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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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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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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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Electric Drill Earth Auger:

I have been substantially laid up with this back (slipped disc then back op. – basically since July dammit!). Slowly getting better I hope (?) Meanwhile however my daughter Merrin and I have planted about 300 trees mainly using this method which costs at most a couple of dollars ($A) and at least A$1 when …

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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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Shepherd’s Crook:

I bought one of these in Hawick during our trip to Scotland in May. The local feed and grain store had any number of excellent products and gadgets for caring for and saving the lives of sheep which are not available here. Goodness knows why. You would attach this to the end of a pole …

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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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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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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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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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Wire Tricks: Cobb and Co Hitch

This is a wire variation of the Spanish Windlass whose name harks back to the C19th days of Chris Cobb and his wonderful coach service which opened up outback Australia. Do you remember the 60s TV programme ‘Whiplash’ based on his adventures? Surprising they haven’t remade that one. I can imagine he or his coach …

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The Spanish Windlass

My father, Lawrence used to use this trick sometimes to pull stumps out of the ground. He would wrap a rope around a crowbar (as shown) then wind the rope up with a stout branch. This windlass applied enormous force and was enough to pull quite large stumps out of a line of fence, for …

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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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