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Gear for the the Australian bush
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Coco Fudge
(Fudge) - F
Gear for the the Australian bush on 11/01/2011 20:53:48 MDT Print View

Hi all. Hoping to get some comments on gear that I want to buy. It will be used all year mainly in the alpine Australia (both Tas and the mainland) but got vague plans for Nepal, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Canada and USA (parts of PCT?) too. Anything from single overnighters to 10-12 days. Basically need to upgrade the whole lot and this is my short list so far (will add more later)

Tent: Scarp 2 (good price, roomy for 2 and 4 season, haven’t found a real contender yet)
Pad: Thermarest XTherm (need comfort and high R rating)
Sleeping: Katabatic Sawatah or Alsek or WM Ultralight (leaning towards quilt for weight + and I'm a tosser but bag is good for travel (think dirty beds in Nepal))
Pack: GoLite Quest or Pinnacle (I like a frame (as in Quest) but also want durability for Aussie scrub (dyneema).
Stove: Fire-Maple 100T or 116T (Can’t decide is stability or weight is better. 100T better for real winter? mainly for boiling water (dehydrated))
Down jacket: Crux Plasma (for sleeping and around camp in bad weather (eVent), looks like a great jacket)
Rain jacket: Columbia Peak 2 Peak or one of MacPacs (Prophet, Zealot or Hollyford? Will have to stand up to some scrub!)

It’s not super light weight but we value comfort and Aus/Tas scrub and weather is not to be taken lightly. Tent and stove will be shared between us, the rest is for me.


Edited by Fudge on 11/02/2011 04:01:43 MDT.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Use a liner on 11/02/2011 03:43:02 MDT Print View

For dirty beds it is better to use a silk liner which is easy to wash and quick to dry. This also covers you for hot and humid sleeping conditions when travelling and keeps your main insulation clean from your body/clothes as well. The other option is to use a ground sheet under your bag. A quilt over the top doesn't get rubbed into any dirty mattresses where as a sleeping bag does. I find a quilt paired with a silk liner covers me for long term travelling in a wide range of temps.

Coco Fudge
(Fudge) - F
A liner is a great idea! on 11/02/2011 04:09:07 MDT Print View

Thanks Mark, that's a really good point. I know how dirty the beds can be and I certainly wouldn't want to rub that into my bag. A liner and quilt it is.
Not sure if I need to get the Sawatah rather than the Alsek? I guess winter in N America and Scandinavia would demand at least Sawatah? It will be combined with merino thermals, down jacket and hood of course...The Alsek would b enough for Oz though...Hmm

Robert H
Mirror? on 11/02/2011 19:52:07 MDT Print View

You seem to be in a very similar predicament to myself.
I would love to see some (more) feedback as it will likely help me work things out.

Best of luck with your expeditions/purchases.

Andrew McAlister
(mcalista) - F
Stove on 11/03/2011 18:49:22 MDT Print View

Why not try a MYOG Coke can or cat food can stove - burning alcohol/meths. There are plenty of how-to guides on the internet.

Takes about 15-30 minutes, materials are virtually free, and extremely lightweight (10-15 grams).

Fuel is available virtually anywhere, which is a plus for international travel. (You just have to know the different names for it).

And ultimately, if it doesn't work for you, you can still get yourself a gas stove. But given it is free, why not try a meths stove first?

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Some additional thoughts on 11/03/2011 23:52:19 MDT Print View

Aim for gear which will deliver light weight 3 seasons performance in Australia (Tassie and Snowys) - down to freezing or just below. This will give you lightweight gear capable of 3 seasons use around the world unless you know you are going into snow or over about 2,500 to 3,000m. This approach has worked for me in the French Alps and the Pyrenees. If you know you are heading for more extreme conditions you can augment or replace gear for those specific conditions. For example I have a WM Highlite (bought before I switched to a quilt) for use under my quilt for snow conditions.

I don't specifically know the clothing items you mention but you seem to have two waterproof shells - the rain jacket and the down jacket. This adds weight. Go for a very light down jacket (eg Mont Bell ex lite or ul jacket). Mix this with a 100 weight fleece and a 150 or 200 weight merino base layer - you have a system which weighs under 600g and covers conditions to freezing. The down jacket is for camp use or when you stop (over the top of the light fleece and merino). The fleece and merino will cover you for walking cold conditions. If you need a waterproof layer put on your rain jacket. I add a wind shell to this. Remember the aim is layering to achieve comfort in a wide range of conditions.

Edited by KramRelwof on 11/03/2011 23:54:05 MDT.

Coco Fudge
(Fudge) - F
. on 11/22/2011 04:51:16 MST Print View

Sorry to neglect this thread, been away. Thanks for more useful suggestion

We have a couple of alcohol stoves, small and larger. Good for many situations but want to try gas for quicker/better efficiency in cold and windy places. Don't think availability will be a big issue.

Mark, good advice again. I am still really tempted by the plasma. I've had 2 lightweight, very fragile down jackets/smocks and ripped them both + have had them soaked despite my best efforts on a few occasions. I get very cold easily and love the thought of a weatherproof down jacket especially when you just stopped walking or around camp in not perfect weather. I know and have used/using layering system (with merino and fleece) for years but I'm coming to the conclusion it's not the perfect solution for me. Need to try something different. Thanks for your insight.

I'll keep pondering but will make some purchases soon :)