Hiking

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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Make Your Sleeping Pad Warmer

For the ‘budget hiker’ the sleeping pad and bag are no doubt the most expensive items. Such a pad need cost no more than US$13! If your expeditions are likely to only occur in the warmer months you can improve the insulative ability of a cheaper pad enough by simple expedients.  In this post I …

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Mount Bartle Frere

We climbed this iconic peak back on 1st September, 2017. This year we are both having trouble for various reasons walking to the front gate – but we will overcome! It is Qld’s highest mountain a little over 1600 metres situated just North of Innisfail approximately an hour South of Cairns. 1622 metres might not …

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3F Ultra Cheap Tents

Some of these look very impressive (both weight and price). They should be worth a go if you are in the market for a cheap, light tent. A$50 (delivered) for a tough 2 person ultralight shelter is hard to beat! This 740 gram single person tent which is very similar to this one costs only …

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Hiking Washing Machine

In my last post I talked about what clothes I take with me hiking and mentioned that I usually wash them every day. I probably don’t get them as clean as one could (I usually just wash them in a river or stream without soap or detergent). And I usually just put them back on …

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How Many Clothes Should I Take in My Pack?

 I’m sure many people take far too many – just as they take far too much of everything else – and yet often not enough survival equipment, such as a knife or a roof or a satellite messenger, for example. I don’t think it matters whether you are just away for the weekend, or for …

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Womens Are Great in Bed:

(US$110.99 Today!) You have probably noticed before how much I have extolled the virtues of Thermarest’s wonderful sleeping pads. I particularly adore this one (the Noeair XLite Womens) as it as light as a feather (340 grams), ‘fits’ me perfectly at 20” x 66” (51 x 168 cm) and is superbly comfortable (moreso I think …

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The Compleat Survival Guide:

If you have no air, you have only about a minute to live. The absence of shelter and warmth may kill you in a few hours, lack of water in a few days, lack of food in weeks. Therefore it is clear where your priorities should lie, yet every year many folks perish/suffer mostly for …

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Thermarest Vesper Quilt

Thermarest have a new down quilt, the Vesper, available soon. It comes in 32F at 15 oz (0C & 428 grams) and 20F at 19 oz (-7C & 542 grams) and  insulated with Nikwax treated down. I would pair one with either their new Uber mat at 8.8 oz (250 grams) for summer or with …

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