Back Operation

Good morning world: I am alive and on my feet, no pain or other unpleasant sensations below the wound in my back so I trust it is fixed! There will be no stopping me from here on in! Thank you to everyone for your support and kind thoughts. I imagine they will still want to …

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Alpacka Rafts

I was going to treat myself to a new canoe to celebrate my successful back operation this Saturday (you have to be optimistic) and so was going to purchase an Alpacka raft (https://www.alpackaraft.com/index.cfm/store.catalog?CategoryID=53&ProductID=66) with which I plan to tackle the Snowy as soon as I am recovered – probably alone, as Della’s eyesight won’t let …

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Fires in Gippsland

Woke to lots of fog sailing past smelling of smoke. DSE have now taken down ANY fire map, so (though they admit that the fire is now twice as large as it was on Friday), we can have no idea where it is. The Southern front of the fire is about 30-40 km away stretching …

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The Best Canoe Shop

In answer to a comment: The best canoe shop undoubtedly is ‘Capacity Sports’ in Bay Rd near Westfield Southland. No-one locally has much. There are many to chose from, but also many that are not very good. I think you should borrow a couple of ours first (we have a variety). No-one much has improved …

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Gippsland’s Rivers

I love Gippsland’s rivers. There are so many where a week or more’s placid canoeing can be had. I think it would be a good idea to replace the Bible and the Koran in church and mosque with the book, ‘Canoeing the Rivers & Lakes of Victoria’ by Chris & Yvonne McLaughlin! It is three …

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First Trip in the Tray Back Camper

We bought a tray back camper from fourwheelcampers.com in California sometime back. We have just been away in it and found it brilliant (especially the bed). The gas fridge kept everything nice and cold. We have a space heater and a water heater with an outside shower. We may add a rooftop solar panel to …

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Ultralight Canadian Canoe

Only 13 Kilograms! Now available in Oz: Velcro on a silnylon skirt and THIS could be just about the perfect one-person touring white water canoe: http://www.oldtowncanoe.com.au/canoes/packangler.html, and now that Della needs to be paddled http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-raft-saves-the-day/ THIS could be our new two-person touring canoe for flat water and moderate rapids. Can easily see us spending a leisurely …

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Tyvek Tent Designs

I have been thinking about my Tyvek tent designs again: I believe I can now make an approx 6 foot high, zero condensation ‘fire’ tent for 2-4 people which will weigh under one kilo including floor and zipperless mosquito netting and which will set up against a tree or with the aid of a hiking …

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Six Moon Designs Dyneema Pack Review

I don’t know whether I posted a report on my Six Moon Designs Dyneema pack, the Swift – which I think my wife gave me earlier for Xmas. It has proved wonderfully comfortable and durable. It would be hard to beat in a 428 gram pack (at $110!). I switched the waist belt for a single one …

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Hiking with a Jack Russell

Went hiking with my son Bryn’s little dog, Tiny. Expected to be out all week but unfortunately hurt my back so limped home. Here we see Tiny on her special hiking bed helping herself to some dog nuts and her caching some for later, just in case.

Hunting near Bruthen

Hunting about near Bruthen on Sunday with my boys (Matt & Bryn): a beautiful sunny day. Too bad the wet summers have thickened the bush up so much you can’t even see the deer (though I heard lots). A beautiful sunny spring day: the wild fuschia, normally a vapid drab was a riot of scarlet …

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Nature the Opportunist

On a more cheerful note, I am always delighted at the way ‘nature’ exploits any change as a positive: we have a puddle outside our bedroom window created by the device which flushes the bird poo off the roof every time it rains instead of putting it in the tank. It is a treasure, an …

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No More Hounds!

20/08/2012: My family has been hound hunting in Oz for over a century but my back (and ears) will just not let me continue any longer with this great sport, so yesterday I gave away my last four beagles to a young hunter who can make much better use of them: a very sad day. …

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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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