Tag Archives: food

iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Revisited

It’s over a year since I began reviewing iPhone apps for bushwalkers. During this time I have tried hundreds and found that I only use a few regularly.

While there are hundreds of iPhone apps useful to bushwalkers and growing every day, what you personally find useful is determined by your past experience, the type of walking you do, your interests,  and your willingness to be dependent on high tech devices.

After trying most, I regulary use only a few of these. On bushwalks, my choice will vary as it is dependent upon on the duration of my walk, and hence how important it is to save battery power,  and upon how much non-walking time I will have available.

My iPhone Apps

Navigation: Bit Map, Declination, Maps, Google Earth, Compass
Field Guides: Good Reader, BooksApp, Kindle, Aus. Birds (Morecomb), Field Guide Fauna Museum Victoria, Bird in Hand, WhatBirdNZ, Wikipanion, MyEnviro, FrogLog
Bushcraft / Survival : KnotsGuide, SASSurvival, Knots, GoneTrekking
Camp Food: Jamie Oliver’s Recipes, Poh’s Kitchen, Nigella Quick (….LOL)
Fitness: Walkmeter, Beat Monitor, Cadence, iHandy Level
Weather: Pkt Weather, Rainspotting, Clouds, iBarometer, ShralpTide, Clouds,WeatherNZ
Travel: Frequent Flyer, Webjet, Plane Finder, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor
Astronomy: Star walk, Star Guide
NZ: WeatherNZ, WhatBirdNZ, SnowReports
Photography: Flickr
Medical: Elastoplast, MediProfiles, St John NZ

Disclaimer: Navigation using your iPhone always needs to be backed up with a compass, map and a dedicated GPS. 

I have written reviews of many of these iPhone apps previously in this blog, several articles about how to use iPhone apps in general while bushwalking, and detailed articles which focus upon iPhone apps for navigation, fitness and NZ.

Read more…..

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Bushwalking in a Mouse Plague

Ever wondered how you need to protect your equipment when camping during a mouse plague? Is there anything you can do to avoid attracting them?

Having recently (April) walked in the Vulkathunha-Gammons Ranges in the north of South Australia, I was surprised to find how adaptable the house mouse is to an arid environment. Of course,  it had been one of the better seasons on record, and water was laying in small rock pools which normally would not have existed.

Sitting around our campfire we were amazed to see twenty or so mice approach within a few metres, looking for leftovers. On retiring, we soon realised how much noise a few mice can make as they run over your tent, gnaw at your tent and pack, and pick through your scraps. There is nothing quite like a gnawing sound to keep you awake, as you wonder which expensive piece of your equipment is being destroyed.

On rising, many of us noticed damage to our gear; holes in our packs and tents, even those that had been placed off the ground. Those who had been game enough to sleep with only a tent fly or in a bivvy sac had horror stories to tell.

While mice don’t conjure up the same element of fear, methods of protection from mice have some similarities to those needed when walking in bear country.

Safeguarding your Gear

The key to protecting your gear is to securely isolate your food from your gear or if you can’t do that make the food undetectable to smell.

This means adopting a combination of the following:

  • keeping your food, including leftovers, in airtight bags
  • not leaving food scraps around to attract them
  • keeping the food outside your tent and pack
  • isolating your pack from the ground, by suspending it between two trees on a very thin rope
  • making the rope unclimbable by making it long and thin (heavy nylon fishing line)
  • placing spinning obstacles on the cord such as drinking straws or soft drink bottles
  •  use your billy to store your food and put a rock on top

Some observations are that mice :

  • can climb trees
  • can eat through plastic containers, canvas, rip-stop nylon
  • can run along ropes
  • love to eat foam mats, and the handles of your walking poles.

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Saving Time with a Bushwalking "Thermos"

Ever wished you didn’t have to light your stove in the morning just to make a hot drink? Ever had hot water left over after your evening meal that you have wasted? Does you cup serve more than one function? When its raining, have you ever wished you didn’t have to go outside your tent to light your stove?  Ever wanted to sleep in for another fifteen minutes but didn’t have the time? Like to pack your tent in a leisurely fashion without worrying about your tea/coffee getting cold? Save time with an insulated vacuum  flask and add very little extra weight.

Zojirushi Tuff Slim Stainless Steel Vacuum Bottle

The solution to all these problems is a “lightweight” stainless steel vacuum insulated flask which can be pre-heated and filled with hot water the previous night and will still be warm the next morning. With a wide-mouthed flask you can soak your dehydrated food in hot water during the day and have it ready for dinner or have hot porridge for breakfast. No longer do you need to get up fifteen minutes earlier to light your stove just to boil one or two cups of water, and then wait for it to cool down before you can pack it away.

Intuitively a “thermos” would seem like an additional, unnecessary piece of equipment to take on a bushwalk,  but is it really? It can replace your mug (135 g) and maybe one of your smaller water bottles (100g), so it is not all added weight.  Some fuel can be saved each morning, which would otherwise have been wasted heating the stove and billy and your valuable “sleep-in” time increased. If you are using a wood campfire then the time saving is even greater. Get cold feet at night, then here is you solution?

Heat Retention

Use a spare sock or stubby holder to increase insulation and reduce heat loss. On a cold night use it as a foot warmer in your sleeping bag. With these tricks and pre-heating, I have managed to maintain coffee at the standard McDonald’s temperature of 60°C for over 12 hours. This is a little cooler than usual coffee connoisseur’s range 155ºF/70ºC – 175ºF/80ºC but its OK for the bush. Unfortunately, smaller flasks cool more quickly than large, so most bushwalkers are starting with a size handicap. The easy pour lids that allow you to pour by pressing a button or lifting a tab seem to lose heat faster so try to avoid these and instead select one with a screw top. Take the claims on the flask boxes and their websites with a “grain of salt” as many have been proven to be grossly inaccurate. If you have the opportunity to compare flasks and don’t have a thermometer, touch the outside; the one that is hotter will cool the fastest.

Well regarded brands include:

  • Sigg Thermo Trend (.3L, .7L, 1.0L) which will supposed keep water hot for 14 hours
  • Thermos Thermax Light and Compact (0.47L/325g, 0.75ml/475g, 12hrs) They also have Thermos TherMax Ultimate Flask 0.5L Graphite at 310g which is supposed to keep hot for 24 hours.
  • Aladdin (apparently has won some comparison tests, but many have had trouble with under performance with the 1L Stanley model)
  • Zojirushi Tuff-Slim (0.5L/450g) 167°F/75°C @ 6 hrs. / 117°F/50°C @ 24 hrs. Rating is based on water at a starting temperature of 203°F (95°C) at a room temperature of 68°F (20°C). Zojirushi have been specialist vacuum flask manufacturers for ninety years.

    They also make the 12 oz (0.35L) Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug (SM-CTE35) with built in Tea Strainer. A great idea for Chai tea or if you don’t like tea bags.

Amazon.com Product Description

This Zojirushi Stainless Mug comes with a tea strainer that allows you to brew fresh tea right before drinking. It features vacuum insulation to keep beverages hot or cold for hours, nonstick interior for easy cleaning, 2-inch wide mouth (easily accommodating ice cubes), detachable and easy-to-clean tea strainer with handle, and a secret compartment on lid for tealeaves and teabags. The screw-tight lid provides better heat retention compared to commuter mugs, and prevents leaks. The body can be washed under running water, but the bottle should not be soaked in water. It’s backed by a 5-year warranty for heat retention. 

      Wide-mouthed flasks
      You might like to consider getting a wide-mouthed flask which is more versatile, easier to eat from and clean, but is less well insulated and slightly heavier. Good examples come from Zojirushi eg the Tuff-Mug SM-AFE35 (12oz/0.35L/450g wide-mouthed (5cm) thermo,  which can keep water at 181F (81°C) for 1 hour or 140F (60°C) for 6 hours). Rating is based on water at a starting temperature of 203°F (95°C) at a room temperature of 68°F (20°C) The Tuff-Mug has room for storage of a teabag and a non-stick interior for easier cleaning. Some mention that wide-mouthed flasks are more difficult to drink from and that you may need a cup too, but in the bush this is a luxury most will do without.

      Zojirushi Stainless Steel Tuff Travel Mug

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      Bushwalking Workflow | Repacking the Next Morning

      How long does it take to pack in the morning? Do you vary your packing procedure if it’s wet? What if there is a frost or dew on your tent or it has rained overnight? How can you save time in the morning? Do you organise yourself before going to sleep?

      How long should you take to repack in the morning?

      The time taken depends on a number of factors such as:

      • How much you unpacked the night before?
      • Whether you partially repacked before going to sleep?
      • Whether you will be having a hot breakfast and whether you will need to cook breakfast or just heat some water for a hot drink?
      • Has it rained or snowed and if so, do you have a wet tent?
      • Which clothes did you sleep in overnight?

      Most people can cook a breakfast, make a hot drink, attend to personal hygiene and fully repack in a leisurely 90 minutes. With a little pre-planning, this can be reduced to 45 minutes and if needed, cut back to 30 minutes by saving a few tasks for later in the morning.

      Partially packing before you go to sleep

      Usually there is plenty of time to begin packing, after your evening meal and  before you go to sleep. There is also time to complete tasks that don’t need to wait until the morning.

      Simple tasks that can be done before you go to sleep include:

      • prepare your change of clothing for the morning and perhaps put them on before climbing into your sleeping bag.
      • store away you dirty and wet clothing unless you are going to put it back on, which is often the most sensible.
      • get out the new day’s meals and store in the lid of your pack.
      • refill your water bottle
      • bandage any blisters and tend to any injuries
      • read your route plan and make any modifications needed as a result of the day’s activities
      • if you are having a hot drink, pre-fill the billy/pan with the exact amount needed, add your tea bag to your cup along with the sugar and powdered milk. Find your lighter and grippers and place next to your cup.
      • pre-soak your muesli/porridge so it is easier to digest in the morning
      • write up your journal/diary or upload your blog if you have phone reception
      • replace the batteries of any items if needed
      • place items such as sleeping bag covers, tent stuff bags in readily accessible pockets of your tent where you can easily find them, and use the same pockets each time.
      • minimise the amount of clothing you will need to change in the morning, by carefully selecting what you will  wear in your sleeping bag.
      • place as many items as you can back into the correct pockets of your backpack. If you have room, and its likely to be wet, pull your backpack into the tent with you and then it is a simple task to fully repack before you emerge from your tent.

      While not part of the pre-packing routine, place items you might need during the night such as a torch, watch and water in the same place each night, where you can find them while still half asleep. 

      Waking in the morning

      Unless you enjoy rising early to see the sun, stop in your sleeping bag as long as possible and pack around yourself in your tent:

      • pull your shirt over you thermals, 
      • put on your jacket
      • roll up any items that you can or place them back in their stuff sacs.

      Only when all the items around you have been packed should you get out of your sleeping bag and stuff it into its compression sac, and then complete the dressing process, which will depend on the expected temperature:

      • thermal long-johns if you didn’t already have them on
      • put on your shorts or long trousers
      • then you waterproof over-pants and waterproof jacket if needed

      Now is the time to let down your air mattress and roll it up tightly. Collect all items inside your tent and stack them inside as close to the entrance as possible. Check all tent pockets to make sure your torch or compass have not been forgotten.

      Now its time to put on your boots and exit the tent. If its not raining and your tent is dry, this is the time to place all the items you have already packed inside your tent on a dry surface (eg your gaiters) ready for packing in the pre-determined sequence inside your pack.

      Breakfast

      Breakfast should be cooking, while you continue packing. Get you stove operating as soon as you get out of your tent and don’t stand waiting for the water to boil. If it is particularly wet, your wet weather breakfast of a few muesli/breakfast bars should be eaten before you get out of your tent and you will need probably want to forgo the hot drink.

      A more flexible alternative is to fill a “thermos” with hot water at dinner time and place it in your sleeping bag overnight. If you carefully choose your breakfast eg muesli or porridge then there is no need to light your stove and your breakfast can be eaten inside your tent, with no threat from the weather. This will also save you at least 15 minutes of stove starting and packing time.

      Repacking the contents of your pack


      The overriding sequence that should be followed is to pack those items that should be taken out of your pack last eg sleeping bag, at the bottom. It is not quite that simple however, as weight distribution also places a role, with heavier items placed close to the body and higher in your pack. Items you will need during the day should be placed in readily accessible pockets, the lid of your pack or perhaps just below the lid if the item is bulky eg rain jacket or fleece.

      See also: Packing for a Bushwalk

      Packing your tent.

      When you start packing away your tent depends on the weather and whether your tent is already wet.

      If there is a sunny break between showers, take the opportunity to get your tent packed away as quickly as you can, so the inside of your pack does not get wet while it is open. I usually roll mine in the mini-tarp (eg emergency space blanket) I have under my tent, brushing the surface clean between each roll.

      If it has rained during the night, or there has been a heavy dew, then you may want to leave your tent up until the last possible moment to try to get it dry before packing. Don’t forget to shake it, before taking out the poles, so you can get rid off excess droplets on the outside.

      Your tent goes into your pack last, as it will be the first thing you will want to take out of your pack when reaching your next campsite.

      Saving an extra few minutes

      • Choose a breakfast that can be eaten while you are walking.
      • Put on your gaiters at your first stop
      • Save your morning ablutions until you find a rest break near water.
      • Rehydrate before getting out of your tent, so you don’t need to brew a hot drink.
      • Have all you gear in individual stuff sacs which can be thrown into your pack with less care than if they needed to be packed separately.
      • Put on your sunscreen as you walk.

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      How do You Organise Your Food for a Multi-day Hike?

      Do you organise your food by ingredient, by type of meal or by day ? Which method do you find is best?

      There seems to be little consensus about the best way to organise your food within your pack on a multi-day hike.

      Some people keep similar ingredients together and use them in more than I meal. This allows larger containers and hence less packaging, but also risks losing the lot if a large container splits or breaks. It is  a bit like carrying a pantry in your pack and most people I’ve seen arrange the items on the ground around their stove as they begin meal preparation.

      Others keep all their breakfasts, lunches and dinners separately. They will have all their breakfast bars or muesli in the one bag, keep their salami,  cheese and biscuits in another, their scroggin in one large bag, and keep their dinners in another. 

      Others prefer to pack each day’s food separately in a labeled plastic snap lock bag.

      The advantage of this is that you can take a day’s food from deep in your pack, while still in your tent, and store it in the lid of your pack  for the day. You don’t need to undo your dry bag to get to your meals, and if its raining hard, the inside of your pack is not exposed to the weather. The zip -lock bag is waterproof and if you lose one then you have only lost one day’s food. At the end of the day, you have a bag to store your rubbish. In addition, it means that you can’t eat more than a day’s food at a time, so you always have that emergency food supply available. As you label each bag with the day of intended consumption, you can vary the contents so that the first day and last days are lighter and perhaps the emergency bag only contains high energy food. This level of organisation, which is done before you leave home, helps you ration your food evenly over a multi-day hike. It allows me pack my food more compactly with less likelihood of breakages.

      The disadvantage is that there is significantly more packaging,

      Which do you prefer?

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      Lightweight and Heart Friendly: Selecting High Energy Bushwalking Food

      How do you design a healthy, but energy-dense diet for hiking?  What alternatives are there to saturated fat-rich foods when on a multi-day hike? Can a “heart safe” diet be tasty and practical?

      Keeping our cholesterol levels low has become an important goal for many bushwalkers but this is difficult on a multi-day hike where keeping weight to a minimum has traditionally required high fat foods such as cheese, sausage, and chocolate. Many of these also have  high durability even in hot weather eg semi dried metwurst or salami, matured  cheeses such as parmesan, and chocolate based lollies such as M&Ms or even block chocolate.

      The key to a healthy energy-dense diet is to substitute healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats for the dangerous saturated and trans fats. Many of these healthy fats and oils are found in nuts and seeds, which form the basis of many a good trail mix (Australia)/scroggin. (NZ)/gorp (North America)

      See also Heart Foundation:

      Understanding Fats and Cholesterol
      Where to find healthier fats
      How to avoid trans fats

      For many of us it becomes too difficult and we wonder whether a few days on a high fat diet really matters in the big picture.

      This article is an attempt to firstly provide a list of high energy but heart safe foods and then see whether these can be put together to form a tasty menu for that extended bushwalk.

      From Australian Food Composition Chart

      A good Australian Food Composition Chart is from Deakin University  and from this I have selected some high energy foods

      • Beverages: Milo, Ovaltine are by far the best for energy and have no  fats. Alcohol, you will be please to know, has a high energy content but also leaves you badly dehydrated the next morning. Dried skimmed milk is a good source of low fat energy which can be added to your muesli.
      • Fish: Sardines,  tuna  and red salmon in oil rate highly in terms of energy content, but you have to check that the oil is not saturated ie often vegetable oils are saturated. Natural fish oils contain omega-3 which is good for your health. Red salmon is better for you than pink salmon, but also more expensive.Unfortunately the can hardly makes it lightweight, but removing it before you go bush is a bit risky for the small weight saving. Some flavoured tunas come in alfoil pouches which are great.
      • Muesli:  Looks and tastes good, especially if its toasted, but then it probably has a high saturated fat content. Don’t use shaved coconut in your muesli as it is high in saturated fats, nor should you buy off the shelf muesli, which often has  a high vegetable oil content and is usually saturated fat. Muesli can be rich in seeds and dried fruit which are great for your health.
      • Dried fruits: High in energy/g and an ideal bushwalking food. Most have at least 5 times more energy than the fresh equivalent.
      • Gelatin: A great food, if you can think of a way of adding it to your food eg make a jelly
      • Nuts: almonds, pine, pistachio, macadamia, walnuts. Sesame seeds sprinkled on food is a great source of energy. Try tahini paste, made from seasame seeds, on your lunch biscuits
      • Lollies: jelly beans (my favourite), sesame bar and many other sweets are very high in energy and low in fat. Try a carob or honey and sesame bar. See chart below for some more ideas.
      Food Data Chart

      For more info, visit the Bushwalk Australia Forum , Burke’s Backyard Muesli Fact Sheet

        See a Food Data Chart of Saturated Fats

        How do we put that all together in a health bushwalk menu for an extended walk eg 5 + days?  Some ideas welcome here!

        Remember foods with a low Glycaemic Index (GI) will make you feel satisfied for longer and are healthier as they are converted into glucose more slowly so try to incorporate these. I find that I need 700-900  g /day of dry food depending on physical intensity and duration of each days walk. Surprisingly I lose my appetite when exhausted and find that a drink like Sustagen at the end of the day does wonders.

        A diet consistent with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends people consume a variety of foods across and within the five food groups and avoid foods that contain too much added fat, salt and sugar. The Guide aims to encourage the consumption of a variety of foods from each of the five food groups every day in proportions that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Australians. The five foods groups are:

            * Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles
            * Vegetables, legumes
            * Fruit
            * Milk, yoghurt, cheese
            * Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes.

        It is expected that small amounts of unsaturated fats and oils will be consumed with breads and cereals but additional fats and foods such as cakes, biscuits, hot chips and sugary drinks should be consumed only occasionally.

        While the short duration of most bushwalks means that a balanced diet is not essential, including the above 5 food groups each day is good advice.

        Breakfast

        Muesli, home made with lots of nuts , dried fruit, seeds and powdered milk. Be careful that it doesn’t include dessicated coconut which is rich in saturated fats.

        Lunch ( cold, uncooked)

        Vita Wheat biscuits (rich in fat) to spoon food
        Canned fish/tuna, red salmon, sardines (check for non saturated oil).
        Tahini paste (sesame seeds) on biscuits
        Anzac cookies

        Yes I know canned “anything” is not very weight efficient.

        The alternative is to skip lunch and eat a balanced high energy scroggin/trail mix/gorp all day between breakfast and dinner.

        Dinner

        Milo/Ovaltine

        Pasta,  or eggs (if you are able to carry safely)
        Fruit Balls: couscous, tahini paste, honey, seeds, dried fruit
        Jelly for dessert or more dried fruit

        Yes I know, this is very limited.  Your ideas please!!

        Can a “heart safe” diet be tasty and practical?

        Yes but only with a lot of thought.

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        Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers

        For an update see: Bushwalking Equipment | Can I Really Do Without a Smartphone?

        The iPhone 4 has many features which make it suitable for bushwalking and some which don’t. The built in GPS and compass, 5 Mb camera  with geo-tagged photos, the HD video recorder, its multimedia capabilities and its voice controlled mobile phone and wi-fi communications make it ideal.

        I have just bought an iPhone 4 from Telstra, as they have better coverage, especially in regional and remote areas, and have being trying to find some iPhone apps* which might be useful. It wasn’t difficult!
        Here are some links to useful iPhone apps for the outdoors. The descriptions below are from the iTunes Store.
        Emergencies/Survival/Rescue

        Simple slider motion to contact emergency services and launch RESCUE app (all functionality requires connection and access to local cellular and 3G/Edge or Wifi networks) Automatically detects new country and inserts appropriate local emergency number Sends 4 sms/email messages to your contacts with an emergency message and location. Provides your emergency call back number in case you have a private or blocked number. Loud audio alarm to warn bystanders, predators, or yourself, that the RESCUE app has been activated. Hyperlinked messages to Google maps so your location is instantly known. 60 second countdown to automatically call emergency services, in case you cannot. Ease of operation during emergencies

         Rescue@ helps locating you when calling an emergency number. In an emergency and needs help? But unsure where you are? By using Rescue@ when calling the emergency service you will be able to provide that critical, and maybe even life-saving, information to the emergency service personnel. The application works by first locating you using the location service on your iPhone. This location will then be saved as a contact name when pressing the “Call emergency”-button within the application. You can then read your location out loud by simply looking at the contact name in the caller-ID screen. 

        If you’re ever in a tight spot or emergency just press “Rescue Me!” and this application will send your location to your Twitter followers, and Facebook friends, and email account you set. This alarm message will come in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates, a Google Maps link, and a help message (which you can set) to ensure you can be found. The online society and your friends can take care of you. RescueMe can be a lifesaving tool.

        Rescue Light is a simple app but very functional that can help you at various times. Need a red alert light? This is the app.

        Stroboscope and Torch Light – FlashLight ! iStrobo is an application that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a stroboscope. Define its frequency and start the stroboscope !

        MorseEmergency is an application that sends a light SOS Morse signal through the screen of your iPhone or iPod touch. In some circumstances, long distance, noise… a light signal is the only message that can be sent or received.  

        Send SOS alerts in Morse code with the blink of your screen!

        In a swiftwater rescue scenario, it is useful to determine how far a person in the water has travelled downstream so that the search area may be narrowed and more effectively conducted. Although the math for determining this distance is relatively straightforward, it requires precious time that could be better used elsewhere. Mistakes may also be made in a high-stress situation, which may also cost time.

        SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy best selling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

        SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy bestselling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

        Don’t panic! You have a survivalist in your pocket. iSurvive marries common sense to meticulous technique. This application addresses the essential needs of wilderness survival. iSurvive instructs the user, with concise language and detailed photo illustrations to tie knots, construct shelters, set snares, start fires, and find clean drinking water. It also serves as a quick reference for First Aid, Navigation, Weather, Rescue and more.

        NOW you are able to send your location via email or SMS wherever you want whenever you want…A simple application that shows the user the exact geographic location in degrees, minutes and seconds. Along with that you can get the course in degrees and the speed in 3 different units (km/h, nm/h, mi/h).

        First Aid

        With Sun Alert you can calculate the maximal sun exposure time from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Whether you are at the beach, climbing mountains, skiing, walking, jogging or working outdoors you need to protect your skin from the UV radiation and thereby lower the risk of adverse health effects.

        MediProfiles gives you peace of mind by having all of your Friends, Family and Co-worker’s emergency medical information at your finger tips. (St Johns)
        Resuscitate focuses on the importance of the St John DRABCD Action Plan. The DRABCD Action Plan is used by First Responders around the world as primary assessment for every casualty. Included in the App is a powerful proximity sensor that locates your nearest St John Ambulance Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).

        ‘First Aid’ is Australia’s only iPhone app that presents step-by-step emergency First Aid information to the user with a large clear image for each step. (St Johns)

        Know when and how much to drink before, during and after sports. 
        Hydri-Assist helps ensure you are consuming enough fluid. Simply enter in your pre-workout wight, and then your post-workout weight (plus how much fluid you consumed in-between), Hydri-Assist will let you know how dehydrated you are, as well as how much fluid you should consume post-workout.
        Navigation/Maps/Planning

         distcalc 

        Allows users to find the distance between 2 or more points by simply tapping a path along a map. No addresses to enter or search for. No dragging pins around. 
        walk-tracker-free-sprintgps 

        Fully customizable activity planner with training history, calorie graphs, audio feedback and in depth workout plans with targets. As you exercise you can see your time, pace, speed, calories burned, training intervals, splits, view map in real time, take photos, listen to iPod music and receive audio feedback on your progress. When you have finished your activity you can view your activity history with stats, route map and splits. View cumulative graphs for distance and calories burned. View your personal best. View your photos and share your activity with friends on the Walk Tracker Website

        The intuitive and easy-to-use interface of the app makes it easy to track how far you went, how long it took, what your pace/speed was, how many calories you burned, and the path you traveled on a map. Once your activity is completed, the data is synced to the RunKeeper website (www.runkeeper.com) where you can view a history of all of your activities, and cumulative totals of all of your vital stats. You can also share your progress with friends by posting your activities to Facebook and Twitter, and creating a profile page that allows people to view all of your public activities. (Free version available)

        map-and-land-navigation 

        The Map and Land Navigation app is the U.S. Army’s official training guide to map reading, determining location, and navigating and includes over 600 pages of great content.

        bit-map

        Bit Map is an offline map viewer for your own topographic or specialised maps in standard image formats (eg, PNG, JPEG) or .OZF2 map images. Store multiple maps on your iPhone, and switch between them. With Bit Map, you can view your own choice of maps, instead of generic maps chosen by somebody else, making it ideal for specialist maps with details not available on other mapping applications, such as highly detailed topographic maps obtained from your government mapping authority. Your topographic maps can also be viewed while offline with no cellphone or wifi network access, making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor pursuits including bushwalking, hiking, trekking, camping, cycling, touring. 

        gps-tracking 

        With the push of a button, let other GPS Tracking users know where you are or request their location. GPS Tracking populates your iPhone’s built-in Google Maps with the locations of people in your private “opt-in” buddy list, as soon as they approve your request. It’s an interactive friend-finder, party-starter, child-locator, social networker and much more — a must-have, “Where are you? I’m here!” visual locating app. Push notification and GPS must be on for App to work. (Free version available)

        gps-compass 

        For users with older iPhones without a built-in compass: this app will determine the direction you are facing based on GPS readings taken while you are moving. The app takes this reading and allows you to see the direction you are heading on a Google map. You can also choose to rotate the map so your direction is always shown straight ahead…this capability was previously only available to 3GS owners with a built in compass!

        gps-footsteps-trails-trip 

        Turns your iPhone into a handheld GPS with compass and complete trip tracking!

        Topos2Go

        Topos2Go Free allows you to view topographic maps. You can download freely available maps and store them on your device for use without WiFi or cell access. The full version of Topos2Go adds the ability to locate your position on maps and import/export waypoints.

        Exact Altimeter for Australia

        Uses different ways to determine your altitude. It has built in elevation database, and it can get your altitude from online altitude service. Furthermore, it shows you the altitude given by the built in gps. Additionally it provides information about the nearest settlement.

        Safety
        thunderstorm-calculator 

        Calculates the distance of a thunder storm by measuring the time between a lightning and the corresponding thunder.

        gone-trekking-safety-outdoors 

        Gone Trekking is a location aware safety notification application for outdoor adventurers. The application utilizes the GPS, Google maps, calendar and camera features of the iPhone. Gone Trekking enables the user to record their departure, destination and waypoint information. The application also enables the user to email or post a Twitter message containing their trip details and maps. Video (Free version available)

        firesau

        FiresAU is about bringing bushfire awareness close to you if you live in Australia (NSW, Tasmania, SA). Where is the nearest fire to me? Is it where I need to go? Will I need to deal with one on the way?

        adventure-tracker 

        Designed for adventure runners, ultra marathon runners or just about anyone who wants to track their location whilst out and about. Adventure Tracker is designed to run in the background and update your location to the server every 10 minutes. Adventure Tracker can update your position for up to 20 hours with a single battery charge. Data is automatically uploaded to the Adventure Tracker website where you can view your tracks or send tracking links to friends. If you are in an area where there is no mobile reception such as out in the woods or in a foreign country Adventure tracker caches all the data it is unable to send to the server so you can upload it over WIFI or 3G when available.

        track-trip

        Track Trip uses the GPS receiver in your iPhone to record your location as you walk, run, bike or drive. This can be done in the background and uploaded every 10 minutes saving the battery. 

        Food
        classic-camping-cookbook-meal

        Users can search for a recipe based on the type of food and ingredients necessary to make the perfect meal. This is the first application that allows users to plan meals for an entire camping trip. Pick the number of days and campers and let the application do the rest. Generate shopping and equipment lists so you never forget an essential ingredient at home. 

        Equipment
        backpacking-check-list-must 

        Nothing is worse than driving 80 miles down the road for a glorious few days of backpacking, hiking, fishing and relaxing to find that you have left at home a few really essential items. You’ll be disappointed, and your entire trek could be ruined. Even Fido will feel the frustration. You can edit the extensive lists.

        the-backpacker-checklist 

        Huge list of items to consider
        – Super easy to mark
        – – what you’re going to bring
        – – what you might bring
        – – what’s already packed
        – Add anything you find missing (or change or delete items)
        – Group items by function
        – Plan where to get your items (e.g., supermarket, sporting goods store, attic, garage cabinet)
        – Indicate the weight of items (that we haven’t already weighed)
        – Provide an estimate of what you’ll be hauling along the trail
        – Store and switch between your gear lists for multiple trips
        – See the weights of items according to the “status” you assign to them and by how you use it
        – You control the order of categories in the main checklist
        – Use metric or English units 

        Utilities
        animated-knots-by-grog

        Animated Knots by Grog is simply the best and most comprehensive teaching and reference tool for boaters, climbers, fishermen, scouts and hobbyists. Watch as knots tie themselves in simple step-by-step photo animations. Use the manual controls to step through the animations frame by frame as you learn each knot. Tap the info button to get detailed descriptions about each knot’s correct use, advantages and disadvantages, and other information.

        knots-guide 

        A SIMPLE quick reference collection of different knots. Currently the application contains 92 knots divided into 10 categories. (Free)

        learning-the-ropes-navy-knots 

        Tying knots is a vital skill to have in the Royal Australian Navy. With this handy tool, learn to tie different Navy knots with 3D animated tutorials and facts. (Free)

        knots-splices-and-rope-work 

        Knots, Splices and Rope Work’ is the complete original 1917 classic treatise by A. Hyatt Verrill, the renowned American inventor, author, illustrator, archaeologist, explorer, zoologist and friend of former President Theodore Roosevelt.

        google-mobile-app 

        Search Google quickly using your voice, pictures, and location. Google Mobile App includes the following features:
        * New! Google Goggles – use pictures to search the web. Goggles recognizes things such as landmarks, books, wine, artwork, and logos.
        * Search by voice – speak your queries in natural language. Simply hold your iPhone to your ear and say your query.
        (Supports American, British, Indian or Australian English accents, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Polish and Korean.)
        * My Location – avoid typing your current location when searching for nearby businesses (e.g. “pizza” or “starbucks”)
        * Google Suggest – tap suggested web search queries and local businesses that appear as you type
        * Search history – quickly search again for queries you recently performed
        * Contact search – search your phone’s contacts.
        * Vertical search – search Google Maps, Images, News, and Shopping
         (Free)

        Fitness
        iexercise 

        Weekly goals for calories, time, or distance
        – Workout tracking and history
        – Body weight tracking system and charts
        – Achievement system
        – Twitter integration
        – Personal weight tracking
        – System designed by Personal Trainer

        itrail 

        iTrail is an all-in-one, in-your-pocket, sports performance tracking tool, and GPS recording application. Whether you are running, cycling, walking, skiing, or drive, use iTrail to record your performance and location as you move. iTrail will work in the background whilst you listen to music, talk a call or anything else. iTrail uses iPhone’s GPS receiver. 

        logyourhike-gps-pedometer 

        The LogYourHike iPhone App uses the built-in GPS of the iPhone as well as the built-in accelerometer of the iPhone and iPod Touch to measure the distance of your exercise activities. By working both as a pedometer and a GPS device you do not have to wait to get good satellite reception to start your run – the pedometer will measure your distance when the GPS signal is poor.

        Weather
        pocket-weather-au

        Forecast & observation data for hundreds of areas around Australia. Select it via GPS, Map or list.
        – Push current temp, text forecasts and state,regional and local warnings to your iPhone (NEW in 2.1)
        – Custom interface for browsing BOM warnings, all nicely formatted for your iPhone
        – Tide graphs for hundreds of locations around Australia
        – National Rain, Satellite and Synoptic Chart
        – Animated weather icons
        – Sunrise/sunset times
        – All of the BOM rain and wind doppler radars with Find/Track me function as well as the ability to have it auto update (see ‘Live Radar’ in settings)
        – National rain & cloud radars & Synoptic chart
        – Extended forecasts for regional areas
        – Give your locations custom names
        – Shake to refresh, simply shake your phone to refresh the data
        – Realtime UV support for some locations
        – Last update is always cached, so you don’t need a network connection to check the weather for the week, once you’ve got it once.
        – Updates are tiny (less than 10kb) so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone data cap.
        – Supports landscape and portrait view, and in landscape you get all the information on a single page. 

        oz-weather

        – 7 day forecasts for more than 250 official forecast locations
        – Detailed local observations, typically updated every 10 mins
        – Each forecast location includes up to 6 nearest official observation locations, accessible by side-scrolling action.
        – 50 rain radar locations around Australia
        – The radar view also has a “Locate Me” feature which queries the iPhone’s GPS and then centres the radar map on your current location along with an animated crosshair cursor.
        – Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone
          (Free version available)

        oz-radar-weather

        1) It uses GPS to show your location on the radar.
        2) Oz Radar supports full screen landscape view.
        3) National cloud and synoptic charts.

        Time and Australian Weather, a match made in heaven. Weather sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) displayed elegantly alongside the current time. 

        a-barometer-for-iphone-itouch 

        iBarometer is an application pretty, simple, accurate, and efficient. It lets you easily know what is the pressure near you. Contrary to standard applications (with predefined cities), this version of the barometer will give you precisely the pressure of where you are. It integrates its own conversion system.

        world-tides-2010

        World Tides uses the Simply Harmonic Formula and harmonic constants provided by the UKHO to give 7 day tide predictions without the need for an internet connection. Features: Moon/Sun Rise/Set times, large slidable tide graph, recent locations, built in zoomable map, gps sensor, search, and details page.

        moonlight 

        Moonlight features a photorealistic display using OpenGL rendering technique that paints the moon’s current appearance including all variations in distance, equatorial ecliptic angle and moon libration. The program takes the observer’s (that is you) current position and time into account for exact rendering of images. Alternatively, you can enter your own coordinates and view the moon from anywhere in the world. Go into time warp mode and accelerate time: Fast forward or rewind to see how the moon changes over time.Moonlight not only displays a pretty 3D image but also shows various essential data points: moon phase, distance between earth and moon, julian date or local sideral time.

        Wooly Wind Chill plus ground Speed 

        Calculate wind chill temperature by simply selecting the air temperature and wind speed. The calculated wind chill temperature is displayed “on the fly”.For those who travel by bike, motorcycle, boat, or other means where you find yourself exposed to the elements while in motion, Wooly Wind Chill now has the option to calculate the approximate effective wind chill based your current moving speed (not factoring for actual wind speeds).

        Field Guides
        gemstones-by-varietal 

        Pictoral database of common gemstones, with high-resolution images. Over 2000 gems are included. The images in this app are categorized by Varietal (Agate, Amethyst, etc.) This app includes some information about the gemstone, such as location found, habit, shape, hue, tone, etc. This app is mainly aimed at students, professors, scientists, hobbyists, and those in the field who wish for help identifying gemstones, or learn a bit about what they’re seeing in the field. 

        clouds-and-weather

        This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations: Here you will find out how to identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds. Here you will find out if it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more. With detailed descriptions of all cloud types and the weather they bring
        – Complete cloud atlas with all cloud families, species and types according to the International Cloud Atlas of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization)
        – Large photo gallery with over 70 examples of all cloud types

        the-michael-morcombe-eguide 

        Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds has been called the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds in the market today and now it is perfectly complimented by the eGuide which features:
        -iPhone optimised controls   swipe to next or previous species, one-tap enlargement of an image and rotate the device (landscape) to enlarge an image completely (and fit the width of the screen).
        -Over 3000 hi-res bird images covering over 790 bird species.
        -Most bird species have a detailed distribution map showing any subspecies that occur.
        -Detailed text descriptions of almost all bird species including songs and calls, measurements and breeding behaviour.
        -Over 1800 carefully-selected and edited sound recordings for over 600 species. Many species are represented with multiple call examples showing the full range of vocalizations.
        -The ability to compare any two images, maps, or sounds, side by side on the screen. The ability to filter by geographic location, so that you see only the species likely to occur in your location, and to further reduce the possibilities to usual or vagrant species in the selected area.
        -A  Smart Search  that gives the ability to search by distinguishing features such as size, colour, physical features, habitat and exclude certain types of birds (eg. Passerines).
        -A basic personal species list that stores your sightings saved to the device* (ability to upload list coming soon)
        -A comprehensive help and introduction section to help you if you get stuck or don t understand how a certain feature works.

        birdsight-australia 

        Need a quick and easy way to keep track of bird sightings? This app makes adding sightings in the field quick and easy with these features:
        – Quickly search through a complete list of over 800 Australian bird species using common name, scientific name, or “alpha code” abbreviations.
        – Automatically connect to web resources to help verify your sightings, including Flickr images, Google images, and Wikipedia articles. Access a wealth of birding info without huge downloads hogging space on your device.
        – Save and manage your frequently used birding locations with gps tracking and map view.
        – Annotate your observations with notes and protocol information.
        – Export your data as a .csv file that can be opened with spreadsheet applications or submitted to birding websites.

        goskywatch-planetarium-astronomy

        Displays the sky view at the correct orientation when held at any angle not just landscape or portrait. Simple operation, no buttons to press or modes to select, just point to the sky to start exploring. Unique rotation scheme enables touchless navigation even for the iPod touch without a compass.
        Many features specifically for efficient outdoor use. Red light mode to preserve night vision, magnitude adjustment for viewing conditions, planets shown with relative brightness for easy identification, touchless navigation, heads up information display, full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. Looking for a planet or star? Just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.

        bird-in-hand 

        The App covers 23 of Tasmania’s common and endemic birds and includes bird calls, high quality pictures and information on their habitat, breeding, diet etc. Use the App while out bush to work out which call is which.

        Birds of Australia

        This application includes up-to-date Wikipedia entries and pictures of over 700 birds native to Australia. Prepare for your birdwatching activity by downloading (caching) all articles and images on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad (approx. 600 MB). Reference the guide when outdoors without an Internet connection. Over 700 birds grouped into 93 species families!!!
        Key Features
        * Wikipedia articles cached complete with full large images. Simply click on any image in a cached article to view the large image.
        * Image Picker
        * search capabilities
        * landscape & portrait modes
        * Wikipedia pages formatted for iPhone display
        * Cache update from server resumes where last stopped
        * Server will be updated periodically with new entries and updated data from wikipedia.
         

        Trip Records
        outdoor-adventure-blogs (Free)

        Stay up to date with the latest Outdoor activity and lifestyle blogs, ideas and adventure writings with heaps of news and posts preloaded into this app and being constantly updated by some of the most engaging bloggers in the world. You can also use the Outdoor Blog Reader as your main news/blog reader because you can easily add your favorite rss feeds on any topic via the “Add Blog via URL” or “Search Blog via Keyword” features.

        Blog Reader features include:

        * Heaps of pre-loaded blogs
        * Search Blogs via Keyword
        * Add Blog via URL
        * Read blogs offline
        * Checks for new Blog posts when you launch
        * Delete, move or add blogs
        * Categories
        * Email blog posts to your friends
        * View in posts in Safari
        * Unread posts indicated by number
        * Help for Blog Reader functions

        Trip Journal allows you to document vacation experiences and share them with your friends and family. Impress everybody with real time updates from the visited destinations and let people see proof of your latest adventures, as your journey unfolds.
        * software applications downloaded  from the iTunes store.

        Preventing Cramps: electrolyte balance, dehyration, stretching, exhaustion or all 4?

        Disclaimer
        There is considerable medical controversy over the use of “sports drinks”,  the need to replace lost electrolyte, the dangers of over/under hydration, and treatment of cramps (see the last reference given below). The following article is only a personal opinion as the author has no medical training.

        I’ve realised over the past few years that maintaining my electrolyte levels on long days is extremely important to prevent tiredness and cramps.

        I use either of 2 ways to do this;

        1) Eat salted nuts during the day (usually mixed salted nuts or cashews), or
        2) add Gatorade to my water.

        Both seem to work fine, although on really long days (12+ hrs) I often use both. Then on arrival back at camp I am usually dehydrated and I find the best way to rehydrate is to make bouillon or broth, using a stock cube. I add 1 cube to 1L hot water and drink this. Sometimes I’ll have 2 servings of this if I’m really dehydrated, and I also add a tablespoon of butter if I have any to make it taste better and help start to recharge my energy. eg. for the Becky-Chouinard route in the Bugaboos, Canada (17hr round trip) I had about 1-1.5L water/tea before I left camp, then 1L of water and 1L Gatorade on route + salted nuts, then 2-3L bouillon cubes with hot water when I got back to camp. I find bouillon cubes are better than soup because they contain more salt and are way smaller and lighter. (Contributed by AJG)

        More information

        Heat Induced Conditions in Australian First Aid: St John Ambulance Australia 2006  pp371-379
        Exposure to Heat and Cold (2010 St John  Senior First Aid online refresher course)
        Heat Related Illnesses : The Backpacker’s Field Manual by Rick Curtis (first edition published by Random House March, 1998)
        Water, Salt, Cramps, Electrolytes and Sports Drinks:  (Roger Caffin, The Australian Bushwalking  FAQ)
        Creative Commons License
        This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

        How to eat well with little effort, saving weight and time.

        Dinner

        I have always admired those walkers who are so devoted to their food that they will spend 15 minutes carefully preparing their meal from the basic ingredients and then another 15 mins slowly simmering in a pot producing mouth watering aromas for all those around to enjoy. Afterwards they spend another 15 minutes washing and cleaning their utensils, with their tiny squares of ScotchBrite, surely the most unhygienic thing in their packs.

        They provide me with endless entertainment around the campfire, for which I am very appreciative. Despite this, I occasionally feel sorry for the “gourmets” when it starts to rain and they are still preparing their meal or cleaning up, while I have finished and can head back to my tent.

        I frequently recount the tale of one walker who I saw make a pizza in his Trangia pan, beginning with the flour and yeast, kneading to a dough, letting it rise and then adding  the finely sliced vegetables and sausage to the tomato paste base, before baking slowly in his covered frying pan.  Luckily the weather was fine and warm and we got into camp early!

        I’m afraid I don’t have the patience. Meal time is not high on my priority list. In fact, I  go to great lengths to reduce the time spent preparing a meal and the cleaning up afterwards.

        What could be simpler than boiling some water and adding it to a packet?

        Over the years I have gradually become minimalist. Rather than preparing a dessert, I usually have a twin serve of the main course and then perhaps some chocolate, if I want something sweet, followed by a hot drink. I simply add the water to my dehydrated meal, leave it to stand for 10 mins with a stir midway, and eat it out of the packet with my single eating utensil…. my spoon. No plates or bowls to wash and only a spoon to lick and a foil packet to roll up! I have even given up milk and sugar in my tea, so I have less to carry. Its amazing what you can do without and not miss!

        I have recently started to boil extra water with my evening meal and keep it in a small insulated flask (Thermos) overnight, inside my sleeping bag, which saves me having to light my stove in the morning and conserves both my time and a little fuel. Sure it cools down a little, but it still is about as hot in the morning as my espresso coffee would be. Preheating helps a little. It weighs a little more than a standard water bottle, but is a lifesaver when its wet and you can’t get out of your tent to light the stove.

        What is the ideal stove for boiling 1.5L of water quickly?

        Quick boiling white spirits stove

         While my companions around the campfire laugh at my noisy MSR Whisperlite with its dramatic pre-ignition flames, they are amazed at the speed that its super hot flame can boil a litre of water. Along with its compact size and low weight, it burns Shellite (white spirits) which is very efficient, using about half the amount of methylated spirits you would need with a Trangia. Fuel efficiency means less weight to carry, something I value highly. In addition to the stove I take a single MSR titanium 1.25 L bowl with lid, inside which the stove, my lighter and grippers all fit inside. That leaves the fuel bottle, the size of which I select depending on the length of the trip and the number of people sharing the stove and my MSR maintenance and spares kit. I know what your saying…. my Trangia doesn’t need a maintenance kit!

        Breakfast well that’s easy. A couple of substantial health food bars from the health food section of the supermarket, not those foil wrapped sickly sweet mini- breakfast bars that come by the “dozen” in cardboard boxes

        I used to prepare snaplock bags of pre-weighed muesli with powdered milk premixed to which I had to just add hot water and then eat out of the bag. But why, when for less effort, I could eat an equally nutritious muesli bar pre-packaged in a waterproof packet, inside my tent, without the need to light my stove. I usually start eating breakfast while still in my sleeping bag.

        Lunch: foil packet of flavoured tuna, half a block of hard strongly flavoured parmesan cheese, some dry biscuits, a couple of mini- metwursts and some dried fruit and nuts. High energy food, which can survive warm temperatures. Hardly what the doctor ordered!

        On arrival in camp, perhaps a hot drink with some Sustagen, and a few snakes, M&Ms and jelly babies, which are guaranteed to put some energy back in most people.

        To which camp do you belong?  The “minimalists” or the “gourmets”or somewhere in between?

        References:

        Cartridge vs Liquid Fuel Stoves
        Ethanol vs shellite vs gas: Tony’s Bushwalking Blog
        Creative Commons License
        This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.