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Home Page About Us A Photographic History History 1940-1990
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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)

Fibrepile trousers also became available. One drawback of synthetics is the need for care next to a camp fire as sparks cause great damage.

Hats provided one avenue of escape from the uniformity of standard ex-Army gear. While many walkers wore ex-Army slouch hats, these would get bashed, sat on, soaked, decorated, cut about and generally abused until they assumed an individual shape so that one could say, 'There's John (Rex, Bob or Doug), I can tell by the hat.' For a while Canterbury Girls High School hats were popular among lady walkers because of a number of ex-pupils in the Club.

The most exquisite vision of sartorial elegance seen by our Club was probably Nick Cole on the Moomba Day Walk (as the Federation Day Walk was called from 1958-73) of 1962, when he arrived in a dinner suit, cane, monocle and straw hat. He scrounged his lunch from fellow members, as he felt that to carry anything apart from his cane would detract from his image.

Compare today's clothing with this advised for young ladies going on a walking tour in 1900: 'Two cotton dresses, one cashmere dress, one ulster, one alpaca dustcoat, one parasol, one umbrella, one walking stick, one pair of shoes, one pair of button boots, six pairs of stockings, two straw hats, one green veil and one small flask of brandy in case of faintness'.


Cereals and oatmeal were, and are, a favourite for bushwalking breakfasts. An early cereal was 'Granbits' (known to the English as 'Grapenuts'). These were small gravely cereal lumps that softened after soaking, making them easier to eat. The joy of Granbits was their ease of carrying compared with other cereals, which crushed to a powder in the pack. Oats were used for porridge, but gradually walkers began adding dried fruit and nuts to make muesli. This was more convenient as it required no cooking, which meant no dirty billy in the morning. In the seventies commercially prepared muesli became available. The powdered milk then sold had to be mixed carefully to prevent lumps. This powdered milk probably caused many a walker to swap to black tea. Instant powdered milk became available in the early sixties, first skim milk only, then full-cream milk.

Bread and biscuits were carried, but early food lists always included flour for damper-making. Meat paste, Vegemite, honey and peanut butter have been standard spreads for many years. Butter or margarine was usually carried in an 'M&B' aluminium screw-top container. Chemists