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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

Many trampers go to great lengths to get their coffee fix on trips

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

With a bit of know-how you can fix your pack strap with native plants. Photo: Ian Barnes

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

Your Multitool can help you split wood for a fire

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

For this trick you’ll need two canisters of the same make and size

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

Turn your drinking straws into a spice holder

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.