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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
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Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

Margaret Thompson with A-frame pack.
Margaret Thompson with A-frame pack. Day walk, probably in the Switzerland Ranges, circa 1962.
Darrell Sullivan

stretched across it. The load was carried in a canvas bag lashed to the frame.

In the early sixties H-frame packs, called 'Mountain Mules', made by the New Zealand manufacturer Bevan Napper, began to appear in Australia. These, along with check woollen shirts, usually indicated that the owner had been on a New Zealand holiday. In 1962 Kimpton's in Collingwood began manufacturing Mountain Mules, available in two models: standard and tanker. The tanker had a tap in the hollow frame to enable stove fuel to be carried in it. Paddy Pallin and 'Flinders Ranges', a South Australian company, followed with H-frame models and soon A-frames were a thing of the past. The internal-frame pack developed in the late seventies.

Because heavy loads could be carried more comfortably in an H-frame pack, their advent turned the emphasis away from lightweight bushwalking. Before then it was a matter of pride how lightly one could travel. Really keen walkers would trim excess straps and would even cut down the handles on their toothbrushes.