Bushwalking/Hiking Equipment (Australia)
These are some personal notes on the equipment I use while bushwalking, mostly around Sydney, Australia. (Please don't use this to select gear for hiking in Nepal or Antarctica!)
I've written a separate page on bushwalking food.
I bought a no-name Chinese bag when I started walking -- a fine bag, but it weighed 2kg and was rated to -8, and was just too warm for New South Wales. So in 1994 I bought a MacPac Nevé, one of the designs that has no down on the bottom and takes a slotted thermorest. If it drops below freezing I need to wear clothing in this, but I've used it at 3300m in the Hindu Kush in late August and on the rim of the Grand Canyon in October. I reckon it'd be fine below the snowline anywhere on the Australian mainland.
Tents and Flies
There's no need for a tent anywhere around Sydney, even in winter -- a tent fly is perfectly adequate. I use a roomy two/three person fly, and in many kinds of inclement weather I'm sure I stay drier than people in cramped tents.
I like nice simple packs with nothing dangling off them. I have two "High Tops" packs made by a bushwalking club associate fifteen years ago, but if I had to replace those, I'd probably go with a Summit pack.
I hardly ever use them, but I own a full set of stoves... I started with a Trangia (meths stove), then bought an MSR (petrol stove), then inherited a Gaz (gas stove), and I've just bought a little solid-fuel stove. I find the gas stove is by far the most convenient -- easier to use and more compact to pack -- but I've never done any really long walks (when the MSR might come into its own). Vic has convinced me a solid-fuel stove is useful to carry if bad weather is expected and lighting a fire may be a problem.
I wear sandshoes (Volleys) rather than boots for almost all my walking. When you're wading across rivers or creeks regularly, they make much more sense.
I've written some notes on using the Canon Powershot S330 on bushwalks.