Home          About          Knife Gallery          Gear          Resource          Connect          GrayBear Blog

NightCap overnight trip

A couple of weeks ago I managed to cue up an over nighter at Nightcap National Park, on the far north coast of NSW.  The Park is around an hours drive from home, and sits on the southern side of the Mt WarningShield Volcano system, on the northern side of Lismore.  

I Parked up at Rummery Park camping ground and set off northward ontothe Nightcap Historic Trail.  I had checked with the rangers and this track is one of the only in the park that allows bush camping off-trail.  The track is wide for about the first four kms...


As you can see, the track starts off in relatively open Eucalpt forest, but eventually turns into a more densely packed sub-tropical rain forest.The main priority of my trip was to camp, rather than reaching a specific point or hiking to a pre-determined spot... With that in mind, I walked for close to 90mins to head into the park further and find a more remote spot to spend the night... (The pack I'm using is the ALICE Large Pack.)

Eventually I had strayed far enough from the path and found this small clearing:


I intended to sleep in a fairly open shelter, rather than a tent.  I had with me an Australian army Hutchie.  (Buy one here) This is essentially a well designed tarp or fly-sheet specifically manufactured to be used in varying ways.  I was unsure about the exact weather conditions over night, so indecided to opt for an open sided shelter that would shed the rain if it decided to pour during the  night.  The trick is finding two trees that are the right distance apart...!

Here you can see where I strung up the ridge line, and then tied off the corners to surrounding trees...




I used a couple of different knots to secure the ridge line and the tensioning lines...

Then used an adjustable knot to tighten up the line. This is remarkably tight and requires little to undo.  You could used a truckers hitch or the more popular slippery hvenk knot.  Any knot that hold it up is fine...it's just for ease of pack-down that more complicated knots are used...

This is the bowline knot I used to anchor the line to one side of the tree.  I used some fairly thick rope, its pretty much triple thickness paracord, I salvaged it from the bin at my work...

This is the same knot used on the much thiner tensioning lines.  Its actually sold as hutchie chord, so it folds up very neatly in the pack.

I thew down a standard tarp I got from a cheap hardware store for ground cover, then a sleeping mat and finally for bedding my sleeping bag in an ex-Belgian army bivvy bag.

Time was ticking by so food was next on the agenda.  I had brought with me some bread, a can of soup/meat and a couple of sausages...nothing fancy.  It wasn't about packing light or using hi-tech food packets from NASA, so whatever I could find I crammed in and took.  As a kid I would raid the fridge and set off to the woods for a meal, so it brought back some memories heating the soup over an open fire.


Fire is usually discouraged in the national park, in fact, it's pretty much banned.  However, I had contacted the senior ranger for the region and he had basically said I wouldn't be able to light a fire in the wet anyway...he obviously discourages most people from lighting fires, and for good reason!  I knew my fire would be very limited and in a safe position.  Safe to say having spoken to the Ranger, there was no clear instruction not to light a fire...


You can see the simple pot hanger I improvised from this stick, I could have made a tripod and hung the pot with wire etc...simple works best, especially in Bushcraft, there's simply no need to take anymore wood than needed.

Having eaten, I was pretty much set for the night.  I wrapped up in my bivvy bag and turned in for the night. Morning seemed to creep up very slowly, the canopy of trees made it seem a lot darker than it really was.  I had slept quite well with no major incidences.  The bivvy had kept what little wind there was at bay, and thankfully it hadn't rained anyway.  The view looking up....


I packed up promptly, leaving no trace off my fire or camp site. There is nothing more important to the trip than leaving no footprint on the landscape. Here is the site once I had packed up...

I set off back to the car feeling energised...I needed to start planning my next trip now...!




This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to www.yola.com and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola