Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
No. 106. October, 1943. Price 4d.
|Mount Franklin||Business Manager||2|
|A Photographic Ramble||Les Harpur||5|
|Rumours and Facts||Dorothy Lawry||6|
|Alpine Hut 1943||Asst. Censor||8|
|News from the Forces||9|
|Did you Know?||11|
|Our Own Meeting||12|
|What Paddy Says||14|
I love these times when there is no one near me
For when I speak there is none to hear me
But stars and the wind in the sobbing grass
And the clouds - the clouds that pass.
I love wild ways and the day's glad glitter
I love my friends, friends beautiful and bitter;
But I float my soul to the deep sky stream
When the moon comes, the moon comes - for then I dream.
By The Business Manager.
We came to the first snow four miles below the Mount Franklin turn-off and 18 miles from the Chalet. By the time had ploughed and skidded over that last four miles in Mr.Storen's mail car we were in snow a foot deep.
At the turn-off we put on our skis and started the journey to the Chalet. Our arrival at this point was, all things considered somewhat of a miracle. Arranging a snow trip never was easy, even in the days when the Tourist Bureau did its best to help, but in these days it is quite a feat of organisation for 7 people to get leave at the same time, transport, to send food by train, mail car and pack horse, to get enough equipment, and so on. At one point we nearly despaired, then, in the last few days, fortune smiled. From then on everything worked without a hitch, even the weather was kind (to most of us).
Although we were carrying only equipment, clothes and a little food, we found it hard going, so decided to stay in a comfortable “cubicle” near Maxwells, 2 1/2 miles along the road.
Next morning it did our hearts good to see Mr.Maxwell setting out with 260 lbs. of food loaded on two prancing packhorses. There, we thought, but for the grace of Mr.Maxwell, go we - except that we couldn't have pranced. The trip was only 11 miles over a well-graded road which rose no more than 1,000 feet, but it toot us six hours of solid plugging to get there. At times the light mist lifted, and though our perception was somewhat dimmed by our sufferings, we realised that there were great valleys on either side and snow-capped ranges beyond. Three miles from the Chalet we met a party of four coming out, having had to abandon their car in the snow. We felt better when they congratulated us on not having a car.
It was good to arrive at the chalet after what had seemed an interminable climb up the last mile and a half of road (really an easy climb). Soon we had the fires going, had a cup of tea and a belated lunch, relaxed for a while, then started fossiking around the edges of the great pile of foodstuffs Mr.Maxwell had left on the kitchen table. We had time to look around the Chalet, probably the best of its kind in the snow country. It is built of well seasoned, smooth-grained timber, his double walls with no chinks anywhere. On the ground floor is a large kitchen and a comfortable living room with a Canadian stove in the centre, while above there are ten cubicles each with four bunks. Never before in the snow country had we had a whole Chalet and a bedroom each to ourselves. There was even a telephone in working order.
Jean Moppett, Doreen Heimrich and I reached the Chalet on Friday 30th July. Next day Irvine Calnan arrived, clad in army working dress, which was almost ideal for the snow. It was probably the first time army gaiters have served a useful purpose. On the Sunday Ruby Payne-Scott, John Noble and Bill Hall arrived. They had found another “cubicle” about 6 miles above the turn-off, so had done only 8 miles and arrived in good trim. Considering they had never skied before and had nobody to show them how, it was a worthy effort.
About 10 O'Clock on Saturday night we were surprised when 8 members of the Canberra Alpine Club arrived, having skied 8 miles from their car. Tim Ingram, Captain of the Club, seemed to be the organising spirit behind the venture. He soon made us feel welcome in the Club Chalet. The party left the next afternoon in quiet, thickly-falling snow as Ruby, Bill and John were arriving.
Ever since we had come in it had snowed on and off. Now it fell continuously. Soon it became heavier and the wind started to blow. By Monday we were in the midst of a blizzard. For five days we lived in a world of white mist and driving snow. We watched through the frosted, icicle-hung windows as it piled up around the hut, weighed down the leaves and branches of green trees, transformed dead ones into ghost trees of wind-driven ice. The taps froze. We had to melt snow for water. To go outside meant putting on boots and dressing for the occasion. One realised how lucky we are to live - except on holidays - in a land where the ground is dry and the sun shines in winter. But the blizzard didn't keep us in, except for Doreen, who had the bad luck to get influenza in this worst of all possible places for the sick.
In the Chalet life was warm and pleasant. There was plenty to be done, fires to be lit and stoked, chips to be dried. Wood to be dug out from a deep pile of snow and cut up, meals to be cooked, sweeping, washing-up, and so forth. Before long each of us had fallen into our place in the scheme of things. Jean took over the organising of the larder and cooked, , Ruby and Doreen (when she recovered) baked bread and cooked. John was chief lamp-lighter and washer-up. Bill the great tidier-up and sweeper; and myself the hewer of wood and emptier of pig-buckets (later called “wombat-buckets” because of the absence of the pigs).
Outside one was enfolded in close cotton-woolly whiteness which “drowned all sense of space”. In a blizzard the snow on the ground, the falling and wind-driven snow, and the streaming mist merge into one. Objects, location, direction are no more. It is a dream world wherein there is neither light nor shade, nor earth nor sky, but just soft blank whiteness broken only by the grotesque shapes of ice-encrusted trees.
On the third day of the blizzard Irvine set out for home. He rung up from Maxwells, almost exhausted, after ploughing often knee-deep, for six hours, through the newly fallen snow.
At last the blizzard abated. Rifts appeared in the mist. Soon the sun shone fitfully through. Then the clouds lifted further and we realised we were really on the top of a high mountain range. Great blue and purple valleys opened up beneath us; white tops appeared beyond.
Our range was covered by a smooth carpet of deep snow. By this time we felt it was “our” range, as there was snow several feet deep for 18 miles along the road back, enough to keep away any but the hardiest visitors. The telephone no longer worked. If we hadn't been Bush Walkers there might have been an item in the news “Hikers Marooned”.
It was a different world now. Every day we glided over virgin snow, often in bright sunshine, sometimes developed in the low misty-blue clouds which drifted overhead. Southwards we looked 50 miles to the glistening massif of Jagungal set in the distant snowfields of the Main Range. Northwards we looked down the deep blue valley of the Goodradigbee to the waters of Burrinjuck, 37 miles away. To the west the high broken peaks of the Bogong and Fiery Ranges stood out against the horizon, and to the East we looked over the blended purples and browns of the Canberra plains, beyond which were snow-capped ranges. In the evenings rose-red sunsets lit the snow with sparkling, pale pink light.
During our wanderings we saw many wombats. The are quiet, good natured animals. Often they didn't bother to run away when we approached but just sat in the snow and watched with faint interest as we passed. Wombats have very short legs, so that when they try to run in the snow they sink to their little round bellies and see-saw up and down without getting far. We were able to pick several up in our arms without much trouble. Their lack of fear may be due to the fact that they seem to have no natural enemies.
Time passed quickly in our Shangril-la. Came the time to return. Eleven miles of snow then, rude awakening, a bull-dozer had been along the track. We trod again on solid earth. And so back to the roads; to the “Network of railways, money, words, meals, paper” - and the rest - till next year.
Slips that Pass in the Type.
Mr. and Mrs. S—– are being felicitated on the girth of a Son at the Good Samaritan Hospital.
The Annual Christmas Party at the Asley Street School was held yesterday afternoon.
Diplomacy is the art of getting someone else have your way.
It is today scientifically true to say that one can throw mud round the world at the speed of light - A.P. Herbert M.P.
Men and pins are useless when they lose their heads.
Denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people and greatly assists the circulation of their blood.
Rumours And Facts.
Have you heard this rumour? It has been going round the Club for about three months now and the version you heard may not be much like the one I heard at the end of June. Rumours are like that.
Said a member to me (as near as I can remember now) - “I believe the Hobart Walking Club is not feeling too friendly towards the S.B.W. these days, since Dot English burned down the Pelion hut that was their special pride and joy, and only mentioned it to them very casually just as her train was moving out from Hobart”.
Well, that did not sound like Dot English, or any other S.B.W., so I knew that it was a rumour that was getting distorted and exaggerated as rumours usually do. I wrote to Dot and asked her to let me have the facts, if any, and when she replied I told that member what had happened, and asked that the facts be passed backward along the line to whoever had started the rumour. I heard it had come from Melbourne.
No one else having mentioned the matter in my hearing, I thought any publication of the story would be giving unnecessary publicity to the tragedy, but apparently I was wrong. At the barbecue week-end another member, who had just returned from the snow country, said: “What do you think, all the walkers in Melbourne are saying that the S.B.W. burned down the Pelion Hut!” I now find that various other people have heard “bits and pieces” about some such matter.
Well, here is an eye-witness's story - Dot's own - and as this magazine goes to the Melbourne Clubs I hope their members as well as our own will read it. I hope,too, that everyone will make a mental note of the warnings this story contains, one for all walkers who visit strange parts and have to use huts instead of their tents, and one for the builders and owners of huts that are sometimes used by strangers. Here is the story.
“Unfortunately it is no mere rumour but a fact concerning the Pelion Shack. Our party was in occupation the night the chimney caught fire, and I had lit the fire that night, so I hold myself responsible, but tell whoever your rumour-monger is that he's using his imagination a bit too far in saying that I told the Hobart Walking Club anything about the matter. I have not mentioned it to a soul as I was particularly anxious that the name Sydney Bushwalkers should not be brought in. I am sorry that the Hobart Walking Club have adopted Nazi reprisal tactics (if they have, but that may be part of the rumourmonger's imagination - Dorothy) and are acting in unfriendly fashion towards the Bushwalkers because of what some individual member may have done, but I suppose everyone, even bushwalkers, becomes a bit insane during wartime. You could tell them that incendiarism is not a policy of the Sydney Bushwalkers, and in indulging in such tactics I acted purely in a private capacity. But, honestly, Dorothy, do they really think I did it on purpose?
“If you know the Pelion Shack you will know it is, or rather, was constructed entirely of a light pine, including the chimney which was wood right to floor level. The locals have habit of poking branches of wood up the chimney, resting on the bar on which the billies are hung, so to dry them off, I presume. Whether this was so in the Pelion Shack I haven't any idea, as we didn't discover this habit till visiting subsequent huts. However, it would help to explain how the fire reached the top of the chimney, as that seemed to be the part most alight when I woke to the sound of crackling about dawn. The lower part of the chimney was also alight, but not to the same extent as the top. I climbed on to the roof and a kerosene tin of water we passed up to me. I poured this over the flames and tried to beat it out while more water was being collected. Unfortunately the creek is quite a distance from the shack down a steep embankment, and by the time the next kerosene tin of water had arrived the flames were getting under way again. A third bucket of water never reached the fire as the whole roof then caught and went up like thatch, followed by the rest of the match-wood structure, and we barely had time to throw out what properties of value we could grab when the whole place was like an inferno. We stayed there till the last ember was rendered harmless, put up a sign on the notice board to direct people to the old Pelion huts a quarter of a mile away and then passed on and reported the matter to Mr. Connell, the ranger in charge of that end of the Reserve.
“Holding a post mortem on the occurrence it is easy enough to point out things which should and should not have been done: chimneys should be built of iron and not of pine wood, sticks should not be poked up the chimney and left there when a party a vacates a hut, trees too close to the hut should at least have their branches lopped as I discovered when I got on the roof that there as a dead branch from a nearby tree poking right into the chimney and it was well and truly alight. It is quite possible that a spark from down below could catch the dead leaves and start the trouble. Water should be more accessible, and a shovel and heap of loose earth near the huts would also help. As it was, it was impossible to scrape up even a handful of earth to throw on the flames, and trying to beat them out with a green branch was just worse than useless.
“I left my name and address with Mr.Connell, and he will no doubt inform me of the verdict of the Park Trustees when they have held their meeting. I see no reason at all why the Sydney Bushwalkers should be brought in at all. Actually I am now a non-active member and have been away from the Club for some 18 months. This bit of information might help to pacify the Hobart Walkers.
“One can't spend ten years of one's life bushwalking without a few accidents happening. Still, I think this latest accident is the worst thing that has yet happened, in its own small way as bad as the bombing destruction of Coventry, Cologne, or the Ruhr, and equally regrettable.
“Well, that's the whole tale. I begin to feel depressed and will call it a day”.
I am sure that every bushwalker everywhere has sufficient imagination to realise how he, or she, would feel under similar circumstances; and so I am sure that everyone will sympathise deeply with Dot and her friends. At the same time, everyone, of course, will sympathise with the Tasmanian walkers in the loss of the Pelion Shack, and will realise that, though hard words may have been spoken, any real ill-feeling between two walking clubs is just a figment of the rumour-monger's imagination.
So far as Dot's clubmates in the S.B.W. are,concerned, I know they will all agree with me that we appreciate her efforts to dissociate us from the tragedy, but are glad to know that everyone recognises her as a member of our Club rather than of any of the others to which she belongs.
Alpine Hut, 1943.
By The Asst. Censor.
In peace time if one were to examine a Ski-ing brochure, he would see illustrated a bright young thing in nifty clothes, skillfully manoeuvring in front of a snow covered hotel bathed in sunshine. And lured by descriptions of fun and frolic in the snow, he would probably set off in Uncle Herbert's moth-eaten ski-suit and a brand new set of ankle-length underwear for the special 10 day tour. He would return with a lot of over exposed snapshots, a preliminary Ski-ing Certificate and a lot of exaggerated stories of his skill at steam turns.
War time offers a different picture. With all organised ski-ing resorts closed down, the enthusiast is forced to spend his holidays at a hut.
This year a number of parties went to the Alpine Hut in the Brassy Mountains, one of them at least having some unpleasant experiences.
This party left Sydney about the end of July, and proceeded by train to Cooma, Bus to Berridale, and thence to Snowy Plains by means of an automotive bird cage, reputed to be charabanc.
They arrived at Snowy Plains about midday and after lunching, freight was divided amongst the male members of the party, and they set off for the hut. The freight was that part of the food which had not been previously stored in the hut and consisted mainly of meat for the fortnight.
The first part of the journey, between Mathali's Hut and the Brassy gap was made in beautiful sunshine, but immediately on passing through the Gap they encountered a blizzard which made it very difficult to continue. However, all hands arrived at Kidman's Hut before dark and rested prior to the last section of the journey. The run from Kidman's to the Hut was made in darkness, with the blizzard increasing in intensity but all members made the journey without mishap with the exception of one who became separated from the rest owing to the limited visibility and arrived some hours overdue. He had found his way in by following Dead Horse Creek up the valley. On a couple of occasions during the trek he felt inclined to ask the horse to move over, but managed to carry on mainly as a result of his training as a bush walker. A few days in bed in the hut restored his health.
They found the hut plentifully supplied with food including powdered milk and egg, butter, dried vegetable, and a small quantity of fresh vegetables which had kept amazingly well since the previous autumn. The butter was in large cans was greatly improved by melting and adding water, which it took into composition while setting. It still tasted a bit like little Willie's home-made butterscotch.
The water service had frozen and burst sometime earlier in the season, and previous parties had been too indolent to repair it - they had preferred to carry water in buckets from the creek. When the leader of the party said that on the second day in, the party would be divided into two, one to go to Snowy Plains for some merchandise and the other to repair the pipe, most of the party suddenly discovered a previously inhibited plumbing ability. A blowlamp was found and digging through the snow to the pipe which had been laid on the surface of the ground, the pipe was thawed out and the splits repaired with sticking plaster.
The weather during their stay was mostly unpleasant, the wind and snow for about ten days of the fortnight making it almost impossible to get out of doors. Only one day was fine enough to make a run on the main range, and the entire party with the exception of the day's cooks went to the summit of Gungartin.
Cooking was the bug-bear of the trip. With the exception of the girls, no one had had much experience in cooking and providing for 12 hungry skiers took some organisation. It became the convention to nail anything inedible to the wall of the kitchen. When they left, a steak, a biscuit, a damper and a jam tart had taken their place amongst the cartoons and “Instructions to Skiers”. The only days they ate well was when it became the girls' turn to cook. These were feast days both socially and gastronomically.
Nights were spent boasting of one's exploits both indoor and out, playing cards and boasting of one's exploits etc. The time passed quickly and everyone had a reasonably happy time, despite being confined to the hut for long periods.
By a stroke of good fortune the weather cleared the day they left; providing good visibility for the journey out, and all came home determined to go again next year.
News From The Forces.
Word has been received that Gordon Smith is a prisoner-of-war in Malaya! This is the best piece of news that we have heard for a long time, confounding the rumours and dispelling our apprehensions as to his fate through all the long months since the fall of Singapore. We all hope that it will not be long before Gordon is back among us, leading the “Tigers” and taking his old place as one of our finest walkers and finest members.
Following close on the appearance of Gordon's name in the Prisoner-of-War List comes the news that Tom Moppett has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“Flying-Officer Moppett has taken part in many successful bombing raids on enemy territory, including a number against targets in the Ruhr area”.
“An exceptional navigator, his skill, courage and devotion to duty have proved him to be an outstanding member of a gallant crew. On one occasion his excellent directions resulted in the rescue of a crew of an aircraft forced down to sea.”
“This officer has fine spirit which has inspired confidence in the crew and contributed in a large measure to the success achieved”.
As soon as Jean passed the news on the following cable was sent from the Club -
“Cheers and congratulations. Keep up the good work and we shall see you at the next re-union. Sydney Bushwalkers”.
Letters Were Received From The Following:-
Brian Harvey, Jack Debert, Betty Isaacs, Harry Thomas, Lee Williams, David Lintern, Jack Marshall.
Harry Thomas writes from Tennant Creek:-
Thanks ever so much for your very chatty letter, which I received today. I also send my thanks for the two “Cox” River photos which you enclose.
Yes: I also prefer to walk ”'midst streams end hills” but unfortunately this part of Australia doesn't run to those refinements. Of course the hills are present but the streams are few and far between. I mean to make up for lost time when I come down on leave, at least a week on the Kanangra Walls - Katoomba. Walk down the Kowmung River, the cool Cox and through Breakfast Creek and the Megalong - and another week renewing my friendship with the Blue Gum Forest. I'll buy a couple of Kodachrome rolls and will I take photos??
Doubtless by the time that you have read to this line, you have found the two photos which I have enclosed. No! that isn't one of the Cox River Willows, it's one of the Northern Territory's mulgas which grow in thousands in this part of Australia, and the other one isn't a view of the entrance to the Coal Mine at Katoomba, but it is the entrance to a worked out gold mine, which are very frequently to be found, also in this of Australia.
I'm afraid I have had to curtail my walking now. The weather is gradually making the mercury soar and an army water bottle does not contain so very much you know, and as the surface waters are, as I have said, so very few and far between, well!
Lee Williams in New Guinea says:-
Here is a belated letter to you to thank the Committee for its frequent practical thoughts in the shape of magazines, papers, the selection from the S.B.W. photographic exhibition and sweets. The view from Splendour Rock was appreciated, bringing back memories of happier days and good company.
I will tell you of my journeyings over the last months. In March I arrived back in Sydney for a well earned 14 days of leave and a promise of more to come - during that time I enjoyed a fey days down at Blue Gum and several more at Werong. Unfortunately I was smitten with another attack of malaria soon after end spent some two months in hospital and Con. Camp in Q'land, and then as the gods have directed came back to New Guinea with a trip to Jenolan and thereabouts still on paper in my pocket. Life has not been too bad up to the present. Some days ago excitement was had in the preparation and execution of a race meeting complete with horses, mules and “bookies”, judges, stewards and even a broadcast system. The mules provided plenty of amusement by their contrariness ad everyone agreed that the race meeting was a huge success, even considering the fact that all of us had to walk home.
I have not met any of the bushwalking fraternity during my second excursion here, as yet, but no doubt I shall sooner or later.
And that completes my brief resume of “do'ins” to date and with a final “Thank you!” I say au revoir.
Did You Know?
It doesn't always pay to be original. Frosty, with her flair for originality decided that the ordinary way to descend a ladder, the way you or I would, hand over fist, and with decided decorum, was too slow and tried a quicker method. The result was that she had a bad fall and a spell in hospital. We are all very sorry to hear about it Frosty, and wish you a quick recovery.
Should you want to indulge in a quieter form of sport than Bushwalking (apart from engagements and marriages, which seems to be the alternative sport for Bushwalkers) the man to see is Frank Leydon. We think he is going to open a Sports Shop because he has bought in the last two weeks two canoes (secondhand) and 2 pairs of skis (secondhand). He is also wearing a very sporty cap, which looks (secondhand), and is toying with the idea of a Naval cap (secondhand) but these are harder to get. The shipping deals are transacted on Saturdays and tested on Sunday mornings, Sunday afternoon he goes for a ride on his sec–, sorry, bike and we think he does his bushwalking in the evenings. (This is firsthand information).
Very pleased to see Tim Coffey is very steady, and that Roley is playing safe by taking young married ladies out. We advise caution in all things.
We had the pleasure of attending a hens party the other week-end all civilized in a house in the Mountains. All club members, it was vary enlightening to see the way the girls arrived on the train and their idea of dress for a social week-end. By the look of things, they dithered between being ultra social and plain savage, and then apparently at the last moment their bushwalking instincts predominated. Jean Moppett was dressed for any eventuality, in a smart brown overcoat, almost the latest thing in hats, 1924 we think, shoes, stockings, large pack, knitting, and carefully tucked away in the pack an umbrella. At Strathfield we watched for Hilma, who was catching this train conditionally, that is if the the weather was no good for washing. It wasn't. We hung out of the windows and were staggered to see Hilma running alongside the train with a suitcase and a sleeping bag wrapped in brown paper.
We were very unkind and laughed at her which you shouldn't when people are trying to do things “real nice”. Her excuse for the suitcase was that she thought we would be annoyed if she arrived with a pack for a social weekend, but she wasn't a bit upset when she remembered that she had hidden Reg's bet hand knitted pullover and idly wondered if he would find it or freeze to death.
Just as we go to press comes the announcement of the engagement of Lieut. W.J. Mullins (our Bill) to Sister Sheilah White (A.A.N.S.). Congratulations Bill! Although not a bushwalker, it was while on a walk to Barrington Tops that Bill and Sheilah first met and she has been to many club dances while doing her training at St. Vincent's.
At Our Own Meeting.
Four new members ware welcomed, Freda Newman, Dick Howard, Bob Banks and Ken Taylor. Peter Jones has also been admitted to the Club, but was unable to be present.
The proposal to purchase lot 7 at Era was discussed at length and it was eventually decided “That the Club devote £100, from its Savings Bank Account, towards the purchase of the whole or half of Lot 7 at Era, provided that the balance of the money required be raised from individuals by loan or gift.” A sub-committee was appointed make further enquiries and negotiate with the owner. It was announced that loans to the value of £130 been promised by members. The Valuer-General's valuation is £410 and the rates £4 per year. The owner is reported to want grazing rights over the area, if he sells, but it is hoped that he may relinquish grazing rights over the land in the vicinity of Peter Page's camp spot, this land being of little value for grazing. Lot 7 is 40 acres in area. It includes Stockyard Creek camping site, most of the north Era “jungle” and the land between these places and the foot of the sandhill.
Several letters were discussed. Joe Turner drew attention to the disastrous effects of a 350 ft. dam on the Warragamba. The waters, he said, would flood the whole of the Burragorang. Allan Hardie said that it was unlikely that walkers would be kept off the area as this catchment differed from others in that the water would have to be purified before it was fit for use. Myles Dunphy said that a 250 ft. dam would be ample. This would bring the water to a point below the Cox junction. Great difficulty would be experienced because the gravel being washed down the Cox would silt up the dam.
Paddy Pallin is putting in hand a third edition of “Bush Walk and Camping”. Any suggestions for alterations, omissions or additions to the text would be welcomed.
Joe Turner would like to know of anybody who would like to go for a walk including Ebor Falls and Pt. Lookout between Dec. 25th and Jan. 1st. The walk will be put on the programme.
Further reports were heard from delegates in the endeavour to dissuade Woy Woy Council from continuing with their intention of establishing a sanitary depot in Warrah Reserve. Numerous other bodies have also protested, but even their united voices appear to be having little effect. It was decided that if it were deemed necessary to seek an injunction to prevent Woy Woy Council from implementing its intention the Federation would support the move financially to the extent of £25.
Arrangements have now been made for the printing of the Federation Annual and paper has been obtained for the reproduction of photographs. The S.B.W. are suggesting the appointment of a photographic advisor.
Dates For Your Social Calendar.
|6th October||A night with the Jitterbugs at the Trocadero.|
|15th October||Fifth Watercolour Exhibition of Australian Wildflowers.|
|22nd October||A “Back-to-Childhood” Party - if you haven't any short dresses, wear your shorts and be comfortable.|
|19th November||Western Ramblings. Lecture by Mr. Leslie Haynes.|
|26th November||Play Night (This has been postponed from 22nd October)|
Philosophy Of Walking.
Whether conscious of it or not we have all hammered out a philosophy of camping. Especially in regard to the gear we carry. A clever psychologist with bushwalking experience could probably define our attitude of mind from the contents of our packs. We must strike a balance between our requirements and the load we carry. For each one of us it is an individual problem and advice from others can at best be only along general lines.
Here are some of the considerations that affect the problem:-
These will depend on:-
a. Type of trip to contemplate.
1. Rough or easy.
2. Duration - weekend, week, fortnight &c.
b. Likely weather.
1. Cold or hot.
2. Wet or fine. &c. &c.
But mere tabulation does not solve the business. Some of us - Thereau-like believe that the secret is to reduce our wants. There are several approaches. We may contemplate a mid-winter mountain trip. The sleeping bag for all-the-year-round use is not warm enough. Several possible solutions present themselves. We may build up our resistance to cold so that we can sleep well without extra covering. This might involve mid-winter cold showers every morning and sleeping (as Gino Watkins is reputed to have done) with one thin blanket under an open window. On the other hand we decided to use our ingenuity and find the extra warmth in the cosy hollow of a soft bracken bed, or maybe we sleep tent flap up with friendly fire nearby.
Then there's the scientific approach. Determined to have warmth at all costs we study the effect of intake of carbohydrates fatty acids and suchlike on body temperature. Then turning to materials we consider the relative merits of wool and windproof materials and whether extra warmth is better derived from clothing or bedclothes.
Finally, of course, we have the coalheaver type who just chucks in “an extra coupla blankets and 3 sweaters for luck and don't forget those flannel duds.”
But enough! The page is full. Next month we'll discourse on weight.
Paddy Pallin. Camp Gear For Walkers.
Phone B-3101. 327 George Street, Sydney.