What to Pack for a Day Hike

What to Pack for Day Hike. Royal National Park (Australia's First National Park) South of Sydney

There's nothing quite like that feeling you get from stepping off the pavement, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and venturing out into the wilderness. The fact is, we all lead busy lives so for many of us, going out for a short bushwalk or day hike is all that we can manage. In this post I'm giving you a sneak peek inside my backpack (yes, inside a girl's handbag!) to help you … [Read more...]

Hiking Poles and Nordic Walking – What’s the story?

Choose poles that are lightweight and fold away to allow for various terrain

It's been a few years since I've used hiking poles, but lately I've had a dodgy knee and have thought that they might be helpful once more. Actually, after a rather spectacular face plant whilst trail running a month ago, I've now got two of them. Dodgy knees that is. With the speed at which technology changes, I thought I'd do some research and find out what's the latest thinking around poles, … [Read more...]

Easy Hiking Food for Overnight Trips (That’s lightweight too!)

Enjoying the view from Mt Solitary whilst the billy boils.

I'm still staggered by the number of people who say that planning and organising food is the issue that stops them from doing overnight hikes. There's really no reason these days for using that excuse and my suspicion is that if you're still using it, then the real issue isn't to do with the food, but something else. (Ouch!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3nx4kebyvM I've already done … [Read more...]

Coming Soon – Brand New Hiking How-To Videos and New Look Blog!

Caro Ryan Lotsafreshair.com at Butterbox Grose Valley Blue Mountains

Yay! I'm so excited!! You know how they say that change is as good as a holiday? Well, I guess I'm about to feel as though I've had one big holiday, because there's a whole lot of 'change' coming very soon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCgO4McLv78 If you follow the @Lotsafreshair Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen me and the crew oot n' aboot (a loving nod to my Canadian friends) … [Read more...]

Leeches – That slimy, slippery, itchy, sinking feeling

Leeches? Just smile and get over it.

Can you feel it?┬áNah, you probably can't. If you're anything like me, sometimes the first thing you feel is the damp trousers against your calf as your blue blood oozes, unrestrained, into the fresh wilderness air. Last Monday, Australia Day (Invasion Day), I set out to walk a historic, somewhat invisible, track in the Blue Mountains. Although the day started grey, it wasn't long before the … [Read more...]

How Places get their Names

Brian, not to be out foxed! (Pic: Brian Graetz)

I love maps. As a young kid, I used to lie on the lounge room floor and plan imaginary trips across the vast continent of Australia. In the internal conversation (that only makes sense to an 8 year old), I was an intrepid explorer, explaining the route to a curious journalist about a far flung adventure to link up curious names on the map of my homeland. These days, the picture is still … [Read more...]

How to Convert a Tent to Fly-only

Easton Kilo 2P tent setup as Fly Only

I really wanted to call this post, 'How to Pimp Your Tent', but seeing as there's no fluffy dice, disco balls or shagpile carpet involved, I think How to Convert a Tent is slightly more appropriate. There are different kinds of lightweight hikers out there. I sit somewhere in the middle between hard-core Cuban Fibre or Tyvek purists and traditional 'smart' packing for … [Read more...]

Hiking Food : Dehydrating Hummus

Staples in my pantry

Of all the meals that I plan for the bush, the one that I always struggle to feel inspired by is lunch. For the times when I've been busy in the week and can't be bothered to plan too hard, I'll go for my 'standard' of a small foil packet of salmon or tuna, some rice crackers and cheese. After 10 years, this gets pretty boring, especially if you're on an extended walk of 4 days or … [Read more...]

How to Wash a Down Jacket

My first down jacket!

When I started this bloggy thing, I never expected it to be a place where I bared my soul. But I've made a few confessions here that most ladies wouldn't share amongst friends, let alone strangers. But you know how they say, 'confession is good for the soul'? Well, here goes another one: I bought my first down jacket about two years ago on a ski trip to gorgeous Queenstown in New … [Read more...]

Backcountry Bakery

Straight out of the bag!

This week we say g'day to Matt McClelland*, who has kindly contributed this tasty guest post!I love good food when walking.Actually, I love good food anytime and fresh bread is my favourite. Years ago I used to carry one of those stove top oven things - they weigh a ton and use a loooooot of fuel - now a plastic bag does the trick. It all started with muffins. When I said, 'I love good food', … [Read more...]