Hiking Gear

At the bottom of this page is a comprehensive list of my hiking gear and all its weights. It is an evolving list so its subject to change regularly.

Like most of my gear, my Pack has changed several times over. These days I use an Aarn Natural Balance Pack but as you can see in the pic we have several others.

My tent is a 4 season Tarptent Scarp 1. Generally I use it without the crossing poles, however as you can see it can be used with them for heavy winds and snow.
Credit to Murray Wilson for the snow photo of the Scarp 1.

My sleeping system is something that has evolved quite a lot over time as I am a bad sleeper at the best of times and I am fussy about my pillow!
I currently use an Exped Synmat 9, so does my wife. My pillow system is a Sea to Summit large aeros premium pillow and a home made ultralight synthetic filled pillow. 
My sleeping bag or in my case quilt is made by a private cottage manufacturer who only goes by the name of Undercling Mike. It is down and rated at around minus 7 deg C.
I keep all this in a Sea to Summit dry bag which also is a brilliant pump that couples to my mat and pillow.

Clothing is always subject to the walk and the time of year of course but as a rule in Tasmania when up on the highlands it pays to be prepared for anything. So unless I am on the coast during summer, this is generally how I go about my clothing system.

My base layers are usually IceBreaker thermals, Brubech merino thermals and even some wilderness gear polypro thermals. I may or may not wear them while walking, depending on the weather and temperature but I always take them with me. A full set of dry thermals is essential in my opinion.

For walking I wear The North Face convertible pants and either a cheap polyester sports type top or a macpac style shirt. Again its weather dependent but its all about comfort and fast drying.

For camp wear in regards to warmth I always take my Patagonia Fleece or various other fleeces I have owned, Lowpro 3 in 1 gloves, beanie and neck sock. 
I nearly always also take either a down jacket or down vest again depending on the forecast etc. 

For rain, wind and/or sun I use a combination of a full length 3 layer goretex LL Bean Jacket, a ultralight The North Face wind/ light rain jacket and Columbia sun hat. Again obviously it depends on the conditions but as a rule my Ultralight Wind Jacket is my go to item in freezing winds and even light rain, however the big goretex jacket also regularly gets a run!

Footwear. Hmm this is a bit of a sore point for me.....physically and emotionally!

I started out wearing light weight Columbia mesh style boots and they were great. They just don't last and at $150-$250 a boot it is a false economy. However I liked the fact that water ran out of them as fast as it got into them. So while I had wet feet often, they dried reasonably easily.

So I went to a Goretex Zamberlain fine Italian Leather inner and outer boot. They are big, twice the weight almost of my other boots and tore my feet to pieces the first few times I wore them! 
I hated them. But now I think I might love them!
Yes they are heavy, I love that they are waterproof, I am loving the support and I am now loving the comfort since they have stopped blistering my feet and toes. BUT, I cant help but think that the weight of them effects me at the end of a long day walking. I also dont particularly like that when they get water inside them (when it runs in through the top) they simply will not dry out. When this leather gets water logged you are stuck with wet boots and if you get enough water n them you have to take them off and literally tip the water out.
I always wear polypro sock liners under my Vermont Darn Tough socks. I ONLY wear Vermont Darn Tough socks. And that includes my every day life. They have an unconditional lifetime guarantee that I have tested and they back them 100%.

I also wear heavy duty canvas Quagmire Sea to Summit Gaiters

My cooking system. I use a 1100ml titanium pot for cooking and a 600ml titanium pot for drinks. Sometimes I only use one but they are so light I generally take both as they nest inside each other as does the gas canister and all the other items.
I also use a tiny BRS 3000T gas burner on a 110g canister that generally lasts me around 5 days. I carry a scourer, a chux cloth, small bic lighter, gas canister holder, a cozy and it all goes into a mesh bag. I also put the complete kit into a larger cuben fibre bag because i generally always carry a back up gas canister.

Food. Ok so its not really gear but I thought Id quickly cover some of it. I quickly learnt that the commercially available freeze dried or dehydrated meals are not for me. Some of them are ok just but after a while they all taste the same.
I do however like Strive Food Strive Food | Dried Food but my favourite is the ones I make myself!
I use an elcheapo Aldi dehydrator and an elcheapo eBay vacuum sealer.

I make all my own main meals and Beef Jerky. Everything from Thai Curries, Spag Bol, simple Beef Curries, Laksa Veggie only meals, and basic mince and veggie meals. 
Here is a pic of my typical pantry. As you can see I usually have anything from 10-20 meals ready to go at all times. Things like spag bol that the family eat anyway is easy because Ill make a double batch, feed the family and dry the rest into several meals for bushwalking. My meals are usually around 150-250g dry and in most cases are a substantial meal when rehydrated.

Hygiene and First Aid. I wont go into detail about my First Aid kit as it is outlined in the list at the bottom but it is probably more comprehensive than it needs to be but I hate borrowing things out on the field and it doesn't weigh too much for a vital item.
I also carry my toilet paper and baby wipes in a dry bag and use a titanium shovel.
I keep my tooth paste, tooth brush (its cut down to fit in the bag, not for weight...im not that pedantic!) =, ear plugs, little mirror and hand gel in a cuban bag together.
The aerogaurd and sunscreen usually are kept in a handy pocket on my pack so they are easy to use.
My rescue me personal locating beacon is kept in its own pouch.
And my sawyer water filter system is also kept in its own cuben fibre bag. Rarely it gets used in Tassie but its very light so I always carry it.

For navigation I always carry a paper map of the particular area I am walking in and of course I keep a compass. Im not the worlds best navigator by compass and paper map but I know just enough to get myself out of trouble and probably more than enough to get myself into trouble ;)
I also carry a GPS if I am going off track in the way of a Garmin 60 series and I also keep TasListMaps on my phone to be used on the phones GPS offline if I need a back up. 

Electronic Gadgets. Yes I do like my gadgets. Are they necessary? Not really but wither is a lot of stuff I carry in some peoples eyes. 
But I have a couple of different sized power banks. One being a 16000mah for very long walks and the other being a 5000mah for 2-3 day walks.
I keep a thermometer, usb led light, tiny head torch, earphones, microphone, usb battery charger for the camera, cables and a very light solar usb charger for emergencies.....yes running out of gadget power can be an emergency ;)
I keep all these items in a very sturdy dry bag.

Another one of those 'you don't need any of that' items is my 'magyver' bag.
It contains some spare GPS and head torch batteries, sleeping mat patches, cable ties and duct tape, some rope, a little bit more rope, a flint, a small leatherman and some cup hooks so I can attach my tent to wooden platforms if I need to.

My bushwalking camera gear has recently (may 2016) taken a turn for the better. We purchased an Olympus OMD5 Mk11 four thirds camera with a 14-150mm lens. It is weather resistant and can handle sub zero temperatures. It may not be as good as the top line full frame DSLR's or as light as some camera's but it is perfect for me in the conditions I walk in and its small.
I also carry some odd filters that I like to use, a separate flash, a neoprene cover, a gorilla tripod and a good heavy duty dry bag so I didn't have to test its weatherproofness if I go for a swim in a river.

A few of other items that dont necessarily fit anywhere else would be my carbon fibre poles, an ultralight silnylon tarp for rainy weather at camp and an ultralight seat. Yes a seat LOL Ok so I rarely take but I own it.


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