La Sportiva Garnet GTX

La Sportiva Garnet GTX

Well the time has come swap out my old pair of boots which were also La Sportiva’s but I cant remember the model. Heavy full grain leather boots which lasted me eight years and sold me on the quality of this brand. So I headed to Melbourne with my tax return in my hand and feet pointed to little Bourke street.

I wont go into the full spec’s of the boot which can be found here

I found the boots very comfortable straight out of the box and managed to wear them on a day walk three days after purchasing them. The walk was a snowy bash up the south wellington track, across wellington plateau to the summit and then down via the road. With 15-20cm of fresh snow on the ground I was expecting to end up with wet feet at some point during the day and I also packed the blister kit just in case. I was very happy to get home that evening with dry feet that were completely blister free. The Vibram soles provided plenty of traction on a slippery track and at no point were my feet cold.

I would recommend upgrading the innersole of the boot as its a tad thin.
All in all I was very happy with my purchase and hope to get another eight years out of these ones.

Charged by Fire

I came across this today and thought its was a great idea. not sure how it would go in our parks systems fuel stove only areas.

Mike Apsey

Mikie likes it and so may you. I also like what this company is doing.

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Black Diamond Spot

With another birthday over its time to have a play with some of the new toys I picked up.

I am super excited about this torch and i have had my eyes on it for a while.

  • Its nice and lightweight, coming in at 90 grams.
  • It also has a battery indicator so you can make sure that you know when to have a set of batteries on hand.
  • Adjustable output, by holding in the button you can dim the light to your required output.
  • 2 LED’s provide plenty of ambient light for cooking, reading or finding things in the tent.
  • Red LED’s, for moments when you need a short burst of light but want to retain you night vision.
  • Locking Feature. Hold in the power button for 6 seconds and the torch locks, preventing it turning on in your pack.

I haven’t taken this torch out on a  trip yet, however from a walk around a local track in pitch black darkness I am very impressed.




Photo sources of

Exped Down Mat 7.

When it comes to sleep, and good quality sleep at that you cant look past the Exped Down Mat series.

For years I battled to get comfortable on closed cell foam mats or self inflating mats. While they did the job of insulating you from the ground comfort wasn’t really a consideration. That’s all changed now.

The Tech.

So it kinda look like an air mattress and in a way your right, the mat has an integrated pump for inflation but behind the pretty outer is a layer of down. The same stuff that’s in your down jacket and sleeping bag. This allows for great insulation and the air smooths out the lumps and bumps on the ground.

In Use.

I have taken this mat away on snow trips, used in huts and tents and in various climates and do not have a single complaint. It insulated exceptionally against snow and wasn’t to warm on the coast in summer.


Photo from

Mountain Designs Edge 70l Pack

Earlier this year I went on the hunt for a new pack, I wanted something I could use around Tasmania and that I could use climbing as well. After weeks of annoying my fiancee by checking out all the shops, online and any other avenue I could find I chose the Edge 70L from Mountain Designs. Continue reading

Sleeping Bags.

So how do you go about picking a sleeping bag? With so many different options on the market it can be hard to decide what you need.

The first thing to remember is that not all sleeping bags are created equal, Continue reading

Macpac Olympus

This is a tent I have used almost exclusively for 12 years I have fond memories of this tent and as such my review may be influenced, I will however take you on a journey of where I have used this tent and the conditions its been in rather than spout facts and figures at you or doing your typical review.

Starting an Adventure Leadership course in college the Macpac olympus was the only tent in the gear room, there were about 15 of them all up of varying ages and in different states of repair (school kids can be hard). We practiced tent pitching out on the school lawns and I was happy with the way the tent could be pitched as one unit fly and inner (integral pitch) which meant no longer would the inner get soaked by the tassie rain as you put the fly on.

I also liked that from the moment you pulled it out of the pack it could be up in a minute or so. simply slide the poles in and then with 4 pegs you could be out of the rain. obviously there are more than 4 pegs but that is all you need to get in quick.

In summer you can pith the fly only and have a great light weight shelter that takes up less room than a bivy bag.

So the first trips were your normal school trips, coastal with a bot of wind and rain. No real test for a four season tent of any type. Trips then began to get interesting Central highlands in winter a good test for a lot of tents and once again it help up great. Most other tents i have used will get large amounts of condensation inside the tent in cold weather but the Olympus never did.

Then came a fantastic test of the tent, Victoria’s high country in the middle of winter. We camped on the Razorback ridge Near Mount Hotham for a week and during that time the area received record snow fall. every morning we had to uncover the tents and shovel snow away but the Olympus shed the snow and never sagged or suffered condensation in those conditions either.

Heavy rain can be a great test, with this tent I walked in the lake Ada region of Tasmania during a torrential down pour for three days it did not stop and we packed the tent up after and were still dry. The bathtub floor also prevented water coming in from the sides as the whole area flooded and we only just crossed the dam on the way out after sleeping at the car park.

High wind, not a problem either with all the pegs in place and guys tight as a drum we slept through a hellish night on the sentinel range in Tasmania, where another tent was lifted off the ground and it’s occupants dumped on top of each other at four am.

Used it in the best weather as well, on hot days it can be opened at both ends and well ventilated or as I said before pitched with just the fly.

Some people say its heavy, some like me don’t mind the weight for the security of a trusted piece of gear. I’ll be sad when it dies but I will buy its younger brother.