• A sturdy pair of bushwalking boots. TQ
    A sturdy pair of bushwalking boots. TQ

Ah, the good old days! When rucksacks were made of heavy canvas and an outer steel frame. When bushwalkers keep their thick wooly socks suspended just below their knees with an inch-wide garter. And amongst all this heavy gear and proper dress sense there were dozens and dozens of bit of good ol' fashion advice to make sure your bushwalk was a success.

Here are ten of our favourite pieces of advice.

Ye 'ol brogans Breaking into a pair of boots can be painful. Feet swell when walking, then lengthen and widen when carrying a load. Break into your boots by wearing them for five minutes whilst standing in ten centimeters of water. Once thoroughly wet, walk on leveled surfaces for about one hour until your shoes have dried on your feet. While the boots are wet, they are in a pliable condition to stretch easily. The pressure of your body weight and muscular action force the leather to dry and conform to the outline of your foot. Injury free guaranteed!

Ye 'ol blisters Soak your feet in 28 grams of tannic acid powder dissolved in two liters of water. Do this six times for 15 minutes before any extended trip to prevent blisters.

Ye 'ol rucksack Count every ounce, every ounce counts! Make a list of what you will be packing and their weight. This allows you to see the weight, culling items you don't need. Also storing bread and salt in cellophane bags will keep your bread moist, and salt dry. Storing butter in a jar and placing it in a flour bag will keep it cool.

Ye 'ol hardware Due to it's light weight and fast-heating capabilities, aluminum is the best material for billies. Bring different sized pots that can fit into each other to save space.

Ye 'ol billy Billies take hours to boil if they are just placed on the ground surrounded by fire. Hang your billy on top of the campfire for effective heating. To get your billy off the camp fire easily, place a nick on the back of your knife near the point, the handle should then clip into the nick.

Ye 'ol flame On a rainy day, the best tinder are finely split cedar wood and dry splittings taken from the stump of dead pine trees. Pine trees have highly flammable resin in their roots which burn brightly for several more minutes. Dead leaves will only work when they are bone dry and if they are not in the advanced stages of decomposition.

Ye 'ol vermin Get rid of mossies and sand flies by gathering a small pile of dry cow-dung with hot coal. Letting it smolder near the tent's door will release an odour, but you will be guaranteed mossie free.

Ye 'ol dwelling When you wake up cold during the night in your tent, breathing exercises will keep you warm. Take very deep breaths and expel all air from the lungs with exaggerated abdominal breathing. This will soon restore circulation and warmth.

Ye 'ol shank The best way to sharped your knife is to raise the blade about 15 degrees to the stone and cut firmly into the stone with a long sweeping motion, this will provide you with a uniformed sharp edge.

Ye 'ol timer Your trusty wrist or handheld watch can help lead you in the right direction. At 6am the sun is at East, at noon it's North, and at 6pm it's at West. At 9am the sun is at NE, and at 3pm its NW. During the summer months, your watch will need to be wound back by one hour.

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