Bostock Reservoir header extension
 Home Page  Membership Walk & Camp Other Events    Program    Photogallery Downloads FAQs
Home Page About Us A Photographic History History 1940-1990
Membership Process Frequent Questions Location Maps Newsletters Library Holdings BWV Discounts Members Area
Other Events Overview Training Conservation Social
Photogallery Photo Archives Photo Submission Guide
General Downloads Walk magazine 1949-87 Newsletter Archive
Frequent Questions
Activities Program Notices of Coming Events Participant Responsibilities Trip Note Archive
Walk & Camp Overview Tips for New Bushwalkers Bus Walks with Melbourne Bushwalkers Overnight Bushwalking Basic Navigation Skills Equipment Hire Safety Guidelines Courtesy Guidelines Helpful Links
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
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)

Tricounis were steel clips about 2 cm long that were fixed to each side of the instep of the boot, the serrated edge of five teeth preventing slipping on logs. Some walkers put tricounis all around the edge of their boots, giving the appearance of a primaeval toothed monster on each foot. One certain way of causing dissent around the camp fire was to raise the subject of the configuration of hobnails in the sole. Walkers had their individual patterns, making it possible to recognise some people by their boot prints.

It was usually recommended to soak boots in water before wearing them, then to walk in them until they dried. This moulded the boot to the wearer's foot.

Slick's Shoe Service of 302 Flinders Street advertised in Walk 1954, 'Approved Federation Hiking Boots' for £2 17s 0d. These were made in Tasmania by Blundstones. Rubber 'commando' soles became common in the early sixties - so much more comfortable if a road bash were necessary. Leather laces were common in boots. These were horrible to untie in cold, wet weather. In the early seventies Loch Wilson began importing New Zealand Tramper boots. These were excellent boots and became very popular. New South Wales walkers introduced the custom of wearing sandshoes on walks, a subject that can still cause lively discussion around the camp fire.

In scrubby country ex-Army gaiters might have been worn. These were either Australian Army with buckles or the American Army lace-up type. Puttees - lengths of felt that were wrapped around the legs - were also worn.

Rain gear

One piece of gear never seen now is the cape groundsheet. Waterproof coats were rarely carried. Windproof jackets were worn instead and, in the event of wet weather, cape groundsheets (some with hoods) covered everything, including packs. Capes were usually rubberised canvas and fairly heavy. Later nylon ones were lighter. When sheets of polythene plastic became available, they were used as groundsheets - very cheap and light. A development from the American space research programme was the lightweight aluminium foil 'space blanket'. A very lightweight version was carried for emergency shelter and a heavier one for a groundsheet.

Jackets were often ex-Army khaki battledress jackets. Some walkers used anoraks (zipless, hooded jackets pulled on over the head), which were lightweight but only showerproof. From New Zealand came the