) when I am walking to need such a layer. I have probably put one …

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Whoopie Sling Guy Line Tensioners

I am surprised you can’t buy whoopie sling guy lines. I am even more surprised that high-end tents don’t come with them as standard. They have to be the lightest and most elegant option. You will have to make your own. I would say that the 1.75mm ‘Zing It’ would be an ideal size for …

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Two Great Cheap Tents

Two weeks ago I posted a suggestion that you could get a pretty good tent from Aliexpress for around A$50. I was so impressed by my own hype I ordered two of them on the 2nd September and they were in my mailbox on the 12th – all the way from China! I am still …

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Mac Cat Tarp

If you are looking for a lightweight intelligently designed tarp which will keep you safe and dry in the back country I think you should try one of these. I would probably go for the MacCat Standard Silpro model myself – 285 grams, US$117.95 (including seam sealing – Sept 2018). This low-stretch material which Brian …

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