Has your compass ever steered you in the wrong direction? In this UJCC, Uncle Jacko divulges what happens when one's faithful compass becomes an agent of chaos, how much water and electrolyte intake one really needs and some handy, DIY gear hacks for the backcountry.
Aches and pains slowing you down in the backcountry? Uncle Jacko dives into the best options for pain relief, the ever so popular 'swamping' trek and the pleasures of poetry inspired by Aotearoa's landscapes.
How does the Dunning-Kruger effect impact the way we estimate our competency in the outdoors? Uncle Jacko delves into how this effect has both a negative and positive influence on our backcountry experience. He also discusses navigation and communication in the backcountry – S122, ham radio gear and SOTA, for those amateur radio operators who love the outdoors.
Uncle Jacko takes a deep dive into the past exploring what we learnt from the COVID-19 lockdowns and raising the question, "What do tourists really appreciate about New Zealand?" And as many trampers are well aware, the question of how much to pack is the perpetual challenge. Uncle Jacko tests out the idea of ‘going lightweight’ and discovers firsthand when lightweight crosses over into just not enough.
'Coddiwomple (v.): an English slang for travelling purposefully towards a vague destination.' Uncle Jacko contemplates the three types of fun and shares a few English and foreign words that capture the true essence of tramping in the backcountry.
Uncle Jacko expresses his deep gratitude for the New Zealand politicians who have prioritised conservation, encourages more politicians to get out tramping, and shares some hard-earned knowledge about preparation in the case of medical evacuation.
Uncle Jacko encounters a gang of hooligan keas on the Cascade Saddle and shares how packrafts have improved since his DIY raft from the 90s, the best recipe for fine campfire cuisine and the real danger of quicksand in the Dart River.
Have you ever wondered what costs and resources are required for a backcountry toilet? Uncle Jacko talks toilets, tourism and transport noise, as he shares the calculation for Mr. Erlang’s queuing formulae, the challenge of toilets at high altitude, and DOC's concept of a Tranquillity Map in managing aircraft noise.
How do you choose where to tramp when you have TOO many good choices? In what he calls the 'Starving Donkey Syndrome,' Uncle Jacko discusses the challenges of having the privilege to choose, as well as DIY maps and the best, easy meals to prepare on a tramp.
'It’s always satisfying to make important decisions on a whim, because there can be no accounting for taste, no reason to justify and no explanation to satisfy.' Uncle Jacko reveals which of his trips were decided merely on a whim, as well as how he was talked out of travelling by donkey during his tramping adventures in France.
What image comes to mind when you think of a 'tramper?' Is it safe to superglue an open wound? Uncle Jacko debunks myths about what the average tramper looks like, as well as shares first aid safety and what it’s been like for him to learn to lead from the back.
Have the soles of your boots ever come off in the middle of a tramp? Uncle Jacko shares tramping boot woes and discusses why boot soles last longer when used than stored, as well as gets technical about GPSs and their accuracy.
What is one of the main perks of winter tramping? The sandflies go on holiday. Uncle Jacko discloses tricks for winter tramping, how his down jacket became the first tramping apparel he could wear in town, and in what activity redundancy is key.
What is the Capstan Equation and how does it apply to rock climbing? In this edition of UJCC, Uncle Jacko gets technical, offering insight into why knots and belay devices work. He also discusses cheap gear and reveals how he decides between buying in-store versus online.
How do you measure the height of a bridge when alone in the backcountry? Uncle Jacko explains how nature provides what we need for mathematics and how according to one calculation, 1.4 kg of chocolate might just be an acceptable amount during a long tramp.