What Gear is Essential

Bushwalking gear and paraphernalia. Electronic gadget topics (inc. GPS, PLB, chargers) belong in the 'Techno Babble' sub-forum.
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TIP: The online Bushwalk Inventory System can help bushwalkers with a variety of bushwalk planning tasks, including: Manage which items they take bushwalking so that they do not forget anything they might need, plan meals for their walks, and automatically compile food/fuel shopping lists (lists of consumables) required to make and cook the meals for each walk. It is particularly useful for planning for groups who share food or other items, but is also useful for individual walkers.

Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby wayno » Tue 21 May, 2013 7:23 am

I"ll just take ethanol and reconsitute some raisins in it and add water and shake...
from the land of the long white clouds...

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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Onestepmore » Mon 27 May, 2013 10:03 am

colinm wrote:Here's an amusing and enjoyable (and even enlightening) piece by an old duffer from 1905 talking about light weight gear.

http://www.pbs.org/weta/reportingameric ... s/kit.html

I note that he distinguishes his portable bathtub as being only for when you have pack animals.


What a brilliant article!
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby walkinTas » Tue 28 May, 2013 2:29 am

I like the inclusion of "One housewife" (but its probably not what you think it is).
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Strider » Wed 29 May, 2013 12:21 am

walkinTas wrote:I like the inclusion of "One housewife" (but its probably not what you think it is).

AKA small sewing kit. An old war term.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Scottyk » Mon 03 Jun, 2013 4:39 pm

They are still called that in the Navy today
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Spartan » Mon 10 Jun, 2013 3:40 pm

Scottyk wrote:They are still called that in the Navy today


Army too.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby McMartin » Sat 29 Jun, 2013 10:12 pm

Head torches with a red lense or bit of red cellophane as a lense filter solves the bug issue whilst still having the added benefits of a head lamp..

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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Monkeymagic » Tue 27 Aug, 2013 5:44 pm

would a decent cb radio cut it?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Strider » Tue 27 Aug, 2013 8:21 pm

Monkeymagic wrote:would a decent cb radio cut it?
For what?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 27 Aug, 2013 8:35 pm

Monkeymagic wrote:would a decent cb radio cut it?

Find out if there's an emergency channel/repeater or someone monitoring a preset channel within signal range. Otherwise, it's of questionable value. A PLB is more practical.
Just move it!
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby mbikeboy » Fri 18 Oct, 2013 3:36 am

I'm only just getting back into hiking with an overnight stay, so here's my list for what I'm taking on a solo trip today. I'm keeping my load-out fairly simple because it's only a short trip, but am still prepared for the unexpected. The weather's been unpredictable of late here! :lol:

Much of my gear is nearing 20yrs old, but I bought top quality gear back in the day and have looked after it well. It's too hard to justify "upgrading" much of it, but there's a few things which are on my wish-list. Sadly my Fairydown Duo tent died years ago :cry: , so am having to make do with an el-cheapo Oz-Trail for the time being, haha!


The Main Items: (outside the pack)
Fairydown Kepler 60lt pack
Oz-Trail Promo-2 Dome tent
Thermarest inflatable mattress


Inside The Pack:
Fairydown Bushwalker sleeping bag
Vango inflatable pillow
Small AA lantern
Folding aluminium panel - is supposed to be a windshield for a stove, but I use it flat for food preparation (highly recommended!!)
Trangia stove
Sigg bottle with metho
1lt bottle of water
2lt bottle of water
Cutlery - fork, spoon & small kitchen knife
Mug with lid
Food bag - supplies for 3 days
Rubbish bags x2
Spare zip-lock bags x 3
Basic toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, tp, deodorant, etc
Kathmandu down jacket
One Planet milair rain jacket
Snowgum goretex pants
Kathmandu tall gaiters


In Front Pocket of Pack: (in a waterproof bag)
Spare Explorer socks
Snowgum thermal top
Snowgum thermal pants
Beanie
Thinsulate Gloves
First-aid kit


In Top Pocket of Pack: (in a waterproof bag)
Silva compass
Map
Pencil
Mini Maglite
Spare AA Batteries
Bic lighters x2
Sunscreen
Chapstick
Bushmans bug-spray
Gerber multi-tool
Felco folding handsaw
Petzl Tika3 head-torch
Short novel


Clothing: (worn during the hike)
Kathmandu waterproof hiking boots
MX socks - thick & very comfortable
Kathmandu wind/waterproof polar-fleece jacket
T-shirt
Cargo pants
Cap
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby wayno » Fri 18 Oct, 2013 3:02 pm

the fairydown bushwalker, wow theres a blast from the 80's, my first sleeping bag was the fairydown adventurer, the next model up. all 2 kilos of synthetic hollow fibre filled sleeping bag, the nylon on the inner was thicker than the outer, i refered to it as sandpaper it was so rough to the touch, more than paid for itself on a few occasion, one time i got swept down a river, the bottom of the bag was wet but still kept me warm.... supposed to be minus ten rated but that would ahve been extreme, i froze in it on one winter trip in the south island, i've still got it... it's covered a fair bit of NZ with me...... first thing i did with my first pay cheque at work was to go and replace it with a fairydown waterproof everest pack, still a good one and a half kilos in weight... and it had something the adventurer didnt... a hood...
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 18 Oct, 2013 6:51 pm

I have one Fairydown Horizon... Still working well for my son on camps. So what happened to Fairydown?
Just move it!
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Strider » Fri 18 Oct, 2013 7:40 pm

Fairydown became part of Mouton Noir, which also owns Macpac.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby wayno » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 4:18 am

fairydown was rebranded to "zone" around the time it went in with macpac. dont think its around anymore.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Strider » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 5:19 am

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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby wayno » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 5:23 am

the bag is a one of anniversary run, i think the other two items are just trying to get rid of old stock till its all gone... the range of fairydown stuff they've been selling has steadily dwindled over the years.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Strider » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 5:33 am

Yeah I was thinking the same thing.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby wayno » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 5:46 am

a lot of history in that brand, one of my earlier packs and sleeping bags in the eighties was fairydown, not flash but, rugged and did the job. i still see their packs in use and you can see the gent lists their sleeping bag still in his kit...
i've got their warmest sleeping bag i bought mid eightes, got a lot of use out of it, still have it, its still has great loft, but havent needed to use it for a long time.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby mbikeboy » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 4:03 pm

wayno wrote:a lot of history in that brand, one of my earlier packs and sleeping bags in the eighties was fairydown, not flash but, rugged and did the job. i still see their packs in use and you can see the gent lists their sleeping bag still in his kit...
i've got their warmest sleeping bag i bought mid eightes, got a lot of use out of it, still have it, its still has great loft, but havent needed to use it for a long time.


I've just got back from my overnight trip! After coincidently bumping into an old school mate and camping with him and his mates (yeah what are the odds of that, esp not having seen him in 12years?!), I was able to compare gear and load-outs and gained some valuable insight and ideas. They all had new and top of the range stuff unlike myself, so the comparisons were very interesting haha!

Just a quick review on how my Fairydown stuff performed. My old Fairydown pack is far more rugged than the newer offerings, and has served me well for many years. It's built like the proverbial outhouse, using tougher materials and zips, survived every conceivable adventure I've thrown at it, even a decent motorbike crash and slide down the bitumen. It's a little faded and stained these days but, no tears or damage at all, and still works like the day I bought it! It's a fraction heavier than the new packs but is worth the weight penalty. The harness and lumbar comfort is one of it's strengths, and is far better than my other and newer Kathmandu pack...they just don't build 'em like they used to! :lol:

My Fairydown sleeping-bag is definitely too bulky and swallowed nearly 1/3rd of my pack space. Back when I bought it that was considered a compact and lightweight bag, but oh how things have changed! It's also too heavy, and far too hot for most normal conditions I camp in. I initially bought it for a ski-trip, so no surprises why I always end up roasting in it, haha! Over the past few years I have been using it purely on 4x4 trips, but cannot take it on the motorbike due to its bulk. It will live on and be used for many, many more years, as it's still as good as the day I bought it, but am definitely going to find a smaller and lighter replacement more suitable for warmer weather.

Anyway, back to the topic of what gear is essential! This is based upon my experience and observing others btw.

As much as it really hurts me to admit this, Crocks are great...so long as you don't wear them in public! :lol: Brilliant for around camp, for river crossings, and weigh absolutely nothing. Just strap them to the outside of your pack when not in use to avoid wasted internal pack-space . One of the guys in the group had a pair and am absolutely converted to the idea.

Walking poles I used to think were for posers until I finally got to see them being used instead of strapped to a pack. I was in amazement seeing them in action, and made negotiating trickier terrain and waterways soooooo much easier. They also take a lot of strain away from your knees and unquestionably assist with balance when you have none. Once again, I am converted.

Good quality socks...Lt Dan wasn't kidding! :lol: I have always used Explorers, but teamed up with my leather hiking boots, forgot how much my feet sweated, which brought about the dreaded sock-scrunch-up in the boots, resulting in hot-spots. I gave a try with some extra thick MX socks which breathe this time and found them to be fantastic...right up until they got wet, acted like a sponge, then my feet felt like lead. I might have to look into some of those fancy waterproof socks, so any suggestions would be most welcomed!

Gaiters might seem like an obvious one, but are an essential bit of kit!! Get the knee-high ones though, ankle ones seem pointless. In the space of 45mins, we saw 5 snakes (2 in about 10m!), and to not have them is just asking for trouble...cheap life-insurance imo. Putting a bit of Elastoplast over any seams or folds internally will make a world of difference for comfort btw. :wink:

Zip-lock bags are another thing which I consider essential. Ranging from keeping your TP dry, to keeping books, maps, mobile phones, cameras, food, clothing, first-aid kit, etc all safe from harm. Using them to store food is especially handy, as it lessens the attraction of animals to come and source a free meal or interrupt a good nights sleep.

A folding-saw is another essential bit of kit I've always carried. Much lighter, more compact and safer than a hatchet, getting firewood is no longer a chore and is faster. Make sure you get a good quality one. I have a Felco 600 which has lasted me for years without the need for sharpening, and use it all the time in the garden. Double-win!

There's plenty more to add, but these are the things which spring to mind immediately (fresh from a trip) and often get overlooked. Hope these have helped! :D
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Strider » Sat 19 Oct, 2013 4:56 pm

Darn Tough Vermont socks are absolutely incredible. Lifetime warranty! About the same price as locally available Chinese made offerings.

http://www.socksaddict.com
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby mbikeboy » Sun 20 Oct, 2013 1:26 am

Strider wrote:Darn Tough Vermont socks are absolutely incredible. Lifetime warranty! About the same price as locally available Chinese made offerings.

http://www.socksaddict.com


Thankyou!!! Socks make the journey beyond every bit of kit! :lol:
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Pourchasser » Wed 01 Jan, 2014 6:36 pm

puredingo wrote:CRAP!...After going through this thread you people are are making me feel totally inadequate, in fact I'm wondering just how I make it out of my walks alive!

Might be time to get with the scene and start spending some BIG money...Makes you wonder how they ever got through in the early days of bush exploration?


These long, meticulously drafted lists of equipment, are often a source of great amusement for me, since I suspect many of these people only walk once a year over well-graded ground for a weekend, and prefer the prep and discussions more than the actual activity. If you feel inadequate mate than I suspect you have seen through this nonsense of so-called "essential" gear.

You make a good observation about the old days, but spending big money on a few quality bits and pieces is a major advantage over what the old timer's carried.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Zone-5 » Mon 06 Jan, 2014 1:08 am

My most essential other item is..

Sony ICF-SW100E Super Compact World Band Receiver
Good for news, weather and bushfire reports!
Image

Bigger and detailed product image:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71uTYp2yw1S._SL1200_.jpg

:D
... moved to another forum @ 10/10/2015
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby diantsvetkov » Fri 07 Feb, 2014 10:51 pm

I'd suggest that you get a few hiking and backpacking apps for your phone. There are plenty of apps for both iPhones and Android devices that could work even without any reception. They could definitely help out.
My passion for hiking and exploring the outdoors keeps me alive. And I never go anywhere without a good pair of hiking boots.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby mbikeboy » Sun 16 Feb, 2014 7:57 pm

Hey everyone! :D

On my last hike I was carrying way too much stuff (see the list above), and my pack was far heavier than it really needed to be. I've since trimmed it down by eliminating a lot of things, plus purchasing some new and secondhand equipment...there's still room for improvement, but am very happy at what a difference it's made already!! I also finally repaired my good tent, hehe! This is the load-out for a 4 day hike through wilsons prom with a mate, and doesn't include what I'm wearing from day one.

Fairydown Kepler pack
Fairydown Duo tent
Kathmandu Marco Polo goose-down sleeping bag
Exped Synmat UL7
Exped pillow
Trangia 30 stove
Trangia fuel bottle
4lts of water
Light My Fire mess-kit
Sea To Summit utensils
Basic cleaning items
Food for 4 days
First Aid kit
Petzl head-torch
Tent light
Basic toiletries
Trowel & TP
One Planet milair rain jacket & pants
Reef sandals
1 pair of thermals and socks
1 shirt
1 merino hoody and beanie
Boardshorts and small towel

As you can see the list is substantially smaller, and brings the total weight of the pack down to 15.4kg's, Water and food are the biggest contributors to the weight. Goes to show how little you really need, hahaha!
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby walkerchris77 » Thu 08 May, 2014 9:59 am

I would make sure all members of the party have a compass, map, whistle and small survival kit in their pocket.

Reason is inexperienced hikers may walk off to go to the toilet and lose their way. With a whistle they should be able to communicate and get help.

And have to agree about having a survival kit no more than a meter away. There was a guy in the usa whos quad bike rolled on him and he had a survival kit in the back of the quad but couldn't reach it. So keep one in your pocket. You just never know
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Mickl » Tue 13 May, 2014 7:53 pm

Mbikeboy what do you think of the Exped UL7 and pillow? I currently have a downmat 9LW and am thinking of getting the UL9LW or UL7LW which should save me 400-500 grams easily.....Do you find the 7 thick enough? (I'm a side sleeper so find I seem to dig into the mattress a fair bit so not sure if the 9 would be better just in case.)
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Avid Hiker38 » Thu 21 Aug, 2014 2:14 pm

For those looking at buying new gear check out [link removed by moderator] to get it a bit cheaper from online stores.
A Member of http://greatoutdoordeals.com/ finding cheap hiking gear
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 12 Sep, 2014 2:01 pm

Many years ago life was simpler. The gear weighed a lot more, it was not as good, and it was harder. Tents were usually single skin japara, sometimes with a fly. Flash tents had walls. Most tents were ridge, with a few Blacks Good companion, which needed about 26 pegs, just like the Bushgear Tawonga. Floors were separate.

Sleeping bags were very heavy, with one from NZ (Hallmark?) weighing 7 pounds. Blizzard jackets were oiled japara. Clothing was wool or cotton. Stoves were not carried often. Food was basic, mainly from the supermarket. Maps were ordinance survey, often an inch to the mile, the very helpful 1:63 360 or 1:100 000. Compasses were prismatic or a flat Silva, no mirror. Track notes were hard to come by and sketchy.

No GPS, no PLB, no comms, no lightweight gear, and a heap of other things that many today regard as essential.

However, most people survived, and it did not seem hard as that was all we knew. One thing that is no longer present is the adventure of going into the unknown, bereft of outside support.
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