, it's a wonderful place...
So lucky to live here. A European friend who's into castles, when he saw that, said I didn't need to be too sad about the absence of castles from Australia, with scenery like that!
Re a good hiking pack, we bought ours 13 years ago (and don't ever expect to have to buy replacements as they're very well made) so I had a look at what that manufacturer is offering nowadays. This is the closest equivalent to what we use, but they've taken out a feature we consider important, which I'll tell you about in a minute. https://www.mountaindesigns.com/equi...ack/BP90141018
We don't use full hiking packs because we don't carry tents etc, we just do day walks. Depending on manufacturer, you will therefore either be looking at a small hiking pack, or a good day pack with hiking pack features. The most important of these is to have a comfortable, padded strap-up harness around your hips, so you can carry most of the load there and not on your shoulders. That made the most enormous difference to my hiking, once I bought this pack - it was so much more comfortable. (This topic is like saddle fitting for humans!
) You can adjust where the load hangs, the proportion that's on the hips versus shoulders, by lengthening the quick-release straps on the shoulders if you want to carry even less across the shoulders and even more on your hips. The shoulder straps on mine too are wide and padded (like with a good bra
) so very comfortable, and there is a strap connecting them across your front, so you can adjust tension there too and determine exactly where you want the straps to sit on you.
With packs like this, your centre of gravity is lowered and your shoulders are freed up, which means you can move without much hindrance from your load when you're walking, climbing, balancing across rocks etc. We usually carry lots of water, ample food, our cameras, first aid supplies, a raincoat and extra warm clothing even in summer, in case of a sudden change of weather or an accident that would force us to perhaps spend a night out on a mountain - hypothermia catches many people then unless you're prepared, and will easily kill people who are in shock because of a broken limb etc.
What the pack in the link doesn't have is a mesh divider between your back and the backpack that makes a gap between your back and the backpack so that air can circulate freely and you can cool better. I hate having a sweaty back and I overheat really quickly, so the extra evaporative body surface this feature allows has made me so comfortable, and not just in summer - even in winter, if you sweat on your back and the backpack is sitting in contact, it's really uncomfortable, and when you take it off it's icy in a winter gale. So I really recommend this divider. Let's see if I can find a picture showing that on our packs:
You see the gap between the pack and my back? I have a mesh divider in a bendy frame sitting directly on my back, which is rigged up so that there is a gap between it and the pack. I found a drawing of exactly that online, but it seems that most hiking packs I've looked at online today don't have this feature, yet I think it's really worth having and should be standard:
...image from here, more discussion: https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/q...hable-backpack
Just like with a saddle, it's the fit that's more important than the look.
It makes such a huge difference...
OMG, your neighbours, that's terrible!!!
I can't understand why some people are so unfriendly, and downright malicious. I had to laugh about your mushrooms though...
And you're right about that traveller, and we've had a few like that now!
Overall, we've been getting really, really nice people, in part because the mutual review system of Airbnb means you can decide not to take guests that don't have excellent reviews from previous hosts. A lot of our guests are young and adventurous, and if they come on their own instead of in a couple, I make a point of going hiking with them of they want to, as I enjoy hiking anyway and I feel better when someone isn't doing a more remote track on their own!