Hiking

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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These Down-Filled Quilts are So Light

Filled with hydrophobic down the Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilts start at 272 grams for a 30F/-2C quilt in 5’6” Regular and cost from US229.99 on Massdrop. This would be Della’s size though she would go for a warmer version (20F) at 347 grams which would still save her over 50 grams on the one she …

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The Ultralight Comb

No longer happy with your old plastic comb to ensure you always look beautiful in the wilderness? ‘Vanity, thy name is man’ as Hamlet says. I know mine which has been in my pack for over twenty years  has a tooth missing (courtesy of my daughter, Irralee on the Dusky Track c 2007), so perhaps …

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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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