Beer in the Bush

Beer in the Bush

Roadtest: Pat's Backcountry Beverages How many times have you finished a tough day's hiking (or bushwalking!), pitched your tent, put the billy on and thought... 'Geez, I wish I had a cold beer.'?  If only I could brew a beer in the bush or that fairly normal looking Blue Gum suddenly became the Magic Faraway Tree and Enid Blytoned me a nice, cold Little Creatures or 4 Pines... or two. Well, … [Read more...]

Hiking The Colours of Australia

Lord Howe Island

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll now that I spend a lot of time hiking in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney and occasionally treat myself and jump further afield to discover other great spots around Australia that offer different types of bushwalking terrain and experiences. That's one of the amazing things about Australia is our diversity with every state and territory … [Read more...]

Larapinta Trail – Part 3

Larapinta Trail

The West MacDonnell Ranges National Park and the Larapinta Trail are one of those places that gets under your skin. It's big country, deep country and although seemingly rugged and parched, contains hidden waterholes like jewelled treasures dotted throughout. I was only there for 6 days on a highlights trip (the first and second on earlier blog posts), but if you're up to it, you can spend a whole … [Read more...]

Macpac Sololight Tent Gear Review

Macpac Sololight Tent

I can vividly remember the first meeting I had with the boss of Macpac as I signed on to become one of their brand ambassadors. As I casually dropped into the conversation that, 'not all of my gear is Macpac', he quickly responded with, "Why not?" https://youtu.be/PX4IbvcVWHY That conversation was over 18 months ago now, but I still remember explaining to him that although their Microlight … [Read more...]

How to make a hiking stove windshield

Hiking Stove Windshield

Having perfectly still wind conditions for cooking in the outdoors is a great way of saving fuel and getting your food quicker. The chances of that happening are pretty low, especially if camping in rock overhangs or on ridges. The simple solution is to put up some sort of barrier (or hiking stove windshield) to protect the flame from being blown around. As with most hacks out there, you can … [Read more...]

Hiking Food : Hot Banana Chocolate Surprise

Hiking food

I've been working on perfecting a simple sweet hiking food recipe for the past year or so and last weekend, I reckon I cracked it! If you are able to ignore all that interweb spammy crap about how you should never eat bananas and have managed to perfect a way of carrying them in your backpack without going all black and mushy, then you're in for a treat. INGREDIENTS 1 Banana per … [Read more...]

How to adjust a backpack for hills

The start of the overnighter trip to the main range. All smiles at the base of  with a 550m ascent ahead of us, maybe not so many ikea at the top.

Gravity is a bitch... just ask a rock climber. But in the same way that good climbers learn to compensate or lessen the effects of Newton's fabulous law, so too can hikers and backpackers learn to adjust a backpack to help with hills. It's really pretty simple. https://youtu.be/PacjgdoGPac By using your main shoulder straps and your load lifter top shoulder straps, you simply adjust … [Read more...]

Larapinta Trail – Part 2

Larapinta Trail

In part one of my Larapinta Trail journey, I caught my first glimpse of Mt Sonder, took in breathtaking views from Counts Point and submerged myself in the icy waters of Ormiston Gorge. Each of us were finding our own pace within the group and slowly, the dust and stresses of our city lives began falling off us as the red dirt and sand of the MacDonnell Ranges National Park sunk deeper into our … [Read more...]

How to treat drinking water

Sydney's main water supply, Lake Burragorang

Living here in Australia, a country that is ironically surrounded by water, with a bloody great desert in the middle and frequently parched by drought, I now take it for granted that I need to carry a good amount of drinking water on hikes (bushwalks) and need to know how to treat drinking water that I gather along the way. http://youtu.be/fvn9-jcHcvQ I got a surprise when I received a … [Read more...]

The three peaks – conclusion

GPS Data shows the profile of the trip. Source: Frances Bottrell.

The three peaks (the lazy way) continues... the final slog As we crept into our tightly sealed sleeping bags (just in case snakey realised he left something behind), inches from the babbling brook of Kanangra Creek, we all tried to sleep with the knowledge that our bloody leader was going to wake us up at 5am to get going. Oh, hang on... that was me. As my alarm went off after what felt like only … [Read more...]