THE NEWSLETTER FOR PADDY PALLIN CLUB MEMBERS | NOVEMBER JUNE 2011
TRAVELLING THE NORTHERN TERRITORY –EQUIPMENT AND CAMPING ESSENTIALS OUTDOOR INNOVATION – REVOLUTIONARY GEAR TO MAKE YOU DROOL REMOTE RIVER MAN – THE ART OF LIGHTWEIGHT RIVER EXPLORATION GREAT HIMALAYA TRAIL – 157 DAYS WITH GREG BABBAGE
DON’T BAG THE ENVIRONMENT
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
PADDY PALLIN PRICE PROMISE
We aim to provide you with the best brands at the best price possible. If you find an identical product somewhere else at a lower price, let us know and we’ll happily match it. That’s our price promise and we’re sticking to it! (excludes internet prices).
EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING When Paddy Pallin started this business in 1930, he didn’t have much – just a love of the outdoors and a thirst for his next great adventure. Over his long life he enjoyed hundreds of these journeys with his family and his colleagues, and today that 80 year tradition of shared experience is still the heartbeat of our business. Nobody knows more about trekking and adventure travel than the team at Paddy Pallin. We don’t just talk the talk. We walk the walk. But that’s not all. We bash the boots, we punish the packs and we push the limits of every product we sell. Because it’s only through our experience that we can help make the most of your experience. Experience is everything.
PHONE ORDERS AND INFO 1800 805 398 ONLINE SHOPPING www.paddypallin.com.au
DON’T BAG THE ENVIRONMENT SAVE THE FLATBACK SEA TURTLE
Although Paddy always claimed to be an “average outdoorsman”, it was his pioneering spirit that led to the creation of the lightweight outdoor equipment market in Australia. R&D has come a long way since the 1930s, but Paddy Pallin still continues its tradition of innovation by sourcing technical adventure clothing and equipment for the Australian market from the world’s more visionary companies. This edition of Boots ‘n All is dedicated to progressive companies and the revolutionary products they continue to create.
Paddy Pallin established the Don’t Bag the Environment program in 1992 as a means for us to make a positive contribution towards reducing unnecessary packaging from our stores. From October 2011 to March 2012, every time you decline a bag with your purchase, Paddy Pallin will donate 20 cents to help protect the endangered Flatback Sea Turtle, Australia’s only endemic marine turtle.
Our athletes often recommend an innovation that’s “outside the bounds of existing technology. The North Face® Research, Design and Development team accepts their challenges and turns to the laboratory for new fabrics and components. Our teams must turn those revolutionary raw materials into gear that maximises an athlete’s ability to survive and succeed in the most severe weather conditions. The North Face
Found in the tropical waters of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland, the Flatback Sea Turtle feeds on squid, cuttlefish, sea cucumbers, jelly fish and other softbodied sea creatures. The shell is dark green to black in colour and is flatter than the shells of other marine turtles, giving the Flatback Sea Turtles their name. Adults and juveniles inhabit the inshore bays and reefs, seldom venturing beyond the continental shelf.
Even if great gear does make for great adventures, it is the explorers who use the gear that push the industry and its technology further. They propel both themselves and their equipment past old boundaries and into new areas of development. In this issue, we celebrate the Australian pioneers who have relied on Paddy Pallin – Australia’s first man to walk the 1700km Great Himalaya Trail, James Castrission and Justin Jones who will soon complete the world’s first unsupported return walk to the South Pole and Kevin Casey, the Remote River Man who explores the nooks and crannies of the world in his small pack raft. Beyond the gear and adventure junkies, we also explore another originating spirit, found in the Northern Territory and home to the world’s oldest living culture.
STRIKE A POSE IN BANFF Congratulations to Aleisha McCormack and her partner Rich Maddock who will be joining us in Banff, Lake Louise this month to shoot the Paddy Pallin Winter 2012 Handbook. Aleisha and Rich beat thousands of phenomenal entries for an opportunity to model in our upcoming catalogue. After the exhausting shoot, Aleisha and Rich will enjoy an action packed week on holiday in Banff, where they hope to grab some fresh powder over opening weekend on the slopes. Aleisha and Rich will be striking a pose with local Aussies, Matt and Lucy, who already reside in Banff.
Image Credit: Dieter Berghmans. Bare Sand Island as part of the Austurtle Research Trip, July 2011
1900 – 1991 Frank Austin Pallin, otherwise known as Paddy Pallin. Paddy’s early adventures in the Australian bush highlighted the shortage of quality lightweight bushwalking equipment. When he lost his desk job during the Depression in 1930, Paddy grasped the opportunity to start making his own gear. Using a treadle sewing machine in a spare bedroom, Paddy initially made gear for his many friends. Before long, word spread and Paddy’s lightweight functional designs were soon in demand amongst fellow bushwalkers. This legacy of lightweight functional clothing and equipment is at the heart of the Paddy Pallin brand.
Females mature after some decades at sea and return to the region of their birth and crawl up the beach to breed. Southern populations
HOW CLOSE IS TOO CLOSE? In the June 2011 edition of Boots n All we featured a story about wildlife viewing in Canada, Where the Wild Things Are. The opportunity to view wildlife is one reason why many people visit North America. It was brought to our attention that the photographs in this story may have been misleading by encouraging inappropriate wildlife viewing behaviour. As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words, and these images did not tell the full story. The photographs were taken by biologists with extensive training, working in an area with limited public access and viewing a bear which had been studied on a daily basis for several years. Whilst there was no stress placed upon the bear and no danger posed to humans on this occasion, it should always be remembered these images were captured by trained professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in their field. Therefore, visitors to North America with the intention of capturing images of the na-
breed in the summer months while those in northern Australia breed either all year or are confined to the cooler months of the year. Individual females lay up to five clutches of about 50 eggs in a season and may breed every one to three years. The eggs, buried in the sand for about seven weeks, are warmed by the sun and hatch in the cool of the night. Night birds, crabs, feral foxes, cats and dogs feed on the hatchlings before they get to the sea where fish continue the predation. As few as one in 2000 survive to be adult. In addition to natural threats to their survival, Flatback Sea Turtles are threatened by coastal development removing the stability of the beaches, the security of their food resources and the safe sanctuary in which they lay their eggs. For decades the tropical trawl fisheries caught, injured and killed sea turtles before Turtle Excluder Devices were adopted in 2001. The threats to Flatback Sea Turtles are increasing by sprawling sea-side develop-
tive wildlife are strongly advised to not approach bears or other large wildlife as closely as these biologists. Wildlife is unpredictable and with wildlife viewing, a degree of caution and common sense is necessary. Yellowstone National Park mandates that visitors must maintain a safe distance of at least 100 yards (91 metres) from bears and at least 25 yards (23 metres) away from other large wildlife, including wolves, coyotes, moose, deer, elk, bison, and bighorn sheep. Please consult the relevant authorities in the country you are visiting to ascertain safe viewing distances for animals. Guidelines may vary due to variation in seasonal vegetation, mating behaviour, animal behaviour and other local conditions. Below are a few general guidelines to assist.
GENERAL GUIDELINES: • Keep your distance from wildlife, especially wildlife with young. Do not get between a mother
ment along the tropical coasts, building ports and wharfs, altering the sea floor by dredging channels and dumping the spoil, confusing hatchlings by lights near beaches, increasing vibrations from underwater noise, blasting, pile driving, boat traffic and recreational vehicles on beaches and disposing of plastic waste in and near the sea. The Flatback Sea Turtle is found only in Aus tralia. It is as Aussie as the koala, yet little is known of its life history and its requirements for survival. Our lack of understanding about marine turtles is the greatest threat to their survival. Funds from the Don’t Bag the Environment program will be used to create and distribute fact sheets to educate and raise awareness about this magnificent marine creature among school children, remote communities and the general public. For more information visit paddypallinfoundation.org.au or austurtle.org.au.
and its young. • Feeding wild animals is never appropriate. Wildlife may become sick from human food and also may become dangerously familiar with humans, thus potentially resulting in serious injuries or death to both people and animals. • If an animal approaches you, it is your responsibility to move away to maintain a safe distance. • Never stop in the middle of the road to view wildlife. Always pull off to the road’s shoulder or a pullout, and always shut off your engine so as not to disturb the wildlife. • Refrain from shouting or exclaiming in excitement. • Never distract animals or try to grab their attention for a photo opportunity. Instead, use a telephoto lens to capture animals in their natural state and environment.
If you are unsure and want to properly photograph/view wildlife responsibly, talk to and/or hire a qualified local outfitter with at least 10 years experience of wildlife viewing activities as their primary business.
KATHERINE, NORTHERN TERRITORY
Put aside your images of golden beaches and blue surf, and travel to the real Australia, where adventure lies around every corner and ordinary people find themselves doing things they never dreamed possible. The Northern Territory’s Katherine region is a dramatic sweep of country, brought to life by a huge network of rivers. From a helicopter, the lay of the land becomes clear - broad, rugged valleys and watercourses dissect sandstone escarpments. For millions of years, rock and water have entwined, splitting a section of the Arnhem Land Plateau into 13 gorges, superlative in their size and scale, and collectively known as the mighty Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. While a birds-eye view reveals the magnitude of the landscape, to appreciate its finer features you need to get your feet wet. Paddling a kayak or canoe is the perfect vehicle to put you in the thick of the Katherine River’s
unique ecosystems and abundance of flora and fauna. Racing down rapids or gliding through pandanus channels - insects, lizards, goannas and flying foxes, are your only traffic to consider. The 66km Jatbula Trail follows the path taken by the local Jawoyn Aboriginal people’s spiritual ancestors. It takes hikers from Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge to the tranquil Edith Falls, through a spectrum of environments, from the edge of the stone country to monsoon rainforests, dotted with swimming holes. Come to rest in one of the paperbark forests and the trills of Fairy Martins, Darters and Honey-eaters will engulf you in surround sound, a stark contrast to the quiet heights of
escarpment country. Plus there’s no need to burden your pack with litres and litres of water. Campsites are at the top of waterfalls, by creeks and cascades, providing a source of fresh, cool, drinkable water and natural spas to relieve tired limbs at the day’s end. By the end of an expedition, it’s the hum of nature rather than the din of the city, ringing in your ears. The weight of the world, along with your pack, is considerably lighter. For more information on adventure activities in the Katherine region go to www.travelnt.com
Elsey Station, Mataranka
TRAVEL TO THE REAL AUSTRALIA
Gregory National Park, Victoria River Region
Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. Courtesy of Tourism NT
Roper River, Mataranka
Smith Rock, Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. Courtesy of Tourism NT
TRAVEL TO THE REAL AUSTRALIA
KATHERINE MUST SEE • Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge is the star attraction of Nitmiluk National Park. • The Jatbula Trail in Nitmiluk National Park is a five-day walk on a 66 kilometre track that is only marked in one direction from Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge to Edith Falls. • A great way to see Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge at any time of year is by a scenic helicopter flight - marvel at the level of water in the gorge during the wet season. • Take a dip in the palm fringed waterhole at Leliyn (Edith Falls). Afterwards walk to the top of the falls for a lovely view of Edith River and a refreshing dip in the upper pools (open depending on water levels). • Enjoy the hospitality and genuine welcome of the Manyallaluk Aboriginal community.
• Swim in the palm fringed Mataranka Thermal Pool and Bitter Springs in Elsey National Park. • Venture into Cutta Cutta Caves which are located about 10 minutes from town. The Caves are a series of limestone caverns dating back 500 million years and feature sparkling columns, pillars and flowstones of calcite crystal.
• Paddle into the serene Poppy’s Pool. Located at the end of a beautiful gorge on Bauhinia Downs Station, about 70kms from Cape Crawford, the pandanusfringed paradise with ensuite waterfall contains water that settles at a constant 27°C, which discourages critters, notably of the crocodilian variety, that otherwise inhabit the region. • Visit Gregory National Park, which is located near Timber Creek and was named after explorer Augustus Charles Gregory. The Park covers an area of 13,000 square kilometres and contains a variety of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and some great four wheel drive tracks.
MADE FOR THE NT
Model, chiropractor and staff member at Paddy Pallin Sydney
My most essential piece of clothing on this trip would definitely be the Barmah Squashy Crackle Kangaroo hat. We were shooting all day, without a cloud in the sky, and it was hot and bright and dusty. The hat was breathable but also kept my face protected from the sun and even better it squashed up into a little ball so that I could pack it up at the end of the day without it losing its shape! Having such an Aussie Outback hat, made of kangaroo leather, helped me to get into character! Barmah Hats Squashy Crackle Kangaroo $74.95
Model, Environmental Biology Honours student and staff member at Paddy Pallin Customer Service
Icebreaker Villa Dress RRP $179.95
In June we got the opportunity to travel around the Katherine region of the Northern Territory. Our crew consisted of a patient art director, comedian photographer, four ridiculously keen models, a nutty location scout from Far Out Adventures, a very accommodating representative from Tourism NT...and eight duffle bags full of gear to put to the test! We asked the crew to tell us about some of their favourites from the shoot and what gear they thought was made for a Northern Territory adventure.
The Paddy Pallin crew on the top of Gregory National Park. Left to right: Mike Keighley, Del Barker, Kate Barker, Ondrej Knedl, Katherine Barna.
OUR FAVOURITE GEAR THIS SUMMER
I loved the shirt I wore on the kayak. It helped me avoid sunburn during the middle of the day, especially while sitting on the water with no shade in sight. The light, breathable fabric made for comfortable paddling all day, especially helpful when working up a sweat racing. Even better, when Ondrej tipped us over, the quick dry properties of the shirt made it dry in no time! I also loved the buff. The buff kept my wet sweaty hair back off my face and kept me cool and looking as fresh as possible considering the heat! Pallin Pulse Long Sleeve Shirt RRP $99.95
Tourism NT Brand and Production Coordinator
The Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV has quickly become my favourite piece of gear. The bladder holds enough water to get you through the hottest parts of the day even in the harshest conditions (think Burning Man), plus it makes a killer day pack with plenty of dividing sections and places to stow and protect valuable items like passports and keys. I also test drove an Osprey Sojourn 80L on the shoot and liked it so much I bought one for myself! Tough and durable, perfect for someone who likes to thrash their gear (me), the handle is solid with good length and the wheels can handle just about any terrain. What I like about it the most is its ability to convert into a pack, the harness is incredibly comfortable and well fitting! Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV 3L Hydration Pack RRP $169.95
Osprey Waypoint 65L Travel Pack RRP $299.95
MADE FOR THE NT
Model, world traveller and Del’s wife
Buff Adult Original RRP $29.95
My favourite piece from the trip was the Icebreaker Villa Dress - I wore this dress to the evening markets at Darwin and even after we had a long day in the heat, after putting it on, it left me cool and collected for the shoot. Super comfortable, and really great for that trip to the markets and dinner later on. My Osprey Waypoint was awesome, lightweight and spacious - even when we were packing our gear each night you just don’t expect how much stuff you can throw in those bags even when you’re buggered at the end of the day and all you want to do is not think about packing!
Osprey Sojourn 80L Travel Luggage RRP $349.95 Model, fly fisherman extraordinaire and boat Captain
The North Face Edale Woven Shirt was perfect for fly fishing on Elsey Station. Being paid to fly fish in general is magical, and the shirt looked great and was cool and comfortable to wear. I also could not believe when I jumped off the rope swing into the Roper River how the Patagonia Stretch Wavefarer Board Shorts hardly got wet! They repelled water even though I was fully submerged. Normally a pair of boardies would be saturated after a few swims.
Far Out Adventures owner and operator
The North Face Edale Woven Shirt RRP $109.95
I use the Petzl Tikka XP 2 headtorch for croc spotting. It’s the most powerful headtorch I can find and I need a reliable hands free solution when going out in the middle of the night looking for a croc. This model gives me the option of a focused beam or a wide angle flood beam which is really important on approach. Most importantly, the red lighting mode is useful for my safety to keep myself hidden when I don’t want to be seen. One night by a river I had a croc right in front of me but did not see one coming up from my blindside until the last minute. If I would have had my headtorch, I could have flicked my head around to get a better look at my surroundings – the moral of the story - don’t go mucking about NT rivers at night without a headtorch!
Patagonia Stretch Wavefarer Board Shorts RRP $99.95
Petzl Tikka XP 2 Headtorch RRP $99.95
CAMPING THE OUTBACK
TOP END BEST CAMPSITES
CAMPING THE OUTBACK
All campsites listed below require campers to bring their own firewood as firewood collection is not permitted in the camping area. Most also do not have drinking water available, so make sure you have plenty with you.
TOP END BEST CAMPSITES AND ESSENTIALS
Excerpts from the Camping Guide to the Northern Territory by Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage
JALMURARK CAMPGROUND Elsey National Park Elsey National Park is located east of Mataof the Roper River. Jalmurark Campground, ranka. The park takes its name from the old 1.8km south of Mataranka, consists of a very Elsey Station, home of Jeannie Gunn, author large camping area with some well shaded of the book We of the Never Never. Visitors of sites. Solar hot shower system. Generators the park can enjoy the thermal pools, fishing, not permitted. Further Information: PWCNT canoeing, walking and swimming in sections Mataranka Tel: 08 8975 4560
It’s no secret that one of the best ways to experience the heart and soul of the Northern Territory is to go camping. Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage have compiled their comprehensive Camping Guide to the Northern Territory so that visitors will have first hand camping information as they travel through world renowned wilderness areas, explore inviting coastal regions and sojourn through the vast Australian outback. Their guide suits all travellers, from the keen bushwalker to the mountain climber and even the four-wheel driver. DARWIN To help you get started planning your trip for the next dry season, we’ve pulled together some of their favourite campgrounds and touring tips for the Top End – including the awe-inspiring Nitmiluk Gorge and the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
SMITH POINT CAMPING AREAS Garig Gunak Barlu National Park Encompassing the entire Cobourg Peninsula, from Cahills Crossing. Check tides for road the national park conserves natural grassclosure. Smith Point Campground is 1.6km lands, rainforests, swamps and lagoons. The north-east of Black Point ranger station. Solar surrounding Cobourg Marine Park protects hot showers. Generators not permitted. Furdugong, turtles and other sea life. Situated ther Information: PWCNT Black Point Ranger 300km north of Jabiru, access to the park HQ Tel: 08 8979 0244 is via 4WD vehicle through Arnhem Land
JIM JIM BILLABONG CAMPING AREA Kakadu National Park Jim Jim Falls is a majestic sight to behold Falls access road. Some shaded sites. Furat the end of a challenging four-wheel drive ther Information: Kakadu National Park Bowali track in the southern escarpment country of Visitor Centre Tel: 08 8938 1120 or www. Kakadu National Park. The Jim Jim Billabong environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu camping area is 8.6km south of the Jim Jim
ay hw Hig
Central Arnhem Road Channel Point Coastal Reserve Copperfield Recreation Reserve
5 6 7 8
Daly River Esplanade Conservation Area Douglas River Esplanade Conservation Area East Arnhem Land Elsey National Park
(or take it out with you). Do not bury garbage – take it out with you as it will inevitably be dug up by animals. • Always check local fire ban conditions and take care to extinguish the flame when finished. • If travelling with a pet, do not leave them unattended as territorial dingos and wild dogs may attack.
• Never make your camp in a dry creek bed – flash flooding can occur.
• Be mindful that snakes inhabit most areas of the Territory, so be cautious when walking through long grass.
• Always carry sun protection, insect repellent, maps and plenty of water (see Camping NT Essentials on p9).
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Flora River Nature Park Garig Gunak Barlu National Park Hardies Lagoon Kakadu National Park
13 14 15 16
Leaders Creek Litchfield National Park Manyallaluk Mary River National Park
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Nitmiluk National Park
FLORENCE FALLS CAMPING AREA Litchfield National Park The spectacular Florence Falls cascade into a Park, Florence Falls 2WD camping areas are plunge pool, set in a pocket of monsoon forgenerally open during this time. The camping est. Take a refreshing dip in the clear waters area has 14 individually numbered camping of the plunge pool or enjoy the panoramic bays and good shaded sites. From here it is view from the viewing platform above. While possible to walk to the falls. PWCT Batchelor wet season closures apply to many of the visTel: 08 8976 0282 itor and camping areas in Litchfield National
21 Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park
Oolloo Crossing Conservation Area Roper Bar Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs Park
CROCODILE SAFETY A number of the Top End’s waterways, billabongs and the ocean are inhabited by salt water crocodiles. These creatures are dangerous and caution is required when camping in the vicinity of waterways that are known crocodile habitats. Obey warning signs around around water and camp at least 50 metres away from the water’s edge. Take extreme care when launching and retrieving boats and when pulling up a fresh catch. When cleaning up, remove all food scraps and never clean fish near the water.
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES AND CONTACTS Images by Craig Lewis/Boiling Billy Images
• Avoid walking in the hottest part of the day
camping area with individually numbered campsites among mixed eucalypt forest and palms. Some group sites located here. Boat ramp and fishing areas nearby at Cahills Crossing. Further Information as per above for Kakadu National Park
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• Watch out for livestock on roads and never camp beside a stock watering point – it discourages stock from coming to the water to drink.
• Bury human waste and burn toilet paper
Gulf of Carpentaria
• Always leave gates as found.
• After rain or flooding always check road conditions before travelling.
• Watch out for road trains and keep a safe distance when passing.
When travelling in the outback and remote regions of the Northern Territory it is recommended for safety purposes that you leave your travel plans with a family member or friend and check in regularly. Other safety tips for travelling, camping and walking in remote regions include: • Never venture off onto unmarked or non-signposted tracks – these could be station tracks or private propriety requiring permission for access.
OUTBACK AND REMOTE AREA TRAVEL
MERL CAMPING AREA Kakadu National Park Ubirr is one of Kakadu National Park’s two most famous Aboriginal rock art galleries. A moderately steep 250m climb takes you to a rocky outlook with views across the floodplains for a spectacular tropical sunset. Just outside of Ubirr, Merl offers a very large
PARKS & WILDLIFE COMMISSION
AANT Roadside Assistance
Darwin – Tel: 08 8999 4555 Katherine – Tel: 08 8973 8888
Tel: 131 111 Web: www.aant.com.au
DEPARTMENT OF RESOURCES Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources
DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE Road Report
Tel: 08 8999 2144 Web: www.nt.gov.au/d/Fisheries
Recorded Information Tel: 1800 246 199 Web: www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/roadreport
Camping Guide to the Northern Territory by Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage is available at your local Paddy Pallin store, along with detailed maps and guidebooks.
Tel: 08 8922 0844 Web: www.nt.gov.au/nreta/natres/ bushfires
CAMPING NT ESSENTIALS: A detailed packing checklist for camping is provided in the book and also on Paddy Pallin’s website. However, here are five essential items not to forget. 1. Good maps. Whether you plan on staying close to the trail or venturing off the beaten track, the outback is a vast and wild place so be sure to carry a detailed map of the area you plan to visit. 2. A gas/liquid fuel stove. If the campsite you want to visit doesn’t allow you to light a fire or provide cooking facilities, then you will need to take your own. A small single burner gas stove is fine for 2-3 people while a 2 burner stove is best for families. 3. Insect repellent and a first aid kit. Mosquitoes, sand flies and bugs can be a nuisance while a good first aid kit is a necessity for any unforseen accidents, like snake bites, burns or falls. 4. Plenty of fresh drinking water. 5. Extra food for 1-2 days. Weather or an adventurous appetite can always change plans.
PASSES, PERMITS AND FEES Australian Government Parks Passes: A park pass and entry fee is required to visit Kakadu National Park. The fee of $25 per adult (excluding NT residents and children under 16 years) is valid for 14 consecutive days. For further details contact Kakadu National Park Bowali Visitor Centre, tel: 08 8938 1120 or www.environment. gov.au/parks/kakadu. ABORIGINAL LAND: When travelling through Aboriginal Land other than designated highways a travel permit must be obtained. For more information on permits for the Top End contact the Northern Land Council, tel: 08 8920 5100 or www.nlc.org.au. CAMPING FEES: Camping fees in national parks are generally geared to the level of facilities provided. Fees may be payable when booking, be collected by a caretaker or be payable at a selfregistration station at the site. Contact the campground prior to departure for up to date camping fees as fees may rise during peak season.
GEAR TO MAKE YOU DROOL
TRIANGULAR CORE MATRIX™ TECHNOLOGY
The concept of a Therm-a-Rest came about while kneeling on a gardening cushion. The founders of Therm-a-Rest, Jim Lea and Neil Anderson, realized that open-cell foam had memory when Jim’s gardening cushion expelled air as he shifted his weight. They melted two pieces of airtight fabric around a piece foam using an old sandwich maker, added a valve and their first prototype was ready to test. Jim and Neil have moved way ahead of the sandwich maker! New for 2011, Therm-a-Rest have released the NeoAir All Season mat. This lightweight, durable and extremely warm mat uses patent pending Triangular Core Matrix™ technology which creates over 100 internal cells and Reflective Barriers to trap the warm air, resulting in an incredibly high R-value without the weight or bulk of conventional insulation.
REVOLUTIONARY GEAR TO MAKE YOU DROOL When Paddy Pallin couldn’t source functional lightweight camping equipment locally, his solution was to design and make his own! He tested the gear to his own elevated standards on thousands of excursions with colleagues and mates and refined each design over the decades. Though the R&D of the 1930s was far less advanced than it is today, Paddy Pallin founded his company on the principle of innovation. It is this tradition that continues to drive our ranging decisions of the products we stock from the world’s most visionary brands. These progressive companies and the revolutionary products they continue to create are the reason so many Australian adventurers have come to rely on Paddy Pallin for both their gear and the wisdom gleaned from years of experience.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season RRP $269.95 R-Value: 4.9 Thickness: 6.3cm Weight: 540g
To celebrate 40 years of reliability, innovation and comfort, Therm-ARest have released a new retro branded limited edition mattress with their original logo and colours. The mat uses a revolutionary new foam to create a thicker and warmer version of the ProLite Plus, but without any additional weight! Exclusively available at Paddy Pallin from early December.
Therm-a-Rest 40th Anniversary Sleeping Mat RRP $249.95 R-value: 4.0 or 4.8 Thickness: 5.0cm Weight: 680g or 650g Stuff sack repair kit included.
SEA TO SUMMIT
3D NANO SHELL™ TECHNOLOGY
Use your feet like Mother Nature intended! The Zilch is the thinnest, most minimalistic sport sandal Teva has made – ever. With just 10mm of material between your foot and the ground, the Zilch is able to flex and bend naturally with your foot, giving you an amazing feel and connection to the earth. The Zilch is so flexible that it can actually be completely rolled up, making it the perfect travel shoe for anyone that likes to pack light. The sole is designed to grip in both wet and dry conditions, giving you traction and protection that a bare foot does not. Further protection comes from the outsole which slightly wraps up around the foot to keep you from slipping off. The topsole features a slow recovery material that allows your foot to slowly sink into it, giving a unique fit for every foot.
Teva Zilch RRP $129.95 Minimalist construction that bends and flexes naturally with your foot, providing amazing connection to the ground and excellent grip.
THE NORTH FACE
HYVENT™ WATERPROOFING Everyone has heard of GORE-TEX® and The North Face, but far fewer people are familiar with HyVent™ - waterproof and breathable technology from The North Face. It utilises a polyurethane (PU) coating that consists of a tri-component, multi-layer formula for waterproof protection, moisture permeability and durability. HyVent™ technology has been lab and field tested to ensure the best possible durability and function while also maintaining an optimum level of breathability. To test the level of waterproofness, The North Face subjects HyVent™ garments to 20 wash cycles, where garments retain an average of more than 60psi on the waterproofing Mullens Test. There are five specialised fabric technologies in the HyVent™ range of products, to protect the wearer in all conditions from cool wet climates all the way to the most severe conditions. Cas & Jonesy (see back cover) will be wearing the Summit Series™ collection while walking to the South Pole this summer.
The North Face Leonidas Jacket RRP $399.95 4-way stretch, 40D Hyvent™ 2.5L fabric for first-class performance and protection
Image : James Castrission hauling in Summit Series™ gear on a training trip in the NZ Alps
ZILCH – MINIMALIST CONSTRUCTION
One hundred years ago, the warmest sleeping bags were made from reindeer pelts with a full winter coat. They were very heavy and cumbersome and after a few days in sub-zero temperatures the leather would get damp and freeze solid as a board when not in use. Adventurers and explorers who wanted something less cumbersome and presumably less smelly turned to down filled sleeping bags – these were compact and much lighter but the down would get progressively limp as it soaked up condensation from body moisture after each night. Even modern waterproof breathable fabrics - laminated with space-age membranes could not eliminate the problem of body-generated moisture condensing inside the sleeping bags’ outer shell.
Sea to Summit Alpine II Sleeping Bag RRP $799.95
This year Sea to Summit solved this obstacle and launched the next evolution in sleeping bags. Based in Perth, WA, the company’s founders Roland Tyson and Tim Macartney-Snape have a long history of serious ski touring and high altitude mountaineering behind them. Together with their design team they created some of the best weight for warmth sleeping bags on the market. In the Alpine and Traverse series in the range they have incorporated a patented ‘3D NanoShell™ water repellency and condensation management system’ or in simple terms they have found an elegant solution to combating the hitherto unsolvable problem of internal condensation mentioned above.
Super Durable Water Repellency + Condensation Management System
For the nano part, they have used an ultra water repellent outer shell fabric that by the wonders of nano-tech has a durable water repellent treatment coating every fibre and chemically bonded to it so it won’t rub or wash off. This allows the fabric to have excellent air permeability, reducing the amount of moist air trapped within but keeping liquid water out. The three dimensional aspect comes from a 4 mm thick matting of fine silicone coated polyester fibres that lies between the outer shell and the down. It is surprisingly effective at keeping the down from absorbing any of the condensation and allows the condensation to quickly dry off without getting trapped in the down.
Windproof & Water Repellent
NanoShell™ Face 20D polyester, high-density weave, highly breathable, water-resistant fabric treated with a Nano DWR 3D Barrier non-woven silicone encapsulated 3-Dimensional layer 850+ Loft down insulation
20D polyester, soft touch, high-density weave inner lining fabric
REMOTE RIVER MAN inside my jungle hammock for extra insulation and added comfort. I know first-hand the long-term problems of sleep deprivation on lengthy expeditions. Decent rest is crucial, which also means keeping the bugs at bay.
REMOTE RIVER MAN THE ART OF LIGHTWEIGHT RIVER EXPLORATION
I caught malaria in Papua New Guinea once, so I’m pretty obsessive about insect pests these days. I always sleep under treated netting, and soak my clothing (hat, socks, everything) before I go in a permethrin solution
Words and Images by Kevin Casey
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mattress RRP $249.95 that deters ticks, mozzies and other nasties. Permethrin is only for clothing, of course - on my skin I use a DEET-based repellent with around 30% DEET (any more is overkill). The advantage of permethrin-treated netting over untreated, by the way, is that with an untreated net the mozzies will just camp out on the outside of the net, waiting patiently for you to emerge to answer the call of nature. With a treated net, they don’t come near it.
When I first started producing DVDs of my solo wilderness river journeys and sending them off to TV networks their reaction was, quite often, pure skepticism that (a) I could travel into the world’s remotest regions for a month or more with absolutely everything I need on my back, (b) that I could do all the filming singlehandedly and get such amazing footage, and (c) that I had no support team (or anybody at all) waiting in the wings to rescue me if things turned bad. Travelling alone to explore remote rivers isn’t magic – it’s just good preparation and proper selection of gear. Having a unique outdoor skill set doesn’t hurt either, I guess. In my case this includes some serious survival experience, animal tracking skills, an ability to adapt quickly to a variety of outdoor environments and a stubborn enthusiasm for the lone exploration of little known rivers. I also have a healthy tolerance for unusual bush foods, which often supplement my meagre rations.
Over the years I’ve consumed donkey stew, termite soup, stewed antelope, seared goanna, fried grasshoppers, raw queenfish (minutes after it came out of the ocean), waterlily seed 12
damper, fresh seaweed and an assortment of cooked wood grubs, which, incidentally, are excellent when rolled in the ashes at the edge of a fire. There is no wasted space in my 90-litre pack. Each of my remote-area filming journeys requires a video camera, tripod, batteries and tapes, plus accessories such as headphones, rain cover, cleaning kit, portable microphones, etc. I use water purification tablets rather than a filter, I carry a small selection of clothing and I pack a first aid kit which is perfect for my needs but packs down to about the size of a softball. When it comes to expedition food overseas, I visit local markets and shops in search of rice, oatmeal, dried fruit and nuts, powdered milk, pasta, beef jerky
and other foods with minimal water content but high nutritional value. If I have room for fresh fruit and vegetables on my raft or kayak, I’ll bring those along to consume during the first fortnight. My water containers are collapsible – I carry Nalgene 3-litre or Sea to Summit 6-litre water bags - never bottles. If I can fit it in I’ll take a Therm-a-Rest Neo Air mattress (the short / wide version) to nestle
Sea to Summit Pack Tap RRP from $24.95
Good socks are one the most under-rated parts of the outdoor wardrobe. I spend the money and get quality ones – the proper combination of fabric types for the activity and climate are essential for keeping those blisters at bay. In serious jungle situations I find Gore-Tex boots a hilariously inadequate choice. You will definitely get water inside them, since there is just no way to safely avoid wading through knee-deep sludge in these places. You’re far better off with a quick-drying shoe (Salomon make good ones). Keep in mind that jungle trekking can be quite minimalist – when Mike Fay of National Geographic famously walked across the entirety of equatorial Africa over a decade
Europeans, but they do have their uses. I like the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z ones because they’re lightweight and packable and the sections are connected with cord, like a tent pole. They give additional stability when crossing creeks, and in my case have even more obscure uses – freshwater stingray frighteners in shallow South American creeks, hollow log checkers (for snakes), recently caught piranha pinners, and when stuck
Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z Poles RRP $199.95 (pair) in the ground they serve as a single-item clothesline or boot drying rack when there are no trees. Not sure how they might go as
Sea to Summit Mullet Cap RRP $39.95 a jaguar deterrent and I hope I won’t have to find out.
happened to me in the Los Esteros del Ibera swamp in Argentina). In the Kimberley, bush flies are always a problem. If things get really bad I break out the mozzie head-net. I have always liked zippered pockets on trousers and shirts when travelling overseas – and the less conspicuous the better. When I was wandering around the streets of Libreville, Gabon last year I made good use of my nylon ExOfficio trousers. It gave me more peace of
ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa Convertible Pant RRP $139.95 mind than a waist belt that could be easily cut off by a thief. When I head to the jungles of Guyana very shortly, I’ll have a familiar problem – the airlines only allow me one 20 kilo bag plus a cabin bag. This of course, leads to the age-old question – take underwear, or go Commando-style? This, in turn, always leads me to wonder: what is it with Commandos - can’t they afford underwear? And how do they fight with all that chafing? Yep, life is full of mysteries all right...
Though some of the expedition hats I’ve worn
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Shoe RRP $199.95 ago, he did the whole trek in a pair of nylon shorts and some open sandals. Mind you, he did have a few parasitic worms burrowing into his feet along the way... Walking poles aren’t something that Aussies have taken to as much as, say, northern
over the years resemble something out of “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, they’re functional. I like a wide brim and plenty of neck protection. Hats also keep things like tarantulas from dropping directly onto your scalp from overhanging branches as you’re paddling clumsily underneath them (don’t laugh - this actually
Editor’s note: Kevin’s latest river exploration DVDs (Coast of Bears and Packrafting the Kimberley) are available from the Products page of his website at: www.remoteriverman.com
THE GREAT HIMALAYA TRAIL sisted of a polypro thermal under a shirt, then a light Patagonia jumper, followed by my rain coat. This system supplied sufficient warmth for me at 6000m. I only used the down in the evening when in camp or in the bleaker days when stopping on top of the passes. Actually, the least amount of work my Paddys jacket does is probably stopping the rain!! It gets a lot of wear outside of normal function – scrunch up to use as a pillow or a blanket, or put it upside down if the tent is leaking to protect your sleeping bag.
THE GREAT HIMALAYA TRAIL 157 DAYS WITH GREG BABBAGE
Images courtesy of Greg Babbage and World Expeditions
How heavy was your pack and how did you aim to minimise weight?
The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) is the longest and highest alpine walking track in the world winding 4500km through the tallest mountain ranges and most isolated communities from Tibet to Pakistan. The Nepal section of the GHT (1700km) offers a kaleidoscope of experiences and World Expeditions was proud to offer the first-ever range of commercial treks that commenced in February 2011 and are available again in 2012.
The trail, which can be undertaken in one continuous trek of 157 days, traverses the country from east to west. Acknowledging that most of us simply don’t have the luxury of this sort of time for our adventures, World Expeditions have crafted seven treks of 18-34 days that will interlink to make up the full traverse. The beauty of each is that they all offer something completely different and beyond imagination. Greg Babbage, of Kempsey NSW, recently completed the history making inaugural trek of the Great Himalaya Trail. He was the first Australian to complete the five month adventure and did so in his favourite Scarpa boots and Paddy Pallin knee length rain jacket. Greg talks about the gear he chose for such a bashing and how he prepared for this once in a lifetime endurance traverse. Why did you decide to take on the Great Himalaya Trail?
I have always been interested in outdoor activities such as bushwalking, cycling, kayaking, swimming and gardening. I had to give up bushwalking 15 years ago due to chronic hip pain, necessitating a total hip replacement in December 2000. I then resumed my bushwalking and developed a passion for the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park where I could pursue my love of self-contained camping and fishing in my local river, the Macleay. I
also fell in love with Tasmania and enjoyed the challenge of some of the famous bushwalks there, as well as walking around the coast of Bass Strait Islands, such as King Island, Flinders Island and Cape Barron Island. Who were your companions on the trail? Did anyone else walk with you from start to finish?
Toni Wilson from Britain did the full traverse and is well known via the blog entries (www. trekthegreathimalayatrail.com). She is quite inspirational. Though she had done some trekking prior, including the Annapurna, she certainly did not have a big background in bushwalking or trekking. But she made the decision that when she turned 50 years she would leave her work (after 25 years of service) to challenge herself and become a world traveller. Toni turned 50 when we crossed into Tibet at the end of the trek. On the seven commercial stages of the trek we were joined by a total of 34 trekkers from all over the world, ranging in age from 28 to 65 years young. What considerations did you make when selecting your gear, what were your key pieces of equipment and why did you pick these?
You have to pack for 30 degrees down to minus five degrees as you experience snow and cold for the first few months while the last couple of months is more lightweight summer
walking gear. I had been to the Himalayas five times so I already had a good selection of gear. Basically, I utilised my old favourites! I bought a new pair of Scarpa Kailash boots for the training, my fourth pair of Kailash actually. I used my leather Scarpa SL M3 in the snow up to waist deep and then when I got out of the snow areas I wore the Kailash for the next 80 days. They did around 2000km worth of trekking in the Himalayas and bushwalking in Australia combined. Some of the Sherpas had some serious cold issues and suffered from frostbite but my boots performed well in the snow and extreme cold. I also rotated between four pairs of my favourite Wigwam socks. I would rig up spare shoelaces in the tent to wash and dry during our off days. I relied heavily on my classic Pallin long rain jacket, I’m not sure what the model was but I’ve had it since 2007. When it’s raining heavily in warm conditions I like it because your shorts aren’t getting wet. I do a lot of walking in shorts and Sea to Summit gaiters. Especially in Tassie where all the hard core bushwalkers are, and they would always be in long rain jackets, shorts and gaiters so I looked around and the Paddys one was the only one I could find. In the colder areas we didn’t get excessive amounts of snow while trekking so I found it was also good as a wind protector and for warmth when layered over an extra thermal. My layering system con-
We were allowed a kit bag of 15kg which the porters would carry. They typically carried around 40kg of gear each! I chose to carry a larger pack (85L) as my daypack as on the passes with your rain coat, camera, puffer jacket, you might be peeling off gear when you get down lower. My whole daypack only weighed around 10-12kg, including 2L of water. I actually use two Nalgene bottles rather than a bladder as they can double as a hot water bottle at night. Of all the gear you brought along, what pieces were you grateful you packed?
At Christmas before the GHT I brought a Sea to Summit toilet paper roll holder around Flinders. Simple design but very effective. I had only used plastic bags before and found the holder not only keeps your toilet roll dry but also accessible. I also bought a pair of Sea to Summit Quagmire gaiters before the walk, which were handy to shed the snow when you fell in deep. They’re easy to put on, the Velcro holds up well and they don’t have the elastic drawstring top which can get caught and flick you in the back of the leg, actually quite painful! What training did you do to prepare for the GHT?
I’m a horticulture teacher so I did a lot of physical landscaping prior day to day. Constructing vegetable gardens, retaining walls, and track work. Lots of digging, crowbar work and breaking up hard ground. I love
Scarpa Kailash GTX Boots RRP $339.95
paddling and go a couple of times a week. In January, Julie (my partner) and I walked around Flinders Island over 14 days, 240 kilometres, carrying all of our gear. Outside of that, I fit in 40 minute walks every morning, and a 10-15 km walk one day over the weekend. Plus gym 2-3 times a week for muscle strengthening and cross training. How did you keep your feet happy walking for 1700km?
the people and culture are beautiful, the feeling of self-achievement from trekking will be with you a lot longer than any temporary pain, so just do it. Don’t be scared that you will be too unfit, too old, too fat, too inexperienced etc. One of my favourite quotes which we posted on the GHT blog during the trek, though I’m not sure who it’s from was ‘If not me, then who. If not now then when.’
I never had any problems with blisters ever! Working in work boots helped to train my foot, plus I’ve found the Kailash to be a really nice pair of boots. I used Superfeet insoles and I see a podiatrist regularly who puts padding under my trouble spots. Was there ever a point on the trail where you thought that you may not reach the Yari Valley?
The long days from the Dolpo section onwards especially from the Phoksumdo Lake to Rara Lake Link section was probably the hardest mentally. Luckily for me, I had the anticipation of meeting up with my partner at Rara Lake to look forward to. Now that it is two months after the GHT, what are your most lasting memories? What will stay with you forever?
The connection I made with the Dolpo group and the camaraderie there. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the scenery and the people. The Makalu area and the challenges of the high passes in the snow are pretty awe inspiring. It is a lifelong memory getting to meet some of the mountaineering legends I walked with, like Carlos Buhler and Sorrel Wilby. Just getting to see how professional they are and to talk with them and be around them. The leader, Stephen Venables, had the three hardest passes and is a real character. What would you give as advice to someone looking to embark on their own multi-week trek (or multi-month trek!)?
My one piece of advice is that humans are made to walk, the more you do it, the easier is becomes. Nepal is a fascinating country,
Wigwam Cool Like Hiker Pro Socks RRP $29.95
What is your next adventure?
Doing anything outdoors is my adrenaline fix, I certainly love my bushwalking in Australia and the ability to go to remote areas, set up camp, light a fire, go for a fish, or dive for abalone and have no one else around. This is a privilege you can still have in Australia and this is something I can see myself doing till I become too old. I hope to do the Western and Eastern Arthurs in Tasmania and climb Federation Peak (weather permitting) with a few mates and do a walk around Cape Barren Island with my partner Julie in the Christmas holidays. Other plans include walks in New Zealand, maybe go to K2 Base Camp and trek on the Alto Bolo Glacier and when I retire do some of the long distance walks that Australia offers. World Expeditions is offering the GHT as a commercial trek departing February 21st, 2012 and finishing in mid July. Like this year, it can be undertaken in one single trek of 152 days or by joining one of the seven stages. By joining one of the GHT treks you will be helping us achieve our vision of sharing the benefit of tourism dollars with isolated communities. For more information on the GHT and departure details for 2012 visit www.worldexpeditions.com and click the right hand side Great Himalaya Trail button.
Patagonia R2 Jacket RRP $299.95 Sea to Summit Quagmire Gaiters RRP $89.95
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CAS & JONESY - CROSSING THE ICE
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A WORLD FIRST 2200KM RETURN WALK TO THE SOUTH POLE
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Cas and Jonesy landed in the spotlight after their successful paddle across the Tasman. They are now planning to complete the first unsupported return South Pole Expedition, Crossing the Ice. This objective has been attempted by many experienced polar explorers in the past and all have failed. Cas and Jonesy will be walking on foot or skiing, man-hauling a pulk (with 160kg of provisions each) to reach their goal. The duo departed in October 2011 and will return successful in January 2012. Summer 2011/12 will also mark the 100 year anniversary of Scott and Amundsen’s South Pole expedition. Paddy Pallin is proud to be selected by Cas and Jonesy as the official equipment sponsor on Crossing the Ice. We will be providing solid advice and dependable gear for the harsh elements and conditions they will encounter. Cas and Jonesy took a few precious moments before departing to answer a couple of questions about why they took on this challenge and how they prepared themselves. Jonesy and I just LOVE adventure! As kids, we grew up reading stories of Capt Scott, Shackleton, Amudsen and Mawson. These stories were both fascinating and intriguing with Antarctica being the coldest, windiest and most hostile place on the planet. Ever since then we always dreamt that one day we’d head down there and have our own adventure. Why did you approach Paddy Pallin for support?
Ever since getting our first canvas rucksacks and leather boots from Paddy’s when we were teenagers, we always looked at Paddy Pallin stores as our launching pad into the outdoors. The staff were always knowledgeable, friendly and were able to point us in the right direction with the gear that we needed. Going beyond the gear, we loved being able to talk to the staff about their experiences
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in the outdoors and their ideas of walks, paddles or canyons to conquer!
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What have you been doing to prepare for the extreme elements you will encounter in Antarctica?
The best training for dragging heavy things in cold places is to.... drag heavy things in cold places! Six months ago we headed up to the Arctic to train in conditions similar to what we will experience in Antarctica. We encountered temps down to -44 degrees celsius! At that temperature your breath freezes in front of you and ice forms in your sleeping bag. Back home in Sydney we’ve been training 25-30 hours per week... with a big part of that being dragging truck tyres around which simulates pulling a 160kg sled through snow - heaps of fun! Stay tuned for regular updates of their progress on our website, facebook and enewsletter. Learn more about these adventurers and track their journey online at http://casandjonesy.com.au/.
Images courtesy of Cas & Jonesy from their August 2011 training trip in the New Zealand Alps
Why? Why did you want to do this?
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