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Five great tramping hacks

Your Multitool can help you split wood for a fire
From fixing broken gear to making a cup of coffee, tramping has no shortage of conundrums. Here are five simple and creative solutions to make your next tramp a little easier, or to help get you out of a bind.

#1 Backcountry coffee

[caption id="attachment_62594" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Many trampers go to great lengths to get their coffee fix on trips[/caption] While some huts are becoming increasingly plush, there are no espresso machines in the bush, yet. With plungers being unwieldy to pack, the main challenge of making a good, fresh cup-of-joe in the backcountry is filtering out the grinds. The solution can be found on your foot. A sock makes an excellent coffee filter, and removes the risk of spills that comes with using filter paper. You just might want to use a dedicated coffee-sock for this technique. Click here for detailed instructions on how to make coffee ala sock.

#2 Backcountry pack strap repair

[caption id="attachment_62595" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] With a bit of know-how you can fix your pack strap with native plants. Photo: Ian Barnes[/caption] What do you do if your pack strap breaks while on the trail and you can’t nip to the shop to grab rope or tape (or a new pack)? Luckily there are plenty of natural resources to help out.  Survival expert Ian Barnes says common plants can be used to create a temporary solution. Click here for tips on how to weave a new straps from these bush materials.

#3 A makeshift axe

[caption id="attachment_62596" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Your Multitool can help you split wood for a fire[/caption] If you need to make kindling in the backcountry and don’t have an axe, with a bit of care, a small knife or multitool can still get the job done. Click here for three other innovative ways to use a multi-tool.

#4 Checking gas levels

[caption id="attachment_62597" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] For this trick you’ll need two canisters of the same make and size[/caption] How much fuel is left in the canister? This conundrum has left many a multiday tramper pondering whether a morning coffee is wise, given the risk of cold dehy meals for the rest of the trip. But there is one little trick to give you a reasonable estimate of what’s left in the canister.

#5 Drinking straw spice holders

[caption id="attachment_62598" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Turn your drinking straws into a spice holder[/caption] Plastic drinking straws can be transformed into spice holders. To make one, first cut a straw in half or in thirds. Then, whilst holding one end closed with a pair of needle-nose pliers, melt the end with a lighter and pinch it closed until it’s cooled. Using a funnel, fill it with your spice of choice, and when done, melt the other end and closed it in the same way. Don’t forget to label it when you’re done.