How To Guide

The APC and the Sponge Bath:

A friend of mine coined the phrase ‘APC’ being a play on words for a major patent medicine of the 50s and 60s. Instead of the three chemicals which were its constituents (Aspirin, Phenacetin and Codeine – you just can’t get good pain relief cheaply any more!), her expression stood for ‘Armpits and Crotch’. A …

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The Complete ‘Must-Have’ Ultralight Hiking Accessory

 Instaprivy. Only 7 pounds! No, I don’t think you will be taking this beauty hiking; for that you need this or this. But for your next 4WD ‘adventure’ it might be just the ‘bee’s knees’. https://www.instaprivy.com/ Pre-order on Indiegogo from US$75 (July 2019) See Also: https://www.theultralighthiker.com/2015/11/20/ultralight-personal-hygiene/ https://www.theultralighthiker.com/2016/11/18/the-rolls-royce-of-back-country-trowels/  

Thermoplastics #101

I have been playing a bit with heat sealable materials. I decided to buy a sealing iron $A50 – a sound buy. Tried it out on one of the pillows I bought for my sleeping pad side insulation which I had been reluctant to touch as I was finding it so comfortable, but at 100 …

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Even More Free Stuff for Hiking

Yet another sixteen ‘free’ ultralight hiking ideas. Enjoy. 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. …

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Tim Tinker

I am tossing around some ideas concerning DIY tent stoves – as you know, so I was delighted to stumble upon this amazing website: https://timtinker.com/ by a fellow Gippsland Senior – we are good for something still after all. As you will see Tim camps in the snow all the time, so his ideas clearly …

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Embryo Wire:

The Americans call this ‘O.B. Wire’ (for ‘obstetrics’). Vets use it to cut up a stuck calf inside its mother! I have used this stuff to de-horn hundreds of goats in past years (It is not possible to breed poll goats as the poll gene is linked to hermaphroditism). You can quickly tie a length …

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How to Carry a Saw

A 31 gram 6″ hiking/hunting saw sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Complete with handle and sheath it cost me less then $A9. The Diablo saw blades are A$17.47 per pair in the Tools section of Bunnings. I will try to find an even better blade next time. Holding it in the vice I carefully cut …

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All Flesh is Grass:

How many deer are out there in the bush? The study below looks at an area in the Upper Yarra (Dam) catchment (you may not – legally – hunt) where the author has performed transects and other measurements to estimate 200 sambar deer per square kilometer in this small area of good feed. That’s two …

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Ultralight Camp Shower

While we are on the subject of cleanliness, you should know that Sea to Summit make an excellent ultralight camp shower. They have reduced its weight over the years so that it now weighs a mere 120 grams. I suspect that this weight inclues the bag so you might subtract perhaps ten grams from that. …

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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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Trapped by Flood Waters

‘I got away up the bush for a few days recently. Lots of rain came in. The rivers were in flood, went up over 2 metres and home was on the wrong side. Also discovered that the seam sealer tape on ultrasil dry bags deteriorates – my sleeping bag and all my gear was saturated wading …

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