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 WarrenH » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 7:40 am

Yesterday, I bought a bit of (possibly) essential gear for my next trip into the wilds of Northern New South Wales ... a 37cm blade length machete. It is surprisingly sharp but the sharpest tools are the safest tools,lwhich is something that I know from my day job, so I'll sharpen it even more.

If National Parks at Glen Innes had been able to provide essential track information, that I requested, which they should have had at their finger tips, I might not have needed to purchase this now (possibly) essential tool. I have a pair of safety glasses, they also become (possibly) essential equipment for my next trip.

Now, I must do essential reading about the correct handling techniques for machete users and practice with the machete ... so that I don't accidentally cut my hand off. Like machetes often do.

I do hope that I don't have to unsheathe the machete ... not once, on my next trip.

Warren.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby north-north-west » Sun 27 Jun, 2010 11:08 am

Hmmmmm, maybe you should take a grindstone as well, just in case that there machete gets a lot of use.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Thu 01 Jul, 2010 7:36 pm

I find this post a little hard to answere. I guess by "essentials" were talking essential for our comfort. My gear is chosen for long term wilderness survival, with what I have I can be comfortable in the wilderness for a lifetime. If I had to I could do the "naked into the wilderness" thing, but that is NOT comfortable!
Therefore it is hard to say what is essential. I daresay there are a lot of things I could go without, but I choose to carry the extra weight. Bare minimum for comfort I guess would be a blanket, tinderbox, knife, tomahawk, costrel (water canteen), oil cloth, dried food, knapsack. Plus clothing of course. But these are MY choices, and not a recommendation for anyone else.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby north-north-west » Mon 05 Jul, 2010 8:02 pm

Le-Loup wrote: If I had to I could do the "naked into the wilderness" thing, but that is NOT comfortable!

Especially at this time of the year.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby SteveJ » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 2:32 am

WarrenH wrote:
I do hope that I don't have to unsheathe the machete ... not once, on my next trip.

Warren.


I would think it illegal in a NP to blaze your way with a machete... it seems a pretty extreme to say the least.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby north-north-west » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 5:56 pm

Probably, but if he's on an official track that is badly overgrown, it would be unjust for anyone to object to a little judicious trimming of foliage.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 6:54 pm

sthughes wrote:Call me stupid - but I like to take a pair of ear plugs (the little foam ones you wear when using power tools etc.). They are great to wear to bed if it's noisy because of bad weather, snoring tent companion, animals or whatever! They weigh nothing, fit anywhere and can often really help with a good nights sleep when you really need it. :wink:


Personally, I like to hear what is going on when I am alone in the wilderness.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Liamy77 » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 8:53 pm

Le-Loup wrote:
sthughes wrote:Call me stupid - but I like to take a pair of ear plugs (the little foam ones you wear when using power tools etc.). They are great to wear to bed if it's noisy because of bad weather, snoring tent companion, animals or whatever! They weigh nothing, fit anywhere and can often really help with a good nights sleep when you really need it. :wink:


Personally, I like to hear what is going on when I am alone in the wilderness.


Not scared of "the wolves" i hope le-loup?! :wink:
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 9:34 pm

Quote: Not scared of "the wolves" i hope le-loup?!
No Liamy, only this lil ole wolf round here. But there are far more dangerous animals in them there woods.
You take care now.
Le Loup.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby WarrenH » Wed 07 Jul, 2010 12:36 pm

SteveJ wrote: I would think it illegal in a NP to blaze your way with a machete... it seems a pretty extreme to say the least.


Steve, the machete is for fire trails not for walking tracks and I will blaze not one foot of trail. The National Parks rangers don't even know if the fire trails are open in their neck of the bush in the Gibralter Ranges and are not choked with Lantana where I'm going.

The Bicentennial National Trail is co-managed by the NSW Department of Lands in NSW. On the site there is information recommending a machete for up north because of Lantana. I only rang National Parks to see if it was totally necessary and because the Glen Innes NP HQ couldn't say if the tracks were still navigable ... the machete now becomes an essential item for this trip.

As I wrote, I hope that I do not have to use it even once. I'm certainly not happy about the extra weight that I'll haul but I'm certainly less happy about NP Rangers in Northern NSW not knowing the parks that they are employed to work in.

Steve, have you ever taken on Lantana? ... if you have you would know that anyone who has would rather have a flame thrower and not be hacking canes with a freek'n machete.

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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Liamy77 » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 8:37 am

Le-Loup wrote:Quote: Not scared of "the wolves" i hope le-loup?!
No Liamy, only this lil ole wolf round here. But there are far more dangerous animals in them there woods.
You take care now.
Le Loup.



:lol: true...... actually i am startin to think you may be right- with the recent violence on the news n all up NSW way...
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 9:53 am

Actually over the years there have been a number of preditory humans out in the bush leaving their mark, twice I have had encounters of this kind when trekking and camping. Mostly people do not come across this, so they get slack and drop their security. I am not a fear monger, but experience has taught me not to take this threat lightly.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 10:17 am

Equipment List.
• .60 cal/20 gauge fusil. 42 inch barrel.
• Shot pouch and contents.
• Powder horn.
• Butcher knife.
• Clasp knife.
• Tomahawk.
• Tinderbox.
• Belt pouch.
• Fishing lines in brass container.
• Two snares.
• Gunpowder wallet (contains spare fungus tinder at present).
• Knapsack.
• Ball mould and swan shot mould.
• Lead ladle.
• Cup.
• Trade kettle.
• Medical pouch.
• Housewife.
• Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.
• Dried foods in bags.
• Wooden spoon.
• Gun tools and spare springs.
• Compass.
• Whet stone.
• Oilcloth.
• One blanket (Monmouth cap, spare wool weskit and wool shirt rolled inside blanket).
• Leather costrel.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Nuts » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 5:27 pm

:shock: Thats no equipment list, thats a *&%$#! arsenal :D

(I'm ready for the comeback but) Whats a 'housewife'?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 6:05 pm

Nuts wrote::shock: Thats no equipment list, thats a *&%$#! arsenal :D

(I'm ready for the comeback but) Whats a 'housewife'?


A "housewife" is a sewing kit. The name I believe has survived in military circles, certainly well after the second world war.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Liamy77 » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 6:25 pm

oh..... i thought it was to keep you warm wrapped in only your blanket??!!!
...or maybe to get your stress levels back to normal after you have been relaxing in the bush :wink:
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 8:02 pm

Liamy77 wrote:oh..... i thought it was to keep you warm wrapped in only your blanket??!!!
...or maybe to get your stress levels back to normal after you have been relaxing in the bush :wink:


No my gorgeous young red headed wife is not too keen on sleeping out, bushwalking yes, sleeping out no, but she certainly is a very welcome sight to come home too. And you are right, she does help with the stress levels.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Greenie » Fri 09 Jul, 2010 8:41 pm

How much does all that weight Le-Loup?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Sat 10 Jul, 2010 8:53 am

Greenie wrote:How much does all that weight Le-Loup?


The knapsack, bedroll and shelter plus spare moccasins weigh 10 kg.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Liamy77 » Sat 10 Jul, 2010 6:23 pm

well i gotta admit that is less than i was expecting you to say... do you bother carrying the axe handles or knock em up as needed?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Nuts » Sat 10 Jul, 2010 6:40 pm

Moccasins would be so quiet, i wonder what the natives did with them to handle rain? or were moccasins only worn in drier areas?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Sun 11 Jul, 2010 10:00 am

The tomahawk I carry is very light, and I carry it helve fitted. But the tomahawk helve is far easier to fashion than a hatchet helve. If I intend doing some heavier construction than just a lean-to shelter, then I carry my half-axe which is an 18th century design.
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Top is my tomahawk. Below is the half-axe shown with an auger. In reality the half-axe is larger than the tomahawk though it does not show in this image.

Someone once said that wearing moccasins is little better than going barefoot. They are probably right, but moccasins give you far more protection. The side flaps on my centre seam woodland Indian moccasins I make longer, so they wrap higher above the ankle. I rub a mixture of rendered fat and beeswax into them by hand in front of the fire to help it soak in. If my feet should get wet then it is an easy job to dry them SLOWLY in front of the camp fire.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Liamy77 » Sun 11 Jul, 2010 8:53 pm

hey i've been trying to get hold of an 1/2 inch auger like that and also a crooked knife at a reasonable price... any ideas apart from ebay ?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Mon 12 Jul, 2010 9:20 am

Liamy77 wrote:hey i've been trying to get hold of an 1/2 inch auger like that and also a crooked knife at a reasonable price... any ideas apart from ebay ?


An old established iron mongers/hardware store may still have old stock, worth asking. Second hand shops definately worth a try for the auger.
I made my crooked knife out of a hoof scraper. I removed the blade, heated and shaped, then re-tempered and fitted a new handle. The handle I made from pussy willow.
I cut our the mortice for the blade with a small chisel. Blade is held in with two brass wood screws, and finally secured by wrapping/binding in wet rawhide. Rawhide shrinks and tightens as it dries.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Liamy77 » Mon 12 Jul, 2010 2:55 pm

yup, i know the technique... i have tried it with flint arrowtips before... (resin is lighter for them though i find)
Good idea with the hoof pick - i might have to raid the shed n see if ive got an old one back there somewhere...
Cherry red then quench with the temper?

I'll keep searching old auctions etc for the auger... none around in the shops here and the local smith wanted a sh@#t load of $ to knock one up....
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby Le-Loup » Mon 12 Jul, 2010 3:23 pm

Liamy77 wrote:yup, i know the technique... i have tried it with flint arrowtips before... (resin is lighter for them though i find)
Good idea with the hoof pick - i might have to raid the shed n see if ive got an old one back there somewhere...
Cherry red then quench with the temper?

I'll keep searching old auctions etc for the auger... none around in the shops here and the local smith wanted a sh@#t load of $ to knock one up....


Yes, cherry red and quench.
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby WarrenH » Wed 28 Jul, 2010 1:53 pm

Liamy77 wrote: ...resin is lighter for them though I find ...


Xanthorrhoea resins, the Grasstree resins. They can be as strong as Araldite when mixed with the right amount of fillers, like powdered kangaroo and wombat nuggets, a dash of human blood and a dash of semen for potency, when mixed as a powder and melted beside a fire to form a glue. I've an aboriginal circumcision knife that has a resin sheath for a handle. The bloke who gave me the blade, was circumcised with it. It is a brutal looking weapon with a comfortable handle.

I'm packing for my next trip, I'm packing today, and I was just about to go and buy some spacey new tent pegs when I got a phone call from a coordinator of the Bicentennial National Trail. She asked me to ring Detective Shane Conant from the NSW Police, concerning the murder of two people on the trail. Detective Conant wasn't in so I talked to one of his colleagues and told him about my looming trip. The police want to know about anyone on the route. Apparently the perpetrator of the dastardly deeds is hiding out where I'm hoping to be spending three weeks travelling. Between the Barrington Tops and Nowendoc and Kunderang Brook. The person has stolen gear from walkers and pack horse people on the BNT and from rural properties and although he is not approaching people at the moment, the Detective said, that I should stay on my guard. I've now a description of the wanted bloke ... and my new unused machete appears even more interesting.

I told the Detective that I was going to travel with a machete, he said, "If you have a genuine purpose for needing it, it is OK and having a machete can be a good idea in difficult country but not a good Idea having it in a shopping centre though." My thoughts exactly.

Now I'm going to buy those replacement tent pegs that I intended buying earlier, I'll probably re-sharpen them too. C'ya.

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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby tasadam » Wed 28 Jul, 2010 2:59 pm

Hhmmm, what to do with that Machete during that post-walk ale...
Any photos of this brutal weapon with the comfortable handle? I've never (knowingly) seen an instrument that has been used for circumcision before... :shock:
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby north-north-west » Wed 28 Jul, 2010 8:31 pm

Mostly it would be done with a perfectly normal scalpel. Surely you've seen one of those?
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Re: What Gear is Essential

Postby walkinTas » Wed 28 Jul, 2010 9:14 pm

north-north-west wrote:Mostly it would be done with a perfectly normal scalpel. Surely you've seen one of those?

So boring these days isn't it. Given the ingredients, that must have been one wild party when they got together to make the glue. How exactly to you get powder off a kangaroo.
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