How To Guide

Trees and Tree Guards:

This is a genius idea of Rowan Reid’s for cheaply planting trees in sheep paddocks. It will also protect them from wallabies. You can plant cuttings of willow/poplar for example in situ and clearly you will have a pretty decent sized tree in twelve months time particularly if you start with a large cutting in …

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Ultralight Waterproof Fabric

I am after some light waterproof fabric to make one of my new 10 x 10 Tarps and new versions of my Pocket Poncho Tent and my Deer Hunter’s Tent. I would like to source the fabric out of China (where most of it is made anyway) and have been trying and trying (with Alibaba) …

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Two Great Poly Tarp Configurations

I know most people can’t sew (and probably don’t have much money either) so I suggest either of these two simple poly tarp ‘hacks’ for en excellent dry shelter (which you can also enjoy a fire out front with). They both also feature ‘stand-up’ room (at least if you are shorter than 6′) which I …

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The Intex Double Paddle

If you have made a ‘faux’ pack raft (as here and here) as I have you will have had the same problem with the paddle. The cheap (Intex) rafts come with a set of oars which need to be converted into a double bladed paddle (which will fit in a canoe drum!) I tried several …

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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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