Uncategorized

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 …

Exped Synmat HL Winter M Read More »

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 …

No Cold Shoulder Spreader Hammock: Read More »

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 …

Clever Titanium Windscreen Read More »

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 …

Massdrop In Stock Read More »

The Other Kingdom

This autumn we were in Scotland when our fields were alive with field mushrooms, alas. Mushroom time is one of my favourites. I always collect heaps of them, fry them up with lots of butter, onions and bacon then smother golden toast or pasta with them. I guess my waistline isn’t  missing them. This evening …

The Other Kingdom Read More »

Rich Beyond Telling

Most evenings if we go for a walk at the back of Yinnar a huge flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoos comes in to roost after spending the day dispersed sowing destruction on innumerable hapless plants all about (as is their wont). I guess there has to be at least a thousand of them. Their raucous …

Rich Beyond Telling Read More »

You Must Learn to Shoot Your Own Dog

This was one of my father’s favourite sayings, by which he meant you must stand on your own two feet and fetch for yourself. Never delegate responsibility to someone else.  So, for 40 years I have been fixing my own cars. For example I have been rebuilding a sequence of Subarus since circa 1978 – …

You Must Learn to Shoot Your Own Dog Read More »

The DIY Gunsmith:

In the US this is a popular (and legal) pursuit though quite properly it is an offence to misuse any firearm. In Australia it is definitely a criminal offence to make your own, even a shanghai (see below). Mind you the fact that here (despite our draconian firearms laws) the great majority of guns ever …

The DIY Gunsmith: Read More »

Deer O’Clock

Three years ago we started to see the odd deer print on our evening walks. Then one day a fallow stag kindly donated me this nice antler. Back in February when  I was telling you about losing Tiny and the progress we were making with her ‘replacement’ Honey, I posted this snap to illustrate how …

Deer O’Clock Read More »

The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #2:

To continue. Where is the deer? So, let’s say you have mastered walking quietly, that you can reason out where a deer has walked, and that you can see through the bush, so that if a deer is there it will be visible to you. Still and all, you need to also be looking in …

The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #2: Read More »

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 …

What to include in a wilderness cache: Read More »

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 …

Blizzard Bag Read More »

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 …

Cold Season Pads: Read More »

Car-Camper Conversion: $50

We have recently been on a car camping holiday in Scotland where we wanted to stay away from people as much as possible on such a crowded island, and save on accommodation costs by sleeping in the rental car wherever we could find a pleasant spot. The car we hired turned out to be a …

Car-Camper Conversion: $50 Read More »

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 …

A Cure for Slippery Mats: Read More »

The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #1:

I’ll probably never stop taking in stray kittens even though I tell myself I will, and know that all the love and care you lavish on them is only preparation for the day they meet their ultimate roadside, still… Over the years I have taken dozens and dozens of aspiring youngsters deer-hunting, and practically every …

The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #1: Read More »

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 …

Nightcore Tube Hat Clip: Read More »

Ultralight Rain Gear

Our new Montbell raincoats and umbrellas have arrived just in time for testing on an upcoming trip (PS: They worked just swell!) The two shown are Della’s (modeled by our daughter, Merrin) in front of our Siligloo tent which we have been making a bathtub floor for. The coat is the Versalite Women’s Medium (colour …

Ultralight Rain Gear Read More »

Ultralight Bathtub Floor

I have made an ultralight bathtub floor for my Siligloo tent in preparation for a trip we are soon taking. It replaces the piece of spinnaker fabric we have been using, adding less than 70 grams. You will remember that the Siligloo Tent weighed 385 grams when I made it. I have added some extra …

Ultralight Bathtub Floor Read More »

Cosco Quilt

A DIY Sleeping Quilt for the Budget Hiker: A lightweight sleeping bag is one of the most expensive pieces of gear that the novice ultralight hiker will need. Lots of folks have suggested using/modifying the Cosco quilt which seems like a good idea if you are on a budget. You can buy them for about …

Cosco Quilt Read More »