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Kintail Burn, Dusky Track,Fiordland, NZ 2012 Six Moon Designs ‘Swift’ pack @ 450 grams

 

WARNING to ‘snowflakes’. This is a Conservative Blog. It will cause upset and offence to ‘sensitive souls’. Reading it may cause dangerous thoughts and emotions to arise in you. Read on…

08/11/2017: Four more down: Five altogether (Joyce out until after Dec 2nd) Hawke, Banks, Frydenberg and Alexander. This means Turnbull does not have a majority when the Parliament sits on 27th November. Clearly Shorten will call a quick election straightaway. (Obviously he is not going to agree to a deal which saves Malcolm!) Abbott will be Opposition leader on 28th November. The election will be held just before Xmas, probably 16th December.

08/11/2017: 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 (Nov 2017). http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/adjustable-hammock-ridgeline

Mine was red. Here it is in action in the garden with Spot supervising:

A variety of Ridgeline Gear Organisers exist to stow various overnight items in (eg phone, glasses, drink bottle, head torch, hearing aids). For example: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/hammock-storage-systemsand http://www.hammockgear.com/hammock-gear-ridgeline-organizer/

These little guys are very handy too. Just add a mini carabiner: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/prussik-loops-pair

Some other ideas here: https://hennessyhammock.com/pages/tips-from-users-1#

Instructions for DIY here: http://www.tiergear.com.au/25/diy-hammock-ridgeline-organiser

Some other good ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqlCvHtSDAM  (better if you place the cordlock inside the loop) & here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2-rfD-VA6s

Shown is my Hummingbird Hammock which weighs a mere 147 grams, and which kept me safe in one of the wettest places on the planet the Dusky Track, Fiordland new Zealand. . I would use this set-up with a lightweight tarp such as this Heron Rain Tarp which weighs 8.6 ounces or 245 grams and costs US$144.95 (Nov 2017) or this Standard Hammock Tarp which weighs 7 ounces or 198 grams and costs US$249!.

You could use either tarp as an on-ground shelter and the hammock as a groundsheet if you wanted to – as I explained here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

I have many other posts about hammocking, as a search at the top of the page will reveal.

08/11/2017: Astonishing? ‘By 2001...a chicken reached the weight at which it would be killed in one-third of the time and after eating one-third of the food compared with the 1957 breed...represents...reduction in waste and in the..land devoted to growing feed per chicken’ http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/genetics-bigger-chickens

08/11/2017:  ‘Save the Planet’, the ‘great unwashed’ scream, yet we may have already done so (and by the unlikely means of the Industrial Revolution’). Let me explain: Plants need @ 200ppm of CO2 to survive. If the percentage drops below that (ie .02%) life will pretty much cease – yet the pre-Industrial world tilted perilously close to that. The percentage has varied from upwards of 20,000ppm in the time of the dinosaurs for example, down to just over 200ppm over time, during which warm, tropical periods and ice ages came and went completely uncorrelated to its percentage. However, steadily the percentage of CO2 being liberated by vulcanism and other processes eg from the carboniferous rocks, coal & peat deposits etc where it ‘ultimately’ becomes ‘locked up’, declined until just before the Industrial Revolution its percentage was such that the cessation of life on earth was imminent. The forests shrank and great plains and deserts spread across much of the globe as there was not enough CO2 to build any more forests, and much of life had to retreat to what were really oases to survive. Just in the nick of time (folks of a religious persuasion will see this as predestined) as a result of the Industrial Revolution personkind began to liberate vast quantities of carbon in the form of CO2 and a wonderful profusion of life was the result. The forests spread, the deserts and grasslands retreated and once more a profusion of life saturated the planet: We have added a continent the size of Australia of such greenery in a generation. That is the era we are living in: the Anthropocene. It can only get better! Here you see it: The Greening of Europe: You may remember how the ‘conservationists’ once claimed industrialisation was deforestation, that we were massively clearing land even though Landsat showed exactly the opposite was happening. Here most graphically is the evidence that puts the lie to their alarmism. Capitalism is so good for nature it should be compulsory! Hopefully we can soon be rid of the rest of their greenie nonsense; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/04/watch-how-europe-is-greener-now-than-100-years-ago/#comments

07/11/2017: Dino Paleo Diet: Supposing that the science of ‘Jurassic Park’ becomes a reality (or time travel, ‘The Lost World’, etc – all this is imminent, surely?) we will need to face the important practical and ethical issues of killing and eating dinosaurs. Folk will definitely have to do some hard practice at the Range to ensure their accuracy, as Dino’s vulnerable spots are likely quite hard targets. Your normal .30 calibre hunting rifle (even a .457 magnum really) will just punch pin-prick holes in one of these vast beasties, mostly just drawing its attention to you and making it angry. Though a heart shot might cause it to bleed to death eventually, the fact that its heart is likely larger than a bullock will mean that it will have eaten/trampled you before its demise. A brain shot is best, but its brain is likely about the size of your fist and is way up there, surrounded by bone, so shoot carefully. After you have decked it (just supposing) the vital ethical issues arise: Is it halal or kosher? Can you eat it during Lent, Fridays? Dinosaurs lack the necessary cloven hooves to be amongst the kosher herbivores and even if considered as distant relatives of the birds they lack the extra toe. Similarly aquatic plesiosaurs etc would surely be deemed ‘fish without scales’ & etc. That’s surely a lot of meat going to waste, right there. Leviticus might need to be rewritten (well, anyway!), and you might need to raise the height of your lounge room, as that trophy is going to be really big! Anyway, ‘Happy Hunting!’ http://gawker.com/steven-spielberg-exposed-as-inhumane-dinosaur-hunting-1603549847

07/11/2017: 'The Scam from Snowy River' - this is a very thoughtful piece and goes to show what liars and economic illiterates Greens are: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/10/the-scam-from-snowy-river

07/11/2017: Censorship: Once I was opposed to it when its targets were innocuous publications like ‘Lady Chatterly’ and Tropic of Cancer’…then along came various anarchist/terrorist instruction manuals (beginning with eg ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’), but things just got worse and worse. Now, I agree with this lady’s call to remove this publication – although I fear that such opposition may soon, if it is not already, be illegal:  http://moonbattery.com/?p=89456

 

06/11/2017: Turnbull is just nuts: Now he proposes that everyone should bring a note saying it’s OK for them to be in Parliament. Who wouldn’t pass that test? http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/06/turnbull-announces-citizenship--resolution-.html

 

06/11/2017: A friend I have known for 40 years wrote this yesterday: I reckon I am as Australian as anyone and a Turk and a Moslem as well. Do I need to be an anti islamic racist to be Australian? Is that what it takes? I don't think so.’ This was my reply: It's not about 'race' ‘Mohamed’ . It's about nationality. Our Australian nationality has always been as a descendant of Western civilisation, and especially as a member of the English speaking nations - along with all the huge pluses that involves: democracy, the rule of law, private property, free enterprise, support for the disadvantaged & etc. In contrast the Moslem world is decadent and barbaric. It is worth noting that a single college at Oxford University has produced twice as many Nobel Prize winners as the entire Moslem world, as has Israel. Islam has for nearly fifteen hundred years been at war with the West. Often 'we' (ie the West) have wished it were not so, and made enormous efforts to secure a lasting peace, but always without success. Islam is not a religion alone - with the usual silly beliefs in gods, afterlives, quaint customs, etc. More than anything else it is a political movement (like nazism and communism) whose ultimate goal has ever been world domination, and death to all who oppose it. This war will go on and on until one side or the other is eventually eliminated - or until all its adherents utterly reject the despicable teaching of that evil monster, Mohamed, a man who, if he had committed such crimes in the C20th century anywhere except in the Moslem world, would have been tried as a war criminal by the International Court of Justice and deservedly sentenced to life imprisonment or death. You have clearly chosen which side you are on. It is the wrong side. No nation can long tolerate the presence of Fifth Columnists in its bosom. You have had at least 40 years to chose the right side. As more and more Moslems commit dreadful deeds in the West as they do daily, the public's tolerance will wane. Ultimately it will require that people pledge their support for our society on their life, and wholly recant the obnoxious creed of Islam if they wish to remain amongst us. I would hope that those who will not are offered peaceful repatriation to some Islamic country - there are plenty after all. Islam has enslaved nearly a third of the world! I would not like to see wholesale slaughter as has occurred in the past - nearly always when Islam has prevailed. I might add. the latest opinion polls show 75% of the population are opposed to any further immigration and 50% (already) are opposed to any Moslem immigration! And you are posting anti-Israeli jihadist propaganda. Wake up ‘Mohamed’. You are on the wrong side. Israel is the only pluralist democracy in the Middle east and has long been a friend of Australia. Ditch that awful religion, and your unpatriotic allegiances. A further 25% are undecided. They won't be for long - as the long list of Islamic atrocities continues to grow daily. This, the Fifth Crusade which the Moslems started some time back is the first one in history in which atheists form a large portion of the ‘Christian’ forces, or ‘Crusaders’. What has happened is that both Christians and atheists (and many other folk besides – Jews, homosexuals, etc) face death in any triumph of Moslem hegemony. Politics certainly does make strange ‘bedfellows’!

06/11/2017: It sure was hot in 1932: we have never seen anything like it since. See here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/bird%20deaths%201932.pdf

06/11/2017: If renewables can’t provide cheaper electricity on a small windy island with no cheap competitor, where can it compete? What a rort it always is: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/abc-renewables-fantasy-island-farewells-diesel-except-for-40-of-its-power/

06/11/2017: The Saudis have paid to put English language copies of ‘The Noble Quran’ everywhere – at airports, prayer rooms, public libraries, etc. It is an evil text which preaches violent jihad, death and enslavement to any who are not Moslems. Plenty of excerpts here for those who are unconvinced. We must ban and expel this vile creed from Australia – as soon as possible: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/11/noble-quran-calling-violent-jihad-australia/

05/11/2017: Seems like Malcolm is down yet another member this morning. Now Hawke and Frydenberg, who simply cannot play the anti-semitic card to escape. His mother clearly entered Australia on a Hungarian passport. She was born in Hungary (whatever the Nazis tried to do to her) and he had to repudiate his Hungarian citizenship – which he did not. He is dead meat, someone who before he allied himself to the execrable Turnbull I though might one day make a half-decent PM! Liberals and Labor have been doing secret audits for weeks now - what I find surprising is that not one Labor member has been 'outed'. The thing is this: Parliament will soon be sitting. You must command a majority in the House of Reps. With Barnaby out (and he may lose his by-election), the LNP have a majority of one, counting the Speaker. With Frydenberg out, they must rely on one of the independents. With Hawke out as well, they must rely on both (Bob Katter Wow!). If there is a confidence vote at that point, (a member only has to be sick/absent) then Shorten is PM - even if only for an hour. Clearly he rushes to the GG and calls an election being 8% ahead in the polls. The Libs immediately dump Malcolm. Who will they run with during the election campaign? Most up-and-comings won't want to touch the leadership at that point as it would mean they would (likely) never be PM - although Andrew Hastie might win it for them, (as Hawke did against Fraser in a similar scenario) if he aligns with Bernardi and Hanson. I think they will run with Tony in that scenario. He will scrape a few seats which Turnbull has lost back - enough at least to make Shorten a one-term PM. Meanwhile Michael Smith's private prosecution against Gillard draws ever closer. He is going to succeed with this. The evidence has become overwhelming. The cops will not be able to ignore it. That's why he is publishing the evidence every day. It will also destroy Shorten. The Frydenberg document from the National Archives courtesy of Thomas Osburg: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155161213937711&set=a.10152808825502711.1073741825.523332710&type=3&theater

05/11/2017: Things to come…How high can it go: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/04/surge-of-support-in-qld-for-one-nation--poll.html

05/11/2017: Some chicks are nuts: Oh? Yeah: Andrea Dworkin, ‘Woman Hating’: ‘The incest taboo does the worst work of the culture: it teaches us the mechanisms of repressing and internalizing erotic feeling…The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism…The incest taboo can be destroyed only by destroying the nuclear family as the primary institution of the culture. The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.’ Thinking like this will bring progress?

05/11/2017: Maybe men are on the way out though: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/masculinity-is-toxic/news-story/6e42c8c5a6db42280f78e2f738767fc7

04/11/2017: Ultralight Compact Hiking Pole: We have used GG’s LT4 poles for many years. In just the last year mine have been to Everest and back, and many other places besides, such as the Dusky Track, and Mt Bartle Frère for example. The LT4s are a little long to fit in your pack when you are not using them, though GG packs have attachment points on the outside they can be lashed to. I have a pair of shortened (2’) two section poles which will fit in my pack, but these LT5s will do so right from the store. These would make a great Xmas present for your hiking other if you order them now. https://www.gossamergear.com/products/lt5-three-piece-carbon-trekking-poles-pair  US$195 per pair.

 

The collapsed poles have a short profile

Weight

Pole with strap and basket - 5.3 oz / 150 g

Pole -  4.6 oz / 130 g

Strap and screw - .4 oz / 12 g

Basket - .3 oz / 8 g

Adjust from

23.5" / 60 cm when closed to 51" 130 cm when fully extended for hiking

Section Lengths

Top section 19.5" / 49.53 cm

Middle section 19.25" / 48.98 cm

Tip section 18.75" / 47.62 cm

(Sections are replaceable separately should you break one - unlikely, though I have managed to cut one of my LT4s in half with a machete - don't ask!)

04/11/2017: Undivided Loyalty: Of course there should be an audit and those MPs who are fakes kicked out (and required to pay back moneys illicitly gained). I don’t think ‘dual citizenship should exist at all. (Why should one ‘man’ get two votes yet another only one – or none?) I certainly do not think MPs should be allowed to be dual citizens. Then, If you seek to represent Australia, you should be prepared to give our country your undivided loyalty. I think the same if you are a citizen of Australia. I have no particular objection to (some) citizens of other countries living here as ‘guests’ – but if they don’t behave themselves they should be able to be immediately ejected – as with any unwanted guest! And I think this was a much better country in the 1950s before we imported so many undesirable folk, and squandered most of our wealth in pampering to such ne’er-do-wells! I never thought we should be anything other than a British or European country – and I still think so! You can call me racist – or whatever you like, but you will have to describe the Japanese (and many others) in similar terms, as they do not think Japan should be for anyone other than Japanese either! A nation divided against itself cannot stand! http://pickeringpost.com/story/mark-latham-discusses-an-audit-with-shorten/7737

04/11/2017: We will fight them on the beaches…we will never surrender, by George: ‘the same repulsive strategy seen in Paris and London and Manchester, dignifying as ‘resilience’ what is really an enfeebled passivity no better than the Eloi in H G Wells' The Time Machine, who even as their neighbors are stolen by the Morlocks in the night forget them instantly and gather in the dawn to dance and arrange flowers as if nothing has happened. Free peoples need to recover some righteous anger, or they will lose their futures - and deserve to’. Mark Steyn. Headline: ‘Muslims Fear Backlash from Tomorrow's Terror Attack’

04/11/2017: ‘I, Pencil.’ Essential reading: https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil-audio-pdf-and-html/

03/11/2017: Ultralight Rain Jackets: I am looking around for a new rain jacket of both of us. People’s raincoats often weigh as much as 500 grams. Try weighing yours. So there is nearly a day’s worth of food (weight) to be saved in exploring a change to this item alone.

For many years I hunted deer in winter in the Victorian mountains carrying only a bum-bag or one of those poacher’s vests to keep all my gear down to a minimum. If it was not raining when I started out so that I was wearing my raincoat (which I would tie around my waist - as you do) if it stopped, all I ever carried was one of those 50 gram emergency ponchos (orange is a good colour in case you need to be found!). Often it rained all day. Admittedly I shredded them completely in the rough bush, but they even then they did keep me substantially dry. If you are track walking only, (and are careful with them - and have a bit of emergency repair tape besides) you can keep one going for several days. The best part is they cost only $1-3! You would be even better carrying one of Coghlans Emergency Survival Ponchos (mylar) at 88 grams and approx $10 as they will also keep you warm – even overnight in an emergency.

PS: Waterproofness and Breathability: I doubt very much of a raincoat ever needs to be over 1500mm of waterproofness. What this means ois that the fabric will support a column of water 1500mmm height (That’s 5’ in English!) before it begins to leak. Unless you are planning to use your raincoat as a boat, that will be quite enough. I doubt it can ver rain hard enough to exceed the weight of 5’ of water pressing onto it. Mind you, where there is also other pressure (eg your shoulder straps, that will have to be added to the waterproofness, so maybe, just maybe. Most every raincoat is over 10,000mmm of waterproofness, so I think you can probably ignore any figure over this. They will all keep out the rain!

As to breathability. I admit I was awestruck when Goretex first came along and wasted lots of good money on their rain jackets. I never found they were any better than my old oiled or waxed japaras. Under the right (or wrong) conditions of humidity you would get soaked to the skin in either! I have thought Event was a little better, but I have since been utterly drenched in that too – so I don’t know. A girl reviewing the Arcteyx below claims utterly superior breathability – perhaps I need to try that out!

We have a number of reasonably lightweight raincoats, some of which have done us sterling service in pretty wet places like Fiordland or Southern Tasmania, for example. Sometimes though, you can not like the feel or fit of a particular coat without finding any other fault with it. It is probably much like shoes and handbags (or cats as Lewis Carroll used to say): you just can’t have too many of them. Naturally though, the lighter the fabric the less durable the jacket will be in rough going. If you are going to be doing a lot of bush-bashing over the life of your jacket you should not choose an ultralight raincoat. We would mainly be buying a new ultralight jacket as a weight saving to have in our packs on multi-day hikes when we were not expecting it to rain.

Naturally I would want a raincoat Mens Size (eg Large) which is at least under 200 grams and preferably under 150, and one in Womens Size (eg Small) for Della which is under 150 and preferably under 120. Available colour can be a problem for some people. For example, I have a white raincoat, which is fine except I want it to be green. Probably neither of us wants to own another blue one – and so on. Price can also be an important factor. I have been looking at some possible choices:

Zpacks Vertice Rain Jacket 176 grams (Mens Medium) US$299 http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/wpb_jacket.shtml  The white raincoat I have is one of Joe’s. I accidentally ordered it in the wrong lengths (sleeves and coat) so that it doesn’t quite suit me, though it keeps me quite dry enough (and weighs under 150 grams in Men’s Large). This (white) material is his old material which is clearly lighter than his new one. I personally don’t like the ‘sticky’ feel of it, though there is nothing wrong with it. I dislike running my fingernails over felt too, but I can’t explain why. We both have rain pants in his new fabric and they feel fine and work excellently.  You may want something cheaper though…

Montane Minimus 230 grams (Mens) grams: https://www.montane.co.uk/mens-c1/minimus-jacket-p57  Della has a Montane jacket in Event which she just loves. This one would be a lightweight replacement for it. They used to make a jacket known as the H2O which would have been even lighter (around 150 grams) but it is no longer available. I am seeing this jacket from around A$170 which is pretty good value for a well-made product.

Montbell Versalite Jacket. I really like this one in Green, my favourite colour! We have lots of Montbell products which are lightweight and very functional, so this one has to be a likely candidate for me. It is good value for money from a well-known brand: https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328167&gen_cd=2 189 grams (Mens M)  A$189

Arcteryx Norvan: This Arcteryx jacket has to be worthy of consideration. This lady has given it an impressive review here. https://www.switchbacktravel.com/reviews/arcteryx-norvan-sl-hoody  $299 (215 grams in Mens large - 100grams (XS Womens?) US$299

Lukes Micro 10 Jacket 4.1 oz (Large) US$179: https://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear I really like the sound of this jacket. I just received a pair of Luke’s shorts. They actually weighed less tha his listed weight (25/28 grams). The legs are quite long too, so I will probably hem them up a bit shorter so that they come in at about 22 grams which would be hard to beat for an item of clothing to wear when mixed bathing or doing the laundry on the trail. Luke’s jacket seems to be the lightest and relatively the cheapest. I am tempted to order one and see how it goes. A sub 120 gram jacket in my size (Men’s Large) is pretty awesome.

Two others I should mention:

DriDucks: These are both ultralight and ultra-cheap (as well as being probably the most breathable available. if you are very careful with them, they will keep you quite dry. They also feel beautiful. The jacket alone is (from memory under 150 grams. The jacket plus pants costs around US$25! https://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/DriDucks.shtm

DIY Tyvek: As usual, you can make your own out of Tyvek. We are talking 150 grams and around US$10 here: Here is the link to do so: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultra-cheap-ultralight-rain-gear/

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

PS: Looking at the pics above I am reminded of Henry Ford's comment: You can have any colour you like as long as it's black!'

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-in-the-rain/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rain-skirt/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-avoid-being-wet-cold-while-camping/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-light-a-fire-in-the-wet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vapor-barrier/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shorts-28-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

03/11/2017: The Family Reunion Programme: 23 reasons why we should scrap it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5040235/Trump-reveals-NY-terror-suspect-brought-23-people.html

03/11/2017: Ayer’s Rock: This will go down well. Be interesting to see how well they get on without the tourists. Oh well, there are always even more Govt handouts and more victimhood and identity to claim: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/01/tourists-to-be-banned-from-climbing-uluru.html

03/11/2017: ‘Attempting to transform children into transsexuals is an appalling form of child abuse and should be regarded as such by the law’; Dr. Cretella is President of the American College of Pediatricians: http://moonbattery.com/?p=89209

03/11/2017: World’s most employable human parrot: Colourful, but unaffordable: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3859680/Human-parrot-57-admits-spends-pension-money-tattoos-surgery-look-like-favourite-bird-having-EARS-chopped-off.html

02/11/2017: Why tax fraud is a moral imperative: Sometimes you have to ask yourself what is the alternative, before you realise what the morally correct decision is. At present the great bulk of our wealth as a nation is being stolen from us by people being able to vote to do so, and is then transferred over eg to what ‘Pygmalion’ calls ‘the deserving poor’ who squander it outrageously on ‘bad’ things - so occasioning the need for even further ‘welfare’ spending, whilst the ‘undeserving poor’ (ie those condemned to work for a meagre living) ‘deserve’ and are ‘given’ nothing. . Of course it would be much better for the ‘deserving poor’ (and everyone else) if such folk were gainfully employed in physical labour – but that is not to be! Such a requirement would be ‘unjust’ and ‘unfair’. Therefore, it is everyone else’s duty to ‘steal’ back from the Government every cent of the illicitly gained taxes one can in order eg to pass them on to one’s children whose money it was, or ought to be. Mind you I have never understood why anyone pays any tax. Misplaced altruism perhaps? The rich long since worked out how not to. It only requires a little work and study to cheat the tax man out of every last cent! It is also a much more interesting game than any of the silly computer games the young seem obsessed with! An aside: Robin Hood did not 'Steal from the rich and give to the poor'. He stole the people's money back from the government and returned it to them!

02/11/2017: Despatches from The Fifth Column: ‘French police and intelligence services are surveilling around 15,000 jihadists living on French soil, Le Journal du Dimanche reported on October 9. Of these, some 4,000 are at "the top of the spectrum" and most likely to carry out an attack. Of the 1,900 French jihadists fighting with the Islamic State, as many as one-fifth have received as much as €500,000 ($580,000) in social welfare payments from the French state’, Figaro October 26, 2017 Meanwhile in Kabul a 13 year old suicide bomber: http://www.1tvnews.af/en/news/afghanistan/31895 and in New York: http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-city-officers-responding-reports-shots-fired-lower/story?id=50842052

02/11/2017: Blurring ‘Reality’: All these images have been generated by AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxxPcy5Gr4

01/11/2017: Confucian Academia: I have long railed against the ridiculous waste of providing everyone with a (pretend) university education, when most (not to mention society) would be much better served with a technical education. Nothing underlines this more than the fact that these academics are churning out vast tracts of garbage which no-one at all reads! ‘82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once - Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read.’ meaning that less than 3% have ever been read by anyone. Presumably even the person assessing them for a 'Higher' Degree! Compare that to my blog for example (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/) where often 1,000+ people have read a post within an hour of my posting it! Is it any wonder I gave up academia over 40 years ago! Yes, there are lots of savings governments could make. Slashing the so-called ‘education’ budget (which is just disguised welfare/unemployment ‘benefits’) is a case in point. Young folk would be ‘improved’ much more by being required to be outdoors doing some meaningful physical work – creating hiking paths or eradicating weeds on public lands, for example. http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-professors-are-writing-crap-nobody-reads 

 

01/11/2017: The environmental costs of electric cars: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/britain-can-have-electric-cars-or-turn-scotland-into-a-wind-farm-which-will-it-be-then/ See also: Who would have thought someone as ‘mainstream’ as Alan Kohler would advocate banning the internal combustion engine in Australia? Lunacy: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/alan-kohler-dreams-of-banning-combustion-engines-in-cars-in-australia/ This green lunacy has to stop before all the gains of the industrial revolution are discarded.

01/11/2017: Great quotes: T.B. Macaulay (1800-59): ‘We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason ... On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us.’

31/10/2017: First Confirmed Interstellar Visitor: https://newatlas.com/object-beyond-solar-system/51936/

31/10/2017: I know it is slow going, but you need to know why the AGW ‘theory’ is fallacious – and hence everything which is done in its name is unnecessary, or worse. For example, Kininmonth challenges the term “heat trapping gases” because: “There is sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere such that across the CO2 wavebands all the IR emission from the surface is completely absorbed within the first few tens of metres of the boundary layer; the CO2 cannot ‘trap’ any more of the surface IR emission.” Please, read on:  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/29/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-289/

31/10/2017: An Interesting observation. It certainly happened in teaching; now it is the Boy Scouts’ turn: As Martin van Creveld, the Israeli military historian noted, ‘the more women enter any professional field, the more men leave it. And as the men depart, so to do the prestige and the economic rewards provided by the field. This creates a vicious cycle that both expels existing men from the field while repelling new men from entering it.’ The upsides and downsides of feminism: http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/the-boy-scouts-converged.html Mind you, with around 25% of working age men actually unemployed now (and for the last c.20 years - and more and more women working hard to support them) , you have to ask yourself where the costs of feminism have fallen, and who if anyone benefits.

31/10/2017: Why are people poor? I think there are a lot of people who would benefit from this advice (if they were willing to take it!). Every day I see folks around me making the most spectacularly bad financial decisions (only later to lament them as a form of victimhood - eg ‘Why/Poor me?’). The decision to not be poor can be as simple as deciding to grow/cook your own food (instead of take-aways/restaurants) or realising you don’t need a new shirt/pair of shoes; you don’t need to buy a new car, when yours has only done (eg) 150K, ie it is newer than any car I have bought in the last 30 years! You don’t need that large house; you don’t need someone else to build it; you don’t need that expensive overseas holiday when you have not even seen 1% of Victoria’s Alps or rivers. And etc, etc: http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2014/09/29/how-not-to-be-poor/?repeat=w3tc

30/10/2017: 100th Anniversary of Beersheba Today: If you have not read Ion Idriess’ ‘The Desert Column’ (you should. You can download it for free: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ion-idriess-the-desert-column/) read this article. Did you know for example that it was the Australians (and not the British) who took the Turkish surrender in WW1? http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/10/100th-anniversary-of-the-great-cavalry-charge-australias-4th-light-horse-brigade-in-the-taking-of-be.html An interesting review here: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2011/09/ion-idriess-and-the-desert-column/

30/10/2017: The Ultralight Deer Hunter: You will definitely see more deer if you spend longer deep in the bush where they live, and especially if you can spend the night out with them. I prefer to 'get away from it all' and camp out far from anyone else rather than hunting the fringes of private land where I admit there are lots of deer.

Here are some suggestions for an ultralight deer hunter’s ‘Gear List’. In any case it is worthwhile reducing your overall hunting pack weight as it will mean you can walk further (and more quietly). The further you walk, and the harder you look, listen and smell, the more deer you will encounter. See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

Pack: First of all, as I suggested here (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-hunting-daypack/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-daypack/), you need to reduce your pack weight. The ‘MLD Burn’ is an excellent choice for a rugged hunting overnight or day pack at 370 grams. You might also consider Zpacks’ 38 litre Nero at 309 grams: http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/nero.shtml though the fabric is a little lighter. It may nonetheless be just as strong - or even stronger. It is adjustable.

 

What would I put in it for an overnight stop?

Tent: Of course I would have my ‘Pocket Poncho Tent’ (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/) at 185 grams – and you may be lucky to have one too if I can manage to organize manufacturing them in Asia somewhere (soon?) Otherwise you should look around for something around 250 grams such as Gossamer Gear’s Twinn Tarp: https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/tents/products/twinn-tarp NB: As an alternative, I have also recommended a hammock/tarp/pad combo here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

If you prefer a tent, you could either make your own as I do, perhaps starting with this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poly-tent-by-the-ultralight-hiker-on-the-cheap/ for approx $10 (try a search for 'Tent' above) eg the Forester Tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-tyvek-forestertent-design/), or there are quite a few 500 gram (ish) tents now available, such as this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/500-gram-tents/, or Six Moon Designs eg  https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/tarps/products/gatewood-capen at 340 grams, or Mountain Laurel Designs eg:

https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/trailstar/ from 340 grams, or Zpacks eg http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/solplex.shtml 439 grams (this one includes floor/bug net), etc.

Pegs/Guys: Of course you will need some pegs (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tent-stakes-and-tricks/ )and guys (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-perfect-guy-line-for-a-hiking-tenttarp/), say about 70-80 grams worth..

Groundsheet: I might use a space blanket as a ground sheet if I thought I needed one; I usually carry one anyway for safety/first aid (50 grams) – but I will soon have my Bathtub Groundsheet Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/) when I get around to making it - at approx 85 grams (I estimate). A little comfort never went astray! There are lots of ultralight options including polycryo: https://www.gossamergear.com/products/polycryo-tent-footprint-ground-cloths which would work out at 23 grams. If you yearn for something a little tougher, I guess you could opt for a piece of sinylon, eg http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/xenon-sil-11 which will still likely be under 50 grams depending on size (eg 2' X 7'). You can drape the edges over some fallen timber to create a bathtub floor effect if it is raining heavily and you anticipate flooding.

Mat: You could use a 4’ Thermarest Neoair X-Lite (ie Small https://www.thermarest.com/mattresses/neoair-xlite-2 ) as a mat, and put your feet on your pack for a bit of insulation – 230 grams. For more comfort I usually opt for the ‘Womens’ size at 340 grams and 5'6" http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/.

If/when it becomes available I would try the Big Agnes AXL Air: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/big-agnes-axl-air-pad/ (300 grams for the 6’ long by 3” thick model which I would shorten by about 6” – 270 grams - as I am somewhat vertically challenged! Anyway I usually sleep on my side curled up a bit so I can fit comfortably on a 5' mat).

Sleeping Bag: My favourite sleeping bag is the Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 now at 624 grams http://www.theultralighthiker.com/montbell/ though my own older model is lighter (<600). I would also carry some other Montbell clothes (See ‘Clothes’ below) for warmth such as the ‘Superior Down’ coat (200 grams) and vest (150 grams). If it is a particularly cold night I put the coat on my upper body and the vest on my lower. This reduces the temperature of the down bag from -1c to approx -10C.

Zpacks makes an even lighter model (which Della has). Her 5'9" bag warm to -7C weighs 499 grams inc compression sack: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-zpacks-sleeping-bag/

Pillow: You should try this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/exped-ultralight-pillow/ at 45 grams or this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/diy-super-ultralight-pillow/ . Say 10 grams.

Of course Bonnie Prince Charlie (somewhat effeminately) used just a stone as a pillow when he was camping out in the snow in a Scottish winter in just his kilt and cloak. Those Scots are/were tough!

Dry Socks & Shoes: If you suffer from cold feet, you might consider a pair of Goosefeet Gear down sox  https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-socks/ – 50 grams (and of course I carry my home-made Dyneema slippers for a dry change of shoes: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/19-gram-dyneema-camp-shoes/ - 24 grams.

Another option is a pair of Sealskin Socks https://www.sealskinz.com/walking-thin-ankle-socks-dark-grey-black.htm (mine weigh approx 80 grams but they may not be the lightest model) which enable you to wear wet shoes - or just carry dry socks and maybe some Crocs.

Cookset: I outlined my minimum cookset here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-windscreen/ 60 grams. A slightly larger model here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cookset-woes/ Of course you will need a 9 gram (12 long) spoon to go with that: http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/kitchen/alpha-light/ and maybe some Esbits - or you could be carrying your egg-ring stove (as I do) and just burn some twigs: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/

Rainwear: Try to keep the weight of this down. If you weigh your raincoat don’t be surprised if it is over 500 grams. Choice here is a bit more difficult for hunting where significant abrasion might be a factor. (Much moreso if you are a hound hunter rather than a stalker). Raincoats range down to around 150 grams or less, (Luke's Ultralight/Zpacks) - again see Montbell’s range.

If you are careful with a lightweight coat it will serve you well. If you are trying to be very quiet it is unlikely you will tear your raincoat; besides it isn't always raining.

Soon (I hope) you will be able to take advantage of my Pocket Poncho tent which will keep you dry both during the day and at night (with a minimum weight of about 185 grams.

Raincoat: Lightest and best value for money are probably Montbell’s offerings, eg the Versalite https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328276&gen_cd=1 at 189 grams.

The cheapest fully breathable waterproof jacket (not very durable – but very light) is the DriDucks by Frogg Toggs. I personally like an ‘Event’ Raincoat; I have two which have kept me very dry in trying conditions. I also like Zpack’s new raincoat.

Hat: If you really want to have a warm head of a night, I have one of Ray Jardine’s ‘Bomber’ hats my wife Della made for me years ago at 30 grams. I doubt she will make one for you. A number of people offer down balaclavas, eg: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/goosehood.shtml at 37 grams or https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-balaclava/.

I also use a ‘Buff’ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/are-you-beautiful-in-the-buff/ to keep my neck and particularly my nose warm (37.5 grams) This is the very acme of luxury! During the day I have my Icebreaker wool cap (now alas, deleted): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-deer-hunters-cap-best-ultralight-cap/ fortunately I have a number of them!

Gloves: If it is really freezing, I have the MLD Rain Mittens http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-mitts-and-gaiters/ 42 grams. (I also have their ultralight gaiters – I find they work wonderfully to keep rubbish out of your shoes). The mittens work really well on very cold wet days when otherwise your hands would freeze – of course they do interfere just a bit with your trigger finger!

Under the mitts I can wear a pair of ultralight polypropylene or wool gloves, such as Icebreaker’s Oasis Glove Liners http://au.icebreaker.com/en/accessories/oasis-glove-liners/IBM207.html?dwvar_IBM207_color=001 at 24 grams.

Dry Clothes: Dry clothes (and a raincoat) are options if it is likely to rain. (Otherwise you might just carry a disposable poncho and risk having to dry your clothes out with your body heat). Keep these as light as possible. Again Montbell are hard to beat with their windpants 53/75 grams and windshirts 55 grams https://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=25048&gen_cd=1, or you could just take some Icebreaker of Kathmandu wool thermals as your dry change – and for extra night insulation.

Clothes: Start from the skin out. Weigh your clothes. Most of those proprietary ‘hunting’ clothes and shoes are heavy as lead, particularly when wet. I always wear wool socks. The lightweight Holeproof Heroes (now rebadged as Bonds) in summer, and Explorers in winter have been long-term stand-bys for me, durable and cheap.

Wigwam are, arguably better but much more expensive. I have not tried them yet, but these folk guarantee their (hunting) socks for lifehttps://darntough.com Unbelievable! http://www.theultralighthiker.com/warranties-on-outdoor-gear/

Then I would wear lightweight trousers such as the Columbia Silver Ridge. (I have yet to find anything as light and as durable for their weight). To counter the smelliness which can develop in nylon clothing I recommend wearing Icebreaker wool knickers such as these underneath: http://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-layering-underwear/anatomica-briefs/103031.html?dwvar_103031_color=401

Since you will normally be hunting in the winter months wear a long sleeve wool shirt such as the Tomar from Kathmandu or the Departure 2 from Icebreaker. They are tough enough to withstand a bit of bush-bashing. In the summer months I wear a knitted wool top such as this: http://www.kathmandu.com.au/mens/clothing/tops/ometo-men-s-polo-shirt-v2.html but they are not so durable.

Anyway always wool if you don't want to stink - and remember if you stink the deer will smell you too! . For layering, I also recommend wool: an Icebreaker/Kathmandu tee, long top and/or longjohns. I also wear an Icebreaker wool cap: which unfortunately for you are no longer available.

NB: These folk now have wool camo hunting clothes: https://www.firstlite.com/products.html just as Icebreaker used to have: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camo-merino-wool-for-deer-hunting/

For insulated layers in really cold weather and of a night, I choose Montbell again. Their Thermawrap series are one of the lightest synthetic insulated garments. You might chose a vest in this material for an extra layer if needed in the daytime (when it might get wet) and a Montbell down coat of a night. I own their Superior Down coat (and vest, as well as the Thermawrap vest). I see they now have a 1000 fill power down (Plasma) jacket – but it is much more expensive.

Larry Adler is the Australian supplier: https://www.montbelloutdoor.com.au/  There are some items which they do not stock, but they might get them in...Ask them. If it is still unavailable it is possible to order it from the US (using shipito) but you also need a virtual credit card (also from shipito). Messy, but possible.

Shoes: I suggest some ultralight shoes such as the Topos I reviewed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/topo-terraventure-shoes/  or some Keens: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/keen-shoes/ If you have wide feet like me. There are other lightweight options such as Inov-8s if you have narrower feet.

Guns and Knives: I have posted about the lightest effective knife I have found (at 16 grams ea) here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/

Another heavier choice which might interest you (if you don't fancy sharpening your knife) is here:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/never-have-to-sharpen-your-knife-again/

If you do like to sharpen it, you might still want an ultralight sharpener: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-knife-sharpener/

You probably know I use a lever action .308 in take-down (so I can put it in my canoe bag or pack): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/308s/. You probably also know that the short action round makes for a lighter gun than the long action. I realise a lever action (and a take-down) both outweigh a standard bolt action, but I have my reasons.

Also, sambar are not really 'big game' animal. A .308 is quite adequate to stop them. If you want something 'bigger' try the WSM. Obviously iron sights (which I chose for ethical reasons) are much lighter too than telescopic sights.

There are people who specialise in 'sporterising' rifles to make them lighter (as everyone, including me), used to do with their old .303s! You could probably get your deer rifle down to perhaps 2.5kg, so still it is clearly the single heaviest thing you are carrying.

Electronics:

Torch: I use a AAA torch. I confess I am outrageous and often carry two of them (one for use as a lantern and one as a headlamp), but they only weigh at most 14-16 grams each (inc some string a micro cord lock and a couple of O-rings to turn them into a head torch): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lighter-brighter-better/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/11-gram-rechargeable-head-torch/ Clearly you also need a few spare batteries at 10 grams each.

Phone: I take my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini phone with me (at 120 grams inc battery) as (in Flight Mode) I can get nearly a week's use out of it just every now and then using the mapping App, or reading a book, listening to music, etc. It also makes a good back-up camera.

Camera: The camera I am using at the moment is this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-camera/ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camera-glassing/ at 160 grams inc battery/card (and it has taken some good shots - I'm sure you'll agree!), but I know there are now models with better optics (eg 30-40 X zoom) and programming which are not a lot heavier, and which will secure some better long-distance/poor light etc shots. The Sony XXX is a case in point.

PLB: I think you should carry some safety equipment (apart from your First Aid kit). If you are on a budget the Spot Messenger http://www.theultralighthiker.com/get-lost-get-found-plbepirb/ at 114 grams is the way to go. If you are a bit better heeled then you might go for an Inreach http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-poor-mans-satellite-phone/ at 191 grams or even an Iridium Extreme Sat Phone at 247 grams: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-not-so-poor-mans-sat-phone/

Saw: You will need something perhaps to get those antlers off (or you may choose to carry out the whole head and cape out if you are very strong). You can make an ultralight bow saw (eg using a 15" bone saw blade) as discussed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-saws/ The lightest thing I know for this purpose is a length of embryo wire (available from veterinarians).

First Aid: You certainly should carry a small kit. It is a matter of personal taste what you carry really. I carried an elastic bandage and a sling (for example) for over twenty years and never needed them - but when I did (della dislocated her shoulder) I needed them in the worst way! I carry a number of drugs: Panadeine Forte, some anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea, Imodium, antihistamine, band-aids, bandages, blister pads... I would allow at least 100 grams for this vital component.  

Essentials Tally (Gun and Ammo + worn clothing plus):

Pack:370 grams

Tent: 340 grams

Pegs/Guys: 80 grams

Groundsheet: 50 grams

Mat: 340 grams

Pillow: 45 grams

Sealskin Socks: 80 grams

Cookset: 69 grams

Dry top/bottom: 108 grams

Insulated vest & coat: 156 + 208

Knife: 32 grams

Saw: 20 grams

Phone: 120 grams

PLB: 114 grams

Torch and batteries: 56 grams

First Aid, say 100 grams

Cumulative Total:2218 grams

Add Food: approx 500 grams/ day.

I'm sure you can see that my total is probably less than the weight of your day pack (empty).

PS: I have usually gone for a higher number here than I actually carry (eg so that it is something you can currently buy), so that for example my tent weighs 185 grams, my current pack 230 grams...so, I could probably shave 300+ grams off this total, say to a max of 1.9kg!

Spot and I stop for lunch by the river. That small pack has everything I need for over a week's hunting - including Spot's bed and rations, and he is a bigger eater than I am! And you can see I had brought my machete along in case I needed to do some clearing, and my hiking poles in case my knees or back gave trouble - which fortunately they did not.

If you would like to get an encyclopedic idea of my multi-day hiking list, you might find this interesting: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-stalking-101/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lure-of-the-moose/

29/10/2017: The Fast Hiker: I know I certainly don't look it (and I confess I am not), but the site had been dreadfully slow. Didn't bother me - I am in no hurry to meet my maker. But I know many of you have better things to do than waiting for pages to load...so i am working on speeding things up.

As I work on it some speed problems are intermitently getting worse, but I/we are tackling the issue, and it will get enormously better!

So far the Home Page has shrunk from over 16 megabytes to 1.3 (mainly by removing photos. I compressed all 14,500 photographs (by 69%!) with Short Pixel Optimiser. This saves people a lot of data! I updated PHP to version 7.1 which sped things up by about 50%. I have updated teh Cron job -whatever that is! I also installed WP Super Cache which stores pages which have already been accessed and so speeds up loading them.

The speed to load a page should already have come down from something like 10 seconds (Sorry!) to something like 2 seconds. I hope I can get it under 1 second without any loss of functionality/quality, etc. Of course I am no computer expert. i am a retired farmer (who still has a lot of thistles to spray and other odd jobs) and who would like to be off hiking/canoeing, etc.

These were the easy fixes. Getting down from around 2 seconds to under 1 second will involve a whole lot of quite cunning computer programming wrinkles where I will no doubt need some professional help, but I will keep hammering away at it over the next few weeks until i achieve that goal. The list is incredibly long and complicated! Thanks for being patient!

28/10/2017: The Lure of the Moose:

Oh, the enchantments of Fiordland: Again and again I have returned to this lush green Eden searching for one of these surviving giants of the Pleistocene, which though deported from their ancient homeland in the vast Boreal forests of the North, yet linger there today. For me it is a tale which began when I picked up a copy of Australian Deer back in the 1990s on whose cover this wonderful grainy image gazed out at me:

Instantly I wanted to put myself in that picture. My daughter Merrin even Photoshopped me into it as a birthday present! The article which accompanied it introduced me to this man, Eddie Herrick whose quest for this gentle giant in the vastness of Fiordland with his guide Jim Muir consumed so much of his life. Every year for thirty years he spent three months there, searching for them: ten whole years of their lives! Even more of Muir's. On three occasions he was rewarded with such an experience as the photo above shows: two bulls and a three-legged cow!

The one above was the bull moose he took in 1934 in what is now eponymously Herrick Creek in Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound. I guess it is about the top of the small lake in the lower section of the creek. You can see he was about the age (50-ish) I was when I began my search, so I had no feeling that what I was to undertake was impossible. Though I have found that it is very nearly so, and anyway supremely difficult, every year a powerful magnetism draws me thither.

Jim Macintosh's cow moose 1950s:

Shortly after I read the article I acquired Ken Tustin’s wonderful book and video ‘A Wild Moose Chase’, Max Curtis’ ‘Beyond the River’s Bend’ and Ray Tinsley’s ‘Call of the Moose,’ each being about NZ’s famous or fantastic moose herd - and all of which I devoured eagerly. I was hooked.

At the same time I read several other books about moose in general. I was soon becoming an armchair expert on these giant creatures. Of course I wanted to journey to New Zealand to have a look myself. I never imagined I would have enough money to see them in Canada where you have to push them off the back porch - anyway I prefer a challenge!

My fiftieth birthday came and went. My wife, Della purchased me the first brand new deer caliber rifle I had ever owned, a Browning Lever Action (BLR) in .308 calibre. What a wife! She also encouraged me to make the trip as soon as I could before I was too old to do so. Hang the expense! I planned to go in the New Year 2000; it ended up getting pushed out to nearly the end of February. Still an excellent time to be in Fiordland. Two sambar hunting mates, Brett and Michael got wind that I was going (originally by myself) and decided they needed to chaperone me!

Lots of planning, particularly of gear ensued. You would think we were C18th century explorers heading off for darkest Africa! All the same I was only going away from home for eight days. I really don't know how Della was able to manage to look after the farm/s as well as go to work then - we had hundreds of acres and well over a thousand sheep scattered over half a dozen different properties - but she did. I think we planned on having five days 'moose hunting' at Supper Cove.

Cow moose snapped by Max Curtis, Herrick Creek, Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound 1950s

We landed in Christchurch then drove down to Te Anau. Michael at least had never been to NZ before and Brett had not seen Fiordland. This was a sentimental journey for me as Della and I had lived in Christchurch in 1975 and had toured all over the South Island together on a 250cc Honda motorcycle. I had never been anywhere without her before, so I confess I was missing her as we traveled down the island. Everything i saw I wanted her to see too. She would have to wait another thirteen years for her turn! She is a patient person.

We had organised to fly in with the 'Wings on Water' float plane to Supper Cove and so begin our search from there. This was the first time Michael or I had ever been in a small plane. As I have a problem with heights (even to changing lightbulbs!) I felt that I would have to close my eyes, grit my teeth and endure, but as it turned out I loved it, and would pay to do it again and again!

The high flight over Lakes Te Anau and then Manapouroi, glimpses into icy sunless valleys to the north, a panorama of Doubtful Sound, then the plunge through Centre Pass and a slow descent down the mighty Seaforth valley over towering Tripod Hill and the perched Lochs (Gair & Maree), past the southern home of the moose (the Henry Burn) and on to the glittering expanse of the vast Dusky fiord is a journey worth a million dollars (but only costs NZ$330 - 2017!)

Percy Lyes NZ bull moose 1950s

We had all been hunting sambar deer in (what we thought of as) rough country in Gippsland for years, so reckoned we could tour the Fiordland forests in much the same way. For example, It is just a handful of kilometres ('as the bird flies') from Supper Cove over the range to the mouth of Herrick Creek. We foresaw that as a day hunt. In fact it is an arduous trip of at least four days return which I am yet to complete. Being just shy of 70 now, I am doubtful I ever will, but next autumn I know I will feel differently once more!

Supper Cove is at the head of Dusky Sound, the largest fiord in NZ. It was discovered and named by the same Captain Cook as the East Coast of Australia. The first European structures in NZ were built there - even the first house, surprisingly by the shipwrecked crew of another ship also (like Cook's) called the 'Endeavour'.

The Supper Cove hut is adjacent to a lovely little beach where the Hilda Burn flows into the top of the fiord just South of Supper Cove itself - which is formed by the mighty Seaforth River flowing into the head of the fiord, creating a shallow semicircular cove perfect for flatfish. You can walk across this cove at low tide from the northern end of this little beach just past the helipad, but there is a deep gut formed by the Hilda Burn flowing in, so if you want a drier crossing you are better to walk up the track past the Hilda Burn before you cross.

Brett walking across Supper Cove on a low-ish tide:

If you wish to look for moose (or red deer eg during the Roar) along the Seaforth the three huts (Supper Cove, Loch Maree and Kintail) are good bases from which you can make daily forays up the many 'Burns' and onto the slips searching for these elusive monsters which (especially in the warmest days of summer) I believe often lie cooling themselves in the deeper pools. At other times they are likely to be too widely dispersed for you to ever encounter one, but they do particularly like the fuchsia regrowth on slips. If you are there at the end of February as we were on this occasion, you might even hear a bull moose call (as we did on the last day of February 2000), or perhaps even a cow answer him.

Initially at least Michael decided he would make the Henry Burn his own, whilst Brett and I focused our attentions on the Hilda and 'Waterfall' Burns. We arrived around lunchtime and reckoned impetuously we had enough time to check out the Hilda Burn quite thoroughly that afternoon. Of course we had not gone more than 300 metres before we realised that our times/distances would be very different than we had imagined.

If you try to follow the Hilda Burn upwards you realise quite soon that your way is blocked by a vast angry cataract that it is impossible to pass or climb. You have to go up one side or the other. The first afternoon we ascended on the true right bank (looking downstream - that is the convention). About 200 yards above the existing hut there is the ruins of an earlier hut. The first thing I knew about it was that I had tripped over a barbed wire 'fence' hiding in the undergrowth badly tearing my shin- something which you most certainly are not expecting in the enormous wilderness of Fiordland. No-one I have encountered seems to know anything at all about this ruin, but there is some wire, netting and sheets of iron there which might come in handy sometime if you know they exist.

The cataract in the Hilda Burn

Here are the remains of the old hut.

Even only traveling this far up the ridge you need to be alert to keeping the position in mind of the roar of the water falling in the Burn, as when you turn to descend you will swiftly realise that the country fissures and falls away in all directions with very steep, narrow guts which it is well-nigh impossible to traverse laterally, something which the deliberate focusing on ascent is likely to lead you to ignore. It is incredibly easy to become 'bluffed out' in Fiordland - meaning that you may relatively easily ascend but when descending not be able to find or see a way down at all. You have to pay incredibly close attention to the route you took on the way up.

We climbed above the second hut, hauling ourselves over rocks and tree roots through vastly wet, dense terrain until the roar of the water diminished so we judged we could safely descend into the upper Hilda Burn. As we angled down into it at one point we had to climb a monstrous fallen log about the height of my nose (say about 5'), so that I could not actually see the top of it. When I had clambered my way up onto it, I was astonished to find right on top of it fresh moose droppings! Boy, they are big beasts! It was completely obvious what they were, as everywhere in the forest there were red deer droppings - pretty much indistinguishable from sambar droppings (being similarly sized deer ie approximately jelly bean sized).

The enormous moose droppings centre and normal sized red deer droppings right and below them (above the leaf).

These moose droppings were nearly as large as my thumb in comparison. Brett picked up some red deer droppings and handed them to me so that I could photograph the two so they could be compared. Back then practically no-one believed that moose had survived in Fiordland into the C21st. Most believed they had died out soon after Percy Lyes had shot his bull moose back in the early 1950's. But here we were only an hour or so into the Fiordland forest and we had in our hands (so to speak) proof that a moose had passed this way within the last day or two (the incessant rain makes smart work of any 'sign' in Fiordland).

Above is a photo of those fewmets. My apologies for the quality of the photos in this post. In 2000 I had the latest 'Advantix' film camera, but technology sure marches on. I thought the snaps I took back then were just brilliant, but I am embarrassed by their poor quality now, as I am also becoming embarrassed by the present quality of my digital camera compared with the results from Della's Samsung Galaxy 7's. Mind you the forests are so dark, it is very difficult indeed to get good photos. Maybe if you are an expert (and can afford to lug along a few kilos of photography kit), as I am neither...

We beat our way down towards the river following the tracks I guess of a large red deer. He arrived at the river just above a wide clearing on the true right bank caused by one of the innumerable slips which beset that country and which create most of the new feeding opportunities for the moose herd. Unusually (most are covered with fuchsia regrowth) this slip had been kept quite grassy by the innumerable red deer, of which there was lots of sign. But also, cutting right across the bottom of the clearing were the huge tracks of a moose. With feet as large as a cow's or horse's he had sunk almost a foot deep as he crossed. The smaller red deer tracks in comparison had made much less of an impression, and were everywhere to be seen and compared There was no comparison. Clearly these tracks were from a vastly larger animal, which in that situation could be nothing but a moose.

The clearing on the true left side of the Hilda Burn.

Eddie Herrick shot an ancient three-legged cow moose (I think) in the Hilda Burn in the 1930s. She was likely the one who clearly broke its leg when they were tipped out off the boat in Supper Cove. You can see that one has a broken leg in the photo of the herd standing in Supper Cove looking mournful - poor things had been raised on lucerne and such! Amazingly, though she must have lost the leg (to gangrene?), she had survived in that most moose inhospitable terrain for nigh on thirty years. Knowing that they were that tough I had many doubts that they had somehow mysteriously died out sometime after 1950. Here was one who had walked across this clearing in the last day or two, clearly making this valley and its surrounds its home!

Brett in the Hilda Burn.

Also on this clearing there was a small tree or sapling (I suppose 3" in diameter) which had clearly been pushed over and stripped by something, the bark on the top also having been chewed away. I remember wondering why the tree had 'fallen' at such a strange angle, as if an immense wind had pushed it over, so that its top was no more than a metre above the ground. I guess it was nearly twenty years before I was informed by (Ken Tustin) that this behaviour of  walking trees down is a favourite moose feeding strategy. On this trip I saw it again and again - and I have seen it many more times since. It is unmistakable moose 'sign'.

By the time we had descended to the stream it was becoming sufficiently dark that we needed to turn right round and head back unless we wanted to spend our first night in Fiordland sitting around in our raincoats in cold, wet bush. For advice about that, see: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/ You should definitely avoid that situation. My advice is to carry a hammock and tarp so you can spend a dry night in the bush.

Looking down from the Hilda Burn.

I guess it was the next day we decided, (it having been too difficult scrambling up the true right bank) that we would find a way up the true left bank. Let me tell you, it was no better, if not worse. There is some very steep going, a huge tangle of fallen trees, at least one waterfall to traverse - just to get above the cataract. And you had better remember just how you got there, as when you are coming back down you will find that the way up was the only way! Just that happened to us. It was only that when we became 'bluffed' we sat down for a smoke or a bite to eat, to 'study' on our dilemma, and when we sat down that we realised that the last little bit we had had to crawl up - a reality which became apparent when we got low enough to see where we had come. A cup of tea or a smoke (or sleep on it) are always good strategies if in doubt.

We saw a few red deer on the slip as we passed. They weren't particularly alerted to our passage. The heavy cover of moss everywhere in Fiordland and the sodden nature of everything sucks up a lot of sound. Mostly all you can ever hear is water moving, falling, sloshing, dripping...There is very little birdsong (well, there are very few birds) but even so their song does not carry as it does in Victoria. Often you can see that they are singing even quite close up, say less than 20 yards, yet are unable to hear them.

On this or another occasion Brett was walking up the true right bank as I walked up the true left. At one point I wanted to attract his attention, so I whistled. No response. Then I blew a blast on my ultra loud Fox 40 whistle which the manufacturers reckon you can hear up to a mile away! No response. He was perhaps 40 metres away. The sound was just soaked up by the forest. And he is not deaf like I am. You can see how, the folks who have shot a moose in Fiordland pretty much universally just stumbled on it (usually very close to a creek) when it stood up, they went, 'Crack!' and down it went. End of hunting story.

Walking high up in the Hilda Burn:

There is a section of morass to cross (on the true left bank). It is quite difficult going, and remains so. These morasses are ubiquitous in Fiordland and very dangerous. I can well believe you can get stuck in them and be unable to extricate yourself. You can very suddenly plunge (right on the edge) up to your hips - as I have done many times. If you can throw yourself backwards as you fall in it is easier to get out.  Another grave danger of walking in the Fiordland bush is that all these large gullies are actually the moraines of ancient glaciers. Underneath they are boulder fields. And in many places not very far underneath. You need to test each step before you put your weight on it to ensure that you are not going to plunge downwards into a huge crevasse - as I did on the fourth day trying to ascend the 'Waterfall Burn'. Downwards over my head in an instant. Fortunately I did not break anything except my dignity and I was able to climb back out again. Probably the gullies are worst for this than the ridges.

I cannot now remember whether on the particular day I am relating I was alone in the valley - as I have been several times since - or if Brett was somewhere else in the valley. Anyway, I had dropped down into the stream by myself and was wading along in it - as that was the easiest going, Every now and then getting out, then getting back in again. I'm sure you know what thick difficult going is like. There came a point where as I was rounding a bend in the stream, (the banks being nearly as high as I am) something very large and dark surged up and thundered off in a cloud of spray further up the stream, giving me just the barest glimpse of it. All I could say was that it was not a bull, as I would have been able to see its antlers above the banks of the stream.

I followed it (as quietly as I could - spooked things will often halt to look back and see what it was which frightened them) when shortly the stream split in two. Where the two streams joined there was a large patch of sand, and clear as day in the sand were the unmistakable prints of a moose. They were very nearly as large as a cow's prints, and they had the 'signature' dew claw marks a couple of inches behind the main hoof prints such as only moose amongst deer kind have. I would have a photo of them only when I was coming back down again some time later, the rain had all but blurred them clear away - it does rain lots in Fiordland. Expect to get very, very wet, even in Goretex such as I was wearing.

It had crept off upwards into a large swampy area lying between the two streams which did not show up on the topographic map. It must have been very difficult to get good (and accurately interpret) aerial photography in Fiordland. I followed the beast around in this swampy area for I guess about an hour, each circling the other trying to get a look, sometimes seeing a bit of leg perhaps. The water was ankle to knee deep, and there were many small islands each with a vast tree protruding from its centre and surrounded by lowish bushes. The cloud cover came half-way down the trunks of the trees. A prehistoric landscape for a prehistoric creature. I could have taken a shot at it through vegetation - it was often clear just where it was - but I never (nor should you) ever do such a thing. A deer missed is one thing; a dead mate is missed a long time!

Alas, once again light was going to beat me. I had to break off the chase or I would be spending a terrible night out in this saturated forest. There is just no way you could make your way down in failing light or darkness. Having had so little trouble 'putting up' a moose, I was also optimistic that I might do it again. There is no end to human folly!

It disappeared somewhere up there into the head of the burn, and it is no doubt there yet!

After breakfast next morning we were all standing on the edge of the verandah of the hut looking up the Cove, enjoying a smoke or a cup of coffee when a large animal started calling. I thought it sounded something like a cross between a koala bear and a camel. It was definitely not a red deer (which I had heard) or a wapiti (which I have also since heard - they really do bugle. Eerie!) - and it was definitely not a bird of any kind, though there were many Canada geese on the Cove (and we had heard their call many times).

Even though we had been there then for a couple of days, we had still not (instinctively) adjusted our hearing's ability to pinpoint where a sound came from to Fiordland's conditions (I have already mentioned the episode of the whistle). It takes a while for perception to adjust. Another example is one's ability to actually focus on these NZ mountains. They are so much steeper than  ours in Australia, they appear to our perceptions to be closer and/or you find yourself actually unable to focus on exactly where they are. Things can seem blurry, eerie. When you go there you will see what I mean.

So I guess we can be forgiven for being unable to work out exactly where the moose was (we were quite sure that was what it must be - and we were right). Our Australian senses made us overlook a flat area near the mouth of the Hilda Burn nearby (too close). It was clearly coming from the next valley over, what we called the 'Waterfall Burn' both because of the waterfall at the bottom, and the even larger one at the top of it. Here is a photo of the lower one, which you can see would be very difficult and dangerous to climb, and which would be death to descend if the stream rose very much in heavy rain. I do not have a photograph, though I have 'seen' the upper one: It is 160 metres, falling straight down from the clouds the day I was there so that one could not see the top. It was as if it just fell from the sky, and so impossible to photograph! There are lots of things like that in the world. I have a fine collection of snaps where you can't make anything out at all!

The Waterfall Burn:

We decided we would somehow climb the Waterfall Burn to find the calling moose. Now, as this was the only time we heard the call (on our second or third day there I think) I might conclude that this was the end of the moose 'Roar' rather than the beginning. You should know that wherever they be in the world, the 'roar' (or mating) of the moose lasts only one week - but it is the very same week each year. Anyway it was the last day of February.

When we returned we searched the net for moose calls. The first one we played was (unknowingly) the sound of a cow moose. When we played that we were disappointed. Fooled again. you know the sort of thing. Then we played the call of the bull moose. Kapow! That was what we heard all right. So, there had been a cow moose in the Hilda Burn and a bull moose just a kilometre from it - clearly a breeding pair. There must be a few more of them even by now!

The first day we tried to ascend the Waterfall Burn we crossed the stream and tried (all day as it turned out) to beat our way up the true left side of the stream. Utterly unsuccessfully. I doubt it was possible, so don't even try! As we were crossing the stream in the morning (just between the waterfall and the walk wire), we were able to wade across, the stream it being only about mid-calf deep. I was not particularly conscious that it was raining heavily all day, but it was certainly raining. It often does in Fiordland you know. Every year at least ten metres of rain, sometimes several times that!

On this occasion when we returned to the crossing about 4:00pm in the afternoon, the stream had swollen monstrously. The walk wire was very nearly submerged. My memory is that we waited for a large tree to roll along under it before we (very trepidatiously) crossed. There is a lesson here: Never expect to be able to get to your destination when walking in Fiordland - or anywhere else for that matter. 'Be Prepared' is actually a good motto. Thanks Baden Powell.

The Waterfall Burn in flood:

Some of the trees which came thundering down the waterfall.

It does rain a lot and streams can easily rise so much (or morasses expand - you get the picture), that movement either way becomes impossible. You will just have to  stop and wait it out. Fortunately as soon as it does stop raining, because of the steepness of the terrain, the streams etc drop as quickly as they rose. The Seaforth for example is reputed to be able to rise 16 metres in a single day! Eddie Herrick himself relates a story wherein he and Jim Muir his guide almost lost their lives because of their inability to return to camp down the Seaforth, or to cross the Henry Burn.

Next day we tried again walking up a little gully between the Hilda and the Waterfall Burn. It was mostly really dreadful going through thick tree fern, boulders etc and with much broken ground underfoot. This is where/when I fell down the moraine hole. When we finally broke out onto the Burn above the waterfall we immediately tied something (a shopping bag I think) to a tree so we could find our way back down again. We were quite anxious. It had been a trying trip of...maybe a kilometre! Then we walked up the stream as far as we could get before we would have to turn around so we would be back at Supper Cove before dark.

In the top of the Waterfall Burn (You can see the shopping bag tied to the tree):

It is quite a large stream, still two-three metres wide up there I guess, and very pretty, though dark. I have been there on a later occasion, perhaps 2006, 2012 or 2013 (I know I was alone; I usually am) and walked as far as the top waterfall. There had been a moose in this valley recently. There were fresh-ish footprints - given the amount of rain the day before they had to have been no more than a day old, and there was quite a lot of browse. We did not see a moose, or any deer but after all, the hunt is what it's all about. That and seeing fresh sights, some of which maybe no man has seen before, or will again!

A morass in the Waterfall Burn.

I can remember seeing sign there again on a subsequent trip, but what exactly I cannot remember. Browse, marks, droppings...they all blur a bit with time. This year (2017) I realised I had seldom (if ever) actually photographed the browse so I could point it out to people later on (I did not have this blog before, so I had no reason!) There was plenty of old browse in the Hauroko (which I snapped some examples of), then a little barking as I descended into Loch Maree (which I forgot to snap). After that again along the Seaforth there was browse, but by then I had forgotten to take pictures altogether. You just get to enjoying the experience, thinking about other things etc. Last year I walked almost all the way back down from Everest without taking a single photo, though I saw many things I had not noticed on the way up. I had pneumonia is my excuse, but I doubt I will be going back to capture those missing snaps.

For example, in 2006 I took this snap of a couple of ducks. Look behind them though and you can see the height of the browse line on the shiny leaved tree on the right.

We walked back towards the Hilda Burn. The walk wire was out when we were there in 2000 so we had to walk down along the stream to the bottom, cross there and walk along the beach to the hut if the tide was high. If it was a bit lower, we would cross as much of Supper Cove as we could, then cut inland towards the mouth of the Hilda Burn, so our route was a bit different each time, always walking off-track. And that afternoon, in the fading light we found where the bull had been when we heard him call! And he had clearly been camped there for a couple of days, pretty much in sight of the hut - so much closer than we had estimated. But he was not there now. Probably he had gone up to join the cow at the head of the Burn! So much country. And it is utterly impossible to 'track' anything in that country. All you ever see is the odd print. The eternal moss swallows everything up, including sound.

There is this, though. That was 17 years ago now: a pair of moose within a stone's throw of the Supper Cove hut. If you imagine that they managed to breed every year, even if the mortality rate is very high or the fertility rate very low there have to still be a number of moose within cooee of the mouth of the Seaforth. There is still food for them there, and every time I go I can see browse I did not see the time before. Every time I go, I find 'fresh' moose tracks. Conditions in Fiordland are such that you just won't see prints that are a week old. There are just so many places they can easily travel with their long legs and wonderfully constructed feet where no man could possibly go. Because they are so tall they can reach food on precipitously steep slopes where red deer would have no hope.

I think it was not until the second day on that first trip that I began to notice the moose browse, despite having found moose droppings and spied some moose footprints - and having been looking hard. It was not until I came down with an itchy back probably from a sandfly my shirt had failed to stop, and had sidled up to a tree to scratch the middle of my back that, as I did so, my neck craned up and I began to see this characteristic branch breaking and snapping, oh -  so far up! Being used to sambar or red deer browse one just automatically scans the forest at just that height, but these big boys easily reach up more than a couple of feet higher than 'our' deer.

Brett pointing out some moose browse:

Another day on that trip (there were not many more, worse luck) I walked around the point of land on the other side of Supper Cove against the river before the Waterfall Burn. Many of the coprosma trees on the point had been snapped off at just the height moose love to browse 8+ feet. There was no other sign. I thought at the time maybe they were driven lower down like this in the coldest weather as sambar can be somewhat in our mountains, (There are even times that Supper Cove freezes over!) but I have since found plenty of fresh browse lower down and misdoubt now that moose suffer at all from cold. It was just a silly thought really. With moose the opposite is the case, I suspect. They suffer more from hotter weather. NZ summers of 24C or the like can perhaps be quite uncomfortable for a large Arctic animal. It is then, I suspect they spend a greater part of the day lying up in cool deep pools in the burns where the few that have been shot over the years were invariably taken.

That day we continued up as far as the ladder just above the McFarlane Burn looking for Michael who had stayed out overnight without explaining himself, so we were a bit worried - but he is an old bushman. He had a small tent (we knew) and his sleeping bag. So, of course he was fine. He had even managed to light a small fire. Well done indeed. On the way up in the middle of the track we saw an old mark we thought might have been a moose, but it could have been just several deer prints over each other some time past.

In just about the same spot quite near the Old Supper Cove hut site (which is where the track rejoins the Seaforth above the Henry Burn) I have on a number of occasions seen a relatively fresh moose track: once I would say that morning's - if it had been a sambar we would have tried to start the hounds on it once - and on another occasion about a day old, I guess. So the moose do still hang around their old haunt, the Henry Burn, or 'Moose Creek' as Herrick and the other old-time hunters used to call it.

Brett and Michael meet near the McFarlane Burn:

Old Supper Cove Hut site - you can still see the tree fern trunks which formed its floor. A pity they did not leave it standing as it was an important survival shelter - and of historical interest!

I was quite hooked by Fiordland and the Dusky after this trip and vowed to return as often as I could, an ambition with which Della fortunately concurred. It is not every man who has such a splendid wife, I know. What I have done to deserve such good fortune is a mystery to me - may it long be so. Well, it has. But circumstances (and finances) intervened to mean that it would be six years before I could make the trip again. I had returned from the first trip with a reasonable 8-point red deer rack by the way - but I have never taken a gun again. I think the moose need as much chance to breed as we can give them. Besides, guns are very heavy - weighing as much as a week's food really.

In 2006, I decided I could get away for a short trip (a week - if you are a farmer, a week away is an eternity). I decided I would fly in to Supper Cove, stay a couple of days then walk out. I had no idea even if I could do this at all at the grand old age of 56! The track brochures warned how hard it would be, and recommended only fit young folk should try it, & etc. Some of them even die. Fortunately I am young at heart, as I was still able to complete the trip this year at 68!

This was to be my introduction to 'ultralight hiking'. I knew that the weather could make a short trip much longer. Also I did not know whether at my age I would be able to make the distances between the huts, and might have to camp out most nights if I was going to be safe. I had already reasoned that a hammock and tarp would be the safest thing to camp in in Fiordland, so we had been busy making prototypes and had come up with a home-made 2 oz/yd2 hammock  and a 1.3 oz'yd2 silnylon tarp to go with it. This arrangement then weighed around 7-800 grams altogether, less than half the weight of any tent I owned or could have bought I must say, and much lighter than anything then commercially available as well - even if they did look a bit amateurish. I had camped out in it lots of times in the Gippsland bush, so i was quite confident in it.

This is the wonderful ultralight hammock I am now using, a Hummingbird: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-hummingbird-in-the-hand/ Photo is on the beach between the boat shed and the helipad, Supper Cove.  You see what I mean about being able to just camp anywhere (If there are trees) with a hammock!

I bought a Gossamer Gear G4 pack at 450 grams (which I still use sometimes), and I think back then I was still using a Snugpack or Vango synthetic bag which weighed around 8-900 grams (not my sub 600 gram Montbell I use now). I had discovered metho stoves by then, so that was down to a 7 gram model from Minibull plus home-made aluminium flashing windscreen. Back then I used to make fried bread (or Johnny Cakes) every night for lunch on the trail the next day, so I had figured a way to make the stove simmer though I can't remember now what it was! Though quite tasty, it is a bit of a tedious process making 'bread' which I have since then largely abandoned. I will do a post about it in the future though, as it is an important skill. I had moved up to a new digital camera, a Pentax Optio S40 with a 3X zoom which only weighed about 100 grams (saving at least 400 grams on my old film camera).

Back then I was still wearing either Redback Alpine Hiker leather boots (or their Blundstone equivalent) which weighed 600-650 grams dry and about another 50-100 wet, so actually much better than most boots folk still wear today. They are a good, tough boot and if you want a leather boot, I swear by them. I had earlier moved down from ex-army wool shirts and trousers to Columbia nylon shirts and pants. They are vastly lighter, but your upper body especially gets dreadfully smelly wearing them (even when you wash them and put them back on again wet as I used to do then, even if Fiordland!)

When the weather is sufficiently cool (which it almost always is in NZ), I would now wear either an Icebreaker of a Kathmandu light woolen shirt which you can wear for a week without washing (yourself or it) and never mind getting downwind of yourself, though others may disagree! I think back then I still used my lovely Snugpack synthetic coat which probably weighed as much as 600 grams. I was stronger then. I was probably using one of Big Agnes excellent inflatable mats which weighed just under 600 grams from memory, but I might ave skimped and taken a Thermarest self-inflater I suppose which weighed a little less - and was a lot less comfortable besides. And a lot colder in colder weather I might add. I have a lighter, better kit now I think. See eg: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

On the first day up from Supper Cove to Loch Maree, just as I was about to pass opposite the Roa Stream which is on the other side of the river heading upriver (ie on the true left bank), I heard something in the water like a deer clattering across (going I'm not sure which way) and which given the prevalence of red deer there it often is. I have rarely managed to get a photo of them as they usually make off pretty smartly just like sambar in the dense bush. By the same token a hundred metres or so later on at about the point that the noise in the river was, there were very fresh prints of a huge animal crossing the track. It had clearly come out of the Roa stream, and crossed the river and passed just in front of me, and gone very obviously around the edge of  the swampy bit on the true right bank (not a bad place to camp actually) and then up into the bush on my left. And not very long ago.

You might think a swampy bit like this would be attractive to a moose, but they are a forest creature. This one skirted this particular swamp opposite the Roa Stream.

I could not really tell whether the splashing and the tracks were one and the same. I did have a bit of a look around for it for maybe an hour, but as I could not be sure whether the tracks might have been made earlier that morning or just as I approached, I did not spend a lot of time on it. It wasn't just standing around waiting for me to take a pic of it at any rate. It is a seven hours plus walk for me (then) to Loch Maree, so I pressed on, still arriving after dark in fact, as I have done on a couple of occasions.

It is a long walk, particularly if the tide is in and you can't take the 'short-cut' across the Cove. Later on I was talking to Ken Tustin on the phone. He told me that he and his wife Marg were on that very day high in the Roa stream finding lots of fresh moose browse, so I think it is very likely they pushed this guy out the bottom of the valley and across the track in front of me. This suggests a strategy to me of how a couple of very fit young people might get a snap of a moose - but it would be a pretty wild chance, I guess - and depend on there being more moose there than may be the case.

My purpose on this trip was merely to see if I could walk the Supper Cove to Manapouri 'leg' of the Dusky Track which I was very pleased to have managed in four long days when I finished, even managing a cold beer (and a much needed shower) on the evening of the fourth day! I saw no-one the whole trip, something which I always find very pleasant!

I really enjoyed the trip and purposed to take my oldest daughter Irralee with me the following year, which I did. In 2007, when we arrived at the Supper Cove hut we found that we had missed the resident moose by about a week. There was an awful lot of moose browse all around the hut, trees snapped over all around and some barking behind the hut, just in back of the toilet. Another hunter who had arrived the day before in fact pointed the barking out to us. We had no need to have the other browse pointed out. It was right in front of the hut. The tracks were all washed away and the droppings were falling apart - which is how I arrived at the conclusion of being a week late.

Some of the moose browse in front of the hut: Can you spot the twigs which have been bitten right off 8-9' up?

It would be truly awesome to wake up at the Supper Cove hut and be greeted by a moose outside the window whilst you were eating your muesli for breakfast! That year there was also quite a bit of moose browse on the fuchsia coming down from the slip above the Kenneth Burn to the Gair Loch (on the second day out from Supper Cove), but again it was over a week old.

Irralee is pointing out some Fuchsia browse near the Gair Loch.

Some old barking encountered on the way:

I again walked the track with my son, Bryn in 2008. There were a couple of spots where we found old tracks ('old' in Fiordland probably means at most a day) - anyway the animal wasn't standing in them. From memory again they were near the Old Supper Cove Hut site (ie near the Henry Burn) and near the Kintail Hut as we were crossing the walk wire over the Seaforth there - quite fresh tracks on the sand there, probably from that morning.

Of course you are always on the lookout for whatever made them, and you make forays off into the bush in the direction they appear to be heading, but the bush is so vast (and so thick) and the moose so sparse that it is a hopeless task, really. All that I can say is that you won't see a moose standing in the main street in town back home. if you want to see a Fiordland moose, you will have to be tramping around in the vastness of that wonderful forest. I would hope you shoot one only with a camera really. I have grown quite fond of them - from a distance anyway!

A couple of examples of some barking we found.

This looks like it is probably only a week old at most. Usually/oftenthe barking is much higher, 7 or 8 feet.

The browse around the Supper Cove hut (and the barking) from the year before were still clearly visible (and identifiable) a year later, by the way. In fact two years later, as my daughter was able to point it out to me on our second trip there together in 2009.

You can still see it here in 2009 with a fantail sitting on it.

Bryn and I watched this red deer stag (centre) as we were crossing the Henry Burn. A decent zoom on a waterproof camera would be a plus! You will spot him eventually!

I canoed the Seaforth in 2009, probably one of the silliest things I have ever done. As I was portaging around the shores of Loch Maree - I was walking along the shoreline so I might see any prints rather than walking the track; the water level was low enough to do so that year - they were having a drought in Fiordland. It didn't rain for the whole 13 days we were in the South Island altogether! Anyway, I came across an old set of moose tracks around about where the walk wire about half way along the Loch is. As it hadn't rained for ages, they could have been over a week old. It had just come down to the Loch for a drink, then headed back up the little valley it had come down from.

I was at Supper Cove again in 2011 with Della, but we had to leave precipitously only about an hour after we arrived as Della managed to dislocate her shoulder slipping off a rock. Ouch! Thank goodness for helicopters! No moose that year!

I walked the track again in 2012 in company with a young American, Steve Hutcheson I met at Supper Cove and an Israeli, named Renan Tsorin. Steve and I had about five days at Supper Cove, him fishing and me tramping around in the bush looking for moose. I remember I found some old tracks on the ridge above the Supper Cove hut and in the Hilda Burn - and obviously some browse. I found the same thing along the Henry Burn. I guess I walked nearly half way up it to the fork you must follow if you are to walk over into Herrick Creek - so probably to about the place a couple of the Fiordland moose were shot, long ago. No sign of them now of course.

Here is a (very) old print (the triangular indentation above the glasses case) all filled in with leaves. This would have to be about as old as you are going to be able to see a print in Fiordland - say over a week. This one was over a kilometre up on the ridge behind the hut

Looking down towards the fiord coming down from way up there. The going is pretty steep:

Particularly above Loch Maree along the river on the true left bank there was a lot of moose sign, mainly older browse - say up to a year old. I walked along the river for about three kilometres by myself above the Loch Maree hut and up the Deadwood Stream a bit before crossing over to the track. The young fellows following the track were quite surprised at how I managed to get ahead of them! The river level that year was again very low, so I could do this (and avoid a slow, nasty section of track for the first hour upriver out of Loch Maree). I figured this moose was a resident of the Deadwood Stream which looks big enough to hold a number of them! There was old browse here and there along the river that year - but no tracks.

However as we walked up through the huge slip above the Kenneth Burn, a moose had walked along ahead of us barking the trees quite obviously. I remember pointing this out to Renan, using my fingernails to mimic the action of his giant teeth, and angling my head to indicate how he must have made the bites. I must look a circus sometimes. I wish I had taken photographs! Then, just about where the saddle is before you start to go down again to the Gair Loch, there was a patch of fuchsia on our right which had been the home of a moose for I'd say the best part of a week. S/he had had a really good feed on I guess and acre or two of fuchsia. Anyone who doubted the continued existence of moose in Fiordland would be hard put to explain the extent of its high foraging activity there. I remember a couple of days later I was walking with Steve in the Upper Spey and also pointing out to him some very old moose browse there - in the vicinity of the Dashwood Stream.

This is part of the huge Fuchsia filled slip above the Kenneth Burn where a moose had been browsing for days in 2012. Plenty of food here.

It is a huge area of Fuchsia. There are many such in Fiordland - few as easy of access though.

I had a back operation in 2013 so any Fiordland trips were out that year.

I spent a few days by myself at Supper Cove in 2014 (flying both in and out on that occasion). It was lovely to have the hut to myself for a few days, to go out in the morning exploring the bush around about and in the afternoon catching myself some blue cod for my supper. The most delicious fish anywhere, trust me. Do bring a hand line and a fry pan if you venture that way. I was going to walk out, but on the very last night before the day I would have to leave the next morning of, a party of twelve young people arrived even though none had been there for a month! Of course I tried to persuade them to stay a day and do some fishing (even offering them my line, etc), but they insisted on starting out the next day as well.

All alone in the Supper Cove Hut

I could spread out.

And enjoy some tasty blue cod for tea.

Well one night in a crowded hut with people whose heads were filled with the usual certain certainties of the young was enough for me, so I called up Alan from Wings on Water (who had brought me in) and flew out again. I used the couple of spare days so gained to go have a look at the start of the South Coast Track (out of Tuatapere) walking out to Port Craig and back whilst I was there. I confess I was hurrying along this section - and even walked the beach 'track' all the way from the Hoka Stream. I was not looking for moose sign as I thought this was too far from their 'normal' haunts. I was just checking out the track thinking it was probably easy enough to take Della on the next year. (it was). I was surprised therefore when I spied (on the return trip of course) a small example of moose browse quite close the the shore after the Track Burn - before you begin the climb up the innumerable steps to the Rowallan.

Della and I attempted to walk out to Westies Hut along the South Coast Track in 2015, but got only as far as the Waitutu River as it turned out, because of Della injuring her knee. We rested up and did walk all the way back to the Rowallan though. The same old browse I saw the year before was still there, but I confess i was just not looking out for moose sign along the way - I was looking out for Della!

We headed back out on the South Coast track again in 2016 intent on beating it this time, and getting all the way to Westies or even Big River. Westies as it turned out. It was a lovely trip, our reports of which you can read about eg here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-walk-in-fiordland/ You should really do it! Again, I was mainly intent on looking after Della (who is partially sighted) to be paying overmuch attention to moose sign, though there was a bit of old sign about here and there - for example a little over an hour out from the Waitutu heading for Westies.

When we were walking out from the Wairaurahiri with Pete Baldwin from the wonderful Waitutu Lodge at the Wairaurahiri Mouth, I was explaining to him what he should look for if he ever had the chance to get 'into' the Seaforth country. Right near the Edwin Burn trestle crossing there was an obvious patch of old moose browse, the branches snapped over and stripped in their characteristic way about 8' up, but maybe 1-2 years old. Nothing else could possibly do such a thing. So, there are moose that far East in Fiordland yet.

I have now realised that I smelled a moose in the Hauroko Burn last trip (back in April 2017) and I am really kicking myself for not having stopped, camped and investigated See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/). As I said there: 'I have a confession (of stupidity) to make. Somewhere during this section between the two upper walk wires on the Hauroko Burn, Fiordland, NZ (You can imagine it is in the photo below) I encountered quite  a strong ‘animal’ smell not unlike a goat. I thought to myself at the time, ‘Well, it’s not a deer’. Then I thought, ‘Could it be a plant?’ You know how Dogwood in Australasia is so named because it smells somewhat like wet dog. I thought to myself  ‘I wonder whether the Leather Wood which you encounter just before the tops in NZ (and which is redolent with the musty odour of countless red deer) is so called because it smells of leather?’

There is a sweet cloying honey-like smell you sometimes encounter in these Fiordland forests I have never been able to identify, nor has anyone else I have spoken to been able to pick it for me. (it is not the flower of the ubiquitous tiny epiphytic orchid). It was not that though. I am pretty good on scents having been a hunter all my life. I instantly galvanise to a whiff of fox, roo, wombat, stag, goat, etc.

I scanned the forest about. Saw nothing. Thought to myself, ‘I do not want to arrive at Lake Roe in the dark’ (The hut is hard enough to find as it is, particularly in thick cloud, being off the line to the right); I also had a long way to go, so I carried on. Since then, I have bothered to check what a moose smells like. You guessed it. Goatish. Just like what I was smelling on the Hauroko that day!

There was a moose not 200 metres upwind from me, and I walked on. Despite having a tarp and hammock and more than a week of food, so that I could have spent days hunting it! And I would have doubtless ‘put it up’ withing ten minutes! Dream on! Despite the fact that one of the important reasons I go there is to see a moose. Despite the fact that I had photographed fairly fresh moose barking just back there a little (as you can see below). Despite the fact there is a $100,000 reward for a photo of a NZ moose, I walked on! Lesson: Trust your nose!’

My knee is still not right from an injury in the Hilda Burn on that trip which brought an early end to my off-track explorations then (there was still old browse in the Hilda), so I am wondering about my future ability to do so again, but I am working on it – an hour every morning in the gym and an hour every afternoon walking - on top of my normal farming activities, but at just shy of 70 it takes longer to heal and to get fitter again. Every day though I feel stronger, and have just completed a six day off-trail hike in the Vic mountains, and climbed Qld's tallest mountain, so there is hope!

It was interesting that the Hauroko was nearly eaten out, but with lots of old sign (and clearly a resident moose!) And that there was a 'bloom' of new plants coming up I had not seen in Fiordland before) Yet coming down from Lake Roe to Loch Marie for example, there was oodles of moose plants without much moose sign at all - though some barking. Clearly the moose are fairly light on the ground. Each likely has an enormous territory, perhaps 2-500 hectares, but that still adds up to a lot of moose in Fiordland National Park!

I had this note about the moose on the first of my posts about my 2017 trip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/from-dawn-to-dusky/

The Elusive Fiordland Moose: Along the way there is sporadic moose sign if you are alert and keen eyed. Nothing else could reach up 2.5-2.7 metres (8-9'), break off branches as thick as your thumb and strip them, or devour all the lower vegetation of their favourite broadleaf plants, or systematically bark trees, or leave footprints as big as a cow's.These solitary leviathans yet roam these forests unseen. I took these shots in an arbitrary few hundred yards walking up the Hauroko.

This coprosma has been systematically broken off about 2.5 metres up.

And this.

Broadleafs have commonly been stripped to this height.

They like to snack on nutritious bark as they amble along.

Leaving footprints as long as my glasses case. Like this:

Or this.

Someday someone will stumble round a corner onto one and snap its pic. A girl from Scotland wrote in the hut book way back in 2000 she had seen one! Already two confirmed C21st DNA samples have been collected, and one or two indistinct photos. It is only a matter of time...

I don't know at this stage whether I will be doing a lot more 'moose hunting' in Fiordland. Mostly these days we go there for the walk anyway and because it is just so beautiful. Any moose we see would no doubt be a bonus - and we surely won't see them elsewhere! I do have a couple of 'new' ideas on how we might find further proof of the continued existence of the NZ moose herd. More about that later.

And oh, I have been thinking about Ken Tustin's theory that the red deer will 'eat out' the moose. I now suspect the opposite is the case because the moose can reach higher, and will obviously break branches down for their young. You can imagine the young moose nearing weaning - they suckle for a long time too - straining upwards as its mother feeds and vocalising, every now and then being able to snag a leaf she lets drop & etc. They are messy eaters at best. I figure she would get the idea and help it feed. They routinely ‘walk down’ trees for themselves, for example. I remember noticing this phenomenon the very first day I was in Fiordland (in the Hilda Burn back in 2000) and wondering what could have produced the phenomenon I was seeing. I had never seen anything like it in the Victorian bush despite it being overrun by sambar deer who are very keen browsers too.

I have noticed that in the areas which appear more eaten out (by moose and everything) that the moose browse seems to consist of more branches actually broken off completely whereas in the less eaten out areas, they tend to be just broken over. I need to spend more time there to confirm this, something which may not happen in this lifetime.

I realise I do not know how this 'boom and crash' population dynamics works (with any creature) though, so maybe I am wrong. I am not a wildlife biologist, but I have been a farmer and hunter for a long while. Some places look very eaten out by deer, particularly along river banks and near huts and other clearings, yet in other steeper places there is little sign of any grazing animals. Another interesting observation: along the Hauroko for example, there is this shiny leaf tree which moose obviously like. In many places it was browsed lower from the river bottom than it was from the river bank (but in each case as high as a moose could reach ie 8'+ up) giving it a lopsided appearance. I had not noticed this before. No doubt there are lots of other ‘signs’ which escape one’s attention for years.

Here is a tree moose quite like, (I don't know what it is called). You can see that this one which is hanging out over a precipice (in the Hauroko) has still been browsed ( a long time ago) as far as a moose can reach out, and certainty further than anything else could.

Here the moose has been walking along in the stream reaching up and has mown these trees to a precise height. They have even managed to strip some of the branches hanging down. You see this everywhere. We went down the Wairaurahirti River in a jet boat (twice - and Della wants to go again, and again. So should you!) Anywhere this plant could be reached it was trimmed to about 8-9' from the ground (or where a moose could stand) , but where nothing could reach it (eg in a very deep rapid) it was actually touching the water.

In 17 years I have not been able to get back to Fiordland in the summer. By the time we have been able to stop watering our garden and watching out for the 'bushfires' that a ratbag collection of maniacs have taken to lighting every summer in our part of the world it is at best late March, usually April, sometimes May. And of course I am often there when the 'Roar' is on so every moose has been scared well away from the valley bottoms by ubiquitous deer hunters. It's like always going sambar stalking on a full moon, or in early Spring when the deer have moved back from the valley bottoms (as fresh feed pops out from under the snow - and the young are born. Not such a good time for hunting.

I do always find old sign though, sometimes not that old even. I am convinced if i could spend several summers walking along in the streams there I would put up another moose. I'm not sure whether at my age I can do such hard work in hot, steamy weather, and I don't know whether I will ever be able to get away at such a time or not.

Perhaps!

PS: I wrote this article at Ken Tustin's request, as he is preparing a new edition of his book/a new book about the Fiiordland moose. He and he wife are the true moose experts and heroes of this interesting saga. More about them here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/nz-moose/

PS: The 'Cover' photo was sent to me from Sweden by my son, Bryn on this day (24/10) 2011. He must have known I would find a use for it! European moose are smaller than the Canadian moose which live in Fiordland, by the way.

29/10/2017: A Year Ago Today, I was walking up to Everest with Steve Hutcheson: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/i-followed-my-footsteps/

29/10/2017: Bacon Sandwich Anyone: Betsy Booren Vice President of Scientific Affairs North American Meat Institute, ‘They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome…Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer.’ YES, Seriously: YOGA PANTS! I eat a lot of them! 40 out of 50 common foods also pose a cancer ‘risk’ according to this study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23193004/  What ARE we to eat?

29/10/2017: Freedom and Death: One of my favourite books when I was a teenager was Nikos Kazantzakis’ wonderful ‘Freedom and Death’ whose sentiment echoed Patrick Henry’s famous statement: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’. Of course, with liberty we need to expect a certain amount of collateral damage: freedom is ever paid for with the blood of patriots. Such folk might just be our own children maybe skinning their knee or breaking the odd bone as they are allowed (nay encouraged) to ‘Go outside and play’ and ‘Don’t bother mummy’ – You remember that? Our children (and grandchildren) need much more of that, and much less of the cossetting, lest they grow up to be like the fragile flowers we see all about us today: https://reason.com/archives/2017/10/26/the-fragile-generation

28/10/2017: The Good News: The World's Poorest People Are Getting Richer Faster than Anyone Else: ‘In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent. In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty.’ Thank You Capitalism: https://fee.org/articles/the-worlds-poorest-people-are-getting-richer-faster-than-anyone-else/

28/10/2017: Update of my 2012 post: ‘It's a little worse than 'The dog ate my homework'! Someone has stolen both the file at Slater & Gordon and the file at the WA Corporate Affairs which would prove Gillard's criminal complicity in the 'Wilson Affair' - but, remember this: someone still has them!’ Well, now Michael Smith clearly has them. Very day he is publishing great gobs of incriminating stuff about her and Wilson. Remember, she could sue him for defamation but she would lose that too, because what he says is true. She is/was one of Australia’s largest crooks. Smith’s private prosecution will succeed, and she will go to gaol: Utterly unfit to hold public office. Her prosecution (and Shorten’s- probably) will destroy the Labor Party’s chance at the next election, unless it is held in the next few weeks – with Turnbull still as Liberal leader; hopefully not! This does not mean the Liberals will win. I think outsiders are still in there with a chance. Remember Trump and Macron, for example. I hope Malcolm Roberts runs for New England, for example – he is one of the finest members we have had in the last 50 years: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

28/10/2017: Private Property: How we need a ‘Boneta Bill’ here too! One of the few ‘rights’ in our constitution is the right to private property (and its converse) that Government may not confiscate it without (paying) just compensation. Yet the examples of Government doing just that are legion; from simple idiotic ordinances such as the children’s birthday party planning permit which provoked Boneta, to large scale confiscation of farmland for ‘environmental’ reasons… Frankly it frightens me to realise what most people (leftists) consider  to be ‘rights’. Their ‘rights, almost invariably mean the confiscation of someone else’s property for the ‘good’ of someone else (themselves?). The right to work, free speech, freedom of assembly, bear arms, self protection, justice, national defence…etc are low down on their list. Do they even make their list?  http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/virginia_farmer_starts_property_rights_legal_revolution.html

27/10/2017: A British adventurer has flown 25km (15.5 miles) across South Africa suspended from 100 helium balloons: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-41737642?SThisFB

27/10/2017: So, you thought Trump was starting a war against North Korea? Perhaps you should ask the Chinese: https://www.weaselzippers.us/361357-report-chinese-north-korea-relationship-at-end-another-missile-test-will-mean-war-by-the-chinese-against-north-korea/

27/10/2017: Yet Another Silent Spring: ‘There is no credible evidence whatsoever that glyphosate – or RoundUp – is carcinogenic. The only reason some people believe otherwise is because of scaremongering articles like this, derived from misinformation which originates from this UN agency, the IARC. How do we know it’s untrue? Thanks to a special investigation by Reuters, which found that the IARC had completely misrepresented the available research on glyphosate.’ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/23/delingpole-science-establishment-rocked-scandal-un-cancer-chemical/ This is just another example of Green evil. You remember when they did this with DDT, and 100 million people died as a result? They also did so with neonicotinoids: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/12/05/investigation-how-green-activist-scientists-rigged-an-eu-pesticide-ban-costing-farmers-and-businesses-billions/

26/10/2017: Western civilization heading over a cliff; thanks Frau Merkel: http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268214/germany-terror-cases-quadruple-900-daniel-greenfield  

26/10/2017: Global Warming going over a cliff too: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/25/so-far-this-year-400-scientific-papers-debunk-climate-change-alarm/

26/10/2017: Toughen Up: Why Don’t People Understand What It Is To Be a Soldier: (The Trump ‘Telephone Incident’): http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/10/24/ex-green-beret-says-what-special-forces-really-think-about-niger-goes-viral-on-twitter/  & https://fee.org/articles/trump-s-general-is-right-soldiering-is-not-a-normal-job/  & http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/19/the-general-speaks-kelly-urges-americans-to-remember-what-is-sacred/

26/10/2017: How Sure Are We That The Universe Is 13.8 Billion Years Old? https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/21/ask-ethan-how-sure-are-we-that-the-universe-is-13-8-billion-years-old/#60859d8060ac

25/10/2017: This is really moving. Watch a colour blind man see for the first time: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/once-was-colour-blind-now-can-see/news-story/b18dddb1f148beb5c658adf713601ac1

25/10/2017: Marise Payne (another Turnbull clone) just keeps showing herself to be a dead head. Compare her take on the danger of returning jihadists with her British counterpart: Rory Stewart: ‘We have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.’ Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne: ‘Australians who have joined Daesh are subjected to the same risks as any other member of the criminal organisation and should expect to perish on the battlefield.’ Tip: Learn the difference between active and passive voice, Marise. I know you will think this sounds awfully sexist too, but I would like it if our Defence Minister looks like s/he could take on one or two baddies himself/herself (and the same goes for cops). Even Julie looks like she could knock a couple of head together, but Marise (like Kim Beazley before her) looks like she might pose a danger to baddies is s/he sat on them - supposing they were slow-moving enough!

25/10/2017: CO2: The Culprit: Some things you might NOT know: Ice core expert Jaworowski states, ‘The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/17/deconstruction-of-the-anthropogenic-global-warming-agw-hypothesis-2/

25/10/2017: Energy Crisis: It's amazing that over a century after Einstein's 'e=mc2' that some folks are still worried about 'The Energy Crisis'. Controlled nuclear fusion (not such a long way off now < twenty years?) will end all such concerns. Progress will also be made on understanding such spectacular energy phenomena as ball lightning, sprites, 'cosmic rays', neutrinos, gravity & etc. It will be a much better world in the future. Fear not!

24/10/2017: Our largest army: Fortunately, despite huge Government interference before (and after) Port Arthur, Australia's hunters still represent a larger 'army' than our official army, and as demonstrated in two World Wars & etc, can be relied on to bolster its numbers with well-qualified soldiers if/when the need ever arises. https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/a-tribute-to-the-worlds-largest-army-americas-hunters/

24/10/2017: Green Fracking: You may think it odd that the green movement opposes fracking for natural gas but support hot fracture rock geothermal technology, which is clearly also fracking but you see, the first works whilst the latter does not – so it’s quite simple really!

24/10/2017: The madness that is Canada – do we really want this here? PS: Canada has a Somali Immigration Minister: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267563/invasion-canada-daniel-greenfield

23/10/2017: Hein’s Taxidermy: Della just loves stuffed animals which is maybe why she has kept this particular stuffed old animal around for nearly fifty years! It may be a family trait. We have this wonderful family photo circa 1903 of her grandfather as an apprentice hairdresser in Hawick, Scotland outside Richie Law’s shop. As you can see the other specialty of the shop was taxidermy!

If you need fine taxidermy services in Southern Victoria or Gippsland, may I recommend Hein”s Taxidermy at Port Albert. Hein did a beautiful job recently on our late much-loved Dusky Lorikeet, Rusty as the photo below shows.You can contact him from his Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Heins-Taxidermy-port-albert-1549231728642024/

 23/10/2017: Two great points by Alan Moran: ‘In 1901 the Commonwealth spent 3 per cent of national income. Today it taxes and spends a whopping quarter of the income that firms and individuals earn…The Commonwealth Government in 1901 had 258 pages of regulatory Acts. Today it has more than 100,000 pages’ http://ipa.org.au/news/2769/regulations-that-worked-in-1901-do-not-work-now

23/10/2017: His wife is even battier than he is: Lucy Turnbull, the ‘Greater Sydney Commissioner: ‘It’s only taken us 230 years to catch up with a vision that our indigenous ancestors always had for this city’. Away with them both!

23/10/2017: Bernie Sanders’ Economics #101: ‘Sure, You'll All Pay More Taxes... But You'll Get More Free Stuff’. Bernie was clearly singing from the same hymn book as Labor and the Greens here. Listen up peeps: ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-19/bernie-americans-sure-youll-all-pay-more-taxes-youll-get-more-free-stuff & https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/more-honesty-from-the-left-the-goal-is-big-tax-increases-for-the-middle-class/

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/17/20171019_bernie_0.png

22/10/2017: Hein's Taxidermy:

Some of Hein’s many interesting pieces:

And finally our dear little Rusty the Dusky Lorikeet:

 See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rusty-the-dusky-lorikeet/

While you are at Port Albert you should check out the Old Port Walking trail too, as well as its many other attractions: caravan park, hotel, restaurant, fish and chip shop, fishing charter, boat hire, etc: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/there-is-simply-nothing-like-an-old-port-walking-trail/ We had a brilliant (cheap) meal in the Customs Inn hotel while we were there – best fish’nchips I’ve had in a long while.

22/10/2017: Oradour, the French town the Nazis murdered. Lest we forget, the entire town has been preserved in memory of this terrible event: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/articles/Oradour-sur-Glane-France-moments-of-Nazi-massacre-frozen-in-time/

http://kooxproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Oradour-photo-2-net.jpg

22/10/2017: From an atheist: So, you think Christianity has nothing to offer: 20 things you should stop doing in your 20s – or never start: https://relevantmagazine.com/article/the-5-things-20-somethings-need-to-stop-doing/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=10192017__RELEVANT_This_Week&utm_medium=email

08/11/2017: Four more down: Five altogether (Joyce out until after Dec 2nd) Hawke, Banks, Frydenberg and Alexander. This means Turnbull does not have a majority when the Parliament sits on 27th November. Clearly Shorten will call a quick election straightaway. (Obviously he is not going to agree to a deal which saves Malcolm!) Abbott will be Opposition leader on 28th November. The election will be held just before Xmas, probably 16th December.

08/11/2017: 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 (Nov 2017). http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/adjustable-hammock-ridgeline

Mine was red. Here it is in action in the garden with Spot supervising:

A variety of Ridgeline Gear Organisers exist to stow various overnight items in (eg phone, glasses, drink bottle, head torch, hearing aids). For example: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/hammock-storage-systemsand http://www.hammockgear.com/hammock-gear-ridgeline-organizer/

These little guys are very handy too. Just add a mini carabiner: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/prussik-loops-pair

Some other ideas here: https://hennessyhammock.com/pages/tips-from-users-1#

Instructions for DIY here: http://www.tiergear.com.au/25/diy-hammock-ridgeline-organiser

Some other good ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqlCvHtSDAM  (better if you place the cordlock inside the loop) & here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2-rfD-VA6s

Shown is my Hummingbird Hammock which weighs a mere 147 grams, and which kept me safe in one of the wettest places on the planet the Dusky Track, Fiordland new Zealand. . I would use this set-up with a lightweight tarp such as this Heron Rain Tarp which weighs 8.6 ounces or 245 grams and costs US$144.95 (Nov 2017) or this Standard Hammock Tarp which weighs 7 ounces or 198 grams and costs US$249!.

You could use either tarp as an on-ground shelter and the hammock as a groundsheet if you wanted to – as I explained here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

I have many other posts about hammocking, as a search at the top of the page will reveal.

08/11/2017: Astonishing? ‘By 2001...a chicken reached the weight at which it would be killed in one-third of the time and after eating one-third of the food compared with the 1957 breed...represents...reduction in waste and in the..land devoted to growing feed per chicken’ http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/genetics-bigger-chickens

08/11/2017:  ‘Save the Planet’, the ‘great unwashed’ scream, yet we may have already done so (and by the unlikely means of the Industrial Revolution’). Let me explain: Plants need @ 200ppm of CO2 to survive. If the percentage drops below that (ie .02%) life will pretty much cease – yet the pre-Industrial world tilted perilously close to that. The percentage has varied from upwards of 20,000ppm in the time of the dinosaurs for example, down to just over 200ppm over time, during which warm, tropical periods and ice ages came and went completely uncorrelated to its percentage. However, steadily the percentage of CO2 being liberated by vulcanism and other processes eg from the carboniferous rocks, coal & peat deposits etc where it ‘ultimately’ becomes ‘locked up’, declined until just before the Industrial Revolution its percentage was such that the cessation of life on earth was imminent. The forests shrank and great plains and deserts spread across much of the globe as there was not enough CO2 to build any more forests, and much of life had to retreat to what were really oases to survive. Just in the nick of time (folks of a religious persuasion will see this as predestined) as a result of the Industrial Revolution personkind began to liberate vast quantities of carbon in the form of CO2 and a wonderful profusion of life was the result. The forests spread, the deserts and grasslands retreated and once more a profusion of life saturated the planet: We have added a continent the size of Australia of such greenery in a generation. That is the era we are living in: the Anthropocene. It can only get better! Here you see it: The Greening of Europe: You may remember how the ‘conservationists’ once claimed industrialisation was deforestation, that we were massively clearing land even though Landsat showed exactly the opposite was happening. Here most graphically is the evidence that puts the lie to their alarmism. Capitalism is so good for nature it should be compulsory! Hopefully we can soon be rid of the rest of their greenie nonsense; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/04/watch-how-europe-is-greener-now-than-100-years-ago/#comments

07/11/2017: Dino Paleo Diet: Supposing that the science of ‘Jurassic Park’ becomes a reality (or time travel, ‘The Lost World’, etc – all this is imminent, surely?) we will need to face the important practical and ethical issues of killing and eating dinosaurs. Folk will definitely have to do some hard practice at the Range to ensure their accuracy, as Dino’s vulnerable spots are likely quite hard targets. Your normal .30 calibre hunting rifle (even a .457 magnum really) will just punch pin-prick holes in one of these vast beasties, mostly just drawing its attention to you and making it angry. Though a heart shot might cause it to bleed to death eventually, the fact that its heart is likely larger than a bullock will mean that it will have eaten/trampled you before its demise. A brain shot is best, but its brain is likely about the size of your fist and is way up there, surrounded by bone, so shoot carefully. After you have decked it (just supposing) the vital ethical issues arise: Is it halal or kosher? Can you eat it during Lent, Fridays? Dinosaurs lack the necessary cloven hooves to be amongst the kosher herbivores and even if considered as distant relatives of the birds they lack the extra toe. Similarly aquatic plesiosaurs etc would surely be deemed ‘fish without scales’ & etc. That’s surely a lot of meat going to waste, right there. Leviticus might need to be rewritten (well, anyway!), and you might need to raise the height of your lounge room, as that trophy is going to be really big! Anyway, ‘Happy Hunting!’ http://gawker.com/steven-spielberg-exposed-as-inhumane-dinosaur-hunting-1603549847

07/11/2017: 'The Scam from Snowy River' - this is a very thoughtful piece and goes to show what liars and economic illiterates Greens are: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/10/the-scam-from-snowy-river

07/11/2017: Censorship: Once I was opposed to it when its targets were innocuous publications like ‘Lady Chatterly’ and Tropic of Cancer’…then along came various anarchist/terrorist instruction manuals (beginning with eg ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’), but things just got worse and worse. Now, I agree with this lady’s call to remove this publication – although I fear that such opposition may soon, if it is not already, be illegal:  http://moonbattery.com/?p=89456

 

06/11/2017: Turnbull is just nuts: Now he proposes that everyone should bring a note saying it’s OK for them to be in Parliament. Who wouldn’t pass that test? http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/06/turnbull-announces-citizenship--resolution-.html

 

06/11/2017: A friend I have known for 40 years wrote this yesterday: I reckon I am as Australian as anyone and a Turk and a Moslem as well. Do I need to be an anti islamic racist to be Australian? Is that what it takes? I don't think so.’ This was my reply: It's not about 'race' ‘Mohamed’ . It's about nationality. Our Australian nationality has always been as a descendant of Western civilisation, and especially as a member of the English speaking nations - along with all the huge pluses that involves: democracy, the rule of law, private property, free enterprise, support for the disadvantaged & etc. In contrast the Moslem world is decadent and barbaric. It is worth noting that a single college at Oxford University has produced twice as many Nobel Prize winners as the entire Moslem world, as has Israel. Islam has for nearly fifteen hundred years been at war with the West. Often 'we' (ie the West) have wished it were not so, and made enormous efforts to secure a lasting peace, but always without success. Islam is not a religion alone - with the usual silly beliefs in gods, afterlives, quaint customs, etc. More than anything else it is a political movement (like nazism and communism) whose ultimate goal has ever been world domination, and death to all who oppose it. This war will go on and on until one side or the other is eventually eliminated - or until all its adherents utterly reject the despicable teaching of that evil monster, Mohamed, a man who, if he had committed such crimes in the C20th century anywhere except in the Moslem world, would have been tried as a war criminal by the International Court of Justice and deservedly sentenced to life imprisonment or death. You have clearly chosen which side you are on. It is the wrong side. No nation can long tolerate the presence of Fifth Columnists in its bosom. You have had at least 40 years to chose the right side. As more and more Moslems commit dreadful deeds in the West as they do daily, the public's tolerance will wane. Ultimately it will require that people pledge their support for our society on their life, and wholly recant the obnoxious creed of Islam if they wish to remain amongst us. I would hope that those who will not are offered peaceful repatriation to some Islamic country - there are plenty after all. Islam has enslaved nearly a third of the world! I would not like to see wholesale slaughter as has occurred in the past - nearly always when Islam has prevailed. I might add. the latest opinion polls show 75% of the population are opposed to any further immigration and 50% (already) are opposed to any Moslem immigration! And you are posting anti-Israeli jihadist propaganda. Wake up ‘Mohamed’. You are on the wrong side. Israel is the only pluralist democracy in the Middle east and has long been a friend of Australia. Ditch that awful religion, and your unpatriotic allegiances. A further 25% are undecided. They won't be for long - as the long list of Islamic atrocities continues to grow daily. This, the Fifth Crusade which the Moslems started some time back is the first one in history in which atheists form a large portion of the ‘Christian’ forces, or ‘Crusaders’. What has happened is that both Christians and atheists (and many other folk besides – Jews, homosexuals, etc) face death in any triumph of Moslem hegemony. Politics certainly does make strange ‘bedfellows’!

06/11/2017: It sure was hot in 1932: we have never seen anything like it since. See here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/bird%20deaths%201932.pdf

06/11/2017: If renewables can’t provide cheaper electricity on a small windy island with no cheap competitor, where can it compete? What a rort it always is: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/abc-renewables-fantasy-island-farewells-diesel-except-for-40-of-its-power/

06/11/2017: The Saudis have paid to put English language copies of ‘The Noble Quran’ everywhere – at airports, prayer rooms, public libraries, etc. It is an evil text which preaches violent jihad, death and enslavement to any who are not Moslems. Plenty of excerpts here for those who are unconvinced. We must ban and expel this vile creed from Australia – as soon as possible: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/11/noble-quran-calling-violent-jihad-australia/

05/11/2017: Seems like Malcolm is down yet another member this morning. Now Hawke and Frydenberg, who simply cannot play the anti-semitic card to escape. His mother clearly entered Australia on a Hungarian passport. She was born in Hungary (whatever the Nazis tried to do to her) and he had to repudiate his Hungarian citizenship – which he did not. He is dead meat, someone who before he allied himself to the execrable Turnbull I though might one day make a half-decent PM! Liberals and Labor have been doing secret audits for weeks now - what I find surprising is that not one Labor member has been 'outed'. The thing is this: Parliament will soon be sitting. You must command a majority in the House of Reps. With Barnaby out (and he may lose his by-election), the LNP have a majority of one, counting the Speaker. With Frydenberg out, they must rely on one of the independents. With Hawke out as well, they must rely on both (Bob Katter Wow!). If there is a confidence vote at that point, (a member only has to be sick/absent) then Shorten is PM - even if only for an hour. Clearly he rushes to the GG and calls an election being 8% ahead in the polls. The Libs immediately dump Malcolm. Who will they run with during the election campaign? Most up-and-comings won't want to touch the leadership at that point as it would mean they would (likely) never be PM - although Andrew Hastie might win it for them, (as Hawke did against Fraser in a similar scenario) if he aligns with Bernardi and Hanson. I think they will run with Tony in that scenario. He will scrape a few seats which Turnbull has lost back - enough at least to make Shorten a one-term PM. Meanwhile Michael Smith's private prosecution against Gillard draws ever closer. He is going to succeed with this. The evidence has become overwhelming. The cops will not be able to ignore it. That's why he is publishing the evidence every day. It will also destroy Shorten. The Frydenberg document from the National Archives courtesy of Thomas Osburg: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155161213937711&set=a.10152808825502711.1073741825.523332710&type=3&theater

05/11/2017: Things to come…How high can it go: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/04/surge-of-support-in-qld-for-one-nation--poll.html

05/11/2017: Some chicks are nuts: Oh? Yeah: Andrea Dworkin, ‘Woman Hating’: ‘The incest taboo does the worst work of the culture: it teaches us the mechanisms of repressing and internalizing erotic feeling…The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism…The incest taboo can be destroyed only by destroying the nuclear family as the primary institution of the culture. The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.’ Thinking like this will bring progress?

05/11/2017: Maybe men are on the way out though: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/masculinity-is-toxic/news-story/6e42c8c5a6db42280f78e2f738767fc7

04/11/2017: Ultralight Compact Hiking Pole: We have used GG’s LT4 poles for many years. In just the last year mine have been to Everest and back, and many other places besides, such as the Dusky Track, and Mt Bartle Frère for example. The LT4s are a little long to fit in your pack when you are not using them, though GG packs have attachment points on the outside they can be lashed to. I have a pair of shortened (2’) two section poles which will fit in my pack, but these LT5s will do so right from the store. These would make a great Xmas present for your hiking other if you order them now. https://www.gossamergear.com/products/lt5-three-piece-carbon-trekking-poles-pair  US$195 per pair.

 

The collapsed poles have a short profile

Weight

Pole with strap and basket - 5.3 oz / 150 g

Pole -  4.6 oz / 130 g

Strap and screw - .4 oz / 12 g

Basket - .3 oz / 8 g

Adjust from

23.5" / 60 cm when closed to 51" 130 cm when fully extended for hiking

Section Lengths

Top section 19.5" / 49.53 cm

Middle section 19.25" / 48.98 cm

Tip section 18.75" / 47.62 cm

(Sections are replaceable separately should you break one - unlikely, though I have managed to cut one of my LT4s in half with a machete - don't ask!)

04/11/2017: Undivided Loyalty: Of course there should be an audit and those MPs who are fakes kicked out (and required to pay back moneys illicitly gained). I don’t think ‘dual citizenship should exist at all. (Why should one ‘man’ get two votes yet another only one – or none?) I certainly do not think MPs should be allowed to be dual citizens. Then, If you seek to represent Australia, you should be prepared to give our country your undivided loyalty. I think the same if you are a citizen of Australia. I have no particular objection to (some) citizens of other countries living here as ‘guests’ – but if they don’t behave themselves they should be able to be immediately ejected – as with any unwanted guest! And I think this was a much better country in the 1950s before we imported so many undesirable folk, and squandered most of our wealth in pampering to such ne’er-do-wells! I never thought we should be anything other than a British or European country – and I still think so! You can call me racist – or whatever you like, but you will have to describe the Japanese (and many others) in similar terms, as they do not think Japan should be for anyone other than Japanese either! A nation divided against itself cannot stand! http://pickeringpost.com/story/mark-latham-discusses-an-audit-with-shorten/7737

04/11/2017: We will fight them on the beaches…we will never surrender, by George: ‘the same repulsive strategy seen in Paris and London and Manchester, dignifying as ‘resilience’ what is really an enfeebled passivity no better than the Eloi in H G Wells' The Time Machine, who even as their neighbors are stolen by the Morlocks in the night forget them instantly and gather in the dawn to dance and arrange flowers as if nothing has happened. Free peoples need to recover some righteous anger, or they will lose their futures - and deserve to’. Mark Steyn. Headline: ‘Muslims Fear Backlash from Tomorrow's Terror Attack’

04/11/2017: ‘I, Pencil.’ Essential reading: https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil-audio-pdf-and-html/

03/11/2017: Ultralight Rain Jackets: I am looking around for a new rain jacket of both of us. People’s raincoats often weigh as much as 500 grams. Try weighing yours. So there is nearly a day’s worth of food (weight) to be saved in exploring a change to this item alone.

For many years I hunted deer in winter in the Victorian mountains carrying only a bum-bag or one of those poacher’s vests to keep all my gear down to a minimum. If it was not raining when I started out so that I was wearing my raincoat (which I would tie around my waist - as you do) if it stopped, all I ever carried was one of those 50 gram emergency ponchos (orange is a good colour in case you need to be found!). Often it rained all day. Admittedly I shredded them completely in the rough bush, but they even then they did keep me substantially dry. If you are track walking only, (and are careful with them - and have a bit of emergency repair tape besides) you can keep one going for several days. The best part is they cost only $1-3! You would be even better carrying one of Coghlans Emergency Survival Ponchos (mylar) at 88 grams and approx $10 as they will also keep you warm – even overnight in an emergency.

PS: Waterproofness and Breathability: I doubt very much of a raincoat ever needs to be over 1500mm of waterproofness. What this means ois that the fabric will support a column of water 1500mmm height (That’s 5’ in English!) before it begins to leak. Unless you are planning to use your raincoat as a boat, that will be quite enough. I doubt it can ver rain hard enough to exceed the weight of 5’ of water pressing onto it. Mind you, where there is also other pressure (eg your shoulder straps, that will have to be added to the waterproofness, so maybe, just maybe. Most every raincoat is over 10,000mmm of waterproofness, so I think you can probably ignore any figure over this. They will all keep out the rain!

As to breathability. I admit I was awestruck when Goretex first came along and wasted lots of good money on their rain jackets. I never found they were any better than my old oiled or waxed japaras. Under the right (or wrong) conditions of humidity you would get soaked to the skin in either! I have thought Event was a little better, but I have since been utterly drenched in that too – so I don’t know. A girl reviewing the Arcteyx below claims utterly superior breathability – perhaps I need to try that out!

We have a number of reasonably lightweight raincoats, some of which have done us sterling service in pretty wet places like Fiordland or Southern Tasmania, for example. Sometimes though, you can not like the feel or fit of a particular coat without finding any other fault with it. It is probably much like shoes and handbags (or cats as Lewis Carroll used to say): you just can’t have too many of them. Naturally though, the lighter the fabric the less durable the jacket will be in rough going. If you are going to be doing a lot of bush-bashing over the life of your jacket you should not choose an ultralight raincoat. We would mainly be buying a new ultralight jacket as a weight saving to have in our packs on multi-day hikes when we were not expecting it to rain.

Naturally I would want a raincoat Mens Size (eg Large) which is at least under 200 grams and preferably under 150, and one in Womens Size (eg Small) for Della which is under 150 and preferably under 120. Available colour can be a problem for some people. For example, I have a white raincoat, which is fine except I want it to be green. Probably neither of us wants to own another blue one – and so on. Price can also be an important factor. I have been looking at some possible choices:

Zpacks Vertice Rain Jacket 176 grams (Mens Medium) US$299 http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/wpb_jacket.shtml  The white raincoat I have is one of Joe’s. I accidentally ordered it in the wrong lengths (sleeves and coat) so that it doesn’t quite suit me, though it keeps me quite dry enough (and weighs under 150 grams in Men’s Large). This (white) material is his old material which is clearly lighter than his new one. I personally don’t like the ‘sticky’ feel of it, though there is nothing wrong with it. I dislike running my fingernails over felt too, but I can’t explain why. We both have rain pants in his new fabric and they feel fine and work excellently.  You may want something cheaper though…

Montane Minimus 230 grams (Mens) grams: https://www.montane.co.uk/mens-c1/minimus-jacket-p57  Della has a Montane jacket in Event which she just loves. This one would be a lightweight replacement for it. They used to make a jacket known as the H2O which would have been even lighter (around 150 grams) but it is no longer available. I am seeing this jacket from around A$170 which is pretty good value for a well-made product.

Montbell Versalite Jacket. I really like this one in Green, my favourite colour! We have lots of Montbell products which are lightweight and very functional, so this one has to be a likely candidate for me. It is good value for money from a well-known brand: https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328167&gen_cd=2 189 grams (Mens M)  A$189

Arcteryx Norvan: This Arcteryx jacket has to be worthy of consideration. This lady has given it an impressive review here. https://www.switchbacktravel.com/reviews/arcteryx-norvan-sl-hoody  $299 (215 grams in Mens large - 100grams (XS Womens?) US$299

Lukes Micro 10 Jacket 4.1 oz (Large) US$179: https://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear I really like the sound of this jacket. I just received a pair of Luke’s shorts. They actually weighed less tha his listed weight (25/28 grams). The legs are quite long too, so I will probably hem them up a bit shorter so that they come in at about 22 grams which would be hard to beat for an item of clothing to wear when mixed bathing or doing the laundry on the trail. Luke’s jacket seems to be the lightest and relatively the cheapest. I am tempted to order one and see how it goes. A sub 120 gram jacket in my size (Men’s Large) is pretty awesome.

Two others I should mention:

DriDucks: These are both ultralight and ultra-cheap (as well as being probably the most breathable available. if you are very careful with them, they will keep you quite dry. They also feel beautiful. The jacket alone is (from memory under 150 grams. The jacket plus pants costs around US$25! https://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/DriDucks.shtm

DIY Tyvek: As usual, you can make your own out of Tyvek. We are talking 150 grams and around US$10 here: Here is the link to do so: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultra-cheap-ultralight-rain-gear/

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

PS: Looking at the pics above I am reminded of Henry Ford's comment: You can have any colour you like as long as it's black!'

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-in-the-rain/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rain-skirt/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-avoid-being-wet-cold-while-camping/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-light-a-fire-in-the-wet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vapor-barrier/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shorts-28-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

03/11/2017: The Family Reunion Programme: 23 reasons why we should scrap it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5040235/Trump-reveals-NY-terror-suspect-brought-23-people.html

03/11/2017: Ayer’s Rock: This will go down well. Be interesting to see how well they get on without the tourists. Oh well, there are always even more Govt handouts and more victimhood and identity to claim: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/01/tourists-to-be-banned-from-climbing-uluru.html

03/11/2017: ‘Attempting to transform children into transsexuals is an appalling form of child abuse and should be regarded as such by the law’; Dr. Cretella is President of the American College of Pediatricians: http://moonbattery.com/?p=89209

03/11/2017: World’s most employable human parrot: Colourful, but unaffordable: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3859680/Human-parrot-57-admits-spends-pension-money-tattoos-surgery-look-like-favourite-bird-having-EARS-chopped-off.html

02/11/2017: Why tax fraud is a moral imperative: Sometimes you have to ask yourself what is the alternative, before you realise what the morally correct decision is. At present the great bulk of our wealth as a nation is being stolen from us by people being able to vote to do so, and is then transferred over eg to what ‘Pygmalion’ calls ‘the deserving poor’ who squander it outrageously on ‘bad’ things - so occasioning the need for even further ‘welfare’ spending, whilst the ‘undeserving poor’ (ie those condemned to work for a meagre living) ‘deserve’ and are ‘given’ nothing. . Of course it would be much better for the ‘deserving poor’ (and everyone else) if such folk were gainfully employed in physical labour – but that is not to be! Such a requirement would be ‘unjust’ and ‘unfair’. Therefore, it is everyone else’s duty to ‘steal’ back from the Government every cent of the illicitly gained taxes one can in order eg to pass them on to one’s children whose money it was, or ought to be. Mind you I have never understood why anyone pays any tax. Misplaced altruism perhaps? The rich long since worked out how not to. It only requires a little work and study to cheat the tax man out of every last cent! It is also a much more interesting game than any of the silly computer games the young seem obsessed with! An aside: Robin Hood did not 'Steal from the rich and give to the poor'. He stole the people's money back from the government and returned it to them!

02/11/2017: Despatches from The Fifth Column: ‘French police and intelligence services are surveilling around 15,000 jihadists living on French soil, Le Journal du Dimanche reported on October 9. Of these, some 4,000 are at "the top of the spectrum" and most likely to carry out an attack. Of the 1,900 French jihadists fighting with the Islamic State, as many as one-fifth have received as much as €500,000 ($580,000) in social welfare payments from the French state’, Figaro October 26, 2017 Meanwhile in Kabul a 13 year old suicide bomber: http://www.1tvnews.af/en/news/afghanistan/31895 and in New York: http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-city-officers-responding-reports-shots-fired-lower/story?id=50842052

02/11/2017: Blurring ‘Reality’: All these images have been generated by AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxxPcy5Gr4

01/11/2017: Confucian Academia: I have long railed against the ridiculous waste of providing everyone with a (pretend) university education, when most (not to mention society) would be much better served with a technical education. Nothing underlines this more than the fact that these academics are churning out vast tracts of garbage which no-one at all reads! ‘82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once - Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read.’ meaning that less than 3% have ever been read by anyone. Presumably even the person assessing them for a 'Higher' Degree! Compare that to my blog for example (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/) where often 1,000+ people have read a post within an hour of my posting it! Is it any wonder I gave up academia over 40 years ago! Yes, there are lots of savings governments could make. Slashing the so-called ‘education’ budget (which is just disguised welfare/unemployment ‘benefits’) is a case in point. Young folk would be ‘improved’ much more by being required to be outdoors doing some meaningful physical work – creating hiking paths or eradicating weeds on public lands, for example. http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-professors-are-writing-crap-nobody-reads 

 

01/11/2017: The environmental costs of electric cars: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/britain-can-have-electric-cars-or-turn-scotland-into-a-wind-farm-which-will-it-be-then/ See also: Who would have thought someone as ‘mainstream’ as Alan Kohler would advocate banning the internal combustion engine in Australia? Lunacy: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/alan-kohler-dreams-of-banning-combustion-engines-in-cars-in-australia/ This green lunacy has to stop before all the gains of the industrial revolution are discarded.

01/11/2017: Great quotes: T.B. Macaulay (1800-59): ‘We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason ... On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us.’

31/10/2017: First Confirmed Interstellar Visitor: https://newatlas.com/object-beyond-solar-system/51936/

31/10/2017: I know it is slow going, but you need to know why the AGW ‘theory’ is fallacious – and hence everything which is done in its name is unnecessary, or worse. For example, Kininmonth challenges the term “heat trapping gases” because: “There is sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere such that across the CO2 wavebands all the IR emission from the surface is completely absorbed within the first few tens of metres of the boundary layer; the CO2 cannot ‘trap’ any more of the surface IR emission.” Please, read on:  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/29/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-289/

31/10/2017: An Interesting observation. It certainly happened in teaching; now it is the Boy Scouts’ turn: As Martin van Creveld, the Israeli military historian noted, ‘the more women enter any professional field, the more men leave it. And as the men depart, so to do the prestige and the economic rewards provided by the field. This creates a vicious cycle that both expels existing men from the field while repelling new men from entering it.’ The upsides and downsides of feminism: http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/the-boy-scouts-converged.html Mind you, with around 25% of working age men actually unemployed now (and for the last c.20 years - and more and more women working hard to support them) , you have to ask yourself where the costs of feminism have fallen, and who if anyone benefits.

31/10/2017: Why are people poor? I think there are a lot of people who would benefit from this advice (if they were willing to take it!). Every day I see folks around me making the most spectacularly bad financial decisions (only later to lament them as a form of victimhood - eg ‘Why/Poor me?’). The decision to not be poor can be as simple as deciding to grow/cook your own food (instead of take-aways/restaurants) or realising you don’t need a new shirt/pair of shoes; you don’t need to buy a new car, when yours has only done (eg) 150K, ie it is newer than any car I have bought in the last 30 years! You don’t need that large house; you don’t need someone else to build it; you don’t need that expensive overseas holiday when you have not even seen 1% of Victoria’s Alps or rivers. And etc, etc: http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2014/09/29/how-not-to-be-poor/?repeat=w3tc

30/10/2017: 100th Anniversary of Beersheba Today: If you have not read Ion Idriess’ ‘The Desert Column’ (you should. You can download it for free: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ion-idriess-the-desert-column/) read this article. Did you know for example that it was the Australians (and not the British) who took the Turkish surrender in WW1? http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/10/100th-anniversary-of-the-great-cavalry-charge-australias-4th-light-horse-brigade-in-the-taking-of-be.html An interesting review here: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2011/09/ion-idriess-and-the-desert-column/

30/10/2017: The Ultralight Deer Hunter: You will definitely see more deer if you spend longer deep in the bush where they live, and especially if you can spend the night out with them. I prefer to 'get away from it all' and camp out far from anyone else rather than hunting the fringes of private land where I admit there are lots of deer.

Here are some suggestions for an ultralight deer hunter’s ‘Gear List’. In any case it is worthwhile reducing your overall hunting pack weight as it will mean you can walk further (and more quietly). The further you walk, and the harder you look, listen and smell, the more deer you will encounter. See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

Pack: First of all, as I suggested here (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-hunting-daypack/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-daypack/), you need to reduce your pack weight. The ‘MLD Burn’ is an excellent choice for a rugged hunting overnight or day pack at 370 grams. You might also consider Zpacks’ 38 litre Nero at 309 grams: http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/nero.shtml though the fabric is a little lighter. It may nonetheless be just as strong - or even stronger. It is adjustable.

 

What would I put in it for an overnight stop?

Tent: Of course I would have my ‘Pocket Poncho Tent’ (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/) at 185 grams – and you may be lucky to have one too if I can manage to organize manufacturing them in Asia somewhere (soon?) Otherwise you should look around for something around 250 grams such as Gossamer Gear’s Twinn Tarp: https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/tents/products/twinn-tarp NB: As an alternative, I have also recommended a hammock/tarp/pad combo here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

If you prefer a tent, you could either make your own as I do, perhaps starting with this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poly-tent-by-the-ultralight-hiker-on-the-cheap/ for approx $10 (try a search for 'Tent' above) eg the Forester Tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-tyvek-forestertent-design/), or there are quite a few 500 gram (ish) tents now available, such as this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/500-gram-tents/, or Six Moon Designs eg  https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/tarps/products/gatewood-capen at 340 grams, or Mountain Laurel Designs eg:

https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/trailstar/ from 340 grams, or Zpacks eg http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/solplex.shtml 439 grams (this one includes floor/bug net), etc.

Pegs/Guys: Of course you will need some pegs (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tent-stakes-and-tricks/ )and guys (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-perfect-guy-line-for-a-hiking-tenttarp/), say about 70-80 grams worth..

Groundsheet: I might use a space blanket as a ground sheet if I thought I needed one; I usually carry one anyway for safety/first aid (50 grams) – but I will soon have my Bathtub Groundsheet Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/) when I get around to making it - at approx 85 grams (I estimate). A little comfort never went astray! There are lots of ultralight options including polycryo: https://www.gossamergear.com/products/polycryo-tent-footprint-ground-cloths which would work out at 23 grams. If you yearn for something a little tougher, I guess you could opt for a piece of sinylon, eg http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/xenon-sil-11 which will still likely be under 50 grams depending on size (eg 2' X 7'). You can drape the edges over some fallen timber to create a bathtub floor effect if it is raining heavily and you anticipate flooding.

Mat: You could use a 4’ Thermarest Neoair X-Lite (ie Small https://www.thermarest.com/mattresses/neoair-xlite-2 ) as a mat, and put your feet on your pack for a bit of insulation – 230 grams. For more comfort I usually opt for the ‘Womens’ size at 340 grams and 5'6" http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/.

If/when it becomes available I would try the Big Agnes AXL Air: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/big-agnes-axl-air-pad/ (300 grams for the 6’ long by 3” thick model which I would shorten by about 6” – 270 grams - as I am somewhat vertically challenged! Anyway I usually sleep on my side curled up a bit so I can fit comfortably on a 5' mat).

Sleeping Bag: My favourite sleeping bag is the Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 now at 624 grams http://www.theultralighthiker.com/montbell/ though my own older model is lighter (<600). I would also carry some other Montbell clothes (See ‘Clothes’ below) for warmth such as the ‘Superior Down’ coat (200 grams) and vest (150 grams). If it is a particularly cold night I put the coat on my upper body and the vest on my lower. This reduces the temperature of the down bag from -1c to approx -10C.

Zpacks makes an even lighter model (which Della has). Her 5'9" bag warm to -7C weighs 499 grams inc compression sack: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-zpacks-sleeping-bag/

Pillow: You should try this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/exped-ultralight-pillow/ at 45 grams or this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/diy-super-ultralight-pillow/ . Say 10 grams.

Of course Bonnie Prince Charlie (somewhat effeminately) used just a stone as a pillow when he was camping out in the snow in a Scottish winter in just his kilt and cloak. Those Scots are/were tough!

Dry Socks & Shoes: If you suffer from cold feet, you might consider a pair of Goosefeet Gear down sox  https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-socks/ – 50 grams (and of course I carry my home-made Dyneema slippers for a dry change of shoes: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/19-gram-dyneema-camp-shoes/ - 24 grams.

Another option is a pair of Sealskin Socks https://www.sealskinz.com/walking-thin-ankle-socks-dark-grey-black.htm (mine weigh approx 80 grams but they may not be the lightest model) which enable you to wear wet shoes - or just carry dry socks and maybe some Crocs.

Cookset: I outlined my minimum cookset here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-windscreen/ 60 grams. A slightly larger model here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cookset-woes/ Of course you will need a 9 gram (12 long) spoon to go with that: http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/kitchen/alpha-light/ and maybe some Esbits - or you could be carrying your egg-ring stove (as I do) and just burn some twigs: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/

Rainwear: Try to keep the weight of this down. If you weigh your raincoat don’t be surprised if it is over 500 grams. Choice here is a bit more difficult for hunting where significant abrasion might be a factor. (Much moreso if you are a hound hunter rather than a stalker). Raincoats range down to around 150 grams or less, (Luke's Ultralight/Zpacks) - again see Montbell’s range.

If you are careful with a lightweight coat it will serve you well. If you are trying to be very quiet it is unlikely you will tear your raincoat; besides it isn't always raining.

Soon (I hope) you will be able to take advantage of my Pocket Poncho tent which will keep you dry both during the day and at night (with a minimum weight of about 185 grams.

Raincoat: Lightest and best value for money are probably Montbell’s offerings, eg the Versalite https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328276&gen_cd=1 at 189 grams.

The cheapest fully breathable waterproof jacket (not very durable – but very light) is the DriDucks by Frogg Toggs. I personally like an ‘Event’ Raincoat; I have two which have kept me very dry in trying conditions. I also like Zpack’s new raincoat.

Hat: If you really want to have a warm head of a night, I have one of Ray Jardine’s ‘Bomber’ hats my wife Della made for me years ago at 30 grams. I doubt she will make one for you. A number of people offer down balaclavas, eg: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/goosehood.shtml at 37 grams or https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-balaclava/.

I also use a ‘Buff’ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/are-you-beautiful-in-the-buff/ to keep my neck and particularly my nose warm (37.5 grams) This is the very acme of luxury! During the day I have my Icebreaker wool cap (now alas, deleted): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-deer-hunters-cap-best-ultralight-cap/ fortunately I have a number of them!

Gloves: If it is really freezing, I have the MLD Rain Mittens http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-mitts-and-gaiters/ 42 grams. (I also have their ultralight gaiters – I find they work wonderfully to keep rubbish out of your shoes). The mittens work really well on very cold wet days when otherwise your hands would freeze – of course they do interfere just a bit with your trigger finger!

Under the mitts I can wear a pair of ultralight polypropylene or wool gloves, such as Icebreaker’s Oasis Glove Liners http://au.icebreaker.com/en/accessories/oasis-glove-liners/IBM207.html?dwvar_IBM207_color=001 at 24 grams.

Dry Clothes: Dry clothes (and a raincoat) are options if it is likely to rain. (Otherwise you might just carry a disposable poncho and risk having to dry your clothes out with your body heat). Keep these as light as possible. Again Montbell are hard to beat with their windpants 53/75 grams and windshirts 55 grams https://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=25048&gen_cd=1, or you could just take some Icebreaker of Kathmandu wool thermals as your dry change – and for extra night insulation.

Clothes: Start from the skin out. Weigh your clothes. Most of those proprietary ‘hunting’ clothes and shoes are heavy as lead, particularly when wet. I always wear wool socks. The lightweight Holeproof Heroes (now rebadged as Bonds) in summer, and Explorers in winter have been long-term stand-bys for me, durable and cheap.

Wigwam are, arguably better but much more expensive. I have not tried them yet, but these folk guarantee their (hunting) socks for lifehttps://darntough.com Unbelievable! http://www.theultralighthiker.com/warranties-on-outdoor-gear/

Then I would wear lightweight trousers such as the Columbia Silver Ridge. (I have yet to find anything as light and as durable for their weight). To counter the smelliness which can develop in nylon clothing I recommend wearing Icebreaker wool knickers such as these underneath: http://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-layering-underwear/anatomica-briefs/103031.html?dwvar_103031_color=401

Since you will normally be hunting in the winter months wear a long sleeve wool shirt such as the Tomar from Kathmandu or the Departure 2 from Icebreaker. They are tough enough to withstand a bit of bush-bashing. In the summer months I wear a knitted wool top such as this: http://www.kathmandu.com.au/mens/clothing/tops/ometo-men-s-polo-shirt-v2.html but they are not so durable.

Anyway always wool if you don't want to stink - and remember if you stink the deer will smell you too! . For layering, I also recommend wool: an Icebreaker/Kathmandu tee, long top and/or longjohns. I also wear an Icebreaker wool cap: which unfortunately for you are no longer available.

NB: These folk now have wool camo hunting clothes: https://www.firstlite.com/products.html just as Icebreaker used to have: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camo-merino-wool-for-deer-hunting/

For insulated layers in really cold weather and of a night, I choose Montbell again. Their Thermawrap series are one of the lightest synthetic insulated garments. You might chose a vest in this material for an extra layer if needed in the daytime (when it might get wet) and a Montbell down coat of a night. I own their Superior Down coat (and vest, as well as the Thermawrap vest). I see they now have a 1000 fill power down (Plasma) jacket – but it is much more expensive.

Larry Adler is the Australian supplier: https://www.montbelloutdoor.com.au/  There are some items which they do not stock, but they might get them in...Ask them. If it is still unavailable it is possible to order it from the US (using shipito) but you also need a virtual credit card (also from shipito). Messy, but possible.

Shoes: I suggest some ultralight shoes such as the Topos I reviewed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/topo-terraventure-shoes/  or some Keens: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/keen-shoes/ If you have wide feet like me. There are other lightweight options such as Inov-8s if you have narrower feet.

Guns and Knives: I have posted about the lightest effective knife I have found (at 16 grams ea) here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/

Another heavier choice which might interest you (if you don't fancy sharpening your knife) is here:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/never-have-to-sharpen-your-knife-again/

If you do like to sharpen it, you might still want an ultralight sharpener: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-knife-sharpener/

You probably know I use a lever action .308 in take-down (so I can put it in my canoe bag or pack): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/308s/. You probably also know that the short action round makes for a lighter gun than the long action. I realise a lever action (and a take-down) both outweigh a standard bolt action, but I have my reasons.

Also, sambar are not really 'big game' animal. A .308 is quite adequate to stop them. If you want something 'bigger' try the WSM. Obviously iron sights (which I chose for ethical reasons) are much lighter too than telescopic sights.

There are people who specialise in 'sporterising' rifles to make them lighter (as everyone, including me), used to do with their old .303s! You could probably get your deer rifle down to perhaps 2.5kg, so still it is clearly the single heaviest thing you are carrying.

Electronics:

Torch: I use a AAA torch. I confess I am outrageous and often carry two of them (one for use as a lantern and one as a headlamp), but they only weigh at most 14-16 grams each (inc some string a micro cord lock and a couple of O-rings to turn them into a head torch): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lighter-brighter-better/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/11-gram-rechargeable-head-torch/ Clearly you also need a few spare batteries at 10 grams each.

Phone: I take my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini phone with me (at 120 grams inc battery) as (in Flight Mode) I can get nearly a week's use out of it just every now and then using the mapping App, or reading a book, listening to music, etc. It also makes a good back-up camera.

Camera: The camera I am using at the moment is this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-camera/ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camera-glassing/ at 160 grams inc battery/card (and it has taken some good shots - I'm sure you'll agree!), but I know there are now models with better optics (eg 30-40 X zoom) and programming which are not a lot heavier, and which will secure some better long-distance/poor light etc shots. The Sony XXX is a case in point.

PLB: I think you should carry some safety equipment (apart from your First Aid kit). If you are on a budget the Spot Messenger http://www.theultralighthiker.com/get-lost-get-found-plbepirb/ at 114 grams is the way to go. If you are a bit better heeled then you might go for an Inreach http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-poor-mans-satellite-phone/ at 191 grams or even an Iridium Extreme Sat Phone at 247 grams: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-not-so-poor-mans-sat-phone/

Saw: You will need something perhaps to get those antlers off (or you may choose to carry out the whole head and cape out if you are very strong). You can make an ultralight bow saw (eg using a 15" bone saw blade) as discussed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-saws/ The lightest thing I know for this purpose is a length of embryo wire (available from veterinarians).

First Aid: You certainly should carry a small kit. It is a matter of personal taste what you carry really. I carried an elastic bandage and a sling (for example) for over twenty years and never needed them - but when I did (della dislocated her shoulder) I needed them in the worst way! I carry a number of drugs: Panadeine Forte, some anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea, Imodium, antihistamine, band-aids, bandages, blister pads... I would allow at least 100 grams for this vital component.  

Essentials Tally (Gun and Ammo + worn clothing plus):

Pack:370 grams

Tent: 340 grams

Pegs/Guys: 80 grams

Groundsheet: 50 grams

Mat: 340 grams

Pillow: 45 grams

Sealskin Socks: 80 grams

Cookset: 69 grams

Dry top/bottom: 108 grams

Insulated vest & coat: 156 + 208

Knife: 32 grams

Saw: 20 grams

Phone: 120 grams

PLB: 114 grams

Torch and batteries: 56 grams

First Aid, say 100 grams

Cumulative Total:2218 grams

Add Food: approx 500 grams/ day.

I'm sure you can see that my total is probably less than the weight of your day pack (empty).

PS: I have usually gone for a higher number here than I actually carry (eg so that it is something you can currently buy), so that for example my tent weighs 185 grams, my current pack 230 grams...so, I could probably shave 300+ grams off this total, say to a max of 1.9kg!

Spot and I stop for lunch by the river. That small pack has everything I need for over a week's hunting - including Spot's bed and rations, and he is a bigger eater than I am! And you can see I had brought my machete along in case I needed to do some clearing, and my hiking poles in case my knees or back gave trouble - which fortunately they did not.

If you would like to get an encyclopedic idea of my multi-day hiking list, you might find this interesting: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-stalking-101/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lure-of-the-moose/

29/10/2017: The Fast Hiker: I know I certainly don't look it (and I confess I am not), but the site had been dreadfully slow. Didn't bother me - I am in no hurry to meet my maker. But I know many of you have better things to do than waiting for pages to load...so i am working on speeding things up.

As I work on it some speed problems are intermitently getting worse, but I/we are tackling the issue, and it will get enormously better!

So far the Home Page has shrunk from over 16 megabytes to 1.3 (mainly by removing photos. I compressed all 14,500 photographs (by 69%!) with Short Pixel Optimiser. This saves people a lot of data! I updated PHP to version 7.1 which sped things up by about 50%. I have updated teh Cron job -whatever that is! I also installed WP Super Cache which stores pages which have already been accessed and so speeds up loading them.

The speed to load a page should already have come down from something like 10 seconds (Sorry!) to something like 2 seconds. I hope I can get it under 1 second without any loss of functionality/quality, etc. Of course I am no computer expert. i am a retired farmer (who still has a lot of thistles to spray and other odd jobs) and who would like to be off hiking/canoeing, etc.

These were the easy fixes. Getting down from around 2 seconds to under 1 second will involve a whole lot of quite cunning computer programming wrinkles where I will no doubt need some professional help, but I will keep hammering away at it over the next few weeks until i achieve that goal. The list is incredibly long and complicated! Thanks for being patient!

28/10/2017: The Lure of the Moose:

Oh, the enchantments of Fiordland: Again and again I have returned to this lush green Eden searching for one of these surviving giants of the Pleistocene, which though deported from their ancient homeland in the vast Boreal forests of the North, yet linger there today. For me it is a tale which began when I picked up a copy of Australian Deer back in the 1990s on whose cover this wonderful grainy image gazed out at me:

Instantly I wanted to put myself in that picture. My daughter Merrin even Photoshopped me into it as a birthday present! The article which accompanied it introduced me to this man, Eddie Herrick whose quest for this gentle giant in the vastness of Fiordland with his guide Jim Muir consumed so much of his life. Every year for thirty years he spent three months there, searching for them: ten whole years of their lives! Even more of Muir's. On three occasions he was rewarded with such an experience as the photo above shows: two bulls and a three-legged cow!

The one above was the bull moose he took in 1934 in what is now eponymously Herrick Creek in Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound. I guess it is about the top of the small lake in the lower section of the creek. You can see he was about the age (50-ish) I was when I began my search, so I had no feeling that what I was to undertake was impossible. Though I have found that it is very nearly so, and anyway supremely difficult, every year a powerful magnetism draws me thither.

Jim Macintosh's cow moose 1950s:

Shortly after I read the article I acquired Ken Tustin’s wonderful book and video ‘A Wild Moose Chase’, Max Curtis’ ‘Beyond the River’s Bend’ and Ray Tinsley’s ‘Call of the Moose,’ each being about NZ’s famous or fantastic moose herd - and all of which I devoured eagerly. I was hooked.

At the same time I read several other books about moose in general. I was soon becoming an armchair expert on these giant creatures. Of course I wanted to journey to New Zealand to have a look myself. I never imagined I would have enough money to see them in Canada where you have to push them off the back porch - anyway I prefer a challenge!

My fiftieth birthday came and went. My wife, Della purchased me the first brand new deer caliber rifle I had ever owned, a Browning Lever Action (BLR) in .308 calibre. What a wife! She also encouraged me to make the trip as soon as I could before I was too old to do so. Hang the expense! I planned to go in the New Year 2000; it ended up getting pushed out to nearly the end of February. Still an excellent time to be in Fiordland. Two sambar hunting mates, Brett and Michael got wind that I was going (originally by myself) and decided they needed to chaperone me!

Lots of planning, particularly of gear ensued. You would think we were C18th century explorers heading off for darkest Africa! All the same I was only going away from home for eight days. I really don't know how Della was able to manage to look after the farm/s as well as go to work then - we had hundreds of acres and well over a thousand sheep scattered over half a dozen different properties - but she did. I think we planned on having five days 'moose hunting' at Supper Cove.

Cow moose snapped by Max Curtis, Herrick Creek, Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound 1950s

We landed in Christchurch then drove down to Te Anau. Michael at least had never been to NZ before and Brett had not seen Fiordland. This was a sentimental journey for me as Della and I had lived in Christchurch in 1975 and had toured all over the South Island together on a 250cc Honda motorcycle. I had never been anywhere without her before, so I confess I was missing her as we traveled down the island. Everything i saw I wanted her to see too. She would have to wait another thirteen years for her turn! She is a patient person.

We had organised to fly in with the 'Wings on Water' float plane to Supper Cove and so begin our search from there. This was the first time Michael or I had ever been in a small plane. As I have a problem with heights (even to changing lightbulbs!) I felt that I would have to close my eyes, grit my teeth and endure, but as it turned out I loved it, and would pay to do it again and again!

The high flight over Lakes Te Anau and then Manapouroi, glimpses into icy sunless valleys to the north, a panorama of Doubtful Sound, then the plunge through Centre Pass and a slow descent down the mighty Seaforth valley over towering Tripod Hill and the perched Lochs (Gair & Maree), past the southern home of the moose (the Henry Burn) and on to the glittering expanse of the vast Dusky fiord is a journey worth a million dollars (but only costs NZ$330 - 2017!)

Percy Lyes NZ bull moose 1950s

We had all been hunting sambar deer in (what we thought of as) rough country in Gippsland for years, so reckoned we could tour the Fiordland forests in much the same way. For example, It is just a handful of kilometres ('as the bird flies') from Supper Cove over the range to the mouth of Herrick Creek. We foresaw that as a day hunt. In fact it is an arduous trip of at least four days return which I am yet to complete. Being just shy of 70 now, I am doubtful I ever will, but next autumn I know I will feel differently once more!

Supper Cove is at the head of Dusky Sound, the largest fiord in NZ. It was discovered and named by the same Captain Cook as the East Coast of Australia. The first European structures in NZ were built there - even the first house, surprisingly by the shipwrecked crew of another ship also (like Cook's) called the 'Endeavour'.

The Supper Cove hut is adjacent to a lovely little beach where the Hilda Burn flows into the top of the fiord just South of Supper Cove itself - which is formed by the mighty Seaforth River flowing into the head of the fiord, creating a shallow semicircular cove perfect for flatfish. You can walk across this cove at low tide from the northern end of this little beach just past the helipad, but there is a deep gut formed by the Hilda Burn flowing in, so if you want a drier crossing you are better to walk up the track past the Hilda Burn before you cross.

Brett walking across Supper Cove on a low-ish tide:

If you wish to look for moose (or red deer eg during the Roar) along the Seaforth the three huts (Supper Cove, Loch Maree and Kintail) are good bases from which you can make daily forays up the many 'Burns' and onto the slips searching for these elusive monsters which (especially in the warmest days of summer) I believe often lie cooling themselves in the deeper pools. At other times they are likely to be too widely dispersed for you to ever encounter one, but they do particularly like the fuchsia regrowth on slips. If you are there at the end of February as we were on this occasion, you might even hear a bull moose call (as we did on the last day of February 2000), or perhaps even a cow answer him.

Initially at least Michael decided he would make the Henry Burn his own, whilst Brett and I focused our attentions on the Hilda and 'Waterfall' Burns. We arrived around lunchtime and reckoned impetuously we had enough time to check out the Hilda Burn quite thoroughly that afternoon. Of course we had not gone more than 300 metres before we realised that our times/distances would be very different than we had imagined.

If you try to follow the Hilda Burn upwards you realise quite soon that your way is blocked by a vast angry cataract that it is impossible to pass or climb. You have to go up one side or the other. The first afternoon we ascended on the true right bank (looking downstream - that is the convention). About 200 yards above the existing hut there is the ruins of an earlier hut. The first thing I knew about it was that I had tripped over a barbed wire 'fence' hiding in the undergrowth badly tearing my shin- something which you most certainly are not expecting in the enormous wilderness of Fiordland. No-one I have encountered seems to know anything at all about this ruin, but there is some wire, netting and sheets of iron there which might come in handy sometime if you know they exist.

The cataract in the Hilda Burn

Here are the remains of the old hut.

Even only traveling this far up the ridge you need to be alert to keeping the position in mind of the roar of the water falling in the Burn, as when you turn to descend you will swiftly realise that the country fissures and falls away in all directions with very steep, narrow guts which it is well-nigh impossible to traverse laterally, something which the deliberate focusing on ascent is likely to lead you to ignore. It is incredibly easy to become 'bluffed out' in Fiordland - meaning that you may relatively easily ascend but when descending not be able to find or see a way down at all. You have to pay incredibly close attention to the route you took on the way up.

We climbed above the second hut, hauling ourselves over rocks and tree roots through vastly wet, dense terrain until the roar of the water diminished so we judged we could safely descend into the upper Hilda Burn. As we angled down into it at one point we had to climb a monstrous fallen log about the height of my nose (say about 5'), so that I could not actually see the top of it. When I had clambered my way up onto it, I was astonished to find right on top of it fresh moose droppings! Boy, they are big beasts! It was completely obvious what they were, as everywhere in the forest there were red deer droppings - pretty much indistinguishable from sambar droppings (being similarly sized deer ie approximately jelly bean sized).

The enormous moose droppings centre and normal sized red deer droppings right and below them (above the leaf).

These moose droppings were nearly as large as my thumb in comparison. Brett picked up some red deer droppings and handed them to me so that I could photograph the two so they could be compared. Back then practically no-one believed that moose had survived in Fiordland into the C21st. Most believed they had died out soon after Percy Lyes had shot his bull moose back in the early 1950's. But here we were only an hour or so into the Fiordland forest and we had in our hands (so to speak) proof that a moose had passed this way within the last day or two (the incessant rain makes smart work of any 'sign' in Fiordland).

Above is a photo of those fewmets. My apologies for the quality of the photos in this post. In 2000 I had the latest 'Advantix' film camera, but technology sure marches on. I thought the snaps I took back then were just brilliant, but I am embarrassed by their poor quality now, as I am also becoming embarrassed by the present quality of my digital camera compared with the results from Della's Samsung Galaxy 7's. Mind you the forests are so dark, it is very difficult indeed to get good photos. Maybe if you are an expert (and can afford to lug along a few kilos of photography kit), as I am neither...

We beat our way down towards the river following the tracks I guess of a large red deer. He arrived at the river just above a wide clearing on the true right bank caused by one of the innumerable slips which beset that country and which create most of the new feeding opportunities for the moose herd. Unusually (most are covered with fuchsia regrowth) this slip had been kept quite grassy by the innumerable red deer, of which there was lots of sign. But also, cutting right across the bottom of the clearing were the huge tracks of a moose. With feet as large as a cow's or horse's he had sunk almost a foot deep as he crossed. The smaller red deer tracks in comparison had made much less of an impression, and were everywhere to be seen and compared There was no comparison. Clearly these tracks were from a vastly larger animal, which in that situation could be nothing but a moose.

The clearing on the true left side of the Hilda Burn.

Eddie Herrick shot an ancient three-legged cow moose (I think) in the Hilda Burn in the 1930s. She was likely the one who clearly broke its leg when they were tipped out off the boat in Supper Cove. You can see that one has a broken leg in the photo of the herd standing in Supper Cove looking mournful - poor things had been raised on lucerne and such! Amazingly, though she must have lost the leg (to gangrene?), she had survived in that most moose inhospitable terrain for nigh on thirty years. Knowing that they were that tough I had many doubts that they had somehow mysteriously died out sometime after 1950. Here was one who had walked across this clearing in the last day or two, clearly making this valley and its surrounds its home!

Brett in the Hilda Burn.

Also on this clearing there was a small tree or sapling (I suppose 3" in diameter) which had clearly been pushed over and stripped by something, the bark on the top also having been chewed away. I remember wondering why the tree had 'fallen' at such a strange angle, as if an immense wind had pushed it over, so that its top was no more than a metre above the ground. I guess it was nearly twenty years before I was informed by (Ken Tustin) that this behaviour of  walking trees down is a favourite moose feeding strategy. On this trip I saw it again and again - and I have seen it many more times since. It is unmistakable moose 'sign'.

By the time we had descended to the stream it was becoming sufficiently dark that we needed to turn right round and head back unless we wanted to spend our first night in Fiordland sitting around in our raincoats in cold, wet bush. For advice about that, see: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/ You should definitely avoid that situation. My advice is to carry a hammock and tarp so you can spend a dry night in the bush.

Looking down from the Hilda Burn.

I guess it was the next day we decided, (it having been too difficult scrambling up the true right bank) that we would find a way up the true left bank. Let me tell you, it was no better, if not worse. There is some very steep going, a huge tangle of fallen trees, at least one waterfall to traverse - just to get above the cataract. And you had better remember just how you got there, as when you are coming back down you will find that the way up was the only way! Just that happened to us. It was only that when we became 'bluffed' we sat down for a smoke or a bite to eat, to 'study' on our dilemma, and when we sat down that we realised that the last little bit we had had to crawl up - a reality which became apparent when we got low enough to see where we had come. A cup of tea or a smoke (or sleep on it) are always good strategies if in doubt.

We saw a few red deer on the slip as we passed. They weren't particularly alerted to our passage. The heavy cover of moss everywhere in Fiordland and the sodden nature of everything sucks up a lot of sound. Mostly all you can ever hear is water moving, falling, sloshing, dripping...There is very little birdsong (well, there are very few birds) but even so their song does not carry as it does in Victoria. Often you can see that they are singing even quite close up, say less than 20 yards, yet are unable to hear them.

On this or another occasion Brett was walking up the true right bank as I walked up the true left. At one point I wanted to attract his attention, so I whistled. No response. Then I blew a blast on my ultra loud Fox 40 whistle which the manufacturers reckon you can hear up to a mile away! No response. He was perhaps 40 metres away. The sound was just soaked up by the forest. And he is not deaf like I am. You can see how, the folks who have shot a moose in Fiordland pretty much universally just stumbled on it (usually very close to a creek) when it stood up, they went, 'Crack!' and down it went. End of hunting story.

Walking high up in the Hilda Burn:

There is a section of morass to cross (on the true left bank). It is quite difficult going, and remains so. These morasses are ubiquitous in Fiordland and very dangerous. I can well believe you can get stuck in them and be unable to extricate yourself. You can very suddenly plunge (right on the edge) up to your hips - as I have done many times. If you can throw yourself backwards as you fall in it is easier to get out.  Another grave danger of walking in the Fiordland bush is that all these large gullies are actually the moraines of ancient glaciers. Underneath they are boulder fields. And in many places not very far underneath. You need to test each step before you put your weight on it to ensure that you are not going to plunge downwards into a huge crevasse - as I did on the fourth day trying to ascend the 'Waterfall Burn'. Downwards over my head in an instant. Fortunately I did not break anything except my dignity and I was able to climb back out again. Probably the gullies are worst for this than the ridges.

I cannot now remember whether on the particular day I am relating I was alone in the valley - as I have been several times since - or if Brett was somewhere else in the valley. Anyway, I had dropped down into the stream by myself and was wading along in it - as that was the easiest going, Every now and then getting out, then getting back in again. I'm sure you know what thick difficult going is like. There came a point where as I was rounding a bend in the stream, (the banks being nearly as high as I am) something very large and dark surged up and thundered off in a cloud of spray further up the stream, giving me just the barest glimpse of it. All I could say was that it was not a bull, as I would have been able to see its antlers above the banks of the stream.

I followed it (as quietly as I could - spooked things will often halt to look back and see what it was which frightened them) when shortly the stream split in two. Where the two streams joined there was a large patch of sand, and clear as day in the sand were the unmistakable prints of a moose. They were very nearly as large as a cow's prints, and they had the 'signature' dew claw marks a couple of inches behind the main hoof prints such as only moose amongst deer kind have. I would have a photo of them only when I was coming back down again some time later, the rain had all but blurred them clear away - it does rain lots in Fiordland. Expect to get very, very wet, even in Goretex such as I was wearing.

It had crept off upwards into a large swampy area lying between the two streams which did not show up on the topographic map. It must have been very difficult to get good (and accurately interpret) aerial photography in Fiordland. I followed the beast around in this swampy area for I guess about an hour, each circling the other trying to get a look, sometimes seeing a bit of leg perhaps. The water was ankle to knee deep, and there were many small islands each with a vast tree protruding from its centre and surrounded by lowish bushes. The cloud cover came half-way down the trunks of the trees. A prehistoric landscape for a prehistoric creature. I could have taken a shot at it through vegetation - it was often clear just where it was - but I never (nor should you) ever do such a thing. A deer missed is one thing; a dead mate is missed a long time!

Alas, once again light was going to beat me. I had to break off the chase or I would be spending a terrible night out in this saturated forest. There is just no way you could make your way down in failing light or darkness. Having had so little trouble 'putting up' a moose, I was also optimistic that I might do it again. There is no end to human folly!

It disappeared somewhere up there into the head of the burn, and it is no doubt there yet!

After breakfast next morning we were all standing on the edge of the verandah of the hut looking up the Cove, enjoying a smoke or a cup of coffee when a large animal started calling. I thought it sounded something like a cross between a koala bear and a camel. It was definitely not a red deer (which I had heard) or a wapiti (which I have also since heard - they really do bugle. Eerie!) - and it was definitely not a bird of any kind, though there were many Canada geese on the Cove (and we had heard their call many times).

Even though we had been there then for a couple of days, we had still not (instinctively) adjusted our hearing's ability to pinpoint where a sound came from to Fiordland's conditions (I have already mentioned the episode of the whistle). It takes a while for perception to adjust. Another example is one's ability to actually focus on these NZ mountains. They are so much steeper than  ours in Australia, they appear to our perceptions to be closer and/or you find yourself actually unable to focus on exactly where they are. Things can seem blurry, eerie. When you go there you will see what I mean.

So I guess we can be forgiven for being unable to work out exactly where the moose was (we were quite sure that was what it must be - and we were right). Our Australian senses made us overlook a flat area near the mouth of the Hilda Burn nearby (too close). It was clearly coming from the next valley over, what we called the 'Waterfall Burn' both because of the waterfall at the bottom, and the even larger one at the top of it. Here is a photo of the lower one, which you can see would be very difficult and dangerous to climb, and which would be death to descend if the stream rose very much in heavy rain. I do not have a photograph, though I have 'seen' the upper one: It is 160 metres, falling straight down from the clouds the day I was there so that one could not see the top. It was as if it just fell from the sky, and so impossible to photograph! There are lots of things like that in the world. I have a fine collection of snaps where you can't make anything out at all!

The Waterfall Burn:

We decided we would somehow climb the Waterfall Burn to find the calling moose. Now, as this was the only time we heard the call (on our second or third day there I think) I might conclude that this was the end of the moose 'Roar' rather than the beginning. You should know that wherever they be in the world, the 'roar' (or mating) of the moose lasts only one week - but it is the very same week each year. Anyway it was the last day of February.

When we returned we searched the net for moose calls. The first one we played was (unknowingly) the sound of a cow moose. When we played that we were disappointed. Fooled again. you know the sort of thing. Then we played the call of the bull moose. Kapow! That was what we heard all right. So, there had been a cow moose in the Hilda Burn and a bull moose just a kilometre from it - clearly a breeding pair. There must be a few more of them even by now!

The first day we tried to ascend the Waterfall Burn we crossed the stream and tried (all day as it turned out) to beat our way up the true left side of the stream. Utterly unsuccessfully. I doubt it was possible, so don't even try! As we were crossing the stream in the morning (just between the waterfall and the walk wire), we were able to wade across, the stream it being only about mid-calf deep. I was not particularly conscious that it was raining heavily all day, but it was certainly raining. It often does in Fiordland you know. Every year at least ten metres of rain, sometimes several times that!

On this occasion when we returned to the crossing about 4:00pm in the afternoon, the stream had swollen monstrously. The walk wire was very nearly submerged. My memory is that we waited for a large tree to roll along under it before we (very trepidatiously) crossed. There is a lesson here: Never expect to be able to get to your destination when walking in Fiordland - or anywhere else for that matter. 'Be Prepared' is actually a good motto. Thanks Baden Powell.

The Waterfall Burn in flood:

Some of the trees which came thundering down the waterfall.

It does rain a lot and streams can easily rise so much (or morasses expand - you get the picture), that movement either way becomes impossible. You will just have to  stop and wait it out. Fortunately as soon as it does stop raining, because of the steepness of the terrain, the streams etc drop as quickly as they rose. The Seaforth for example is reputed to be able to rise 16 metres in a single day! Eddie Herrick himself relates a story wherein he and Jim Muir his guide almost lost their lives because of their inability to return to camp down the Seaforth, or to cross the Henry Burn.

Next day we tried again walking up a little gully between the Hilda and the Waterfall Burn. It was mostly really dreadful going through thick tree fern, boulders etc and with much broken ground underfoot. This is where/when I fell down the moraine hole. When we finally broke out onto the Burn above the waterfall we immediately tied something (a shopping bag I think) to a tree so we could find our way back down again. We were quite anxious. It had been a trying trip of...maybe a kilometre! Then we walked up the stream as far as we could get before we would have to turn around so we would be back at Supper Cove before dark.

In the top of the Waterfall Burn (You can see the shopping bag tied to the tree):

It is quite a large stream, still two-three metres wide up there I guess, and very pretty, though dark. I have been there on a later occasion, perhaps 2006, 2012 or 2013 (I know I was alone; I usually am) and walked as far as the top waterfall. There had been a moose in this valley recently. There were fresh-ish footprints - given the amount of rain the day before they had to have been no more than a day old, and there was quite a lot of browse. We did not see a moose, or any deer but after all, the hunt is what it's all about. That and seeing fresh sights, some of which maybe no man has seen before, or will again!

A morass in the Waterfall Burn.

I can remember seeing sign there again on a subsequent trip, but what exactly I cannot remember. Browse, marks, droppings...they all blur a bit with time. This year (2017) I realised I had seldom (if ever) actually photographed the browse so I could point it out to people later on (I did not have this blog before, so I had no reason!) There was plenty of old browse in the Hauroko (which I snapped some examples of), then a little barking as I descended into Loch Maree (which I forgot to snap). After that again along the Seaforth there was browse, but by then I had forgotten to take pictures altogether. You just get to enjoying the experience, thinking about other things etc. Last year I walked almost all the way back down from Everest without taking a single photo, though I saw many things I had not noticed on the way up. I had pneumonia is my excuse, but I doubt I will be going back to capture those missing snaps.

For example, in 2006 I took this snap of a couple of ducks. Look behind them though and you can see the height of the browse line on the shiny leaved tree on the right.

We walked back towards the Hilda Burn. The walk wire was out when we were there in 2000 so we had to walk down along the stream to the bottom, cross there and walk along the beach to the hut if the tide was high. If it was a bit lower, we would cross as much of Supper Cove as we could, then cut inland towards the mouth of the Hilda Burn, so our route was a bit different each time, always walking off-track. And that afternoon, in the fading light we found where the bull had been when we heard him call! And he had clearly been camped there for a couple of days, pretty much in sight of the hut - so much closer than we had estimated. But he was not there now. Probably he had gone up to join the cow at the head of the Burn! So much country. And it is utterly impossible to 'track' anything in that country. All you ever see is the odd print. The eternal moss swallows everything up, including sound.

There is this, though. That was 17 years ago now: a pair of moose within a stone's throw of the Supper Cove hut. If you imagine that they managed to breed every year, even if the mortality rate is very high or the fertility rate very low there have to still be a number of moose within cooee of the mouth of the Seaforth. There is still food for them there, and every time I go I can see browse I did not see the time before. Every time I go, I find 'fresh' moose tracks. Conditions in Fiordland are such that you just won't see prints that are a week old. There are just so many places they can easily travel with their long legs and wonderfully constructed feet where no man could possibly go. Because they are so tall they can reach food on precipitously steep slopes where red deer would have no hope.

I think it was not until the second day on that first trip that I began to notice the moose browse, despite having found moose droppings and spied some moose footprints - and having been looking hard. It was not until I came down with an itchy back probably from a sandfly my shirt had failed to stop, and had sidled up to a tree to scratch the middle of my back that, as I did so, my neck craned up and I began to see this characteristic branch breaking and snapping, oh -  so far up! Being used to sambar or red deer browse one just automatically scans the forest at just that height, but these big boys easily reach up more than a couple of feet higher than 'our' deer.

Brett pointing out some moose browse:

Another day on that trip (there were not many more, worse luck) I walked around the point of land on the other side of Supper Cove against the river before the Waterfall Burn. Many of the coprosma trees on the point had been snapped off at just the height moose love to browse 8+ feet. There was no other sign. I thought at the time maybe they were driven lower down like this in the coldest weather as sambar can be somewhat in our mountains, (There are even times that Supper Cove freezes over!) but I have since found plenty of fresh browse lower down and misdoubt now that moose suffer at all from cold. It was just a silly thought really. With moose the opposite is the case, I suspect. They suffer more from hotter weather. NZ summers of 24C or the like can perhaps be quite uncomfortable for a large Arctic animal. It is then, I suspect they spend a greater part of the day lying up in cool deep pools in the burns where the few that have been shot over the years were invariably taken.

That day we continued up as far as the ladder just above the McFarlane Burn looking for Michael who had stayed out overnight without explaining himself, so we were a bit worried - but he is an old bushman. He had a small tent (we knew) and his sleeping bag. So, of course he was fine. He had even managed to light a small fire. Well done indeed. On the way up in the middle of the track we saw an old mark we thought might have been a moose, but it could have been just several deer prints over each other some time past.

In just about the same spot quite near the Old Supper Cove hut site (which is where the track rejoins the Seaforth above the Henry Burn) I have on a number of occasions seen a relatively fresh moose track: once I would say that morning's - if it had been a sambar we would have tried to start the hounds on it once - and on another occasion about a day old, I guess. So the moose do still hang around their old haunt, the Henry Burn, or 'Moose Creek' as Herrick and the other old-time hunters used to call it.

Brett and Michael meet near the McFarlane Burn:

Old Supper Cove Hut site - you can still see the tree fern trunks which formed its floor. A pity they did not leave it standing as it was an important survival shelter - and of historical interest!

I was quite hooked by Fiordland and the Dusky after this trip and vowed to return as often as I could, an ambition with which Della fortunately concurred. It is not every man who has such a splendid wife, I know. What I have done to deserve such good fortune is a mystery to me - may it long be so. Well, it has. But circumstances (and finances) intervened to mean that it would be six years before I could make the trip again. I had returned from the first trip with a reasonable 8-point red deer rack by the way - but I have never taken a gun again. I think the moose need as much chance to breed as we can give them. Besides, guns are very heavy - weighing as much as a week's food really.

In 2006, I decided I could get away for a short trip (a week - if you are a farmer, a week away is an eternity). I decided I would fly in to Supper Cove, stay a couple of days then walk out. I had no idea even if I could do this at all at the grand old age of 56! The track brochures warned how hard it would be, and recommended only fit young folk should try it, & etc. Some of them even die. Fortunately I am young at heart, as I was still able to complete the trip this year at 68!

This was to be my introduction to 'ultralight hiking'. I knew that the weather could make a short trip much longer. Also I did not know whether at my age I would be able to make the distances between the huts, and might have to camp out most nights if I was going to be safe. I had already reasoned that a hammock and tarp would be the safest thing to camp in in Fiordland, so we had been busy making prototypes and had come up with a home-made 2 oz/yd2 hammock  and a 1.3 oz'yd2 silnylon tarp to go with it. This arrangement then weighed around 7-800 grams altogether, less than half the weight of any tent I owned or could have bought I must say, and much lighter than anything then commercially available as well - even if they did look a bit amateurish. I had camped out in it lots of times in the Gippsland bush, so i was quite confident in it.

This is the wonderful ultralight hammock I am now using, a Hummingbird: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-hummingbird-in-the-hand/ Photo is on the beach between the boat shed and the helipad, Supper Cove.  You see what I mean about being able to just camp anywhere (If there are trees) with a hammock!

I bought a Gossamer Gear G4 pack at 450 grams (which I still use sometimes), and I think back then I was still using a Snugpack or Vango synthetic bag which weighed around 8-900 grams (not my sub 600 gram Montbell I use now). I had discovered metho stoves by then, so that was down to a 7 gram model from Minibull plus home-made aluminium flashing windscreen. Back then I used to make fried bread (or Johnny Cakes) every night for lunch on the trail the next day, so I had figured a way to make the stove simmer though I can't remember now what it was! Though quite tasty, it is a bit of a tedious process making 'bread' which I have since then largely abandoned. I will do a post about it in the future though, as it is an important skill. I had moved up to a new digital camera, a Pentax Optio S40 with a 3X zoom which only weighed about 100 grams (saving at least 400 grams on my old film camera).

Back then I was still wearing either Redback Alpine Hiker leather boots (or their Blundstone equivalent) which weighed 600-650 grams dry and about another 50-100 wet, so actually much better than most boots folk still wear today. They are a good, tough boot and if you want a leather boot, I swear by them. I had earlier moved down from ex-army wool shirts and trousers to Columbia nylon shirts and pants. They are vastly lighter, but your upper body especially gets dreadfully smelly wearing them (even when you wash them and put them back on again wet as I used to do then, even if Fiordland!)

When the weather is sufficiently cool (which it almost always is in NZ), I would now wear either an Icebreaker of a Kathmandu light woolen shirt which you can wear for a week without washing (yourself or it) and never mind getting downwind of yourself, though others may disagree! I think back then I still used my lovely Snugpack synthetic coat which probably weighed as much as 600 grams. I was stronger then. I was probably using one of Big Agnes excellent inflatable mats which weighed just under 600 grams from memory, but I might ave skimped and taken a Thermarest self-inflater I suppose which weighed a little less - and was a lot less comfortable besides. And a lot colder in colder weather I might add. I have a lighter, better kit now I think. See eg: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

On the first day up from Supper Cove to Loch Maree, just as I was about to pass opposite the Roa Stream which is on the other side of the river heading upriver (ie on the true left bank), I heard something in the water like a deer clattering across (going I'm not sure which way) and which given the prevalence of red deer there it often is. I have rarely managed to get a photo of them as they usually make off pretty smartly just like sambar in the dense bush. By the same token a hundred metres or so later on at about the point that the noise in the river was, there were very fresh prints of a huge animal crossing the track. It had clearly come out of the Roa stream, and crossed the river and passed just in front of me, and gone very obviously around the edge of  the swampy bit on the true right bank (not a bad place to camp actually) and then up into the bush on my left. And not very long ago.

You might think a swampy bit like this would be attractive to a moose, but they are a forest creature. This one skirted this particular swamp opposite the Roa Stream.

I could not really tell whether the splashing and the tracks were one and the same. I did have a bit of a look around for it for maybe an hour, but as I could not be sure whether the tracks might have been made earlier that morning or just as I approached, I did not spend a lot of time on it. It wasn't just standing around waiting for me to take a pic of it at any rate. It is a seven hours plus walk for me (then) to Loch Maree, so I pressed on, still arriving after dark in fact, as I have done on a couple of occasions.

It is a long walk, particularly if the tide is in and you can't take the 'short-cut' across the Cove. Later on I was talking to Ken Tustin on the phone. He told me that he and his wife Marg were on that very day high in the Roa stream finding lots of fresh moose browse, so I think it is very likely they pushed this guy out the bottom of the valley and across the track in front of me. This suggests a strategy to me of how a couple of very fit young people might get a snap of a moose - but it would be a pretty wild chance, I guess - and depend on there being more moose there than may be the case.

My purpose on this trip was merely to see if I could walk the Supper Cove to Manapouri 'leg' of the Dusky Track which I was very pleased to have managed in four long days when I finished, even managing a cold beer (and a much needed shower) on the evening of the fourth day! I saw no-one the whole trip, something which I always find very pleasant!

I really enjoyed the trip and purposed to take my oldest daughter Irralee with me the following year, which I did. In 2007, when we arrived at the Supper Cove hut we found that we had missed the resident moose by about a week. There was an awful lot of moose browse all around the hut, trees snapped over all around and some barking behind the hut, just in back of the toilet. Another hunter who had arrived the day before in fact pointed the barking out to us. We had no need to have the other browse pointed out. It was right in front of the hut. The tracks were all washed away and the droppings were falling apart - which is how I arrived at the conclusion of being a week late.

Some of the moose browse in front of the hut: Can you spot the twigs which have been bitten right off 8-9' up?

It would be truly awesome to wake up at the Supper Cove hut and be greeted by a moose outside the window whilst you were eating your muesli for breakfast! That year there was also quite a bit of moose browse on the fuchsia coming down from the slip above the Kenneth Burn to the Gair Loch (on the second day out from Supper Cove), but again it was over a week old.

Irralee is pointing out some Fuchsia browse near the Gair Loch.

Some old barking encountered on the way:

I again walked the track with my son, Bryn in 2008. There were a couple of spots where we found old tracks ('old' in Fiordland probably means at most a day) - anyway the animal wasn't standing in them. From memory again they were near the Old Supper Cove Hut site (ie near the Henry Burn) and near the Kintail Hut as we were crossing the walk wire over the Seaforth there - quite fresh tracks on the sand there, probably from that morning.

Of course you are always on the lookout for whatever made them, and you make forays off into the bush in the direction they appear to be heading, but the bush is so vast (and so thick) and the moose so sparse that it is a hopeless task, really. All that I can say is that you won't see a moose standing in the main street in town back home. if you want to see a Fiordland moose, you will have to be tramping around in the vastness of that wonderful forest. I would hope you shoot one only with a camera really. I have grown quite fond of them - from a distance anyway!

A couple of examples of some barking we found.

This looks like it is probably only a week old at most. Usually/oftenthe barking is much higher, 7 or 8 feet.

The browse around the Supper Cove hut (and the barking) from the year before were still clearly visible (and identifiable) a year later, by the way. In fact two years later, as my daughter was able to point it out to me on our second trip there together in 2009.

You can still see it here in 2009 with a fantail sitting on it.

Bryn and I watched this red deer stag (centre) as we were crossing the Henry Burn. A decent zoom on a waterproof camera would be a plus! You will spot him eventually!

I canoed the Seaforth in 2009, probably one of the silliest things I have ever done. As I was portaging around the shores of Loch Maree - I was walking along the shoreline so I might see any prints rather than walking the track; the water level was low enough to do so that year - they were having a drought in Fiordland. It didn't rain for the whole 13 days we were in the South Island altogether! Anyway, I came across an old set of moose tracks around about where the walk wire about half way along the Loch is. As it hadn't rained for ages, they could have been over a week old. It had just come down to the Loch for a drink, then headed back up the little valley it had come down from.

I was at Supper Cove again in 2011 with Della, but we had to leave precipitously only about an hour after we arrived as Della managed to dislocate her shoulder slipping off a rock. Ouch! Thank goodness for helicopters! No moose that year!

I walked the track again in 2012 in company with a young American, Steve Hutcheson I met at Supper Cove and an Israeli, named Renan Tsorin. Steve and I had about five days at Supper Cove, him fishing and me tramping around in the bush looking for moose. I remember I found some old tracks on the ridge above the Supper Cove hut and in the Hilda Burn - and obviously some browse. I found the same thing along the Henry Burn. I guess I walked nearly half way up it to the fork you must follow if you are to walk over into Herrick Creek - so probably to about the place a couple of the Fiordland moose were shot, long ago. No sign of them now of course.

Here is a (very) old print (the triangular indentation above the glasses case) all filled in with leaves. This would have to be about as old as you are going to be able to see a print in Fiordland - say over a week. This one was over a kilometre up on the ridge behind the hut

Looking down towards the fiord coming down from way up there. The going is pretty steep:

Particularly above Loch Maree along the river on the true left bank there was a lot of moose sign, mainly older browse - say up to a year old. I walked along the river for about three kilometres by myself above the Loch Maree hut and up the Deadwood Stream a bit before crossing over to the track. The young fellows following the track were quite surprised at how I managed to get ahead of them! The river level that year was again very low, so I could do this (and avoid a slow, nasty section of track for the first hour upriver out of Loch Maree). I figured this moose was a resident of the Deadwood Stream which looks big enough to hold a number of them! There was old browse here and there along the river that year - but no tracks.

However as we walked up through the huge slip above the Kenneth Burn, a moose had walked along ahead of us barking the trees quite obviously. I remember pointing this out to Renan, using my fingernails to mimic the action of his giant teeth, and angling my head to indicate how he must have made the bites. I must look a circus sometimes. I wish I had taken photographs! Then, just about where the saddle is before you start to go down again to the Gair Loch, there was a patch of fuchsia on our right which had been the home of a moose for I'd say the best part of a week. S/he had had a really good feed on I guess and acre or two of fuchsia. Anyone who doubted the continued existence of moose in Fiordland would be hard put to explain the extent of its high foraging activity there. I remember a couple of days later I was walking with Steve in the Upper Spey and also pointing out to him some very old moose browse there - in the vicinity of the Dashwood Stream.

This is part of the huge Fuchsia filled slip above the Kenneth Burn where a moose had been browsing for days in 2012. Plenty of food here.

It is a huge area of Fuchsia. There are many such in Fiordland - few as easy of access though.

I had a back operation in 2013 so any Fiordland trips were out that year.

I spent a few days by myself at Supper Cove in 2014 (flying both in and out on that occasion). It was lovely to have the hut to myself for a few days, to go out in the morning exploring the bush around about and in the afternoon catching myself some blue cod for my supper. The most delicious fish anywhere, trust me. Do bring a hand line and a fry pan if you venture that way. I was going to walk out, but on the very last night before the day I would have to leave the next morning of, a party of twelve young people arrived even though none had been there for a month! Of course I tried to persuade them to stay a day and do some fishing (even offering them my line, etc), but they insisted on starting out the next day as well.

All alone in the Supper Cove Hut

I could spread out.

And enjoy some tasty blue cod for tea.

Well one night in a crowded hut with people whose heads were filled with the usual certain certainties of the young was enough for me, so I called up Alan from Wings on Water (who had brought me in) and flew out again. I used the couple of spare days so gained to go have a look at the start of the South Coast Track (out of Tuatapere) walking out to Port Craig and back whilst I was there. I confess I was hurrying along this section - and even walked the beach 'track' all the way from the Hoka Stream. I was not looking for moose sign as I thought this was too far from their 'normal' haunts. I was just checking out the track thinking it was probably easy enough to take Della on the next year. (it was). I was surprised therefore when I spied (on the return trip of course) a small example of moose browse quite close the the shore after the Track Burn - before you begin the climb up the innumerable steps to the Rowallan.

Della and I attempted to walk out to Westies Hut along the South Coast Track in 2015, but got only as far as the Waitutu River as it turned out, because of Della injuring her knee. We rested up and did walk all the way back to the Rowallan though. The same old browse I saw the year before was still there, but I confess i was just not looking out for moose sign along the way - I was looking out for Della!

We headed back out on the South Coast track again in 2016 intent on beating it this time, and getting all the way to Westies or even Big River. Westies as it turned out. It was a lovely trip, our reports of which you can read about eg here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-walk-in-fiordland/ You should really do it! Again, I was mainly intent on looking after Della (who is partially sighted) to be paying overmuch attention to moose sign, though there was a bit of old sign about here and there - for example a little over an hour out from the Waitutu heading for Westies.

When we were walking out from the Wairaurahiri with Pete Baldwin from the wonderful Waitutu Lodge at the Wairaurahiri Mouth, I was explaining to him what he should look for if he ever had the chance to get 'into' the Seaforth country. Right near the Edwin Burn trestle crossing there was an obvious patch of old moose browse, the branches snapped over and stripped in their characteristic way about 8' up, but maybe 1-2 years old. Nothing else could possibly do such a thing. So, there are moose that far East in Fiordland yet.

I have now realised that I smelled a moose in the Hauroko Burn last trip (back in April 2017) and I am really kicking myself for not having stopped, camped and investigated See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/). As I said there: 'I have a confession (of stupidity) to make. Somewhere during this section between the two upper walk wires on the Hauroko Burn, Fiordland, NZ (You can imagine it is in the photo below) I encountered quite  a strong ‘animal’ smell not unlike a goat. I thought to myself at the time, ‘Well, it’s not a deer’. Then I thought, ‘Could it be a plant?’ You know how Dogwood in Australasia is so named because it smells somewhat like wet dog. I thought to myself  ‘I wonder whether the Leather Wood which you encounter just before the tops in NZ (and which is redolent with the musty odour of countless red deer) is so called because it smells of leather?’

There is a sweet cloying honey-like smell you sometimes encounter in these Fiordland forests I have never been able to identify, nor has anyone else I have spoken to been able to pick it for me. (it is not the flower of the ubiquitous tiny epiphytic orchid). It was not that though. I am pretty good on scents having been a hunter all my life. I instantly galvanise to a whiff of fox, roo, wombat, stag, goat, etc.

I scanned the forest about. Saw nothing. Thought to myself, ‘I do not want to arrive at Lake Roe in the dark’ (The hut is hard enough to find as it is, particularly in thick cloud, being off the line to the right); I also had a long way to go, so I carried on. Since then, I have bothered to check what a moose smells like. You guessed it. Goatish. Just like what I was smelling on the Hauroko that day!

There was a moose not 200 metres upwind from me, and I walked on. Despite having a tarp and hammock and more than a week of food, so that I could have spent days hunting it! And I would have doubtless ‘put it up’ withing ten minutes! Dream on! Despite the fact that one of the important reasons I go there is to see a moose. Despite the fact that I had photographed fairly fresh moose barking just back there a little (as you can see below). Despite the fact there is a $100,000 reward for a photo of a NZ moose, I walked on! Lesson: Trust your nose!’

My knee is still not right from an injury in the Hilda Burn on that trip which brought an early end to my off-track explorations then (there was still old browse in the Hilda), so I am wondering about my future ability to do so again, but I am working on it – an hour every morning in the gym and an hour every afternoon walking - on top of my normal farming activities, but at just shy of 70 it takes longer to heal and to get fitter again. Every day though I feel stronger, and have just completed a six day off-trail hike in the Vic mountains, and climbed Qld's tallest mountain, so there is hope!

It was interesting that the Hauroko was nearly eaten out, but with lots of old sign (and clearly a resident moose!) And that there was a 'bloom' of new plants coming up I had not seen in Fiordland before) Yet coming down from Lake Roe to Loch Marie for example, there was oodles of moose plants without much moose sign at all - though some barking. Clearly the moose are fairly light on the ground. Each likely has an enormous territory, perhaps 2-500 hectares, but that still adds up to a lot of moose in Fiordland National Park!

I had this note about the moose on the first of my posts about my 2017 trip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/from-dawn-to-dusky/

The Elusive Fiordland Moose: Along the way there is sporadic moose sign if you are alert and keen eyed. Nothing else could reach up 2.5-2.7 metres (8-9'), break off branches as thick as your thumb and strip them, or devour all the lower vegetation of their favourite broadleaf plants, or systematically bark trees, or leave footprints as big as a cow's.These solitary leviathans yet roam these forests unseen. I took these shots in an arbitrary few hundred yards walking up the Hauroko.

This coprosma has been systematically broken off about 2.5 metres up.

And this.

Broadleafs have commonly been stripped to this height.

They like to snack on nutritious bark as they amble along.

Leaving footprints as long as my glasses case. Like this:

Or this.

Someday someone will stumble round a corner onto one and snap its pic. A girl from Scotland wrote in the hut book way back in 2000 she had seen one! Already two confirmed C21st DNA samples have been collected, and one or two indistinct photos. It is only a matter of time...

I don't know at this stage whether I will be doing a lot more 'moose hunting' in Fiordland. Mostly these days we go there for the walk anyway and because it is just so beautiful. Any moose we see would no doubt be a bonus - and we surely won't see them elsewhere! I do have a couple of 'new' ideas on how we might find further proof of the continued existence of the NZ moose herd. More about that later.

And oh, I have been thinking about Ken Tustin's theory that the red deer will 'eat out' the moose. I now suspect the opposite is the case because the moose can reach higher, and will obviously break branches down for their young. You can imagine the young moose nearing weaning - they suckle for a long time too - straining upwards as its mother feeds and vocalising, every now and then being able to snag a leaf she lets drop & etc. They are messy eaters at best. I figure she would get the idea and help it feed. They routinely ‘walk down’ trees for themselves, for example. I remember noticing this phenomenon the very first day I was in Fiordland (in the Hilda Burn back in 2000) and wondering what could have produced the phenomenon I was seeing. I had never seen anything like it in the Victorian bush despite it being overrun by sambar deer who are very keen browsers too.

I have noticed that in the areas which appear more eaten out (by moose and everything) that the moose browse seems to consist of more branches actually broken off completely whereas in the less eaten out areas, they tend to be just broken over. I need to spend more time there to confirm this, something which may not happen in this lifetime.

I realise I do not know how this 'boom and crash' population dynamics works (with any creature) though, so maybe I am wrong. I am not a wildlife biologist, but I have been a farmer and hunter for a long while. Some places look very eaten out by deer, particularly along river banks and near huts and other clearings, yet in other steeper places there is little sign of any grazing animals. Another interesting observation: along the Hauroko for example, there is this shiny leaf tree which moose obviously like. In many places it was browsed lower from the river bottom than it was from the river bank (but in each case as high as a moose could reach ie 8'+ up) giving it a lopsided appearance. I had not noticed this before. No doubt there are lots of other ‘signs’ which escape one’s attention for years.

Here is a tree moose quite like, (I don't know what it is called). You can see that this one which is hanging out over a precipice (in the Hauroko) has still been browsed ( a long time ago) as far as a moose can reach out, and certainty further than anything else could.

Here the moose has been walking along in the stream reaching up and has mown these trees to a precise height. They have even managed to strip some of the branches hanging down. You see this everywhere. We went down the Wairaurahirti River in a jet boat (twice - and Della wants to go again, and again. So should you!) Anywhere this plant could be reached it was trimmed to about 8-9' from the ground (or where a moose could stand) , but where nothing could reach it (eg in a very deep rapid) it was actually touching the water.

In 17 years I have not been able to get back to Fiordland in the summer. By the time we have been able to stop watering our garden and watching out for the 'bushfires' that a ratbag collection of maniacs have taken to lighting every summer in our part of the world it is at best late March, usually April, sometimes May. And of course I am often there when the 'Roar' is on so every moose has been scared well away from the valley bottoms by ubiquitous deer hunters. It's like always going sambar stalking on a full moon, or in early Spring when the deer have moved back from the valley bottoms (as fresh feed pops out from under the snow - and the young are born. Not such a good time for hunting.

I do always find old sign though, sometimes not that old even. I am convinced if i could spend several summers walking along in the streams there I would put up another moose. I'm not sure whether at my age I can do such hard work in hot, steamy weather, and I don't know whether I will ever be able to get away at such a time or not.

Perhaps!

PS: I wrote this article at Ken Tustin's request, as he is preparing a new edition of his book/a new book about the Fiiordland moose. He and he wife are the true moose experts and heroes of this interesting saga. More about them here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/nz-moose/

PS: The 'Cover' photo was sent to me from Sweden by my son, Bryn on this day (24/10) 2011. He must have known I would find a use for it! European moose are smaller than the Canadian moose which live in Fiordland, by the way.

29/10/2017: A Year Ago Today, I was walking up to Everest with Steve Hutcheson: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/i-followed-my-footsteps/

29/10/2017: Bacon Sandwich Anyone: Betsy Booren Vice President of Scientific Affairs North American Meat Institute, ‘They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome…Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer.’ YES, Seriously: YOGA PANTS! I eat a lot of them! 40 out of 50 common foods also pose a cancer ‘risk’ according to this study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23193004/  What ARE we to eat?

29/10/2017: Freedom and Death: One of my favourite books when I was a teenager was Nikos Kazantzakis’ wonderful ‘Freedom and Death’ whose sentiment echoed Patrick Henry’s famous statement: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’. Of course, with liberty we need to expect a certain amount of collateral damage: freedom is ever paid for with the blood of patriots. Such folk might just be our own children maybe skinning their knee or breaking the odd bone as they are allowed (nay encouraged) to ‘Go outside and play’ and ‘Don’t bother mummy’ – You remember that? Our children (and grandchildren) need much more of that, and much less of the cossetting, lest they grow up to be like the fragile flowers we see all about us today: https://reason.com/archives/2017/10/26/the-fragile-generation

28/10/2017: The Good News: The World's Poorest People Are Getting Richer Faster than Anyone Else: ‘In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent. In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty.’ Thank You Capitalism: https://fee.org/articles/the-worlds-poorest-people-are-getting-richer-faster-than-anyone-else/

28/10/2017: Update of my 2012 post: ‘It's a little worse than 'The dog ate my homework'! Someone has stolen both the file at Slater & Gordon and the file at the WA Corporate Affairs which would prove Gillard's criminal complicity in the 'Wilson Affair' - but, remember this: someone still has them!’ Well, now Michael Smith clearly has them. Very day he is publishing great gobs of incriminating stuff about her and Wilson. Remember, she could sue him for defamation but she would lose that too, because what he says is true. She is/was one of Australia’s largest crooks. Smith’s private prosecution will succeed, and she will go to gaol: Utterly unfit to hold public office. Her prosecution (and Shorten’s- probably) will destroy the Labor Party’s chance at the next election, unless it is held in the next few weeks – with Turnbull still as Liberal leader; hopefully not! This does not mean the Liberals will win. I think outsiders are still in there with a chance. Remember Trump and Macron, for example. I hope Malcolm Roberts runs for New England, for example – he is one of the finest members we have had in the last 50 years: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

28/10/2017: Private Property: How we need a ‘Boneta Bill’ here too! One of the few ‘rights’ in our constitution is the right to private property (and its converse) that Government may not confiscate it without (paying) just compensation. Yet the examples of Government doing just that are legion; from simple idiotic ordinances such as the children’s birthday party planning permit which provoked Boneta, to large scale confiscation of farmland for ‘environmental’ reasons… Frankly it frightens me to realise what most people (leftists) consider  to be ‘rights’. Their ‘rights, almost invariably mean the confiscation of someone else’s property for the ‘good’ of someone else (themselves?). The right to work, free speech, freedom of assembly, bear arms, self protection, justice, national defence…etc are low down on their list. Do they even make their list?  http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/virginia_farmer_starts_property_rights_legal_revolution.html

27/10/2017: A British adventurer has flown 25km (15.5 miles) across South Africa suspended from 100 helium balloons: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-41737642?SThisFB

27/10/2017: So, you thought Trump was starting a war against North Korea? Perhaps you should ask the Chinese: https://www.weaselzippers.us/361357-report-chinese-north-korea-relationship-at-end-another-missile-test-will-mean-war-by-the-chinese-against-north-korea/

27/10/2017: Yet Another Silent Spring: ‘There is no credible evidence whatsoever that glyphosate – or RoundUp – is carcinogenic. The only reason some people believe otherwise is because of scaremongering articles like this, derived from misinformation which originates from this UN agency, the IARC. How do we know it’s untrue? Thanks to a special investigation by Reuters, which found that the IARC had completely misrepresented the available research on glyphosate.’ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/23/delingpole-science-establishment-rocked-scandal-un-cancer-chemical/ This is just another example of Green evil. You remember when they did this with DDT, and 100 million people died as a result? They also did so with neonicotinoids: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/12/05/investigation-how-green-activist-scientists-rigged-an-eu-pesticide-ban-costing-farmers-and-businesses-billions/

26/10/2017: Western civilization heading over a cliff; thanks Frau Merkel: http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268214/germany-terror-cases-quadruple-900-daniel-greenfield 

26/10/2017: Global Warming going over a cliff too: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/25/so-far-this-year-400-scientific-papers-debunk-climate-change-alarm/

26/10/2017: Toughen Up: Why Don’t People Understand What It Is To Be a Soldier: (The Trump ‘Telephone Incident’): http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/10/24/ex-green-beret-says-what-special-forces-really-think-about-niger-goes-viral-on-twitter/  & https://fee.org/articles/trump-s-general-is-right-soldiering-is-not-a-normal-job/  & http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/19/the-general-speaks-kelly-urges-americans-to-remember-what-is-sacred/

26/10/2017: How Sure Are We That The Universe Is 13.8 Billion Years Old? https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/21/ask-ethan-how-sure-are-we-that-the-universe-is-13-8-billion-years-old/#60859d8060ac

25/10/2017: This is really moving. Watch a colour blind man see for the first time: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/once-was-colour-blind-now-can-see/news-story/b18dddb1f148beb5c658adf713601ac1

25/10/2017: Marise Payne (another Turnbull clone) just keeps showing herself to be a dead head. Compare her take on the danger of returning jihadists with her British counterpart: Rory Stewart: ‘We have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.’ Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne: ‘Australians who have joined Daesh are subjected to the same risks as any other member of the criminal organisation and should expect to perish on the battlefield.’ Tip: Learn the difference between active and passive voice, Marise. I know you will think this sounds awfully sexist too, but I would like it if our Defence Minister looks like s/he could take on one or two baddies himself/herself (and the same goes for cops). Even Julie looks like she could knock a couple of head together, but Marise (like Kim Beazley before her) looks like she might pose a danger to baddies is s/he sat on them - supposing they were slow-moving enough!

25/10/2017: CO2: The Culprit: Some things you might NOT know: Ice core expert Jaworowski states, ‘The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/17/deconstruction-of-the-anthropogenic-global-warming-agw-hypothesis-2/

25/10/2017: Energy Crisis: It's amazing that over a century after Einstein's 'e=mc2' that some folks are still worried about 'The Energy Crisis'. Controlled nuclear fusion (not such a long way off now < twenty years?) will end all such concerns. Progress will also be made on understanding such spectacular energy phenomena as ball lightning, sprites, 'cosmic rays', neutrinos, gravity & etc. It will be a much better world in the future. Fear not!

24/10/2017: Our largest army: Fortunately, despite huge Government interference before (and after) Port Arthur, Australia's hunters still represent a larger 'army' than our official army, and as demonstrated in two World Wars & etc, can be relied on to bolster its numbers with well-qualified soldiers if/when the need ever arises. https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/a-tribute-to-the-worlds-largest-army-americas-hunters/

24/10/2017: Green Fracking: You may think it odd that the green movement opposes fracking for natural gas but support hot fracture rock geothermal technology, which is clearly also fracking but you see, the first works whilst the latter does not – so it’s quite simple really!

24/10/2017: The madness that is Canada – do we really want this here? PS: Canada has a Somali Immigration Minister: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267563/invasion-canada-daniel-greenfield

23/10/2017: Hein’s Taxidermy: Della just loves stuffed animals which is maybe why she has kept this particular stuffed old animal around for nearly fifty years! It may be a family trait. We have this wonderful family photo circa 1903 of her grandfather as an apprentice hairdresser in Hawick, Scotland outside Richie Law’s shop. As you can see the other specialty of the shop was taxidermy!

If you need fine taxidermy services in Southern Victoria or Gippsland, may I recommend Hein”s Taxidermy at Port Albert. Hein did a beautiful job recently on our late much-loved Dusky Lorikeet, Rusty as the photo below shows.You can contact him from his Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Heins-Taxidermy-port-albert-1549231728642024/

 23/10/2017: Two great points by Alan Moran: ‘In 1901 the Commonwealth spent 3 per cent of national income. Today it taxes and spends a whopping quarter of the income that firms and individuals earn…The Commonwealth Government in 1901 had 258 pages of regulatory Acts. Today it has more than 100,000 pages’ http://ipa.org.au/news/2769/regulations-that-worked-in-1901-do-not-work-now

23/10/2017: His wife is even battier than he is: Lucy Turnbull, the ‘Greater Sydney Commissioner: ‘It’s only taken us 230 years to catch up with a vision that our indigenous ancestors always had for this city’. Away with them both!

23/10/2017: Bernie Sanders’ Economics #101: ‘Sure, You'll All Pay More Taxes... But You'll Get More Free Stuff’. Bernie was clearly singing from the same hymn book as Labor and the Greens here. Listen up peeps: ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-19/bernie-americans-sure-youll-all-pay-more-taxes-youll-get-more-free-stuff & https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/more-honesty-from-the-left-the-goal-is-big-tax-increases-for-the-middle-class/

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/17/20171019_bernie_0.png

22/10/2017: Hein's Taxidermy:

Some of Hein’s many interesting pieces:

And finally our dear little Rusty the Dusky Lorikeet:

 See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rusty-the-dusky-lorikeet/

While you are at Port Albert you should check out the Old Port Walking trail too, as well as its many other attractions: caravan park, hotel, restaurant, fish and chip shop, fishing charter, boat hire, etc: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/there-is-simply-nothing-like-an-old-port-walking-trail/ We had a brilliant (cheap) meal in the Customs Inn hotel while we were there – best fish’nchips I’ve had in a long while.

22/10/2017: Oradour, the French town the Nazis murdered. Lest we forget, the entire town has been preserved in memory of this terrible event: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/articles/Oradour-sur-Glane-France-moments-of-Nazi-massacre-frozen-in-time/

http://kooxproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Oradour-photo-2-net.jpg

22/10/2017: From an atheist: So, you think Christianity has nothing to offer: 20 things you should stop doing in your 20s – or never start: https://relevantmagazine.com/article/the-5-things-20-somethings-need-to-stop-doing/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=10192017__RELEVANT_This_Week&utm_medium=email

21/10/2017: The latest ‘equality’: https://www.bearmageddonnews.com/2017/03/09/should-inclusive-restrooms-really-include-bears/

https://www.bearmageddonnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/BearBathCover.jpg

21/10/2017: MH370: I am almost willing to bet on these guys. Might have been better to employ them on this basis in the first place before ‘employing’ public servants to spend $160 million mostly looking in huge areas where the plane could not be (ie it had already passed over them): http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/malaysia-has-entered-into-a-no-find-no-fee-arrangement-with-ocean-infinity-to-find-mh370/news-story/5ee001fb114604c3d2d16b78b7031712

21/10/2017: The Road to Hell: I am so over ‘virtue signalling’. Give me, ‘deeds, not words’  every time, please: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/virtue-signalling/

20/10/2017: Silver River, Endless Sky: Yesterday I canoed the Macalister Gorge (from Basin Flat to Cheyne's Bridge). This is probably my favourite section of this wonderful river, and I confess I have completed it many, many times. One of the best bits about this section is that you can do it entirely by yourself as i did yesterday (everyone begging off for trifling reasons such as work), as you can always drop your boat off then return to Cheyne's Bridge, perch on the bonnet of your car and stick your thumb out. usually (as yesterday) the first car will stop and give you a lift back to basin Flat. Yesterday I did not even have time to lock the car before i had a lift!

Basin Flat is 20 minutes by road above Cheynes Bridge (on the main road to Licola (Gippsland, Victoria, Australia). The road climbs up over a Mountain range (Burgoynes) then descends again to where it rejoins the river at Basin Flat. You have to climb two fences in about 70 metres to put your boat in the river, then off you go.

I have included a lot of photos to give you a reasonable idea of what the  whole trip looks like. Yesterday it took me 5 3/4 hours (at age 68) but with frequent stops to take photos, have a look around , meal beaks etc. I used to be able to do the trip in under 4 hours - but that was before the fires and floods made the river wider and shallower, as well as stealing most of its summer water, so that it is difficult now to get a 30C day with enough water (above say 1.63 on the Licola gauge - yesterday it was 1.72 = perfect).

The river is canoeable (at least) from the Caledonoia Confluence downstream though the section down to the Barkly (4 hours of Grade 2 and 3) would best suit packrafts (locked gate.) From the Barkly Bridge down to Licola is a great section of closely-spaced Grade 2 rapids which takes about 4 hours. You would probably need about 1.8 metres at the Licola gauge to do this which would be hard to find in the warmer months these days. From Licola to Basin Flat is mostly flat water through farm land with some pebble races and the odd Grade 2 rapid and takes about four hours. From Cheynes Bridge to Paradise Valley or Lake Glenmaggie is mostly Grade 1 and very pleasant and takes another approx six hours. Of course the river is canoeable downstream from Lake Glenmaggie and is almost all flat water taking a number of days.

Ready to begin at Basin Flat:

This trip is a great canoe training trip as it begins with a long flat section with just a few pebble races, gradually you encounter the odd grade 2 rapid. After Burgoynes track there are two grade 3 rapids and quite a number of Grade 2 as well. The last hour is once again on reasonable flat water with mainly just pebble races. There are many, many wonderful spots to camp, swim etc along the way. It is really ideal as a very leisurely 2-4 day canoeing/fishing/hunting trip.

Pebble race

The first Grade 2 rapid at just about the end of the flat (after nearly 1/2 an hour has an overhanging tree at the moment. You could chance being able to duck under it I suppose. I didn't.

About 3/4 of an hour from the start (on the true left bank - at the end of a large flat) there is an old pioneer hut which someone has lovingly restored lately

They have done such an excellent job. I particularly admired their bush ladder.

About an hour in the river splits. I took the right fork with this entertaining drop. The left fork used to have a fun chute, but there may not be enough water going down it now. At the bottom of this drop there is a vast swimming hole on a right hand bend (complete with this turtle). A lovely spot to camp.

Swimming hole: this is the spot whee someone stole my paddle many years ago: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister/

If you are going to camp overnight I suggest you bring all your gear up off the river and out of sight. Strange people sometimes camp at Cheynes Bridge and may decide to canoe the river. Mind you I have only that once encountered anyone else.

There are lots of grassy flats along the way.

The one on the left bank after the large hole is quite vast. There used to be the remains of an old shepherd's hut underneath an ancient quince. Since the fires it is no more. I came down the river just after the dreadful fires. At this spot there was an old doe who had given her life to save her twin fauns who were lying by her side under the quince where her body was quite mummified; they had so dehydrated her. They ran away as I approached, but quietly crept back again. I hope they survived.

I usually stop for lunch (after about 1 1/2 hours) opposite it at a place I used to call 'The Willows' where you could sit in the shade and enjoy your lunch plus a cold beer or two.

Yesterday I had to chase half a dozen sambar deer off the sandbank before I could sit down, the descendants of that old doe perhaps. They did not stay long enough for a photo though I did see them.

Dingoes had been busy here having killed a black wallaby.

Lunch over, I am off again.

You have to watch out for snags (and rocks). Stick to the inside curves. If in any doubt, get out and walk. Lots of people have died on this section of river over the years. Do not get side on to a log (this can easily mean death), or to the current in general. Generally follow the centre course in rapids, but on bends try to stay on the inside of curves so you do not get forced onto the outside edge and overturned. Rocks will often try to tip you out; you often have to lean in towards them to prevent this.

The straight just above Burgoynes, and a lovely valley on your right.  Burgoynes Track off the Licola Rd. A popular place to camp if you have a serious 4WD. Many intrepid folk cross the river here to camp further downstream. Don't do this unless you are sure of what you are doing. You can also come down from the other side (off the Black range Rd, or the Green Hills Road near Mt Useful)

Just below Burgoynes you come to the first Grade 3 rapid. it has had a log stuck in it for some time making it even more dangerous. i portaged it on the right hand side.

There are a number of lovely campsites below Burgoynes (if you are vehicle camping). If you are canoeing you have many other choices - and greater privacy.

Another spot: you can drive right down to the beach.

Just below is an entertaining one metre drop on a right hand bend. Many folk have had an impromptu swim here.

This is the 'Morning Glory' Hut - quite a palatial establishment, even boasting a bar and hut book!

This beautiful cliff on the right bank follows soon after. This is about half way through your trip. Keep an eye out here. A Grade 3 rapid is just around the left hand corner. Stay on the left hand side to check it out or portage it if you have any doubts about your ability:

You can see it needs to be approached cautiously. I once fell out here and lost my 30:06 in the rapid. It must have taken me an hour to retrieve it from where it was lodged amongst the rocks in the bottom of the rapid.

This goes on for a long way. If you fall out here you can be swimming for a while particularly if the river is higher.

Shortly after the Mt Useful Creek comes in on your right. It is a very large, steep valley rising on the eastern side of Mt Useful

There are some pleasant Grade 2 rapids along here.

A couple of promising gullies come in from the Black Range on your right. Good spots to camp too. There is a large cave on a ridge somewhere along here. I missed it yesterday. I climbed to it once. It was full of bats.

There are fine beaches and lovely swimming holes.

And the odd entertaining drop.

The locals peer out at you as you drift past.

Somewhere along here I stopped for a snack and a spell yesterday. And to admire the view upstream.

And downstream. No-one else in sight for 10 km either way. That suits me just fine.

This is the last straight (and beautiful valley on your right) before Warabinda (a 'wilderness' youth camp). There are two dwellings here built with the help of the street kids being helped here: the first on your left just around the far bend, the second on your right.

I saw lots of ducks and shags. The river has many giant carp. You often see a sea eagle eating them. But also it has excellent trout, eels as long as your legs and the occasional redfin perch.

The Warabinda 'Flying Fox'. It is 45 minutes from here to the bridge, mainly on flattish water.

One of the last rapids.

You are into cattle country now.

This is the very last rapid. Surprisingly I have fallen out more often here than anywhere else!

And the very last straight

Then here you are at Cheynes Bridge where there is a large camping ground.

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister-river/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister-2/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/silver-river-endless-sky/

20/10/2017: Like everything he does, Turnbull’s new energy scheme is rubbish: Bring back Tony (and Hazelwood) before it is too late: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/turnbulls-electricity-plan-just-died/news-story/61d08888328c56b264ee517b2594d157

20/10/2017: About those ‘unprecedented’ California wildfires: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/19/delingpole-what-the-greenies-dont-want-you-to-know-about-the-california-wildfires/

 

20/10/2017: In its just-released report on the 5G mobile network, scheduled to launch in 2020, Deloitte Access Economics observes: ‘5G networks are also expected to improve speeds. They are expected to reach speeds of up to 10 Gbps, providing a more seamless user experience. This is over 100 times the advertised data rates for 4G networks in Australia of between 2-100Mbps, and maximum speeds could be similar to those provided by fixed-line broadband networks.’ So, $60 billion later, is it worth persisting with the NBN? PS: Apparently a number of other countries already have 5G and are moving on to 6G!

20/10/2017: What the ‘Me Too’ brigade miss: A larger percentage of men than women are victims of rape: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/abuse-of-young-boys-rife-in-hollywood-after-cocaine-fuelled-parties-held-by-gang-of-hollywood-paedophiles/news-story/d17e1e1b924183cd70e41862e343ae7e

19/10/2017: Nooramunga: On Sunday we spent a few hours in preliminary exploration between Port Albert and Welshpool. It seems like it will be possible to walk from Welshpool to the track at the edge of the private land which runs down from Old Telegraph Road to Port Albert. (It is very hard to spot as it appears at first to be someone's driveway). From that point you could easily paddle across to the caravan park at Port Albert in your pack raft or you would need to walk back to the main Highway to cross the bridge over the river (water, toilets), then continue on towards Port Albert taking the first exit to the right to the Caravan Park then walk along the Old Port Walking Trail into Port Albert (beer, fish'n chips). There are two small streams to cross which would usually supply water (probably) needing filtering.

You could either walk along the high tide 'track' or make use of the many sand tracks in the park itself. If you have a look first on Google Earth, you will see what I mean. The 'high tide track' is blocked off (poorly as it turns out) by large concrete obstacles to (ineffectively) stop the many hog deer poachers. There is a lot of evidence of these beautiful little deer (and we saw three of them in broad daylight), so no doubt the poachers have a wonderful time of a night.

If, rather than their ineffective attempts to close off the area, the relevant department were to sell very expensive access permits, they would have a ready supply of persons very willing to police these illegal elements. This would work well in many similar situations, as well as raising funds for park maintenance, etc.

This walk would form part of this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-great-gippsland-circuit/

Wilsons Prom rising above the sea mist:

Gulls and shear-waters hunting the littoral:

And a cormorant spearing a tiddler:

And drifting with the tide:

It is a pleasant walk along the high tide line, millions of tiny crabs.

But in many places churned up by the many poachers; Spot 'points' a hog deer:

19/10/2017: The AEMO shows that even today Victoria is desperately short of electricity (and needed to import around half of what Hazelwood should have been producing). It is raining here at Jeeralang Junction. Without Queensland’s ‘surplus’ there would be blackouts along the East Coast today. If only one generator trips in such a circumstance there inevitably will be. Come summer there certainly will be. Yet Labor and the Greens applaud, and Turnbull ‘fiddles’. Why do we let such people ruin our once-great society? http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

18/10/2017: And I am off white water canoeing on the Macalister for the day: See post here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/silver-river-endless-sky/

18/10/2017: From my news feed today; It’s all happening in Jeeralang Junction: 74 Year Old Jeeralang Junction Grandma Shocks Doctors: $5 Trick To Remove Lip Lines Jeeralang Junction Mum Shocks Doctors: Do This Daily To Burn Belly Fat While You Sleep! Jeeralang Junction Millionaire Exposes How She Earns $472/Hour. Strangely there are only about six people live here, so some of these folks must be us!

18/10/2017: This mass death/ice event has happened now twice in five years: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41608722 and meanwhile in the Northern hemisphere more sea ice too: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/17/fast-regrowth-in-arctic-sea-ice-outpaces-recent-years/ Where is that ‘global warming’? Or was it the sun all along? Have you been noticing too over the last decade or so that there have been enormously fewer sun-spots and that solar experts have opined that this would presage a multi-decade cooling? Oh dear!

18/10/2017: Even Angela is learning. When will we: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-09/germanys-open-doors-are-closing-merkel-seeks-new-limits-refugees Also see: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/09/mass-immigration-suffocating-europe/ ‘130,000 women in Britain have suffered from female genital mutilation. That barbarity has been illegal for three decades, yet no one has been successfully prosecuted’

17/10/2017: Moose versus Wolf. Who wins? https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=34&v=akGWOpcWfrQ

 

17/10/2017: Good News from AustriaAustralia’s turn next? https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-polls-close-pivotal-austrian-election-150912148.html

17/10/2017: Happy 100th Birthday Communism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxMWs8RyLLI

17/10/2017: The new tyranny of the offensive word: https://www.academia.org/the-origins-of-political-correctness/

16/10/2017: For millions of years it was a struggle to get enough to eat, then along came Western agriculture: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/10/11/child-and-teen-obesity-rates-soar-globally-who-reports.html

16/10/2017: Why should the innocent die when the guilty can die for them? To me this is not just an ethical imperative but just sound commerce: Heart, lungs, liver, two kidneys = 4 lives (minimum) plus two people who can be given their sight back in one eye - plus sundry other useful bits and pieces I have missed. Four innocent lives for one guilty one seems like a deal too good to be missed to me. 400% return! You'd put your money on that! If you sometimes accidentally get the wrong offender, society is still well ahead as compared with where it is now ie spending millions each year keeping each guilty one alive whilst condemning thousands of innocents to death. And if they are not fit to harvest organs from (diseased or whatever) then surely they can still benefit society by being used for medical experimentation which would otherwise be considered too dangerous to be ethical. Such research could also end up saving the lives of thousands of innocents. Let's start on this now!

16/10/2017: Free speech is so important; our laws against it must be abolished:

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” - George Washington

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” - Benjamin Franklin

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” - George Orwell

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” - Harry S. Truman

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” - James Madison

“The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.” - Salman Rushdie

15/10/2017: Ultralight Saws: Particularly when track hiking (which I mostly avoid) I have found that I need to clear a small spot to erect my tent. Often the track times do not suit such retired folks as ourselves (and many other much younger people!) so that you find yourself needing to camp where there is no campsite, or this can happen for some other reason (flooded river, injury, etc. No doubt sometimes this is illegal, but on our recent Bartle Frère walk for example, it was not – and we did.

Nonetheless, it is often necessary, eg if you are walking the South Coast Track in Tasmania where there are far too few ‘official’ camp sites. Usually it is just a matter of removing a couple of very small branches or saplings to fit the tent in, surely something which should not trouble anyone. Of course I often carry a machete, and I have recommended these tools for eg canoe clearing, but on long hikes where I am really trying to shave weight I need something lighter which will still do this job when necessary.

Here is a selsection of ideas ranked from heaviest to lightest:

160 grams: Felco 600 160mm Folding Saw: 160mm straight blade folding saw. Rust resistant hard chromed blade made from high quality steel. Impulse hardened teeth for long life. Comfortable non-slip handle. Cuts on pull stroke. Weight 161g: https://www.forestrytools.com.au/index.php?id=23

The 120 grams: Fiskars Xtract Garden Saw is hard to beat, but still a lot to carry: https://www.bunnings.com.au/fiskars-xtract-garden-saw_p3360611

110 grams: The 15” ‘Little Buck’ is a folding ultalight buck saw which also take a bone saw blade if you are a hunter. It folds up into a small enough packjage to fit in your back pocket: .http://www.qiwiz.net/saws.html

71 grams: This guy has found a drywall saw with a plastic handle which weighs 71 grams (without blade protector): https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/drywall-saw-as-a-cheap-ultralight-wood-saw/

30-100 grams: In this post I talk about making an improvised bow saw which weighs from a saw blad and a couple of split rings. You would need to add a blade protector: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/improvised-bow-saw/

48 grams: Buck saw blade cut down with light wooden handle (no blade protection): https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/84465/

18 grams: This guy has cut a pruning saw blade down. No handle, no blade protection: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/58401/

34 grams: This is a darlac mini folding prinung saw with a 3 ½” blade capable of cutting wood to approx 2”  http://darlac.com/?product=dp818-mini-pocket-folding-saw

8 grams: The Dermasafe ultralight saw at 8 grams is the lightest saw I have found, and might work in an emergency: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/dermasafe-ultralight-knives-and-saws/ You can replace the blade with a jig saw blade better suited to wood cutting as shown in the second photo:

I notice that the plastic clip from a stationery folder makes a near-perfect saw protector. The photos show a 1’ buck saw blade. A couple of rubber bands would secure this saw in yor pack for speedy efabrication with a length of green wood.

I already own the Dermasafe but I will switch it. I am going to be buying the Darlac saw at 34 grams. I figure it as an ‘everyday carry’. The saving in weight by switching to the ultralight containers I wrote about recenty will cover 8 grams of its weight. I am only ‘off’ about 18 grams once I subtract the Dermasafe. I’m sure I can find that saving somewhere.

The Darlac was recently on eBay for UK 6.95

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DP818-Darlac-Folding-Pocket-Saw-Pruning-/260524209048?pt=UK_Home_Garden_GardenEquipment_HandTools_SM&hash=item3ca873f398 

 

15/10/2017: Two men were sitting at the bar on the top floor of the Empire State Building

 

One man says to the other, "You know, if you jump out the window here, the force of the wind will blow you back in through the window on the 90th floor."

 

The other man says "Get outta here,  you're joking aren't you?"

 

The first man says "No, here, I'll prove it!" He stands on the window ledge, jumps out and comes back in through the 90th floor window.

 

The other man says. "That was just a one off. Do it again!" So the first man does it again and comes through on the 90th floor. He runs back up and says "See, I'm telling the truth!"

 

The second man says, "Wow, I'm gonna do it too then." He stands on the window ledge, jumps out and falls to his death.

 

The barman, who just caught the end of this says to the first man, "You know, Superman, you're a real jerk when you're drunk!"

15/10/2017: Chevron, BP pull out: The Greens are trumpeting their triumph over this decision, but to my mind when huge infrastructure projects start heading west it means Australia is no longer financially viable as a long-term investment. What this bodes (when aligned with our enormous debts) is that in the not too distant future we will be another Greece. This is not something to be optimistic about. Both major parties need to get behind resource development - and certainly drop this insane opposition to fracking which is merely C21st Ludditism: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/chevron-drops-400m-bight-drilling-plans/news-story/a5126cd6d615a514541c30d8da53285b

15/10/2017: Pie in the Sky: 4 out of 5 Australians want to pay Nothing for ‘clean energy’, a survey which shows the appalling state of logic education in Australia: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/another-meaningless-survey-shows-4-in-5-australians-want-clean-energy-if-someone-else-pays/

15/10/2017: Conservatives will decide the issue in the next election, it seems. The Reachtel poll from Qld shows a LNP victory on One Nation preferences for example. This is even before Bernardi’s votes are counted. And, surely it is certain that by the next Federal election Malcolm will be gone, surely replaced by someone with a more conservative streak, and more backbone (like Tony). As we saw with the return of Rudd, things can turn around very quickly in Oz politics nowadays: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/one-nation-to-decide-queensland-election/news-story/c4bf3774786e855341160893365d54e0 

14/10/2017: Firefly - The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife Accessory

 

Firefly is a tailor made fire starter for your Swiss Army Knife https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/740457940/firefly-the-ultimate-swiss-army-knife-accessory

 What is the Firefly?

The Firefly is a custom sparking-steel fire starting tool designed to work seamlessly with a large variety of Swiss Army knives.  

The Firefly is tailor made to replace the toothpick in a Swiss Army knife or tool, it is plug-and-play, and no knife modifications are required.

 

Firefly - The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife Accessory project video thumbnail

14/10/2017: Suppose you had some time on yor hands, a pair of scissors and some paper – could you do this: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/10/miniature-paper-plants-by-raya-sader-bujana/

14/10/2017: Swedish Death Cleaning – when should you start? Probably too late for me: http://nypost.com/2017/10/05/swedish-death-cleaning-is-the-morbid-new-way-to-de-clutter-your-life/

14/10/2017: More from Sweden; Social Progress has many downsides: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/10/swedish-dentist-reveals-80-migrant-children-actually-adults-fired-now-may-lose-home/

13/10/2017:

13/10/2017: Malcolm 8% behind. Time to get off the potty: http://www.essentialvision.com.au/category/essentialreport

13/10/2017: ‘The average human being has one breast and one testicle.’

 

13/10/2017: The slippery slope; well the slippery bridge anyway: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356774/Australian-woman-Jodi-Rose-marries-bridge-France--gets-mayors-blessing.html#ixzz4vF4XdGVt

12/10/2017: Topo Terraventure Shoes: We bought a pair each of these remarkable shoes about six weeks ago. I guess we have by now worn them a few hundred kilometres including in our ascent of Mt Bartle Frere in Qld back on 1st September, and of course we have been wearing them around the farm on our steep wet slippery slopes. We have never fallen over once. These are just about the grippiest, most comfortable and certainly the lightest shoes we have ever owned. Mine weigh 290 grams and Della's were under 230 grams.

They need a good wash but are completely unmarked and have no sign of wear at all. I was a little worried about their 'flimsiness' in rough going, but they make you so light on your feet it is so much easier to put your feet where they should go, you do not hurt your feet at all. Heavy boots need all that cushioning because you have so much less control when wearing them. As a hunting shoe they are excellent because you can walk so softly and quietly in light shoes.

Probably one of the best features of these shoes for us is that they are a wide fit. Pretty much the only other shoes I can wear are Keens in a half size. These Topos are if anything even more comfortable for our wide feet than the Keens. They are particularly gentle on our feet when going downhill when you suffer the most damage to your toes in poorly fitting shoes.

These shoes have a fully welded construction such as I discuss here. In the case of these shoes it works out much better than sewn construction. So far these shoes are bulletproof. You must understand this: I have a huge box of completely unsatisfactory shoes I have bought over the years and have been able to wear approximately once. These shoes are so vastly different I extremely doubt  that you will be wasting your money on a pair. If you are in Melbourne you may be able to buy one of the Topo model shoes as I did from https://backpackinglight.com.au

We bought them from Injinji (below), whose delivery and customer relations are unsurpassed. Highly recommended. We chose shoes size exactly the same as we would have worn in Keen and they fitted perfectly. The thinner material of these shoes mean they have more give than the majority of shoes, so they are dramatically comfortable.

Specs:

'The Terraventure pushes the limits of lightweight performance and rugged durability. This platform features an aggressive lug design providing better traction and mid-foot stability. A flexible ESS forefoot rock plate protects the foot from stone-bruising while the ghillie lacing system insures a secure midfoot fit.

 The Terraventure runs true to size, so you can select your normal running shoe size.

 

 Technology/Specifications

  • // 6 mm rubber outsole
  • // 14 mm (heel) // 11 mm (ball) midsole
  • // 5 mm footbed
  • // Total stack height 25 mm x 22 mm (3 mm drop)
  • // Weight: 294g. (size 9)'

If you really ‘need’ a waterproof shoe, Topo have such a model: https://www.injinjiperformanceshop.com.au/collections/topo-athletic-footwear/products/topo-hydroventure-mens - and it only weighs275 grams (Mens US size 9)

PS: I have tried a couple of other brands of ultralight shoes, for example a pair of Inov8s which weighed less than 200 grams. They were incredibly grippy but did not give the same amount of cushioning as my Topos. They may work quite well for you but they were much too narrow for me. My feet overlapped them which caused considerable discomfort so I had to abandon them.

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shoes/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/foot-care/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/why-you-should-get-your-feet-wet-when-hiking/

12/10/2017: Let’s put the brakes on immigration:  Is there really anyone who wants all these godawful people swamping us? Other similar natons have woken up and are throttling back, whilst we still have the foot firmly on the accelerator. Therein lies our doom: ‘Australia’s population surged by a staggering 21.5 per cent between 2003 and 2015 … According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 28 per cent of the population in 2016 was not born in Australia… the Asian-born population has eclipsed the number of residents born in Europe…When judged through the prism of the interests of existing citizens, there is no economic case that can justify the transformative changes that current policy is inflicting on Australia.’  https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/09/great-immigration-non-debate-australia/

12/10/2017: Every tenant in Victoria will have the right to have a pet in their rental property: ‘Unintended but likely consequence: this will allow every prospective tenant who doesn’t own or want pets to jump the queue in Melbourne’s crowded rental market.’ I would add a total collapse of the rental market to that. The lunatics are running the asylum: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/dans-for-dogs/news-story/e8ce3a1169d7f8653b8a696526ffc7eb

11/10/2017: Rusty the Dusky Lorikeet: Della:

'‘Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty’ (Romeo and Juliet).

Welcome home to our Rusty, the dusky lorikeet! You were our special, devoted clown, and have earned your 'Forever Home' with us. We will never again hear your voice saying ‘I love you’ and ‘Kiss Kiss’ or your trilling imitation of the sound of water from a tap, but your beauty has been wonderfully preserved by the skillful art of Hein’s Taxidermy, Port Albert. I know that resting in peace would not have suited you, so you are back with us, watching majestically over our daily chaos.’

Hein has done a beautiful job with him. We can recommend his services if you need some skillful taxidermy done: https://www.facebook.com/Heins-Taxidermy-port-albert-1549231728642024/

He was such a wonderful companion in life though he was so fast-moving I regret we haven’t got more beautiful photographs of him. He is survived by his wife Goldy and his son, Rufus both of whom learned much of his repertoire from him. Every morning when we walk out the front door we are greeted by, ‘Hello. How are you?’ from their aviary on the verandah.

A Toast to Rusty:

Water play. You will have to imagine his cheerful water noise: ‘Diddle. Diddle Diddle.’

Celebrating the birth of his son, Rufus.

Enjoying a ‘Cupatea’ with Della.

Lord of all he surveyed.

Whispering ‘I love you’ in my ear.

Hein’s taxidermy, Port Albert.

PS: While you are in Port Albert take a walk on the Old Port Trail and enjoy some delicious fish and chips at the end of your walk: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/there-is-simply-nothing-like-an-old-port-walking-trail/

11/10/2017: Posted this day in 2012: ‘Lying abed this morn waiting for my beloved to wake, I was doing mental arithmetic: I calculated that on about 11 Dec this year she and I will have been together for 15,000 days - which is half a lifetime thereabouts and about 2/3rds of our lives so far. What did I do with the other third? I can't imagine - or how I survived it without her. Hoping to get to 3/4s of a lifetime. I suppose 4/5ths is too much to hope for, but we shall see. When she woke & I informed her of the results of my calculations her answer was, 'Is that all?' Shucks, she surely is wonderful!’ 2192 days later and nothing else has changed!

11/10/2017: Michael Smith’s private prosecution of Julia Gillard has been delayed by his receiving a vast amount of new incriminating evidence from files which were long thought ‘lost’ or destroyed. He is publishing this material bit by bit as he sifts through it. Yesterday he published evidence which implicates a judge (Murphy) as well as Gillard and Wilson. The plot thickens. She will go down, as I have long said. It is only a matter of time. And time too, you familiarized yourself with these matters. Australia is much more corrupt than any of us deserve it to be. The whole place needs a good clean-out as Michael Smith promises to begin at least: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

11/10/2017: It’s the sun, stupid!’ Strange how there are so many folk who vie to ignore this important advice. Imagine searching for water in the Victorian mountains and concentrating your efforts on the North-West slopes instead of the South-East ones. Anyone who has wandered around in the bush for just a little while (unless they are exceedingly dull) will surely have noticed that the areas which are most shaded are also cooler and moister. The very instant you venture outside your air-conditioned holt, the Sun is obviously what dominates the weather (particularly temperature!). How can folk have failed to notice just how much colder it is at night than in daytime - nearly 20C difference on average, or how much cooler it is in the shadiest parts of the yards than on the sunny patio? Yet such is the attraction of ‘the butterfly effect’ that folk come to believe that a minuscule quantum of their exhalation shakes the world!

11/10/2017: More than one way to think about ‘marriage equality’: ‘Membership in a culture best noted for offering oral sexual services to strangers in public lavatories entitles you to have the government invent a parody version of marriage just for you…If indulgence in vice makes you special and gives you status and privileges, why are only sodomites being so favoured?... If sodomy is worthy of federal recognition, approval, and protection, why not polygamy, bestiality, and incest? There are doubtless people in California who want group marriages and others who want to marry objects of public infrastructure and redwood trees. On what logical basis can they now possibly be denied? http://neveryetmelted.com/2013/06/27/life-in-a-nation-governed-by-15-year-old-girls/

10/10/2017: Bravo Tony. Please come back: ‘Environmentalism has managed to combine a post-socialist instinct for big government with a post-Christian nostalgia for making sacrifices in a good cause…Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods.' ‘Former prime minister Tony Abbott has told British climate change sceptics that a 'gradual lift in global temperatures' may be beneficial and likened climate scientists to the 'thought police'.’ http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/10/10/tony-abbott-doubles-down-on-climate-position.html

10/10/2017: Willow Kayak: This is a really neat boat: a kayak made from willow and poly tarp: http://www.shelter-systems.com/kayak.html

I am thinking one might be able to make this or a coracle with withes (other than willow) a tarp and some cable ties which I could leave in a drum at one of my hunting camps upriver so that I could float down stream if I wanted/needed to.

PS: They also have these really excellent tarp clips: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-tarp-clips-link/

10/10/2017: Gays have had a duplicitous and wicked agenda for a long while. I can remember back in the 90s the state sponsored newsletter ‘Outrage’ advocated having anal sex with (very) small children. I am talking infants here. I was ‘outraged’ enough to work at getting state funding to such a dreadful idea ended; if that make me a ‘homophobe’, so be it! ‘They’ did not give up though but redoubled their efforts. Mark my words, if you vote ‘Yes’ the next ‘equality’ being sought will be the ‘right’ of children to have sex, the ‘right’ of folk to marry close relatives, multiple partners, and the ‘right’ to have sex with animals. The perverse and aberrant are never-ending in the wickedness they demand as a ‘right’ PS: If it is not already illegal for me to say such things it soon will be: https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/09/tying-the-gordian-knot/ 

09/10/2017: ‘Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.’ (Shakespeare Sonnet 116) It is these ‘timeless’ values which ‘civilised society has ever been at pains to define eg in the American Declaration of Independence, viz: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. Similarly, British society has ever striven to define the natures of ‘good’, ‘duty’, etc in the Law and in public morals. If we cast aside the history and contribution of the English speaking peoples, we abandon ourselves to the chaos of relativism, to multiculturalism at our extreme peril…( Hosea 8:7: ‘they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind’)

09/10/2017: ‘The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.’ You hear the Left intoning this pointless mantra ad nauseum, as if Redistribution was the answer, as if you could carve up the pie into ever smaller pieces until everyone gets their fair share – but after they have eaten their share, all starve. You do not ‘make the poor richer by making the rich poorer’ as Abe Lincoln was reputed to have said. You have to make a bigger pie if all are going to have a bigger slice, and next day you need to bake an even bigger pie, and so on. You have to grow the economy in order that everyone will be richer. Far from being a greedy and mercenary goal (which the pious Left may blithely and willfully disdain), this is the only way to make the world a better place. It has been happening for a few hundred years now thanks to capitalism, and it need to continue at least until all have a decent living.

08/10/2017: A Really Big ‘Whoops’ from Vostok, a really important scientific paper: ‘General CO2-lag in ice-core records and the lack of warming over the last 8000 years of extraordinary increase in CO2 show that the hypothesis of significant warming of the atmosphere by CO2 over the last century is absurd. Attribution of derivative effects (i.e. “climate change”) to CO2 is, therefore, ridiculous. These fictions, the dire prophecies that attend them and the disparagement of those that question them, however, are vigorously promoted and widely accepted. They seem to be as important socially as they are false scientifically.’ https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/06/news-from-vostok-ice-cores/

08/10/2017: Crazy! Remember when we used to say, Sticks and stones…’ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/words-are-hell/news-story/7dfc693980096724a75e13c214e9b917

08/10/2017: The next ‘equality’: An interesting ‘solution’ to the ‘marriage equality’ ‘problem’: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/04/Woman-who-married-herself-admits-friends-found-wedding-a-bit-narcissistic

 

08/10/2017: Illegal guns #2: After Port Arthur and Howard’s gun buy back I was frequently offered illegal guns to purchase. This was because many of the guns were not destroyed by police, far from it – as I observed when I handed two old firearms in which Howard had made illegal. Some guns went into the press to be ‘destroyed. Typically police crushed either the action, or the end of the barrel (usually the latter), so one gun could later easily be made out of two. The fact that some actions were not being crushed on the day filled me with some dismay, I can assure you. I observed some however were taken immediately to a back room without any damage. Not long after (as I said) I was offered a list of over one hundred illegal guns by a bent policeman (a distant acquaintance), an offer which I did not take up as I would never trust such a person. If you are going to buy an illegal firearm, trust maybe ‘honest’ criminals, but bent cops? You have to be kidding. Around the time I saw nothing odd about someone who simply wished to continue to own a type of firearm which they had owned most of their lives and which they had bought legally prior to there being any permits required. To my memory the 1970s are not so long ago when you could buy a semi-automatic rifle from Kmart! Since then there has been a huge increase in the importation and trade in illegal firearms, particularly pistols. There has also (much more worryingly) been a huge importation of undesirable people! More than any other thing, it is these people who are the problem. You could (unlikely) rid society of every gun, yet these people would still be an immense (and increasing) danger. There are lots of other means of killing people and causing vast destruction other than guns. We need immediately to begin ridding our society of such people. There are plenty of simply awful countries where they can be sent!

07/10/2017: Turnbull is all gas: In just the last week we have had his idiotic gas deal which steals already contracted gas from foreign customers (causing who knows what harm to our foreign trade and investment prospects) instead of biting the bullet, utilising the foreign affairs powers in the constitution (as Hawke did over Gordon below Franklin) and taking over the regulation of gas mining and electricity production eg Restart Hazelwood before this summer’s blackouts hit the East Coast. Now we have his bizarre ID idea which would not work anyway and does not include banning the burka! This oaf must go before Xmas and be replaced by someone who will save Australia and who is electable! A Shorten/Green government is unthinkable!

07/10/2017: JC would have made a lousy businessman: Matthew 20:1-16 The nonsense folk believe in!

 

20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

 

20:2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

 

20:3 When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;

 

20:4 and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.

 

20:5 When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same.

 

20:6 And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?'

 

20:7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.'

 

20:8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.'

 

20:9 When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

 

20:10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.

 

20:11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,

 

20:12 saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'

 

20:13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?

 

20:14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.

 

20:15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

 

20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

07/10/2017: Back from the dead? If so, big news surely? A couple of days ago the Las Vegas monster had murdered 59 people. By today it was 58! Are there just so many murders in Las Vegas in a ‘normal’ day that it is hard to keep count? Or were two of the victims both named ‘John Smith’? Or was one of them named Jesus Christ? We have to know the answers to these baffling questions. Where is the media when you need it most?

07/10/2017: On average, there is mass killing bigger than Vegas in Chicago each month. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the US; there are no gun stores in Chicago, yet: ‘There were 762 murders in Chicago in 2016, the most in 19 years.  On average, there was mass killing – by different perps – that adds up bigger than the Las Vegas massacre each month. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/10/on_average_there_is_mass_killing_bigger_than_vegas_in_chicago_each_month_.html#ixzz4ucEZqIXh  

06/10/2017: 1000th Post: This is quite a milestone here at http://www.theultralighthiker.com/. I never imagined when I started this blog just over two years ago that I would be so loquacious, but there you go! There are over 5,000 pages about hiking and hunting etc here now for (I hope) your enjoyment!

When I wrote my 900th post back in May I was just back from my walk on the fabulous Dusky Track in Fiordland, New Zealand http://www.theultralighthiker.com/from-dawn-to-dusky/, something which you must put on your ‘bucket list’ – and don’t wait until you are well over 50 before you do it for the first time as I did, as I don’t doubt you will want to repeat the experience as I have (at just under 70!)

 Most of the things which I planned to do since then have not been finished, but a number of others have been begun or achieved. Such is the nature of making plans really. For example, I have not completed the final version of my Deer Hunter’s Tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-deer-hunters-tent/ ) yet, but I was working on it yesterday and have calculated its final ‘roof’ weight at 200 grams material only in silnylon (100 in cuben!) – which is outstanding for a two person tent!

I am sure it will be complete before the end of the year, as will my final version of my Mini-Decagon tent which is probably a three person tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/come-with-old-khayyam/). I only have a bit over an hour’s work to go on it really, so you can expect a post about it soon. I am pleased that the roof section weighs 375 grams!

However, I have pretty much completed my Pocket Poncho Tent which (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/) came in at 185 grams in silnylon. I have a little more work to do on the hood and on the storm flap. I also have an idea for converting it into a two person tent. I hope to finish the Bathtub Groundsheet Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/) for it  (and the Mini decagon) in the near future and to make them available to be purchased.

I think my Fire Umbrella should be a useful addition to dry, warm  stress-free camping: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fire-umbrella/

We have had a few ‘adventures’ in the meantime, including some hunting trips eg http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wild-river-stag/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-spot-of-solitude/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-silence-of-the-deer/

And some interesting walks, eg: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/east-tyers-walking-track/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-walk-on-the-wild-side/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/on-the-tip-of-the-tongue-2/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/avon-river-walking-track/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/you-can-do-it/ - a journey up Qld’s highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere.

I have come up with some fishing ideas (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hand-line-fly-fishing/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-fisherman/), and some fine recipes, such as: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-coconut-fish-curry/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-simple-backpacking-dahl/.

As usual there have been some good survival ideas and practical advice: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/,  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/man-is-the-measure-of-all-things-pythagoras-some-handy-estimation-tricks/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/naismiths-rule/,  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/weather-lore/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-long-till-sundown/,  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/walking-the-line/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lie-of-the-land/.

And heaps of ideas for ultralight gear and reviews, such as: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-hunting-daypack/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/big-agnes-axl-air-pad/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shoes/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/black-diamond-storm-waterproof-headlamp/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lighter-brighter-better/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-thumbtack-reflectors/

I put all my food idea into a single post: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-hiking-food-compendium/ and my gear ‘inventions' in a similar one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/60-diy-ultralight-hiker-ideas/

Around the farm we have made some progress. The bottom dam is fixed, and the new pump house is up and working but still needs some finishing off. We have nearly a kilometer of new vermin-proof fence (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vermin-proof-fence/) along our Northern boundary which is keeping a veritable plague of eastern grey kangaroos and common wombats at bay. Our neighbours are close to not being able to run any livestock at all due to the depredations of these ubiquitous pests. We have planted a lot of new trees and hope that there will be better than a hundred new ones growing before the end of the spring planting season. As usual we have concentrated solely on the useful and the beautiful. There will be plenty more food here for native birds, possums etc in the future though few of the trees we plant are themselves natives. We hope to complete the renewal of the boundary fence with fox-proof fencing over the next two years as we are tired of seeing our lambs go down the ravenous gullets of these vulpine marauders.

Over the next 100 posts I hope to be able to report on a canoe trip down the Wonnangatta from the Humffray to the Kingwell Bridge, and perhaps further down (when it becomes the Mitchell) from Angusvale down. I also hope to complete the section on the Latrobe I talked about from Noojee to Willow Grove. We hope to try a section of the Alps walking track and some walks in Wilsons Prom - and it goes on...

06/10/2017: Sewn-free construction: Or welded fabric construction. My new shoes, the Topo Terraventure are made this way, and let me say they are excellent. There is not a seam in them to come undone or fray. I have only recently learned that this method of construction is in fact readily available to the hobbyist, though it will be a little more difficult for most projects to get a good finish as compared with the trusty sewing machine.

This excellent video explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne2J01h1tZ0&spfreload=10

The tape makes it very easy to do. It is double sided, so you just pull off the backing and stick it to one side of the material to be joined, then you pull off the other backing and lay the other piece of material in place. T The tape is mildly sticky both sides to allow this to be done, but it can be repositioned. Then you position the teflon sheet over the section to be welded (to prevent harming the material), get the iron up to the right temperature, then press firmly as you iron, and Voila! You have fully welded seam.

This would be a very good method for people to use who want to eg make one of my Tyvek tents but don't have a sewing machine.

You need three things: a Custom Sealing Iron,Teflon Ironing Sheets and E-Z Steam 2 Tape.

I have ordered all three. I have a number of projects in mind which I had long ago conceived but did not have the ability to make, for example my inflatable ground sheet, inflatable mylar quilt and mylar vest. (I was minded to try contact adhesive (messy and perhaps not air/watertight) but I had put them in abeyance. Now I will be having a crack at them, so you can expect to see some posts soonish...

06/10/2017: ‘His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork’ - Mae West

06/10/2017: Illegal guns: A few years’ ago out hunting a friend brought along his new (legal) Glock pistol to show me. It had cost him over $2,000 not including the necessary licences, memberships etc. What a beauty it was! And, naturally we all had a shot with it! At about the same time I was offered the identical pistol in a Melbourne bar for way less than a quarter of that - and with no annoying licences, storage requirements, etc. I would imagine it could take me perhaps an hour (in Melbourne) and $500 to buy an illegal automatic pistol…

 

06/10/2017: There you go puss: https://twitter.com/sfiGesreveR/status/914574887381061633

 

05/10/2017:

 

05/10/2017: More ‘Big Brother’: Whenever there is a terrible mass murder such as Port Arthur or Las Vegas, governments use it as an excuse to further restrict our freedoms and increase government control. Actually this does not make me feel safer – as I recollect that the greatest mass murderers by far have been and are governments themselves. If you leave religious fanatics aside, such individuals perpetrators are really quite rare and account for very few deaths compared with the 100 million plus that I can easily tally up to governments in the C20th alone! I strongly suspect that our government already had quite enough powers to protect us before Port Arthur even yet failed to do so, as the head of MI6 said at the time. Their immigration and population (quality) policies have for many years worked together to create the situation where we are less safe. Personally I would rather see firearms in private hands so that the public can protect itself from others and government than in government hands so that it can impose tyranny on the people or murder them truly en masse as has occurred so many times eg in the C20th – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot spring immediately to mind. These are the folk who needed to be ‘identified’ and ‘controlled’, not the ordinary man or woman in the street. I remember warning that drivers’ licence photos were being prepared for just such a purpose when they began to put the patterning on them (over twenty years ago). Soon there will be no way the citizen can possibly escape the clutches of government. Personally I do not trust government that much. I am all for just punishing the bad and leaving the good alone. http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/10/05/anti-terror-tactics-on-coag-agenda.html

 

04/10/2017: Trail Pea and Ham Soup: I am always thinking about ways to avoid depending on simple carbs on the trail (and get some veggies in there) yet have recipes which can be made up from products readily available in supermarkets such as you might be able to put together eg into snap-lock bags at resupply points. This one uses just four ingredients:

 

To a litre of water add:

I x 40 gram packet Contintental Spring vegetable Simmer Soup 460 kj (112 calories)

1 x 100 gram packet Continental Surprise Peas 1200 kj (288 calories)

Approx 42 grams Hormel Real Bacon Pieces 656 KJ (157 calories)

Approx 8 Teaspoons Continental Deb Mashed Potato (for thickening at the end) 133 kj (32 calories)

 

Total 2449 kj (589 calories)

 

Bring the first four above to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes then add enough mashed potato to thicken.

 

If you have access to a food processor you may be able to smash up the peas a little which will make them cook more quickly and make the soup thicker, otherwise cook longer and smash them up with your spoon in the pot when they are cooked.

 

Remark: This makes a surprisingly tasty faux pea and ham soup, and a welcome change from pasta dishes! I made it just for a side dish for my main meal last night, so I had all this left over for Della to try when she comes back from her craft conference on Saturday.

 

 

04/10/2017: ‘Paddock calls’ – you remember your Macbeth? The Las Vegas one was a very sinister and evil ‘spirit’, who clearly wished, like Macbeth (they all do) he could take the whole world down with him:

 

Arm, arm, and out!—

If this which he avouches does appear,

There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.

I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,

And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.—

Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!

At least we’ll die with harness on our back.’

 

I wonder what ever can be done about that awful mentality. Some have argued that the gun laws are at fault, not the man. The right to bear arms was abolished in Australia around about WW1; before that you certainly were allowed to carry a firearm for personal protection. Our murder rate and attacks on the person have increased astronomically since then by the way (2,000+%!).

 

However, having the stricter firearms laws we have in Australia would not prevent something like Los Vegas (maybe nothing would). People can still get hold of such weapons illegally, or make their own. Also, they could kill even more people in some other way if they were wicked enough to want to do so. This 'Macbeth' mentality is very difficult to understand.

 

Mind you, most people murdered by firearms in the world are killed by police or the armed forces. Preventing citizens from defending themselves against the Government is deemed an important right in America - indeed that's why they have that right. We have no such right here, no protection at all really from a wicked government - I only hope we never get one like the murderous Hitler regime, for example. Unfortunately, I see our country heading in that direction (towards fascism). The attacks on free speech (coming from all directions) and the ever irncreasing laws and regulations are symptomatic.

 

I notice Isis has claimed responsibility for this dreadful crime. This has been (too) quickly dismissed. The alleged perpetrator’s family can offer no help as to what might have motivated him. This would be no different even if they were all rampant Moslem jihadis anyway. It seems likely to me that he has been radicalized - as Isis claims. He has apparent;ly ben ‘missing’ for about three months. The Phillipines connection, and the Isis presence there are worrying. He also seems to have had rather more ‘ordinance’ in his room (and home) for the single shooter/’lone wolf’ scenario to ring true. A lot of stuff for one man to lug up 32 floors without anyone noticing or caring. (Don’t they have maids and cleaners in Las Vegas?)

 

A ‘cowardly attack’ Theresa May describes it. Why? – because of his willingness to strike the innocent at a distance? This from a woman who commands the third largest collection of nuclear weapons on the planet, whose very existence is based on no other morality than that! I fear potential emulators (and they exist) will not view his actions, particularly his disregard for his own life as cowardly. As Macbeth said,

 

‘Nothing in his life

Became him like the leaving it. He died

As one that had been studied in his death

To throw away the dearest thing he owed

As ’twere a careless trifle.’

 

A truly terrifying event, but probably not the last, alas!

04/10/2017: "For...ten years, false doctrines...nurtured the illusions of the working classes. They are...convinced that the state is obliged to provide bread, work, and education to all. The...government has...promise(d) to do so; it will...be obliged to increase taxes...to keep this promise, and in spite of this it will not keep it...How much disillusionment is in store...It would have been so simple and so just to ease their burden by decreasing taxes...they cannot see that (it) consists in taking away ten to give back eight, not to mention the true freedom that will be destroyed". Bastiat 1848

02/10/2017: Gillard will go down: Seems like Julia did not manage to have all the evidence against her destroyed. A whole new file has just emerged which will confirm some of her crimes. It will be interesting to see how Michael’s private prosecution goes. The TURC really should have gone in much harder against her and Wilson. Still, much of this stuff will come out also at Blewitt’s trial which is already timetabled: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

02/10/2017: Ultralight Shorts: 28 grams: This is probably a problem all of us have faced at some time - what to wear when needing to wash our trail clothes (or go for a swim when there are others around). At just 28 grams, Luke Stegner has come up with a solution, his ultralight laundry Shorts at US$ 34.99 (Oct 2017)

He also has a lot of other interesting ultralight gear, including practically the lightest raincoat around. Check out his website:

https://lukesultralite.com/thru-hiker-laundry-shorts

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-pants/ at 75 grams

02/10/2017: Just love the Coyote: The Conservatism of Progressives: ‘In fact, here is a sure fire test for a progressive.  If given a choice between two worlds: A capitalist society where the overall levels of wealth and technology continue to increase, though in a pattern that is dynamic, chaotic, generally unpredictable, and whose rewards are unevenly distributed, or...A "progressive" society where everyone is poorer, but income is generally more evenly distributed.  In this society, jobs and pay and industries change only very slowly, and people have good assurances that they will continue to have what they have today, with little downside but also with very little upside. Progressives will choose #2.  Even if it means everyone is poorer.’ http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/the-conservatism-of-progressives.html

02/10/2017: I used to like women, but I dunno any more: PS: I must say the gender disparity currently at Uni (60:40) is awfully disquieting. Seems to me like more and more talented men (who ought to become brain surgeons or nuclear physicists) will just go into the trades from where they will be able to charge female (arts) graduates vast fees for changing their tap washers: https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/09/bad-sex/

02/10/2017: You want this? https://www.weaselzippers.us/357813-mohammed-top-baby-name-in-uk-for-fifth-straight-year/

01/10/2017: I’m afraid I am just as worried as Matt Ridley, yet we have both been long known for our optimism. A pall of intellectual darkness looms over all. Perhaps the worst thing to fear from the success of the ‘Yes’ campaign is that speech itself will be a victim. We will no longer be able to espouse our moral points of view on a wide variety of topics, or to disagree with the views of others. As the Antifa indicates, our fate may eventually become that of Hipatia: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/endarkenment/

01/10/2017: Mugshot of the month winner: http://kaching.tumblr.com/post/165270673923/geordie-viking-antifa-mugshot-portland

 

01/10/2017: Remember ‘Crooked Hillary’? Pocketed $172 million in just one year; nice work if you can get it: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/30581-How-the-crooked-Clinton-Foundation-worked.html

 

30/09/2017: Truly Horrifying: France to Have Muslim Majority in 40 Years ‘Combine massive Islamic immigration with the destruction of the family brought about by feminism, degeneracy, perversion, abortion, and the welfare state, wait a few decades, et voilà: no more France…even in the extremely unlikely event that Muslim immigration is shut off completely and immediately, Western Europe is likely to draw its last breaths within the lives of people living today’: http://moonbattery.com/?p=88303

 

30/09/2017: The Quality of Evidence (and of the Judiciary): The odd case of Cathy Kezelman (and others) causes me great disquiet. The victimhood ‘industry’ is unfortunately replete with people whose memories/narratives are questionable, as in the case against Pell or the strange story behind Sally Morgan’s ‘My Place’. This is not the only Royal Commission to be diverted into such spurious imaginings: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/why-has-the-royal-commission-promoted-this-victim/news-story/487c6deef521a0cf59f64c1050f3d151 PS: For a critique of ‘My Place’ read: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/history-wars/2010/05/my-place-fabricating-family-history/

 

30/09/2017: Bastiat was just wonderful, eg: ‘Whatever you do, sirs, you can give money to some only by taking it from others.  If you genuinely wish to drain taxpayers dry, go ahead, but at least do not mock them and say to them, ‘I am taking from you to compensate you for what I have already taken from you.’’ http://www.libertylawsite.org/2017/09/14/bastiat-common-sense-personified/

 

29/09/2017: Something you’ve always wanted to know: Where did syphilis come from: http://archive.archaeology.org/9701/newsbriefs/syphilis.html

 

29/09/2017: Who’d have thought: ‘The present day warm period is 1 to 2° C cooler than the past four interglacial periods’. So, when is the next ice age: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/21/climate-model-projections-significantly-diverge-from-paleoclimate-analogs/

 

29/09/2017: Listen to the oldest melody in the world — 3400 years old. ‘The hymn was discovered on a clay tablet in Ugarit, now part of modern-day Syria, and is dedicated the Hurrians’ goddess of the orchards Nikkal...The clay tablet text, which was discovered alongside around 30 other tablet fragments, specifies 9 lyre strings and the intervals between those strings – kind of like an ancient guitar tab..... The notation here is essentially a set of instructions for intervals and tuning based around a heptatonic diatonic scale’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx6v0t5I5SM

 

27/09/2017: We need to end this ‘renewables’ baloney now before we completely destroy our country: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/rooftop-solar-destroying-baseload-profitability-and-proud-of-it/ & https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/24/reasons-for-optimism-about-climate-hysteria/

 

27/09/2017: Meanwhile remember Bill Clinton Threatened North Korea in 1994: ‘if they ever used nukes, “it would be the end of their country’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C99MiS4uczU

 

27/09/2017: What a treasure: http://www.openculture.com/2017/08/hear-debussy-play-debussy-a-vintage-recording-from-1913.html

25/09/2017: A great ad in today’s Australian:

25/09/2017: Probably the best political essay about the best political speech of the year, perhaps the decade: https://amgreatness.com/2017/09/19/trumps-un-speech-triumph/

25/09/2017: Remember, it started as a referendum: To pass a referendum, the bill must ordinarily achieve a double majority: a majority of those voting nationwide, as well as separate majorities in a majority of states (i.e., 4 out of 6 states). In circumstances where a state is affected by a referendum, a majority of voters in that state must also agree to the change. This is often referred to as a ‘triple majority’. Will these ‘normal’ rules apply to the gay marriage postal vote – as citizens would normally expect?

25/09/2017: Leftist Groupthink. This doesn’t surprise me at all. So many people can be read like a book (only quicker!). Unfortunately as soon as they open their mouths to say one thing, I know everything else they think – which essentially makes them very boring to be around. Maybe that’s why I prefer conservatives and eccentrics of all sorts. Leftists and ‘progressives’ just all seem to have been made in exactly the same mould: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550617729410?journalCode=sppa&

24/09/2017: The Isthmus: We spent the afternoon poking around on the Wilsons Prom Isthmus, an area easily ignored as you roar down from Foster to the National Park, but in many ways it is scenically superior to the park itself. We had time only to drive down four roads to the sea, and take a peek: Foster Beach Road (off Lower Franklin Road) Foster, Charles Hall Road (off Black Swamp Road) Yanakie, Shelcotts Road Yanakie and Hourigan Camp Lane (off Millars Road) Yanakie. As you know I am working towards a Great Gippsland Circuit (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-great-gippsland-circuit/) that will walk along the entire Gippsland Coast from Phillip Island to Eden then return to Melbourne along the Alps Walking Track. Today we were checking out just a small part of that.

A view from Foster Beach towards Wilsons Prom across Corner Inlet

Red Billed Shearwaters amongst the mangroves Foster Beach 

 

Mangroves Foster Beach looking across to the Yanakie Isthmus

Mangrove crab Foster Beach

Mangroves Foster Beach looking towards Wilsons Prom

Charles Hall Road looking towards Doughboy Island. Wilsons Prom in the background.

Charles Hall Road looking towards Foster

A close up of the above - so easy and pleasant walking along most of Corner Inlet particularly at low tide.

Shelcotts Road looking towards Charles Hall Road and Foster. The good walking continues

Shellcotts Road looking past Red Bluffs towards the Prom. At low tide at least you can easily walk past Red Bluff Road at least as far as Foleys Road

Close up of the above. Red Bluffs centre.

Shelcotts Road: shags on a rock, Doughboy Island and the Prom in the background.

Della beachcombing Hourigans Camp Lane looking back up Shallow Inlet towards Lester Road camping grounds. There is a creek to cross before you get there. it would have to be swum.

There are plenty of spots you can do a bit of beach camping along here, as someone has near the stream below. You can also easily walk from here along the beach all the way to the Darby River.

This is the view towards the Shallow Inlet entrance. There is plenty of firewood here.

Close up of the same view. Wilsons Prom in the background. There are many freshwater streams such as this one. Perhaps filter the water with your Sawyer Mini filter as there is run-off from paddocks containing stock such as sheep. Mind you, I never have.

A gull enjoys the sunset

Until Spot scares him off

Leaving the sunset over Shallow Inlet for us alone to enjoy

I think there will be some places on this long walk where a packraft such as the Klymit LWD (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-packraft/) will be needed, eg for crossing Shallow Inlet. The same apples at Andersons Inlet (Inverloch), Hollands landing, Mueller River & etc. You would walk around the point and back along the inshore of the inlet about 2 km then paddle the couple of hundred metres across at lowish tide on the downstream side of Fisherman's creek. Don't cross near the inlet as you could be swept out to sea! Then you can walk all the way to the Darby River. the crossing around can be avoided by a long but pleasant walk along quiet country roads: Waratah Road, Soldiers Road, Daveys Road, Meeniyan-Prom Rd, Millars Road, Hourigan Camp Lane. A packraft would also help where there is some difficulty walking along the shore (eg where there are mangroves, or at high tide). With a packraft I think you could journey all along the inside of Corner Inlet from Millars Landing to Port Franklin.

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/advanced-elements-ultralight-paddle/

24/09/2017: Unsung hero: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/09/peter-ryans-patrol/

 

24/09/2017: Capitalism is the greatest force for good the world has ever seen: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/wealth-is-the-new-normal.html

 

23/09/2017: Ultralight Windscreen: And, here is the titanium windscreen to go with your esbit stove http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-esbit-stove/ – or maybe your egg-ring stove (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/) and your ultralight cookpot (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-cookpot/) to complete your ultralight cookset. Weight: 0.5oz  (14g) Dimensions: 22 7/8" (580mm) x 4 3/4" (120mm) https://www.toaksoutdoor.com/products/wsc US$10.95 (September 2017) You might also be interested in this product 1.5 gram to prevent you burning your lip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hot-lips/

Cookpot 39 grams, Esbit stove 11.5 grams, windscreen much less than (you would cut it down) 14 grams = total weight < 64.5, or say 60 grams! Not a lot of weight for a warm meal or a cuppa in the wilds.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1449/7578/products/WSC-01-01_1024x1024.jpg?v=1479715064

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-esbit-stove/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-cookpot/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hot-lips/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-windscreen/

23/09/2017: No doubt many of you have seen footage of the interview with the low-life (Mr Astro Labe) who head-butted our last PM? The streets are crawling with such scum. Something must be done. This has been going on for 25 years now. It has to stop. ‘More than one in five working-age males are out of work, with a work-to-population ratio of just 79 per cent among men between 20 and 54, according the most recently-available census data. This is a sharp drop from a rate of over 96 per cent in the 1950s.’ In Tasmania (where our toothless aggressor hales from) it is even worse. During the same period the percentage of working age women in work continued to increase: https://ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/media-releases/australias-silent-crisis-male-employment

23/09/2017: Just one of the awful places we are going with this (Sorry about the spelling):

https://scontent-syd2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/21751780_907910616029817_77628944570403589_n.jpg?oh=c8b86d1fdfae645e3536c2a264f24437&oe=5A3AC7AE

 

23/09/2017: Ban on 2-stroke engines is sexist. Four strokes are much heavier, and therefore harder for women to manage. Della loves her old 125cc Victa I bought her for her 23rd birthday, and her Husqvarna brushcutter. I will have to get in quick and buy her new ones as she won’t be able to manage the new green mandated four stroke ones. What is wrong with this government? Conservatives need to distance themselves from this leftist groupthink: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/silence-of-the-strokers/news-story/7758370473a41f5fc4792f1af8a8fcb9

23/09/2017: The BOM just get worse and worse. The stations which they use to ‘establish’ their absurd records are clearly broken, but they don’t bother to fix them. I mean 0C Maximum in the Pilbara! They didn’t spot that, but still used this station’s data to record the warmest event ever! https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/21/welcome-to-australia-where-its-always-warmer-somewhere/

23/09/2017: Whitlam: For all the romanticism, he and his colleagues were a bunch of crooks whom I am ashamed to once have admired. Their heirs are if anything even worse: http://pickeringpost.com/story/a-murphy-malady-is-not-a-nice-tune/7580

22/09/2017: Ultralight Esbit Stove: In case you want an ultralight stove (including pot stand) to go with your ultralight pot (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-cookpot/) you should try this mini titanium esbit stove which weighs a mere 11.5 grams. Esbit is the gram cracker’s fuel of choice containing more BTUs per gram than any other fuel (and needing no container). It also makes a great fire starter. It burns at approx 1300C, but it is a little slow. A windscreen is a good idea. Available eg here: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/esbit_stove.shtml or https://www.amazon.com/Esbit-Ultralight-Folding-Titanium-Tablets/dp/B002AQET2C From US$11.64 (September 2017)

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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61DD9Rf3s%2BL._SL1500_.jpg

22/09/2017: The Antifa: Progressives and the Left generally are ever so keen to resort to bullying and violence, demonstrating that they are exactly what they claim to oppose, ie the true fascists http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/abbott-attacked/news-story/33a636dae86bec109c962c25ed6b2175 . The ‘gay rights’ one who just head-butted Tony Abbott is a case in point, and demonstrates just what delights are still to come if the ‘yes’ vote wins. Some more fine examples here: http://pickeringpost.com/story/time-for-a-short-intelligence-test-/7581 PS: There has to be a ‘new’ part of speech for this phenomenon: ie words that mean exactly the opposite of what they state. We are getting more and more examples of this. (I know it might have started with the ‘Progressive Party’ being a Luddite party or the ‘Liberal Party’ being a conservative party & etc.

 

22/09/2017: Who would have thought the state of our climate ‘knowledge’ was so poor – far too poor for us to tbe taking any ‘action’ anyway: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/16/climate-models-cant-even-approximate-reality-because-atmospheric-structure-and-movements-are-virtually-unknown/ And that climate alarmists would admit they were wrong all along: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/09/19/delingpole-climate-alarmists-finally-admit-we-were-wrong-about-global-warming/ Why oh why did we have to waste countless billions on such nonsense to the extent that now we no longer have a reliable energy system or any manufacturing industry?

 

22/09/2017: So, you were worried you were (becoming) a tad ‘racist’? You were in good company: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/09/14/global-study-more-people-say-immigration-negative-biggest-change-sweden/

 

22/09/2017: A great recommendation from the Coyote: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/the-teaching-company-also-known-as-great-courses.html

21/09/2017: MLD Supermid: We have owned this excellent large tent for quite a few years now. We bought it for our cross-Tasmania walk in 2011 (See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/south-west-track-tasmania/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tasmanias-south-coast-track-hells-holiday/) way down in the Roaring 40s, the often awful conditions of wind and rain of which it stood up to admirably. We needed a three person (plus lots of gear) tent for that trip which it was more than roomy enough for. The tent is 9’ x 9’ and over 6’ high at the centre. We could have squeezed another very good friend in too, if pressed.

  Here we are with it at Freeney Lagoon on Cox’s Bight, enjoying a cuppa:

And at the Louisa River just before crossing the formidable Ironbound Range:

In the photo above you will notice Della is wearing a pair of MLD waterproof chaps (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/rain-chaps/) which weigh a mere 65 grams. We also carried (and used) MLD ultralight gaiters and event mittens (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-mitts-and-gaiters/) which we also highly recommend: 

I double-waterproofed the floor using this method (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/waterproofing-tent-floors-and-ground-sheets/), which worked well, but was probably overkill. (It also no doubt added some additional weight). We also carried a lot more pegs and tie-outs than you would normally ever need, but winds down there are only too often hurricane force and can flatten a tent or blow it clean away!

Even in terrifying wind and torrential rain the tent never looked like letting us down. Erin McKittrick & Bretwood Higman (http://groundtruthtrekking.org/) used this tent on their 4,000 mile journey along the Pacidfiic rim from Seattle to the Bering Sea, so it can really take some punishment. Our tent is the silnylon model. It tent weighed 740 grams bare, and the floor 340 grams, not bad for such a huge tent which you can stand up in – even dance if the occasion so takes you! We used two Gossamer Gear trekking poles as the centre pole.

Here are some of its specs:

  • 70+ sq/ft of usable floor space perfect for four or a palace for two or three
    • ONE oversized peak vent design is best: pitch the rear of the SuperMid into the wind to prevent rain and snow from blowing into the vent and to create a mini Venturi Effect, pulling condensation out the oversize vent on the downwind side
    • Oversized peak vent that can be easily closed during hard wind, blowing rain, and snow, by pulling out the wand and Velcro-ing the vent tightly shut
    • Plenty of room to stand up
    • Side walls shed snow well
    • Main seams are triple rolled, stitched, and flat felled (an MLD Exclusive.)
    • Interior Apex hang loop
    • Apex/Peak reinforced with Dyneema X
    • 2 Doors: Both doors roll open and tie back
    • Mid-height zipper door snaps allow doors to be partially opened
    • A total of 17 tie-outs!
    • 8 ground level perimeter tie-outs with LineLocks for easy adjustment: LineLocks make cold weather and winter use (buried snow anchors) MUCH easier. LineLocks can be removed to save about 1.0 oz
    • Extra center side panel tie-outs on all sides for really high winds.
    • Use a short length of guyline to tie two trek poles together for center pole support

And the floor’s:

  • Waterproof Pro SilNylon and Cuben Fiber- Very High Hydrostatic Rating
    • Cuben Version is made with Ultimate Lightweight .75 oz Cuben Fiber
    • 5 in | 12.7 cm bathtub walls
    • Corner Struts keep the floor upright and tight
    • Center Pole Floor Reinforcement of Dyneema X (Silnylon Version) or Thick Cuben Fiber (Cuben Version) on Duo + Super Floors
    • Extra center tie-outs on the long sides
    • Same size as the floors of the Pyramid InnerNets
    • Use four separate stakes, or use the supplied 3/32″ bungee cord to connect to the Pyramids corner tie-outs or to the same stakes as your Mid Pyramid Shelter
    • SILNYLON VERSION: Use SilNet silicone seam sealer on the inside corner seams and on any floor stitching for maximum waterproofness
    •CUBEN VERSION: is seam taped and does not need any additional seam sealing

Such a large tent makes an excellent base camp in cold, wet weather such as you are likely to encounter in Southern Tasmania or Fiordland New Zealand. It is bigger than Della and I need just for the two of us though. It is more of an expedition tent, good to carry amongst a party of 3-4. You could try some of MLD’s smaller tents such as the Solomid (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/solomid-xl/) or Duomid (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/duomid/) if you are venturing alone into the wilderness or with just your partner.

21/09/2017: Six years ago today Claude Choules passed into history. Lest we forget. Our Govt should have made a fuss too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Choules . Our (and the world's) last soldier of WW1 &WW2

21/09/2017: Abbott has promised to cross the floor on ‘renewables’ and to build Hazelwood #2. I’m sure the majority of Australians are with him on this. I am sick and tired of paying through the nose for a dribble of electricity and having my lifestyle threatened at every step by yet another green tyranny. Bring back Tony: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/abbott-vows-to-cross-the-floor-against-any-new-renewables-subsidies-most-of-parliament-should-be-with-him/ & http://www.skynews.com.au/video/program/program_featured/2017/09/19/-let-s-build-hazelwood-2-0---tony-abbott.html

21/09/2017: Personally I am not so interested in ‘equality’ as protecting women and children against such monsters as these, eg by shortening the latter by a head: http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/rapists-adrian-attwater-and-paul-maris-had-long-history-of-violence-avos-and-drug-related-crimes/news-story/bdce534ca05d8a6ae8503d85ff4ebed3

 

21/09/2017: The way ahead? ESL students learn new gender pronouns: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/09/english-2nd-language-students-learn-new-gender-pro-nouns-youre-not-learning-english-to-be-a-bigot-ar.html Forget ‘he’ and ‘she’. They should be banned right now!

20/09/2017: Best Hunting Daypack: If your day or overnight hunting pack weighs more than 400 grams you are carrying too much. The pack below is a great option (in Wasabi Green would be my choice). Remember this: every unnecessary gram you carry makes it just that much harder to make your footfalls quiet. It would make a really great weekend hiking pack too.

If you really want to have your quarry hear you clomping around from a couple of hundred metres away, go ahead: wear those immense waterproof (what?) ‘hunting’ boots (which almost certainly weigh over a kilogram each wet – you thought you could have dry feet hunting? Get real!) instead of something really light and comfy such as Topo’s Terraventure at 290 grams (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shoes/), a shoe which you can float over the ground in without ever breaking a single twig!

Being able to hunt energetically (and inconspicuously – no, I don’t mean wearing camo: that is unfair chase) begins at your feet and continues on to your pack and the contents of your pack. I imagine I could swap your current pack for the above one, include a sleeping bag (600 grams), mat (230 grams), shelter (250 grams) and cookset (100 grams) and have all these items weigh no more than your current pack does empty (1550 grams)! Am I right? This means you can plan to stay out overnight – which is what you really need to do if you are going to take advantage of twilight’s best hunting opportunities!

I have bought a number of items from Ron at Mountain Laurel Designs over the years. They have all been extremely intelligently thought out, very carefully and expertly made (by him) and enormously functional. This pack will be no different. The fact that it will sit right in the small of your back will also make it the most comfy pack you have ever worn too I don’t doubt.

Check it out here: https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/burn-38l/

‘WEIGHT: 13 oz | 370 gm

CAPACITY: 38L | 2300 CI

LOAD RANGE: 16 – 20 lbs | 7 -9 kg

FEATURES

  • NEW FOR 2017: Curved Side Panels: A slight curve from the waist to the shoulders moves the load closer to the upper back for more comfort. This also creates a slightly larger main compartment higher in the pack that helps load control by moving the heavier and higher packed gear higher to reduces shoulder stress.
  • S-shaped unisex comfort shoulder straps are 2.5″ wide X 0.8″ thick and are SuperWick mesh lined with full-length highest quality 1/2″ thick EVA foam padding. Our shoulder straps are thicker and wider than most lightweight packs. Half length daisy chain saves weight and accepts all Shoulder Strap Pouches.
  • Hybrid Mesh/Dyneema X Side and Rear Pockets. The leading edge of the side pockets are Dyneema X to prevent snagging when moving through the bush. The lower 5″ of the rear pocket is Dyneema X to prevent abrasion from sharp contents or butt sliding accidents. The 4 oz sq/yd open hole non-stretch water and drains fast to allow contents to dry faster than a tight stretch mesh or solid fabric. Dyneema X elastic top sleeves for long term Durability and elastic replacement.
  • Large un-padded lightweight Dyneema X hip-belt wings with 3/4″ webbing and ultra lightweight buckle. Optional removable Hip Pocket can be attached.
  • Large, slanted mesh side pockets are deep enough for a 2 L Platypus. Top bungee sleeves of Dyneema X for long term durability vs. cheaper style wrapped tops of uncovered elastic bands. Pocket adjusts by pulling the bungee closed through the cord lock. Bungee is 1/8″ thick 40 below rated elastic in a nylon sheath style bungee. Many lower priced packs simply bind over the top of the raw mesh with regular garment type elastic that loses it’s stretch in a few years and does not do well in deep cold weather.
  • 12 bungee attachment web loops with 7 mm glide rings for multiple attachment points for load compression and gear lashing. A short loop of 3 mm line can be attached to the lower loops for trekking pole and ice ax attachment
  • Left shoulder hydration ports
  • Internal hang clip loops for Optional .75 Hydration Sleeve or Stow Pouch. The Hydration Sleeve also converts to a 1.1 oz summit day pack.
  • Removable Multi-position “Most Awesome Sternum Strap In The World” with Black Whistle-Lock Buckle 0.5 oz (not included in base pack weight)
  • Dry Bag roll top closure with V-top compression strap.
  • Long shoulder straps terminate in hand/finger rest loops.

INCLUDES

  • 10″ of black 1/8″ bungee cord
  • 2 mini cord clips and 3 cord locks’

20/09/2017: Gay Rights or Human Rights: The Government refuses to present or frame a bill which would protect our ‘rights’ to free speech, religious liberty, employment and etc if the ‘yes’ vote succeeds. Such a bill would also have to pass the Senate (unlikely). Therefore if we vote ‘yes’ we will have no idea what awful outcomes may ensue. Better to draw a line in the sand and vote ‘No’ now – after all homosexual people already have the right to a civil union, the same inheritance, superannuation, adoption etc rights as other citizens. What is the point of reducing other human rights by supporting the ‘No’ case? And, the warning is: the ‘Yes’ folks are such bullies: http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/its-not-okay-to-be-homophobic-canberra-contractor-sacked-for-vote-no-facebook-post/news-story/4ed027f47b5810e87036450054a8b6dd I suspect sacking this young woman because she said she will vote ‘No’ on account of her Cghristain beliefs is only the beginning of th ‘Gay’ tyranny. How can a tiny minority (1 ½%) force their views on everyone else. It is mind-boggling! http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/no-voter-fires-back-after-getting-the-sack/news-story/cebbf3ff4a85c80b01c842f271b9f604

20/09/2017: Virtually an epidemic of cannibalism. In Nigeria it’s got so bad that when you go out for a meal, you are likely to be eating Hamish Macdonald’s bits and pieces – interesting vid on Albert Fish: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/cannibal-caught-scoffing-womans-flesh-dies-in-police-shoot-out/news-story/a1c8a0d5de788f18343f430e8971e99d

 

20/09/2017: Useless objects: https://www.theuncomfortable.com/

 

19/09/2017: Who would have believed you can draw on water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=42&v=3NZ-cAf8Bbw

19/09/2017: Remember just a little while ago when the Government decided to make all codeine products prescription only? Here are some very sound thoughts about just such nonsense: ‘If you want to convince me of the need for restrictions on any substances, such as narcotics, you have to convince me of three things:

  1. That incarcerating users is somehow better for them than their addiction
  2. That ethically abusers of the substance are more worthy of our attention and intervention than legitimate users who benefit from the substance and whose access will likely be restricted
  3. That the negative social costs of the substance's use are higher than the inevitable social costs of the criminal black market (including the freedom-reducing policing laws implemented in response) that will emerge when its use or purchase is banned’ http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/yep-i-was-right-opioid-proposals-going-forward-with-no-discussion-of-their-effect-on-legitimate-users.html 

19/09/2017: Ultralight Cookpot: Mountain Laurel Designs’ Titanium Mug (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/titanium-mug/) has to come close to winning the prize at 39 grams for a 475 ml mug which is at least sturdy enough to carry around without its crushing. I would recommend this for ultralight overnight trips such as an ultralight hunter might undertake, for example. You could cook a simple meal in it such as two minute noodles combined with a cup-a-soup.

You might combine it with an egg-ring stove (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/) from 12.5 grams, and a titanium windscreen (https://www.toaksoutdoor.com/products/wsc) 14 grams for a total cookset weight of 65.5 grams.

I have boiled a cup of water (on a 13 gram esbit stove), made coffee and drunk it from a 375 ml beer can I had cut the lid out of with a can opener. You need something to insulate it, perhaps a large rubber band fashioned from a cycle inner tube, but it works and is extraordinarily light.

Trail Designs offer a Caldera set-up which utilizes a large Heineken can as the cookpot, but again it needs a plastic jar to protect it from crushing, so you have to be very careful: https://www.traildesigns.com/products/caldera-keg-f-stove-system  The weight of the pot + cone + stove is 77 grams!

Caldera Keg-F Stove System 

If you want to cook a substantial meal and have a set-up which is pretty near indestructible in your pack, this Toaks pot at 146 grams including the frypan lid is hard to beat: https://www.traildesigns.com/products/toaks-titanium-1100ml-pot-ckw1100 I have a one piece titanium cone (also from Trail Designs) which fits inside it perfectly so that I can cook with an alcohol stove or esbit or with a small wood fire. It also works with the Evernew 900 ml pot at 123 grams includuing frypan lid: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cookset-woes/

18/09/2017: Ultralight Crockery

I have found it impossible to find a lighter serviceable dish than this one at 15 grams which comes free eg with a packet of Sirena Tuna & Rice. It holds just over 250 ml making it just big enough for my (hiking) cereal in the mornings, or can be used when you are sharing a meal. It is well nigh indestructible - I always carry a couple for Spot (the dog's) food and water too!

I always use a pot with a frypan lid (such as this one http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-cookware/) so I have two cookpots or a pot and a plate. Sometimes it is handy to have another plate such as the one above (eg if you are cooking two dishes (such as fried sausages and mashed potato, or: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/he-hiked-with-a-falafel-in-his-hand/)

The blue cup on the scales below is one that I bought several of from a $1 store years' ago. It weighs 29 grams. I am yet to find a better. It has been with me now for 18 years, and has done great service! The other blue one is a 'Neverrfail' water cup I took home from the doctor's surgery the other day. It seems very flexible and not at all inclined to break. It weighs 5 grams. I think you would have to be careful drinking coffee out of it, but it would be possible. It would be fine for the traditional hiking drink of Bacardi 151 and water though!

18/09/2017: CRKT PDK Replacement Blades

Ultimate Blades for the Ultralight Hunter #2: You can buy #60 scalpel blades on eBay from US$23.95 per 100 (eg here) and you can change the blades on these CRKT PDKs with a locking forceps as shown (which weigh 24 grams - as the photo shows)

You change them just the same as any other scalpel blade (Carefully!) and using eg the tool above, by lifting up the handle end slightly then sliding the blade forward. Reinstalling the new one is the reverse of the process. Dispose of the spent blades safely eg in a hard container with a screw lid.

I know this is a somewhat stingy option given that the knives only cost about $7 each (and weigh 16 grams each including the sheath) when you buy the set of four, but it might be a useful tip. A friend who works in surgery gave me the forceps - as they dispose of thousands of them every year to waste. Astonishing - such a useful tool for fishing too! Well, they both are!

PS: I would imagine you could change the blades in the field with this too ie a Leatherman Squirt: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/leatherman_squirt/

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/

 

18/09/2017: Scott Sumner: ‘perhaps…there is no such thing as ‘public opinion’. People are like electrons; you can't measure them without changing their positions…Most people don't have views that are internally consistent, so their ‘views’ on public policy issues are strongly shaped by the wording of the polls’. Certainly, the ‘gay marriage’ poll is like this!

18/09/2017: Dump the RET: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/our-electricity-crisis-is-the-cost-of-virtue-signalling/

18/09/2017: Before you start feeling sorry for the Rohingya (and maybe think we should take a few of them in). Think again: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/09/we-should-choose-our-friends-in-the-rohingya-versus-burma-battles-wisely.html & http://pickeringpost.com/story/the-rohingya-s-plight-will-test-our-moral-compass/7571

 

17/09/2017: Ultralight Chair: the Litesmith Qwikback: I don’t know which came first, the ‘Jerry Chair’ I posted about here http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-chairgrounsheet/ or this one. Whichever, this is an interesting idea for an ultralight chair for the trail if you are not handy enough to make your own. I don’t think it would be as comfy as the Big Agnes Cyclone, but at 75 grams it is less than half the weight, so might be an option. http://www.litesmith.com/qwikback-ul-chair/

 

Relax in a QwikBack™ UL Chair

 

It also makes a very small package. I imagine you could substitute bush sticks for the carbon fibre rods to further reduce the weight. US$59.95 (September 2017) It can be coupled with a closed cell foan pad for extra comfort.

 

The QwikBack™ seat and poles roll up into an integrated pouch for storage

  • ‘Ultralight - just 2.65 oz (75 g)
  • Durable ripstop nylon seat
  • Strong yet light carbon fiber poles
  • Integrated pole storage
  • Folds into a compact, self-contained package

 After several days of hiking, one thing we miss in the backcountry is a chair. But most are too heavy and bulky to even consider carrying as a luxury item. The QwikBack™ UL Chair changed our thinking and made backpacking more relaxing. At just 2.65 oz (75 g), it's hard to leave at home. "What's wrong with a log?", you say. Well, nothing, but after a long day of hiking or even at a lunch stop, something comfortable to lean back on just makes life more enjoyable.

The QwikBack UL Chair is made of durable materials - ripstop nylon seat and twill carbon fiber poles - for years of backcountry enjoyment. Heck, you could even take it with you to the park or outdoor concert.

The design is super simple but it takes a little getting used to because unlike most chairs, this one doesn't stand on its own. First you insert the poles in the reinforced pockets on the chair back, crossing them in an X pattern. Next you sit on the wide end of the seat on the ground with the poles under the fabric. Then prop up the poles behind you and lean back on the chair. Large diameter rubber feet keep the poles from sinking into the ground. To make adjustments, just reach back and grab the poles, lean forward a little, and move them to a better position. Now lean back and relax.’

When its time to pack up, the chair folds into a compact, self-contained package. Simply remove the poles from the seat and fold them in half. The poles are shockcorded and connected in an assembly so they're easy to pack without loosing any pieces. Starting at the top with the dirty side in, roll the poles inside the seat. When you reach the bottom, tuck the roll into the integrated pouch. No extra bag to keep track of.’

 

Litesmith also have some other really neat gear, such as orifice reducers (you will have to click on that one): http://www.litesmith.com/orifice-reducers/, Tottles: http://www.litesmith.com/tottles-hdpe/, Alien Cord Winders (Yes!): http://www.litesmith.com/alien-cord-winders/, Whoopies Slings, etc. Check them out!

 

17/09/2017: Prehistory has so much yet to teach us: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/evolution/footprint-find-on-crete-may-push-back-date-humans-began-to-walk-upright/news-story/2e60cbd7386573dd2a45c5cc9d79297d

 

17/09/2017:

17/09/2017: The BOM is a disgrace: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/too-late-bureau-of-met-buys-time-with-another-major-revision-of-data-that-was-best-quality-five-years-ago/

17/09/2017: Turnbull is such a ‘do-nothing’ guy. Please, Liberals, give us our proper PM, Tony back soon! http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/turnbulls-two-years-lets-compare-to-abbotts/news-story/7e318301658a4f39d54b9c901710b484

16/09/2017: 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. It 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.

Before:

The 'apprentice' seems very pleased with the arrangement.

When I was up the bush on a training trip this week with a new 'apprentice' (you can expect a future post 'The Deer Hunter's Apprentice') some decent (?) rain set in so I thought I would give it a try. To begin with it worked a treat, so the 'proof of concept' is definitely 'in'. After a little while someone became a little enthusiastic about putting too much wood on the fire (and ignoring it) so that the flames were actually 'licking' the tyvek (well 'devouring' might be a better word), which didn't like that so much. Clearly naked flame exceeds the melting point of the tyvek so that it now has a large hole melted in its centre. This could have been prevented by having it suspended about two feet higher and/or not building the fire up so much. The tyvek did not ignite! An important point. Also importantly, the 'string did not melt, only the hottest centre bit of the 'umbrella'. I belatedly shifted it higher and left it there and it melted no more, yet still prevented the fire from going out - which it probably otherwise would have.

The other strategy to use would be to source some more fireproof (though heavier) material. The stuff that 'fire blankets' are made of would be very good, though also very heavy 427 grams. The fire blanket must be made of approx 13 oz cloth. I see that they (https://www.auburnmfg.com/product-category/mro/heat-resistant-cloth/) also make a 9 oz product which would bring the weight down under 300 grams (still too heavy for my liking). Of course both heavier materials would be fine for car-based camping. More to come...

After:

See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fire-tent/

A reader responds: ‘Interesting idea. I'll warn you that the column of hot air -- hot enough air to melt synthetic fabrics -- extends an alarming height from any fire large enough to keep you "warm" without having to sit so close to it that the embers won't make you and your stuff Swiss cheese. I see many possible failure modes for this plan, and most of them involve picking molten plastic off of yourself and/or your gear. The current conditions including wind, etc. are going to make the performance of what that hot air is doing extremely unpredictable, as well. It wouldn't take much of a breeze for the heat to be shifted enough to take out one of your guylines. You are also in a catch-22 situation: The higher you hang the tarp to keep it away from the heat the less effective it is versus rain blowing in from the sides. So the bigger you make it to mitigate this the more heat it captures, so the higher you have to hang it, so the bigger you have to make it... et cetera.

Flame retardant fabric is an idea, but you also need flame retardant suspension lines. And the fire canopy, if it's not designed to just be disposable, is going to be just covered in soot after the first time you use it. So you probably also want something to stuff it into when you're done using it.

If you really need to keep a small fire going in the rain it's probably easier to just stick a half-pyramid of aluminum foil over it. Then you don't need any suspension lines or anything of that ilk. Keeping the tinder and kindling dry when you're getting started is the important part. A good bed of coals can survive a pretty substantial downpour all by itself. And if the prevailing conditions mean that you can't get your hands on dry kindling in the first place then you're probably not having a fire tonight, mini-canopy or not.

(I would further propose that if you are relying on a fire for warmth in your shelter outside of an emergency survival situation you are, in fact, doing it wrong. That's what your shelter and insulation are for. A fire is nice to have [and those marshmallows ain't going to toast themselves], but it should by no means be essential to your safety or comfort -- especially when rain is in the forecast.)’

And my response: Thank you for your input. I camp out mostly in the e colder months, so I usually have a fire for warmth, but you are right – one should not rely on it. I have been doing this for nearly 60 years. These days I usually use one of my tyvek shelters which embers don't affect. The 'fire canopy' (good term - thank you for that) worked very well in the rain except I had it too low. Most of the wind-driven rain is moderated by the structure of the shelter itself, and the wind is kept away from the fire, and of course the embers blow away from the shelter as well. I had it only about 4' above the fire, then someone made the fire too large. It needed to be 6-7' above the fire and the fire needed to be kept small enough so flames never went 4' into the air. This is actually quite easy to do. I would recommend that others use a fireproof material such as the blankets are made of, or the lighter one I provided the link for (which would weigh about 300 grams). I will have yet another go with the tyvek because I have lots of it and am careful, and just see how I go. I never walk tracks or trails, so I hardly ever toast marshmallows. The track walking brigade probably have little bush sense and should definitely be guided by your advice. I am thinking of this idea mostly for backpacking deer hunters - which is what we were doing in the photographs. Thank you also for the idea about the aluminium foil shelter idea for a small fire. I usually recommend people carry some aluminium foil (though not that much) for roasting fish, but your idea is another good option.

16/09/2017: So, the Sumerians discovered trigonometry a thousand years before anyone else and in a better form which had not yet been rediscovered: http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/48604 & http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0315086017300691

16/09/2017: More about Sumer: Not such a bad place to live: http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/07/30/what-did-houses-for-ordinary-people-in-sumer-look-like/

 

16/09/2017: New coal-fired generators being built:

 

    China: 299

 

    India: 132

 

    Indonesia: 32

 

    World: 621

 

    Australia: zero

 

The data was requested by Nationals senator and party whip John Williams, who has argued that the carbon emissions produced by the new plants worldwide would eclipse Australia’s total carbon emission profile.

 

Very soon, it will be too late to act on Hazelwood. Quit running around in citcles crying ‘The sky is falling!’David Uren in the Australian: Other countries are wrestling with the same problems as climate change policies force greater adoption of intermittent renewable sources. As a new report from the Grattan Institute notes, Britain, France, Ireland and several US states are paying generating companies to guarantee a level of baseload capacity. Taxpayers foot the bill for generating electricity, whether needed or not. The Finkel review rejected this as too radical a step and recommended instead a new reliability obligation on new renewables plants, which would need to be able to supply power for four hours after the wind or sun stopped, whether through batteries, diesel or other power sources. If implemented rigorously, this could bring investment in renewables to a halt. The generators told the Finkel review the biggest factor impeding investment was the policy malaise. With Labor promising a 50 per cent renewables target and the Coalition deeply divided over carbon emissions policy, there is little prospect of any bipartisan settlement. Instead, a creeping renationalisation appears likely.

 

10/09/2017: Boadicea, Joan of Arc, Pope Joan…More evidence of medieval women’s lib: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/archaeology/famous-viking-warrior-burial-revealed-to-be-that-of-a-woman/news-story/7c1a4c0053f4cc167676af1bcffa5e37

 

10/09/2017: Personally, I would trust Aung Sun Suu Kyi to be in the right on this issue, but as usual Mal and Jules get it completely wrong: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/09/julie-bishop-gives-another-5-million-for-a-total-of-50m-to-help-out-islamists-in-burmas-rakhine-stat.html

 

10/09/2017: The BOM’s records are now nothing but political statements instead of being historical weather records. First we had the change back in the 80s from minimax thermometers to digital ones which took the temperature constantly. Naturallly, this change produced a warming of the average temperature of nearly a degree. Now we notice that incredibly transient (warm) temperatures lasting less than 1/20th of a second eg from jet engine exhausts - most of the stations today have been moved to airports (!) are entering the records. A mercury thermometer took minutes to change and so ignored such incidentals. Now we find that the BOM has set up their systemn so that colder temperatures (than they would like to exist) are not recorded at all. You can see in the graph belw how this is distorting the instrumental record. The surface station record is now so unreliable it should probably be completely ignored: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/bom-review-finds-skeptics-were-right-but-say-trust-us-it-doesnt-matter/

 

Thredbo, maxima, minima, BOM, climate change, temperatures, 1966 - 2017.

 

09/09/2017: I would like to see many referenda (eg on capital punishment, banning fireworks, access to public lands, one law for all Australians, gay marriage, & etc, etc…) but most of all, I would like us to be able to abolish the Senate: I think it is absolutely disgusting that this vile institution still exists which denies this basic right: one person, one vote! It is disgraceful that a voter in Tasmania has ten times the votes of one in NSW or Vic. This House is a dreadful anachronism, ( a harking back to the defunct ‘House of Lords’ in the Westminster Parliament), and simply serves as a vehicle to allow commies & crazies to impose their minority wills on us all– in the depraved guise of the Greens, for example. It has to be abolished, or at least seriously reformed!

09/09/2017: I can live without such glass: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/the-odd-case-of-spontaneously-shattering-glass/

09/09/2017: Howard is perfectly right: You can’t vote for a ‘pig in a poke’ (bag). We must see the legislation first! He is also right that the change will have manifold other ramifications which we would never vote for (such as has been happening in the UK – and here. This may be our last best chance to halt the march of ‘progressivist’ tyranny.

09/09/2017: How could a country with huge resources of coal, gas and uranium (and thorium) run short of electricity? Except that the lunatics are running the asylum: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/a-totally-idiotmade-electricity-disaster/news-story/86a2172e094577dce3edbaa0ba4ba1d2

 

08/09/2017: Given that water vapour is responsible for 99% of the so-called greenhouse effect, ‘If we’re worried about CO2 causing global warming, wouldn’t it be much worse if we were all driving cars that had water vapor as their exhaust?’ If only there are/were more students like this one:  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/07/the-making-of-a-climate-skeptic-at-university/

 

08/09/2017: What happens when you mix aluminium and mercury: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrdYueB9pY4&feature=youtu.be

 

08/09/2017: The next tyranny, ecosexuality: “You don’t look at the Earth as your mother, you look at it as your lover.” http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2017/09/a-rustling-in-the-bushes.html

07/09/2017: Man punches a bear trap! Don’t try this at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4fznINyU-U

07/09/2017: Holy Cow! SSDs are the way to go. Take a look at these results: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/30372-Docs-Computin-Tips-The-solid-state-drive.html#extended

07/09/2017: A Slap in the Face to the Iconoclasts (aka statue smashers): https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/too-good-to-not-quote/ PS: And Cecil Rhodes was the only man in history to have two counties named after himself – yet he died in his forties!

 

06/09/2017: Della: Winging home to chilly Victoria this morning. Farewell Mount Bartle Frere: You were not my nemesis! With Steve Jones.

 

 

05/09/2017: The soul of the octopus: a truly fascinating read: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n17/amia-srinivasan/the-sucker-the-sucker

 

04/09/2017: Della always gets to print way before me, but here are some of the things I found interesting about the last couple of days wandering around what folks would normally consider the less picturesque places in far North Qld

 

The native kapok tree is quite a stunner.

What a beautiful little guy this agile wallaby was.

You do have to watch out for these guys - and the immense dust cloud they trail.

The light in this Mungana cave was delicious.

According to the locals you should never buy termite country because it is low in phosphorus - this patch must be particularly low!

Many grand spider's webs around Chillago

And this interesting paper wasp's nest.

So many wonderful pigeons up here. Della is in seventh heaven.

Love these dry riverbeds - they look like great spots to camp, particularly if you love birdlife.

These wonderful Qld cows seem to love them too.

A prosaic farm dam can be a thing of great beauty.

Don't you wish you loved a bath as much as this?

I really liked the Millstream Falls too, and its association with WW2 history.

 

04/09/2017: Della: So we have spent the last 3 days exploring from Atherton across to the old mining towns on the edge of the savannah lands: Innot Hot Springs, Herberton, Chillagoe and Mungana. The land changes so quickly from rainforest to savannah and the old mining towns were well worth a look! With Steve Jones.

 

So many dry creek beds on the way.

Dry creek bed on the road from Herberton. Cows, brumbies...lots of road hazards with unfenced stations.

Inside one of the limestone caves at Chillagoe-Mungana National Park.

Chillagoe Creek - quite a respite from the heat of the day.

Remnants of the old Chillagoe copper smelter.

Snapped this guy inside a very dry cave!

View from old Chillagoe copper smelter across the savannah.

Steve inside the Archways, Mungana National Park.

 

04/09/2017: Great climate change myths. Corals survive for 500 million years, but are about to go extinct any day now: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/corals-survive-542m-years-of-supervolcano-asteroids-125m-sea-level-change-only-to-go-extinct-in-2034/

 

03/09/2017: A tale of 2 waterfalls: The first one, Milaa Milaa Falls, is the most photographed waterfall in Australia. I snapped it on my camera phone amidst a riot of tourist buses, Winnebagos, heavy-duty camera apparatus and shoulder- deep people.The second and third , Millstream Falls, only about a half-hour's drive away, is one of the least visited waterfalls. We had it totally to ourselves. The surrounding vegetation was not quite so tropical, the feature not so manicured, but a far more impressive display in my opinion! With Steve Jones

 

 

 

 

03/09/2017: Oh dear! Such sensitivity: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451013/banana-peel-frightens-ole-miss-fraternity-retreat-canceled-mississippi

03/09/2017: You Can Do It: If we have been quiet it is because we are busy doing. The last two days we spent climbing Mt Bartle Frere, the tallest mountain in Queensland in the wet tropics of the far North. It is an extremely difficult ascent of 1.6 km vertically but well worth it. We are so happy we can still undertake such feats well into our sixties, things which are daunting to most people in their twenties. Probably less than 10,000 people a year summit this wonderful mountain. We thoroughly enjoyed it. I will expand this post when we get home from enjoying ourselves in these deep Northern forests. Here are some pics as a foretaste:

Up we go

A beautiful cloud forest

Our trusty deer hunter's tent in the clouds near the summit .

Morning view from our front door

One of the boulder fields we had to traverse

A view from near the summit

The helipad at the summit.

More to follow. Be patient.

01/09/2017: Della: Victory! Mount Bartle Frere done and dusted. In a motel in Innisfail tonight too tired to even contemplate a champagne....Tomorrow night may be a different story! We reached the top in cloud forest mist this morning after an amazingly challenging climb. The approach to the top involved negotiating a formidable boulder field that felt like a mountain climber's nightmare. Some of the leg ups were far wider than my short limbs could possibly reach so I was very grateful for Steve's assistance in hauling me over the yawning chasms! The view from the top was non-existent, due to the heavy mist, but Bartle Frere was all about the journey rather than the destination. The steep descent that took us all of today was cruel on our overstretched leg muscles so I may be hobbling for a day or two! With Steve Jones

Cloud forest this morning

Last night's camp: Tent in the mist!

Hanging out with some bracket fungi this morning.

The boulder field begins.

Half way up the boulder field, looking down the route. No pictures can quite capture the steepness of the climb!

View, such as it was, from the top.

31/08/2017: Della: Tonight we are camped just near the summit of Mount Bartle Frere. The going has been tough but we expect to make the summit early tomorrow. Mobile service is unexpectedly available. A little weary but not heart-sore! 😀With Steve Jones.

One of the stream crossings.

Delightful bracket fungi!

 

Lots of tree-root ladder work...in fact most of the track has been constantly vertical.

31/08/2017: Lake Placid: What a great spot for a horror movie! Walking up the river beside the lake I snapped this big fellow in the upper Barron river before its presence had hit the newspapers. S/he has to be over three metres long yet has grown to that size without devouring a single child at this popular swimming hole. More about the many walks in the Barron Gorge later:

30/08/2017: Della: A lovely day acclimatising to sunny Cairns! Kim Henry accompanied us on some small walks around Lake Placid, the Cattana wetlands and along the Stony Creek Weir Track. Unexpectedly we were able to see a good sized croc on the edge of Lake Placid after only a 5 minute ramble along the opposite bank. Steve's little Nikon Coolpix S7000 captured it very nicely!

 

Stony Creek Weir Track

Croc basking on the bank of Lake Placid today. Great pic, Steve Jones!

Kim Henry - Stony Creek Weir Track

Cattana wetlands

Cattana wetlands

 

29/08/2017: Cairns: Crystal Cascades. A short walk up Freshawater Creek to remove the flying kinks. A pretty nice looking swimming hole; will pack swimsuit next time, as weather here is a pretty warm 27 degrees max. Preparing to tackle the big hike up Mount Bartle Frere over the next couple of days. With Steve Jones.

 

 

 

 

28/08/2017: Understand this: Government is force; it is not charity, avuncular, earth mother. Its role is not to succour and support. It is to control and defend. To think otherwise is perversion. This is our prime duty: ‘Support yourself’. Crying out to Government for ‘support’ is always babyish - just some ghastly selfish theft, an insisting that one’s fellow men and women ought support you because you won’t support yourself. Whence comes this ‘owing’, this ‘debt’? I can understand it in relation to care for the elderly (perhaps) as they (surely?) can be expected to have spent a lifetime working, maybe building up some ‘social credit’ (but might they not also have been expected to have put away a little for a rainy day – for just such a certain eventuality as old age)? But the great majority of those who clamour for ‘support’ just want to suck at the public teat because it is there and it is easy, while ‘work’ is a four letter word best not discussed. They are ‘owed’ nothing. A debt presumes a corresponding credit which they have not built up. Indeed the ‘great’ dependent unwashed clamourers have it the wrong way around: having been raised on a lifetime diet of dependency, eg free education, health care, welfare, public housing, all sorts of publicly provided services and checks and balances, law and order, defence, museums, public transport…the list is almost endless…they have a debt to repay: eg by service to their society: by joining our defence forces, working for the dole, caring for the disabled, child minding, cleaning working folks’ homes, or etc…They have already been well paid for doing nought! Our dusky brethren who clamour for more are the least deserving in this line-up. ‘They’ have enjoyed better than two and a quarter centuries of dependency, of living off the public teat. Way past time they started paying off that debt, instead of shreking for more!

28/08/2017: I am in the mood for poetry today. This is one of my favourites too:

Waiting for the Barbarians C.P Cavafy
(Translated by Richmond Lattimore)

Why are we all assembled and waiting in the market place?
It is the barbarians; they will be here today.
Why is there nothing being done in the senate house?
Why are the senators in session but are not passing laws?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
Why should the senators make laws any more?
The barbarians will make the laws when they get here.
Why has our emperor got up so early
and sits there at the biggest gate of the city
high on his throne, in state, and with his crown on?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive them
and their general. And he has even made ready
a parchment to present them, and thereon
he has written many names and many titles.
Why have our two consuls and our praetors
Come out today in their red embroidered togas?
Why have they put on their bracelets with all those amethysts
and rings shining with the glitter of emeralds?
Why will they carry their precious staves today
which are decorated with figures of gold and silver?
Because the barbarians are coming today
And things like that impress the barbarians.
Why do our good orators not put in any appearance
and make public speeches, and do what they generally do?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and they get bored with eloquent public speeches.
Why is everybody beginning to be so uneasy?
Why so disordered? (See how grave all the faces have
become!) Why do the streets and the squares empty so quickly,
and they are all anxiously going home to their houses?
Because it is night, and the barbarians have not got here,
and some people have come in from the frontier
and say that there aren’t any more barbarians.
What are we going to do now without the barbarians?
In a way, those people were a solution.

28/08/2017: Oh Come With Old Khayyam

Oh, come with old Khayyám, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies...

Khayyam too was a tentmaker from Nishapur Iran in the C12th. I doubt he made a tent like the one above however, but I am proud to follow in his footsteps still. I have sewn all the Xenon Sil panels together and it weighs 377 grams. I doubt it will weigh any more than that when complete, as though I have still to sew the two edges together to make a circle, add two reinforcing patches to the top and add a lot of tie-outs, I also have to cut off the catenary curves along the bottom. Then, when erected it will make an igloo shaped tipi around 9' wide, and with standing room in the centre for folks of our stature anyway. This is the nearly completed version of my 'Honey I Shrank' tent  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/honey-i-shrank-the-tent/ which cries out for a name really. Della has rejected 'Siligloo'. Perhaps you can come up with a better?

My Pocket Poncho tent http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/ will make an adequate floor for it (at 185 grams). To that I will have to add about a dozen shepherd's crook titanium stakes and a couple of guys with line locks, say 75 grams together, making the vast quantity of 635 grams in toto. There is nothing quite like it anywhere. I simply do not know what today's tentmakers are doing, any more than Khayyam would have done.

Perhaps (sadly) you do not know Khayyam or this magnificent poem at all? My favourite really. The 'Bible of Scepticism' folks used to call it, but there is nothing at all wrong with scepticism (the converse is the case).

He goes on:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it...

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help—for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I....

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

You like that taste, I hope? Here is the complete first 1859 edition of Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat, (in my opinion the best - footnotes at bottom):

The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam Translated into English in 1859 by Edward FitzGerald

[page 1]

RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM OF NAISHÁPÚR.

———————

I.
AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:{1}
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultán's Turret in a Noose of Light.

II.
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky{2}
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
"Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

III.
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted—"Open then the Door!
"You know how little while we have to stay,
"And, once departed, may return no more."

[page 2]

IV.
Now the New Year{3} reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
Puts out,{4} and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

V.
Irám indeed is gone with all its Rose,{5}
And Jamshýd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.

VI.
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Péhlevi,{6} with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
"Red Wine!"—the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek{7} of her's to'incarnadine.

VII.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

VIII.
And look—a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke—and a thousand scatter'd into Clay:
And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshýd and Kaikobád away.

[page 3]

IX.
But come with old Khayyám, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobád and Kaikhosrú forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,{8}
Or Hátim Tai cry Supper—heed them not.

X.
With me along some Strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultán scarce is known,
And pity Sultán Mahmúd on his Throne.

XI.
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

XII.
"How sweet is mortal Sovranty!"—think some:
Others—"How blest the Paradise to come!"
Ah, take the Cash in hand and wave the Rest;
Oh, the brave Music of a distant Drum!{9}

XIII.
Look to the Rose that blows about us—"Lo,
"Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
"At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
"Tear, and its Treasure{10} on the Garden throw."

[page 4]

XIV.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone.

XV.
And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

XVI.
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultán after Sultán with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.

XVII.
They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshýd gloried and drank deep:{11}
And Bahrám, that great Hunter—the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, and he lies fast asleep.

XVIII.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Cæsar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

[page 5]

XIX.
And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean—
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

XX.
Ah! my Belovéd, fill the Cup that clears
TO-DAY of past Regrets and future Fears—
To-morrow?—Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.{12}

XXI.
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

XXII.
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch—for whom?

XXIII.
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust Descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer and—sans End!

[page 6]

XXIV.
Alike for those who for TO-DAY prepare,
And those that after a TO-MORROW stare,
A Muezzín from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."

XXV.
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

XXVI.
Oh, come with old Khayyám, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

XXVII.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

XXVIII.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd—
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

[page 7]

XXIX.
Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.

XXX.
What, without asking, hither hurried whence?
And, without asking, whither hurried hence!
Another and another Cup to drown
The Memory of this Impertinence!

XXXI.
Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,{13}
And many Knots unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Knot of Human Death and Fate.

XXXII.
There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of ME and THEE
There seemed—and then no more of THEE and ME.{15}

XXXIII.
Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, "What Lamp had Destiny to guide
"Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?"
And—"A blind understanding!" Heav'n replied.

[page 8]

XXXIV.
Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn
My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd—"While you live,
"Drink!—for once dead you never shall return."

XXXV.
I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And merry-make; and the cold Lip I kiss'd
How many Kisses might it take—and give.

XXXVI.
For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd—"Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

XXXVII.
Ah, fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!

XXXVIII.
One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One moment, of the Well of Life to taste—
The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
Starts for the dawn of Nothing{16}—Oh, make haste!

[page 9]

XXXIX.
How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

XL.
You know, my Friends, how long since in my House
For a new Marriage I did make Carouse:
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

XLI.
For "IS" and "IS-NOT" though with Rule and Line,
And, "UP-AND-DOWN" without, I could define,{14}
I yet in all I only cared to know,
Was never deep in anything but—Wine.

XLII.
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape,
Bearing a vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas—the Grape!

XLIII.
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects{17} confute:
The subtle Alchemist that in a Trice
Life's leaden Metal into Gold transmute.

[page 10]

XLIV.
The mighty Mahmúd, the victorious Lord,
That all the misbelieving and black Horde{18}
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul
Scatters and slays with his enchanted Sword.

XLV.
But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub coucht,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

XLVI.
For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.{19}

XLVII.
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in—Yes—
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be—Nothing—Thou shalt not be less.

XLVIII.
While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyám the Ruby Vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to thee—take that, and do not shrink.

[page 11]

XLVIX.
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

L.
The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all—HE knows—HE knows!{20}

LI.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

LII.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help—for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

LIII.
With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man's knead,
And then of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

[page 12]

LIV.
I tell Thee this—When, starting from the Goal,
Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav'n Parwín and Mushtara they flung,{21}
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul

LV.
The Vine had struck a Fibre; which about
If clings my Being—let the Súfi flout;
Of my Base Metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

LVI.
And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrathconsume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

LVII.
Oh Thou who didst with Pitfall and with Gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestination round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

LVIII.
Oh Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give—and take!
* * * * * * * * *

[page 13]

KÚZA-NÁMA.

LIX.
Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazán, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.

LX.
And strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried—
"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

LXI.
Then said another—"Surely not in vain
"My substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
"That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
"Should stamp me back to common Earth again."

LXII.
Another said—"Why, ne'er a peevish Boy
"Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
"Shall He that made the Vessel in pure Love
"And Fansy, in an after Rage destroy!"

[page 14]

LXIII.
None answer'd this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
"What? did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

LXIV.
Said one—"Folks of a surly Tapster tell,
"And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell;
"They talk of some strict Testing of us—Pish!
"He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

LXV.
Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
"My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
"But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
"Methinks I might recover by-and-bye!"

LXVI.
So, while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
One spied the little Crescent all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
"Hark to the Porter's Shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

* * * * * * * * *

[page 15]

LXVII.
Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Gardenside.

LXVIII.
That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.

LXIX.
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

LXX.
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore—but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence a-pieces tore.

LXXI.
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour—well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

[page 16]

LXXII.
Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

LXXIII.
Ah, Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

LXXIV.
Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me—in vain!

LXXV.
And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on The Grass,
And in Thy joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made one—turn down an empty Glass!

TAMÁM SHUD.

[page 17]

NOTES
———

{1} Flinging a Stone into the Cup was the Signal for "To
Horse!" in the Desert.
{2} The "False Dawn;" Subhi Kházib, a transient Light
on the Horizon about an hour before the Subhi sâdhik, or
True Dawn; a well known Phenomenon in the East. The
Persians call the Morning Gray, or Dusk, "Wolf-and-Sheep-
While." "Almost at odds with, which is which."
{3} New Year. Beginning with the Vernal Equinox, it
must be remembered; and (howsoever the old Solar Year is
practically superseded by the clumsy Lunar Year that dates
from the Mohammedan Hijra) still commemorated by a
Festival that is said to have been appointed by the very
Jamshyd whom Omar so often talks of, and whose yearly
Calendar he helped to rectify.
"The sudden approach and rapid advance of the Spring,"
(says a late Traveller in Persia) "are very striking. Before
the Snow is well off the Ground, the Trees burst into Blos-
som, and the Flowers start from the Soil. At Now Rooz
(their New Year's Day) the Snow was lying in patches on
the Hills and in the shaded Vallies, while the Fruit-trees in
the Garden were budding beautifully, and green Plants and
Flowers springing upon the Plains on every side—
'And on old Hyem's Chin and icy Crown
'An odorous Chaplet of sweet Summer buds
'Is, as in mockery, set — ' —
[page 18]
Among the Plants newly appear'd I recognized some old
Acquaintances I had not seen for many a Year: among these,
two varieties of the Thistle; a coarse species of the Daisy,
like the Horse-gowan; red and white Clover; the Dock; the
blue Corn-flower; and that vulgar Herb the Dandelion rear-
ing its yellow crest on the Banks of the Watercourses." The
Nightingale was not yet heard, for the Rose was not
yet blown: but an almost identical Blackbird and Wood-
pecker helped to make up something of a North-country
Spring.
{4} Exodus iv. 6; where Moses draws forth his Hand—not,
according to the Persians, "leprous as Snow,"—but white as
our May-Blossom in Spring perhaps! According to them
also the Healing Power of Jesus resided in his Breath.
{5} Irám, planted by King Schedad, and now sunk some-
where in the Sands of Arabia. Jamshyd's Seven-ring'd Cup
was typical of the Seven Heavens, 7 Planets, 7 Seas, &c.
and was a Divining Cup.
{6} Péhlevi, the old Heroic Sanskrit of Persia. Háfiz also
speaks of the Nightingale's Pehlevi, which did not change
with the People's.
{7} I am not sure if this refers to the Red Rose looking
sickly, or the Yellow Rose that ought to be Red; Red,
White, and Yellow Roses all common in Persia.
{8} Rustum, the "Hercules" of Persia, whose exploits are
among the most celebrated in the Shah-náma. Hátim Tai,
a well-known Type of Oriental Generosity.
{9} A Drum—beaten outside a Palace.
{10} That is, the Rose's Golden Centre.
[page 19]
{11} Persepolis: call'd also Takht'i Jamshyd—THE THRONE
OF JAMSHYD, "King-Splendid," of the mythical Peeshdádian
Dynasty, and supposed (with Shah-náma Authority) to
have been founded and built by him, though others refer it
to the Work of the Genie King, Ján Ibn Jann, who also
built the Pyramids before the time of Adam. It is also
called Chehl-minar— Forty-column; which is Persian, pro-
bably, for Column-countless; the Hall they adorned or
supported with their Lotus Base and taurine Capital
indicating double that Number, though now counted down
to less than half by Earthquake and other Inroad. By
whomsoever built, unquestionably the Monument of a long
extinguished Dynasty and Mythology; its Halls, Chambers
and Galleries, inscribed with Arrow-head Characters, and
sculptured with colossal, wing'd, half human Figures like
those of Nimroud; Processions of Priests and Warriors
—(doubtful if any where a Woman)—and Kings sitting on
Thrones or in Chariots, Staff or Lotus-flower in hand, and the
Ferooher—Symbol of Existence—with his wing'd Globe,
common also to Assyria and Ægypt—over their heads. All
this, together with Aqueduct and Cistern, and other Appur-
tenance of a Royal Palace, upon a Terrace-platform, ascended
by a double Flight of Stairs that may be gallop'd up, and
cut out of and into the Rock-side of the Koh'i Ráhmet,
Mountain of Mercy, where the old Fire-worshiping Sove-
reigns are buried, and overlooking the Plain of Merdasht.
Persians, like some other People, it seems, love to
write their own Names, with sometimes a Verse or two, on
their Country's Monuments. Mr. Binning (from whose
sensible Travels the foregoing Account is mainly condens't)
[page 20]
found several such in Persepolis; in one Place a fine Line
of Háfiz: in another "an original, no doubt," he says, "by
no great Poet," however "right in his Sentiment." The
Words somehow looked to us, and the "halting metre"
sounded, familiar; and on looking back at last among the
500 Rubáiyát of the Calcutta Omar MS.—there it is: old
Omar quoted by one of his Countrymen, and here turned
into hasty Rhyme, at any rate—

"This Palace that its Top to Heaven threw,
And Kings their Forehead on its Threshold drew—
I saw a Ring-dove sitting there alone.
And 'Coo, Coo, Coo,' she cried, and ' Coo, Coo, Coo.' "

So as it seems the Persian speaks the English Ring-dove's
Péhlevi, which is also articulate Persian for "Where?"
BAHRÁM GÚR— Bahrám of the Wild Ass, from his Fame
in hunting it— a Sassanian Sovereign, had also his Seven
Castles (like the King of Bohemia!) each of a different Colour;
each with a Royal Mistress within side; each of whom
recounts to Bahrám a Romance, according to one of the
most famous Poems of Persia, written by Amír Khusraw:
these Sevens also figuring (according to Eastern Mysticism)
the Seven Heavens, and perhaps the Book itself that
Eighth, into which the mystical Seven transcend, and
within which they revolve. The Ruins of Three of these
Towers are yet shown by the Peasantry; as also the Swamp
in which Bahrám sunk, like the Master of Ravenswood,
while pursuing his Gúr.
{12} A Thousand Years to each Planet.
{13} Saturn, Lord of the Seventh Heaven.
{14} A Laugh at his Mathematics perhaps.
[page 21]
{15} ME AND THEE; that is, some Dividual Existence or
Personality apart from the Whole.
{16} The Caravan travelling by Night (after their New
Year's Day of the Vernal Equinox) by command of Mo-
hammed, I believe.
{17} The 72 Sects into which Islamism so soon split.
{18} This alludes to Mahmúd's Conquest of India and its
swarthy Idolaters.
{19} Fanúsi khiyál, a Magic-lanthorn still used in India;
the cylindrical Interior being painted with various Figures,
and so lightly poised and ventilated as to revolve round the
Candle lighted within.
{20} A very mysterious Line in the original;
U dánad u dánad u dánad u —
breaking off something like our Wood-pigeon's Note, which
she is said to take up just where she left off.
{21} Parwín and Mushtara—The Pleiads and Jupiter.
{22} At the Close of the Fasting Month, Ramazán (which
makes the Musulman unhealthy and unamiable), the first
Glimpse of the New Moon (who rules their Division of the
Year) is looked for with the utmost Anxiety, and hailed
with all Acclamation. Then it is that the Porter's Knot
may be heard toward the Cellar, perhaps. Old Omar has
elsewhere a pretty Quatrain about this same Moon—

"Be of Good Cheer—the sullen Month will die,
"And a young Moon requite us by and bye:
"Look how the Old one meagre, bent, and wan
"With Age and Fast, is fainting from the Sky!"

FINIS.

OMAR KHAYYÁM was born at Naishápúr in Khorassán
in the latter half of our Eleventh, and died within the First
Quarter of our Twelfth, Century. The slender Story of his
Life is curiously twined about that of two others very consi-
derable Figures in their Time and Country: one of them,
Hasan al Sabbáh, whose very Name has lengthen'd down to
us a terrible Synonym for Murder: and the other (who
also tells the Story of all Three) Nizám al Mulk, Vizyr to
Alp the Lion and Malik Shah, Son and Grandson of Tog-
hrul Beg the Tartar, who had wrested Persia from the fee-
ble Successor of Mahmúd the Great, and founded that Sel-
jukian Dynasty which finally roused Europe into the Cru-
sades. This Nizám al Mulk, in his Wasýat—or Testament
—which he wrote and left as a Memorial for future States-
men—relates the following, as quoted in the Calcutta Review,
No. 59, from Mirkhond's History of the Assassins.
[page iv]
" 'One of the greatest of the wise men of Khorassan was
'the Imám Mowaffak of Naishápur, a man highly honoured
'and reverenced,—may God rejoice his soul; his illustrious
'years exceeded eighty-five, and it was the universal belief
'that every boy who read the Koran or studied the tradi-
'tions in his presence, would assuredly attain to honour
'and happiness. For this cause did my father send me from
'Tús to Naishápur with Abd-u-samad, the doctor of law,
'that I might employ myself in study and learning under
'the guidance of that illustrious teacher. Towards me he
'ever turned an eye of favour and kindness, and as his pupil
'I felt for him extreme affection and devotion, so that I
'passed four years in his service. When I first came there,
'I found two other pupils of mine own age newly arrived,
'Hakim Omar Khayyám, and the ill- fated Ben Sabbáh.
'Both were endowed with sharpness of wit and the highest
'natural powers; and we three formed a close friendship
'together. When the Imám rose from his lectures, they
'used to join me, and we repeated to each other the lessons
'we had heard. Now Omar was a native of Naishápur,
'while Hasan Ben Sabbah's father was one Ali, a man of
'austere life and practise, but heretical in his creed and
'doctrine. One day Hasan said to me and to Khayyám, 'It
'is a universal belief that the pupils of the Imám Mowaffak
'will attain to fortune. Now, even if we all do not attain
'thereto, without doubt one of us will; what then shall be
'our mutual pledge and bond?' We answered 'Be it
'what you please.' 'Well,' he said, 'let us make a vow,
'that to whomsoever this fortune falls, he shall share it
'equally with the rest, and reserve no pre-eminence for him-
[page v]
'self.' 'Be it so,' we both replied, and on those terms we
'mutually pledged our words. Years rolled on, and I went
'from Khorassan to Transoxiana, and wandered to Ghazni
'and Cabul; and when I returned, I was invested with
'office, and rose to be administrator of affairs during the
'Sultanate of Sultan Alp Arslan.' "
"He goes on to state, that years passed by, and both his
old school- friends found him out, and came and claimed a
share in his good fortune, according to the school-day vow.
The Vizier was generous and kept his word. Hasan de-
manded a place in the government, which the Sultan granted
at the Vizier's request; but discontented with a gradual
rise, he plunged into the maze of intrigue of an oriental
court, and, failing in a base attempt to supplant his bene-
factor, he was disgraced and fell. After many mishaps and
wanderings, Hasan became the head of the Persian sect of
the Ismailians,—a party of fanatics who had long murmured
in obscurity, but rose to an evil eminence under the guidance
of his strong and evil will. In A.B. 1090, he seized the
castle of Alamút, in the province of Rúdbar, which lies in
the mountainous tract, south of the Caspian Sea; and it was
from this mountain home he obtained that evil celebrity
among the Crusaders as the OLD MAN OF THE MOUN-
TAINS, and spread terror through the Mohammedan world;
and it is yet disputed where the word Assassin, which
they have left in the language of modern Europe as their
dark memorial, is derived from the hashish, or opiate of
hemp-leaves (the Indian bhang,) with which they maddened
themselves to the sullen pitch of oriental desperation, or from
the name of the founder of the dynasty, whom we have seen
[page vi]
in his quiet collegiate days, at Naishápur. One of the count-
less victims of the Assassin's dagger was Nizám-ul-Mulk
himself, the old school-boy friend."
"Omar Khayyám also came to the Vizier to claim his
share; but not to ask for title or office. 'The greatest boon
'you can confer on me,' he said, 'is to let me live in a
'corner under the shadow of your fortune, to spread wide
'the advantages of Science, and pray for your long life and
'prosperity.' The Vizier tells us, that, when he found
Omar was really sincere in his refusal, he pressed him no
further, but granted him a yearly pension of 1,200 mithkals
of gold, from the treasury of Naishápur."
"At Naishápur thus lived and died Omar Khayyám,
'busied,' adds the Vizier, 'in winning knowledge of every
'kind, and especially in Astronomy, wherein he attained to a
'very high pre-eminence. Under the Sultanate of Malik
'Shah, he came to Merv, and obtained great praise for his
'proficiency in science, and the Sultan showered favours
'upon him.' "
"When the Malik Shah determined to reform the calendar,
Omar was one of the eight learned men employed to do it;
the result was the Jaláli era, (so called from Jalal-ul-din,
one of the king's names,)—'a computation of time,' says
Gibbon, 'which surpasses the Julian, and approaches the
accuracy of the Gregorian style.' He is also the author
of some astronomical tables, entitled Ziji-Malikshahi," and
the French have lately republished and translated an Arabic
Treatise of his on Algebra.
These severer Studies, and his Verses, which, though hap-
pily fewer than any Persian Poet's, and, though perhaps
[page vii]
fugitively composed, the Result of no fugitive Emotion or
Thought, are probably the Work and Event of his Life,
leaving little else to record. Perhaps he liked a little Farm-
ing too, so often as he speaks of the "Edge of the Tilth"
on which he loved to rest with his Diwán of Verse, his Loaf
—and his wine.
"His Takhallus or poetical name (Khayyám) signifies a
Tent-maker, and he is said to have at one time exercised
that trade, perhaps before Nizám-ul-Mulk's generosity raised
him to independence. Many Persian poets similarly derive
their names from their occupations; thus we have Attár, "a
druggist," Assar, "an oil presser," &c. (Though all these,
like our Smiths, Archers, Millers, Fletchers, &c. may simply
retain the Sirname of an hereditary calling.) "Omar him-
self alludes to his name in the following whimsical lines:—

'Khayyám, who stitched the tents of science,
has fallen in grief's furnace and been suddenly burned;
The shears of Fate have cut the tent ropes of his life,
And the broker of Hope has sold him for nothing!'

"We have only one more anecdote to give of his Life, and
that relates to the close; it is told in the anonymous preface
which is sometimes prefixed to his poems; it has been printed
in the Persian in the appendix to Hyde's Veterum Persarum
Religio, p. 499; and D'Herbelot alludes to it in his Biblio-
théque, under Khiam:— *

* Though he attributes the story to a Khiam, "Philosophe Musulman
qui a vecu en Odeur de Sainteté dans la Fin du premier et le Commence-
ment du second Siècle," no part of which, except the "Philosophe," can
apply to our Khayyám, who, however, may claim the story as his, on the
[footnote continues on p. viii, bottom:]
Score of Rubáiyát, 77 and 78 of the present Version. The Rashness
of the Words, according to D'Herbelot, consisted in being so op-
posed to those in the Koran: "No Man knows where he shall
die."
[page viii]
'It is written in the chronicles of the ancients that this
'King of the Wise, Omar Khayyám, died at Naishápur in
'the year of the Hegira, 517 (A.D. 1123); in science he was
'unrivaled,—the very paragon of his age. Khwájah Nizámi
'of Samarcand, who was one of his pupils, relates the follow-
'ing story: 'I often used to hold conversations with my
'teacher, Omar Khayyám, in a garden; and one day he said
'to me, 'my tomb shall be in a spot, where the north wind
'may scatter roses over it.' I wondered at the words he
'spake, but I knew that his were no idle words. Years after,
'when I chanced to revisit Naishápur, I went to his final
'resting-place, and lo! it was just outside a garden, and trees
'laden with fruit stretched their boughs over the garden
'wall, and dropped their flowers upon his tomb, so that the
'stone was hidden under them.' "
Thus far—without fear of Trespass—from the Calcutta
Review.
Though the Sultan "shower'd Favours upon him," Omar's
Epicurean Audacity of Thought and Speech caused him to
be regarded askance in his own Time and Country. He is
said to have been especially hated and dreaded by the Súfis,
whose Practise he ridiculed, and whose Faith amounts to
little more than his own when stript of the Mysticism aud
formal Compliment to Islamism which Omar would not
hide under. Their Poets, including Hafiz, who are (with
[page ix]
the exception of Firdúsi) the most considerable in Persia,
borrowed largely, indeed, of Omar's material, but turning
it to a mystical Use more convenient to Themselves
and the People they address'd; a People quite as quick
of Doubt as of Belief; quite as keen of Bodily Senses as
of the Intellectual; and delighting in a cloudy Element com-
pounded of all, in which they could float luxuriously between
Heaven and Earth, and this World and the Next, on the wings
of a poetical expression, that could be recited indifferently
whether at the Mosque or the Tavern. Omar was too honest
of Heart as well of Head for this. Having failed
(however mistakenly) of finding any Providence but Destiny,
and any World but This, he set about making the most of it;
preferring rather to soothe the Soul through the Senses into
Acquiescence with Things as they were, than to perplex it
with vain mortification after what they might be. It has
been seen that his Worldly Desires, however, were not exor-
bitant; and he very likely takes a humorous pleasure in
exaggerating them above that Intellect in whose exercise he
must have found great pleasure, though not in a Theological
direction. However this may be, his Worldly Pleasures are
what they profess to be without any Pretence at divine Alle-
gory: his Wine is the veritable Juice of the Grape: his
Tavern, where it was to be had: his Sáki, the Flesh and
Blood that poured it out for him: all which, and where the
Roses were in Bloom, was all he profess'd to want of this
World or to expect of Paradise.
The Mathematic Faculty, too, which regulated his Fansy,
and condensed his Verse to a Quality and Quantity un-
known in Persian, perhaps in Oriental, Poetry, help'd
[page x]
by its very virtue perhaps to render him less popular with
his countrymen. If the Greeks were Children in Gossip,
what does Persian Literature imply by a Second Childishness
of Garrulity? And certainly if no ungeometric Greek was
to enter Plato's School of Philosophy, no so unchastised a
Persian should enter on the Race of Persian Verse, with its
"fatal Facility" of running on long after Thought is winded!
But Omar was not only the single Mathematician of his
Country's Poets; he was also of that older Time and stouter
Temper, before the native Soul of Persia was quite broke by
a foreign Creed as well as foreign Conquest. Like his great
Predecessor Firdúsi, who was as little of a Mystic; who
scorned to use even a Word of the very language in which the
New Faith came clothed; and who was suspected, not of
Omar's Irreligion indeed, but of secretly clinging to the
ancient Fire-Religion of Zerdusht, of which so many of the
Kings he sang were worshippers.
For whatever Reason, however, Omar, as before said, has
never been popular in his own Country, and therefore has
been but scantily transmitted abroad. The MSS. of his
Poems, mutilated beyond the average Casualties of Oriental
Transcription, are so rare in the East as scarce to have
reacht Westward at all, in spite of all that Arms and Science
have brought us. There is none at the India House, none
at the Bibliothêque Imperiále of Paris. We know but of one
in England: No. 140 of the Ouseley MSS. at the Bodleian,
written at Shiraz, A.D. 1460. This contains but 158 Ra-
báiyát. One in the Asiatic Society's Library at Calcutta,
(of which we have a Copy) contains (and yet incomplete)
516, though swelled to that by all kinds of Repetition and
[page xi]
Corruption. So Von Hammer speaks of his Copy as contain-
ing about 200, while Dr. Sprenger catalogues the Lucknow
MS. at double that Number. The Scribes, too, of the Oxford
and Calcutta MSS. seem to do their Work under a sort of
Protest; each beginning with a Tetrastich (whether genuine
or not) taken out of its alphabetic order; the Oxford with
one of Apology; the Calcutta with one of Execration too
stupid for Omar's, even had Omar been stupid enough to
execrate himself. *
The Reviewer, to whom I owe the foregoing Particulars of
Omar's Life, and some of his Verse into Prose, concludes
by comparing him with Lucretius, both in natural Temper and
Genius, and as acted upon by the Circumstances in which he
lived. Both indeed were men of subtle Intellect and high Imagi-
nation, instructed in Learning beyond their day, and of Hearts
passionate for Truth and Justice; who justly revolted from
their Country's false Religion, and false, or foolish, Devotion
to it; but who yet fell short of replacing what they subverted
by any such better Hope as others, with no better Faith
had dawned, had yet made a Law to themselves. Lucretius,
indeed, with such material as Epicurus furnished, consoled
himself with the construction of a Machine that needed no
Constructor, and acting by a Law that implied no Lawgiver;
and so composing himself into a Stoical rather than Epicu-
rean severity of Attitude, sat down to contemplate the me-
chanical Drama of the Universe of which he was part Actor;

* "Since this Paper was written" (adds the Reviewer in a note), "we
have met with a Copy of a very rare Edition, printed at Calcutta in 1836.
This contains 438 Tetrastichs, with an Appendix containing 54 others
not found in some MSS."
[page xii]
himself and all about him, (as in his own sublime Description
of the Roman Theater,) coloured with the lurid reflex of the
Curtain that was suspended between them and the outer
Sun. Omar, more desperate, or more careless, of any such
laborious System as resulted in nothing more than hopeless
Necessity, flung his own Genius and Learning with a bitter
jest into the general Ruin which their insufficient glimpses
only served to reveal; and, yielding his Senses to the actual
Rose and Vine, only diverted his thoughts by balancing ideal
possibilities of Fate, Freewill, Existence and Annihilation;
with an oscillation that so generally inclined to the negative
and lower side, as to make such Stanzas as the following ex-
ceptions to his general Philosophy—

Oh, if my Soul can fling his Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
It's not a Shame, it's not a Shame for Him
So long in this Clay Suburb to abide!

Or is that but a Tent, where rests anon
A Sultán to his Kingdom passing on,
And which the swarthy Chamberlain shall strike
Then when the Sultán rises to be gone?

With regard to the present Translation. The original
Rubáiyát (as, missing an Arabic Guttural, these Tetrastichs
are more musically called), are independent Stanzas, con-
sisting each of four Lines of equal, though varied, Prosody.
sometimes all rhyming, but oftener (as here attampted)
the third line suspending the Cadence by which the last
atones with the former Two. Something as in the Greek
Alcaic, where the third line seems to lift and suspend the
[page xiii]
Wave that falls over in the last. As usual with such kind of
Oriental Verse, the Rubáiyát follow one another according
to Alphabetic Rhyme—a strange Farrago of Grave and Gay.
Those here selected are strung into something of an Eclogue,
with perhaps a less than equal proportion of the "Drink and
make-merry," which (genuine or not) recurs over-frequently
in the Original. For Lucretian as Omar's Genius might be,
he cross'd that darker Mood with much of Oliver de Basselin
Humour. Any way, the Result is sad enough: saddest per-
haps when most ostentatiously merry: any way, fitter to
move Sorrow than Anger toward the old Tentmaker, who,
after vainly endeavoring to unshackle his Steps from Des-
tiny, and to catch some authentic Glimpse of TO-MORROW,
fell back upon TO-DAY (which has outlasted so many To-
morrows!) as the only Ground he had got to stand upon, how-
ever momentarily slipping from under his Feet.

27/08/2017: Should we end the awful discrimination which exists against ‘odd’ numbers? For far too long they have suffered from this denigrating misnomer whilst there cousins have been elevated indeed praised for their ‘evenness’. This must stop. There should be crowds in the street rioting and setting fire to automobiles (eg those with even numbered plates) over this terrible injustice. For far too long those with odd numbered birthdays have laboured under a stigma. I have one child who is entirely odd, poor thing – and one who is only partially so. Della and I have been fortunately all our lives quite even and free from this stigmata. Clearly we should be able to change our birthdays by deed poll. It is a liberation too long in coming. Computer chips and other electronic devices have long suffered under this binary tyranny, but I am glad that with the introduction of quantum computers such fascism will end. Probably the best way to go is to legislate to make all ‘odd’ numbers ‘even’. This will ensure a complete democracy amongst the numbers. I would go so far as perhaps to allow odd numbered folk to marry - under strictly controlled supervision, of course. I do not want to seem too radical!

 

27/08/2017: The destruction of history is spreading everywhere. In Sweden they are junking precious Viking treasures into metal recycling: http://www.returnofkings.com/128167/swedish-museum-accelerates-their-cultural-collapse-by-turning-viking-artifacts-into-scrap-metal. Here’s what George Orwell had to say, ‘He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.’

 

27/08/2017: Back in 1941 Ford could REALLY cut it: The B-24 ‘Liberator’ heavy bomber – built in 55 minutes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKlt6rNciTo#t=131 Interesting fact: more than half of US bomber casualties/deaths were other than in combat eg crashes etc. Maybe Ford didn’t build them so well after all! I refuse to enter into any discussion of whether they are superior to Holdens!

26/08/2017: DIY Super Ultralight Pillow: These approx17 grams (small) & 27 gram (large) Graham Medical Flexair Pillows are excellent for hiking and backpacking. The two sizes measure 14.5″x10.5″  & 19″x12.5″  They cost pennies: US $35.16 for the small & $43.41 for the large per box of 50! 70 cents each. Seriously!

Unmodified large pillow and glue heat gun top, two chamber version middle and cut-down two chamber version bottom:

It is possible to modify them with scissors and a with eg a hot glue gun (without squeezing the glue trigger – very carefully with a soldering iron). You can cut one down and re-seal it, or make it into a double or multi-chamber pillow, eg something like Klymit’s ultralight pillow http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-ultralight-pillow/  (which weighs 48 grams). My own modified ones weigh about 15 grams. With a strategic ‘valley’ moulded into them they will be much more comfortable. You will get a superb (and cheap) night’s sleep.

I am also going to cut two down and use each of them for side insulation and arm support for my (too narrow) sleeping pad. I will make sleeves (as I have mentioned before) in this http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/ to fit them in. Each side cushion will weigh about 10 grams. They should work just perfectly, keeping my arms both warm and at the correct height from the ground for when sleeping on my back, and effectively widening my sleeping mat by approx 8” (20cm).

They store flat for easy transport and space-saving. They save on laundry costs being disposable products which only cost about $1 each. They have an adjustable valve for ease of use and comfort – but do not lose the straw which inflates/deflates them. They are made from a soft and quiet material which is pleasant to the touch and does not ‘strike cold’.

Available here: https://www.grahammedical.com/product/pillows/

If you only want a small number, they are also available from Jacksrbetter for US2 each in large size: http://www.jacksrbetter.com/shop/graham-flexair-pillow/

I used to use these pillows all the time when they came in a dual chamber version like the one in the centre, but when I could only purchase the single chamber ones I found them not so comfy so I opted for a heavier pillow such as the exped here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/exped-ultralight-pillow/ but I may well go back to these little guys which (in the cut-down form bottom) will save me an whole ounce 30 grams. A saving not to be sneezed at

26/08/2017: Time the State Bowed out of Marriage Altogether I think. Mostly in the early C19th it decided that it should nationalise this historic institution and virtually monopolise it, leaving religions and contract law with only the crumbs of it. Like so many extensions of the State into matters better handled by the private sector it merely represented an excess of state power which we have been overly slow to wind back. Indeed, to me it seems to still be increasing - against all sense and desirability. When I look at those areas the State squanders over 25% (in some places 50%) of our hard-earned money on, I am rarely convinced that I want them, or that even if I did that the State manages them better than would otherwise be the case, or that the cause of human freedom is much advanced by such heavy-handed methods. I strongly suspect that contract law in personal relationships (should we want to ‘formalise’ them) is a far more desirable alternative to ‘marriage’. Maybe this should be the question the plebiscite ought ask: ‘Should people be able to enter into legally binding contracts of their personal relationships (irrespective of gender, class or number?), and should all other ‘contracts’ eg ‘marriage’ or ‘de facto’ etc be abolished’? When I was married nearly 50 years ago I understood we were entering into a legally binding contract which covered certain defined things (the vows) and perhaps ought to have covered others such as the distribution of property/children in the event of the breaking or dissolution of the contract. Recently the State Government has legislated to give a de facto relationship (of more than 3 months duration I understand) exactly the same legal force as the ‘contract’ of marriage. I thought this change was reprehensible at the time, as such folk clearly had not entered into any such contract. There had been no affixing of signatures, no swearing of oaths/vows, etc. I believe written contracts should always take precedence over unwritten or implied contracts. This vast societal change whose consequences have not yet hit the courts in sufficient numbers to alarm us overly will in time have enormous consequences. Men and women will be virtually unable to cohabit for fear of losing their property – and who knows what other rights? Of course, if the same-sex marriage proposal is passed, then people of the same sex will be unable to cohabit for fear of exactly the same penalties. There will be a legal assumption that any two people who live together are a couple – and that this is a matter to be settled by litigation!

26/08/2017: A Pox on the Enemies of ‘Divisiveness’: Those who speak out, who ‘deny,’ who warn us ‘the emperor has no clothes’, who challenge our certainties and introduce us to new ideas, who show courage in the face of the ‘system’ or the ‘orthodoxy’ are not being ‘divisive’. Every Thomas was quite right to ‘doubt’. They are an essential part of the creative process, of the progress of ideas. Indeed the very invention of the term ‘divisiveness’ is a symptom of a new totalitarianism. Those who bandy such words about (I also abhor the word ‘progressive’ which has come to mean, like so many words, exactly its opposite) should be watched carefully. They mean us no good. They mean only the triumph of power over ideas. Folks should feel energized and pleased to create, voice or encounter differing ideas. Without such a process there really is no social, technical or moral ‘progress’. Of course, I abhor bad-mannered speech. People should not need to shout or bully, and other folks should be polite enough to listen. If you are afraid of ideas, a time will come not long afterwards when you have even more to fear, I fear.

 

26/08/2017: Were there white slaves in the Americas? Near as damn it anyway: Of course there were in Australia too, prior to the ‘abolition of slavery in 1833, and afterwards – the convict ‘system’ was not abolished until after 1870, and other forms of indenture continued into the C20th: http://www.snopes.com/irish-slaves-early-america/

25/08/2017: Transparent Tarp Instructions: David Gardner over at Backpackinglight has these excellent instructions for building a see through tent from polycryo window insulation film which is freely and cheaply available for winterising your home. It is such a great idea. I hope he does not mind my sharing it here. The complete instructions are available here: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/how-to-make-a-polycryo-a-frame-tarp/  It may not be the lightest or the most durable tent in existence, but it is one of the most interesting, and excellent for voyeurs. It is also a genius idea. Some of these techniques are excellent and imaginative – and would also work with cuben fibre which would enable you to make a ‘no-sew’ tent/tarp out of that material which might weigh under 100 grams!

Here is all you need:

I’ve been making and selling “polycro” (cross-linked polyolefin heat-shrink plastic) tarps/tents for a few years now and have learned a lot in the process about what works well and how to construct them, so I thought I would share what I have learned.

Materials & Tools:
Duck Double-Thick Patio Door Insulation Kit
Uline double-sided tape
Scotch “Tough” Transparent Duct Tape (their glow-in-the-dark duct tape works well too)
150 lb. 1 mm Spectra cord from http://www.ultralightdesigns.com
Ten 7/8″ nylon washers (1″ works well too)
1/8″ shock cord
Blue masking tape
X-acto or utility knife
Sharpie pen
Measuring tape
Scissors
1/8″ steel rod or tent stake
Propane or butane torch or stove

I use Duck’s double-thick patio door insulation kits because as far as I know Duck is the only manufacturer which makes it in 1.5 mil thickness instead of .75 mil.

I use Uline double-sided tape to “hem” the edges because it has far better adhesion and durability than the double-sided tape that comes with the kits.

I use Scotch “Tough” transparent duct tape because it has excellent adhesion and weather resistance. Colored tapes, especially dark colored tape, get hot in the sun and “creep.” In the past I used ripstop nylon sail repair tape, which is lighter and stronger than duct tape, but it doesn’t adhere well enough over the long run.

I use Ultralight Design’s 150 lb. Spectra-core cord because it is bright yellow, knots well, and is plenty strong enough. I attached a fishing scale to the end of the ridge line cord of a tarp I had set up, pulled harder than I usually do to pitch the tarp, and it measured 25 lbs. of tension.

Step 1 is to clear a large, hard floor area to work on and vacuum it thoroughly. The polycro is static-y out of the box and attracts the smallest motes of dust and pet hair. Then unpack the Duck kit, unfold the polycryo, and spread it carefully on the floor. Use blue masking tape to tape down the corners. You will want to put the tape about 1.5″ from the edge and parallel to the direction of the long edge, to hold the polycryo firmly while you “hem” the edge with double-sided tape.

Next apply the double-sided tape as close to the edge as you can get it. The Uline tape comes with one side covered, so you can press down firmly to make it adhere fully while laying it down. I start about an inch past the edge of the tarp so that the edge will stay put as you pull while laying down the tape. When I’m done applying the tape to the edge I trim off the extra inch.

The next photo shows the polycryo spread out and taped down to the floor, with about half of one long edge taped.

Next peel the cover off the first couple of inches of tape and fold the edge over so the tape is sandwiched between. I like to work from right to left while making the hem.

Start pulling the cover strip off with your left hand while following closely with your right hand. You should peel the cover strip straight off so that you get a running fold. Plant your right pinkie, ring finger and middle finger firmly on the folded portion to hold it in place while following the fold with your index finger and pushing down firmly to adhere the tape. When your fingers are spread as wide as they will go, move your right hand closer to the peeling/folding point, as shown in the next three photos:

When you’re finished with one long edge do the other. When both long edges are done, move the blue masking tape holding down the corners so they are parallel to the end. Proceed to apply tape and hem the ends of the tarp.

When all four edges are hemmed you’re ready to start putting on the tie-outs. Use a tape measure and Sharpie pen to mark the middle of the ends, and to mark the long sides in 1/3 intervals (about 40″). Take 8 of the 7/8″ nylon washers and use the scissors to cut one side of each to make a flat edge that will go into the fold of the tape for the tie-outs, to spread out the forces. Smooth the cut edge with a file or sand paper. The remaining two washers will be used at the ridge line tie-outs and don’t need to be trimmed.

I like to do the corner tie-outs first, then the ones on the long edges. Cut about 10″ of duct tape for each corner and side tie-out. Lift the polycryo and insert the tape sticky side up under the tarp, then press down firmly on the polycryo and rub and smooth it to get good adhesion and eliminate bubbles. Place a washer on the tape right by the corner or edge, with the flat side of the washer away from the tarp, then fold the tape back over on top of the polycryo:

 

The technique is the same for all the corner and side tie-outs. Once all the corner and side tie-outs are done you’re ready to do the ridge line tie-outs.

The ridge line tie-outs are built up from several layers of overlapping and crossing duct tape because they are more highly stressed than the corners and sides. Start by cutting two 14″ pieces of duct tape. Lift the center of the tarp and insert the tape sticky side up about half its length under the tarp, press firmly on the tarp and adhere it to the tape and remove any bubbles.

Now it gets a little tricky. You’ll need to take one of the two round washers and tie one end of the Spectra cord around the washer, then place the washer on the tape at the edge of the tarp while placing the cord straight down the center of the tape under the tarp:

Finally, fold the tape back over the washer and on top of the tape underneath. Press and rub to adhere the tape and eliminate bubbles. Now place blue masking tape on the tie out so it will be held firmly while you construct the ridge line tie-out at the other end.

At the other end of the cord you’ll need to trim it and tie on the last round washer at just the right length. The right length is a hair shorter than the length of the tarp, so that when tension is applied to the ridge line tie-outs they will pull the tarp taut. Cut another 14″ piece of tape, lift the tarp, and insert the tape sticky side up about half its length under the tarp. Press and smooth. Then place the washer on the tape at the edge of the tarp while pulling gently on the cord. After the washer is in place fold the tape back over the washer on top of the tape underneath.

Once the two ridge line tie-outs are fabricated, you are done with the underside of the tarp. Turn the whole thing over so the ridge line cord is now underneath. Cut two 10″ pieces of duct tape and place them cross-wise centered over the ridge line tie outs you have just made. Press and smooth.

Next cut four 8″ pieces of tape, two for each end. Lift the ridge line tie out, place two tape pieces sticky side up under the tarp on either side of the tie out:

Finally, fold the two pieces of tape back over the tarp on top of the tape below.

With the tie-outs all done you are now ready to melt holes through the tape in the center of the washers. Heat the 1/8″ steel rod/tent stake with a torch or stove, and carefully push it through the center of the washers in the tie-outs:

In the pictures the tie outs are sitting on the floor because I had my camera in the other hand. In practice, lift the tie outs up and hold while pushing the hot steel rod through.

Finally, cut eight 10″ pieces of shock cord and knot them in little circles through the corner and side tie outs. The shock cord loops give a nice tight pitch, but also act as a shock absorbers in windy conditions.

Final weight: 11.2 ounces.

You’ll need to tie another 10 feet or so of the Spectra cord to the ridge line tie outs so you can pitch the tarp. Also, since I often camp in the high Sierra on flat rocks or shallow sand where tent stakes are useless, I also attach about 3 feet of Spectra cord at each corner and side tie out with a little knotted loop at the end, so I can make big adjustable loops to put around rock anchors that I have collected.

The finished product (an earlier version with different tape) pitched:

It is truly amazing to be able to fall asleep while looking up through your shelter at the starry sky. It’s also nice to know whether that critter sniffing around your shelter in the middle of the night is a bear or just something small like a skunk.

Total cost: About $30-$40, depending on where you get your materials.

Total time to construct (including taking pictures): Two hours

25/08/2017: Greens are such nice people: Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so you can drive an electric car: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4764208/Child-miners-aged-four-living-hell-Earth.html#ixzz4qZRkp6DD

 

25/08/2017: The Australian Conservatives are shaping up to be Number One choice at the next election. Interesting times: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2017/08/turnbulls-creation-australian-conservatives/ In addition Bob Katter has deserted Turnbull and is backing Abbott for PM!

 

25/08/2017: Study shows gut bacteria could improve aging: http://www.skynews.com.au/culture/offbeat/2017/08/22/study-shows-gut-bacteria-could-improve-aging.html

 

24/08/2017: So no AGW then: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/22/delingpole-global-warming-is-almost-entirely-natural-study-confirms/ & All of Recent U.S. Warming Has Been Faked by NOAA; move one, move on: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/23/delingpole-all-of-recent-u-s-warming-has-been-faked-by-noaa/

 

It is very easy to decide. I have posted this reasoning before. Even if CO2 exerted a linear effect (and it does not - it diminishes with each doubling, so adding more has less and less effect, because water vapour is the main greenhouse gas) suppose we have had a half a doubling of 'Anthropic' CO2 since 'records began', the 'Industrial Revolution' (whatever, and doubtful), and we agree that we have had eg 1C of warming (doubtful - cooling is more likely), then we could say a half a doubling 'equates' to 1C of warming. Therefore another half a doubling would (at most) equate to another 1c - in reality much less. We could not get to 2C. This would still not get us to the Medieval Warm Period let alone the Holocene (when there were no ill effects to speak of). So, no problem. Forget about it!

 

24/08/2017: Every man has a theory which will not work: http://www.mdedge.com/clinicalpsychiatrynews/article/144608/pain/cannabis-shows-inconsistent-benefits-pain-ptsd

 

24/08/2017: Profit is a price paid for efficiency: ‘While capitalism has a visible cost – profit – that does not exist under socialism, socialism has an invisible cost – inefficiency – that gets weeded out by losses and bankruptcy under capitalism. The fact that most goods are more widely affordable in a capitalist economy implies that profit is less costly than inefficiency. Put differently, profit is a price paid for efficiency’: Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics (5th Ed, p114, 2015). If you have ever wondered why the unit cost of everything that remains in private enterprise hands continues to fall whilst the cost of everything in Government hands (Think: Education, Health, Welfare, Defence, Public Service, etc) continues to rise, just remember the above. Ergo: Socialism is NOT a good idea; Reject it!

 

23/08/2017: Advanced Elements Ultralight Paddle

Check this out on Massdrop this morning for US$29.99 each (08/2018). You would be foolish not to buy a couple. I bought two. It will go very well with the Klymit packraft you should have bought from them some time back for US$99 (I bought two as well): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-packraft/

 Here's me and Spot trying it out on the farm dam: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-best-laid-schemes/

4-Piece Breakdown Paddle

Designed for maximum portability, the Advanced Elements Ultralight Pack Paddle weighs 23.6 ounces, measures 88.2 inches when assembled, and breaks down to a travel-ready 23.6 inches. The durable aluminum shaft features a four-part construction with drip rings on either end that prevent the water on your paddle blades from reaching your hands or lap. For an even more compact setup that’ll cut 3.6 ounces off your pack weight, use only one middle shaft section between the two blades. A great pairing for the Advanced Elements PackLite or Klymit Lite Water Dinghy, this is among the most affordable solutions for light packrafting.

Specs
  • Advanced Elements
  • Material, shaft: Aluminum
  • Assembled length, full setup: 88.2 in (224 cm)
  • Packed length, full setup: 23.6 in (60 cm)
  • Weight, full setup: 23.6 oz (669 g)
  • Assembled length, minimalist setup: 66.5 in (169 cm)
  • Packed length, minimalist setup: 23.6 in (60 cm)
  • Weight, minimalist setup: 20 oz (567 g)

Because sometimes an ultralight paddle and an ultralight packraft (such as Klymit's) are just what you need -eg for river/lake crossings on long hikes. You can put the two things together for just over 1.5kg! A great paddle for the kids. If nothing else these would make a great backup paddle for remote trips. They could just save your bacon should you find your primary paddle floating downstream or worse.

http://www.advancedelements.com/accessories/paddles/?b=12935

23/08/2017: Hope you enjoy this easy cheap delicious meal: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-simple-backpacking-dahl/. I also have a Facebook page with has a lot of info about hiking and hiking gear as well as canoeing, hunting, gardening…which might be of interest. If you 'like' it, Facebook will let you know whenever I do a fresh post. Cheers: https://www.facebook.com/theultralighthiker/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

23/08/2017: How things have changed since De Toqueville’s time, ‘Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details. … After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the government then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd…In the American townships power has been distributed with admirable skill, for the purpose of interesting the greatest possible number of persons in the common weal. … The existence of the townships … is, in general, a happy one. Their government is suited to their tastes, and chosen by themselves. In the midst of the profound peace and general comfort that reign in America, the commotions of municipal life are infrequent. The conduct of local business is easy. … NOTHING is more striking to a European traveler in the United States than the absence of what we term the [central] government, or the administration.’ https://no-pasaran.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/alexis-de-tocqueville-on-free-health.html

 

23/08/2017: The constitutional crisis is worse than we think. I have no doubt that no party has a majority of legally elected members and that the laws enacted by the illegally elected ones are invalid – and how long has this been going on? Clearly all the pollies knew about this situation since the High Court decided a similar case (in the negative!) way back in 1999: http://pickeringpost.com/story/trouble-ahead-uk-was-already-deemed-a-foreign-power-in-1918/7484 11 more pollies identified this morning whose legitimacy is doubtful: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/11-mps-wont-release-documents-knowing-dual-citizenship-can-never-be-proven/news-story/c870407596fb7d2ec49617569425bd0c

22/08/2017: A Simple Backpacking Dahl: This simple dahl uses only dry ingredients you can buy very cheaply from any supermarket and store in a snaplock bag. It will make a litre of tasty nutritious dahl which will probably be more than you can eat. You should try this at home tonight before you head out to the backcountry. Simply delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup red lentils 2730kj

3 ½ cups water

20 grams Hormel dried bacon pieces 300kj

1 table milk powder 250 kj

½ packet Tasty Tomato CupaSoup 230 kj

1/2 pack Continental French Onion Simmer soup (Salt Reduced) 270 kj

3 or 4 teas curry powder (to taste)

Optional: Add 1 table Surprise Peas to taste say 6 teas 100 kj

Total 3880 kj = 1000 calories.

Instructions:

Soak lentils 10 + minutes - the longer you soak the less you have toi simmer.

Add ingredients

Bring to boil, then simmer 15-20 minutes.

This makes up to approx 1 litre of quite thick soup. It was delicious, much preferable to any bought hiking meal you have ever eaten. The quantity would definitely have been enough for Della and me both for a main meal.

22/08/2017: A Great Read: The Grand Illusion by Theodore Dalrymple: ‘In a pure meritocracy, there would be no paranoid defense against one’s own nullity—one could blame only oneself for it and no one else. That is why the concept of equality of opportunity, besides implying a kind of Brave New World world, is so deeply vicious, and why so many people who promote it are obviously hate-filled. They do not want to serve humanity but torture it...Though we are enjoined—less and less frequently, to be sure—to count our blessings, it is far easier and more gratifying to count our curses. It accords with our desire to explain, or explain away, our failure.

http://takimag.com/article/the_grand_illusion_theodore_dalrymple/print#ixzz4qQkyn4ww

 

22/08/2017: One of the greatest poems of the C20th: Dylan Thomas: The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

 

 The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees

Is my destroyer.

And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose

My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

 

The force that drives the water through the rocks

Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams

Turns mine to wax.

And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins

How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

 

The hand that whirls the water in the pool

Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind

Hauls my shroud sail.

And I am dumb to tell the hanging man

How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

 

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;

Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood

Shall calm her sores.

And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind

How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

 

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb

How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

22/08/2017: The pot calling the kettle Green: Senator Hanson-Young  calling out Pauline Hanson: “next attack in Australia will be on your head…Acts and stunts like this only serve to incite more violence and hatred from extremists on both sides, and I think that is extremely dangerous and not fit for somebody who wants to sit in parliament…You really need to reflect on the fact that security experts, foreign policy experts, have said that what you did last week will now be used as the recent kind of fodder for promoting extremism…You are doing ISIS’s work for them. It is extremely dangerous; you are putting the entire country at risk.” What an idiot Hanson-Young is!

21/08/2017: DIY Dry Back Hiking Pack: Yes, you can have a dry back when hiking (and for pennies!) I saw this genius idea posted by AnticitizenPrime on the Reddit forum MYOG back in July. I have to admit I scrolled right past it then , but I had a little more time to kill in the shop this afternoon so I paid a bit more attention. I thank him/her very much for the idea. It will work.

You can use one of those cheap lumbar support devices (for car seats etc) you see everywhere (I bought mine for A$4 from Cheap as Chips Morwell) as a back cushioning device for your back pack which keeps the pack comfortably off your back on a mesh panel, thus keeping it dry. It weighed about 155 grams out of the bag (left) and about 110 after I cut a few bits off it (right). You could delete the two pieces of webbing which create the tension and thus the curve and replace them with eg 1mm Dyneema twine, which you could then tension to your exact specifications with two clam cleats http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-perfect-guy-line-for-a-hiking-tenttarp/.  This would save approx 8 grams, making the device weigh about 100 grams. I use a Sitlight or an Airbeam pad at the moment for the same purpose, so this device will add perhaps 30 grams to my current pack weight, not much of a price for a dry back.

I would simply tie the frame of the cushion to my backpack. I may have to sew four-six loops of gross grain ribbon to it to effect this. No doubt you could tie it vertically with four more clam cleats (the smallest only weigh approx 1 gram each) so that you could adjust its position up/down till it's just right. I know the mesh on the back panel will eventually wear out, but you can replace the whole thing easily in just a couple of minutes.

In the photo below I have simply slipped it in behind my new Montane pack (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-stout-hikers-pack-2/), but I will be adding a more permanent setup:

I think this is the single best idea I have seen in years!

See Also:http://www.theultralighthiker.com/60-diy-ultralight-hiker-ideas/

 21/08/2017: 46-54-9: Turnbull (and the Greens) are finished. The only question is, ‘Will Pauline replace them?’ Her star is rising whilst the Liberals and the greens are crashing. Interestingly her party’s vote went up 10% after her wearing the burkha in Parliament – doesn’t that tell you something Malcolm? I’m sure the message is not lost on Tony: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/newspoll-turnbull-government-drops-to-just-46-to-labors-54/news-story/1b13d2f872607cd78a53318011955039

 

21/08/2017: This says it all really, ‘Renewable Energy Is a Corrupt Scam, Go Nuclear!’ Says Green Guru James Lovelock: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/delingpole-renewable-energy-is-a-corrupt-scam-go-nuclear-says-green-guru-james-lovelock/

20/08/2017: Budding Slartibartfasts may enjoy THIS website which allows you to design planets. Yes, really. (cf Douglas Adams; 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slartibartfast): http://www.solarvoyager.com/tutorials.asp

20/08/2017: The worst thing about Pauline’s speech was that only 6 senators were present in the chamber to hear it. Now, did the others provide a medical certificate or were they docked pay? We pay these lousy bastards to at least attend parliament. If they can’t at least do that, they deserve to be sacked! They do not have to agree with what other members say, but at least they have to listen to it and then argue against it if they wish.

 

20/08/2017: The Hidden Agenda: Arguably the worst aspect of the same-sex issue is the destruction of the right of children not to be commodities to be bought and sold. The reinstitution of such child slavery is perhaps the most reprehensible decision in my lifetime. Whatever happened to the right of children to be born and raised in a traditional (heterosexual) loving marriage which all the evidence shows is in their best interest? We have thrown that right, and the baby out with the bathwater. By advocating same sex marriage we are condemning perhaps millions of future children to suffering and harm. This must not be allowed to happen: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2017/08/childrens-welfare-sex-families/

 

19/08/2017: Raincoat Shelter: How to make your raincoat into a shelter. I realise this is important as people die
because they keep on wearing their raincoat instead of sheltering under it.

For example, there was this European guy who died on the Dusky a few years ago when I was there. It rained and rained as it does. The river came up, flooding the track. He couldn't go forward or back and had no shelter other than his raincoat.

He also clearly had no idea how to refind the track if he once left it, so he was stuck down on the flats with the river coming up when he could easily have walked up a ridge a bit to a drier spot. Pleasant enough spot to camp too! But he died. Loss of body heat. Water strips heat 25 times quicker than air. You must have a roof. See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-in-the-rain/

Not far away hanging under a tarp in my hammock (total weight of both and including the weight of my raincoat, say 450 grams) probably less than his raincoat, I was having a good enough time high and dry watching and listening to the rain and admiring the wet bush, cooking meals and having hot cuppas, reading a book, listening to some music, talking to my wife on my sat phone, etc unaware of his plight!

If he had been with me, he could have sheltered under my tarp and been quite comfortable, instead of dead! Still we might have had a political disagreement and I would have donged him on the head with a rock. Who knows?

I have been thinking about ways sheltering under your raincoat even if/when you don't have a length of string. I know if you don't, you don't deserve to live - but still. I think there is a way, probably several. You can look forward to a number of silly photos of an old man huddling under a bright yellow raincoat, perhaps!

Well, as it turned out it was a green raincoat, and my camera wasn't working well. I had to lean forward to take the photo so it is not clear just how much shelter is provided (enough!). However, you get the idea. A piece of string can often save your life. As Sam Gamgee says, don't leave home without one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rope-dont-leave-home-without-it/

I have often come across cold, wet people. Some I have even saved their lives by bundling them into my dry clothes - which they mostly went away in, and never returned! Such folks may not deserve to live!

I can remember a time in my youth when I was a surf life saver. You were always pulling people out of the waves who were in trouble, some needing resuscitation. More often than not you got no thanks from them – which shows how much they valued their lives I guess. One chap, who also needed resuscitating even king hit me after he had recovered, then stalked off. Lord knows why!

Anyway, the easiest way to shelter under your raincoat is definitely if there is a tree. I guess if there are no trees it is less likely to be raining, but you may have to do something else in that eventuality. Try to build a sort of wall I guess. If you can get your back to the lee side of a tree that is at least as wide as your shoulders half your problems are already solved.

The next thing is that most every raincoat has a draw cord at the waist and the neck. If you don’t have that piece of string you may have to break this out to tie one end of the coat to the tree. Or you may be able to tie the arms around the rtree if it is small enough. Then you will probably have to hold the other two ends of the coat out over your knees. I have measured my raincoat and I can assure you that your own will be big enough to keep you completely dry when erected over your head as a shelter. Try tying yours to the back of one of the kitchen chairs as I did to reassure yourself just how to do this if even you need to.

I know you are probably going to be sitting cross-legged under that raincoat all night while the rain spills off it. You might want to place a piece of bark or similar on your head (and behind your back) to insulate yourself from the cold water on the other face of the raincoat. When you first take the raincoat off it is going to be just a bit colder (because it is no longer stopping wind chill), but after a while as you shiver yourself dry, you will be warmer without the rainwater stripping your body heat. Even if it falls below zero you will survive, just as this unprepared guy did: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/thrilling-tales-37-days-of-peril/ If you stay in your raincoat you will probably die of hypothermia just like the European guy on the Dusky Track I talked about earlier.

Of course you won't have a bit of blue poly tarp as I have in the photo to keep your bum warm. Find as much bark and other debris as you can, say 18" (or 40 cm) high, as you can. The further your bum is off the ground the closer to the tree you are going to be and the warmer and drier you will be. Enjoy!

You can have an even comfier night in the wild if you can build a debris shelter of some sort. I have done this a number of times. You do not need any tools or materials other than what you find in the bush, but you need at least a couple of hours to build a decent shelter, so it needs preparation. I will have a future post about this. Whatever type of debris shelter you build, you will need at least 40cm of debris both over you and under you if you are going to be half decently warm!

The reason for posting about using your raincoat as a shelter is that folks always think they have enough time to do something else – get to the hut, find help, divine intervention…So, they wander on and on until it is too late to do anything else than shelter under their raincoat, or sit there wearing it in the rain and maybe die. Some folks haven’t even got sense enough to seek shelter, eg in/under a log or in a hollow tree when they realise they are going to be in trouble. I have spent at least one night in each – lots of critters, but dry, and I am still here! Not having enough bush skills to go off trail is a serious impediment. People ought really to understand how to find their way with their senses they were born with before they venture into the wilds. Some tips below:

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-light-a-fire-in-the-wet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rope-dont-leave-home-without-it/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/finding-your-way/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lie-of-the-land/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/carry-a-knife/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/if-you-could-only-carry-two-things-in-the-bush-what-would-they-be/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-poncho-tent/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/naismiths-rule/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/weather-lore/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/walking-the-line/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-long-till-sundown/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/man-is-the-measure-of-all-things-pythagoras-some-handy-estimation-tricks/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-avoid-being-wet-cold-while-camping/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fire-on-the-snow/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/river-crossings/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/an-open-shelter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/

19/08/2017: How to avoid site blocking: https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/bypass-vpn-blocks-with-ease/ & https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/12/how-to-bypass-isp-blocking-of-the-pirate-bay-and-other-torrent-sites-for-free/

 

19/08/2017: Well done Israel. May you long prosper: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/israel-on-the-100th-anniversary-of-the-balfour-declaration_us_59952559e4b00dd984e37c76

 

19/08/2017: Who has the dearest electricity? This green madness must stop. Look down to the bottom, the US = 15.75cents. Our electricity hasn’t been that cheap since the Kennett era. Let’s reopen Hazelwood now, then get on with building new coal and nuclear power stations.

 

Markintell, global electricity prices, graph, SA, NSW, VIC, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, UK, USA.

 

19/08/2017: Good heavens. This ‘dual citizenship thing just got even worse. Apparently New Zealand made every Australian a dual citizen some time back so that no-one is eligible to be an MP, our constitution can only be changed by a referendum and the present government (all being dual citizens) are disallowed from calling such a referendum! http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/handy-guide-for-foreign-nation-to-remove-any-australian-politican-give-them-entitlements-of-dual-citizenship/

 

19/08/2017: Trump’s Pershing Tweet in Response to Barcelona Was More Than Just Genius Trolling, ‘Trump was telling it as a “story” to illustrate an important point about the psychology of war. When your enemy fights dirty, you don’t cower and apologize and ask what we have done to deserve such punishment. You give as good as you get.’ I have been arguing this for a long while. ‘Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak,’ Sun Tzu, The Art Of War. Burial in a pig’s skin (and without their cojones) sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Depriving such ‘heroes’ of the prospect of paradise is bound to have a salutary effect on others who may seek to emulate them: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/delingpole-trumps-pershing-tweet-in-response-to-barcelona-was-more-than-just-genius-trolling/

 

18/08/2017: Vikings have had such a bad press. It’s nice to know at least that they were clean: http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/08/12/viking-fashion-men-women-vain-clean-viking-age/

 

18/08/2017: When President Trump said there was massive vote rigging, he was clearly right. I wonder how confident we can be in Australia in our electoral system: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/08/study-finds-3-5-million-ghost-voters-us-entire-population-21-states/

 

18/08/2017: Ban the Burqa: I was listening to Pauline’s speech whilst driving back from my walk yesterday afternoon. Her speech has (as usual) been woefully misreported. Though she is not an educated woman I thought she gave a fine, brave, well-argued speech about a matter of serious national importance. As she pointed out, recently people disguised in burqas detonated a bomb in the Iranian parliament killing over a dozen people. The Burqa is not a requirement of Islamic religious practice and is banned in many islamic countries, and many non-islamic countries. There really can be no moral argument for banning people from wearing balaclavas and full-face helmets in public places yet permitting burqas. She also argued for a five year moratorium on all Islamic immigration, until we see how well it is working out - as step which is long overdue. Senator Brandis claimed in reply that Australia’s Moslems were amongst the most hard-working and law-abiding ‘citizens’. He should be castigated for telling such outrageous lies. The outstanding welfare dependency and criminality rates amongst the Moslem population, together with their extreme failure to assimilate and their rejection of Australian values, laws and culture is well known to everyone. Pauline is right on both counts. One Nation will continue to have my first preference in future elections. I do not see any other party which has Australia’s security and interests so much to heart. This morning's awful news from Barcelona only underlines the urgency of the issues Pauline raised. Full speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxlJEh52eaQ

17/08/2017: On the Tip of the Tongue: A magical 20C winter's day yesterday, so time to try out Della's new heart and my new pack http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-stout-hikers-pack-2/ with a walk in Wilson's Prom NP, Gippsland, Victoria. I will let her begin: 'Return to fitness #2: Beautiful winter day and further heart progress - Steve and I did a 10 km walk at Wilson's Prom, Darby River to Tongue Point, including a side trip to the delightful Fairy Cove. Daily workouts of an hour's fitness class plus an hour of walking have boosted my heart stamina. More progress planned: Perhaps a trip to Cairns next month to climb Mount Bartle Frere... onwards and upwards!'

NB: The walk from Darby River is easy with just gentle inclines. Including the .5km each way side trip to Fairy Cove it is approx 5km each way and takes about 1 1/2 hours each way plus lots of stops for snaps and snacks! It is a much steeper track dwon from darby saddle and not so scenic!

PS: Pack update on a 10km walk yesterday (14/07/2017) with a load (5-7kg). It was brilliant. See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-stout-hikers-pack-2/ Did not need the chest strap at all. The shoulder straps had zero inclination to slide off my shoulders. Also with the waist belt done up quite loosely, the load still just wanted to rest in the small of my back. There was no weight at all on my shoulders. I could slip my fingers in the behind the shoulder straps any time. There was no load pressure there at all. I did get a wet back (expected) – it was a warm day (approx 20C. I will be trying a Sitlight pad attached like this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sleeping-pad-pack-frame/ . I will also try taking a wad cutter to the Sitlight pad and filling it with holes (eg on every dent) so that water vapor has somewhere to go. I will report back about this innovation later. With the addition of some sewn on pockets, I think this is going to be a great pack!

View of Darby River flats

It is a well-formed track. Mostly sand and gravel with walkways over any wet sectiions

Plenty of hog deer sign

Shellback Island

View North Waratah Bay

Many interesting menhirs along the way

View south Fairy Cove, Tongue Point, Norman Island

Fairy Cove, Tongue Point

Waratah Bay, Shellback Island

View North along the coast to Shallow Inlet

Tongue Point, Norman Island

Steps down to Fairy Cove

Fairy Cove, Shellback Island. Note steel hoops, remains of a steamer funnel

View north past Darby River towards Shallow Inlet.

A funnel mermaid

Fairy Cove

Island in Fairy Cove 

 

Fairy Cove monolith

Seagulls Fairy Cove

Tongue Point

Painted rocks Tongue Point

Tongue Point

Monolith Tongue Point

Steve Tongue Point

Tongue Point

Wildflowers along the way

 

And wildlife: swamp wallaby

Spur winged plover

 17/08/2017: Google and the triumph of the left: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-11/james-damore-explains-why-i-was-fired-google & https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/08/dont-like-our-diversity-agenda-youre-fired/

17/08/2017: Ok folks, here’s what REALLY happened in Charlottesville ‘I have an idea. If y’all want to fight, sign up in the U.S. military — if you meet the standards. There are plenty of folks who do indeed hate the United States. Channel your angst against them…not each other.’ https://www.allenbwest.com/2017/08/13/ok-folks-heres-really-happened-charlottesville-everyone-missing/

 

17/08/2017: Both solar and wind kill countless birds (and bats in the case of wind) yet they produce little or no cheap or reliable power. You can watch birds being incinerated at the Ivanopah, Solar Thermal Plant, USA. - the prototype of the one Weatherill (incidentally Penny Wong’s ex!) plans to build in SA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICLXQN_lURk&feature=youtu.be

 

15/08/2017: The Next Moon Landing Is Near—Thanks to These Pioneering Engineers: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/08/space-race-moon-google-lunar-xprize/

15/08/2017: The Wheel and the Starship: I imagine that to the ancient Egyptians, seeing the Hyksos riding in their chariots was very much like us seeing our first Centauran would/will be: http://www.docmercury.com/rainy/what-goes-around

15/08/2017: This is Nietzche. Fortunately we do not have a right wing side of politics like this in Australia. It is only the Left who espouse this sort of abhorrent evil: "Nietzsche, the romantic anti-capitalist, was appalled by the notion that the ‘common man’ (bourgeois and proletarian alike) should enjoy democratic rights. He attacked the ‘the raving stupidity and the noisy yapping of the democratic bourgeois.’ ‘Oh Voltaire! Oh humanity! Oh imbecility!’ He spat at ‘the French Revolution, that gruesome and, closely considered, superfluous farce.’ He sneered at ‘the levellers, these falsely named ‘free spirits’ – eloquent and tirelessly scribbling slaves of the democratic taste and its ‘modern ideas’.’ He poured scorn on the Enlightenment and humanism: ‘Man’, said Nietzsche, ‘is something to be overcome.’ He said ‘The democratic movement is a form assumed by man in decay’ … ‘that darkening and uglification of Europe which has now been going on for a hundred years.’ For Nietzsche, the abolition of serfdom was a tragedy. He complained that ‘everything base has become rebellious’. He was horrified by ‘the great evil, protracted, slow rebellion of the mob and the slaves.’ He said, ‘Let us face facts: the people have triumphed – or the slaves, the mob, the herd or whatever you like to call them … Masters have been abolished; the morals of the common man have triumphed … Mankind’s redemption (namely from its masters) is well under way; everything is becoming visibly Judified or Christified or mobified (what do words matter!). To arrest this poison’s progress throughout the body of mankind seems impossible.’ Nietzsche’s whole work was defiant attack on democratic, levelling effects of capitalism. He insisted, ‘there exists an order of rank between man and man.’ He spoke of ‘the incarnate differences of classes.’ ‘The noble caste’, he said are ‘the more complete human beings’. As for the newly liberated serfs, he called them, ‘the grumbling, oppressed, rebellious slave classes who aspire after domination – they call it “freedom”’. They were, ‘ponderous herd animals’ and ‘multifarious, garrulous, weak-willed and highly employable workers who need a master … worthy clumsy mechanicals … with their plebeian ambition.’ He reviled the common masses: ‘Life is a fountain of delight; but where the rabble also drinks, all wells are poisoned.’" Whew!

 

14/08/2017: Big Agnes AXL Air Pad. Big Agnes were showcasing a new pad at the Outdoor Retailer show recently. The one on show was a full-length pad (20x72x3 inches thick – 50 x 180 x 7.5cm) weighing only 9 ounces (270 grams). It will be available in uninsulated (US$140) and insulated with Primaloft Silver (10 ounces- 300 grams, US$180) versions. The fabric is 20 denier with random ripstop, and the pad has a large inflation valve that seals as you blow.

 

There is no information about it on the Big Agnes site as yet, but it will no doubt be available soon. If it is available in their usual size choices, then one should be able to get it in 5’6‘ length (me) at approx 270 grams, and 5’ length (Della) at approx 250 grams and 4’ length at approx 200 grams, a real game changer. This will shave 160 grams off our combined pack weight with Thermarest’s excellent Neoair Womens http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/ (2 at 340 grams each). (given the savings I have been making lately with tents, our packs will soon be carrying themselves! In any case you would be able to cut it down yourself to these dimensions: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/modifyingshortening-hiking-mats/.

 

I have always been a big supporter of Big Agnes’ excellent products, so I can’t wait really to get my hands (back) on one: http://www.bigagnes.com/Gear/Sleeping-Pads

 

 

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sleeping-pad-reinvented-big-agnes-q-core-slx/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cyclone-chair/

14/08/2017: The Windhover: No danger to pigeons or lambs from this beautiful little guy spotted yesterday in the paddock. A knave’s bird, Gerald Manley Hopkins 1844-89

 

 

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-   

  dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding       

  Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding           

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing  

In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,           5

  As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding       

  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding 

Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!           

 

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here 

  Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion         10

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!          

 

  No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion     

Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,    

  Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

 

14/08/2017: ‘To see ourselves as others see us’ (Burns, ‘To a Louse’) There is an amazing trick you can do (with mirrors, of course) which allows one to do just that, or even more…It is this: ‘A simple experiment can show how. Try looking at yourself in a double-reflecting mirror – two mirrors facing each other such that the second reflects the image in the first. Then raise your right arm. The first reflection is a normal mirror image, but the second is inversed, which we are not used to seeing. “So when you raise your right hand, it raises its right hand. It’s a doppelgänger, miming your behaviour, Keep looking and something odd can happen to your sense of self. “You start experiencing that you are out there. What’s more, if you watch your arm moving in the second mirror, you may see a slight delay...it’s slowed down as if your hand is moving through treacle. Exactly why this happens is something he and his team are working on, but we know that neurons in your brain telling your hand to move fire milliseconds before you consciously decide to move it. To avoid the sensation of being a puppet, your brain smoothes things out so that everything feels simultaneous. Ramachandran suspects that when you see this doppelgänger in the mirror, your brain doesn’t compute it as you – so the correction isn’t applied. In essence, you are seeing the unconscious machinery of the brain laid bare.’ https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531360-600-the-fragility-of-you-and-what-it-says-about-consciousness/?utm_campaign=RSS%7CNSNS

 

13/08/2017: For and Against an Indigenous Referendum: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/07/constitutional-recognition-indigenous-peoples/

 

 13/08/2017: Some of Britain’s (& I wonder who else’s) less charming new citizens: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/08/scale-of-britains-muslim-gang-rape-networks-is-difficult-to-comprehend-in-1-operation-461-arrests-27.html

 

 13/08/2017: The worst wind farm scam: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/uk-wind-farms-paid-to-not-make-sausages/

 13/08/2017: Thrilling Tales: 37 Days of Peril : You can survive: Truly alone in the wilderness: Lost in Yellowstone for 37 days pretty much without equipment, food, clothing or shelter. ‘After wandering away from the rest of the expedition on September 9, 1870, Everts managed to lose the pack horse which was carrying most of his supplies. He ate a songbird and minnows raw, and a local thistle plant to stay alive; the plant (Cirsium foliosum or elk thistle) was later renamed "Evert's Thistle" after him. Everts' party searched for him for a while, and his friends in Helena offered a reward of $600 to find him. "Yellowstone Jack" Baronett and George A. Pritchett found Everts, suffering from frostbite, burn wounds from thermal vents and his campfire, and other wounds suffered during his ordeal, so malnourished he weighed only 50 pounds (23 kg). One stayed with him to nurse him back to health while the other walked 75 miles (121 km) for help; in spite of their assistance, Everts denied the men the payment of the reward, claiming he could have made it out of the mountains on his own.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_C._Everts

Available here: https://archive.org/stream/thirtysevendayso30924gut/pg30924.txt Free downloads: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30924.mobile

12/08/2017: Fascinating: Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy. PS: Not what you thought: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/tim-harford-review/

 12/08/2017: North Korea: You should realize this: in charge on our side is a General who visited the families of every soldier who died under his command, a man who clearly understands the gravity of military action. On the other side is a man who murdered his own brother: https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/turning-down-the-nuclear-heat/

12/08/2017: An important book on American Indians highlights some important truths about identity politics and segregation in our own society, eg: ‘Americans Indians on reservations live like many Black Americans live in urban areas. It can easily be a soul-destroying life where everything for survival is free because the powers that be have written them off as people without productive potential and figure that the sensible route is to give them stuff and get their votes. Everybody admires those who escape any Indian government plantation. The worst thing about the Indians' plantation: No work at all to be done. No food needs to be produced, no buffalo left to kill, no enemy tribes to fight. Nothing. Escape is the only way to salvage a life. Government treats blacks and Indians as if they were helpless children. Give them stuff and they will shut up. Maybe they - not the government - will figure that out someday but I do not see it happening anytime soon. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594038538/manhattaninstitu/

 

11/08/2017: Disquieting - Percentage of Europeans Who Are Willing To Fight A War For Their Country: PS: At least we have gals willing to fight for us: http://brilliantmaps.com/europe-fight-war/

 

 

11/08/2017: Whose country has the highest IQ? No wonder some of these ‘nations’ are ‘basket cases’ PS: We need to lift our game. We have slid down several points: https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

10/08/2017: The Pocket Poncho Tent: I have completed my poncho tent in 1 oz/yd2 silnylon. It weighs a mere 185 grams - as you can see, and fits in my pocket - as the name suggests and the pictures show! This may be the smallest tent in the world unless I make it out of .32oz/yd2 cuben fibre, in which case it will weigh about 75 grams and probably fit in my fob pocket! It requires 9 pegs (54 grams) and two guys to set it up in front of a warm fire. I will be making the zip-in front door soon which will allow it to be shut down for storm mode (approx 50 grams), and I will be making my Bathtub Groundsheet Lounger Chair for it which will weigh under 100 grams http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/. This complete shelter/groundsheet/chair will then weigh approx 380 grams (but will also double as your raincoat) making it probably the lightest tent in existence. I still have a bit of work to do around the hood, hood reinforcing and some pockets to hold the pegs, a mylar poncho and maybe a couple of space blankets.

This will clearly keep me dry in the heaviest of rain:

ultralight poncho tarp tent

The mylar poncho will weigh about 25 grams but you will want one so that you can go to the toilet or put some wood on the fire when it is raining. The prototype is here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/more-fun-with-sticky-tape-ultralight-mylar-vest/

I will be having the tent and chair made in Asia somewhere in the not too distant future. I will also try to manufacture the Mini Decagon Tent: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/honey-i-shrank-the-tent/ and the Dyneema Moccasins: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/19-gram-dyneema-camp-shoes/ for a start; maybe more later. For example, The Deer Hunter's Tent http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-deer-hunters-tent/ which this poncho was to be a floor for (as well as for the Mini Decagon). This is going to be a complicated (and expensive) exercise for me as I have never done anything like this before, but I am sure lots of folk are going to want to own these interesting pieces of gear, so I will give it  a try.

Fits in a pocket as I said:

ultralight pocket poncho tarp tent

Or the front one:

ultralight pocket poncho tarp tent

185 grams as you can see:

ultralight pocket poncho tarp tent

Fits in the palm of your hand - hard to believe it is a tent, isn't it?

ultralight pocket poncho tarp tent

But here it is, much to Spot's delight! Plenty of room for someone 6'6" plus, and a dog!

ultralight pocket poncho tarp tent

And with room to sit up in front of a toasty winter fire. And lots of room for gear.

ultralight pocket poncho tarp tent

The prototype was here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-poncho-tent/ & here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poncho-tent-update/ and this was the original which we made for my first visit to Fiordland (moose hunting) in 2000: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hole-less-ponchoshelter/

10/08/2017: It is a strange sentence, ‘Everyone has the right to…’ fill in the blanks as you wish, eg free medical care, free old age pensions, free dental care, free housing, free child care, free transport, free food…all of this without any work needing to be done, without any contribution from ‘the good self’! It is such a wonderful idea. So Utopian. Listen up, rights are a nonsense: at best a pathetic attempt at highway robbery. The only rights you are ever likely to get are those you pay for with your own blood, sweat and tears. It has always been thus, and should always be thus. Those who expect others to provide should be left holding their beggar’s bowl on the street corner till they drop! A belief in ‘free stuff’ is utterly infantile: ultimately someone must pay, not necessarily those who should pay (eg those who receive). Similarly, no society can afford any infinity of free things. Any such redistributive principle bangs up against the iron law of necessity, ie there is only ever a finite amount of stuff, so you just can’t eg spend infinite sums on any individual’s maybe really horrid health problem before the kitty is wholly empty and all must suffer.

10/08/2017: What about the right to be a husband and wife? They could have their own form of marriage. That is not enough apparently. What they want is that we change ours. ‘The homosexual argument is a vote to make the Marriage Act gender-neutral! They want we straight people to consent to being neither male nor female when it comes to marriage’. (Pickering) I doubt many people would vote for such a proposal in a referendum or a plebiscite – which is why the Left opposes one! And that is leaving out the many horrifying things to come in that vast can of worms. The rights to polyandry, incest, pedophilia, bestiality…for example. Wait for them: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2017/08/gays-seeking-attention-cost/ Some AMA doctors also see problems with gay family life: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/ama-caught-out-most-studies-warn-of-risks-of-samesex-families/news-story/a7aafee2489ca7b113e133a04842e78b Of course I intend to vote, ‘No’ but I would also like to see the form of the proposed law before I vote, so I understand all the implications of this decision. Also I would also like to see an official ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ case accompanying the postal vote as with normal referenda so people have all the facts before they decide. It seems to me that the ‘No’ case is being hidden from the public – in some cases by sanctioning legislation! Tony Abbott, 'There is nothing wrong with saying that ideally, kids should have a mother and a father. Now sometimes they won't for all sorts of reasons. But what sort of a pass have we come to if what is self-evident commonsense can no longer be stated anymore? This is why so many people are anxious about what they think is the war on our way of life that politically correct activists have been prosecuting for years now.' It is simply disgraceful that these gay tyrants want to trample on the right of the people to decide, and deny us the right to speak our mind about so many issues – whether we feel homosexuality itself is abhorrent for example, or whether children should be subjected to it. I have never opposed people being able to argue for such things, (though I draw the line on people being able to advocate for sex with infants) but I am already subjected to censorship and sanctions if I wish to argue against them. Frankly I am sick to death of important decisions about our nation being decided by Parliaments rather than the people. I would like to see it be much more difficult to prevent genuine binding referenda being held.

10/08/2017: This will not end well: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/07/21/almost-no-educated-migrants-want-attend-school-sweden/ & http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/one-on-two-german-turks-dont-work/news-story/a7e664eee8986e9e90884cb8e4aacafe

09/08/2017: Dual Action Survival Fish Hooks: Fishing in a hiking or survival situation is more about getting something to eat than fishing ethics or legality so you may want to make quite sure you do secure that piscine repast. These dual action fish hooks lock onto the fish with a pincer action once it has taken the bait.

 

dual action fish hooks

https://www.amazon.com/Survival-Janders-Inc-Utilizing-mechanism/dp/B01GT3Z3GM

http://www.shomer-tec.com/product/survival-fish-hooks-1660.cfm

The Speedhooks can catch a fish for you even when you are resting or asleep - so you can wake up to regale yourself with a wondrous fish breakfast, or an excellent fish soup.

See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bcb-fishing-kit/

speedhooks

Both would be good to use with this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-fisherman/

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-ultralight-fish-chowder/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hand-line-fly-fishing

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-crayfish-bisque/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-coconut-fish-curry/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hand-line-fly-fishing/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-ball-of-string-and-a-feed-of-cray/

 09/08/2017: The awesome power of ‘Big Brother’. I will probably rid myself of dependence on these folk after this dreadful action against Jordan Peterson: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/08/down-with-internet-gatekeepers/

09/08/2017: Some folks worry about these stats, but I would like the choice personally of when it’s time to go, I can go. I do not want to wait until I am in awful pain and only have weeks to live. Pretty soon after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's would suit me, or after being left alone and unhappy with pretty much nothing I want to do. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/08/03/euthanasia-responsible-for-4-5-per-cent-of-deaths-in-the-netherlands/

 

DGlYfxJVwAAS-YP.jpg-large

 

08/08/2017: Humping Your Bluey: This post comes from Richard Graves, Australian Bushcraft: ‘The swag is the proverbial means of carrying a load and it is one of the best methods in existence. It has the advantage of being extremely well balanced, two-thirds of the weight being carried behind the body and about one-third in front. The result of this balance is that the carrier walks completely upright: Clothes, tent, bedding and the gear not wanted for the day's walk are carried in the swag at the back, while the food and cooking utensils and the day's needs are in the 'dilly' bag in front. Because of this the swag is not opened during the day but the dilly bag attached to the front is immediately accessible.

 

 

The only materials necessary to make a swag are a strap, two binding straps and the dilly bag. The swag strap, preferably of soft leather or light webbing, should be about 1 metre long and about 5 cm or more wide. The two binding strips The rolled swag, containing bedding and other gear, is carried on the back while the dilly bag, containing the day's needs, is carried on the front.

 

The swag is Australia's oldest method of carrying things on foot as far as bush workers were concerned. Although it now has been displaced by many imported and fancy packs it remains one ofthe most practical means of 'backpacking' bedding and food over long tramps on relatively flat country. The construction and packing method is shown. The strap can be of any material such as plaited cord or rope. Traditionally the dilly bag was an old sugar or flour sack, but a nylon weatherproof bag that allows some breathing (because it is also used to contain the day's rations) can be of any convenient shape and size.

Half the knack of carrying a swag consists in knowing how to swing it. Lay the roll, with the dilly bag extended, in front of you. Put the arm farthest away from the dilly bag through the swag strap. Heave the roll towards your back and swing the body towards the swag, so that the dilly bag flies up and out. Duck the opposite shoulder and catch the dilly bag on it. The strap will then lie over one shoulder and the dilly bag over the other with the swag roll carried at an angle across the back.

 

An alternative method of carrying the swag is to use two straps, one about 1 metre long and the other about 2 metres. Both straps should be about 3 cm wide and made of strong material, although it should be soft. The roll is made for the swag and the long strap tied securely about 15 cm from one end of the roll. Fifteen cm from the other end of the roll the other strap is fastened, with the dilly bag held in position by this binding. The swag is lifted to the left shoulder with the dilly bag in front and the roll at the back, the neck of the dilly bag hanging over the left shoulder. The long strap is passed on top of the right shoulder and then under the armpit and around the back. Then it is tied to a loop at the bottom corner of the dilly bag. This type of swag prevents the dilly bag from swaying.

To pack and roll the swag itself, lay your groundsheet or swag cover (traditionally a blanket) on the ground and then fold your other blankets to a width of about 80 cm. Lay spare clothes lengthways on top with your other gear. Fold in the sides of the groundsheet and roll the whole from the blanket end to the free side so that it is tight. If a tent is being carried, this 'inner swag' is then rolled in it. The two binding cords are passed through the swag strap to stop slipping. The dilly bag is then attached to one of the binding straps at its junction with the swag strap.’

Recommended reading: Diary of a Welsh Swagman, Joseph Jenkins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Jenkins

A couple of poems about swagmen will not go awry:

The Swagman

C.J. Dennis

Oh, he was old and he was spare;
His bushy whiskers and his hair
Were all fussed up and very grey
He said he'd come a long, long way
And had a long, long way to go.
Each boot was broken at the toe,
And he'd a swag upon his back.
His billy-can, as black as black,
Was just the thing for making tea
At picnics, so it seemed to me.'Twas hard to earn a bite of bread,
He told me.  Then he shook his head,
And all the little corks that hung
Around his hat-brim danced and swung
And bobbed about his face; and when
I laughed he made them dance again.
He said they were for keeping flies -
"The pesky varmints" - from his eyes.
He called me "Codger". . . "Now you see
The best days of your life," said he.
"But days will come to bend your back,
And, when they come, keep off the track.
Keep off, young codger, if you can.
He seemed a funny sort of man.He told me that he wanted work,
But jobs were scarce this side of Bourke,
And he supposed he'd have to go
Another fifty mile or so.
"Nigh all my life the track I've walked,"
He said.  I liked the way he talked.
And oh, the places he had seen!
I don't know where he had not been -
On every road, in every town,
All through the country, up and down.
"Young codger, shun the track," he said.
And put his hand upon my head.
I noticed, then, that his old eyes
Were very blue and very wise.
"Ay, once I was a little lad,"
He said, and seemed to grow quite sad.

I sometimes think: When I'm a man,
I'll get a good black billy-can
And hang some corks around my hat,
And lead a jolly life like that.

 Waltzing Matilda

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
He sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me
He sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled,
you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me
he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Up rode the troopers, one, two, three,
With the jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me.



Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me
With the jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, you scoundrel with me.



Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
You'll never catch me alive, said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me.



Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me
his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me.
Oh, you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me.

13/11/2016: 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’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO1DPWLumvw), 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: http://aso.gov.au/titles/music/waltzing-matilda/clip1/ 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 ‘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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Australia) and never recovered. No-one at all lives there today! I suspect a leftist future is no different from a leftist past!

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.

08/08/2017: The entitlement culture triumphs over education. The average mark today is an ‘A’: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/half-class-2016-are-students-even-though-their-sat-scores-stink

 

08/08/2017: TWO great quotes today: Arthur C. Clarke, ‘I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.’ & John Kenneth Galbraith, ‘The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.’

 

08/08/2017: Best Possible Thing for Low-Skilled Workers: Having Others Get Rich off Their Labor: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2015/07/best-possible-thing-for-low-skilled-workers-having-others-get-rich-off-their-labor.html

07/08/2017: Ultralight Shoes: I have been trying out a pair of Topo brand trail shoes. The ones I wanted were the Terraventure but the shop did not have them in my size so I bought a pair of Athletic Mountain MT2s for A$130. The Terraventures would have been 290 grams. These guys are 230 grams which sounds like an insane weight for something you are going to venture into the backcountry in, I know.

I have been going around the lambs in them of a morning. We have a really steep hill behind the house (over 30 degrees - too steep for any vehicle or tractor). At  this time of the year the frost, wet grass and clay soils are very slippery, so I often slide or fall over. I have to say that these shoes are hanging on to the surface better than anything else I have ever worn. Some days I do ten kilometres on this hillside!

They are also very comfortable. I have been wearing them all week on our evening walks. They handle rough gravel tracks fine. I think they exercise the foot a bit more than heavier shoes. You feel as if your foot is flexing and gripping in them more. They are also a lot easier to walk in though, being so light. It feels like being barefoot, only with more grip actually. This may contribute to my feeling of confidence in my grip and balance when wearing them.

Apparently the main difference between them and the Terraventures is that the sole has about 2mm more tread and a little more cushion in the insole. That is about it. They also have a waterproof model theTtopo Hydroventure which is much the same as the ones I have except for the waterproof layer. They weigh around 275 grams. I generally don't favour waterproof shoes. You are going to get your feet wet anyway. The waterproof layer is just going to make them dry out more slowly.

I really like the laces. They are oval in shape and seem to hold a knot better than just about any laces I have ever used. You may remember I discovered some other laces when I was looking for a vendor in Australia for these shoes: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/shoelace-reinvented/

I also really like the no-sew construction and the wide foot box. I have a very wide foot - the result of never wearing shoes until I left school pretty much. I used to take an 8E through G when I could get them, so I am pretty hard to fit shoes  to. They are also very kind and soft on the toes. I notice this particularly with all the hillsiding and downhilling I am doing with the lambs.

As it turns out I was able to try them on and buy them from my favourite Melbourne 'ultralight' shop: https://backpackinglight.com.au/ As usual the owner, Tim Campbell gave me a very good deal on them.

I may yet buy a pair of the Terraventures. I have discovered that Will Rietveld thinks very highly of them for both on and off trail use, and he seems to be a pretty genuine guy. He has a useful review here: http://ultralightinsights.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/gear-review-topo-terraventure-trail-shoe.html  He has a very interesting website there actually, so you will probably be staying quite some time.

He recently wore a pair on the trail for 48 days (which I doubt was a lot less than a couple of thousand kilometres!) I have 'borrowed his photo of what they looked like at the end of that trip. Thanks Will. He says: 'the uppers look like new and the outsoles are only lightly worn. The only evidence of use is some scuffing on the edges of the outsole.'

Most other much heavier shoes would probably be starting to come apart after such punishment. Why not try a pair next time your need a new pair of shoes. I will keep you posted on how well these 230 gram shoes last me. I am petty happy with them so far.

PS: They do come in different colours than in the photos.

07/08/2017: Australia needs its own Donald Trump: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/08/trump-shows-obama-how-its-done-1-million-jobs-added-even-cnn-reports-unemployment-under-trump-at-16-.html

 

07/08/2017: This BOM scandal won’t go away. If the temperature record is not accurate, open and above board any climate science becomes impossible: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/bom-had-smart-cards-to-filter-out-coldest-temperatures-full-audit-needed-asap/

 

07/08/2017: The EPA is evil. I know you won’t believe this, but this has happened to us and friends of ours, and is maybe coming for you too. Once I was dragged down to the local police station by the gendarmes to be ‘interviewed’ by these busybodying bastards (for plowing!). Read the article: https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/the-potus-and-the-wotus/

 

07/08/2017: You just hope that socialist fellow traveller’s here are getting the lessons from Venezuela’s ‘experiment’: ‘One week, the administration declared that eggs would now be sold for no more than 30 cents a carton. The next week, eggs had disappeared from supermarkets, and still have not come back…In the early days, the shortages seemed almost whimsical. My Venezuelan friends were used to going on Miami shopping sprees. When I made trips home, they asked me to bring back perfume, leather jackets, iPhones and condoms. I usually took two near-empty suitcases to carry back the requests, plus food and toiletries for myself. As the crisis deepened, the requests became harder to fill, and traced the outlines of darker personal dramas: Medication for heart failure. Paediatric epilepsy drugs. Pills to trigger an abortion. Gas masks. And things were still somehow getting worse. The first time I saw people line up outside the bakery near my apartment, I stopped to take photos. How crazy: A literal bread line. Then true hunger crept into where I lived. People started digging through the trash at all hours, pulling out vegetable peelings and soggy pizza crusts and eating them on the spot. That seemed like rock bottom. Until my local bakery started organising lines each morning, not to buy bread, but to eat trash.’ https://apnews.com/b951badb1ac24ce0b3d0e8d7b8acf903

 

06/08/2017: A Conversation we don’t much see nowadays, but we should: Hector and Achilles: Two Paths to Manliness: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/11/14/hector-achilles-two-paths-manliness/

 

06/08/2017: Just some of the bad points about this century’s cars: http://www.theospark.net/2017/08/being-taken-for-ridefrom-rico.html Since push rods disappeared and electronics took over cars they have become well-nigh unfixable – certainly for the home handyman!

 

06/08/2017: ‘A culture, like a person, is born, lives and then it dies. Like a person, its youth is a chaotic becoming, while its maturing is what it became. Its death is romanticizing what it was and then, it is gone. That’s the American Left now. It is a thing for old people and young romantics, but the death certificate has been filled out with everything but the date. The radical culture that was born in the 60’s and flourished for two generations is about to expire.’ Sincerely hope so! http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=11045

05/08/2017: A Fair Chase: I see it is two years since I first posted this. As a result of my experiences of the last two weeks (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-silence-of-the-deer/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/avon-river-walking-track/), I feel that it needs a revisit:

IMG_1199 comp

Moose Country, Fiordland NZ: Looking down over the Jane Burn into the Lower Seaforth Valley, the Dusky Sound in the distance. Only about ten moose have ever been taken from this area, probably none in your lifetime, but I have seen one there - perhaps the only living hunter to have done so!. It is at least three days’ hard walk and a two hour boat trip to the nearest road. This is hunting! (See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-in-fiordland/)

Seems to me too many hunters long since crossed the boundary between hunting and vermin eradication/culling. In many cases the latter is what is called for (eg with foxes at lambing time) but with game animals we move to such behaviour with the risk that they will thereby lose their status as game animals, resulting in the Government legislating for their extermination. Then poisoning might prove to be more efficient than shooting. Think on that!

More importantly still, from an ethical perspective, we lose all respect for them as an animal worthy of our endeavours. The hunter’s prey should have these rights: to be able effectively to employ its senses, intelligence and ability to flee from danger. If we degrade them to the extent that they no longer have these rights then we are not hunting them; we are culling. Sometimes culling may have to be done – but there is no honour in it. It is an (unpleasant) job! Unfortunately much of what many hunters do is simply that.

Long-range shooting with a telescopic sight deprives the animal of any opportunity to see, hear, smell or flee the hunter. It is culling. It is no different from spotlighting, which has the same effect as well as paralysing the prey. Similarly employing trail cameras (a wildlife biologist’s research tool surely?) to locate, monitor and predict an animal, then to await it camouflaged or perched in a tree above it is not hunting. No deer has camouflaged natural predators which it could expect to strike it from a distance from high above. A deer is not camouflaged, yet it is a master of blending into its surrounding and using cover and topography, and moving silently. So should the hunter try to be.

The possession and display of a vast array of clearly ‘unfair’ gadgets and pieces of equipment which inform the passer-by only that you intend to control and dominate your prey, only advises those who don’t like hunting already that they should act to prevent your hunting. It would be far better for the sport if all hunters wore a tweed jacket and tie (as they used to do in the past), as this would at least indicate you were not rednecks and yobbos! At least ditch the awful camo. It sends the wrong message. A wool check shirt is far better, and more comfortable.

There are any number of technological means I can imagine of killing animals, but neither would they be hunting. Employing drones, for example. Traps and deadfalls. Poisoned baits and waterholes. Helicopter shooting. Shooting from vehicles or horseback. Why not go ‘whole hog’ as ‘hunters’ and employ helicopter gunships, machine guns, bombs and napalm? People need to wake up to themselves and what they are doing. To be able to hunt is a privilege too easily lost for us to tolerate the macho antics of such a ‘hunting brigade’ with all their showy appurtenances.

Having been evicted from a number of hunting groups for expressing the opinion that hunters need to behave more ethically here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-deer-stalking-103/, I may put this idea on Kickstarter: I call it the Trophy Acquisition System. It is designed for the time poor but well-heeled, overweight sportsman. The idea is that a trail cam will be connected to a small PC which has a Target Identification System. You will be able to programme it: eg Sambar Stag. When the target comes in view the camera will begin filming, then a .30 calibre rifle will cleanly shoot it through the heart. More photos of the trophy will follow of it in its chosen death pose. Then the system will communicate with the remote hunter, sending him SMS messages, co-ordinates, snapshots, etc.

The system can even be programmed to Photoshop the hunter into the scene, eg with the dead deer. If the absent hunter does not wish to retrieve the trophy, he can purchase the optional Carcass Disposal System which will tow it away into the bushes somewhere, at which point the Trophy Acquisition System will re-set itself to await the next trophy.

For the price of a stamped return-addressed envelope I will be offering a ‘hack’ for the system which allows the target ‘trophy’ to be re-set to an image of the person who purchased and deployed the system.

See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-deer-stalking-103/

and http://www.theultralighthiker.com/thrilling-tales-sir-samuel-baker/

05/08/2017: ‘However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results’. Sir Winston Churchill

05/08/2017: Blue lives matter: https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/when-arrests-go-bad/

 

05/08/2017: This fraud just keeps getting worse. The public should not have to finance or put up with stuff like this: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/bom-had-smart-cards-to-filter-out-coldest-temperatures-full-audit-needed-asap/

04/08/2017: Wonnangatta-Moroka Trip Cut Short: Orinally posted 2/08/2011: 'Back early from three days' hunting/hiking in Wonnangatta-Moroka NP due to sore toes (Have to do more research into boots) and accidentally taking the three-quarter length Neoair mat which was a bit harsh on my bad back. However saw lots of deer, some of whom visited me during the night.' (This is all I wrote back then)

Sore feet can spoil a trip ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/foot-care/). I had clearly not trimmed my toenails well beforehand, but unless you can get the correct size boot (for me a half size = 8 1/2) and especially if you are doing a lot of hill-siding or down-hilling this is likely to happen. Preparation is all.

I am now better able to use a 3/4 length mat, having had a back operation in 2013 though I usually use the Neoair Women's (340 grams - http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/) which did not exist then. They had also not then trimmed the extra 30 grams from their 3/4 length model back then so it weighed 260 grams instead of the current 230. You can put something under your feet to lift them a little. I would now use my Airbeam Pad (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/air-beam-pad/), or a Graham Medical pillow (watch for future post) with my http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/.

My camera choice has improved since then. I had only a 4 megapixel camera with 3X zoom back then - and was still not in the habit of taking many photos - having grown up with film cameras which were so expensive, and made one positively stingy. I have found some snaps I took however, and have added them to this update. My current camera has 20x zoom ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-camera/) and there are even better (though not lighter) ones available. Sony now have a pocket camera which weighs 245 grams and has a 30X zoom https://www.dpreview.com/products/sony/compacts/sony_dschx80. Another great choice is the Canon SX730 with 40x zoom though it weighs 300 grams: https://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/compacts/canon_sx730hs Coupled with eg this http://www.theultralighthiker.com/4-gram-string-reverse-tripod/,

These were about as good a photo as you could get with my old camera. I told you I saw 'lots of deer'!

Top: A doe and fawn crossing the river at dusk. Below a very nice stag thrashing just to the right of the centre. He is just to the left of the 'vee' of the twig from the tree on the right.

They do not compare well to the photo of the doe I took last Saturday ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/avon-river-walking-track/):

Or this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ethical-hunter/

Back then I see I was still using my ancient 7'x7' (210x210cm) 2oz/yd2 home-made polyester-nylon tarp as a shelter. I have made some improvements since then, but it did keep me warm and dry, and was the inspiration for many better models. I used to have to drop this one down when I wanted to go to sleep, and sleep diagonally - but it did use to work. In the new 1 oz/yd2 Membrane Silpoly  it would have weighed about 160 grams including tie-outs. An 8' x 8' (240x240cm) tarp would work a bit better. It would weigh about 210 grams. I am thinking of making a larger version of my poncho tarp ( http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poncho-tent-update/) in these dimensions. To be announced. It would then also be great as a hammock tarp.

Here is my old 7x7 tarp.

And here is my 8'x8' cuben tarp (weight <150 grams):

Mind you there were some good stags about:

You will note that you can walk up and shoot a quite satisfactory stag wearing a blue tee shirt!

Of course in future I will be using this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poncho-tent-update/ In silnylon it will be a tent which fits in a breast pocket and which weighs under 180 grams! I will be calling it The Pocket Poncho Tent. I may be selling them. I am investigating manufacturing in Asia. As they say, 'Watch this space!'

I have long since worn out my original 53 litre cuben fibre zpacks Zero/Blast pack you can see in the photo. I replaced it with a 4.8 oz/yd2 Dyneema model. The latter is still under 400 grams instead of 230 grams, but is much much more durable. I hope I do wear it out actually! I am still using the same Big Agnes Cyclone Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cyclone-chair/ - since 2006!) My blue $1 5 and 10 store cup has been going for over 20 years now. I am yet to find a lighter one

I only wish I was still as young now as I was in 2011 - but I am still going, which is the main thing!

04/08/2017: Isn’t it a disgrace that the Senate can block the people being ‘allowed’ to vote in a referendum? Surely the executive (ie the PM) should be able to call a referendum without recourse to the Parliament at all? After all, a democracy is supposed to be ‘government by the people’. Indeed, it seems to me that if enough citizens petition for a referendum on an issue, then one must be held. But we live instead in a fake democracy where all sorts of objectionable stuff can be foisted on us against our will. I think of decimal currency, the metric system, ‘renewables’, gay ‘marriage’, Islamic immigration, abolition of the death penalty, the current ‘apartheid’ system, affirmative action, and so on. How many of these would have been passed by a referendum? We should have more of them, rather than fewer. I would prefer the cost of referenda to the cost of the pollies anyday!

 

0408/2017: A synangogue banned: Soon Jews will be leaving Australia as they are France, Sweden, etc. Surely it is Moslems who should be leaving? http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/bondi-synagogue-ban-over-terrorism-risk-leaves-jewish-community-shocked-and-furious/news-story/6ec6252d613583df7797c7cac2b25de4

 

0408/2017: Put bluntly, failure attracts more money than success. Politically, failure becomes a reason to demand more money’, (Thomas Sowell, http://www.tsowell.com/speducat.html) Hence the ‘need’ for Gonskis, the NDIS, more money for ‘renewables’, Depts of ‘indigenous’ affairs, the ‘welfare’ system & so on ad nauseum… Meanwhile (eg) in the USA teen black unemployment hits 46%! Doubt that it is so low here!

03/08/2017: Fizan Compact Trekking Poles: These are not the lightest trekking poles, but they are amongst the shortest when folded which can be important when you want to fit them inside luggage or inside your pack. At US$59.99 (July 2017) they are one of the cheapest.Add shipping to Australia quoted at US$4.60!

Founded in 1947 by Domenico Fincati, Fizan pioneered the use of aluminum in ski poles when the rest of world was still using steel or bamboo. Since then, the company has become a leader in the market, widely known in Europe for its alpine and Nordic walking poles, and among the ultralight community for its Compact series of trekking poles. Seventy years after its inception, Fizan remains family owned and operated, and all poles are still made in its factory in Veneto, Italy, using environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.

Features

  • 7001 aluminum construction
  • Proprietary Flexy internal locking system
  • Ergonomic EVA foam grip with rounded plastic top
  • 1.35” (3.4 cm) wide nylon straps
  • Replaceable carbide tips
  • Metal-reinforced rubber tip covers
  • 3 sets of removable baskets: 35, 50, and 95 mm
  • Made in Italy

Specs

Massdrop x Fizan Compact 3

  • Sections: 3
  • Adjustable length: 22.8–52 in (58–132 cm)
  • Pole section diameters: 17, 16, and 14 mm
  • Weight per pole: 5.6 oz (158 g)

Massdrop x Fizan Compact 4

  • Sections: 4
  • Adjustable length: 19.3–49.2 in (49–125 cm)
  • Pole section diameters: 17, 16, 14, and 12 mm
  • Weight per pole: 6 oz (169 g)

Straps, Tips & Baskets

  • Weight per strap: 0.4 oz (10 g)
  • Weight per hiking tip: 0.4 oz (12 g)
  • Weight per 35mm basket: 0.07 oz (2 g)
  • Weight per 50mm basket: 0.1 oz (4 g)
  • Weight per 95mm basket: 0.5 oz (14 g)

Included

  • Pair of poles
  • Pair of straps
  • Pair of hiking tip covers
  • 3 sets of hiking baskets

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-fizan-compact?mode=guest_open

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-poles-2/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-poles/

03/08/2017: We have a right to be thugs. We will not obey the law: ACTU secretary Sally McManus ‘You can sack us. You can outlaw us. You can vilify us every single day with your friends in the media. You can set up royal commissions. You can tap our phones, you can raid our offices. You can vilify and punish our leaders. You can bring in laws to police us. You can support laws that make our work hard. You can fine us, and jail us. But you will never defeat us.’ Of course, this also goes as far as calling general strikes in wartime, such as the ‘1917 General Strike’ they are celebrating today, just a few days afrter the centenary of Paschendale where so many Australians lost their lives or were forever maimed! I just wonder what those troops were fighting for? These thugs it seems! When will this commie class-war gibberish ever end? http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/the-great-fail-of-1917/news-story/48d3c35935ec34c5013e71d5655adea5

 

03/08/2017: So, Prince Phil is to retire today at 96. This has to be about twice the average working life. Presumably he did not belong to a trade union (see above). We have a customer at the Yinnar General Store, John Brown who is also an active WW2 veteran who is so full of amazing stories. Such folks are wonderful treasures. What a generation they were. They humble me completely. I was fortunate enough to have been raised by such people, and to have at least begun my education when WW1 men were still senior teachers. How times have changed!

 

03/08/2017: Surely time for same-pronunciation marriage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/07/31/the-homophone-menace/

 

02/08/2017: Jennifer and I caught the BOM out faking station data years ago, and they are still at it. You could falsify data to prove anything, but I’m not paying for it. Sack the bastards: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/scandal-australian-bureau-of-meteorology-caught-erasing-cold-temperatures/

 

02/08/2017: It may not actually be the stupidest (though it surely goes close), but certainly underlines the reality that savings can be made. Other people’s money: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/28/the-stupidest-thing-the-federal-government-does/

 

02/08/2017: The real cost of going solar: these are US calculations, but first you would have to cover an area of @ 250,000 square miles with solar panels (this is 2 ½ Victorias!) Just one day’s pumped storage dams would cover an additional 3,500 square miles. You can just imagine gaining environmentalists’ support to pave over an area such as that! (But wait, it is they who are advocating it! Problem there, folks?) Cost would be about $65 trillion for the panels, and at least another $5 trillion for one day’s storage (without any provision for two consecutive cloudy days – how likely is that?) Contrast: total value of shares on the US stock exchange @ $20 trillion, the Manhattan Project cost $26 billion in 2014 dollars, Apollo $130 billion and the entire US highway network $500 billion. (NB A trillion is 1,000 billion!) So, is ‘going solar’ anywhere near a feasible or sensible option? You would have to be utterly, blindingly, barking mad to think so! What? You still call that thought? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/31/capture-the-sun-power-america-with-solar-is-there-a-business-case/#more-113764

 

01/08/2017: Massdrop Shipping

Some time ago the shipping calculator disappeared from the main page of this wonderful site, so I have not been game to make a purchase because I did not know how much I would be charged for shipping. Eventually I contacted them and received this useful reply: 'At this time the site is only able to show the Shipping cost through the Payment/Shipping information page on a drop. Having said this, you do not have to agree to buy in order to see the shipping cost. Once you hit the green "Join Drop" button on a drop, you will be directed to the Payment/Shipping information page. From here, need only input your shipping information and the site will automatically update to show the shipping cost before you confirm payment or even input payment information.' I have checked and this works, as you will see from my post about the excellent Fizan Trekking Poles this morning: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fizan-compact-trekking-poles/ These poles will fit entirely inside your pack available there for river crossings, use as tent poles or for heavy carry-outs etc.

I have recommended purchases from these folks again and again. I suggest you bookmark them too. It will be a little more advantageous if you happen to live in the US, but there is often a bargain to be had if you live elsewhere in the world. In any case they will keep you up to date with what's new and available.

Some of my other Massdrop recommendations:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/massdrop/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fizan-compact-trekking-poles/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-packraft/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/500-gram-tents/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-umbrella-redesigned/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-vorso-mark-ii-spinning-top/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-ultralight-survival-shelter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-insulated-static-v-lite-sleeping-pad/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/miniature-weapons-the-toothpick-crossbow/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/black-diamond-storm-waterproof-headlamp/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vargo-titanium-knives/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/super-aaa-torch-145-lumens/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/miniature-pens/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-inertia-o-zone-ultralight/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-rolls-royce-of-back-country-trowels/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-ultralight-pillow/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/smallest-rechargeable-flashlight/

 01/08/2017: Over 500 sulphuric acid attacks in London last year, up 400% in five years. Some folks have disturbing ideas about ways to have fun. The things we have to look forward to – and you don’t think we have too much immigration:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/14/teenager-arrested-five-acid-attacks-london-90-minute-period/

01/08/2017: What is Labor's vision? Exactly: ‘To have the many bludge off the few? In which case we'll all be equally poor: Labor’s assault on higher income taxpayers would raise $10.8 billion over the next four years and $76bn over the next decade, but the policies have sparked an ­attack from business leaders over Bill Shorten’s focus on income ­redistribution at the expense of growth.The 3 per cent of taxpayers paying the top marginal tax rate already provide 30 per cent of tax revenue, a share Labor’s policies and bracket creep would push ­towards 35 per cent.’ Andrew Bolt

 

01/08/2017: Good God in his Great Green Heaven: these folks are evil bastards: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/07/forget-geoengineering-planet-lets-drug-and-modify-humans-instead-shrink-your-kids/

31/07/2017: A Hiking Food Compendium: Folks are always asking me, 'What do you eat on the trail?' I have posted about this again and again, but I just thought I would bring all my posts about this together as one compendium. When you get tired of eating all these you could just quit life or hiking I guess.

A couple of these are to enjoy at home, but most are dry ingredients which make the meal as light as possible )calories per gram is all!) and use supermarket bought rather than specialty hiking meals as they are both cheaper and tastier in my opinion.

Enjoy:

A Hiking Food Compendium:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/dellas-coconut-rice-hiking-food/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lunch-on-the-trail/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-nepali-dahl-soup/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-2/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tasty-hiking-meals/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/porridge/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-ultralight-fish-chowder/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/mckenzies-quick-cook-minestrone-soup/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-cup-a-soup/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-customs-gestapo/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/food-dehydration/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hormel-real-bacon-pieces/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wintulichs-beer-sticks-on-the-trail-animal-protein-is-a-must/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/he-hiked-with-a-falafel-in-his-hand/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/more-hiking-food-dorsogna-mild-twiggy-sticks/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-yoghurt/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-french-onion-soup-plus/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/super-simple-trail-meal/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-meals-continental-hearty-italian-minestrone/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-mckenzie-quick-cook-soups-180-grams-per-packet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-protein/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hardtack/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/first-bag-your-omelet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/out-of-the-frying-pan/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-crayfish-bisque/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-coconut-fish-curry/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-ultralight-fish-chowder/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-pasta-e-fagioli/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cauliflower-rice/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/backcountry-meat/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/calories-per-gram/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/mckenzies-country-chicken-soup-with-lemon-black-pepper-tuna/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-continental-spring-vegetable-simmer-soup/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/soylent/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-recipes/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/more-hiking-food-low-gi/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/carmens-great-hiking-food/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/miso-soup/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-peasant-bread/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-bulgar-wheat/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-soup/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-mulligatawny/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/steves-lamb-stew/

31/07/2017: Strange the things you forget! From July 31, 2013 Back from the dead: the massive heart attack which has kept me silent for a couple of days turned out to be a freaky infection on the outside of my heart now (hopefully) completely cured by antibiotics…still a very scary and bizarre experience especially coming as it did on the 50th anniversary of my own father’s death!

 

31/07/2017: Having No Brains: Most of us have been there: ‘How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor. I voted Republican in the last presidential election. Below are the top ten reasons I am no longer a leftist’: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/07/ten_reasons_i_am_no_longer_a_leftist.html

 

31/07/2017: ‘Behind every clean electric car there is cobalt, And behind cobalt is the Democratic Republic of Congo. And when the Congo is involved, so is terrible corruption and brutality,’ David Pilling: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/from-the-deepest-darkest-congo/news-story/cf571d3a7b94bd31d7e497b85e630478

30/07/2017: Avon River Walking Track: Good News: Della: 'My steady return to fitness: After 5 weeks of cardiac rehab and a couple of weeks of mainstream fitness training (on top of our usual daily walks), today I tackled my first real bushwalk in 5 months. We checked out part of the Avon River Walking Track in the balmy, albeit blustery weather. Not a long walk, only about a three hour round trip; a bit of a goat track with some gentle uphill climbs, so a mild test for the angina. Once my heart warmed up it was pretty plain sailing, I am pleased to report. The scenery was lovely and we will return to do the whole walk on another occasion. Lots more exercising in front of me before I get back to my previous fitness, but I am now convinced that it is achievable. Feeling heartened!'

The sun was just in the right place to cast lots of golden reflection off the river. I took dozens of snaps especially from high up, but you know how you are supposed to never take photos into the sun but you do anyway because sometimes they turn pout spectacularly? Well, pretty much all but this one were duds!

And this one of Della with the beautiful silver mirror of the river snaking behind her. In the distance you can see Mt Ben Cruachan.

And here am I taking the photograph above.

There are some interesting rock formations.

Beau