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...]

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...]

Canyon Safety and Code of Ethics

Empress Canyon

There's something about sliding into a canyon and feeling it's ancient green embrace that makes me feel like Frodo. As the walls climb higher around me and the water calls me forward to join it tumbling over boulders, sliding down ropes and committing my life to 9mm of confidence, I can't help but feel that I've entered natures cathedral, where secrets, whispers and sacred moment are … [Read more...]

Larapinta Trail – Part 1

Counts Point Boots

I talk a lot about wishlists. My mental list of adventures that one day, I hope to tick off. But it’s more than just ticking a box and being all task oriented about life. It’s about being able to bring these places into my own story and experience other people’s stories within it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCuW1zIUsY0 Ever since I did a 12 day hike in Kakadu National Park a few years … [Read more...]

Galong Creek – Megalong Valley

Galong Creek

I heard a whisper about a place called Galong Creek back in 2008 and since then, I’ve always wanted to go. Finally, I got there recently and it was worth the wait! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bct7nNpJ8wI If you’re a regular visitor to the gorgeous Megalong Valley, you’ll be familiar with some of the landmarks along the way. That great feeling you get as the road winds down the escarpment … [Read more...]

Kanangra Creek to Kanangra Creek (via 1000m up/down)

Mt Guouogang Three Peaks

The three peaks (the lazy way) continues... The 3 day, "three peaks (the lazy way)", adventure continues in this video, which shows the lengths (and heights!) I go to, to try and visit all three of the Blue Mountains 3 peaks, in the easiest route possible. http://youtu.be/yMW84_3MKt0 Day 2 had a fairly lazy start with Jim's excellent catch for breakfast and some downstream meanderings to … [Read more...]

Clothes for Hiking

Clothes for Hiking

I have this thing for outdoor retailers. I know I'm not alone. Like your annoying Facebook friend (we all have one) who’s mesmerised by the colours of Candy Crush and keeps sending you invites, I too am drawn to the bright colours of outdoors shops and when it comes to finding the right clothes for hiking, it's inevitable that we will all be drawn to these Meccas at one time or … [Read more...]

Trailmix Scroggin Cookies

Delicious, quick, easy and around 110 calories each

I've always got a handful or two of scroggin in my pack, along with muesli bars as snacks when I'm hiking. Then I came across this recipe from the lovely folk at Mediterranean Market in Queenstown, NZ for Scroggin Cookies (ie. Biscuits) and thought I'd give it a whirl. I decided to change the recipe a bit to reduce the amount of sugar and they turned out a treat! Delicious, easy, quick and … [Read more...]

The Three Peaks – The Lazy Way

Three Peaks Whalania Creek Campsite

The Three Peaks in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia has been spoken of in hushed and reverent terms by bushwalkers for many decades. There are many stories (tall and true) about the epic feats of physical fitness and mental toughness that is needed to undertake the challenge under the classic trip guidelines. In a nutshell, a hiker must make their way over 90kms with close to 5,000 metres of … [Read more...]