28 Sep 2016

Drymax Socks

I love these socks!

These socks are designed for trail runners. In fact Drymax has a complete range of socks for all usages - office to off track.

This is my third pair. I use to have to buy from the USA, but shoe Science in NZ are now stockist. Quite expensive though, but when you add exchange rate and postage it is pretty comparable.

I love the way they keep your feet sweat free. When worn with my trail running shoes, like my Altra Lone Peak 2.5 - I recently wore out my Altra Lone Peak 2 - They are now on to version 3 - https://www.altrarunning.com/men/lone-peak-3-neoshell-lowhttps://www.altrarunning.com/men/lone-peak-3-neoshell-low  - I found total comfort, even with river crossings.

These socks dried out quickly and have great cushioning whilst not being overly hot in summer tramping conditions. I recently wore them on the Larapinta trail where day temperatures on the last couple of days got up to 32 degrees. No sweat, no stink and blister free!  

There is also the ability to wear 3/4 or turn down to ankle socks as photo shos

You can check out the specs at NZ at Shoe Science and buy on line (as I did). Go to https://www.shoeclinic.co.nz/product-55d4be268ca77327147c52fa

8 Sep 2016

The Malachowski Sleeping Bag - What?

Hi Guys - John Abela put me on to this. A new sleeping bag from a Polish manufacture that weighs in at 480 grams with temp rating at comfy level of 5 degrees, limit at 1 degree.

This equates to my Western Mountaineering Highlite (love it!). I can't track down the price or cost of shipping, but you can start your research at http://malachowski.pl/web/en/sleeping-bags/4-spiwor-puchowy-ultralight-ii-300.html

5 Sep 2016

Pick a Shelter - A Comprehensive List of Backpacking Shelters

Erik the Black is a well known cartographer and American thru hiker. We used his lightweight map and guide book on the JMT Trail - thoroughly recommended - it's all you need.

Anyhow, he has compiled a fabulous document on just about all the backpacking shelters available - both commercial and cottage industry.

Naturally I would encourage you to scroll to the bottom of each section (two person or solo) you search in - lightest weight.

Still can't beat Zpacks Hexamid and soloplex! The Six Moons Deschutes (if you could get it in Cuban Fiber) would be interesting.

Go to:


Enjoy your research - Rob    

1 Sep 2016

Macpac Verses Zpack

Just returned from Hiking the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia (pictures on trip page). Thought you'd like this 'end of trail' picture. Guess which one is the 'lightweight guy' ?

1 Aug 2016

Yak Wool Hiking Clothes

A few weeks back I posted a blog about Kora, a company that manufactures hiking clothing made out of Yak Wool. They make some pretty bold claims, that if proven true by consumers, could give icebreaker a run for their money. But speaking of money, they are very expensive!

I live in Icebreakers 150 half zip tops (got three of them!). I think winter down here in Wanaka could be a good testing ground to checkout Kora's 230 weight - same design as Icebreaker. Here's a picture.

As usual they are using a model build like very few of their customers! This makes it difficult to understand fit. I mean is this a pic of a muscle man in size small? Plus they do not state and weights .

To check out their site go to https://hikelighter.com/2016/07/31/kora-shola-230-zip-top/

9 Jun 2016

Carry Less, Visually Check Gear in Total

Last night I had the pleasure of giving a 'lightweight gear talk' to the members of the Upper Clutha Tramping Club. I took along most of my gear for members to view. One of my first suggestions was to buy scales, weigh all current gear and start up a spread sheet.

This week's Backpacking Light blog post from Ryan Jordan reminded me of another suggestion. He said, "One of the most effective ways to see how much unnecessary crap makes its way into your pack is to lay it out in a small space so you can see it all at a glance. When everything is visible, it's easier to evaluate whether or not you need it than by just looking at a gear list or spreadsheet.

I usually do this on the bed in the spare room a few days before a trip, frequently wandering in to make adjustments. 
Try it. It may help to get more weight down.

Remember, you are an adventure in paradise, not a pack horse!

8 Jun 2016

Helinox Walking Poles

I have posted in the past how great these poles are. I have tried many poles over the years and it's difficult to find ultralight collapsible poles that have a degree of strength. In ultralight gear, there is always a compromise between these two continuum's.  

Helinox poles have proven to be a good balance over the last couple of years and I have only had one breakage. This happened a couple of weekends ago on an overnight trip. The track (if you could call it that!) was muddy and slippery. I was coming off a drop and slipped. I used my right pole to break my fall and fell on heavily. braking the lower section.

I contact Helonix in Australia to ask if they provided spare sections and at what cost. To my utter surprise they replied with, 'yes, we have shipped one to you at no cost'. Covered 'under warranty' they said!

Is this customer service, will I be screaming their praises from the roof tops (and my blog), yes!

10 out of 10 Helinox - I hope you can feel the love all way from Wanaka NZ :-)