Steve’s Blog

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22/08/2019: So what happens to Vic and SA if Qld disconnects from the grid to provide its people with cheaper electricity:

22/08/2019: If ‘aboriginal elders’ had no problem with Pauline climbing Ayer’s Rock, why can’t everyone else:

22/08/2019: So Judge Weinberg is not a ‘reasonable man’? That’s the nexus of this Pell decision. His split decision shows unequivocally that there was ‘reasonable’ doubt’ and that therefore Pell should not have been convicted. As I said much earlier on, Pell’s defence team wrongly focused on ‘the impossibility’ of Pell’s performing the act, rather than on the possibility of doubting that it occurred. Given that Weinberg had ‘doubt’ (as did the first jury) the other judges should have concluded that it was ‘reasonable’ to have such ‘doubt’ and exonerated him.

21/08/2019: Elon Musk’s space suits are cool:

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley, left, and Bob Behnken

21/08/2019: The Dragonfly Knife: I know I posted about this remarkable knife some time back, but mine arrived today and it is the most astonishing knife I have ever owned. Only 10 grams but razor sharp and capable of butchering a deer. It is also absolutely beautiful:

21/08/2019: George Pell to walk free today. You can only hope so. Watch live here:

20/08/2019: Gun ownership is not correlated with gun murders: (but they sure help protect you from the bad guys!)

19/08/2019: Unusual Locking Folder: Opinel make some pretty unique knives. I guess I came to the party a bit late on this one, but I have two of them in my hand right now and they are magnificent! First I bought the Opinel No 6: because a reader (Tim) recommended it (in this post), as follows: ‘Opinel #6 has a lock blade of about 72mm at 27g. Easy to sharpen, very nice to use with its full flat grind to zero. My favourite folding knife when weight matters.:‘ He suggested the stainless model but I found the carbon steel one cheap so I bought it: It cost me only A$16.99 (delivered) on eBay. A very good buy.

Then a friend (Jock) happened to give me a No #8 stainless for my recent birthday, so I have two to compare. Riches indeed. The No 6 is 27 grams and the No 8 has an 8.5 cm (3 1/3″) blade and weighs 59 grams.

The first thing I discovered was the unique blade lock. I had seen them in the shop and passed them over as I thought they didn’t have one. Instead they have what might be a superior one. At least there is no way this blade lock is going to fail and leave you with severed fingers – as can happen. You can see in the photos I took below how the ring-type lock they have works. They call it the ‘Virobloc safety ring’.  You just need to rotate it to make the bade stay in the open or closed position. Just hook it around with your thumbnail (as shown) though as it wears a bit it will become easier to rotate.

You can see how it moves into place completely blocking the movement of the blade in either the open or closed position.

Now completely blocked.

This is the No 6 Carbon). It has a 7 cm (2 3/4″) blade.

My hands are still pretty scratched up from nearly a week of bush-bashing I see.

It is a very attractive little knife with its distinctive and comfortable beech handle. A rounded handle like this is great on the hand if you have big job to do (such as lots of whittling, pruning or butchering perhaps. For lots of butchering the larger no 8 might be better but this little fellow would get the job done.

As you can see (below) the No 8 fills the hand much better.

This would be an excellent knife for butchering a sambar deer – unless you don’t know how to sharpen a knife (maybe with one of these) in which case you might try the Olfa I mentioned here.

See Also:

19/08/2019: The Thunberg voyage is a farce: ‘The sailing team that's taking climate activist Greta Thunberg... to the United States aboard a high-tech racing yacht says it will fly two crew across the Atlantic to bring the boat back, but that the carbon emissions from their flights will be compensated for.’ But Thunberg could also have flown and carbon-offset. &

19/08/2019: An early test for Alzheimers: But do I want to know if nothing can be done? The latest copy of New Scientist puts the cause (99%) down to a gum disease organism – the same for heart disease and diabetes! &

18/08/2019: The APC and the Sponge Bath: A friend of mine coined the phrase ‘APC’ being a play on words for a major patent medicine of the 50s and 60s. Instead of the three chemicals which were its constituents (Aspirin, Phenacetin and Codeine – you just can’t get good pain relief cheaply any more!), her expression stood for ‘Armpits and Crotch’. A quick freshen up of those important areas would ‘do’ if you were in a hurry – or as so often in rural areas in time’s past, you were very short of water.

‘The Chase’ Paterson – our farm amid the forest. Most of the forest is still there. Our property was off Keppie’s Lane. The Keppies were our neighbours. Some of them still live roundabout. The house would have stood at the end of the lane which comes off it (behind ‘Glenlossie’) on the Google satellite map.

I know I grew up in a house on a farm near Paterson NSW with mostly a ‘ground floor’ which is what we said when there was no floor save the earth itself, and which had one 2,000 gallon much-repaired leaky galvanised iron water tank to serve a family of five – and frequent guests, some of whom arrived by horse and cart.

The old house is long gone now – soon even the memories will be gone…how many good times we had on that old verandah! There was always an old hound lying near the back door – this was ‘Napoleon Bone-apart’ on account of the way he lay.

Most of the walls were hessian bags to which newspapers had been ‘pasted’ with a mixture of flour and water. It gave us something to read at least! My mother had cut out a picture of a harbour scene from a magazine, framed it and hung it on my bedroom wall as a decoration. Naturally it still has pride of place on my bedroom wall today. Baths were an occasional luxury particularly in summer, but fortunately there was a pretty much permanent swimming hole in Tucker’s Creek nearby, shared with dogs, cows, goannas, black snakes and other assorted critters.

The swimming hole in Tucker’s Creek. My dog, ‘Rover’ centre. He would retrieve a thrown stone from the bottom of the stream. How I love/d that dog! Me and various Keppies fishing in Tucker’s Creek with mum’s sewing cotton, bent pins and worms in Tucker’s Creek. Mostly we caught gudgeons for the cat. The Tuckers were a pioneering family in the district who had left many ruins round about in ‘my day’. For example, there was an abandoned orchard in the forest nearby which we used to ‘raid’ around Xmas time. The old swimming hole was a great place to cool off on a hot day – and saved on baths. Me on the extreme left, about age 6.

Most nights our mother gave us a standing up ‘sponge bath’  in the kitchen. This involved just a face washer, a lick of Velvet Soap (which I still always use – I love the smell) and half a billy of warm water off the hob (there was always a fire burning in the range as that was pretty much all my mother had to cook with).

She started with the cleanest bits first and worked down to the really grubby feet – I never wore shoes until I was around 15 and starting shift work in a heavy metal refinery! Those compulsory ‘safety boots’ sure killed me then. The water was thrown on the fruit trees outside which flourished on its many nutrients, particularly a lime which furnished many refreshing summer drinks – It flourished wonderfully next to  the outhouse!

The lime tree by the outhouse.

Kids in ‘my day’ pretty much all started full-time work at 15 (or earlier eg as farmhands with permission) having had various part-time work from around the age of 10 – cleaning shops, delivering papers, milking cows and such. Mostly they left home at the same time, boarding with some other family or renting a ‘bed-sit’.

We were considered adults at 15 – and expected to fend for ourselves in all things, though we weren’t allowed to vote till we were 21. We didn’t miss much! Very few ever got into any trouble such as drugs, alcohol, crime or juvenile delinquency. Too busy working maybe! And too little money!

Of course growing up on a farm you learned to work pretty early on – before you went to school at least. I know I was up at 5:00am every morning to help my mother with the (hand) milking. My dad would have headed off to work by then eg as a fettler on the railways, or as a timber-getter in the forestry industry nearby, etc.

The ‘new’ dairy circa 1953. I used to get the cows into the yard so mum could milk them.

It was my job to first get the cows in from the frosty paddocks – in my bare feet, to get the cows in to the bails (and let them out), to carry the buckets of milk to the milk cooler and tip it in, to see that the milk cans did not overflow, to pump up by hand the well water which supplied the corrugated milk cooler, to wind the handle of the separator to make the cream, to wash up at the end of the milking – and give the milky filter paper (which he loved) to my great blue-heeler pup, Rover.

Here I am at about age four-five with my wonderful pup, ‘Rover’. My uncle Leo gave him to me. You never forget your first dog – or cease to regret their passing.

Of course I also had pigs (with the skim milk) and chickens to feed, eggs to collect, kindling to split, and so on. Mostly before breakfast, and before I was even old enough to go to school. No doubt such ‘child labour’ is illegal in this weird world in which we now live, but it was very good for you and created a broad sense of self-discipline which is an indispensable component of good character.

Feeding the poddies was another child ‘slavery’ exercise. I loved the way they would suck on your fingers in the bucket – to get them started. Collecting (loose) lucerne hay with a pitchfork. That’s me aged about 7 standing on the stack. Note the Workplace safety regulations.

Growing up in the forest meant I learned to roam the bush at will as soon as I could walk. My mother just used to let me go and figured I would be home when I got hungry. I reckon I could lead you to some wondrous spots in those hills even today. A place where a giant sheltering Moreton Bay grew, another a maze of erosion gullies, yet another where a vast avalanche of car-sized stones had tumbled down the valley and been covered with rock-lilies, a remote bat-infested cave, etc.

Once a week (usually Saturday night, country dance night’ = ‘You Beautie’!) we would have a ‘proper’ bath, ie mum would heat enough water on the stove in a 4 gallon or 60 lb honey tin which is what my parents used instead of the ubiquitous kerosene tin (as they were also apiarists) to half fill a tin ‘hip bath’ on the kitchen floor.

She and dad would bathe first, then the order went: oldest to youngest. The water was pretty whiff by the time it got to the youngest (me). I always suffered from boils as a kid – as people do who don’t bathe enough or bathe in such contaminated water. ‘Everyone’ did in those days.

Or maybe it was our diet of mostly carbs, salt and sugar – which apparently contributed to everyone’s long life! At least, no generation which ever existed lived as long as the ‘Great Generation’ of my parents, so who knows? I think a steady diet of hard work and self-reliance helped a lot too.

I still have the mini craters here and there particularly on my legs where a horribly large boil was squeezed long ago. What an awful procedure that was! You don’t want to know, particularly if you are not over-fond of pus. I am still unable to eat raspberry flavored custard!

We did so love those dances at Martin’s Creek (where we also all went to Primary school). Saturday nights there were the highlight of the week. It may have seemed like an isolated sort of life to folks today. We had no electricity or TV. Our telephone was a ‘party’ line. We very seldom visited a town. I can only remember having two brief holidays in all my childhood, one at the seaside, one on a sheep station. We listened to programmes on the radio every night for an hour before we went to bed (early). Yet I think we had more friends and personal encounters (and continuity) than children have today – and those Saturday night ‘old time’ dances at the Martin’s Creek Hall were amongst the happiest memories of my life.

Whilst I am not advocating a return to the hygiene standards of long ago, both these two bathing methods are useful on the trail – as is the occasional swim, even in cold weather. When I am ‘up the bush’ as we say, I usually manage a swim in the river or a creek every couple of days even in a Southern Australian winter (or in Fiordland, NZ) where daytime high temperatures are around 12C. It’s usually pretty quick though!

I also wash my clothes regularly in a nearby stream and put them back straight on again to dry. There is no better ultralight clothes drier than the human body – and no quicker! They strike a bit cold at first, but some frenzied activity soon warms you up again.

At other times (or if it is too cold) an ‘APC’ at the end of the day is a good idea. Just one antibacterial wet tissue is all you need. Do it in that order, (armpits first- well, hands first actually) ending with your bum. I find that I can get by with 1-2 wet tissues and a similar number of (dry) ‘Kleenex’ per day, even with an APC at the end of the day. The 10-12 pack is  best as you can keep them dry even in the rain. This could also be a good idea.

It is a (very) good idea to apply hand cream (or the like) between your thighs to prevent chafing. In the morning before you start out is best. Similarly it s a good idea to apply foot balm (or the like) to your feet every day before setting out as a blister prevention. If you wait until your skin starts to burn you are in for trouble and possibly risk a nasty infection. Likewise keeping those nether regions clean and sterile will prevent a lot of grief. See Foot Care.

I have encountered (eg) folk with multiple square inch sized infections between their legs which I had to lend them iodine to treat as it was all I had (painful but effective) – when they had nothing. This particular chap was stuck in the middle of a ten day hike unable to proceed or go back.

Fortunately I had plenty of food and a fishing line so was able to keep him going until he was on the road to recovery. It is a good idea to carry a small container of Betadine or similar for infections which may occur on the trail. It can also be used to purify water – but a Sawyer <10 micron micro filter is better.

My wife, Della usually prefers a sponge bath (from a billy) over an ultralight shower.  Because she is so small she gets cold outdoors under the shower- and she is modest. You only need to heat about half a billy of water to wash yourself all over, but you will need another to wash (and rinse) your hair, if you do, and you will need to carry an ultralight wash cloth and (half) a towel (is enough).

I recommend you test the various ‘hiking’ towels available. Most are just no damned good. The cheapest ones are (often) the best. You need to see how much (and whether) they will wick up the water off you, whether you can wring them dry, and how long they take to dry out. I use half a towel (as I said before- adequate even all the way to Everest) and cut the other half into two pieces I use for wash cloth, hand kerchief etc.

It is surprising how little water you need to get yourself quite clean, and how wonderfully refreshed you feel afterwards – particularly if you have those nice freshly washed wet clothes to put on afterwards! I would recommend scouring the billy after your bath and boiling something in it eg a cup of coffee before you eat out of it again though (e coli are nasty).

The back of our old house which just segued into a shed, as you see. Note the ‘ground’ floor. That was me on the bike (sans shoes). The meat safe (our frig) is hanging from the upright. The car + motorbike and sidecar were our only transport. You were allowed two adults (or one adult and two children) on the motorbike plus one adult and one child in the sidecar – believe it or not. All us children rode in the back of that ute when we went anywhere eg to dances in Martins Creek on Saturday nights.

See Also:

16/08/2019: The home ownership ‘scam’:

16/08/2019: Green deaths per annum amount to millions worldwide: Malaria (where the unnecessary & illegitimate ban on DDT cost over a million lives pa for thirty+ years), support for biofuels (200,000+ pa from starvation as we burn food rather than allow the poor to eat it), opposition to food irradiation (100s of 1000s pa from food poisoning), opposition to nuclear power (deaths from radon, Carbon 14, coal mining etc), opposition to GM crops, diversion of money (from eg health, shelter, food) to global warming ‘mitigation’, opposition to Western farming methods (& especially in the Third World = mass starvation. They want a return to organic agriculture which would see a 28% increase in the land required for farming – too bad for all the critters who would be destroyed by that), support for national parks before people. They also claim they want the human population of the world reduced by around 2/3rds but do not explain how this massive act of murder is to be carried out…These folk are simply the most evil bastards ever (making Stalin, Hitler, Mao etc look like patsies), and it is not just people whom the greens murder in their millions. Animals and plants are destroyed by their policies in their billions: millions of hectares have been destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations and generally to grow ‘Biofuels’. Other millions of hectares are routinely destroyed by wildfires because of their insistence on a completely ‘hands off’ approach to forest management. At the same time vast numbers of creatures are destroyed by introduced vermin such as foxes, cats, pigs which they will not allow to be shot. Add millions of wildlife deaths pa from windfarms and from paving over land with solar collectors; & etc… Astonishing that 8% of voters say they will still vote for their policies. How can so many folk fail to be able to distinguish between good and evil?

16/08/2019: An electric bike that never needs recharging – what a neat idea:

15/08/2019: This article has been deleted from Forbes – and just about everywhere. I think you can see why. Imagine a top astrophysicist doubting global warming – or even the current ‘climate emergency’: Global Warming? An Israeli Astrophysicist Provides Alternative View That Is Not Easy To Reject

15/08/2019: How Humanity Won the War on Famine:

15/08/2019: From the News Junkie: ‘My Epstein theory: The Queen of England got to the jail Psychiatrist and with money and charm and got the guy to claim Epstein meant no harm to himself. Simple. Do you have a better theory? Just don't mention Hillary’.

14/08/2019: This is bad: Today’s Students and Professors ‘Know Hardly Anything about Anything at All’

14/08/2019: The link between pot and mass shootings may be closer than we think: &

14/08/2019: Are wingsuit ‘pilots’ insane:

13/08/2019: Foot long frogs – the stuff of nightmares:

goliath frog

13/08/2019: Robespierre’s Pronouns:

13/08/2019: Why not just make them wear a Star of David armband:

11/08/2019: My 71st cherry (plum) blossom this morning outside our bedroom window in a sheltered part of Della's wonderful garden. The rain and snow seem to have passed; the lambing has quieted down a little, the remnants of the party are cleared away. Life is good here at Jeeralang Junction. Thanks to all of you for your kind birthday thoughts. 50 wonderful years with this astonishing woman, and greedily hoping for many more. The sun has just broken through the clouds over the hill to the North-East. Life is good.



11/08/2019: Well, I have done it, ‘all three score years and ten'. Thank you all for your kind wishes. I will reply tomorrow when things quieten down a bit around here - lambs, rain snow, jobs, jobs jobs, birthday...

Loveliest of Trees – A.E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my three score years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

08/08/2019: The best policy today is to (a) abandon socialism and (b) to do everything possible to maximize the wealth of the current generations:

08/08/2019: Good News: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are doomed:

08/08/2019: David Whitlock has not showered or bathed for 15 years, yet he does not have body odour:

05/08/2019: Lucky 13: This is my 1300th post here at the Ultralight Hiker! That’s probably about a million and a half words (more than a dozen novels worth!) and over 25,000 photos. Quite an achievement in four years since May 2015 when I began this blog.

It has been 200 posts since the 1100th post in  May 2018 when I last wrote up a summary of our doings in the last 100 or so posts, so I thought I would showcase the highlights of the last couple of hundred posts here.

Unfortunately I/we have not been as active over the last year as we would have liked due to health issues: Della’s heart and my back and knees. We hope that these can be moved to the past and that we can get on with things a bit more from now on.

Back in May 2018 we had a couple of weeks in Scotland allowing Della to catch up a bit with her dad’s home which she had of course heard much about but never seen. We converted the hire car (a VW Golf) into a camper so that we could stop pretty much anywhere we liked. They are very liberal about camping and wandering there. You can see how we did it here: Car Camper Conversion $50

Some other of our Scotland posts: Beach Burial #2: The Cat, Car Camping Scotland, Great Scot

I got a write-up on Stuff NZ about my long search for the elusive NZ moose which I still hope to gain photos of in the future. 2019? If I can get this back and knee up to the Dusky I will be back in late summer. I have a (new) strategy which I think might work. See New Evidence of Fiordland Moose.

I continued a series of reminiscences: Mattresses I have Known, You Must Learn to Shoot Your Own Dog, Pack Raft Saves the Day, Trapped by Flood Waters, Johnny Cakes

Some more advice about Deer hunting: The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #1, Poacher’s Moon, All Flesh is Grass, Follow Your Nose, Embryo Wire, The Seventieth Birthday Platypus

Ultralight hiking advice: Beginning Hiking, How much weight in fuel? How Many Clothes Should I Take in My Pack? How Warm a Bag or Quilt Do I Need? More Fun in the Rain, Gully Walking, Free Stuff for Hiking, Neat Feat, Lightest Cheapest Powerbank, Ultralight Cutlery…


Lots of general advice, eg: The Compleat Survival GuideThe Spanish Windlass, Wire Tricks, Cobb and Co Hitch, Make Your Sleeping Pad Warmer, It’s Not My Fault, Nuts to ‘Leave No Trace’, Cure Back Pain, Kill Wasp Queens Now, The Happiness Trick

Places to see: NZ’s South Coast Track: Westies Hut to Cromarty, Liptrap to the Five Mile, Alps Walk, Long and Lazy River, Wirilda Reflection, Halls Gap, Sand and Sea Training, The Ultimate Hunting Trip

Jobs around the farm somehow still continued despite stays in hospital, etc. I built a new wood shed (Several Winter’s Fires), managed to still get a whole lot of new farm trees planted The Tree-Planting Team Today, and Electric Drill Earth Auger, built some more new fences (Wildlife Proof Fencing), a New Bird Feeder for Della, pulled an old shed down, installed new rain water tanks, built a new archway for Della – and of course we had the fires: Fire at Jeeralang

Lots of new DIY hiker ideas have been developed. A lightweight trick to keep your shoulders warm in a hammock (<5 grams), the No Cold Shoulder Spreader Hammock), an ultralight saw (28 grams) How to Carry a Saw, A Wider Lighter DIY Sleeping Pad, Seamless Tyvek Tipi, Extempore Hiking Poles, Stop Losing Your Pillow, A Hiking Bidet, Thermoplastics #101

Finally a set of instructions for the fabulous Upper Yarra Track and a complete track description with by someone else: Upper Yarra Track Instructions, & Upper Yarra Walking Track, and a map: Upper Yarra Track Map.

Some fabulous recipes: Della’s Way Bread

And there have been lots of gear reviews. Some of the things I have most liked have been: a Clever Titanium Windscreen, The Pack Rifle3F Ultra Cheap Tents, Two Great Cheap Tents, The Ultralight Barista, Ultralight GlassesUltralight Bivy Bag, Tinny’s Gnomes, The Olfa Knife, The Dragonfly – Ultralight Titanium Knife, Down Socks. A couple of wonderful tent stoves: Winter Tent Stoves Tim Tinker I think my favourite (for comfort and warmth) is the Exped Synmat HL Winter M.

200 posts in just over a year is not too bad for one person – well over a thousand words written on average every day! Not so bad for an old bloke who will be 70 this week.

And, of course we have three fabulous puppies for sale starting next week: Cuteness Alert

 05/08/2019: Great quote: ‘If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen’.  Samuel Adams

05/08/2019: And another: ‘Today, college has become our go-to yardstick for minimal competence. Take a look at almost any job listing for almost any desk job in any city, and you will see “college degree” listed as an essential requirement. The argument in favor of this arrangement is that if a candidate can demonstrate that he has completed such a degree, he can be assumed to be both relatively smart and capable of sticking with things to their end. Which, in some cases, is of course true. But it is telling that none of the other experiences that demonstrate capacity and tenacity tend to make an appearance in the listings. Know what else demonstrates an ability to stick things out? Military service. Running a small business. Working at a charity. Training as a plumber. Working on a farm. Learning to weld. Keeping another job for a long period of time...’ Charles C. W. Cooke

05/08/2019: If Greenland keeps melting like this it will all be gone in 25,000 years – of course ignoring the fact that it will add ice every season except summer. For example, a squadron of WW2 planes which had to be abandoned there are now 140 feet down. Such a concern:

04/08/2019: A Hiking Bidet: An idea whose time is right: A Portable Bidet As you can see these guys have raised a million bucks on an ‘ask’ of $36K. Not bad. Gives some idea of the demand for these things – yet they were not focusing primarily on hikers.

However their device weighs only .5lb (225 grams?) lasts 3 weeks between charges and recharges with USB. If you are like most ‘hikers’ I have seen evidence of (Yuck!) you would save a power of toilet paper – and the environment would thank you! They are on offer now for A$144 (Aug 2019).

I think a bidet is a great idea. Our current bathroom renovations will see me remove ours to make some room for wheelchair shower/toilet access (in preparation for knee operations etc – Ugh!) and replace it with a bidet seat (from Bunnings – this one is A$399 but they had a simpler one in store the other day which was around A$60 from memory )

Myself, I only ever use one Kleenex tissue (which you would need anyway to ‘pat dry’ as they say) and 1 antiseptic wet wipe which I also (first) do my armpits and crotch with, so for me there is no weight saving and the small amount of paper waste (biodegradable) goes in the same ‘cat-hole’ as my faeces where bacteria and earthworms will see it gone fairly soon – but I only hike in remote places where there are no other people. If you chose, all this could go in a bag which you carry out and dispose of ‘properly’.

You have probably seen my own ‘ultralight shower‘ which I use a 2 litre Platypus bottle (which I carry anyway) to supply. This (1 gram + free) nozzle faces the wrong way for a bidet, but you could use it Besides I wouldn’t recommend squeezing a Platypus bottle too much.

However a Sawyer Water Filter bottle is made to be squeezed. You could use a normal pop-up type drink bottle lid which you drill a few small holes in (eg with the doll needle I recommended in the above article) to create a nozzle which comes out at 90 degrees. Cheap and effective – if you haven’t got the dough, are not into gadgets and prefer DIY. The cap weighs 4 grams and the 1 litre Sawyer squeeze bottle weighs 28 grams – but you are likely already carrying it. Works fine – as you can see. You can even twist the cap to turn it off! I would not suggest continuing to use this cap on your drinking bottle to save weight though!


See Also:

04/08/2019: These guys are seriously clever - this may well be the way forward the world needs:

04/08/2019: According to the satellites July 2019 was only the fourth warmest in 41 years. So what:

04/08/2019: Extinction Rebellion: We do not even need a Patrick Moore to blow the whistle on these guys (as with the commies in Greenpeace). They have shot themselves in the foot by accidentally leaving their database public, meaning anyone can find out what evils they are all about. Down with democracy; up with 'sortition' apparently, amongst other nastiness. (Unusually I had to reach for the dictionary too!):

03/08/2019: Being against ‘Piracy on the high seas’ has got to be a no-brainer, right?

03/08/2019: Excuse me people, but in the real world people do get their hands dirty. They get them so by doing the dirty jobs you are too ‘good’ to do. My granddad would have called it ‘good clean dirt’. I remember he also used to say, ‘You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die.’ (A ‘peck’ was approx 9 litres). Have people become so deluded that having meetings is actually work that they have completely forgotten what real work is, ie moving mass from one place to another. A day or two on the farm where it is normal to work 7 days a week in all weathers for very little reward might open their eyes somewhat, but then their food comes from supermarkets (like Coles). Sorry I forgot:

03/08/2019: Another typical BOM temperature site. A thermometer in a bitumen carpark next to an incinerator ought to ring alarm bells. If you can’t figure why such sites might show the ‘world’ warming you have a problem. Unfortunately this is the quality of temperature sites from all over the world:

02/08/2019: This typifies the quality of ‘scientific’ data which is behind the ‘climate change’ farrago. The BOM is paid something like a billion dollars a year to ‘get it right’ – but they are hopeless. For example their three months’ climate forecasts are so bad I always use the reverse of what they ‘predict’ in my farm planning:

02/08/2019: An interesting scam. Well-off Chicago residents have been exploiting a legal loophole to obtain need-based college financial aid and scholarships by giving up legal guardianship of their children.  I wonder how many are taking advantage of this in Australia. It would be so easy to pass on guardianship to the grandparents for example:

02/08/2019: The NSW ‘abortion bill’ is just a licence to commit infanticide. If you can get two doctors to agree you can legally kill a baby right up to the day it would be born. This is more than reprehensible in a world where we have the ‘morning after’ pill and other sensible legal interventions before or early in pregnancy – and thousands of disappointed infertile couples wanting to adopt a baby. Once the baby has a heartbeat its moral standing obviously begins to increase exponentially. Once it could survive outside the mother (from about 22 weeks with an artificial womb), it is clearly a person:

1/08/2019: Medieval Porn. Interesting:

01/08/2019: Meanwhile Krud and Turd’s’s  baby becomes even more of a disaster (as I predicted):

01/08/2019: If this is science’s answer to conspiracy theories (ban them) then science is not worth funding. There is not a single scrap of valid argument and not even a tiny piece of evidence in this scientist’s article. It is very easy to put forward the arguments and the evidence which proved Apolllo 11 went to the moon. Any competent scientist could do this in a single paragraph. (Think about the parabolic mirrors they left there which are used several times a day by most observatories on earth to check the rate of change of the moon’s distance, for example). Science must put forward the evidence or it is no better than so-called ‘conspiracy theories’. Censorship is not the answer:

31/07/2019: The Seventieth Birthday Platypus: I had hoped that this post would be titled ‘The Seventieth Birthday Stag’ but he did not emerge from his lair during my recent sojourn up the bush to check how my hunting camps had fared from the terrible bush fires of earlier this year.

I am still not fit enough for this sort of hiking after my spinal fusion but I spent four days at it nonetheless – much harder work than in times past and nonetheless only managing a daily total equal to about half my ‘normal’. They said it would be twelve months. I hope this is not a permanent situation – it informs me at least that I am going to have to bite the bullet on a new knee, soon. So many operations. I am tired of them. I hoped to make this one last until I could just have an artificial cartilage. They have begun testing in the States.

Each day just walking (not hunting) I saw at least two deer (some days four) I could have easily taken with my rifle, mainly smaller stuff, spikers or hinds. If I can chamber a round, draw a bead on the deer and count to 1,2 seconds I clearly could have pulled the trigger and made it a dead deer. These days I usually don’t shoot unless I have some particular reason. Of course I encounter more deer than I could have had a reliable shot at. That goes without saying.

I would have taken a decent stag (I guess) but one did not present itself to me during the daylight hours – though on two separate nights (the first and the last) one visited me at my tent. The first thing I knew was the overpowering smell of stag. When I switched the head-torch up to a suitable level of brightness there was a stag not twenty yards away (on each occasion). My loaded gun is always to hand on such camps (because of the risk from wild dogs particulraly with Spot along) but I have no temptation to shoot a magnificent animal at such a disadvantage. Fortunately they have never charged.

I think the wild dog numbers are down because of the fires. They would have had a field day cleaning up the corpses followed by very lean times indeed where many starved. The few dead deer i did find had not been touched even though they were days old – which is unusual.

Neither do I see any point in leaving 8-10 dead deer just lying around in the bush completely untouched – like some I found, even though they are still quite numerous. Apparently there are still plenty of young folks who would like to harvest them and enjoy lugging all the meat out, so I will leave the deer to such upcoming hunters.

You have to be quiet in the bush if you expect to observe its shier denizens. I have explained this again and again. Even with this terrible limp I clump along a lot quieter than many young people who might be quite mystified that I have the opportunity to shoot 2-3 deer a day without even looking for them at dawn and dusk, when I prefer to read a book and drink a cup of coffee – especially as that knee is damned sore! I would be able to shoot at least six a day if I actually hunted for them at the right times as well. When you get up on the ridges and gully tops actually looking for deer, you really ought to be seeing a few every dusk or you are doing several things wrong – at least where the signs (eg lots of droppings, tracks etc) indicate large numbers of deer.

Seeing lots of deer has nothing to do with ‘cheats’ like camo which I eschew. Only wool for me. Just ‘quiet foot steps’ and don’t stink! And pause. Look, look, look. I can smell a deer easily 200 paces away. It stands to reason that if you use deodorant, or wear synthetic clothing so that you smell just awful after five minutes’ exertion any deer will smell you a mile off too, and be gone.

Between two largish flats where I often camp I often pause and sit on this rock (below centre)

and just watch the river go by (below) – and sometimes a deer on the opposite bank too. On this occasion a platypus rose continually in exactly the same spot, something which they rarely do. There must have been something down there he was worrying at. Four times he popped up down below me and I snapped his photo, then he just drifted off down the stream and out of sight, which is what they normally do. He would be clearer save that he is mostly underwater.

There he is:


And closer…

And off he goes!

I often see one when I am fetching water or washing up at my camp just upstream of here – or just as likely a deer which is hard to ‘bag’ with just a pot, cup and spoon. I think I have seen more deer washing up than in any other place! I should invest in a heavier calibre spoon. The old one has ‘taken’ heaps of deer though. I just point the spoon and pull the trigger. ‘Bang’ I say, and off the deer goes.

In this kind of bush-stalking sambar deer you don’t get very long to gaze at an individual deer, nor is it ever very far away. I guess you put it up 20-50 yards away. I have bumped into sleeping deer a few times. Once I actually went to step over one. It honks and is off. You have maybe a couple of seconds to decide to and to shoot it. A 12G shotgun would work well and pose less danger than a rifle. Perhaps lighter too. Buckshot would make certain of it, but it is not ‘approved’. Why do they think it is so named? A telescopic sight is not much use, and you would likely damage it pretty soon – at least the many knocks and drops my .308 usually takes over a couple of days would ruin any scope I know of. The iron sites are fairer to the deer and more reliable anyway. And you can see what you are shooting at.

As I am there to hunt deer and not to photograph them, I rarely get a photo opportunity. It takes a lot less time to load and point a gun than to turn on and point a camera. The deer would be gone just about every time. Now and then you are sitting down somewhere and a couple of deer will wander out of the treeline on the opposite side of the river to have a munch. It would be pointless shooting them there as it might be half a day or more up or down the river to a crossing point – if there is one at all. Somewhere like this where the platypus was. Some sweet clear grass (and forbs) over there. Deer love forbs.

You know, like this:

Again does and young stuff. If you want to hunt stags (reliably) you will have to go look for them. Or cheat. As most do. Lying up on game trails or wallows is the least of it. So often in forums I notice people ‘proudly’ posting photos of stags they have ‘shot’ where it is clear that the animal is on the edge of a track or road, or way out in the middle of a paddock.

Some are not so careful to conceal their malfeasance. A young bloke I used to take hunting recently posted such a photo. The animal was clearly lying dead in the middle of a paddock around mid-day. Yeah, sure. You could tell by the shadows or lack of them. If you lie in bed that late you will not catch a stag in the middle of a paddock. This young hunter had even forgotten to change (back) into his hunting boots. And his shoes were dry even though the grass was wet, so he had only just stepped out of his car to photograph an animal he had unfairly shot over the lights the night before and let spoil (by not gutting it quickly) so he could get a photo-shoot the next day! He was also far too neat for a man who had spent the day hunting. I was embarrassed for him actually.

If you want to take stags (reliably – some will just pop up as you walk along), you will have to go look for them, and to get to them you will have to walk through all the does and young stuff who camp lower down (their food demands are greater – all that growing to do) and so act as a signalling device for the mature stags. I notice too that stags are much less prone to honk. They will more often just watch you quietly walk on by. The survivors no doubt develop this ability. When you do spy one (out the corner of your eye) load your gun and make it ready to swing up quickly before you turn to look as he will bolt the second your eye rests on him. They will often be found alone or in groups of 2-5 animals quite high up (relatively) but often in very thick stuff which will act as a screen and a burglar alarm. It is easier in association with a mate to bolt them out with dogs of some sort, just like flushing foxes from patches of cover. There are pairs of old guys out there who have garages full of antlers taken in this way.

Four out of eight of my camps were just melted ruins like this with very little that could even be salvaged. Surprisingly I did salvage a single pot I have owned since 1970 and an aluminum plate I bought in 1963 and used when I was droving when I was still at school! I actually brought the plate home with me! A sentimental journey.

As I had positioned the camps about 1 1/2 hours walk from each other up the river and I lost three in a row, this means I have a gap of nearly 6 hours. I will probably re-establish (at least) the middle one of the three during a canoe trip over summer as that is too much of a gap for me to be comfortable with nowadays. Of course each camp could act as a base from which to do day hunts (out to the sides) or overnight fly camps likewise so that I would cover a lot of ground laterally as well as lengthwise. There are some very promising side ‘gullies’ joining this river. Some of them days’ long.

You have to learn where they begin to run again higher up, and where there is a suitable flat spot high up for a fly camp – or else take a hammock, which is a great idea actually. A hammock should weigh no more than approx 150 grams. Often there is water very near the top (one reason stags camp nearby!) Lower down the water often seems to go underground for sometimes kilometres before popping up again nearby the river junction. There must be a hydrological and geological reason for this. It would help you find gold if you made a study of it.

I will miss those huge Tyvek shelters, 16 feet on a side. They were just so protective and roomy. As you can see from the two photos below I had lain the black drums next to or under large logs where they would (likely) not be found (in dampish spots, and above flood level). I suspect they were not found, but it is also more than likely that the quality of person who makes the large effort to undertake multi-day backpack hunts is not likely to interfere with what might (after all) be another person’s safety or survival. It is the ‘golden rule’ much neglected nowadays. ‘Do unto others’…Most of the drums included a statement that I did not mind if others used the facilities provided they made an effort to replace anything they may have used. You can get an idea from the photo below what the shelters were like. I will probably make rather smaller ones in future as it is usually just me or perhaps two of us.

I think I will take in a few (approx) 1 metre square sheets of (green) flat iron, or a square of fire blanket material if it will take dye. Have to experiment. In future I will bury the drums (on their side) in an open, grassy spot just to ground level so they are easy to get to and just lift out. I will place the sheet over them and lay stones around it to keep it down – or peg them if I use blanket. This way a future fire (which will be traveling very slowly over well-chewed grass should stop at the edge of the sheet and leave my drums alone. They will be easier for others to discover but you have to trust the good offices of strangers sometimes too!

That’s me with my young American friend Steve Hutcheson from the Dusky Track relaxing in one way back in 2013.

Steve Hutcheson and myself Wonnangatta-Moroka Winter 2012

I do love a campfire. Here is a photo taken on my second night out which happened to turn out quite nicely thanks to a clever feature of my new camera. A wondrous shower of sparks.

I even made a video of it which certainly showcases what serene beauty there is in such wonderful wilderness camps.

This is the view from the other side, looking in. Not such a serene beauty I know! But note the wool clothing – and that one is not tidy at the end of a day’s hunting!

I am sitting in is my little sub 200 gram ‘Poncho Tent‘ which I have probably tested enough times now. It is big enough for Spot and me but I am somewhat vertically challenged. Even so I could use just a little more length and width to be really comfortable and feel completely safe (dry) whilst still being able to be use it as a poncho. I will extend this one a bit even though that won’t look quite so neat as a completely fresh one would (but will  save money) which doesn’t grow on any of the trees around here either!

I figure to add less than 50 grams. That will be just enough (I calculate) to fit two very good friends in (me and Dell at least) and yet still weigh (probably) less than 300 grams all up including tie-outs and pegs. Another 25-50 grams or so for an ultralight floor. This is using the one-ounce per square yard material I currently have. Dutchware used to call it Xenon Sil but he doesn’t seem to have it any more. I have discovered some material which claims to be .7 ounces per square yard and yet still is 2500mm waterproof. I will get a sample and try it out.

You have to be careful when laying out your ground sheet that none of it protrudes under the edge of the tent. A tiny pocket handkerchief of such material protruding will easily collect a glass of water when a shower comes by and redirect it right under your  bum. A wet arse in the middle of the night is annoying. Polycro really is a great ground sheet material though it will need to be checked for holes (and replaced) oftener than something made of lead!

I am also thinking about making my Deer Hunter’s Tent just a tad larger, so after I have prototyped it in Tyvek I may use the new material to make it. In this new material (without a floor) it should weigh less than 300 grams all up too. The Poncho Tent is not quite wide enough to sit inside facing towards the fire and keep your legs dry when it is raining. (Roof too low). You have to sit side-on which is inconvenient. The Deer Hunter’s tent is wide enough for two people (and two dogs) to sit side by side facing the fire and (all) have dry legs in the rain. I do love the sound of the rain on a tent. Of course I would, as I grew up in one.

I also want to revisit the Forester Tent. I never really did finish the prototype. While I was away I spent a couple of nights in older versions of my Tyvek shelters. Their openings gave me an interesting idea to try out on the Forester. More about that later.

I have no idea whether I will finish all these projects or be able to offer them to others for purchase. I will be 70 in a few days  – as you may have gathered from the title. Thank you for your good wishes on that occasion. Della really thinks we have ‘enough money’ and should just ‘smell the roses’ (which she likes – I loathe the wretched things!) or at least not begin a new financial venture, but time will tell. You certainly don’t need much money anyway to be deliriously happy all your life. A wonderful woman help though.

This is a spot I often used to camp in my big Tyvek shelters. It got pretty badly burned, as you can see. So much timber down. It makes walking so much slower and more difficult. The bird song (which had been coming back here and there after the 2006 (?) fires has ceased again. I also find this really tragic. The current land managers have no idea at all. They are driven by some wicked green agenda which has no basis in practical reality. The result is the episodic widespread destruction we see here.

Several different angles.

So much timber down everywhere make it so much more difficult to walk. This is what it used to look like. The tree my gun is leaning against is the same tree in all the poncho tent photos above.

People ask me what I carry. Here are the contents of my poncho tent after I took it down. It’s not a lot for a trip of what might turn out to 5-6 days’ hunting is it? The gun is leaning against the log I am sitting on while I roll up the poncho.

There is just so much destruction. This used to be such a pretty little valley:

One plus I guess is that you can now see (but not for long!) some of the C19th pack tracks which had completely disappeared into the bush. DOC or Parks Vic (whoever they are) could give some thought to keeping them open as hiking trails – but I doubt this will happen as they never get out of their cars or offices and into the bush, so they wouldn’t know or do anything if they did! These pack tracks are everywhere in the Victorian bush (wherever there were miners anyway), as so much stuff had to be transported on horseback or wheel barrow. Most places they are hard to notice. Of course there are innumerable overgrown old timber trails now too.

Here we were just having lunch, hoping that some Voyageurs, some canoeists would come along and give us a lift out. Worse luck we had a couple more days walking.  Lichen is wonderful.

Many deer have survived the fire but most are not in great condition. I found a dead hind in fairly ordinary condition who had probably died of pregnancy toxemia and a poddy who had probably starved to death – this long after the fire. It stayed pretty dry for a long while after the fire (I know we were hand feeding our sheep from mid summer until very late autumn – in a better rainfall distriict) so that regrowth was a long while coming on. It is there now but is really what farmers like me call a ‘green drought’. The bush will be suffering the effects of this neglectful fire for a generation or more!

If you have been reading this blog for a while you might remember Tiny’s deer from many years ago.

Tiny loves deer - she likes them cut up a little smaller though.

It had disappeared into the forest floor. The fire had uncovered its bones. Gave me quite a sentimental journey I can tell you what with Tiny now dead these two years past after having shared the planet with me for 18 years. Tempus fugit my old son. Time to carpe that old diem. Cheers, Steve.

See Also – and don’t forget the many links I have placed in the text above:

30/07/2019: Without a trace: I wonder how many civilizations have just disappeared without a trace (perhaps like this face – rhyme intended)? People are just about automatic in their creation of and use of tools. Step on something unpleasant on the street and within seconds a tool has appeared out of nowhere to diminish or remove it. Untold zillions of such tools would have left little trace in the archaeological record - much like the ‘bend camps’ I wrote about here: Johnny Cakes. This particular artifact may prove to be more modern or more ancient than we could suspect, but would we even recognize intelligent dinosaur artifacts, let alone alien ones? As an example many people distinguish humans as tool makers and tool users yet completely ignore just what an elaborate tool the ubiquitous birds’ nest is…

26/07/2019: The Truth About Climbing Ayers Rock:

26/07/2019: If you build a giant trough you will get giant pigs – the ‘disabled’ now 25%+ of the population:

26/07/2019: Effect without cause: the medieval Warm Period was global; it was warmer in the Viking era than it is today – without CO2, therefore CO2 is not the cause of the current ‘warming’ if there is any warming at all – and it is not entirely contrived, or down to the Urban Heat Island effect:

25/07/2019: Human history is full of surprises: These folk could be claiming castles in Portugal instead: Notice the wide dispersal of the gene. This is not consistent with an aboriginal arrival 60,000 years ago – more like 600 years ago! Yet the ANU will not discuss ‘aboriginal’ arrival at all supposing them to have sprung from the earth of Australia – completely unrelated to any other human beings! What racist nonsense: ‘The result is world’s highest known incidence of MJD in indigenous people of Groote Eylandt and Yirrkala in the Northern Territory.’ You would think by now that we have the capacity to ‘map’ the movement of genes through a population and so can date quite precisely when particular genes are likely to have arrived in Australia. Of course we might then be talking about say 10% of present day ‘aboriginal’ genes having arrived on the continent before Dampier – if even that! In some cases at least it will be none. Clearly if say 1% have MJD then pretty close to 100% would have Portuguese genes, for example. If you get ‘land rights’ on account of 10% of your genes why can’t I claim my slice of France (12.5%) or Ireland (37.5%) or England (50%)? Why, some of my ancestors were documented as being ejected from their land in Cambridgeshire by the ‘enclosure movement’ in the early C19th. Whey can’t I claim my own slice of Ely? Because I am not, and never will be a victim! ‘I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul’. (Henley - Invictus)

Out of the night that covers me,

      Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

      For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

      I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

      My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

      Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

      Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

      How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

      I am the captain of my soul.

24/07/2019: Tinny’s Gnomes: While I was working on my post about Simmer Stoves I just could not resist ordering a couple of Tinny’s stoves. I have to admit to being a bit of a collector of these wonderful contraptions. It is true that there are Minibull stoves I don’t own, but time will probably take care of that!

It is very difficult to get clear photos of alcohol flames. I had to take over fifty snaps to get two that were this good – and I had to wait for night before I could do even this well. Both stoves have wonderful patterns both in full flame and simmer though, don’t you think?

The one on the left is the Gnomatic at 12 to 19 grams (with simmer lid) and US$15 and the one on the right is the Turbo Gnome at 12 to 20 grams (with simmer ring) and US$20. They arrived within a week. Freight to Australia was US$20. They are a great bargain.

Both have a rolled piece of carbon felt inside so they won’t spill even if you knock them over. They are easy to blow out when you want to stop cooking. You could reverse the bottom piece (as shown) on the Gnomatic to make a lid for it and hopefully contain some of the unburnt fuel.

You push the burner down on the Gnomatic and add the simmer ring to the Turbo to (instantly) achieve this result:

Of course you are going to have to add a pot stand or use something like a Caldera Cone to use them but they should give you many years of excellent trail food.

See Also:

24/07/2019: Truly astonishing footage of the last stand of double Medal of Honour winner John Chapman. None but the Brave:


24/07/2019: Gillard inches closer and closer to gaol:


24/07/2019: Zali Steggall votes against bill to exclude returning Jihadis. Manly voters must really miss Abbott:

23/07/2019:  Johnny Cakes (or ‘journey cakes‘ as they once were known) also fried scones and maybe ‘bannock’ (from the Latin, ‘panis’ or ‘bread) if you hailed from Scotland. You can see that their (European) origin is quite ancient. They  were once a basic food item. Folks took little else into the bush (by way of food) except for the main ingredients to make them – flour and some salt. They supplemented them with things caught or killed (fish and game) – as in this post.

Other than that, a tarp, blanket and axe to make a shelter and a fire with. A billy and a frying pan. Given that these items might be distributed amongst a number of people (along with the gun and the fishing line) I shouldn’t be surprised if this did not constitute a more ultralight mode of travel than most people undertake today, given especially that people might have been ‘up the bush’ for a month or more at a time on journeys in the past.

Shearers, shepherds and drovers especially used to make them. In C19th Australia these were folk who were ‘on the road’ (and mostly where there were no roads) for months at a time. Because of our vast distances (and being afoot) they were often weeks between supplies, as in this chorus (which I’m sure you recognise):

‘With my ragged old swag on my shoulder
And a billy quart-pot in my hand,
I tell you we’ll astonish the new chums
To see how we travel the land.’

I have always loved the old Australian folk songs: Wild Rover No More, Old Bullock Dray, Banks of the Condamine, Wild Colonial Boy, Moreton Bay, Flash Jack from Gundagai and the like. One of these old songs, ‘The Springtime It Brings on the Shearing’ collected by Overton in his ‘Wallaby Track’ collection in 1865 has the wonderful line, ‘after the shearing is over And the wool season’s all at an end, It is then that you’ll see those flash shearers Making johnny-cakes round in the bend‘.

You could check out this version of the song by an old (late) mate of mine from the 1960s, Gary Shearston, here: It is one of the best.

I like the holiday spirit of it. The sense that though the shearers are ‘flash’ (or ‘flush’ – with money) that their preferred abode is nonetheless just where you would have found that Australian icon the ‘Jolly Swagman’ of ‘Waltzin’ Matilda’ down ‘by a billabong’ or nearby the river’s bend (‘The river on its bars’ as ‘Clancy of the Overflow‘ expressed it).

the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him

In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,

And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,

And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.‘ – Aah!

Of course this is the best spot to camp. You are down out of the wind. Australia is awesomely flat. It rises (or falls) by only a few feet (on average) from one side of the vast continent to the other. For vast distances (hundreds, even thousands of miles) the gradient is less than an inch per mile! The wind blows almost constantly from the West more or less strongly. It is rarely less than 20 kph. In the summer the wind is a furnace’s breath. In the winter it has an icy chill. Spring and autumn are best.

Those Western rivers (of the Murray-Darling) which drain half the continent are very slow and meandering. There are a million such shady bends and many such billabongs where the river crosses the bend to make a new course. It is the easiest spot to get down to the water. There is often (usually) a sand bar, and of course the occasional floodwaters heap lots of handy firewood up nearby, but trees are always falling into the river or dropping their branches Australian trees are ‘self-pruning’, so beware. Don’t camp under a large tree.

The Western rivers of Vic, NSW and Qld (the Murray-Darling Basin) are still today a great way to see the real Australia. Mostly the river margins are public land and so can be traveled (by foot or canoe) with great freedom. Of course any scattered towns are strung out along the rivers like pearls. They still provide innumerable camping opportunities especially away from roads. River heights and recommendations here: & &

The rivers are alive with fresh fish, eels and crayfish of several different kinds – yabbies and ghost shrimp mainly, but also ‘Murray Crays’ – in any case some of the tastiest tucker you could wish for. And naturally countless wild ducks. When I was a kid the country was also alive with rabbits, sometimes almost literally. I have seen whole paddocks which seemed to be just a moving blur of their tawny fur. Not so many these days, but still worth your while to carry a gun to supplement the pot with. All good eating, and a pleasant accompaniment to your ‘cakes’.

Marie Jones c1945 Great Dividing Range securing a rabbit for the pot.

The ‘ghost shrimp’ require a hoop net covered with fine material. They are normally invisible against the bottom – even in clear streams (which the Western rivers are not – take a filter). Practically anything will attract them (even a bar of ‘Velvet’ soap)! You will be astonished at just how many there are – though they are small (2-3″ usually). Still it doesn’t take long to get a feed. Just bring them to the boil in your billy. They colour when they are ready < a minute will be enough). You can peel them if you like, but they are fine eaten whole if you don’t mind crunchy. Yabbies and crays will need peeling.

Many of the rivers are now alive with European carp which are not great eating from muddy water. Their (preferably rotting) flesh is great bait for crayfish of all sorts though. The yellow (and silver) perch – and of course the ‘Murray’ cod are great eating, as are freshwater eels. You will not go hungry along the Western rivers. Apart from wild ducks (which can be legally taken – licence conditions apply) the thousands of miles long fringe of bush along the rivers is home to an astonishing array of creatures: hundreds of different bird species (especially obvious are the brightly coloured parrots and finches), many kinds of reptiles (nothing that can eat you – but there are many poisonous snakes, so take care) and amphibians, lots of marsupials (the grey kangaroos as the most numerous), but there are many possums and smaller creatures too. As you ‘travel the land’ of this vast river basin you will always have several wild creatures in sight – and that is only in daylight. remember most of Australia’s animals are nocturnal or at least crepuscular.

The Murray alone is 2500 km long and the Darling 1500 km. There are over a dozen tributary rivers flowing into the Darling alone. Some of the Murray-Darling tributaries are huge themselves: the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee are each 1500 km long!

If you are traveling inland between Melbourne and Sydney or Brisbane it is well worth your while to go out of your way and detour from Cowra to Forbes along the magnificent Lachlan Valley Way which parallels the Lachlan River for nearly 100 km. Here you will see many billabongs and some splendid examples of the remnant forest I have been talking about. In many places you can simply drive off the road and across to the river, sometimes a kilometre away. There are many great camping spots.

My parents were itinerant beekeepers in Western NSW chasing the honey flow for months at a time along the remnant forests which skirt the Western rivers. We camped along those waterways all through the 1940s and 50s but they are little changed today. My mother often made ‘Johnny Cakes’ for us by the banks of a river on a trusty much-repaired Primus stove. Every night we slept under canvas on an army cot wrapped in our woolen blankets, lulled to sleep by the chorus of frogs, the chitter of possums and the splash of fish jumping in the river…and always, ‘the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars’ – as Clancy phrased it. Under that clear, dry air there are more stars than you will see anywhere else on earth!

Lawrence Jones c1945 with 1926 Chev truck . Great Dividing Range. Note honey tins and hound Felix.

In the C19th (especially) the Western Rivers became ‘highways’ for itinerant workers (such as shearers, shepherds, drovers etc) and the river bends became way-stations. My great grandfather, George Harvey was a carter (as his father before him) bringing wool down from the great outback stations to the (then) important river port of Morpeth on the Hunter River upstream from Newcastle. They were camped one night outside Uralla New England NSW with such a load when the menfolk decided to go into town to the pub at night for a few drinks. My great grandmother Margaret and a baby (maybe my grandmother Rose) were camped under the bullock dray. During the night she heard men’s voices approaching and the baby decided to cry. She then heard a man’s voice say “Come away there is a woman’ and they faded into the night. This would have apparently been Starlight or Thunderbolt the bush rangers. One of them was well known for his delicacy towards women.

You can imagine some of the camps becoming quite permanent eg with bark huts popping up amongst the river red gums. Much construction was done with what would be considered rubbish today: earth, twigs, bark etc. Rabbit skins for example were a useful resource (likewise wool). Fencing wire (and netting) found a thousand uses from toasting forks to building fasteners (See: The netting was an important component of fish traps which ensured a ready supply of fresh fish. Unfortunately some platypus and turtles drowned – this does not happen if a sufficient part of the trap is left above water and checked regularly. Empty kerosene drums were flattened for all sorts of uses (think skillets and even building cladding and roofing). Used newspapers were ‘painted with flour and water to create (entertaining) dividing walls. Families often grew up in such huts. I know I spent my early years in a house with an ‘ground’ floor – as we used to call it when the earth was the floor. You can still see this today at Harry Smith’s Hut at Eaglevale on the Wonnangatta. There would be little archaeological evidence today of such important camps.

Johnny Cakes are just a version of damper except that they are fried rather than baked. If you don’t have a frying pan you can just wrap the dough around a stick and bake it over the coals turning and turning it until it is brown and crisp on the outside, yet still doughy on the inside – or you can filch a length of netting from a farmer’s old fence or a stray sheet of corrugated iron will also serve as a griddle. Or you can acquire a frypan! I prefer to use a bit of dripping or tallow (mutton fat) to fry them with as it has the highest melting point (40C) of all fats. It is also tasty. Oil is too hard to transport without the risk of leaks and having packs and clothes thoroughly messed up.

I used to have lots of recipes in my head for them, as I made them all the time, but I guess that’s over twenty years ago now, and I never wrote them down. My mate Woody reckoned the best mix was to just add flour to a can of beer until you had a stiff dough, and then fry that. Tasty I agree but seems like a waste of a cold tinny – and I usually don’t have one in my pack anyway. There is some sound advice there though. If you mix this way, slowly and carefully you will get to the point where the dough is no longer sticky and it all comes off the surface you are ‘working’ it on and your hands and fingers also become perfectly clean without washing. Then it is time to cook.

Recipes: The oldest plainest recipe was to use a 1 lb (500 gram) packet of self raising flour to 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix slowly with about 3/4 of a cup of water – but remember the earlier advice: add the water slowly until you have a very stiff dough which removes all the sticky from your hands and work surface. Make into cakes about 3-4″ wide and 1/2-3/4″ thick and ‘fry’ slowly on low heat. Turn when golden on one side.

I would add to that some powered milk (a table spoon?), a teaspoon of sugar, a couple of teaspoons (perhaps) of desiccated coconut and a couple of teaspoons of slivered almonds. Of course you can add anything you like to make them a bit tastier (sultanas or raisins for example). It can be a good idea also to work some ( a few teaspoons) of the dripping into the cake mixture before you fry them.

On many long journeys in the past I have made them up to go with my evening meal and held a few aside to eat with some condiment (jam, peanut butter, etc) for my lunch. I must be getting old (and I am trying to cut down on the carbs); I am finding such chores a bit wearisome these days. That being said, having written about the damned things I really have a hankering to make some now! Cheers.

‘Oh, the springtime it brings on the shearing,
And it’s then that you’ll see them in droves,
To the west country stations all steering,
A-seeking a job off the coves.

Chorus: With my ragged old swag on my shoulder
And a billy quart-pot in my hand,
I tell you we’ll astonish the new chums
To see how we travel the land.’

PS: Of course, as you know we have been sheep farmers for over thirty years, so we have more than a passing acquaintance with shearers and shearer’s songs – and food!

Talking of Johnny Cakes and billabongs reminds me of our national song:

Deconstructing Waltzing Matilda, Australia’s Favourite Song

Waltzing Matilda is an Australian icon. It is quite likely that more Australians know the words to this song than even their national anthem. There is probably no other song that is more easily recognised by a populace: young or old: native or a newly arrived immigrant.

The lyrics to Waltzing Matilda were (allegedly) written in 1895 by Banjo Paterson, an Australian bush poet, while holidaying on a huge cattle and sheep station (ranch) in the Australian Outback. He was inspired by a tune he heard being played by Christina Macpherson the daughter of the owner of the property.

Banjo and Christina worked together composing the song. Whether they also got it away is left to your imagination. She set the music for Waltzing Matilda. The song was an instant hit. The words were written to a tune played on a zither or autoharp by 31‑year‑old Christina, one of the family members at the station. 31? Old for such high jinks!

Macpherson had heard the tune ‘The Craigielee March’ played by a military band while attending the Warrnambool steeplechase horse racing in Victoria in April 1894, and played it back by ear at Dagworth. Paterson decided that the music would be a good piece to set lyrics to, and produced the original version during the rest of his stay at the station and in Winton.

As with so many icons of the Left, there is a degree of dishonesty at its heart. For example, the tune was stolen: The march was based on the Scottish Celtic folk tune ‘Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea’, written by Robert Tannahill and first published in 1806, with James Barr composing the music in 1818. In the early 1890s it was arranged as the ‘The Craigielee’ march music for brass band by Thomas Bulch.

This tune, in turn, was possibly based on the old melody of ‘Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself’ (, composed by John Field (1782–1837) sometime before 1812. Banjo’s song was first recorded by John Collinson in 1926. You can listen to it here: I think I prefer the original title, ‘Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself’!

Of course Paterson composed the song in what was to be the birthplace of Australia’s Left (Australian Labor Party = Barcaldine) just after the great ‘Shearer’s Strike’ of 1891 (itself a consequence more of the 1890’s (climate change) drought than anything else, and the founding of the unsuccessful ‘New Australia’ in Paraguay (by the disgruntled leftist insurgents 1892).

All these things are connected, and connected to the Australian leftist (ortho) doxy! One day their history will be written, but not be me! In 1890 Bourke was a centre of ‘culture’ (if you can call anything the left touches ‘culture’), had a grand opera house, was a centre of ‘civilisation’ and a magnet for the literati. It was no accident Paterson was there.

Today it is a hell hole (after a century of leftist social experimentation) with the highest crime rate of anywhere on the planet, for example. Interesting aside: In the Western Lands Lease country (West of the Darling) in the 1880s you could milk a cow on four acres. There were substantial towns all over the place and 100,000 folk lived there. The great drought of the 1890s (which never ended) caused all those people to move and all their settlements to be abandoned. Climate change!

The ‘New Australia’ movement wanted to secede and form their own socialist paradise there. It had to be abandoned as a result of the 1890s drought (that’s why they went to Paraguay and never recovered. No-one at all lives there today! I suspect a leftist future is no different from a leftist past!

The socialist ‘experiment in Paraguay (like all such elsewhere) did not work out either, and was eventually abandoned – the descendants of those settlers were accepted as Australians by the Whitlam Government in the 1970s when they returned to Australia. Caroline Jones made a doco (‘And Their Ghosts May Be Heard’) about it (which was excellent). You can buy it here:

First read the song Waltzing Matilda (below) again , then I will begin to ‘decontruct’ it for you:

Waltzing Matilda, Lyrics to Song

1Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong

2Under the shade of a coolibah tree

3And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled

4Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

5Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

6Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me

7And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled

8Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

9Along came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong

10Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee

11And he sang as he stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag

12You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.

13Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

14Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me

15And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled

16Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

17Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred

18Down came the troopers, one, two, three

19Whose is that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?

20You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.

21Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

22Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me

23And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled

24Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

25Up jumped the swagman, leapt into the billabong,

26You’ll never catch me alive, said he

27And his ghost may be heard as you pass by the billabong

28Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.

29Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

30Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me

31And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled

32Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

Just some key words: First ‘camped’ (Line 1) rather than ‘trespassed’. This innocuous word sets the scene for who is in the right and who in the wrong in this interchange of ideas and clash of social classes. The swagman is innocently ‘camping’ amid a benevolent nature which will provide him with all its largesse (food, drink peace) as his ‘right’. The tranquillity and ‘appropriateness’ of the scene is emphasized over and over again by the choice of words ‘waltzing’ and ‘singing’ for example (Lines 11,12,13,14,15,16!).

There is no indication that he is a ruffian who has no business being where he is. In reality the swagman is a shiftless idle derelict, illegally trespassing on someone else’s private property which the owner has paid good money for and spent considerable effort and work building up, eg creating mobs of (highly edible) sheep, which the swagman wantonly kills and steals.

The ‘class’ difference between the protagonists (and the role of the Government in reinforcing this class system) is emphasized by the choice of word to describe them their conveyances and possessions. The swagman is on foot (‘waltzing) whereas the owner (described disphemistically) as a ‘squatter’ (as if he had no right to the land -though he had actually paid for it!) is ‘mounted’ (to stress his ‘

High falutin’ nature, and not just on any common nag (it would in reality have been a ‘whaler’) but on a ‘thoroughbred’ (which would in fact have been little use for mustering sheep – it would break its legs!) His actions are backed up by the full force of the establishment and the law by the presence of not just one but by a whole bevy of gendarmes (three) so that at the outset the ‘poor’ swagman is outnumbered (four to one) by the onerous forces of capital and the law – O, the injustice of it all!

Of course the poem was written in response to the Great Shearer’s Strike (it became almost a civil war) and led to many gaolings and deaths, and the burning of many shearing sheds – and also to the founding of the ‘New Australia’ colony in Paraguay and incidentally to the founding of the Labor Party, not far from where it was written – by just such leftists as Paterson.

In those days Bourke was a centre of culture. Many people wanted to form a socialist republic West of the Darling where 100,000 people dwelt then (but no-one does today- after the drought of 1890 failed to go away – climate change!) Today Bourke has the highest crime rate in the world!

Let’s look at how that crime is dealt with: The ‘jumbuck’ (‘sheep’ = Line 9) is obviously innocently coming to the stream for its evening drink when the swagman ‘grabs’ him and ‘stows’ him. The violence of this encounter is glossed over and the swagman places the remains of the sheep in his food bag as if it were his own property.

There is no hint in the song though of ‘blood upon the wattle’. There is no indication even that the action was ‘unkind’. The sheep might almost later on extricate itself from the offending bag after having had a peaceful nap, and saunter on its way as if the whole episode had been a friendly jape! Performed after all, with ‘glee’.

I’m not sure however if the wether appreciated the jest! He is a bloody mess of meat after all, hacked to pieces. It is astonishing to what an extent the passivity of the crime is glossed over. The swagman just ‘watches and waits’; it is the squatter and his troopers who are the actors. They ‘ride up’ and ‘come down’, etc.

The squatter at least comes straight to the point, ‘Whose is that jumbuck’? He says. Every event in Australia’s history revolves around how you answer this question. We all are supposed to ‘know’ surely by now (the Labor Party and the Trade Unions have told us often enough) that the ‘bosses’ have (mis) appropriated all the world’s wealth for their own nefarious purposes, holding the rest of us in an impecunious subjugation which will not even end with our deaths.

‘You’ll never catch me alive’ sings the swagman and ‘jumps into the billabong.’ He almost certainly needed a good bath anyway having been an indigent derelict sleeping rough for some time and no doubt carefully boiling methylated spirits (or the ‘White Lady – I know you imagined ‘tea’ – such innocence) in that billy anyway, a foul habit which can often also lead to incontinence and madness – which it clearly has in this case!

It was clearly quite mad to drown yourself simply over the theft of some mutton anyway, a crime which would most likely only have met with a small fine in those days. If this event is supposed to have taken place before Samuel Mort invented refrigerated transport (c1883 and therefore likely – Now Elders incidentally), then you should know that meat was practically free up until then as the only usable products of the grazing industry were tallow (fat), hides and wool as anyone who has played the board game ‘Squatter’, an Australian version of ‘Monopoly’ ought to know.

Meat was simply a waste product. At one time for example they used to tip up to 4 million sheep carcasses into the Murray at Echuca annually (after rendering). The smell (and environmental consequences) are hard to imagine. One thing though; it did lead to the development of the largest Murray Cod in history (bigger than a man!), and indeed to an inland fisheries industry, now sadly defunct!

You will note that the cops (troopers) do nothing. Just like cops of every age, they are just in it for the take, eg their fat horses. They do nothing to prevent crime or to solve it.

I also like the morsel of moral advice that you should ‘pass by this billabong’. Its pollution by dead swagmen and sheep is bad enough. I think there is also the suggestion that ‘you’ should eschew a like fate. Whether this means you should desist from rustling, drinking meths, bathing, having anything to do with the police or etc is left to your own imagination – as it should be!

The constant refrain ‘Who’ll’? and its answering chorus, ‘You’ll’ is just too obvious to require explanation. If you have been sucked in by leftist gibberish, no doubt you are totally ignorant and might as well be off ‘waltzing matilda’ with the fairies or lying somewhere (dare I say ‘unlamented’?) on the bottom of some Billabong or other suitable receptacle for the disposal of dead bodies!

The swagman will have his revenge. We are doomed to be haunted by his ghost – just as we are haunted by the ghosts of Whitlam and Keating! Wait a moment! Keating is not dead. He just always looks dead. His is the undead hand of capitalism! Or socialism. Well, something like that.

See Also:

23/07/2019: Bob Brown the ultimate nimby. What else would you expect from a party whose leader pays his au pair slave labour rates: How many eagles (& bats) had to die before these greenies admitted that their ‘renewables’ were a disaster?


23/07/2019: Do we need to look forward to this:


23/07/2019: Buzz shows that he still has ‘the right stuff’ – Kapow:


22/07/2019: Autism – faulty wiring, not vaccines; 80% genetic:


22/07/2019: The Govt should intervene in the Ridd case. This Uni (and others) are out of control and no longer support free speech. Their funding should be withdrawn until they come to their senses:


22/07/2019: The real costs of ‘wind farms’:


21/07/2019: The Age of Amnesia: ‘We live…in “an age of amnesia.” Across the world…we are discarding the knowledge and insights passed down over millennia and replacing it with politically correct bromides cooked up in the media and the academy’. More and more problems to become deeply concerned about:


21/07/2019: This little-known Australian inventor has probably saved your life:


21/07/2019: Even shrinks can’t agree when you’re nuts: ‘'Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice.'’

20/07/2019: The Olfa Knife: (Updated) This is just about the greatest knife ever! I’m just a little late to the party concerning this knife which has been around nearly as long as I have – at any rate since 1956. As you can see it has a 55 mm blade. That’s just under 2 ¼”. (55mm = 2.16”) You could easily skin and butcher a sambar deer with one of them, and they only cost a few bucks (with spare blades – and of course you can have as many spare blades as you want supposing you get very lucky on your hunting trip!

It is also very light. The (heavier) Grey one pictured weighs 50 grams, for example. The Black is 42 grams and its blade is about 1 1/4″. Costs from A$11.50 including delivery! Just what the serious ultralight deer hunter would need.

Available here:

Mine arrived today (in about four days). I bought the whole set for about A$30 delivered. They will have many uses. The grey one is definitely suitable for butchery. It is an excellent cross between a folder and a fixed blade knife. The blade is quite thick and rigid – and comes razor sharp. It is sharpened on both sides and could easily be re-sharpened.

You can easily carry a couple of spare blades – you can see the weights on my scales. If you want to go ultralight you could definitely get by with the black one at 42 grams. They both have a hole in the end of the handle so you can carry them around your neck on a piece of string. Yes, I think you should get one to try out.

You can buy a fancier more expensive one from Titaner too, eg:

Nitecore have one too:

PS: I have lots of other posts about knives/cutlery. Try a search in the search box eg for ‘knife’:

See Also:

20/07/2019: VD in the C18th. Fascinating:


20/07/2019: Black is the color of my true love's... Amy is right. I noticed this myself yesterday in Melbourne. Where have all the pretty young women and handsome young men gone? Could dark energy kill the universe:

20/07/2019: Homelessness #101: A Scott Adams interview with Dr. Drew explains that housing is not the issue. It's about mental illness, personality disorders, addiction, and mental insufficiency and otherwise low-functioning people. That is a lot of people. It is a tragedy of false compassion. Thousands of people who need help, when help is available, resist it. It's a free country. Freedom often means messy:

18/07/2019: Why It's Probably Better for the Planet to Throw Plastic in the Trash:


18/07/2019: Terrifying. Just too easy. Personally I think such people should simply be shortened (swiftly – the same day): Like this:


18/07/2019: Top Terror Cop Says ‘Extinction Rebellion Are Dangerous Extremists. Jail Them!’ ‘The environmental movement — especially in its most dangerously weaponised form in groups like Extinction Rebellion — is anti-science, irrational, non-evidence-based, anti-prosperity, anti-growth, anti-human, anti-democratic. (And that’s before we even get on to the topic of all the damage it does to nature in the form of biofuel plantations, bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes, and such like’- organic agriculture for example)

17/07/2019: Cuteness Alert: (Photos/Video Added) 3 weeks old, eyes open, 3 little bundles ready to start some supplementary feeding (to give Honey a bit of a break) and take over the house…for a little while! Thanks to our daughter for the super photo! One of the puppies is already spoken for with nearly a month to go before we can advertise them. If you want one, please let me know. Two girls and a boy: Milky, Dot and Little Spot. More photos to follow. Check back later…

 See Also:

17/07/2019: Rocks ARE endangered: ‘A rock can take millions of years to form, but it only takes a second for someone to skip a smooth pebble into a lake, and then it is gone.” Dr. Kaiser said. “Perhaps these thoughtless rock-skippers don’t care if they leave our planet completely devoid of rocks, but what about our children? Don’t they deserve the chance to hold a rock and toss it up and down a few times?’,17341/

17/07/2019: The Cure for Aboriginal Grievance Syndrome: ‘The foundation to eliminating the disadvantages plaguing contemporary Australian Aboriginals is the full and uncompromising acceptance that the continent was colonized… Relinquish the notion that it is the responsibility of present day non-Aboriginal Australians to remedy the adverse effects of British colonisation… Abandon the notion that Australian Aboriginals are entitled to exclusive and perpetual rights and privileges on account of their ancestors living here before white colonists’ arrival… Cease the glorification and incessant promotion of Aboriginal culture, much of it confected…’ No person living in Australia today should be entitled to any special benefit or recognition based on race

17/07/2019: If you find cause without effect or effect without a cause then you were wrong about the cause-effect relationship. A single instance is all it takes. Things have to be true 100% of the time but they only need to be falsified 1%! You can’t vote for the truth. 99% of people believing something has no relationship to its truth/falsity. Once pretty much everyone believed that the earth was flat and that the sun traveled around the earth. I defy you to offer convincing proof that they were wrong! The CO2 boondoggle is a case in point: there are many instances of warming without CO2 (think Medieval Warm Period for example) or CO2 increase followed by cooling (think world temperatures post WW2 for example) but you would only need a single example to falsify the hypothesis!

16/07/2019: A European War on (Everyone’s) Free Speech: ‘The result of such poorly defined laws is predictable. A recent poll found only 18 percent of Germans feel they can speak freely in public. More than 31 percent did not even feel free to express themselves in private among their friends. Just 17 percent of Germans felt free to express themselves on the internet, and 35 percent said free speech is confined to small private circles. That is called a chilling effect, and it should be feared’

16/07/2019: What’s to Compensate: Slavery Made the US Less Prosperous, Not More So

16/07/2019: Antifa is becoming more and more dangerous as the death of an Antifa activist today in Tacoma who attacked with guns and fire bombs shows: &

15/07/2019: I hope this is me -Things you can do in your 90s if you stay in shape:

15/07/2019: More of this and less #MeToo please: ‘Honest to God, shoot me now. I’ve worked with men all my life, often wildly outnumbered by them…And I can honestly never remember ever fretting or thinking about my purported safety…We all talk a lot about the erosion of freedoms on campus, the lack of free expression on social media. These are worthy subjects. But the most important rights we have are those we need when we’re charged with a crime and face the ultimate loss of freedom. Those are the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time; to be informed of the charges against you; not to be denied bail without reasonable cause, and the right to be presumed innocent.’

15/07/2019: What did medieval peasants eat? I really want to know (and the abstract is enticing) but the detail is hidden behind an academic paywall, however I find the methodology intriguing (and see that in the future there will be all sorts of things to learn from methods we cannot even imagine today). However, ‘The findings demonstrated that stews (or pottages) of meat (beef and mutton) and vegetables such as cabbage and leek, were the mainstay of the medieval peasant diet. The research also showed that dairy products, likely the ‘green cheeses’ known to be eaten by the peasantry, also played an important role in their diet’:

14/07/2019: Hundreds of blindfolded goats airdropped onto a mountain range:

14/07/2019: Well said Barnaby: finally tells the truth about ‘climate change’ – the coming Ice Age will kill billions:

14/07/2019: Doubts about ‘aboriginal history’: Present day ‘aborigines’ were clearly not the ‘first Australians’. Note for example a line of deer in the ‘Bradhsaw Paintings’ or a prehistoric ship with a rudder, or the (recent C20th) existence of a ‘race’ of pygmies on Cape York. Confecting history to support political grievance and alter public policy is dangerous stuff: & & & &


Deer painting - Bradshaws

13/07/2019: Everything you ever needed to know about down jackets: I have Montbell down clothing. At the time of purchase it was about the lightest and most economical I could find – I am also more than happy with the build quality and its durability (considering its extreme lightness) over the years. I carry a ‘Superior Down’  jacket and a vest, weighing approx 200 + 150 grams. I can see that I could have done better than this (now) but they were on sale (A140 + A$105) at Larry Adler (in Oz) at the time and are otherwise very hard to obtain here, so they were a bit of a ‘steal’ really.

My strategy is to use them in a layering system when it is very cold and to supplement my Montbell Spiral Stretch Ultralight Down Hugger sleeping bag (appprox 600 grams) by wearing the jacket on my top and the vest on my lower body (plus down socks) when it is below freezing. This reduces the temperature rating of my sleeping bag from -1C down to more like -10C without having to carry any extra weight. I also prefer a full-zip in both garments (even though it adds to the weight as compared with a pullover) because it helps with the layering. When you want to reduce the warmth it is just so easy to unzip.

I think 6-7 oz (180-200 grams) is enough in Australia for a down jacket (as long as you also have a vest!) as the heavier garments will mostly be far too hot (unless you are always up in the snow). I mostly camp out in the winter months in the mountains of Southern Victoria (as I am also a deer hunter). I have found the above arrangements fine over many years. We also own Montbell Down trousers. which only weigh a couple of hundred grams – lighter than most thermals! Della wears hers all the time in camp when it is cold (she feels it more than I do), and it is a blessing to her. I confess I only take mine when it is going to be like Antarctica, eg walking up to Everest.

I would recommend a winter mat though. For many years I used the Thermarest Neoair Womens – 340 grams (which I found adequate but not toasty) on cold nights. I now have an Exped Synmat HL Winter M – 430 grams which I find even better and more comfortable. At the moment I am using the pillow I cut down here (<50 grams) which cost me less than $10. It is the most comfortable pillow I have ever used and stays put really well too. I usually sleep in my Deer Hunter’s Tent (which I will soon be making a new, lighter, bigger model of) and carry the Ultralight Deer Hunter‘s equipment. Of course I always have a fire out the front which keeps me nice and warm until well after I have gone to bed.

I found the spreadsheet belowon a Google search so I cannot recognise the author’s careful work (or attest to its accuracy) but it gives a very good ground for comparison.

Down jacket (Male size M < 11oz)




Total weight (oz)

Fill weight (oz)

Fill %

Fill power (US)

Total Warmth

Warmth per oz

Warmth per $

Weighted ranking

Cumulus primelite pullover












Nunatak Shaka UL Sweater hooded












Goosefeet Gear jacket (custom)












Borah Gear Ultralight Jacket












Malachowski Zion Ultralight












Haglofs L.I.M Essens












Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Parka












Crux New Halo Jacket












Crux Turbo Jacket












My Trail Co 850 HL Hooded












Rab Zero G












My Trail Co 850 HL












Decathlon Trek 500












Cumulus Inverse












Montbell Plasma 1000












Cumulus Acomay












Montbell Ex Light Anorak












Crux Turbo Top Pullover












Yeti Strato UltraLight












Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket












Stellar EQ Ultralight Jacket












Stellar EQ Ultralight Hoody












Mammut Broad Peak Light












Feathered Friends Eos












Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer












Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hoody












Stellar EQ Ultralight Sweater












Haglofs Essens












Macpac Supanova Hooded












Yeti Purity












Western Mountaineering Quick Flash Jacket












Montane Starlight Pull-on












Western Mountaineering Flash XR Jacket












Patagonia Ultralight Jacket












Montbell Superior Down Parka












Western Mountaineering Flash Jacket












Outdoor Vitals StormLoft Ultralight












Montbell Superior Down Jacket












Macpac Uber Light












Outdoor Research Baja Pullover












REI Co-op 650 jacket












Montbell Superior Down Round Neck












Outdoor Research Illuminate












Marmot Quasar Nova












The cumulus range certainly is worth considering. Notice they also make very light sleeping bags:

13/07/2019: Moon Transiting the Earth: For more about living on the moon, read this: or this, ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ by Robert Heinlein.

moon crossing the earth

13/07/2019: Mom Arrested For Allegedly Driving With Children Sitting In Inflatable Pool On Top Of Vehicle. Why was this not a good idea – saves on ratchet straps:

13/07/2019: Take that Vegans: 25 times more sentient beings die to produce a kilo of protein from wheat than a kilo of protein from beef’

12/07/2019: Della’s Way Bread or Biscotti: You may or may not have tried Hard Tack which is what unfortunates such as British sailors used to have to subsist upon. Italian sailors were better chefs so they came up with Biscotti. Della has tweaked their recipes for this wonderful food until it is just perfect. It is as good as the ‘Elvish Waybread’ that Frodo and Sam enjoyed for many days in ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

Della has two (almond flavoured) versions below (a hard and a soft one). The hard one would have slightly better ‘keeping’ qualities. Remember though that this food was intended to be consumed continuously on a voyage for years! You can ‘dunk’ them in a cup of tea, coffee or chocolate – which is what Della does. I prefer to eat them straight. They are delicious, filling (and quite fattening).




3 cups unsalted whole almonds

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 ½ cups plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs at room temp.

1 tablespoon almond essence

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon lemon zest


3 cups unsalted whole almonds

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2 ¼ cups plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs at room temp.

1 tablespoon almond essence

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon lemon zest

½ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)

Method: (for both recipes)

*   Toast almonds in oven for 10 minutes at 165 degrees then cool

  • Combine dry ingredients
  • Whisk together wet ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Stir in dry ingredients and then stir in cool almonds.
  • Divide mixture into 4 and roughly form 4 thin logs to run the length of 2 standard oven slides, about 3 inches wide and ½ inch high.
  • Bake 165 degrees for 20 minutes ( until golden)
  • Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes only
  • Carefully slice each log into biscuit fingers about ¾ inch wide and stand up on slide spaced approx. ½ inch apart
  • Return to oven for 5 minutes only at 165 degrees, then remove and cool on a wire rack
  • When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Biscotti after first baking Biscotti – cutting into biscuits Biscotti – finished

See Also:

12/07/2019: Tales of shipwreck survivors – is there any universal lesson to be learned:

12/07/2019: Maybe Albo should not have taken this fight on – it surely just reinforces the view that the ALP is dominated by rogue unionists:

12/07/2019: Hillary Clinton expresses shock and sadness for Jeffrey Epstein’s upcoming suicide:

11/07/2019: The Auto Re-invented:

11/07/2019: Dalrymple must move in different circles to me, ‘There is a law of the conservation of blasphemy: If it is not against God, you can always blaspheme against secular pieties.’ He says. I find these days that I can say practically nothing without exciting shrillness everywhere. Still, having had to endure (sometimes) minutes of women’s soccer before the news I must say he is right (though I would prefer there were no sports at all):

11/07/2019: Latter-day hippies should read Willis’s post. The problem with ‘Renewable’ energy is Storage. To store the amount of energy needed by a city the size of New York (or Victoria, for that matter) for three days needs storage of energy equivalent to that released by two Hiroshima bombs. Clearly this is not a problem which is anywhere near solved yet:  The post that provoked Willis IS interesting: Could we really build battery systems which were several cubic miles in size/? That’s a lot of lead or lithium!

10/07/2019: Keeping the Voyagers running – a wonderful tale:

10/07/2019: British Justice is not well named:

10/07/2019: No-one beats Topher at showing what a nonsense the Murray water thing is:

09/07/2019: Vale Christopher  Booker: If you want a reminder of his greatness, read this:

09/07/2019: Wrong Man’s Life Support Switched off – don’t you wish you could organise this sometimes? Perhaps you would start with Jeffrey Epstein or Bill Clinton:

08/07/2019: More Simmer Stoves

It is easy to make an ultralight alcohol stove which will boil water (instructions here and here) but a bit more difficult to make one which will simmer. Many of my recipes require that the food simmers for 10 minutes or so (usually to soften lentils etc). I guess you could use a cosy, but it is easier to just turn the heat down. 10 minutes at simmer is <5 ml of alcohol. You can make your own using simmer rings or similar devices to reduce the air intake or you can buy someone else’s. There are a number of models available which are cheap and effective – if you want to deprive yourself of the many pleasures of DIY!

There are Aaron at Brasslite’s wonderful offerings for example which I have written about before. I cannot recommend these too highly. You should buy one or a half dozen of these beauties while the going is good.

Personally I think if you are still using a canister stove you have rocks in your head. You may also have a number of bricks in your pack too – just to improve your fitness I guess. The empty canister weighs more than an alcohol stove, fuel bottle and enough fuel for several days. The lightest burner (usually around 80 grams – though they can be as light as 25) again represents enough weight of fuel in alcohol for at least a weekend. It just does not make any sense to me to lug these things around!

It is also just so easy to work out beforehand just what meals/cups of hot drinks etc you will be eating on say an 8-10 day hike (eg the Dusky Track) then work out just how much alcohol you will need and take that amount in a Platypus bottle. Less than 500 mls in this example. How many canisters would you take for the same trip – and what would be the total weight? When the jet on the gas stove blocks (as it will sometime), what will you eat the? That cold, uncooked pasta is going to get rather tiresome!

I always carry a Trail Designs Caldera Cone as a windscreen. They only weigh from about 20 grams depending on pot size. Along with a couple of tent pegs it can always be used to make a twig fire to boil the billy with – if you run out of fuel. You can buy a ‘floor’ for it if you worry about leaving miniscule scorch marks in the endless wilderness. Personally I think such ‘trace leaving‘ is largely beneficial – and should be encouraged! You can buy the ‘cone’ as a stand alone (for about US$35) – though it comes with the 12-10  (or Kojin) stove gratis and only costs US$9.95 for ‘simmer rings’ (for the 12-10)

Caldera Cone System

Caldera Cone

Trail Designs 12-10 Stove

 Trail Designs Simmer Ring

12-10 with simmer ring

PackaFeather used to make a couple of very neat alcohol simmer stoves. I own both from the days when they used to sell them. They still offer plans for them if you would like to make your own.

Zenstoves has instructions on building simmer rings for various alcohol stoves. They suggest eg something like this for your pepsi-can stove (hope they don’t mind my re-posting their illustration), but have many other interesting ideas. If you have not yet discovered this site you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you!

If you have not yet discovered the astonishing Minibulldesign you are in for a treat. His Youtube channel will explain a lot of his concepts, but as you will discover he has a number of different alcohol simmer stoves at a simply wonderful price ( like the Gnomatic from US$15) as well as some of the lightest pots on the market anywhere – and lots of fun! There is his Turbo Gnome Stove with Simmer Ring (for example) at US$20.


See Also:

08/07/2019: The Dragonfly – Ultralight Titanium Knife:

Things just keep getting better and better. I was impressed by the CRKT PDK knife but I am even more impressed by this 10.4 gram little beauty. I confess I may have a titanium fetish, and yes, I do think you could dress a sambar deer with one. I have used the CRKT on one quite successfully but you have to be careful not to break the plastic holder. I realise that I have used leverage on a knife too much. It is a cutting instrument.You should not twist it or try to bend it.

CRKT knife

If you are not good at sharpening knives these replacement blade knives (such as this one too) are right for you. However if you are like me and grew up before the rabbit plague was ended by myxomitosis back around 1956 then you probably also wore out several pocket knives skinning rabbits before you started school (as I did). If you can dress a rabbit in under a minute, the you can almost certainly envisage the perfect angle to sharpen a knife with a bit of spit and a handy river pebble.

image108Gerber LST 34 grams.

If you are not, you might try one of these lightweight knife sharpeners eg on your Gerber or Johnson River Knife.

Or else, get one of these Dragonflies! Apparently it does have a lock blade but I would not put too much force on a 1/3 oz knife. A handy tool for the pocket or for the Ultralight Deer Hunter, but I would always carry a fixed blade knife so I could split wood to light a fire.

‘The Dragonfly – a Titanium Folding Knife. Featuring an ergonomic design and a replaceable blade (#24) this knife is perfect for everyday tasks.


  • Material – GR5 Titanium
  • Length Closed – 83.5mm
  • Length Open – 140mm
  • Thickness – 3mm
  • Weight – 10.4g’

Normal price US$70 ( but available right now (July 20129) on Drop for US$42: I have ordered one for my 70th birthday!

See Also:

08/07/2019: Prof Blaimey calls out ‘climate change’ as a hoax:

08/07/2019: Solar cells at 35% efficiency (instead of the 29% theoretical maximum) are on their way:

08/07/2019: Dorset sounds to me a lot like Queensland or rural Victoria – anywhere away from the ‘capital’ cities – if I am ever in the UK again I must visit it. I have long advocated that rural Australia ought to secede (from urban) and be able to make its own laws and control entry. We could do worse than having Qld seceding and putting Tony Abbott in charge of immigration. I would then move there tomorrow – despite the heat, somewhere perhaps where ‘people have the right to quote the Bible, the world’s biggest selling book of all time’ with impunity:

07/07/2019: ‘There is a big difference between a free country and a country of free things. You can have one or the other, but you can’t have both.’

07/07/2019: At last this spoilt brat is being outed with bumper stickers in Germany:

Get yours here:

07/07/2019: To a Mouse, On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785, Robert Burns(NB the last stanza)

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
   Wi’ murd’ring pattle! 

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion 
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
   An’ fellow-mortal! 

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; 
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
   An’ never miss ’t! 

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! 
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
   Baith snell an’ keen! 

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste, 
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
   Out thro’ thy cell. 

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble 
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
   An’ cranreuch cauld! 

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
   For promis’d joy! 

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me! 
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
   I guess an’ fear!

06/07/2019: The Great Greening of the Earth. (Two forest areas the size of Australia added in the last 30 years). The wonders of CO2: &

06/07/2019: Just another ‘love equality.’ Calls to Normalise Pedophilia on the Rise: Time to rethink our attitudes to other ‘normal’ behaviour: homosexuality, incest, bestiality...?

06/07/2019: The builders of Stonehenge were wiped out (to a man) by Yamnaya invaders (c3000BC), their women enslaved. This is the plan that Islam has for us all. It has happened before. It can happen again:

05/07/2019: Time we cleared the streets of all of them. Let’s make people work for a living:

05/07/2019: Yesterday tax cuts. Today this. Only the second day of the new Parliament. Getting on with the job:

05/07/2019: About those ‘record’ temperatures in France – from one of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists, Prof Roy Spencer (UAH):

05/07/2019: Down Socks: If it is going to be particularly cold (winter camping say) I always carry a pair of these. I have a pair of Goosefeet Gear’s which I have found more than satisfactory for well over ten years. Mine are Size: Medium and weigh 2.2 0z the pair. They cost US$65 (July 2019) but you can sometimes pick them up on Massdrop.

Zpacks also make them. Theirs are a mere 1.8 oz (same price). I have owned and used many of their products over the years. All have been excellent – just that I have never had the need for two pairs of down socks.

Of course I use my own 12 gram Dyneema moccasins for night-time footwear over the socks in case I need to go outside my tent on wet grass. I have a pair of Goosefeet’s Over booties, but do prefer my own – as they are not so steamy! Another alternative are these ultralight galoshes at 29 grams each – but only a couple of bucks!

Another alternative is these insulated over-booties by Montane which at least have the advantage that you can walk around in them – not so good in the sleeping bag afterwards though. I also own a pair of them. They are a bit heavier at 165 grams the pair.

04/07/2019: There is no threat to the Reef:

04/07/2019: Poncho Shelters: One of Sea to Summit’s ultra sil nano tarp ponchos which are 265 cm x 145 cm and weigh 230 grams (A$79.90 July 2019) as well as being excellent rain gear also provide all the shelter you need particularly if paired with an ultralight bivy bag of some sort. The US$16.99 Tyvek one I posted about here comes to mind.  It is all the shelter you need. Some other suggestion s for bivies to go with ponchos:

I have spent many nights camped under just such simple shelters in all kinds of weather – actually usually without any bivy bag at all – usually with just a scrap of Polycro or a mylar space blanket for an ultralight ground sheet.

Like this on a trip down the Thomson River for example:

Of course I have made my own 185  gram  Pocket Poncho Tent which provides superior shelter to a simple poncho, but if you are not handy with a needle and scissors, Sea to Summit’s offering will do nicely. The ultra sil nano poncho above is 8’6″ long as you can see. If you pitch it like this instead of the way they recommend it is very unlikely indeed you will ever get wet. The one I am lying in below is only 7′ long. You can even pitch a 50 gram space blanket like this with the addition of a bit of dental floss which has many other uses (clothing repairs for example, if you carry a needle. I always do. – or a handy length of string.

Just enough room for a man and his dog – an essential on a cold night!

Pocket Poncho Tent

You can spend too much money on gear, and carry far too much.

See Also:

04/07/2019: It just can't be done! Renewables - the dumbest idea ever:—-infinitesimal-part-electrical-power

04/07/2019: 'In the market, there is always downward pressure on prices. Every entrepreneur tries to cut costs to attract customers. The state is always working to raise its prices as high as possible to get as much of what you own as possible'.

02/07/2019: Spotting Doublethink: ‘“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” said Orwell. That is the duty that is upon all of us. Every single one of us, whether we are on the Left or the Right. It’s hard. But once we stop looking for truth, and once we agree, if only within our own hearts, to live within a lie because it is more comforting that living in truth (as Solzhenitsyn and Havel both said that we must do), then we open ourselves up to totalitarianism.’

02/07/2019: Just one of the ways Greens plan to murder most of the world’s population:

02/07/2019: Who would notice? We have over a million of these guys, just about a million too many:

01/07/2019: Apparently coal is so evil that coal fired power stations should not be allowed to reduce their CO2 output – even if that reduces it more than renewables would! &

01/07/2019: France’s fake heat records ignore the record summer cold elsewhere: &

30/06/2019: Tyvek Sleeping Bag Cover or Ground Sheet. For those of you who can’t sew but don’t mind spending US$16.99, Flame’s Creed has this little beauty. It should keep your sleeping bag clean and dry (and only weighs 130 grams apparently). I bought a couple of their ultralight tents and found them to be very good value and quality. You really don’t need to break the bank to have some very good gear.

I know I have threatened to make my own and have come up with a few different designs – one of which, a sub 100 grams bathtub I actually used for a few years), but one of these cheap Chinese ones should see you well for quite some time until I do actually finalise the design for a bathtub floor/chair/lounger etc. Looks cosy doesn’t it? This would work very well with a poncho bivy shelter pitched like this.

Available from Aliexpress here.

Reader Daniel says, ‘Got one, surprisingly roomy and good quality‘.

See Also:

30/06/2019: Fewer than 100 people (in total) have been killed by nuclear power station ‘accidents’. Compare this to the millions killed by coal mining and the hundreds of millions (per year) of birds and bats killed by wind/solar power …which should be banned and which ‘transitioned’ to?

30/06/2019: Osteoarthritis? Change your gait. Worth a try:

30/06/2019: ‘Keep Europe for Europeans,’ Well said, Dalai Lama:

29/06/2019: Jobs Around the Farm: (Della): So the last little while has been amazingly busy! (Sorry if I seem to be ignoring everyone here!) Having decided to finally have a blitz on ALL the major jobs that have needed doing chez nous, Steve and I started by demolishing the old fallen-down “buggy shed” on the property to make way for new shedding. Then, this week, starting Wednesday afternoon, we got really serious and contracted the amazing Hans to do some magic with his excavator. A day and a half later we have lots of dead trees knocked over, the old concrete water tank demolished and 2 new ones moved in, a fallen- down garden archway removed – and much more to come! Things are a little less than pretty around here ATM, but given time, peace and beauty will reign! (Well, that’s the plan!) BTW Do check out my little video of the sludge at the bottom of the old water tank…a lid-less tank, it has accumulated the ash from the Black Saturday fire as well as the recent Yinnar South one. No, we weren’t drinking this water, but we were sure as hell washing in it! Anyway, right smack bang in the middle of all this crazy activity, Honey and Spot’s puppies arrived! Will share more about puppy love later!

First tank in and plumbed.

A largish heap on Wednesday. It is bigger now.

Old tank being demolished. Just 3 or 4 grabs with that big claw!

There goes the floor:

2 new tanks in and old one out.

Sludge on the floor of the old tank. Ewwww!


And after:


The Buggy Shed:

2015-11-01 14.37.27 comp

The small tractor della loading wood – ‘helped’ by the dogs:

Going, going…


Some timbers needed the tractor to lift.

Unfortunately had to take down the old cubby to install the new water tanks:

Made completely out of scrap for $0.00 back when the kids were little. Like all cubbies they never played in it. A hexagonal log cabin – I liked the idea.

Way it goes:

I thought of reusing the roof but it was too far gone, so it went on the fire too. Sigh!

See Also:

 29/06/2019: Something needs to be done about this discrimination:

29/06/2019: If you doubted that the Greens are ‘watermelons’ (green on the outside but red on the in) take a look at this new commie book from Melbourne Uni; these guys make Stalin and Mao look like pussycats:

29/06/2019: The Mocker (in the Australian, ‘One the greatest contests of the millennium…is the Virtue Olympics. The defining event is the wokeathon, a superhuman event where athletes are tested in various disciplines, including self-righteousness, contrived anger, condescension, and ham acting’...

Jon Kudleka 20190628

28/06/2019: Tiny Keychain Pen - The Tipen: The most striking quality of the Tipen is its size. At 50mm long and weighing only 4.3 grams, the pen stays true to its name. Combined with its lanyard-compatible keyring attachment point, the Tipen offers so many ways to carry it so you’ll never be without a pen. The most obvious way to go is on your keys, but you can also wear it on a necklace, use it as a zipper pull for a jacket or bag, or even carry it loose in your coin pocket or travel wallet’. 5 grams in Titanium. 4 grams in Aluminium: from UK12 (June 2019). This pen is refillable and well-nigh indestructible: both water and fireproof!

I always carry one of these @ 1 gram:

And a few leaves from one of these to write on:

See Also:

28/06/2019: The Federal Govt gave Rugby Australia $28 million. As they have proved themselves to be opposed to freedom of religion this money should be taken back – if it should ever have been given. Let’s see some action on this issue, Scott!

28/06/2019: ‘How unscientific many global warming claims have become. Both weather and climate are nonlinear dynamical systems, capable of producing changes without any ‘forcing’ from increasing CO2 or the Sun. Change is normal. What is abnormal is blaming every change in nature we don’t like on human activities. That’s what happened in medieval times, when witches were blamed for storms, droughts, etc’. Roy Spencer is a pre-eminent ‘climate scientist’ (jointly) in charge of the UAH satellite record:

28/06/2019: Merkel shaking uncontrollably again – is she afraid of Donald Trump:

27/06/2019: Who Wants a Jack Russell: The Jack Russell is the Swiss Army Knife of the canine world. Regular readers will know we have owned one or two of these wonderful mutts over the years. This post is to announce that our current pair, Spot and Honey are as of yesterday now the proud parents of two girls and a boy. These pups are likely to be top deer hunting dogs and will no doubt be snapped up very quickly. Let me know ASAP if you would like one and I will add you to the list.

Some recent photos:

See Also:

27/06/2019: We can all live together in peace: & notice this too:

27/06/2019: In the US property owners have had their right to just compensation restored by the (new) Supreme Court. In Oz a left-dominated High Court initiated by Rudd-Gillard etc has blocked such access – but things may change so that landowners who have lost hugely to ‘native vegetation’ or fracking bans etc may receive their financial rights:

27/06/2019: Beware a ‘climate emergency’. Beware ‘the end of the world is nigh.’ There is no semantic difference between these two sentences. They are both null. Meaningless. Spruiked by fantastical credos with zero grounding in ‘reality’. I will leave the second one for you to figure out. No doubt you enjoy poring through arcane theological texts as much as I do, but the first needs some critiquing: The hypothesis (Yes it is, without proof) of Anthropogenic Global Warming rests on a (supposed) correlation between the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the global temperature. What correlation there is (in fact so slight and statistically insignificant that it would not inform any public policy about anything else) shows that CO2 follows temperature and not the other way around. There is a slight rise in CO2 nine months after a warming, and a larger rise 800 years after! Yes CO2 lags temperature by 800 years. Changes in temperature are the cause of changes in CO2 – not the other way around:  And, the overwhelming percentage of CO2 (96%+) is natural and not anthropogenic, so that there is very little we can do about it anyway – but to move on: Both the percentage of CO2 and ‘world temperatures’ rest on ‘databases’ purporting to reveal each. Both are seriously faulty if not utterly fraudulent. For example the CO2 ‘record’ conjoins ‘ice core records’ (from Antarctica and the output of the Mauna Lau meteorological Station atop one of the world’s largest (CO2 belching) volcanoes on Hawaii. There is an 83 year time-shift in the records - to make them match up – as there is zero correlation between the (measured) quantity of CO2 in the air and in the snowfall of the last 83 years – so what exactly does the ice measure? This should be a warning enough that the ice core records are unreliable, but there is more: over 100,000 direct chemical assays of the CO2 percentage of the atmosphere (whose methodology is unquestioned) have been undertaken since it became possible to do so (about 1820). As you might have suspected they show CO2 varying to higher (and lower) levels than we ‘see’ today from Mauna Lau. It was much higher in the 1940s when I was born (over 500ppm!) than it is today. So, there is no reliable record of the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere. Other methodologies (such as sediment analysis and particularly the measurement of the stomata in preserved leaves) also reveal higher levels of CO2 in the past than we see today. As to the record of ‘world temperature’. It is a complete construction. There is no ‘world temperature’ any more than there is a temperature of your garden. If you move around your half acre suburban block with a thermometer you will observe differences in temperature of as much as 5 degrees Celsius in different spots on any given day. Practically all the temperature records are land-based and further restricted to small areas of the world (where there are very large human populations – with their attendant ‘urban heat island’ effects). They are further corrupted by having not been maintained to internationally agreed standards so that the temperatures they record are mostly corrupted by other heat sources such as air conditioner outlets, their proximity to jet aircraft, buildings, foliage, swathes of tarmac and (uncalibrated) changes to the instruments themselves over the years. These highly dubious records are then subjected to various questionable ‘averaging’ methodologies eg where a single station’s (quite dubious) records can be made to represent areas of many thousand of square kilometers where no records at all exist. There simply is no record of the world’s temperature. The most reliable records we have are the weather balloon and satellite records – but they go no further back than about 1950 – which may just happen to be a generally warmer period - as compared with the well-established ‘Little Ice Age’ for example which preceded the modern warm period (prior ot about 1850). However they show no statistical ‘warming either, nor do the raw data from the land-based temperature stations. Of course you can produce any ‘trend’ you want by just choosing a particular period of ‘the records.’ For example, a period beginning in 1998 (the last ‘super El Nino’ year) will almost always be downwards, as will any period following ‘The Little Ice Age’ be upwards. Since the last Ice Age the trend will be generally upwards but from the Holocene (the warmest period in the current inter-glacial - about 8,000 years ago) the trend will be down. There has been no confirmed (measured) trend in temperature in the last century, nor has there been a (measured) trend in CO2. Again there is no (reliable) correlation between the two (except in the opposite direction – and ‘effect’ can hardly precede ‘cause’!). All that the ‘warmists’ have is a prediction (from Physics) that CO2 will absorb or reflect particular frequencies, and that this should (theoretically) produce a (slight ie < 1C degree) warming (particularly) high in the troposphere where (unfortunately) 28 million weather balloons have failed to find it over the last 70+ years ( )! In other words the (theoretical) warming produced by CO2 is ‘drowned out’ by the effects of other climate forcings (particularly eg by water vapour which is responsible for 99% of the ‘greenhouse effect’) or by the as yet poorly understood nature of the earth’s thermostatic behaviour. In short (and to sum up) there is no danger from an increase in CO2. There has been no dangerous effect on temperature from its presence – nor will there be. Instead (as it is essentially ‘plant food’) the increase in CO2 which may have occurred over the last 30 years or so (as measured at Mauna Lau) has resulted in vastly increased harvests world-wide (the lifting billions out of the most awful poverty) and by the growth of huge areas of forest. As this NASA data shows two areas the size of Australia of forest cover have been added (along with all the myriad creatures they support) as a result of the increase in CO2. What’s not to like? &

26/06/2019: The Complete ‘Must-Have’ Ultralight Hiking Accessory:  Instaprivy. Only 7 pounds! No, I don’t think you will be taking this beauty hiking; for that you need this or this. But for your next 4WD ‘adventure’ it might be just the ‘bee’s knees’.

Pre-order on Indiegogo from US$75 (July 2019)

See Also:

26/06/2019: Beware the hetero backlash: ‘Those so keen to pillory one man for his uncompromising beliefs should remember that the further a pendulum is pushed in one direction, the harder it returns in the other’ It is not so long ago that the punishment (for homosexuality) was to be boiled in oil (Tudor period). Many people still consider homosexuality to be at very least ‘abnormal’ and ‘undesirable’ – if indeed they do not have stronger disapproval, yet it is (highly) illegal (in this nation of ‘free speech’) to say so in public. I suspect that this censorship of ‘normal’ people is perhaps the worst ‘excess’ of the pendulum (so far) – though this obviously goes much further: I suspect it will not be long before the majority of people are supporting Israel Folau’s approach – if they do not already, so that a true referendum on such issues would see a very different result to the recent ‘plebiscite’ which has inflicted so much (undesirable) change on so many people..

26/06/2019: Back to the Little Ice Age (if not worse):What is happening in the Corn Belt is a mini version of the transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age. The population of Europe exploded in benign conditions of the Medieval Warm Period from 1000 AD to 1300 AD, reaching population levels that weren’t matched again until the 19th century. In fact parts of rural France have less population today than at the beginning of the 14th century.

The breakover from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age in Europe had sustained periods of bad weather characterised by severe winters and rainy and cold summers. The Great Famine of 1315 – 1317 started with bad weather in the spring of 1315. Crop failures lasted through 1316 until the summer of 1317. The population decline over the two years is thought to be about 10%, associated with “extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, cannibalism and infanticide.” These conditions may be less in the Mormons amongst us who are instructed to keep one year’s worth of food in stock.

The Modern Warm Period ended in 2006. Current solar activity is back to levels of the Little Ice Age. To paraphrase Santayana, those who don’t remember history are condemned to being surprised and unprepared when it repeats itself.

A large and increasing number of nations are feeding their population growth with imported grain. That is going to be become more expensive to continue, with or without an early frost in the Corn Belt. Global warming hysteria has been a consequence of very benign conditions for the OECD countries where it is concentrated. That angst will be supplanted by more basic concerns’

26/06/2019: GoFundMe is happy to fund a mosque but not a Christian fighting for free speech - as the ‘march through the institutions’ continues. The Left are taking over ‘Big Media (think Facebook, Google etc) so that alternative ideas will be relegated to the pub – Oh, what’s that you say? We can no longer go to the pub to have free speech as the (Oh so Left Wing – the Nazis were you know) Gestapo waits on every corner claiming to be saving our lives as they steal them from us…I notice that Israel’s new funding page has raised more in 24 hours than GoFundMe raised in four days anyway. Go Israel! Strange isn’t it: here I am an atheist cheering on a Christian who warned me I would go to Hell! Politics certainly does make ‘strange bedfellows’! As at 8AM today, the Australian Christian League's Folau fund stands at a whopping $1.775M!!!

25/06/2019: Believe in free speech? You can donate to Israel Folau here now:

25/06/2019: Why does this not surprise me much?

25/06/2019: Life on Mars – or just Spring?

25/06/2019: Sceptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg: Energy Solution Hinges on Better Technology: ‘The reality is, today, solar and wind energy together deliver only about 1 per cent of global energy. The International Energy Agency estimates that even by 2040 these will cover a little more than 4 per cent of global energy.One of the world’s leading energy researchers, Czech-Canadian Vaclav Smil, has said: “The great hope for a quick and sweeping transition to renewable energy is wishful thinking.”Former US vice-president Al Gore’s chief scientific adviser, Jim Hansen, who put global warming on the agenda back in 1988, agreed, saying: “Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”’

24/06/2019: It would be great to see a list of Australian companies doing this:

24/06/2019: Carbon Zero Unicorn Fantasy: ‘There are 11,161 days until 2050. Getting to net zero by 2050 requires replacing one megatonne of fossil fuel consumption every day starting now.” On a global basis, such a transition would require building the equivalent of one new 1.5-gigawatt nuclear plant every day for the next 30 years’

24/06/2019: Consequences of minimum wage legislation or falling unemployment?

23/06/2019: The Pack Rifle: The only readily available sub 500 gram take down rifle available in Australia is this little beauty. It is available in .22LR only and single shot. However if you need a bunny or perhaps a duck for the pot, or some protection from wild dogs (which are becoming ever more dangerous) in the High Country etc, it may well be your choice.

‘Pack-Rifle is an incredibly light weight, take-down, utility rifle. The receiver, and most other parts, of the Pack-Rifle are machined from high strength aluminum, while most wear parts and fasteners are constructed of stainless steel. The barrel is a precision button rifled, Cro-Moly liner with a carbon fiber composite outer. Carbon fiber is also used for the butt stock tube of the rifle. This construction makes the Pack-Rifle not only the lightest rifle out there, but very weather resistant as well.

But the feather-weight of our Pack-Rifle is only part of the story. In addition to being light, the Pack-Rifle also takes down to a very small size. The same mechanism that allows the loading and extraction of spent shells also enables the rifle to take down into two pieces, in less that 2 seconds without tools! It reassembles just as fast.

Other features include, but are not limited to, storage in the handle and butt stock tube of the rifle.’


Weight: Only 15.5oz (442 grams)!

Overall Length: 33″
Takedown Length: 17″

Caliber: .22LR

Sights: adjustable peep

Width: 7/8in.

Height: 4in.

Available eg: Magnum Sports  Oz Gun Sales & etc from A$655 (June 2019)

There is one other alternative I am aware of which is RotaLocura’s offering which also comes in .22 Magnum using a Crickett Single Shot Rifle action  and may also be available in a 7 shot repeater using Keystone’s Model 722. I am not sure of the repeater or the weights of it or of the Magnum  model. The single shot model is just 15 oz (428 grams)in the most basic configuration. You will need export and import licences to get it over from the States.

I am working on one right now for my 70th birthday which is (unfortunately- or fortunately) coming up soon. Even in the single shot model, being a bolt action it would be much easier to reload than th epack rifle whose action looks rather cumbersome to me. If the repeater will not work I will go for the magnum model which though it will add a couple of more ounces (and make the ammo more expensive) will provide much superior stopping power. The muzzle velocity of the Magnum round is 50% up on the .22 long rifle, so much more suitable for mid range game such as small deer, wild goats, foxes, wallabies etc with a well-aimed shot.

Before John Howard’s draconian gun laws many other choices were available. I had a lovely .22 automatic Armalite AR-7 which used to go everywhere with me and which weighed just over a kilogram for example, but I may only use it around the farm nowadays.

I also own a .410 Rossi single-barrel shotgun which weighs just on 1.5 kg. Using solids this has considerable stopping power and of course you can also carry other rounds more suitable to different game you may encounter – but 1.5 kg is a lot more than .5 kg when you are my age!

Thought it is also illegal (what is not?) a shanghai can be an interesting lightweight alternative for birds and small game. This ‘pocket’ model is very compact and light (at 55 grams).

There is a choice of a number of other ‘survival’ or pack guns such as Chappa’s ‘Little Badger‘ (also available in Australia from A$330) but all of these are at a considerable weight disadvantage than the two I showcased at the beginning. The ‘Little Badger’ no doubt an excellent firearm, (also available in .22 Magnum) weighs in at 1.33 kg for example.

See Also:

23/06/2019: Ireland returns to the Stone Age as there are still plenty of stones: This is the kind of madness we dodged by not electing Shorten:

23/06/2019: So, no probs with the Great Barrier Reef then, but a serious problem for how science is done:

23/06/2019: You thought you had a dangerous job: 

22/06/2019: Wearing a hair shirt is not in fashion but virtue signaling certainly is. Even those determinedly ‘green’ Germans don’t want to change their holiday plans because of climate change. You would think Lufthansa would stop flying to the Maldives or something:

22/06/2019: The Nanny State is just nonsense: plus some thoughts about Benjamin Franklin’s upbringing:

22/06/2019: Justin is even sicker than Ardern – if that is possible. This is the sort of nonsense we would have had with Shorten. Thank goodness for Scomo:

21/06/2019: If I can’t understand algebra, then nobody can study algebra…The sin of stupidity does not lie in low ability, for which no one is responsible, but in trying to hamstring the able and outlaw superiority. Which, as a country, we are busily doing:

21/06/2019: What’s not to like about wind farms then? Not just bird and bat munchers which produce no net electricity for all their billions of investment:

21/06/2019: Extinction is not forever: If a large 90cm cat can ‘hide’ for centuries on a small island like Corsica, what other creatures might be out there? Hope for Tassie yet? I have seen a number of strange creatures in the Australian bush which are undocumented by science.

21/06/2019: Upper Yarra Track Map: Here is a map showing the whole of the (Extended) Upper Yarra Track from Lilydale all the way to Moe, approximately 250 km and 8-10 days: Australia’s oldest and best long distance hiking track. It could be a better map, but it is better than no map. I have used the 1:250,000 Australian Topo map available free from the Australian Government. You should be able to zoom in on it if you (Right Click) ‘View Image’, then Zoom (Control +) a few times. (Unfortunately a Plugin has shrunk the map. See the Pdf version below) In the Track Instructions you can find suggested maps (and Apps) you should buy for walking the track. I am working on a better map which will be posted on the Track Instructions page in the near future. For further information go to:

Upper Yarra Track Map

NB. Below is a full-sized copy of it as a pdf. You should be able to open and zoom in on it, or copy it to your phone and view it with Pdf Maps/Avenza.

Upper Yarra Track.pdf

20/06/2019: The world the new tech oligarchs are creating is more frightening than ‘Brave New World’:

19/06/2019: A trillion down the Drain! So like Gillard. If all they can do is leave a mess and a huge  debt people will get sick of choosing women politicians: How much is a trillion pounds? If you started spending at a pound a second you would have to have started back in Neanderthal times to get to a trillion pounds today. Big Bucks!

19/06/2019: I think Robin Askin was right: ‘Run Over the Bastards’, he said: They can apply for a permit to protest at a particular place and time. After losing this issue at an election only a month ago they need to get out of the way of the majority who voted for Adani:


19/06/2019: Good Grief – I thought the main problem with phone use was the lack of anything intelligent to say:


18/06/2019: Ain't it the truth: The Good Intentions Paving Company - (With a big

cheer to Saul Bellow):

18/06/2019: Why I Don’t Believe in Science – what a great essay: /2019/03/26/why-i-dont-believe-in-science/

18/06/2019: A Wonderful Example Of Greens Loving a Forest: Old Growth Forest Cut Down for Wind Farm

17/06/2019: 36 years ago, ‘I have a right to be a woman.’ (And you didn't realise it was only a joke?)

17/06/2019: The Science is Settled: ‘Global warming alarmism, which falsely assumes that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes catastrophic global warming, is disproved – essentially, it assumes that the future is causing the past. In reality, atmospheric CO2 changes lag global temperature changes at all measured time scales…including ~9 months in the modern data record and much longer in the ice core record …Christy & McNider (2017) and Lewis & Curry (2018) proved that climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is too low to cause dangerous warming – see Section #11. …Temperature drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. Climate is NOT highly sensitive to increasing CO2. Increasing CO2 will NOT cause dangerous global warming…Scientists including Salby, Berry and Harde have hypothesized that the increase in atmospheric CO2 to more than 400 ppm is largely natural and not mostly human-made.’

17/06/2019: A Brave Man Speaking the Truth. Well said Israel Folau. I am not a Christian (or even a theist) but if I substitute the word ’evil’ for ‘devil’ I’m pretty much in total agreement with him. And it is just utterly evil that folks should be being persecuted for their (mainly mainstream) thoughts and beliefs. For example, I do not believe for a minute that a referendum allowing same sex marriage would succeed, but I also believe that we ought to have one, not the farrago we had instead where the choices and consequences were never put clearly to voters as would be the case in a referendum. If you had known that you would never be able to have an opinion (about practically anything) again, or that it would lead to an explosion in ‘gender dysphoria’, the legalisation of polygamy and bestiality or that your little girl was going to be taught same sex in kindergarten or have to share toilets with adult men (and a thousand other evils) I doubt you would have voted for same sex marriage either. I did not.:

17/06/2019: Thermoplastics #101: I have been playing a bit with heat sealable materials. I decided to buy a sealing iron $A50 – a sound buy. Tried it out on one of the pillows I bought for my sleeping pad side insulation which I had been reluctant to touch as I was finding it so comfortable, but at 100 grams I didn’t think I wanted to carry it. I have shaved half its weight off (now less than 50 grams) and if anything it is even more comfortable. As you can see I have added grommets, some 1 mm dyneema cord and a micro clam cleat so I can attach it to the mat. If I were using two of them for side insulation I would leave the grommet attachment points on the side of the pillow instead of the ends as shown here.

Heat sealing iron for modelling

You really need to try a little bit of such experimentation yourself before you start cutting down an expensive mat. I have an Exped Winter mat which is just about the best mat I have ever used (and so warm too), but it is 6″ longer than I need it to be which apart from the surplus grams is a bit of a nuisance too, as I am most comfortable with my heels just hanging over the end and with the extra six inches this makes for a bit of wriggling downhill every time I get back into bed which at my age (as you will find out for yourselves soon enough) is more often than I would like. It will weigh 394 grams when I cut it down, have an R-rating of 5 and is 9 cm (3 1/2″) thick!

Original and modified pillow

A little more playing around with cutting down pillows for side insulation, and trying to make a cheap air frame for my pack and I will be ready to give the pad shortening a go. After I have succeeded at that there are a number of other projects I want to try. I will have a go at a DIY pack raft (which will save more than half the normal purchase price- currently AU $251.67 Jun 2019). I may even get around to making that inflatable bathtub groundsheet I have threatened. I need a quantity of more experimentation before I am good with lighter fabrics such as Graham Air pillows etc, but I will get there. BTW the DIY pack raft folks have all the materials you will need to get into heat sealable projects yourself. This repair tape looks particularly useful, as do the valves if you are making your own projects.

PS: You can just use a normal domestic iron (though it might be a little more difficult to control the temperature and to get into those smaller spaces). I have used ours though in the past to reseal split seams on various pads/pillows.

PPS: These pillows from Amazon weighed 43 grams each and cost A$2.88 for 2! They are supposed to be 43 cm x 31 cm (but in reality 34 cm x 22.5 cm), have a nice soft feel and should cut down to a bit over half of that, say about 25 grams each or 50 grams for the side insulation set-up. They have one of those push-in plastic valves (which  don’t like). The valves on the orange ones above are great.

See Also:

16/06/2019: ‘The Rich Get Rich and the Poor Get Poorer’ #1:. It’s a song, stupid. It’s not Economics #101! You forgot the next line: ‘In the meantime, in between times, ain’t we got fun?’ The reason, you have that time to have fun is because you don’t have to worry about money. That’s all taken care of by Economics #101. Commerce is not a zero sum game where both sides of the equation balance out. There aren’t winners and losers as suggested in the first line. In fact everyone is a winner. Here’s how it works: Many people say eg that Jeff Bezos, the richest man who has ever lived go that way by exploiting the poor – in effect by stealing other people’s money. Nothing could be further from the truth! He got so rich because hundreds of millions of ‘poor’ people wanted to take advantage of him! He offered things for sale cheaper than people could buy those items anywhere else, and people who wanted the goods more than they wanted their money, or more than they wanted to give more of their money to someone else for the same thing took advantage of Jeff’s  ‘making a loss’ and bought the goods from him. Then, of course, they had a little more money left over than they would have and were able to save some, or spend it on some other things, so that they were also richer. In the meantime folks who wanted to sell things on Amazon found a market that they would not have had and also sold more gods at a profit than they otherwise would have – and also got richer. The manufacturers who made the stuff also sold more things than they otherwise would have, and also got richer than they would have been. All these people had employees who had work because of the extra demand also were richer because they had more work. Everyone got a little richer – just that Jeff got a lot richer than everyone else because his was the largest turnover. During the last 30 years or so billions of people (literally) have been lifted out of grinding poverty and are headed for the middle class because of commerce just like this. There are no losers!

16/06/2019: Pre-Industrial CO2:

16/06/2019: Ardern is wrong: ‘Calls to suppress Tarrant’s views from being known and discussed are mistaken. As Solzhenitsyn stated, it is “ideology—that is what gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination”. The real struggle we face in the West is over moral worldviews which despise the value of human life. Put simply, it is the erosion of the ethic that we should treat others as we would ourselves want to be treated’ A very important read:

15/06/2019: How many thousands of poor people are dying each year from mining the ‘rare earths’ necessary for the ‘renewables’ industry – and that’s not all:

15/06/2019: China leads the Cold War today. The battle is neither won nor lost, but still to be fought:

 15/06/2019: ‘Democrats want voters to “say yes to climate change” but not to discuss the non-existent cost benefits. As I’ve said many times, the voters may “believe” the climate is changing but they don’t care enough to pay for it. Only 3% of Americans name “environment” as top issue. When it comes to funding, almost half, 42%, of US adults don’t even want to pay a paltry, pathetic, $12 a year to stop climate change. Globally, 63% don’t want their dollars spent on the environment…’ 

14/06/2019: The Wonder of Adani: Australians can feel enormously proud that this wonderful project is now (belatedly) going ahead. It will provide an additional 250 million poor Indians with electricity which is almost certainly the mot important step upwards in their lives and will probably be the single biggest project to alleviate world poverty ever undertaken in the history of the world. Those who have stood against it are clearly in favour of mass starvation and all the horrors of poverty and suffering in the Third World. They are not nice people no matter how they may try to explain to you that their ‘hearts are in the right place’!

14/06/2019: The Peterborough By-Election in the UK installed a Labour member in an electorate where 62% voted Conservative – the same as has happened to the whole country of New Zealand! The dangers of division: By the same token the Conservatives are beginning to learn their lesson. Let’s hope they do here too:

14/06/2019: Artificial Wombs – pushing the boundaries. Scientists have pretty much demonstrated the technology of keeping foetuses alive reliably outside the mother from approx 22-24 weeks. (This was with sheep which are very similarly sized hence a ‘popular’ experimental animal). This boundary will be pushed back towards conception. At the same time embryos are being created and kept alive for longer and longer though there are rules about how long this is allowed to continue. So far they ave done so for at least two weeks. This means that already today only half (20/40 weeks) of ‘gestation’ needs to occur in the womb. Eventually these two technologies will meet and the need for women’s wombs  for reproduction will cease entirely. Parturition too  will cease. Working women will be able to simply order a baby for nine months hence without suffering any inconvenience (except to their wallets) themselves – and so (presumably) will men! By the same token women seeking an abortion will not have to cope with the implication that their baby will die. Instead it will simply be removed from their body then cultured on - to be offered months later to a long queue of infertile couples/singles eager to have a baby of their own. Currently the number of couples seeking babies exceeds the number of abortions. ‘Abortion’ clinics’ rules will have to be changed to allow them to sell such services to their clients at a profit. Whatever ‘moral’ concerns devolve around the issue of abortion will change utterly as no babies will be killed in the process. Of course, if the resultant babies are raised in crèches the need for parenthood will disappear completely too. ‘Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world …’: &

13/06/2019: When the adults are in charge:

13/06/2019: Kiwis Say ‘No’ to Gun Ban. Good for them:

13/06/2019: The Sefka/Batty Effect: Let me first say that I do not like either of these people. I dislike Sefka because he is a commie thug. He now denies having said that Batty’s ‘Family Violence’ campaign was ‘unfair to men’ – which may just be the only ‘true/untrue’ thing he has said. I was listening to the stats coming out for ‘family murders’ in NSW the other day. From memory the victims (for last year) were 14 women, 15 men and 7 children – probably rather less than the numbers who choked to death on food. There has been ample evidence over the years that women are worse (statistically) perpetrators of ‘family violence’ than men – which does not make it right! It just makes our approach to it wrong, particularly the vilification of men, and the absence of refuges and support centres for male victims. That being said, I have zero sympathy for Batty who allowed her son unexpected unsupervised access to her estranged husband in defiance of a current intervention order she had taken out because he had threatened to kill the child with a knife. A less sympathetic person might somehow reason that she was (at least partially) responsible for the deaths of both those people – and did not have a lot to teach us about ‘family violence’, except perhaps ‘Don’t do as I did’!

12/06/2019: Wonderful Collectible Shopping Bags - I liked The Weird Adult Video Emporium:


12/06/2019: Noctilucent Clouds – something to look forward to as a result of the solar minimum:


12/06/2019: The Diversity Scam: See Also:


11/06/2019: Lumir-k: Cooking oil fueled LED lamp: & Lumir-C Candle Powered Led lamp:



11/06/2019: Elon Musk is amazing:


11/06/2019: Understanding Inter-Glacials: The highest temperature and sea level occurred early in the Holocene and the lowest during the Little Ice Age. The Little Ice Age should be understood in the context of the world slowly returning to the next ice age, rather than as an indicator of AGW:

09/06/2019: A Wider Lighter DIY Sleeping Pad: Unless you are tiny (like my wife Della) I’m sure that you have found that when you sleep on your back your arms fall off the sides of a ‘standard’ 20″ sleeping pad such as my wonderful Exped Winter mat shown. This is both uncomfortable and cold. Of course you could buy a (much) wider mat – but they are usually only 24-25″ so not much better, particularly if you are (likely) larger than me, and they can add hundreds of grams to your pack load too.

Though enjoying a good night’s sleep is just about the most important thing you can have in the wilderness (to which add, having a great time and getting home safe), a wider pad is not necessarily going to do it for you, particularly with all that extra weight. What you see here is a way of doing it without adding any weight at all – as the three pillows shown likely weigh less than the one pillow you are currently using!

The little $20 gadget which did this for me is a Kleva Seal Bag Sealer which I bought recently from K-Mart. It will seal up the Graham Air pillows I wrote about here, but I am still looking for something which will do a better job. I would like the sealed strip to be wider. You will want one of these though for your freezer bag cookery & etc. They are just great, and attach magnetically to the fridge.

I have added four small (sewing) grommets to the two side pillows. I will attach them to the sleeping mat like I did the Stop Losing Your Pillow. That will pull them in close and keep them in just the right position. Each of them weighs 19 grams at the moment but they are nearly 18″ long and need only be around 12″. Some cord and a couple of these clam cleats will only add a gram or two. So the wider mat will weigh an additional ounce at most. I think sewn loops of gross grain ribbon will work more robustly than the grommets which are a bit flimsy.

You will also notice the foreshortened pillow I wrote about before. It weighs 12 grams. You will have to be careful with these pillows, but I used one for over two years (until I replaced it as it was so shamefully grubby), so if you are careful you will get some miles out of them – and anyway they only cost about $2 each.

I was going to use the two pillows I wrote about here (which would make a much more robust set-up, but I have been sleeping on the floor in the loungeroom of late (on account of some insecticide poisoning – more about that later) and I have found them just too comfy to be cutting down right now. Besides they weigh around 100 grams each (which would make the set-up using two halves) that weight. I have ordered a couple of lighter ones from Amazon.

Of course you could place some insulation (eg Primaloft Gold, or etc) inside the pillow before you sealed it up to make for a winterised kit.

PS: You could also use the Kleva Seal to create a long, thin plastic tube with which you could make one of these, an Inflatable Bathtub Groundsheet. Another idea I am toying with is an inflatable space blanket quilt. Stay posted…

10/06/2019: Jim Molan deserves a spot in the Senate: 

10/06/2019: The Ever-Increasing Demand for a Designer Vagina: PS: Just love the facial expressions!

10/06/2019: 2.5 X: The Limit of Human Endurance:

09/06/2019: Upper Yarra Track Instructions: I have posted dozens of times about this wonderful trail which (in an extended version) can be walked all the way from Moe to Lilydale. Here  is some indication of track times and distances and here is a detailed set of instructions. Below you can find some of my posts about it in the order you would encounter them if you began from Moe Railway Station.

You will see here Gerard White’s trip vivid report of a week spent (going the opposite direction) on the track recently. You will also notice that some posts suggest a ‘winter route’ where you can avoid the Baw Baw Plateau when it is snowed in. There is public transport to Moe, Warburton and Noojee. There are also a number of towns/resupply points along the way.

The route no longer goes past the tallest falls in Victoria the Yarra Falls on Falls Creek in the Upper yarra Catchment. There is a spot on the Forty Mile Break rd where you are only about a kilometre from the falls which intrepid visitors still sometimes illegally access. They are clearly well worth the visit.

Section One: Moe-Yallourn North Rail Trail

This lovely trail starts @ 200 metres East of Moe Railway Station. It passes through Moe’s wonderful Botanic Gardens nestled along Narracan Creek and follows a fringe of bush to the splendid Latrobe River where the awesome cooling towers of the Yallourn Power Station are a reminder of the unity of mature and artifice. (10 km – 2.5 hours)

Section Two: Yallourn North to Wirilda Park


This section is easy going along quiet country lanes with lovely vistas and ample shady spots if you need a roadside rest to enjoy the view. You look out Southwards over the verdant Latrobe Valley towards the beautiful Strzelecki Ranges, a tongue of forest which extends all the way down to Wilsons Promontory. (15 km – 3.5-4 hours)

Section Three: Wirilda to Moondarra


The track follows the true right bank (ie facing downstream) of the Tyers river until it crosses on an old pipeline. There are numerous spots where you could stop for a picnic, overnight or for a fish. The impressive cliffs below Peterson’s lookout are a feature. Birdlife, wildlife and wild flowers abound. There are a number of side tracks which can be explored. Keep your eye out for signs of the old pipelines one of which was made of wood! (15 km – 6 hours)

Section Four: Moondarra to Erica


When you come to the end of the Wirilda Walking Track, our walk continues on East along the W18 through beautiful serene forest. The first suitable campsite, a really beautiful spot with water is when the trail crosses Jacob’s Creek on the Old Traralgon ‘Road’. (20 km – 5.5 hours)

Sidetrip: Horseshoe Tunnel/Coopers Creek


Only a bit over a km from Platina Station on the walk from Erica to Walhalla you can take this lovely walk down to the historic Horseshoe Tunnel. The tunnel was created over a century ago to divert the river so the dry river bed could be sluiced for gold. The sidetrip takes about 1.5 hours (or several days if you decide to camp out!) This early section is fringed with wild cherries. Seats are provided at strategic intervals for the weary traveler.

Section Five: Erica to Walhalla

This is a delightful easy section following historic tramways linking two of the most beautiful small towns in the world. It perambulates gently through majestic mountain ash and tree fern gullies with splendid views of the awesome Thomson River. It offers numerous opportunities to sightsee, sidetrack or camp. ( 12 km – @ 4 hours.)

Side Trip: Poverty Point

From the Thomson River Bridge/s (‘Thomson Station’) you can walk a lovely 8 km circuit up along the West bank of the river then down along the East bank. If I were walking the entire UYT I would come down to Thomson Station as soon as it joined the Mormon Town Track and walk up the West bank as it is far more beautiful, and would otherwise be missed – as would the two excellent campsites to be found along it. ( 8 km – 2-3 hrs)

O’Shea’s Mill

Now (also) called East Tyers Campground I see. This is the first major stop after you leave Walhalla (12.5km away), some of them fairly steep. As you can see it is where the Alpine Walking Track crosses the East Tyers River. Campsites, Water, Toilet available. You could have dropped by Rawson on the way here for supplies. It is also where you would turn off for the Winter Route to avoid snow/cold dangers on the Baw Baw Plateau.

Winter Route:

East Tyers Walking Track

I spent six hours yesterday working on this excellent track which had been long neglected and overgrown. Apparently there were six other people on it too, though I never saw them – which indicates you can have a lovely solitary experience on the track. It connects O’Shea’s Mill to Caringal Scout camp and thus comprises an interesting addition to the Upper Yarra Track Winter route

A Beautiful World

We did a little afternoon excursion today to check on the existence of some old walking tracks around Erica. The first pic is of Steve Jones with Spot where the walking track disappears at Tyers Junction near the Caringal Scout Camp. It seems to be one of the ‘roads less traveled’ judging by the overgrowth of blackberries and abundance of fallen timber.

Caringal Scout Camp: Tyers Junction

You might reach here by walking down the rail trail from Collins Siding (10 km – 2-3 hours), where the cottages are on the main Erica-Moe Rd at the Caringal turnoff. The trail runs along behind the cottage on the West side starting to the North of them. Or, you might come down the East Tyers Walking Track (I will check whether this is still open). We came along Finns Track from O’Shea’s Mill via the South Face Rd, a pretty quiet forest path. All three routes are a similar distance (and time)

Western Tyers: Morgans Mill & Skinners Camp

From Caringal you can journey to Western Tyers via Morgans Mill Rd (open forest) or Buckle Spur, cool wet forest tree ferns and mountain ash. Probably 2-3 hours either way. There used to be a walking track along the river which followed the old railway line all the way to Growlers, but it has grown over (we checked). It was really beautiful. A job of clearing for someone, but maybe not me.

Western Tyers River – Great for Crays

Escaping the heat: The Western Tyers is the BEST place I know to spend a couple of hot days: nestled under the South face of Mt Baw Baw, enclosed by Antarctic Beech and majestic Mountain Ash, it is always a lovely spot on such a day. You can brave the icy water (if you dare) or just lounge around in the shade on a folding chair, betimes catching the odd spinyback crayfish or mountain trout – or a platypus if your fancy so takes you

The Western Tyers

Spent a couple of days at our old campsite on the Western Tyers (haven’t camped there for years). Still as beautiful as ever. We will be going back for a longer stay. So many beautiful places in Victoria. This tree has had thirty years to fall on us. Just have to give it another chance. Lots of trout and crays we haven’t eaten from this excellent stream

Western Tyers to Tanjil Bren

After you have camped the night, cooked and eaten your trout &/or crayfish, walk West along the Tyers. The Western Tyers Road follows the course of the old timber tramline which carried the forest’s products via Caringal to Collins Siding (Erica) and onwards to a wider market where they were used to construct houses and buildings elsewhere in Victoria – and sometimes much farther afield.

Kirchubel: If you go nowhere else in the world, at least go here

Just a few kms walk outside the small township of Tanjil Bren in Gippsland Victoria is the most beautiful place in the whole world! You go out along Saxtons Road beginning in the heart of Tanjil Bren.

Downey to Newlands

Last Monday we spent ‘beating around the bush’ near Downey (Tanjil Bren area). Downey is another one of those ‘lost’ towns of the Victorian mountains. Pretty much all that remains is this huge sawdust heap in the forest: how many woodland giants went to make it up I wonder? Mostly the trees milled here were fire killed mountain ash from the vast ‘Black Friday’ fires of 1939

Up Into the Singing Mountains

Our family celebrate Xmas tomorrow (due to work commitments), so what better day to continue our exploration of the ‘closed track’ which used to link Downey (North of Tanjil Bren) with Newlands Rd (Baw Baw Plateau)? We are hoping that this track will complete our ‘Winter Route’ of The Upper Yarra Track

NB: You can alternatively walk from Tanjil Bren to Toorongo along the Link Rd ( a couple of hours at most – water every couple of km). There is a camp at Toorongo Road intersection with toilets and water! Just before you reach Toorongo you can take the Mundic Road and head for Toorongo Falls and Noojee.

End of Winter Route

Section Seven: Mushroom Rocks Carpark to Phillack Saddle

This is a beautiful easy section comprising widely varying vegetation and topography, the spectacular ‘Mushroom Rocks’, the ruin of the Talbot Peak hut, Mt St Phillack, the highest point on the Baw Baws, and a delightful camp at Phillack Saddle. Side trips can be taken to Mt St Gwinear and Baw Baw Alpine Village.

It is about 20 minutes walk from the car park (toilets, water, scenic side-trip) to the Mushroom Rocks where there is scout hut accommodation if you have arranged it. It is another hour to Talbot Peak hut site (each way). From there it is about 2.5 hours to the St Gwinear turn-off and about another half hour to the Phillack Saddle and and the Baw Baw turn-off and a further 1-1.5 hours to the Baw Baw Village. Say about 5.5 hours from the car park to the Village each way.

Sidetrip: Baw Baw to Mt St Phillack

What a way to escape the heat! Others may flock to the beach. We give our hearts to the mountains. Mt Baw Baw was to be 8C cooler than home (with no power) and with a delightful cooling 30 kph breeze. When we left our car at the bottom of Candleheath Drive (Go down Frosti Lane next to the shop until you come to the sign for Mueller’s Track) it was a balmy 24C with a cool breeze blowing.

Section Eight: St Gwinear Track Junction to Whitelaw’s Hut

The route along the tops is a delightful mix of alpine heath and snow gums. Every couple of kms you will find a small stream (sometimes to the side of the track) with fresh water. For example there is water near the St Gwinear turnoff, just after Mt St Phillack, at Mustering Flat and in the valley next to the Mt Whitelaw Hut site.

Section Eight: Baw Baw to Newlands Rd

Della: Steve and I, with Tiny and Spot, spent the last 2 days walking over the Baw Baw Plateau from Baw Baw across to Newlands Road on the Upper Yarra Walking Track. It was a delightful walk and we selected good weather for it (which is needed!). One section on the first day was particularly hard-going, and only on the second day did we discover that we had taken an old, heavily overgrown route to Phillack saddle instead of the (apparently!) new route which now exists.

Section Eight: Phillack Saddle to Block 10 Road

What a lovely section of track! The high country has so much beauty, so many surprises. Phillack Saddle is a wonderful spot to camp on lawns tended by nature’s gardeners amid the alpine heath. There is beautiful clear water just off the saddle and a lovely stream (below) at Freemans Flat. It will be about 7.5 hours to our car at the Block 10 Road – if we make it!

Escaping the Heat

Who needs an air conditioner? Go up a thousand metres and you lose approx 8C. The Baw Baw Plateau this week has been beautiful with maximums in the low twenties whilst folks below in the Latrobe Valley or Melbourne sweltered in the high thirties. We are so lucky we have the Upper Yarra Track ( to retreat to in these circumstances. We were camped on the top of Mt Horsefall during the worst of this ‘heat wave’ where there was also a lovely cool breeze.

Upper Yarra & Australian Alps Walking Tracks

There is secure water (and good camps) at O’Shea’s Mill, along the Baw Baw Plateau, from the Thompson River in Newlands Rd and at the Link Rd Recreation grounds on the corner of Toorongo Rd. You should have the maps and App I recommended in my post on 29/11. It will probably take you 3-4 days to get to the camp at the secure water on the Forty Mile Break Rd about 5km short of Mt Horsefall. The next day you would aim to get to the the Ada Tree. There is running water 1 km down the Lock North Track, at a dam 1 km before the 15M track & running water at the corner of Lashos Track;

Upper Yarra & Australian Alps Walking Tracks 2

If you simply followed Siseman’s instructions after @ 10km (from New Turkey Spur Rd) without water you would come to a DRY water point at the 21km post on Boundary Track and would not know that there is a (muddy) water hole a further 6km ahead, so would almost certainly, sensibly give up! Personally I prefer clear running water with grassy campsites nearby.

Section Eleven: Ada Tree to Big Pat’s Creek

As you can see the track is well made, delightful  and easy to follow from the Ada Tree all the way to Warburton, with numerous signposts. If you have a couple of days to spare, this is a pleasant jaunt.

More Side Trips

Yarra Falls

Mystery Falls First Cascade (1 of 6). This minor fall plunges approx 20 metres.

A reader writes: ‘We decided to use the day searching for the lost ‘Yarra’ Falls. Quite a lot of bush bashing (nearly three hours in, one and a quarter out) brought us to the top of the first cascade, No #1 of SIX (!) which plummet hundreds of metres down the valley!) Perhaps Victoria’s greatest treasure!

Yarra Falls 2

A reader writes: ‘Spent another seven hours yesterday pushing ever closer to this ‘lost’ treasure. From the top fall, the prostrate scrub was unbelievably thick for the next kilometre or so. I was wondering whether I should give up. I guess I spent three hours hacking my way through it, then after about another kilometre of ‘hill-siding’ I was on a relatively clear ridge.

Yarra Falls 3

There are some amazing wilderness areas in Victoria. Some maybe only a half dozen living eyes have seen. Such as this. People have been forbidden to venture here since c1955. This is the junction of Falls Creek and the Yarra River forwarded to me by an anonymous reader. Falls Creek is seen entering from the left.

Yarra Falls Shelter House

A reader has located the ruins of this magical place and forwarded some wonderful photos: ‘It is on the South West side of the junction fairly high up, where the tree ferns diminish (beneath one of the highest on the edge of the spur). It is extremely difficult to find and you could walk within a few metres and pass it.’

PS: I realise that the above is still very incomplete, but I’m sure you will fill in more of it with your won explorations.

 09/06/2019: Last survivor of Sobibor death camp uprising dies, aged 97. Semyon Rosenfeld took part in famous revolt, in which Jewish prisoners turned on their Nazi guards; later moved to Israel: See: ‘Escape from Sobibor’ (1987):


09/06/2019: Regime Change in China is coming: Fall Armyworm and African Swine Fever may usher out the communists:  PS: To avert the worst excesses of this, Australia needs to divert as much of its trade as possible to India.


09/06/2019: Modern D-Day Warriors Storm Washington To Demand Free Stuff From Government:


08/06/2019: Oh Dear: Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer's. Why didn’t it tell the world?


08/06/2019: Stupidity is one of the few things which will always carry the death penalty:


08/06/2019: Trump at his greatest:

07/06/2019: Helium Too Good to Miss: Outdoor Research’s Helium rain jacket (and pants) are available at the moment on (Mass)Drop, the jacket at US$99 and the pants at US$70! This is outstanding value for a highly praised set of rain gear. Whether they are the lightest/best is always arguable. I have Montbell’s offering which I am quite happy with (but at the time I bought them they cost me much, much more). If I were currently to be in the market for rain wear I would be snapping up this offering from Outdoor Research.


  • Material: Pertex Shield+ 2.5L 30d ripstop nylon
  • YKK AquaGuard center-front zipper
  • Adjustable hood
  • Zippered Napoleon pocket
  • Internal pocket doubles as stuff sack
  • Carabiner loop
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Drawcord hem
  • Standard fit
  • Center back length, men’s L: 28.5 in (72 cm)
  • Center back length, women’s M: 26 in (66 cm)
  • Weight, men’s L: 6.4 oz (180 g)
  • Weight, women’s M: 5.5 oz (156 g)


  • Fabric: Pertex Shield+ 2.5L 30d ripstop nylon
  • Fully seam-taped, laminated construction
  • Back pocket doubles as stuff sack
  • Reflective logos
  • Carabiner loop
  • Internal loops for instep lace
  • Elastic waist with drawcord
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Ankle zippers
  • Accepts accessory suspenders
  • Standard fit
  • Inseam, men’s L: 31 in (78.7 cm)
  • Weight, men’s L: 5.6 oz (158 g)
  • Inseam, women’s M: 31 in (78.7 cm)
  • Weight, women’s M: 5.4 oz (153 g)

As you can see at Outdoor Research’s own page, this is nearly half price! The special does appear from time to time on Massdrop, so keep on checking if you miss this offer.

Massdrop: Helium Jacket

Massdrop Helium Pants

07/06/2019: ‘Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect’. Jonathan Swift (1710) Mark Twain's version: ‘A lie can go halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on.’

07/06/2019: Omaha Beach: Battles are frequently won by the initiative and bravery of junior troops and hardened NCOs. Kokoda for example. In another example, there was a point at Gallipoli where the Anzacs had all but taken Chunuk Bair only to be repulsed by Kemal’s almost unarmed suicidal counter-charge. In much the same way a few brave men fought their way off Omaha Beach, escaping in a different way, as the monkey did! Governments are unwise to discourage patriotism, valour, independence of mind, a sense of adventure, the larrikin spirit, firearms ownership, hunting etc. The central idea of the ‘planned economy’ and organization from above is fallacious: People like Tom Rice (97): &

07/06/2019: Past time we did this too: ‘If the government was active, solar panel owners would be charged for using the grid as back up, and asked to pay back the subsidy. They could use a feed-in-tariff equal to wholesale coal rates (4c KWh) to pay down their debt. Perhaps one day they’ll compensate other users for voltage surges, damaged equipment, and higher electricity bills too.’ &

06/06/2019: Activists have not been able to fiddle the rainfall data so much as they have corrupted the temperature data. Thus we clearly see that CO2 has not made rainfall worse:

06/06/2019: Dream homes you can buy cheaply on Amazon: – and elsewhere, eg

06/06/2019: How Left-Wing is Social Media:

05/06/2019: Cardinal Pell's Appeal is being heard today. You can actually watch it here:…/06/live-feed-of-george-pells-app…/ From what I have seen during my lunch hour, I think it is most unlikley that his conviction will be upheld. Wait and see.

05/06/2019: Euthanasia? And then there was this:

05/06/2019: 10 out of 10 Antarctic stations show cooling over the past decades – now tell me how Antarctica can be cooling yet the rest of the world is preparing for a heat apocalypse: &

05/06/2019: The Coalition (plus Pauline) has won the Senate – and looks set to do so next time as well. For once we will have six years of Government able to actually do things – instead of being frustrated at every step by spoilers and crazies like the Greens:

04/06/2019: What a dangerous person Candace Owens is: &

04/06/2019: May 2019 UAH Global Temperature: Current month +.32C above the long-term average: The really stand-out thing about the satellite record is that (except for the effects of the 1998 super El Nino which is still being felt) how enormously stable the global temperature is. It fluctuates by less than half a degree Celsius, and shows no effect from changing levels of CO2. Who can then doubt that the earth has a thermostat – even if we don’t know clearly how the thermostat works?

04/06/2019: Why are the Greens opposed to nuclear power? If they really wanted reliable electricity without CO2 they would be right behind it. There are over 450 nuclear power stations operating elsewhere right now:

04/06/2019: Ultralight Cutlery: How much can you say? I remember buying my first set of these (I guess) when I set about hitch-hiking to Cairns and back with a back-pack when I was about 13-14 years old. I had this, a home-made nylon sleeping bag cover, a billy and not much else. During the several cyclones I encountered on the way I found myself sleeping on school and church porches, covering myself with door mats to try and keep warm even though it was the middle of summer!

I was involved in a fatal car accident, the driver who I was with being killed outright (failure to give way to the right!) even though I did not receive a scratch, though I was mighty scared trapped in the car with him bleeding all over me and the smell of petrol everywhere. I camped on the side of the road near Armidale that night in pretty miserable conditions, waiting for my wet clothes that I had washed in a stream to dry. Of course I never told my mother as she might have forbidden further such adventures!

It was one of these type of sets (below) , and I was immensely proud of it. It no doubt resides yet in one of the many canoe drums I have secreted in the Victorian mountains against occasional deer hunting trips – hopefully not one of those which might have been destroyed by last summer’s wildfires. I still haven’t been out to check yet. Soon.


You can still buy them, or much fancier (and no doubt lighter sets) eg this titanium one from Esbit at 1.3 oz, (40 grams) which is not too bad for three pieces of cutlery actually eg from Bogong for A$39.95.

By the time Della and I traveled to NZ to live for a year in 1974 (my first time on a plane actually) I was impressed by the lightweight cutlery Qantas issued on their 747s – and ‘souveneered’ a couple of their light-weight tea spoons. A bit too small for a big appetite actually – though perhaps I should have reserved them myself for such rationing!

We journeyed all over NZ’s South Island on my Honda CB250 road bike with all our camping gear, sleeping under the stars in all sorts of improbable places. Our long love affair with NZ had begun. See eg:

I have tried out a variety of lightweight cutlery since: lexan, titanium etc. At the moment (and for a few years now) we are both using Sea to Summit’s Alpha Light line of spoons/sporks. These weigh a mere 9 grams each and are made of an aircraft alloy. They cost about A$8.50 from a variety of stores. So far I have not managed to break one – which I have done with every type of plastic cutlery (which is a nuisance in the wilds) or to lose one – which Della did to me somewhere in the wilds of the Franklin River Tasmania. She will not live this down. Then again it maybe taught me to do my own washing up! Since then I have carried a spare eating utensil. The lightest I have found is a takeaway Chinese soup spoon which weighs less than 2 grams.

Of course some people feel they need to have a longer spoon which weighs 12 grams – wholly unacceptable! – so that they can get at the last of the spag in the bottom of the pot without burning their fingers! I favour a spoon over a spork (even though the spork is better for eating fish!) because a spork tends to dribble into your beard when you are eating muesli/porridge in the morning making a smelly mess right under your nose unless you are down to the river right away for ablutions. I certainly will not stretch to carrying both utensils!

I can get away with just a single spoon for a journey lasting weeks. However, I always carry a fixed blade knife as well which is handy for cutting salami, spreading peanut butter, filleting fish and etc. Its most important use is for splitting wood to get at the dry ‘heart’ or shaving it to create excelsior when you need to light a fire in the wet. The Kabar Johnson River Piggyback is just about perfect. It weighs just about an ounce.



Some other lightweight cutlery ideas:

The KA-BAR Tactical Spork is a great idea if you need to fight off grizzly bears, rapists, etc. I don’t. So far. Though it weighs .1lb it might still be a good idea. it includes a knife:


The Light My Fire Titanium Spork at 20 grams solves the dilemma of whether to take a spoon or a spork – and if you love titanium, it is a must:

If you would rather eschew metal altogether – perhaps to avoid check-in luggage you might choose Gossamer Gear’s Bamboo Spoon. They even have a long-handled version. There are all sorts of compelling reasons why you should choose one. Read Korrin’s write-up!

If you really love Gerber gear which I do. I love their pocket knives and their machetes for example then you should try their Compleat:

If you really want something different (and to drive yourself mad eating with them), you could choose some Kizer Titanium Chopsticks – a must have for the well-heeled titanium set:

Happy Tramping!

03/06/2019: This man, Norman Borlaug is responsible for saving the lives of over a billion people. If the climate becomes colder as was predicted in the 1970's (& some current predictions, see eg: ) we will need SEVERAL of his kind to prevent catastrophe. Remember this, the Little Ice Age killed something like 1/3rd of Europe's population. Much more agricultural research is needed, particularly in the field of adaptation to a shortened growing season (and genetic engineering of plants to flourish in colder conditions):

03/06/2019: Trump goes nuclear: ‘decides to finally pull the ripcord and open the Obama administration’s bag of dirty tricks. Based on what we already know, it is highly likely those revelations will prove the White House, FBI and CIA engineered the greatest scandal in American political history by unjustified spying on Trump and by trying to tip the election to Hillary Clinton.’ Watch out Hil!

03/06/2019: Human beings produce only 3-4% of the world’s CO2. Cyanobacteria   and phytoplankton for example ace us completely. (Naturally) burning coal deposits also exceed all human production. Still, we need to produce much more. If the world’s supply should fall under 250ppm photosynthesis and so life on earth would cease. The increase in CO2 over the last 20-40 years has produced an increase in forest cover world-wide which exceeds the area of two Australia’s. We should keep it up. Of course  most of this increase is due to the warming which occurred 800 years ago – as the ice core data shows, CO2 lags temperature by 800 years. The Medieval Warm Period produced the latest spike in CO2 by warming the deep ocean back when. This effect takes a long while to show up!  PS: Scientists have been conducting chemical assays of the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere since c1820. It has varied from about 280ppm to over 700ppm. During WW2 (100,000+ individual measurements!) it was generally over 500ppm, much more than it is today - why my 1950s High School Chemistry text had it higher than it is today.

02/06/2019: The House of Terror: Everyone who thinks they might vote for Albanese, Corbyn, Sanders, etc should have to spend a little time here:  &

02/06/2019: Why You Should (Perhaps Not) Invest in Tesla:

02/06/2019: Recent Tornadoes are Due to Unusually Cold Weather: - from a real climate scientist!

01/06/2019: The Upper Yarra Walking Track: My friend Gerard White walked the Upper Yarra Track last week – from Waburton to Walhalla. With his kind permission here is his account of the trip:

Day 1: Big Pats Creek to New Federal Mill (21km) (4 people)

Last week (Sunday) I set off from Warburton headed for Walhalla on the Upper Yarra Track. I’d read some negatives about the amount of road walking involved but was keen to see it for myself and the close proximity to home meant I didn’t need to travel far to start. My usual walking partner had work commitments so it was solo for me this time, something I wasn’t that used to. I allowed 7 days to cover the 130k so we agreed to meet in Walhalla lunchtime the following Sunday. Many of the tracks had closed 1st May so I expected it to be pretty quiet. The weather forecast predicted snow falls on Baw Baw the following weekend so I thought that would add another dimension to the walk. Originally it was to be a bike ride but restrictions on vehicles after closures unfortunately included bikes.

It was also my first outing with some new lighter gear; Granite Gear pack, Zpacks Duplex, EE Quilt, NeoAir, 15g diy fuel stove (made from a couple of beer cans) and diy CF poles which was strong enough to use as a walking pole (I used one and carried the other). I was happy to have dropped 4 kg off my base weight.

To avoid the 6k road walk from Warby I started at Big Pats on the ‘Walk into History’ towards Ada Tree, a section I’d done before in cold wet muddy conditions, stopping at Starlings Gap for lunch. On reaching Federal Crossroads I dropped my pack and strolled down to Ada Mill No.2 site (a nice camp) to take some photos teh continued on. About 1k later I realised my diy CF tent pole wasn’t in my hand and I’d left it leaning against a tree back at the crossroads. I dropped the pack and raced back to get it, all the way telling myself I wouldn’t do that again. After collecting water from Little Ada River (filtered) I eventually reached New Federal Mill around 5pm. It certainly gets dark early this time of year. Had my usual dinner of dehy rice, veg and tuna and settled into bed.


Start of the ‘Walk into History’ track


Big Pats Creek


Tree ferns


Typical track conditions


Starling Gap


Fallen tree




Little Ada River log bridge




New Federal Mill camp

Day 2: New Federal Mill to Boundary Road (21km) (2 people)

Today’s walking would take me past Ada Tree onto New Turkey Spur Track, Lashos Link Track, McCarthy Spur Track then north on Boundary Road along the eastern edge of the catchment towards Road 20. Info on water sources was sketchy so the forecast for rain was welcome. There was supposedly a dam on Boundary Rd I was hoping to reach. After completing the Ada Tree river walk and reaching the carpark it was time for some of the road walking. With no cars, beautiful forest each side, wind and birds the gravel road walking wasn’t as bad as I thought. Rain started pelting down as I reached Lashos. The shower only lasted 30 minutes but it was enough to fill the road runoffs with water. I arrived at the dam around 4pm and camped on a rather unattractive clearing by the road. The dam was full but brown and murky. I filtered the water.


Little Ada River Walk


Ada Tree


New Turkey Spur Rd


Lashos Link Track


Lashos Link Track


McCarthy Spur Rd


Boundary Rd


Boundary Rd


Boundary Rd


Boundary Rd

Day 3: Boundary Road to Mt Horsfall (20km) (3 cars)

Up and at it early I was heading north on Boundary Road towards Road 20 (Whitelaw Track) by 5.30am with a full moon and headlamp (not that were any obstacles). Again tall forests each side of the road and the rising sun made it quite relaxing. I reached Road 20 by 8am then headed east along the southern edge of the catchment within the Yarra Ranges NP. Road 20 was surprisingly unroad like as it meandered between the trees along a 30m firebreak. Most of the water from the rain had disappeared and with plans to camp on Horsfall a detour down North Loch Rd 2k was needed for water, which I collected from a gully then took a track north through a logged area back to Road 20. Shortly after Road 20 becomes Forty Mile Break. I arrived at Horsfall at 3.30pm settled in and enjoyed the views to the north to Lake Mountain and south toward Mt Toorongo. Mt Horsfall is 1134m and has a large clearing on the summit. Just as the sun was setting three 4wd came past lights on heading west down Road 20. I gave them a wave and thought to myself aren’t these roads closed? I had phone reception so called the missus. I also have a Spot which I set off each night.


Early morning on Boundary Rd


Road 8 into the catchment


Track marker


Road 20


Road 20


Shortcut from North Loch Rd to Road 20


Forty Mile Break


Forty Mile Break near Mt Horsfall


Sunset on Mt Horsfall



Day 4: Mt Horsfall to Newlands Rd (22km) (1 person + 2 trucks)

Todays route would take me along Forty Mile Break to Toorongo Rd, Block 10 Rd and Newlands Rd near the base of Baw Baws NW end where the Thomson River runs. I headed off early along FMB aiming to reach Toorongo Picnic Ground by lunch. One of the 4wd passed me as I was packing up heading east. There were a couple of ‘Fire Suppression Streams’ marked on the map a few km further on 500m south of the road which were likely water sources. Walking along FMB I could hear a chainsaw in the distance. It was the chap that passed me on Horsfall who worked for PV. We had a quick chat and told him my plans. What a great office he has! The stream at the water point was flowing well and the water was crystal clear. I didn’t treat it. FMB turns SE at Road 12. At this point you’re only 800m from the Yarra Falls to the north but I wasn’t taking the risk and going in there. After reaching Toorongo Rd I made my way to the picnic ground. The place was in a state of total disrepair; not even a table and chairs. A couple of logging trucks passed by as I ate lunch, you can hear them coming for miles. The 6k along Toorongo Rd was a bit of a drag so I was glad to reach Block 10 Rd, climbed the gate and head east towards the Thomson River to Newlands Rd (marked as Neuylands on the Rooftop). I’d read there was a nice dam 1k north of Newlands Rd so that’s where I was headed for the night. The tracks around here don’t appear to have had much traffic for a while. I found myself a spot on the track up from the dam and settled in for the night. I was kind of wishing I had a fishing line, trout for dinner would be nice.


Forty Mile Break


Track to ‘Fire Suppression Stream’ off FMB


Forty Mile Break near Toorongo Rd


Toorongo Picnic area (a bit of a mess)


Block 10 Rd


Newlands Rd


Newlands Rd


Newlands Rd


Track to dam north of Newlands Rd


Camp near the dam

Day 5: Newlands Rd to Whitelaw Hut (15km) (0 people)

Today would involve the climb up to Baw Baw from Newlands to meet the AAWT NW of Mt Whitelaw. I’d looked down this track from the AAWT a couple of years ago and thought OMG and any info I could find suggested it was totally overgrown and hard to follow. Sounds like fun! I made my way back to Newlands Rd from the dam and continued SE toward Frangipani Saddle for lunch, crossing the Thomson River 4 times. The track leading up to the AAWT has a sign leading into the scrub about 400m before Frangipani Saddle which would be a great place to camp. Well fed on salami/cheese flatbread I headed back to the turnoff, took a few deep breaths, checked the time and headed east up into the scrub. It’s only 3km to the AAWT from here but I expected it to take just as many hours. You could see the remnants of a road and the gap in the trees above but there were plenty of fallen trees and bushes to push through. A couple of times I lost the way, in particular where the route dog-legged but I was able to pinpoint my position on the map and get back on track. Eventually I reached the last Thomson river crossing only 700m from the AAWT. The river is only 30cm wide at this point and was flowing well. I bit more of a bush bash and I could see the blue sign at the track junction with the AAWT. I’d made it. What a relief to be out of that hell hole and back in familiar territory. It had taken me 3 hours to cover the 3k. It was only 5km to Whitelaw so I could take my time arriving by 4pm. I’d expected other walkers to arrive at Whitelaw but nobody did…good. The wind increased and it got pretty cold so I quickly cooked dinner in the chimney and retired to the tent.


Dam north of Newlands Rd


One of four Thomson River crossings on Newlands Rd


Another dam


Approaching Frangipani Saddle on Newlands Rd – route to Whitelaw on the left


Frangipani Saddle


Sign post pointing the way


Overgrown track up to the AAWT


Crossing the Thomson


I recognise that sign – at the AAWT


Camp at Whitelaw Hut

Day 6: Whitelaw Hut to Talbots Hut (15km) (0 people)

Today was an easy day…all I had to do was get to Talbots. I slept in and left Whitelaws 9am along the AAWT to Phillack Saddle for lunch. Again I had phone reception. It was still pretty windy and the forecast was for gale force and damaging winds in West Gippsland tonight …woohoo…but where’s the snow? I arrived at Talbots about 3pm, nestled myself between the rocks and battened down the hatches. At about 6pm it started to pour and the wind was howling through the trees but I was as snug as a bug in a rug. My only concern was a tree falling on me as I slept crushing me in an agonising death but obviously that didn’t happen because you’re reading this. The Duplex performed great (as did my CF poles and other new gear) and I didn’t have any dramas with condensation.


Baw Baw Turnoff


Phillack Saddle, very windy


Baw Baw


Mt St Phillack


Snow poles near St Gwinear


View from AAWT


Rest near a rock


More views




Camp at Talbots Hut

Day 7: Talbots Hut to O’Sheas Mill (15km) (6 people)

Another easy day with only 1200m descent to the Tyers River. That’s easier than going up…right? Left Talbots around 9am, mucked around at Mushroom Rocks looking for THE Mushroom Rock but I couldn’t remember where it was. Arrived at Erica carpark by 11.30am, a real toilet…what a luxury. Sat at the table, had some lunch when a van pulls up with 5 people, one of who’s face I recognise. Fellow BW member JohnStrider who runs a group called the Hiking Society. They were headed to Mushroom Rocks and Talbots for the night. From here to Walhalla was a section of the AAWT I hadn’t done. Down Mt Erica Rd to the turnoff onto Firebreak Track to the Tyers River. There’s a nice waterfall near the campground which also has a toilet and table/chairs and fireplace. Shortly after dinner it started to rain heavily so it was into the tent and radio on for ‘Dreamtime at the G’…go the Tigers. . What a life. It rained steadily most of the night but again the Duplex was excellent.


Mushroom Rocks


Mt Erica Carpark


AAWT turnoff from Mt Erica Rd


Firebreak Track


Huge eucalypt


Firebreak Track


Firebreak Track


Firebreak Track


Waterfall at O’Sheas


O’Sheas campground

Day 8: O’Sheas Mill to Walhalla (14km) (10 people)

I’d agreed to meet my missus (Bridgette my walking companion) in Walhalla at the rotunda between 11-12 so got moving pretty early, crossing Thomson Valley Rd and down the Fingerboard Spur towards Poverty Point Bridge. It’s a nice walk along the valley high above the Thomson River. For some reason I thought the track was down on the river but that wasn’t the case. The rock table and chairs along the way was interesting and crossing Poverty Point Bridge offers some nice views up and down the valley. Only a few km to go now I could hear cars below me on Walhalla Rd then the town comes into view. Past Long Tunnel Mine and down the stairs to the rotunda and there’s the missus…I’m right on time. Let’s grab a hot pie and sauce.

Wasn’t a bad walk and best done when the roads have closed. I just wish it had of snowed two days earlier.


Gate on the AAWT near O’Sheas


Fingerboard Spur Track on Thomson Valley Rd


Fingerboard Spur Track


High above the Thomson River


Table for two please


Poverty Point Bridge


View back to Baw Baw




Long Tunnel mine


Rotunda and end of journey

It is without a doubt Victoria’s (if not Australia’s) premier hiking track. Many more people should be doing ti. From now (31 May 2019 until spring) you should follow the ‘Winter Route’ along the Tyers river -as there will be too much snow along the Baw Baw Plateau.He did tell me by private communication that my posts about the track had been a big help.

Here are my main pages about it:

I have heaps of posts about this fabulous trtack as you will find if you do a search in the facility in the upper right hand corner of one of my pages, eg:

01/06/2019: Must have:

01/06/2019: Time for a rethink - 247 grams (8.6 oz)! Most places it would be legal to kill such a baby:

01/06/2019: D-Day in colour:

31/05/2019: Ultralight Bivy Bag: How much is your life worth? Is it worth laying out $80 and carrying 273 grams for example? This is the Outdoor Research Helium Emergency Bivy, a trimmed down version of their regular Helium Bivy (510 grams). If you carry a raincoat you could make a raincoat shelter for your head, and you could hold he bivy open with a willowy stick and a couple of lengths of foam insulation which has many other uses.

Most people who die on the trail are day walkers. The next biggest group are track walkers. Bushwackers being more experienced suffer much less. It is worth developing the experience, but also always being prepared for the worst.

Helium Emergency Bivy


Helium (Standard) Bivy

A couple of other survival shelters to think about: This one at 350 grams and this one at 253 grams. Adventure Medical Kits have a number of cheap ultralight bivys as well which are well worth a look. For example their Escape Bivy (which breathes) and has some insulative ability as well – perhaps as much anyway as a summer weight sleeping bag (and Only US$60). They also have a lighter model (5.5 oz – 157 grams) for US$40. It is also a good way of adding some warmth to your sleeping bag and mat on colder nights. It is well worth having a detailed look at their site.

These survival sleeping bags are a great investment too. You never have to worry about getting them wet. I always have one in my hunting day pack.

You can easily make your own bivy for a couple of bucks if you have a roll of Tyvek lying around – as you should. Many other things can be made from it, such as this.

Mind you you can get a whole tent for 500 grams. One such as this for example if you are well-heeled, or one such as this if you are not. You would have to admit this little floorless mid weighing 410 grams which cost me US$43,50 or A$59.98 delivered is hard to beat

Here is another interesting DIY concept.

Mind you if you carry nothing else, carry one of these: If you could only carry two things in the bush, what would they be? AMC have their own


 thermal poncho for US$8.

The Helium Emergency Bivy is on Massdrop now for US$80 & Regular Price: US$129

See Also:

The Compleat Survival Guide


The Ultralight Deerhunter

31/05/2019: Conservatives Must ‘Get Rid of the Green Crap’: ‘The Greens are not caring, nurturing saviours of the planet. They are Watermelons, green on the outside red on the inside. If they genuinely cared about nature they certainly wouldn’t push such environmentally damaging schemes as industrial wind turbines or biofuels. For the Greens, environmental issues are merely a convenient, fashionable, and cuddly mask to disguise their aggressively anti-capitalist, anti-growth, anti-human, redistributive, big-government-heavy agenda…The logic of the Green Party, on the other hand, is always: “It’s never enough”. Once you shut down all nuclear power plants coal-fired power plants become the next target. Like a doomsday sect, the imminent end of the world is being propagated. And despite the set phrase that “fear is not a good guide in politics” (which is the standard mantra in the immigration debate), scare-mongering about the end of the world is now their dominant sensation. It’s just like the “social justice” mantra which the Greens also propagate now: no matter what’s been done, it’s never enough and it always has to be much more and more radical.’

31/05/2019: I missed the day. Hope you didn’t, ‘the expense of spirit in a waste of shame’ (Shakespeare):

31/05/2019: Lake Baikal: 20% of the world’s freshwater frozen into astonishing shapes:

30/05/2019: Even More Free Stuff for Hiking: Yet another sixteen ‘free’ ultralight hiking ideas. Enjoy.

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.

A Taut String Will Act as a Tripod or a Gun Rest A 4 Gram String Tripod: A taut string will act as a tripod! You can tie an approx 6’ (1.8m) length of string to a small bolt the size which fits in the tripod socket of your camera then screw it in to the camera. If you stand on the string with one foot and pull the string taut so that your eye is level with the viewfinder/screen you will be able to hold the camera almost perfectly still

2016-08-27 10.07.27 comp

Fire Umbrella: How to prevent the rain from putting out your fire? I have been toying with this idea for some time. This week I decided to try out an ‘ultralight’ method. I constructed this 1 metre x 1 metre square of tyvek for that purpose, sewing gross grain ribbon tie outs on each of four corners. This ‘fire canopy’ weighed less than 2 ounces (60 grams) including the 1mm (pink!) dyneema suspension ‘rope’. This is not much weight to carry for the benefit of a warm fire out the front of your tyvek tent or shelter.

World’s Lightest Tarp Clip: You can buy these approx 1” polystyrene balls from Spotlight for @ $2.40 for 20. They weigh about .2 gram each. You can carry a few of these in your repair/fishing kit (along with some string, eg 1-2mm Dyneema) for use at need, eg when you need some additional tie-downs for your tent/tarp or when you have torn one out.

Ultralight Clothes Pegs for Hiking How to dry your clothes when hiking? My first resort has always been my own body’s heat. For many years I would wash my clothes at the end of the day, hang them overnight to get them dry as best as I could – sometimes in front of a warm fire this works excellently – all my home-made tents for example can have a fire out the front to warm them – and include an inbuilt clothes line

The Ultralight Trail Baker: You can make a baking stand (‘The Flashbaker’) – for cook pot baking – out of aluminium flashing which weighs 8 grams. You just need to cut a circle a little smaller than your pot and leave three approx 1 ½” ‘legs’ on the outside of the disc which you fold down to support whatever you are cooking. (OK, this one has four legs!) This works well with a thick dough. I have often made ‘damper’ in my cook pot with such an arrangement. My original flashing ‘baker’ (below) weighs 13.5 grams.

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

2016-08-27 20.13.45 comp

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:


Supercat Hiking Stove: This is a very useful hiking stove you can make with a paper punch from Officeworks and some empty cat food cans. Its inception was a genius idea from Jim Woods. Be sure you only use the punch on aluminium cans. I have found that there are two sizes of aluminium can and that one fits snugly inside the other


More Fun With Sticky Tape: Ultralight Mylar Vest: 23 grams that may save your life.

See also:

2015-07-27 15.19.11 comp

Whoopie Sling Guy Line Tensioners I am surprised you can’t buy whoopie sling guy lines. I am even more surprised that high-end tents don’t come with them as standard. They have to be the lightest and most elegant option. You will have to make your own. I would say that the 1.75mm ‘Zing It’ would be an ideal size for the novice to work with. They are an elegant solution,

Adjustable Hammock Ridgeline A Great Idea: It adds 6 grams to my hammock set-up but improves comfort much more than that by allowing a flatter ‘hang’ – and it allows for somewhere to hang your gear. It works on the same principle as the Whoopie Sling. Genius. I bought mine from this guy for A$16.95

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 example. Of course you might need to shorten the rope a few times as it gets hard to turn after you have several loops around the bar.

Side Insulation: Gossamer Gear’s Sitlight Pads are just great for this if you cut them in half lengthwise. They can be still used in your pack’s pad sleeve but when it comes time to make your bed, either on the ground or in your hammock, these little fellows will keep your elbows and shoulders toasty warm.

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 long) were what ultimately took out our darling old pet Tiny back in February at the fine old age of 18. A number of products are on the market, and there is much wise advice out there too…

Impregnable Gun Safe: The gendarmes decreed that we had to upgrade our firearm storage though they had (as far as we could tell) safely and happily lived in the same cabinet for over thirty years! We had to buy a safe. Fortunately gun safes have become much less expensive over the years. We carefully chose one from eBay for $300

gun safe

See Also:

You will find a heap of other DIY ideas here:

30/05/2019: Praxiteles. It is awesome that we yet have some of this immaculate sculptor’s greatest works, such as his Aphrodite of Cnidus, of which his model said, "...have no fear; for you have wrought a very beautiful work of art, such as nobody, in fact, has ever seen before among all things fashioned by men's hands: you have set up a statue of your own mistress in the sacred precinct....And do not begrudge me this honour. For it is Praxiteles that people praise when they have gazed at me..." (Alciphron, Letters of the Courtesans: Phrynê to Praxiteles), as well as his Hermes & Dionysus… See: ‘Treasures of Ancient Greece’

30/05/2019: Environmentalism: Evidence Suggests it Was Always and Only About Achieving World Government: ‘The trouble is that none of it is true. The World is in good shape, and people are living longer and healthier lives in every nation’:  


29/05/2019: Tim Tinker: I am tossing around some ideas concerning DIY tent stovesas you know, so I was delighted to stumble upon this amazing website: by a fellow Gippsland Senior – we are good for something still after all. As you will see Tim camps in the snow all the time, so his ideas clearly work. Perhaps time to think about some high country snow hunting/hiking trips?

It had not occurred to me that anyone could beat Titanium Goat’s Cylinder Stove (741 grams – but which takes minutes to assemble, and seems rather delicate to me) or that a one-piece  (no moving parts) tent stove could be made which would weigh approx 500 grams (including chimney). but there you are. You will have to read through a number of very informative posts, but it will be worth it, believe me.

The stove uses about 400 grams of wood per hour and produces approx 1,000 watts – quite enough to warm a two person tent to a delightful temperature – even in snow!

Tim Tinker tent Stove – actual size Tim Tinker Stove Contents – inc chimney! Tim Tinker Stove set-up It is a continuous feed stove, not a slow combustion stove. you would not leave it burning overnight. Tim Tinker Stove Air Control – what an ingenious idea for adjusting the air intake! Tim Tinker Stove – glass ‘window’ in chimney base gives light as well as heat!

Tim has this really ingenious method of rolling an unrolling the chimney:

There is a glitch. When you get to Youtube select the chimney video.

Tim has innumerable other good ideas on his website, including food, clothing, DIY tools, candles…it is quite encyclopaedic. look forward to a long read.

Certainly his stove has prompted me to think more about simply cutting down the helium cylinder to make a stove. That will be a fine idea for a relatively fixed camp as I am contemplating, but I now realise that it would be ‘possible’ to make a transportable slow combustion stove which sets up really easily and which could reliably heat a small tent as well as providing all the cooking I would need – and which need only weigh in the vicinity of 5-600 grams.

I am envisaging pretty much a one-piece stove perhaps around 4″ x 6″  x 12″ inside which you can store the chimney (and other things) and which you would carry in a small bag on top of your pack (attached perhaps like this, or this). I will need to learn a few sheet metal skills including spot welding stainless steel/titanium. there are lots of instructions though on Tim’s excellent website. As I have said before: watch this space.

Some ideas:

1. I think the chimney damper can be a slider.

2. The fuel feed can be either a length of pipe with an air-hole in the top, the air inlet adjusted with a cup or can (as in the 3rd photo above – but it would be harder to add wood), or

3. I would have a rotating or sliding air intake on the front and use a small titanium plate like this 13 gram one on the top which I could remove to add wood, or cook.

4. I will weld three (approx 2″ lengths) of tubing to the bottom rear and front of the stove (at 45 degrees), then use wooden legs to lift it off the ground (so I could dry wood under it, another excellent idea from Tim) – I would have a small bolt half way down the length of this tubing so that the wood does not touch the stove and smoulder – or I could just have three pieces of Easton aluminium tubing – and shorter pipes to slot them into…

Lots to do!

PS: Tim kindly gave me permission to re-post his excellent photographs.

29/05/2019: The polar ice melt myth: ‘ice currently covers 6 million square miles, or one tenth the Land area on Earth, about the area of South America… total catastrophe can only occur if we can melt the Antarctic and Greenland. But the Antarctic is the coldest place on Earth. At calculations show the temperature would have to rise 54 degrees Fahrenheit to start the warming of that Ice Cap:

29/05/2019: ‘One Man’s Religion is Another Man’s Belly Laugh’ (Lazarus Long – Robert Heinlein, ‘Time Enough for Love’). Enjoy Will Franken @ Comedy Unleashed - Climate Change and Greta Thunberg:

29/05/2019: Cialis and Viagra reverse heart disease? Good news if you are a sheep:

28/05/2019: Old people with money who can’t run fast are rich pickings for pillagers and plunderers. Am I the only one worried about Morrison’s announced ‘review’ of retirement income? Isn’t that just why millions voted for him? If Tony could do it, ie steal from pensioners (and Morrison has done it before too under Turnbull) then anything is possible. We wait and see: &

28/05/2019: The rate of species extinction has been in decline since c1800. This decline is all the more pronounced if it is graphed against the number of species identified. Of course it also needs to be compared to the rate of species creation. It seems more than likely that earth is adding species each year rather than losing them:

28/05/2019: The wonders of 5G: Sex robots powered by high-speed internet including 5G will make them “indistinguishable” from humans, an expert has claimed: Meanwhile folks have been testing Telstra’s new 5G network (and are getting speeds 6 times the NBN!) Optus will be offering 5G for A$70 unlimited. Goodbye NBN:

27/05/2019: Seamless Tyvek Tipi: How big a tipi can you make in a single piece out of a 3 metre (10’) wide roll of Tyvek? I began this project as I want to take one in and leave it in a canoe drum along with a small wood heater to warm it on winter nights at ‘our’ new ‘hidden valley’ hunting spot. It turns out to be around 9-10’ wide and 6’ high (though I have not yet finished it). Plenty of room for 2-3 people, the stove, a couple of dogs and lots of gear.

Two possible stoves from the scrap metal, one steel the other aluminium I guess. I will have a play with these and see what I can make. I realise we also have an old stainless steel cook pot might be adapted.

I will have twice as many tie-downs as shown (every 2′) sewn in and the material catenary cut. I will secure them to pegs with line locks so that there is no vertical force. It will certainly not blow down or leak. The floor will come up the side walls 4-5″ for a ‘bathtub effect. I will sew some 6″ x6″ vinyl windows in on four ‘sides’ to let in a bit of light and so you can look out a bit. I will have to also sew in a fireproof fibreglass ‘boot’ for the chimney.

I have some waterproof zips left over from another project but the way I have cut this in one piece leaves quite a large overlap which I will utilise just in case the zips give out – or I can’t be bothered doing them up. Some of this excess material will make a rainproof hood for an openable vent at the lee-side top. I will probably also sew on a small verandah above the doorway (which I will prop up with a couple of small bush poles) as it is nice not to have rain come in when you open the door. I want to be warm and dry in this shelter at all times.

I still have to ascertain the true centre which I won’t know exactly until I have finished the bottom and the tie outs. I will need a piece of Dyneema reinforcing in the roof (for the pole – likewise in the floor) I will have a long cord hanging from the top centre with many knotted loops. I will wind it round and round the pole to make a clothes line which will dry things nicely as it will only be inches from the chimney. The tipi including floor will weigh about 40 oz in Tyvek (22 in silnylon) – 1200 grams (or 660)

I guess the first trip I will take in a canoe drum, cook set, the tipi and a cheap raft. The following trip I will take in a second drum, the stove and other items- unless someone else volunteers to come along with me on the first trip. After a  while I should have lightened my load in considerably, and as I will have eaten all my food there will be space in my pack for a little venison on the way out. I wonder whether I will be able to dry venison over the stove?

The two dogs assure me that they are coming. I still have to make them some new beds – even though I bought the material a couple of years ago. This project will spur me on to doing that as I will be able to leave their old beds in the canoe drums – likewise a cook set, saw, hatchet, fishing lines etc. Eventually I will probably leave some old warm clothes, a sleeping bag, raincoat…I want to carry in as little each time as possible. I might even be able to resupply the site with winter food on summer canoe trips – though I have not yet canoed this river. I don’t even know for sure it is canoeable, at my age at least.

About that stove: There are any number of youtubes about making propane/helium bottles etc into stoves. As usual most of them miss several points eg the ability to cook on top, no air leaks (so that you can have slow combustion). The door needs to be substantially airtight which means two (hinged) flat pieces of metal tightening against each other when you close the door, and an air feed slider – a disc would work well. It needs a flat top with the fire immediately under so that you can pace 1-2 small pots there, or cook directly on it.

Maximum surface area is achieved by lying the helium bottle (2.3 kg as compared with 4 kg+ for the propane bottle – both are steel) on its side. You would then cut a slice off the top so that you could weld a flat top on. It can hang over the edges and front so that you can simmer.

Right at the back corner you would cut a <3″ hole and weld a >3″ collar so that you can sit a 3″ chimney inside it. The collar will have slots on either side for sitting the damper in (a must if you are to have slow combustion and fuel efficiency).

Another slice off the front of the stove big enough to weld a flat disc with a square hole in the middle for the square hinged door, which will have holes drilled in it so that a round slider (with matching holes)can be rotated in it to control air flow. Hope that helps.

I will post some more photos when I am finished the project…

27/05/2019: When a dero beats another dero to death it is all men’s fault. (Ambiguity intended)

27/05/2019: If Scott Morrison is ‘Scomo’ then Anthony Albanese is ‘Anal’. Seems about right. Imagine choosing a man as your leader who would lie about his own father (whom he used to take his own family on holiday’s with) in order to avoid a by-election for non-citizenship. If you will lie about that you will lie about anything. Why can’t the Labor party find a leader who is not a complete scumbag?

27/05/2019: This is environmental pollution:

Climbers had to queue for hours to reach the summit of Mount Everest on Wednesday &

27/05/2019: Success is good for ego but failure is good for the soul:  

26/05/2019: Climate protesters stage a ‘die in’ in Melbourne. Why could they not do this for real? Where is Robin Askin when you need him? You don’t remember him? How young you are. During LBJ’s visit he ordered his chauffeur to drive over the top of Vietnam protesters. Unfortunately he did not comply. Now the country is being run by the bastards. – as Robin called them!

26/05/2019: Mass Species Extinction Is Fake News, Says Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore: ‘he says there is no evidence to support these doomsday predictions whatsoeverthe Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IBPES) was merely a “front for a radical political, social, and economic transformation of our entire civilization…As with the manufactured “climate crisis” they are using the specter of mass extinction as a fear tactic to scare the public into compliance. The IBPES itself is an existential threat to sensible policy on biodiversity conservation… The IBPES claims there are 8 million species. Yet only 1.8 million species have been identified and named. Thus the IBPES believes there are 6.2 million unidentified and unnamed species. Therefore one million of the unknown species could go extinct overnight and we would not notice it because we would not know they had existed. This is highly unprofessional. Scientists should not, in fact cannot, predict estimates of endangered species or species extinction based on millions of undocumented species’ There are three main ways in which humans have caused species to go extinct, Moore explained:

  1. Overhunting for food and purposeful eradication of pests. The dodo bird on Mauritius, the passenger pigeon, the Carolinian parakeet in the US south, and the mastodon are typical examples
  2. Massive clearing of native ecosystems for food and fiber production. Vast fields of corn are grown for biofuel due to “green” priorities. Equally vast expanses of land have been converted to palm oil plantations for biodiesel. The same is true of massive solar farms covering land that could be rich in native species. These policies should be reconsidered.
  3. The introduction of exotic predators, such as rats, cats, foxes and snakes, especially on islands where this has been the greatest cause of extinction in recent centuries. This has abated somewhat as particularly vulnerable species are already extinct and those remaining are either not vulnerable or are protected by programs aimed at their survival and recovery.

Moore is quite right, though he arguably missed a trick. The two biggest human threats to wildlife in the last century have been a) Communists and b) Environmentalists. wind farms…kill roughly twice as many bats as birds. This breaks down as approximately 110–330 birds per turbine per year and 200–670 bats per year…In Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is threatened with global extinction by wind farms’

26/05/2019: The Ultimate Camp Shoe: Just like practically everyone I guess I had an ad from the ‘hellosunny’ shop (see below) for Waterproof Shoe Covers. I had spent a lot of time on this idea before coming up with my own 13 gram DIY version ( which have proven very serviceable and durable on many trips now.

I guess that not everyone can sew (which is one reason why I am always coming up with new ‘no-sew’ ideas (watch this space eg for inflatable quilts), but a search turned up a multiplicity of such shoe covers on dhgate many of which might be very good for camp shoes when you only want to keep your socks dry when answering a ‘call of nature’ in the middle of the night.

They range form just a few cents each, so you should take a look: &

Some borrowed pics to whet your appetite:

hellos sunny waterproof shoe cover

26/05/2019: About those knees: And about that ‘seeming to need a new knee’… pain is frequently a ‘great deceiver’ (not that it has quite the good looks of the ultimate artificer). Though you know in your heart of hearts that your pain has no useful purpose (in that nothing you are doing is causing it or can do will alleviate it) nonetheless you keep pandering to it like a pampered child as if if you did not, you would break. Certainly that is how backs and knees are.

Della has a new doctor whom she consulted recently about her own troublesome knee. Like my own orthopedic surgeon (good to find an honest one!) who advised me to wait on further developments in knees as I would not be happy with anything he could do right now, Della’s new doctor (an ex-student actually – like Androcles’ lion good turns are frequently returned) pretty much said the same thing to her.

Hopefully something better than a new knee will be along in a little while. This may be eg a perfection of stem cell treatments (which are currently fraudulent) or maybe something like this artificial cartilage which just stays in place once implanted in a much less invasive operation than a knee replacement. You don’t need a new suspension. You just need new shock absorbers. Worth a trip to Europe or Israel perhaps to find out?

Anyway Della’s doc advised that the only thing which seems to ‘help’ is persisting with squats until you can do 200 in a row. This is pretty ouchy stuff to begin with, but for a start try this: you can do about 150 ‘half’ squats while you clean your teeth at each end of the day. Then sometime during the day (morning is best) just grin and bear it and do 200 full proper squats. You can work your way up (numerically) over a few days. It will not be fun. However your knee will not break, though you may think it will. Surprisingly after a couple of days of this it will start to feel much better, and you might consider a major hiking enterprise – as we did (above). I am now hoping (after this) for the Dusky Track again early next year – and perhaps taking Della on the Everest Base Camp Trek in November – or perhaps a return visit to Bartle Frere in August. We shall see. Plans, plans…

New Surface Meniscus Implant

25/05/2019: Theresa May, Julia Gillard, Julie Bishop… All gone thank goodness. Was there ever better proof that women should not be given the vote? But then we have Macron, Trudeau etc. Men are too irrational to be given the vote! Wonder how long it will take Boris to sort out this Brexit mess. I would give him about two weeks!

25/05/2019: I just signed the petition ‘Wind farms for Warringah’. Generally I think this is a great idea. People should get just what they vote for (instead of inflicting their awful ideas on the rest of us). So for example, folks in ‘green’ electorates should receive no fossil fuel, nuclear of hydro power which they are opposed to:

25/05/2019: C19th Century fracking proponent Henry Lawson’s story, ‘The Loaded Dog’ (about a dog who chases his master with a lighted stick of gelignite intended to frack a water well (Yes it has been around that long – and safely) surely suggests a way forward for jihadis who as Moslems hate dogs anyway (‘Anyone who hates dogs and kids can’t be all bad’ – as W.C. Fields suggested). Instead of dropping their bombs on the footpath (from energy efficient bicycles – as happened in France today (nice to know the terrorists are green - as if…) they could tie their bombs to dogs who will always try to get closer to people who shout at them. What fun it would be! Well it was a fishing expedition – must have been another story they were using jelly for fracking. Old gold miners etc were always playing around with explosives.

25/05/2019: Keith Payne VC - 50 years today since the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross:  

25/05/2019: Extempore Hiking Poles: You can use Pipe Insulation to make extempore hiking poles or tent poles when you are in the bush.The piece shown weighs 5 grams. It certainly saves you carrying hiking poles when you don't need them. When you do you can cut them to length with this 28 gram DIY ultralight saw. If you break one in rough going it is the work of a minute to make another one.

It comes with an internal diameter of 12/19/25mm- ie 1/2", 3/4", 1' etc. 19 is quite enough for a very stout stick, say 1". It does stretch substantially. Of course it is not going to last a 3,000 km trek, but it does make a comfy handle so that you can make a couple of sticks to get you out of a tight spot (or carry a heavy load of venison out etc) without tearing your hands to pieces. A couple of sticks reduces the effort of walking out of some steep gorge by over 50%.

The foam tube can also be used to protect your tent from damage by your extempore tent poles by bending it over like this:

Available Bunnings eg: 1 metre A$4.40 (May 2019)

24/05/2019: Winter Tent Stoves: A blast of Antarctic air is coming through Victoria in the next week so that it might be time to consider how to warm your tent. This great company Titanium Goat have extremely lightweight titanium stove (heaters), stove pipes, stove accessories, and a tent boot you can sew into an existing tent to vent your stove pipe without burning/melting the tent. They do ship to Australia.

cylinder stove

Their lightest and smallest cook-on-top stove weighs a mere 12 ounces (342 grams) for the original 12″ cylinder stove  or 13 ounces for the original small wifi stove which transfers heat a little better to your cook pot – but may take longer to assemble. The stove pipe adds approx 1.5 oz per foot to the weight, so for example a 7′ stove pipe will add approx 10 oz to a carried weight (small cylinder) of 1lb 10 oz or 741 grams. The tent boot (or jack) will add approx 3.6 oz (103 grams) and US$40. You might also think about adding a spark arrester (.8 oz – 24grams and US$10)

So at total weight of 29.6 oz or 844 grams – but you may not need any other stove to cook on (so subtract that from your pack weight). Figure also that you will have a shirtsleeves warmth in your winter camping tent, and use much less wood than an open fire (just a small armful for a night’s warmth which it will be easy enough top carry in from further afield) – and that is is easy to have a fire and be toasty warm in the snow or rain! Note, they also have larger models for different purposes.  You may be rushing out to buy one or more of these.

 Cylinder: 12oz, Stove body and parts, 4oz pipe wrap, bag, platform, 10oz for 7′ Ti pipe, 1lbs 10oz total weight with 7′ Ti pipe. Capacity:   ~485 cubic inches   7.5″ X 12″ Price: US$240 with 7ft titanium pipe)

Wifi: 13 oz. Construction: Titanium body, aluminum legs. Pipe: Titanium, 1.5oz per ft, 2-3/8 in diameter. Weight: 13 ounces with out pipe. Size: 11 in long, 5 in wide, 8 in tall. Overall Height: 12 inches. Packed Size: 13 in long, 8 in wide, 2.5 in tall. Damper: Yes, real stoves have dampers. Price: US$240 with 4 ft pipe.

wifi stove

Note: They also make Tipi style tents (with or without stove boots already fitted) to complete your set-up. Probably the most suitable of these for two-three hunters/hikers would be the Vertex 6.5 (ie feet in height) which will set you back US$ 525 (May 2019): ‘Weight: 4lbs 2oz Total weight, Tent and stuff sack 2lbs 6oz,  Stakes 6oz,  Aluminum pole 1lbs 6oz Length:  144″ (12′) Width:  132″  (11′) Height:  78″  (6.5′) Square footage:  102 sq/ft Stakes:  12 aluminum stakes Pole: Adjustable aluminum pole
Currently 2-3 weeks delivery … Grey, Tan, Forest Green.’

Versa 6.5

You could save quite a bit of weight (600 grams) by cutting your own pole using one of these.

I intend to make my own tipi style tent in Tyvek (coming soon). It will be approx 9′ wide, and should weigh about 25 oz (750 grams) (without floor, stakes, pole of stove boot). Adding a Tyvek floor will add approximately 13 oz (390 grams). My winter tent and stove will therefore weigh 844 grams (stove plus boot) plus 1140 tent plus floor), a total of 1984 grams. Not so bad for winter warmth and shelter for 2-3 people. The load can obviously shared out.

I may also have a go at making my own stove eg out of a used Helium cylinder. I have made a number of tipis in the past using poly tarps. One is (from memory) 12′ wide, and one 16′ wide. I heated them with a kerosene heater. They were magnificent when the frost and snow lay all about.  We used to use the larger one to display stud sheep in at winter shows. We always attracted a crowd! I will feature them in a future post.

NB: Images ‘borrowed’ from Titanium Goat. Hope they don’t mind.


See Also:

23/05/2019: The Ultimate Hunting Trip: (or, A Further Use for Toilet Trowels) Disaster will sometimes happen upon you in the wilderness. The important thing is to survive it – as less experienced folk frequently don’t! For months I have been ‘stir crazy’ what with slow recovery from my back operation and (seeming to) need a new knee, but I have been itching to try out a ‘new’ piece of country I figured was likely ‘less traveled’ (Robert Frost). I was feeling I should reward myself for finalising the stud sheep sale to Saudi Arabia, so instead of continuing with the drudgery of ‘catching up’ on farm chores we thought we would take a look at this ‘New Eden’.

I had noticed on Google earth a piece of country which was likely overlooked by others as it is well-nigh inaccessible except by Herculean effort. One way in would involve (to begin) a 20 km trek along a closed track (likely completely overgrown – as ‘Management Only’ tracks invariable are, as no management is ever done – public ‘servants’ never work). The other involves a lengthy amount of 4WDing, then a several hours ‘hike’ down a precipitous slope including finding one’s way down some pretty scary cliffs, then a pack raft paddle across what might turn out to be a suicidal section of river. Sound like a sensible recuperation strategy to you?

If we succeeded we would have access to a couple of lovely fertile flats (more than  a square kilometre in total) which was bound to be brimming with Bambis which had never seen a man (or woman). It might just also be that ‘hidden valley’ of our very own we all dream about which we can enjoy alone in peace and tranquility. And Della (suicidally) agreed to come along with me. What a wife! (I have known that for nigh on fifty years).

So, off we went. God knows how much weight I had in that pack – as I brought along my rifle and my (double) pack raft, two life jackets – and the two dogs’ gear! Over 18 kg it turns out. Ultralight indeed! In retrospect it would have been more sensible to have traveled light as a ‘reckie’ and brought along more gear at a later time if the reckie proved successful. I can tell you that pack nearly killed me struggling back up that precipitous hill on Day Two. Mind you there were a lot of very big dingoes along the river there, so that although I did not raise the rifle in anger, it might have come in handy had we not ‘camped’ where we did! Unfortunately we never got to use the pack raft so it was completely wasted n this trip. If it had been a $30 one I would have left it there in the fork of a tree.

I guess it is almost inevitable that one never gets away when planned, nor that the journey takes the same duration as you thought it would, nor that the going proves as easy as it might.  I expected to be beginning the walk down to the river about 10:30am (instead of 2:00pm). Still I never anticipated that it would need more than four hours to walk that short a distance – but so it proved to be. Darkness was falling yet we were perched on a 45 degree slope only about 30 metres (vertically) above the river. The light was just too poor to see whether we could find a safe way down to a perfect little sandy flat below! You lose depth perception in low light first. We would just have to camp where we were.

Getting ‘bluffed out’ is an inevitability of wilderness travel. Just get used to the idea you will betimes have to spend an uncomfortable night perched on top (or bottom) of a precipice and be prepared for it. Descending a cliff in near dark (or in haste) is just foolishness – the kind of thing which gets the young killed. This is one important difference between being old or young. We were standing on a horizontal deer path less than a foot wide – say about 25cm. We could sit there all night and see if we could get some sleep, but then I did have the handy toilet trowel!

With (quite) a bit of effort that 25 cm game trail could be (and was) widened to 2′ (60 cm) wide and long enough (say 12 feet – or 3.6 metres) so that we could both stretch out. Della was (rightly) worried about rolling out in the night – though we never seem to fall out of bed. I placed some dead tree branches and excavated rocks along the edges where this seemed likely. It was not forecast to rain, so that we would only have the dew to contend with (which might dampen our sleeping bags but would not much effect their insulative ability), but if it did, we could spread the tent and tent floor over ourselves to prevent a total drenching. If you do this when it s not raining you will just get a lot of condensation from the interaction of your body’s warmth and the dewpoint that will over time saturate your bag. The reason why swags are cursed cold things really – and were never used by ‘swagmen’.

The most major problem was that (by now) we had less than 1 litre of water (amongst the four of us!) If we did not eat any of our dehydrated food we would be ‘fine’. Digestion particularly of carbohydrates and protein needs a lot of water. If you are short on water, best not to eat. Strangely some of us had brought along two apples and two bananas, and the dogs had two small (wet) 100 gram cans of dog food. We saved one of the bananas for breakfast. We were pretty cautious of that litre of water as we did not know whether there was a way down or whether we would have to make it last on the four hour walk back to the car the next day, so we still had over half a litre come morning. We also had some chewing gum which is a great source of ‘dehydrated water’ – as I have mentioned many times.

It was not the most comfortable of nights we have spent; neither was it the most uncomfortable! We were warm and dry and our new (winter) mats were very comfy actually even in such an unlikely place. We both got quite a number of hours of sleep by sunrise and were significant;y refreshed. In the morning I thought I should try to ‘slip’ down the cliff with just a daypack containing (mostly) empty Platypus water bottles. Where we were even the deer had not (quite) managed to get up and down, though they had been trying. We had also been trying without success to spot a deer path that went down the cliffs for the last hour or so of daylight. They will make it into a deer ‘highway’ now.

I was very cautious descending that precipice, breaking new ground through thick vegetation, zig-zagging as I went, never descending anything I would not (easily) be able to ascend. I guess I took about an hour to descend that thirty yards. By the time I had been down it and up again I had a path I could get Della safely down (and up). I also had three litres of water- more than enough for a sumptuous breakfast for all! We just about made ourselves drunk on it! In any case that was about the best cup of morning coffee I have ever had.

After dining we both went down for a longer (but not a long) look. It is a very beautiful part of the world – as the photos show, and I will be back! By the time we were back at our packs (on the deer path) though it was already 12:00 mid-day and so (past) time we needed to be heading back (as we had a dinner engagement we had to meet – we were late), and so could not stay a third day (unfortunately). It took us another (hellish) four hours to crawl our way back to the car, followed by another four hours driving home – so all in all a tiring day. We were both ready for a good night’s sleep!

At least I now know that I have one way down to the river- perhaps the only (safe) route for many miles (though on a future expedition I will try for another – on the way out). There is a ‘ridge’ downriver which is less steep (and there is a flat on ‘our side’ at the base of it should suit camping), but all along the river there are vertical precipices (and the satellite pictures did not show this) . Once down the river is easy and safe to cross via pack raft (there is a very long pool – more than a kilometre) between major drops. There are numerous ‘beaches’ on both sides, and this will make for a safe crossing even when the water height is much greater. The relevant gauge height this time (I am not going to tell you where we were) was .65-.7 metres which is quite low for this river, though it is ‘canoeable from about .5 to 2 metres apparently – if you are suicidal). I only add that here as a mnemonic for my own records.

I have never been to a spot where the reek of deer is so strong. Everywhere it was like a fresh wallow smell. Or where there is so much deer sign – and the deer are almost totally undisturbed except by the occasional pack rafter perhaps. Two very large stags spent quite a portion of the night fighting with each other just below us. They do make noises. They were watched by at least two of the largest dingoes (judging by their prints) I have ever seen. I am glad they did not know of a path up the cliffs to us – though they undoubtedly smelled us and knew we were there.

‘Next’ time I will tie a canoe drum to my pack on the way in containing a tent, cook-set, cheap packraft /paddle and other things which I will not have to carry out again. After a couple of trips I will have reduced my carry-in pack weight (and the carry out weight), by 5-8 kg, and I will have established a perfect camp site on ‘this’ side of the river, so that I need never be trapped by floodwaters that I was unaware of overnight. I should also find a lighter gun! I will also (hopefully) also have a better route. There is so much rock there I might even find a dry rock cave to stow the drum in (the one in the photo would flood) so that they will never be harmed by wildfire, else I can perhaps place them on a rock shelf and build a dry rock wall around them. They could be pitoned to a cleft in the rock so that they could not be rolled away by wombats, etc.

Setting out. The dogs are keen.

Setting out – the view down.

The first bluff. As a warning, there was only one way down here too.  a narrow one to the left of this obelisk. I heaped a few stones on top of it as a cairn/marker after Della took the photo.

A yellow breasted robin has fallen victim to a wild cat. in Western Australia they have a bait for these terrible pests – the cats I mean.

First view of the river about two-thirds of the way down. Still looks a long way.

But I am optimistic.

However, we became ‘bluffed out’ and had to sleep like this on an (enlarged) deer pad.

Spot’s compulsory photo bomb.

Then he wants to sleep in my bag.

I climbed down to the river behind this dead black wattle. Looks pretty forbidding, doesn’t it?

But there is a great camp site right here.

And what a front door! View opposite.


And downstream – you can just start to see the beginning of the large flat opposite.

After breakfast Della is all packed up and ready to come take a look too. A pretty narrow sleeping ledge would you say?

Panoramic view at the bottom of the cliff.

The flat downriver will be explored on a future trip.

So many forbidding cliffs. Glad I didn’t have to climb down this one (opposite). 

Just upstream there was a cave.

Which Honey was keen to explore. You could camp here (at low water) and leave the tent at home.

Not yet sick of climbing up and down. I am trying to get a better view upriver.

And this is the view upriver.

As is this.

And this.

It’s quite a nice rapid isn’t it. At my age (and with the level of remoteness) though I think I would be portaging it. It would be difficult to get a helicopter into a narrow gorge like this.

The sides are quite precipitous. I would not have been able to get down this, though there is another fine camp here.

Just a couple more glimpses upstream,

And then we are heading home.  I love the way the light changes. About those knees: And about that ‘seeming to need a new knee’… pain is frequently a ‘great deceiver’ (not that it has quite the good looks of the ultimate artificer). Though you know in your heart of hearts that your pain has no useful purpose (in that nothing you are doing is causing it or can do will alleviate it) nonetheless you keep pandering to it like a pampered child as if if you did not, you would break. Certainly that is how backs and knees are.

Della has a new doctor whom she consulted recently about her own troublesome knee. Like my own orthopedic surgeon (good to find an honest one!) who advised me to wait on further developments in knees as I would not be happy with anything he could do right now, Della’s new doctor (an ex-student actually – like Androcles’ lion good turns are frequently returned) pretty much said the same thing to her.

Hopefully something better than a new knee will be along in a little while. This may be eg a perfection of stem cell treatments (which are currently fraudulent) or maybe something like this artificial cartilage which just stays in place once implanted in a much less invasive operation than a knee replacement. You don’t need a new suspension. You just need new shock absorbers. Worth a trip to Europe or Israel perhaps to find out?

Anyway Della’s doc advised that the only thing which seems to ‘help’ is persisting with squats until you can do 200 in a row. This is pretty ouchy stuff to begin with, but for a start try this: you can do about 150 ‘half’ squats while you clean your teeth at each end of the day. Then sometime during the day (morning is best) just grin and bear it and do 200 full proper squats. You can work your way up (numerically) over a few days. It will not be fun. However your knee will not break, though you may think it will. Surprisingly after a couple of days of this it will start to feel much better, and you might consider a major hiking enterprise – as we did (above). I am now hoping for the Dusky Track again early next year – and perhaps taking Della on the Everest Base Camp Trek in November – or perhaps a return visit to Bartle Frere in August. We shall see. Plans, plans…

New Surface Meniscus Implant

See Also:

23/05/2019: ‘While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it.’ Anon.

23/05/2019: Springheel Jack: What I feel like some mornings:

23/05/2019: ‘Climate’ Costs: ‘If only they had read skeptical blogs, they’d have known that people can tick the believer box free of charge, but when it costs, climate action always ranks at the bottom, and no one wants to pay for it themselves, not even $10 a month. If people don’t even pay for carbon flight offsets or donate to environmental causes, they certainly won’t consciously vote to lose jobs and spend billions. Ultimately, even in 2019, more than half of all Australians don’t buy the UN climate scare. It was only 2017 when 60% of Australians said they were OK with dumping Paris if they could cut their electricity bills.

20/05/2019: A Sea of Green: Lovely to see our share portfolio soar this morning as a result of the Lib election win. Nearly all the losses Julia caused (back in May 2013) have been wiped out. Looking forward to years and years of delightful (franked) dividend cheques. We live again. Choosing Tania (wife of a heroin dealer) or Anthony (lied about his own father to stay in Parl) - as they will - assures at least 6 more years of Liberal Government. I predict Scott will pick up seats in (particularly) Vic & NSW next election taking him to over 90 seats. If so it will take at least two elections to wind that back, so hopefully at least 9 more years of Scott as PM and lovely, lovely peace and prosperity – and 4WDing!

20/05/2019: A By-Election in Warringah –This seems quite likely to me in that a legal test of Steggall’s tactics would almost certainly find against her. Bring it on! Barnaby Joyce was certainly right on election night to point out that the millions of dollars (almost certainly illegally) focused on Warringah just as certainly lost the ALP a lot of seats elsewhere. Nothing was going to undo their arrogance towards Qld though. They should have ensured that the awful Bob Brown never ventured out of Tas. Interestingly, while he was absent the Libs ‘stole’ two seats there!

20/05/2019: How Shorten Blew It – I would probably have them in a slightly different order, but a weepy Bill (completely ignoring his senior engineering dad) at #1 is probably about right:

20/05/2019: Wow! Space Mining Could Ruin Our Solar System If We Don't Establish Protected Places Now, Researchers Warn : ‘On a timescale of less than a millennium we could have super-exploitation of the entire solar system out to its most distant edges. Then, we are done. The study makes a case for designating 85% of our solar system a protected "wilderness" akin to Earth's national parks, leaving just one-eighth of eligible planets, moons and asteroids free to be mined or developed by human interests.’ I admit I do not want to look up at a giant Coca Cola sign in the night (or day) sky, but this is pretty extreme!

20/05/2019: Let’s have a Royal Commission into the global warming fraud which is costing us billions: A tree ring proxy study this week has shown that there has been no warming for over 400 years ( ). Over at Prof Roy Spencer’s Blog (curator of the satellite records) is the evidence that if you subtract the El Nino events there has been no warming since WW2 ( ); 28 million weather balloons have failed to find the tropospheric hot spot which would have to be there if the CO2 theory was correct. It is only there that water vapor is not the main (99+%) greenhouse gas. If CO2 does not warm there, it warms nothing: ( ). Clearly it is not!

19/05/2019: Yippee! Thank Goodness for Qld! And well done Scott! We are not going to be bankrupted by Shorten’s franking tax after all and can get on with enjoying our retirement. Hopefully no-one else in Australia will be silly enough to try to steal retirees’ savings ever again. I think it is likely that Scott will become another Menzies – he will stay around as PM for as long as he wants to. I expect he is already this morning planning how his 1922 election will snap up all those quite marginal Labor seats left – far more than the coalition has. The poisonous Left of the Liberal Party have mostly gone now (with Turnbull) and I have no doubt the Libs will win back Warringah at the next election (just as they now hold Bennelong & Wentworth again). The election has surely definitively proved that Australians will not vote for the global warming fraud. Just to put that to bed once and for all: A tree ring proxy study this week has shown that there has been no warming for over 400 years ( ). Over at Prof Roy Spencer’s Blog is the evidence that if you subtract the El Nino events there has been no warming since WW2 ( ); 28 million weather balloons have failed to find the tropospheric hot spot which would have to be there if the CO2 theory was correct: ( ). Clearly it is not! The whole ‘climate change’ industry is just one gigantic fraud. There should be a Royal Commission!

19/05/2019: Aliens Cause Global Warming:

19/05/2019: The Post Free Speech World:

19/05/2019: Embryo Wire: The Americans call this ‘O.B. Wire’ (for ‘obstetrics’). Vets use it to cut up a stuck calf inside its mother! I have used this stuff to de-horn hundreds of goats over the years (It is not possible to breed poll goats as the poll gene is linked to hermaphroditism).

You can quickly tie a length of it to a couple of sticks. It then makes quick work of horn and bone. If you hanker to be an Ultralight Deer Hunter you might carry a length of it in your pack (as I do). There is no lighter way to retrieve a set of antlers!

I am currently using it to lift some ceramic floor tiles without breaking them (for a bathroom renovation we are ‘working’ on – in between demolishing the 1924 buggy shed, a general farm tidy up, sorting and loading stud sheep for export, a heap more fox-proof fencing, & etc. We am making a walk in shower recess (as against our geriatric ‘progression’) where I will re-use them. This beats re-tiling the whole bathroom, and saves money besides.

PS: This approx 1 metre length weighs only 5 grams! Pretty good for an ultralight saw. It’s still looking pretty good since I have hacked off various antlers with it over the years plus a square foot bathroom tile yesterday!

You can purchase it here: or

I just bought two rolls from the eBay store for US$12.52 each (40′ rolls).

See Also:

18/05/2019: The Left will do anything to win; don’t let them:

18/05/2019: Sad but True: How to Make Turkeys Vote for Christmas:

18/05/2019: Poems for election day:

‘I’ll save the whale,

I’ll save the trees,

My plastic bag will save the seas;

I’ll save the carbon from the air,

And save the cuddly polar bear –

Which, by the way, will save the reef;

(And it will work, I swear!)

But may involve a little grief -

The cupboard, will, be bare;

If I become the climate chief,

Australia, needs, a prayer…’

18/05/2019: You be the judge. If you can live with voting for a rapist as Prime Minister, go right ahead: ‘Bill Shorten knew I was 16, he handed out the spliffs & alcohol and he raped me… Bill Shorten pushed me into a bathroom, and I tried to fight him off’ & &

18/05/2019: We will never run out of resources - as Julian Simon explained in The Ultimate Resource way back in 1981: &

17/05/2019: A new tree ring temperature reconstruction, using proxy temperature measurements from locations in central Asia, has revealed that there has been no warming in the past 432 years. There were quite a few times in the last 432 years that it was significantly warmer than it is today!

17/05/2019: Sure Bob Hawke was a great Prime Minister, and would have made a great Liberal Prime Minister too - as Tony Abbott pointed out (to bizarre criticism), but inflation was at nearly 20% under his leadership and we personally paid over 20% on our home mortgage – as did most Australians. Under him the economy of Tasmania (for example – with his Green timber and water schemes) was completely destroyed – and has not recovered since; it remains an economic basket case – as the whole country would become under Labor now. The Hawke/Keating Government left power leaving a debt of nearly 20% of GDP to be paid off by the incoming Howard Government. This was the largest percentage debt in Australia’s history (worse even than Rudd/Gillard) and much worse than was inherited after fighting the Second World War. Economically they were the worst of times for us. You just could not get ahead – as we were able to do under Howard, but not since! It was during Hawke's Prime Ministership we stopped being members of the Labor Party, and stopped voting for them! Meanwhile, despite all their heart on a sleeve bullshit now, the Labor Party sacked him! Why guys, if he was your great leader? Shorten was one of the union bullies who had had enough of his ‘consensus’ approach and wanted the fate of the country back in the hands of the ‘faceless men’. Shorten is not a Hawke (despite the fact that he seems to think this morning that he is a Whitlam!) He can certainly ruin the economy in the same way. He is a thug, who raped Kathy Sherriff (and may well still go to gaol for it), lied to the Trade Union Royal Commission, was involved in the Australian Workplace Reform Association fraud, sold out his union members with any number of corrupt deals (as the TURC found – Cleanevent, etc), and was involved in standover tactics and even the bashings of prominent union members (such as Bob Kernohan, for example). He is wholly unfit to hold high office.

17/05/2019: If you take out the (natural) El Nino warming, warming per century (satellite record) becomes 1/10th a degree Celsius – less than the error limit, so effectively no warming at all from CO2! A new temperature reconstruction, using proxy temperature measurements from locations in central Asia, has revealed that there has been no warming in the past 432 years.

17/05/2019: Shorten the rapist: ‘Earlier yesterday morning Kathy Sherriff made this statement:

I have received further contact from Victoria Police this morning and I am satisfied they are taking this matter seriously and appropriate action will be taken in relation to the new information I have presented to them.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 9.30.01 amOne of these men made a joke about rape.

He lost his preselection as a result.

The other is credibly accused of rape of a child, by a named witness who has assembled a substantial body of evidence and witnesses and has the support of the former head of the National Crime Authority who is calling for the case to be brought to court.  

He has the complete support of the Labor Party, the union movement, GetUp and much of The Left.

And he might be the next prime minister of Australia’:   

17/05/2019: Franking Credits Survey (Wilson Asset Management): ‘Thank you to the almost 4,000 individuals who completed our second survey about the proposed removal of franking credit refunds. The results were very interesting.

Financial loss
The people who will bear the brunt of the policy are primarily low and middle income earners with 70% of those surveyed indicating that they earn $90,000 or less per annum. Under the proposed policy, each year 13% of respondents will lose up to $5,000, 23% will lose between $5,001 and $10,000 and 19% will lose between $10,001 and $15,000.
Behavioural change
If the retirement tax is introduced, 50% of respondents said they will reduce their investment in Australian shares and invest more in global equities, 29% will invest more in unproductive asset classes, like real estate, and 20% will spend their assets to qualify for the Age Pension.

Electoral impact
The regressive nature of the policy was reflected in the survey, with 77% of Labor supporters planning to change their vote and 47% of all respondents stating their children or grandchildren will also change their vote.

17/05/2019: Thermarest Lite Seat: I recently bought one of these for Della for canoeing (weight saving is still relevant if you might have to portage). Her glutes are a bit underwhelming so she gets a very sore behind after a few hours paddling. She was using Klymit’s Ultralight Pillow (which is an excellent sleeping pillow) but it was not quite up to such shenanigans and came apart. Several attempts to repair it with cuben tape  and Tenacious Tape both failed. – the only time this has ever happened to me. There was a spot on the material which just kept bursting through again and again – quite possibly a manufacturing fault with the material. This seat should prove better for her next summer when we recommence serious canoeing again. (I hope)

Available here: US$24.95 May 2019 Dimensions 13” x16” x 1.5” (33 x 41 x 3.8 cm) 110 grams It is a very comfy self-inflating seat (a cut down version of the Prolite mat) and would provide relief on the trail as well if you do not mind carrying the weight. Of course if you were using it for a (short) pack frame and also utilizing it to extend a ¾ sleeping mat then it would count as no weight at all. It would work well with this budget pack for example – or particularly with the short version of the Crown.

PS: I particularly like the bungee roll up:


See Also:

17/05/2019: Can your family afford $160 per week to squander on Labor’s renewables plan? Economists Fisher and McGibbin both put the cost of Labor’s renewables policy at $472 billion over 10 years (or $47 billion a year). That cost shared amongst 24 million Australians is $2000 per year each or around $40 per week. For the average (2 + 2 nuclear) family, that cost is $160 per week each and every week for the next ten years. I know our family cannot afford it. You have to realize that they also plan to put up taxes by 387 billion over the same time period  (a further $1600 per person oer year) or $32 per week each. For your standard family add that$128 per week to the other $160 per week tol get $288 per week. They will have to be handing you money hand over fist for you to afford that – but you and I both know that it will all just go to their mates!

17/05/2019: Labor’s Death Duties (Inheritance tax of 40%) – of course they say they won’t bring it on (just like Julia’s carbon tax) but they never tire of spending other people’s money – and they will bankrupt us. They claim when they steal from mum and dad self-funded retirees they are taking from ‘the big end of town’. Nonsense. The ‘big end’ can just leave town – or leave the country altogether (and they will). Della and I are here for the long haul, and it will be much harder and tougher without 42% of our income – if you vote for Shorten. We were also sort of hoping to be able to pass on our modest (owner built) home and savings to our kids, but if Labor takes 42% + 40% they won’t be left with much. All this after a life of hard work, scrimping and making do!

17/05/2019: Shorten rape case hotting up: What does it say about your values if you would elect a rapist as Prime Minister. This issue should decide the election, not whether folk believe gays will go to Hell. After all, a conviction was achiveed against Pell on the evidence of a sole witness: &  &  

16/05/2019: A Crowning Achievement: I just saw the Granite Gear, the Crown X60 (ie 60 litre) pack on Massdrop for US$120 which has to be very good value for such a robust award winning hiking pack. As I already have $50 credit from folks whom I have recommended who have joined, it is hard to pass up. Perhaps for my (70th) birthday (in August) of father’s day (in September)? The regular price is US$199.95. I do like the two brown colour options: Highland Peat./ Black and Fatigue/Dried Sage.

Fully kitted out it weighs 1140 grams – or 657 grams stripped. You might make your own simple waist belt as I did for the Gossamer Gear Gorilla which would take this up to less than 690 grams, a very acceptable weight for a pack which will last you many years and many thousands of miles.

‘We kept a lot of what you loved about the Crown2 around in the Crown X60. For mile-after-mile comfort, there’s the removable Vapor Current Mark 2 frame and molded foam back panel with mesh ventilation channels. For additional hydration options, there’s a hydration port and an internal bladder sleeve. And for all-weather reliability, there’s the roll-top main compartment, DWR/Barrier repellent treatment, and DWR-treated zippers. The side and front compression straps keep the pack weight close to your body to minimize shifting and bouncing. Along with a large stretch mesh pocket, there are straps across the front where you can put something like a tent.’

For your $120 you also get the Granite Gear Vapor Airbeam Frame (145 grams) which can be used to extend a ¾ length pad such as a Neoair (230 grams), so effectively no extra weight at all. You get a pack lid (108 grams) which attaches to the hip belt (174 grams, including pockets) to create a day pack.

This is one of the few packs which comes in a torso length option (15-19”configuration suitable for vertically challenged folks such as Della (5’) and I. Unfortunately this length is not offered in the Massdrop model, but 18-21” is which might suit folks around 5’6”.

I personally like a rear pocket but I’m sure we can manage to add one (as Della did here). I will try to post a pattern in the future for folk who would like to do this, or add three pockets to this beaut pack.

It is made from the virtually bullet-proof 210d high-tenacity Robic ripstop nylon and 100d Robic high-tenacity nylon, the same as the Gorilla.


Regular Pack

Long Pack


Massdrop Offer

Granite Gear Site

15/05/2019: Cheap Comfy Hiking Pillow: I was after a couple of cheap light weight pillows for another project (more about that later), so I sourced two of these on eBay for less than A$20 delivered (the pair). These pillows are approximately 18” x 12’ x 4” (45 x 30 x 10 cm) and weigh 100 grams.They have a delightful soft, warm surface, and clearly contain some kind of insulation material. I slept on one last night and found it to be the warmest, most comfortable hiking pillow I have ever tried!

The inflation valve is also more convenient than any I have seen on more expensive brands – it is so easy to adjust the pressure (with the touch of a button). The pillow was robust enough for me to sit on (though this may not be recommended) – Della split a Klymit ultralight pillow recently which she was using as a canoe seat – so that it has been replaced by a Thermarest Ultralight Camp Seat for that purpose.

As is usual with these inflatable things it is obviously made from some sort of heat sealable fabric. I was planning to cut them down for another purpose (which I will), but I am sure you could cut yours down to make it a slightly smaller pillow. I think you could get it to about 2/3 the weight without compromising its comfort or warmth. Even so, many people would be prepared to carry this pillow (which is about double the size and weight of my ‘normal’ ultralight hiking pillow (this one), just because of that.

You should never compromise about a good night’s sleep. After you have had one you will hike further and happier the next day than if you were tossing and turning on the hard ground all nght, for example.

Links: This one from Amazon looks the same:

See Also:

15/05/2019: New evidence today in Shorten rape case. Do you really want a rapist as Prime Minister? & & & &

15/05/2019: 2 Tonnes of Gear off to the International Space Station:

15/05/2019: When politicians don’t do what the public wants: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is polling more than the Tories and Labor combined after only six weeks: Of course the other sleeper in the room for Farage is that he is also a climate sceptic: ‘I believe that if we decide in this country to tax ourselves to the hilt, to put hundreds of thousands of people out of work in manufacturing industries, given that we produce less than 2 per cent of global CO2, that isn’t terribly intelligent.’ Don’t be too surprised if C;live Palmer actually wins on Saturday!

15/05/2019: Labor’s energy plan simply will not work: ‘Labor would head us down a path where costs would increase still further. Our current system is cannibalising the dispatchable generators, and Labor would have us double down on this. It is also discouraging investment in new ultra-supercritical coal-fired plant that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent over the existing black coal fleet and 40 per cent over the brown coal generators in Victoria. There is an enormous risk in all this: what happens in 2030, when many of the renewables generators will have repaid their capital but no investor will have any appetite for investment in thermal? Indeed, many of the early renewables will be ageing by then; what price will be needed to induce investment with no renewable energy target?’

14/05/2019: The Labor Party and free speech:

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14/05/2019: You always wanted a transparent tent – now US$119.99 from   

Bubble Tent - Transparent Bubble Tent Lets You Fall Asleep Under The Stars

Bubble Tent - Transparent Bubble Tent Lets You Fall Asleep Under The Stars

14/05/2019: Extraordinary: Two-thirds of U.S. Millennials Can’t Identify Auschwitz:

13/05/2019: A Home-made Flamethrower: Boys will be boys…Don’t do this at home:

13/05/2019: UN IPCC Scientist Blows Whistle on Lies About Climate, Sea Level:

13/05/2019: How to punish a pedophile sex offender:

12/05/2019: According to the Chairman 9/10 cross-bench senators currently support the retention of the current franking system (Thank Goodness - there is hope for us yet!). It will be very difficult for an incoming Shorten Government to keep its spending promises if none of its taxing proposals is passed. Remember how Labor opposed Tony's 1 cent per litre levy on petrol? If you are considering voting Labor because you think to gain from their spending promises, think again! All you will get is more Labor debt - and more pain for the most vulnerable - what you always get from socialism!

12/05/2019: They say we have outlived our time, Maggie:

12/05/2019: Astonishing: Bird that went extinct 136,000 years ago comes ‘back from the dead’ after evolving again:

12/05/2019: 2012: Believe it or not: Peter Costello: "Over his first four budgets, Mr Swan has averaged deficits of a little over $43 billion per year. He tells us that his next four budgets, if he were to deliver them, would average surpluses of $4 billion per year" Labor has not delivered a surplus since 1989 - they know nothing other than coming after your money!

11/05/2019: Topher explains how the Green bastards have stolen the water from the farmers and tipped it into the sea:

11/05/2019: The main risk factor for species loss is not climate; it is poverty: ‘Humpback whales were down to a few thousand in the 1960s and listed as “endangered”. In 1996 as the population grew, they were downgraded to “vulnerable”. In 2008 as they became numerous, they were downgraded again to “least concern”. Today there are 80,000 of them, they are back to pre-exploitation densities in many parts of the world, and groups of up to 200 are sometimes seen feeding together, a success unimaginable when I was young.’ &

11/05/2019: But Stay Away from Chipmunks: Mongolian Couple Died of Plague After Eating Raw Marmot:

10/05/2019: A Must-Read – Mankind’s Incredible Journey. Well said, Howell:  

10/05/2019: If you sell out the workers… Watch Video:

10/05/2019: Electricity prices are way up! Not enough brown coal – we need another Hazelwood. Come on Scott:

09/05/2019: The Labor party is coming for your fishing. Why not make it illegal for Labor and Greens people to own guns?

09/05/2019: Mark Latham’s maiden speech – folk like him deserve your support and your vote, not lying scum like Shorten:

09/05/2019: Species Extinction? Nuts to that. You can do anything with a computer programme but it doesn’t equate to getting out into the field: &

08/05/2019: 97-Year-Old Veteran Still Hard At Work:

08/05/2019: The very special genius who took 6 eggs and cannabis to assault the PM:

08/05/2019: The Cost of Doing Nothing - Zilch:

07/05/2019: Labor Vision:

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07/05/2019: That Great Barrier Reef which is supposed to have been dying since 1890 (if you believe some) is fit and healthy (if you go for a walk and take a look). PS. Healthy coral is brown in colour:

07/05/2019: Victims of Communism Day. Why May 1 should be a day to honor the victims of the ideology that took more innocent lives than any other. 100 million:

06/05/2019: Stop Losing Your Pillow: Does your pillow creep away from you during the night – or do you sometimes lose it altogether in the dark? I know I do. Here is a method of preventing that for a weight penalty of 1-2 grams. Well worth it. i think it is self-explanatory. I have just tied a piece of 1 mm dyneema to the tabs on either side of their excellent Exped pillow (which I strongly recommend), and included a micro cord lock to cinch it up and secure it. The same method will work with other inflatable pillow such as Klymit’s. They are all made with a heat-sealable material so that a hot iron will create a tab on each side (if there isn’t one) to which you can affix a (very small) grommet – available from Spotlight or haberdashery shops generally. You could do the same sort of thing with the Graham Air for an even more ultralight alternative.

PS: Some people use a spare garment (eg a t-shirt) to do this, placing both the end of their mat and the pillow in it.

See Also: