How to Pack Cheese for Hiking Lunches

How to Pack Cheese for a Hike

I reckon that one of the best things about spending time in the bush, is being able to enjoy good food out there, with amazing views and great friends. It's just like going to the best restaurant in town, only with a view and ambience that they'll never be able to compete with. When it comes to hiking lunches, I've tended to toe the food safety line and only carry processed cheese such as Laughing … [Read more...]

The Road Less Travelled – Off Trail Hiking

Hiking Bushwalking Australia

For people who've only ever walked on defined tracks and trails, the concept that there's a whole other world of exploring and adventuring out there, may come as a shock. It's the world of off trail hiking. I know it came as a shock to me when early in my bushwalking club days, I signed up for a day walk that in the description said, "includes 1km rough off-track section". I honestly didn't … [Read more...]

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...]

Shooting Landscape Photographs

Blue Mountains Photography

... and why I'll never be happy with these photos A couple of months ago, I decided to run a weekend photography walk in the Blue Mountains for my bushwalking club. Due to the normal pace and style of our club's trips, there's never usually any time to take photos other than quick snaps with a point and shoot. However, I wanted to stop, take my time and really work through some camera … [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 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...]