Hiking the Wonnangatta-Moroka

Back from four days’ hiking in Wonnangatta-Moroka area with a young American acquaintance, Steve Hutcheson whom I met on the Dusky Track earlier this year: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-friend-i-met-on-the-dusky-track-fiordland-nz/ The rivers were flooded and difficult to cross but the weather beautiful. Probably sub-zero of a night but warm and comfy for us thanks to my Tyvek tarps and a …

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The Best Toilet View in the World!

I have been hiking in Fiordland NZ for ten days and have now returned ‘bowed but unbeaten.’ Met some great young people on the trail (and some not-so-great) and saw, as usual quite a lot of evidence for the continuing existence of moose there. I will post a photo of the best toilet view in …

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Wonnangatta Track Clearing

I’ve just spent four lovely days in the Wonnangatta-Moroka NP track clearing and blackberry spraying. Two guys had decided to camp in one of my spots and use all my firewood. Apparently they think I am a public servant as they did not replace it even when asked. The things you see when you have a …

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Six Moon Designs ‘Swift’ Pack

My new pack arrived (the Six Moon Designs ‘Swift’ – 450 grams) and it looks good. Improved its load transfer with 22 grams of carbon fibre arrow shafts, instead of their proprietary ‘hoop stay’. I am using my Neoair pad in the pad pocket which is very comfortable. Looking forward to trying it our for …

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Two Days Canoeing the Thomson River

I have been thinking it would be a really good weekend to canoe the Thomson River given the projected (over 30’s) temperatures even though there is not a lot of water (suits me). Unfortunately my wife Della no longer feels confident enough to canoe the Thomson, so I am thinking about going by myself which …

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A New Ultralight Pack

My old ultralight pack (330 grams) is beginning to shred so I thought I would try one of these (at 450 grams) – probably suit as carry-on luggage too. A good buy at about A$150 delivered: http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/packs/Swift.html My choice for the other two of the ‘big three’ are the Thermarest Neoair Regular (370 grams) mat …

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The Year of the Dog

This year was certainly also ‘The Year of the Dog’. Once we owned 17 dogs! A year ago we still had 8, a healthy number. We are now down to one (Tiny, our son’s 12 year old Jack Russell). I decided to give away the last half dozen of my hounds to a young fellow hunter as …

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Touring Tasmania

We celebrated the sale of our farm with a week’s holiday touring Tasmania in February. Strangely we did not walk the South Coast Track again but we did camp in the Franklin-Gordon and Arthur wildernesses amongst other things. This sounds a lot better than it is, particularly the Pieman-Arthur and Tarkine wildernesses which as far …

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The Dusky

Every time he turns at Centre Pass to survey the magnificent view down the Seaforth Valley to the Fiord, he wonders will it be the last time he gazes on such a magnificent view? It is the last thing you do, you should do it at least once. Steve will do it again and again. …

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Sheep Farm Retirement

Our commercial farm finally settled on Feb 1st so we are officially retired sheep farmers. We still have the 25 acre home property at Jeeralang Junction and about sixty Finn ewes – so we have enough to be going on with. We hope to complete the house and repair all the deterioration which has occurred …

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Getting Back Into It

Steve’s back prevented many planned activities in 2010 but it has improved a bit so we have been more active this year. For example, in early March we walked the South Coast Track in Tas with a friend, Kerri Cleaver. This was to be a shake-down for the Dusky Track in 2012 but it was …

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Fenix LD01 Torch

Must have for Xmas? Look at this new torch: 788 lumens from a single 3.7V battery! Twice the best torch of last Xmas! Things just keep on getting better. My favourite pocket torch is the Fenix LD01 which takes a single AAA and outputs 85 lumens. If you (carefully) screw off the lens cover (it …

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Faux Packraft VS Alpacka Raft

Well, we have tried our faux packraft against our Alpacka raft on a four hour Grade 2+ section of the Wonnangatta River on an overnight trip (during which we saw 9 deer!) and apart from some slight abrasion to the lamination of the poly tarp (nappy) the $40 raft stood up splendidly. I found a …

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Great Inventions

15/12/11: Other great inventions: the (1) Themarest Neo air (regular 370g) shown made into a chair using the (2) Big Agnes Cyclone Chair (150g) in the photo: ‘Tyvek wigwam’! All that is needed to make this scene perfect is Bacardi 151 (and Della, of course!) 15/12/11: The faux & real pack raft & the Tyvek …

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Hunting inside a Whale

When we lived at Tarwin Lower we once hunted a house-sized dead whale on the shore of the inlet with hounds. We put foxhounds and bloodhounds right INSIDE the whale and shot nearly twenty foxes, some of which even came out the blowhole. Whether they were vixens making the traditional cry, ‘Thar she blows’ accurate …

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Big Cats in the Bush?

A friend thinks that reports of ‘black pumas’ etc may well be ‘thylaceo leo,’ the marsupial lion (there being no large black cats anywhere in the world only spotted ones) but this is a VERY long bow, though it would be nice. In 50+ years in the bush I have never even seen a large …

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Crepuscular Birdsong

Crepuscular birdsong why? Interesting to see this question answered in the latest New Scientist: it is because there is a temperature inversion then and sounds transmit better. Hope to live long enough to hear it again in our silent bushfire-ravaged forests. Bee-eater Wonnangatta River just above Waterford Bridge (Jan 2018). Update: Further to my post …

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Hiking Food: Soup

I am currently trying Ainsley Harriott’s Southern Cajun Gumbo Cup of Soup for breakfast. Yum! Some people ask what food I take hiking. This is too hard a question for ONE post but here’s a tip which also works well for a snack or lunch. Combine a sachet of 2 minute noodles sans flavour sachet …

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Cooking Oil Fire

Cooking oil fire: really important lesson. Who would have thought it could so easily be turned into something like a nuclear explosion? Only 34 seconds, please watch:

Kumato Tomato

There is a ‘new’ tomato called a ‘kumato‘ apparently originally from the Galapagos Islands which is interesting – though this may be spin. It is deliciously sweet. I recommend you try some, & save and plant the seeds. it is a small tomato so you should still get a crop if you are quick.