Ultralight Backpacking

Ultralight Mozzie Net: 11 grams

Lots of folks eschew tarps for tents because they fear they will be invaded by vast swarms of biting and stinging beasties of various ilks, but mostly I find the weight and (usually) the inconvenience/unreliability of zippers is not worth the relatively rare times that need arises. I admit there are some spots where the …

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Happy Birthday Ultralight Hiker

My blog is two years old today. Many thanks to my daughter, Merrin for helping create and maintain it, and to my many readers and supporters for enjoying it. There are now 924 posts here, & probably 10,000 pages, so plenty of things to enjoy! My post about canoeing the Seaforth River Fiordland is also …

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Ultralight Glasses Case: 12 grams

If you have got to my age (or had other bad luck) you no doubt need glasses. I now wear progressive frameless titanium glasses (14 grams) all the time, but I also need a spare pair in case I lose or break them. The quite lightweight case they came in from Zenni weighs 47 grams …

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800th Post:

There is really a lot to read on TheUltralightHiker, but maybe you didn’t realise there was quite this much. (And there are now also over 1,000 pages here: http://finnsheep.com/HIKING.htm, as well as more in the Archives section, & etc) What a lot of work it has been (keeping us from our hiking, hunting and camping …

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11 Gram Rechargeable Head Torch:

Two O-rings, a micro cord lock and a short length of 1mm Dyneema transforms this 9 gram wonder into an 11 gram wonder. At 45 lumens for 1 hour or 1 lumen for 48 hours (or anywhere else in between) this Nitecore Tube Light is a wonderful torch. The 1 lumen setting is quite adequate …

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Gear Repairs: Tenacious Tape:

Many folks have long carried some duct tape for this purpose. I have carried cuben tape for many years http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1797&action=edit . I can attest that it successfully repaired a Neoair pad which had been relentlessly chewed by a certain puppy, and that the repair has held now for 3+ years! One of the virtues of …

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Sleeping Pad Reinvented: Big Agnes Q-Core SLX

Big Agnes has been redesigning some of its great pads. For example, their Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Petite Pad: 15 oz  (427 grams) and rated to 15F (-9.5C ie R = 4.5) and 4.25” (10.5cm) thick! Reputed to be superbly comfortable and dramatically robust. The square ends also make the Q-Core an excellent hammock pad, …

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Fifteen Gram Blue Foam Flip-Flop Camp Shoe:

A work of pure genius. Can there be a better camp shoe than this? Chris Morgan writes: ‘The Walmart foamy option is fairly durable (about 20 nights of heavy use, but a pad will make about a dozen pairs), very stable, ridiculously cheap and ultra comfortable. About 1oz for the pair: Step 1: Buy a …

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Earthquake Sandals: Spare Shoes for River Crossings

These new sandals/thongs look like the ‘go’ for folks wishing to have a spare pair of ‘shoes’ around camp, for river crossings or in case their hiking shoes die etc. Definitely on MY birthday list. At 4.2 oz each (120g) they are a little heavier than my home-made pair I posted about on 20/12/2012 which …

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Montbell Ultralight

Make some awesome Ultralight gear. Mostly I like their sleeping bags and insulated clothing. For many years I have used the UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 now called Down Hugger 800 #3 & available at Larry Adler Australia for A$329). Mine was 624 grams and rated -1C. Montbell have even improved this bag by …

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‘My life was wide and wild, and who can know my heart? Everest Base Camp Trek #1

There in that golden jungle I walk alone.’ Judith Wright, The Sisters. This might as well be TheUltralightHikers’ motto as we march forward into the evenings of our lives, ‘bowed but unbroken’. A young friend (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-friend-i-met-on-the-dusky-track-fiordland-nz/) has invited me to come along with him on his (extended) Everest Base Camp hike in Nepal. This may …

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Hornet-Lite Pack Raft:

I see there is a new alternative pack raft on the market: ‘The Hornet-Lite is the lightest packraft in Kokopelli’s fleet weighing in at 4.9 pounds (2223 grams) including the seat. Kokopelli has designed the Hornet-lite packraft to be functional while reducing weight and maximizing compactness. This packraft is ideal for crossing rivers, high alpine …

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Vapor Barrier:

Whether in hot wet or cold weather humidity is one of the biggest problems. For example, you must never breathe inside your sleeping bag (or sweat). You are filling it with water which must be evaporated, so you are making it colder. There is a solution. The following information is from Stephenson’s Warmlite page. They …

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Unsung Genius:

Stephenson’s Warmlite: Jack Stephenson invented the inflatable insulated mattress way back in 1958. Their Down Air mattress (DAM http://warmlite.com/down-air-mattress-alone/) is now available in a stand alone for US$140 in a variety of sizes. One of the things most to like about it is its width – it comes in from 22” (56cm) through to 28” …

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Linelok Pack Tie Downs: 7 grams

For those who don’t sew – or who don’t need to sew: You can use these wonderful little Clam Cleat Lineloks and some eg 2mm Spectra/Dyneema to lash your excess gear to your pack. I always use these lineloks on my tents and tarps: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-perfect-guy-line-for-a-hiking-tenttarp/ Here is my Klymit pack raft (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-packraft/) attached to my …

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Modifying/Shortening Hiking Mats:

Sometimes hiking mats just come in the wrong length or width. For example, I would like a wider pad but they only come very much longer. Is it possible to cut a bit off them and reseal them? Yes it is. Here are some links on how to do just that: How to Cut and …

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Bushbuddy Stove:

The original wood burning double walled secondary combustion wood gasifier stove. We have owned the ‘Ultra’ (145 gram) model of this stove for many years and have used it innumerable times. Apart from some expected blackening it shows no sign of wear and still works perfectly. We use the stove on longer trips (to save …

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The Twelve Woodlores: Ray Mears.

Some sound advice from the introduction of Ray’s excellent ‘The Survival Manual’. If you have not caught up yet with Ray, you should. He is the original of those poor copies such as Bear Grylls having trained the SAS and others for many years in survival skills. You can get a taste of his style …

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Hammock Hunting Till Dark:

The best hunting strategy is to be about where the deer are in the dawn and dusk. The easiest way to achieve this is to hammock camp so that you stop hunting when it gets dark, sling your hammock and tarp between two trees and start again at first light. If you have to knock …

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Attaching Tie Downs to Your Pack:

  First you need to get some ½” gross grain ribbon from your local sewing supplies store – such as Spotlight here in Oz. Then you will need some of the Linelocks like you see I have sewn the gross grain to: You can buy these  little guys right here in Oz, eg: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/online-shop/cord-tension-lock @ A$0.40ea, …

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