The golden age of bushwalking.

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The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby puredingo » Tue 27 Jul, 2021 3:35 pm

During my daily covid stroll this morning it had me wondering just which generation has had the best of it so far?

Contemporary bushwalkers these days have all the technology know to man and getting lost seems virtually impossible and if you do happen to get misplaced then rescue is only a button press away...but it kinda takes the adventure out of things and kills the romance for me.

But, say, 50 years ago...although the gear wasn't yet ultra light and still a bit clunky there was all those ungated fire trails and well formed farm road making life a dream to cruise. I'd happily give up my ThermAlite if it meant abolishing the 10klm Nattai Rd or Narrow neck slog etc...

Or even back a hundred!! Maybe the boots were heavy and blisters a guarantee but imagine the prestige of actually getting to name a pass you assume no white man has discovered before or walking the cleared selected land that stretches down into the wild. With limited mapping the risk of getting lost might be heightened but, hey, you got a rifle and your dog so survive on rabbit and roo until you stumble back into society?

Thoughts?
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 27 Jul, 2021 4:55 pm

I don't remember blisters being any great problem.
But yes I miss being able to carry the rifle and shoot dinner ; although it was actually the adults in the party who did that.
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby north-north-west » Tue 27 Jul, 2021 5:40 pm

The golden age is from when you can start doing it properly to when you can no longer get out.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby puredingo » Tue 27 Jul, 2021 6:57 pm

[quote="Moondog55"]I don't remember blisters being any great problem.


You must own a pair of those “good feet” Moondoggy....I envy you!
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Zapruda » Tue 27 Jul, 2021 7:39 pm

I often dream of simpler times. No vehicle roads, no modern infrastructure, no ski resorts… Just footpads, dray tracks and bridle trails. Or even better, nothing at all.

A time when the only maps were just vague parish maps and places were seldom visited.

Pre gold rush would be nice…
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby crollsurf » Tue 27 Jul, 2021 10:36 pm

...
Last edited by crollsurf on Wed 28 Jul, 2021 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Wed 28 Jul, 2021 7:50 am

50 years ago I had a Flinders ranges H frame that left big welts on my back, a Japara tent which leaked in the rain when you touched it (and for some reason you were compelled to touch it), and a sleeping bag of unknown brand and type except it was always cold. I'm pretty sure it wasn't golden age. I could probably replicate that time if I wanted to, but I really don't want to.

100 years ago though was different. Has anyone read "Landlopers" by John LeGay Brereton? He and his mate went walking where they liked, people helped them along the way, farms and passers-by gave them food, they didn't bring a tent but dossed down wherever they could, all with a sense of humour. And you could write a book about it! That's golden age for me.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby stry » Wed 28 Jul, 2021 4:56 pm

north-north-west wrote:The golden age is from when you can start doing it properly to when you can no longer get out.


I like your thinking NNW. :D

And if things were still as they were when I was able to start doing it properly, I would not be able to still do it; or if I could still do it, it would be a LOT harder.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Warin » Wed 28 Jul, 2021 6:00 pm

north-north-west wrote:The golden age is from when you can start doing it properly


:oops: Properly? You mean without error.... sorry ..I'm still making mistakes.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby north-north-west » Wed 28 Jul, 2021 8:04 pm

Warin wrote:
north-north-west wrote:The golden age is from when you can start doing it properly

:oops: Properly? You mean without error.... sorry ..I'm still making mistakes.


Properly means without mummy and daddy along to hold your hand and keep the big scary monsters away at night.
We all make mistakes. As long as we keep learning from them, that's not a bad thing.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby davidmorr » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 12:20 pm

First you have to define what you mean by "bushwalking". Is it going out in the bush, isolated from everything, and totally self-reliant? Is it being comfortable while in the bush, eg, good sleeping bag, dry tent, lightweight pack? Is it an extension of your city life, being in contact with friends, able to have a coffee, able to be rescued by helicopter if needed?

It is the same with cars. An old open sports car is a thrill to drive, the "golden age". But most people prefer to have comfort, a heater, good fuel consumption, etc.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby CBee » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 12:37 pm

There are still plenty of adventures out there, things to be discovered and secrets to be unlocked. You only need to be able to see them and master any kind of terrain, rather that follow others to a defined and comfortable path.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby neilmny » Mon 09 Aug, 2021 10:28 am

north-north-west wrote:The golden age is from when you can start doing it properly to when you can no longer get out.


This
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby puredingo » Mon 09 Aug, 2021 12:20 pm

Yes, “that” in a broader sense is totally true BUT speaking more specifically about the current climate regarding all things bushwalking the impenetrable scrub I was forced to scrap my way through last month was not particularly golden at all...well, still gold but could have used a bit of a shine.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 8:30 am

The golden age for me was 10 years ago, when I use to get out a whole lot more. I think there were a few years there where I was managed at least 50 nights in the bush each year. But work and kids have cramped my style. Hopefully a new golden age is not too far away in the future!
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby michael_p » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 9:59 am

Keen to go back to when I could get a parking spot in the car park at Wattle Ridge on a Sunday morning :lol:
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 10:10 am

I think the golden age ended when the boom gate was installed on the Cradle Mountain road. I can see that the gate is necessary, but it's a symbol of how drastically parks are changing.

Bushwalking used to feel like going for a stroll in my own back yard. These days it feels like begging the government for permission to join the queue to have a look at their back yard.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby davidmorr » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 11:49 am

Son of a Beach wrote:Bushwalking used to feel like going for a stroll in my own back yard. These days it feels like begging the government for permission to join the queue to have a look at their back yard.

Parks are not the only place you can walk. It is worth establishing contact with landowners who have land to walk on, or who can provide access to parts of parks that mere mortals cannot get to. The weekend before last, I went to a remote part of Wollemi NP only accessible through private property. Fortunately my club has maintained contact with a number of owners of that land over the last 40 years so we are always welcome.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Biggles » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 11:51 am

Son of a Beach wrote:I think the golden age ended when the boom gate was installed on the Cradle Mountain road. I can see that the gate is necessary, but it's a symbol of how drastically parks are changing.

Bushwalking used to feel like going for a stroll in my own back yard. These days it feels like begging the government for permission to join the queue to have a look at their back yard.


When was that boom gate installed, and where? I have a vague recollection of a gate at the Visitor Info centre way back in 1999? Is this the one?
I remember that trip for something altogether different: unseen speed hump that knocked out my car's front suspension (signposted 100km/h at the time).

The Golden Age of bushwalking was also when we didn't have a proliferation of outdoor equipment shops telling us that a relatively simple pleasure should cost so very, very much. I have met, and continue to meet people, who see these offerings and come to the conclusion that they would "not fit in" unless they are kitted out in $3,000 worth of boots, pants, jumpers, shell jackets...poles, glasses and novelty carabiners!
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby davidmorr » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 1:46 pm

Biggles wrote:The Golden Age of bushwalking was also when we didn't have a proliferation of outdoor equipment shops telling us that a relatively simple pleasure should cost so very, very much. I have met, and continue to meet people, who see these offerings and come to the conclusion that they would "not fit in" unless they are kitted out in $3,000 worth of boots, pants, jumpers, shell jackets...poles, glasses and novelty carabiners!

Dead right. Whatever happened to wearing old clothes? Why would you want to trash new clothes?
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Nuts » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 2:19 pm

I had thought sometime in the 17th century. Even though I recalled, as a kid, being taken to an ancient regional map under a granite rock ledge.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby scroggin » Fri 13 Aug, 2021 12:53 pm

Without wanting to sound like a "back in my day" kind of guy. I feel that most of the 'classic' Victorian areas this century have been burnt by bushfires to a point that the regrowth and dead branchless trees have made it less appealing visually and from a navigational point of view.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby davidmorr » Fri 13 Aug, 2021 2:22 pm

You are right. Repeated fires have destroyed some areas to the point where tracks are no longer usable. It has got to the point that you have to wait for the next fire before venturing into some areas so there is less vegetation to battle.
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby bigkev » Fri 13 Aug, 2021 6:23 pm

scroggin wrote:Without wanting to sound like a "back in my day" kind of guy. I feel that most of the 'classic' Victorian areas this century have been burnt by bushfires to a point that the regrowth and dead branchless trees have made it less appealing visually and from a navigational point of view.


davidmorr wrote:You are right. Repeated fires have destroyed some areas to the point where tracks are no longer usable. It has got to the point that you have to wait for the next fire before venturing into some areas so there is less vegetation to battle.


Totally agree, a lot of those old routes are now pretty well un-walkable due to fallen dead trees and thick regrowth. Like David I try and time some of these off track walks for the small window between the fires going through and the impenetrable regrowth making things ridiculous :?
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby madpom » Fri 13 Aug, 2021 7:24 pm

> As long as we keep learning from them, that's not a bad thing.

You mean I'm only supposed to make the same mistake once? Remind me of that next time ..
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sun 15 Aug, 2021 4:29 pm

Not sure about a golden era, maybe around the 50's or 60's, but I definitely have a golden time. ( nothing to do with chocolate coated ice creams or suss internet movies either :D ).

That time is first light of a morning when I wake up in my tent. The world outside is devoid of traffic noise, dreary news bulletins or strict schedules and places to be. I've temporarily severed my connection to the hustle and bustle of the establishment and the day ahead is largely unknown and waiting to be discovered. Cant beat that feeling !!

Having said that, I guess the golden era of bush walking for me would have been a time when there was far more of the unknown than the known out there.Just not sure when that era may have been............
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby puredingo » Tue 17 Aug, 2021 7:33 am

davidmorr wrote:You are right. Repeated fires have destroyed some areas to the point where tracks are no longer usable. It has got to the point that you have to wait for the next fire before venturing into some areas so there is less vegetation to battle.



So true. I get a kick out of reading the bushwalking books printed in the 80"s early 90's, "Here you traverse wide flats of dewy meadows with a chance to make up some real time over the walk before you come onto the bridle trail which is open and obvious"...

Anyone who started their bushwalking career in the last few years, looking down at their map in absolute confusion: "WT *$&#!!!????"
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Re: The golden age of bushwalking.

Postby hutfinder » Thu 19 Aug, 2021 11:55 am

It is hard seeing some places get loved to death with the increasing accessibility of remote areas and popularity generated by social media definitely. That said, I am quite fond of my modern shell jacket and backpack :lol:
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