Hiking

The Thermal Conductivity of Gases

It appears you can nearly double the R-rating of hiking mats or other gear by filling them with eg CO2 which is cheap and readily available instead of eg air or nitrogen. I can see how this can easily be done eg with closed cell foams, but for an inflatable mat you would either need …

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Pine Down Blanket

Ultralight on a budget. Over at Massdrop they have this interesting 3 season down quilt for just US$99.99 (July 2018). It can be used as a blanket or a quilt due to some interesting innovative features. If you pair it with their Massdrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad at only US$59.99 you have a very …

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Have you tried the new Pulse Pasta?

Made only from beans and peas instead of grains – and so much better for you. Especially if you have a blood sugar problem. Also gluten free. We have and found it delicious. It has more of a nutty flavour than normal wheat pasta: https://sanremo.com.au/products/pulse-pasta-spaghetti/ Of course you will need a sauce to go with …

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Exped Synmat HL Winter M

My thanks to reader (Belle) for alerting me to the Exped Synmat HL Winter M (I had overlooked) which weighs 430 grams and has an R-rating of 5.0 at 183 cm long 52 wide (35 cm at the foot) and 9 thick. You do need a 60 gram bag to blow it up, but this …

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AXL Air Down Pad

I am thinking of modifying one of Big Agnes’ AXL Air Pads (by cutting it down say to 5’4″) and adding in approximately 4 ounces of Hyper Dry Down. This should give me a pad which weighs around 360 grams is 4″ thick yet has an R-rating of around 6.0 – so suitable for say …

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No Cold Shoulder Spreader Hammock:

I like the spreader bar on this new hammock from Rei. This would stop that annoying thing where the hammock fabric compresses the insulation of your sleeping bag at shoulder-to-elbow and creates a cold spot. There are several other ways around this eg a wider mat, a pad extender, etc, but I feel that this …

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Clever Titanium Windscreen

Steve Evans at Suluk 46 has a really cleverly designed adjustable titanium windscreen. You especially need a windscreen if you are cooking with alcohol or esbits, but in any case the wind will steal as much as half of the heat your stove is generating. That wasted fuel will weigh much more than this neat …

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Massdrop In Stock

Massdrop now have some of their great specials in stock – so you don’t have to wait for a drop. For example, they have the Enlightened Equipment Quilt I recently posted about for US $219.99 (Jun 2018). Their excellent  Fizan compact hiking poles I wrote about here are just US$59.99 a pair. The Massdrop Klymit …

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Garmin Inreach Mini:

At last a fully functional GPS, satellite communicator and epirb which weighs 100 grams (3.5 oz!) The new and improved ‘Poor Man’s Satellite Phone‘. I already own the earlier ‘Delorme Inreach’ model (190 grams) which I love, so can’t imagine just now spending perhaps A$499 (Jun 2018) on its replacement in order to save carrying …

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A Quilt for all Seasons

There is no doubt that a quilt can be lighter, more comfortable, and a lot less inconvenient to enter and exit than a bag. A down quilt can weigh under 500 grams for something which will rate around -10C (providing you have a warm mat), so you can see that you can definitely make one …

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What to include in a wilderness cache:

I have a number of favourite spots I visit every now and then sprinkled around the Gippsland bush mainly far from roads. Many are on the other side of large rivers which sometimes rise unpredictably and can cut you off for many days from ‘civilisation’ – whatever that is. Here I was two days ago …

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Blizzard Bag

A cheap lightweight reusable waterproof sleeping bag/shelter which will save your life in an emergency. I have had one of these in the bottom of my day pack for over ten years. To date (fortunately) I have never had to use it, though I have come pretty close a number of times. By the same …

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Cold Season Pads:

I have used the Thermarest Neoair Womens for years. It has an (insulation) R-rating of 3.9. I was quite warm enough in it at around zero Celsius with just a Columbia Silver Ridge shirt and trousers and a pair of thin (Holeproof Heroes) wool socks in my – 1C Montbell bag. If it got a …

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Mattresses I have Known:

 I doubt anything else about camping has changed so much as sleeping. When I was a lad I always just slept on the bare ground. As a bit of a sissy, my only concession to comfort was to dig the traditional hip hole (which was derided by tougher-minded types) then maybe lean my head on …

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Brawny’s ‘Tarptent’

This is a very useful video on how to create a lightweight shelter from a standard 10’ x 12’ silnylon tarp: Many other fascinating vids by this outstanding lady, Carol Wellman here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=brawny03 You can buy such a tarp eg from Aliexpress for around $30: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-hiking-on-a-budget/  Hiking does not have to be just for the …

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Happy Birthday Ultralight Hiker:

Who would have thought three years ago today that this blog would have over 1100 posts, a million words plus of content, (ten+ novels’ worth!) over 15,000 images, and so many followers – someone every minute! Some recent doings: Exploring a 6,000 year old Brock at Camster Northern Scotland last week: My daughter Merrin launched …

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Mighty Tiny Phone:

Following the success of their ‘Jelly’ the smallest 4G smartphone, which is still available for US124.99 (May 2018) Uniherrtz have developed this little beauty the ‘Atom’ which comes with many other features (including now a really serious 16 meg camera). If you remember the Jelly weighs only 60 grams and fits in the fob pocket …

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A Cure for Slippery Mats:

I have just spent a couple of weeks sleeping on my new Big Agnes AXL Air 300 gram mat in Scotland. It is indubitably the most comfortable mat I have ever slept on, but it does suffer from being a tad slippery. I will be taking some of my own advice below. (The dogs as …

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Nightcore Tube Hat Clip:

My thanks to Kiarnan over at Reddit for this idea https://imgur.com/gallery/JfLTn His bobby pin idea worked just as well with a couple of ‘O-rings’ such as I usually use in my own head torch mod Setting up the torch on the peak of your cap has the advantage of preventing the reflection on your glasses …

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Lentil and Bacon Soup

Here is a simple tasty lentil soup (for those who don’t like curry) made entirely from dry ingredients. I made some up for my lunch today and found it pleasant but perhaps a bit strong tasting. Next time i will go easier on some of the stronger ingredients such as the onion and garlic powder …

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