Swiss Ultralight

Swiss Ultralight

All about trekking, thru-hikes and ultralight equipment

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Waterdrops on plant

Gore-Tex (Pro) vs Ascentshell, FutureLight, eVent and co.

Comparison of waterproof and breathable laminates for jackets, bivouacs, etc.

Shower in the river

5 quick-tips for good hygiene when hiking

Keep body and equipment clean

Marker of Te Araroa

Overview Te Araroa thru-hike in New Zealand (2020)

Thru-Hiking in New Zealand - a summary

Poncho-Tarp selfmade

Cuben Fiber vs Silnylon vs Silpoly

Advantages and disadvantages of each material for tents and tarps

Balls of wool

Merino vs Synthetic vs Cotton

Improve your comfort with the right material

Ultralight Footprint

Ultralight Footprints DIY

The 1 Euro tent pad - protection for the tent floor

Passport for customs

Visa and entry in New Zealand

Applying for the right visa for Te Araroa

Emergency lego image

Insurance and precautions for the hike

Avoid high costs in case of an accident

Finances and administration

How much does it cost to hike Te Araroa?

Start with enough money and minimize worries

Hiker looking up mountain

My gear list of Te Araroa

PLB and other equipment

Mobile phone

Phone providers in New Zealand

Watch out when buying data

Compass in hand

Navigating Te Araroa

Using apps to not get lost on the trail

Food on trail

Resupply / Water / Gas / Poste Restante

Stocking up on supplies on Te Araroa

Bluff sign in New zealand

Starting point of Te Araroa in New Zealand

Where the trail starts and how to get there

Hot sun

UV Rays and the New Zealand Heat

Protect your skin

Stormy weather

Unpredictable new zealand weather

Te Araroa can be stormy

Hat and sleeping bag

Hut's and wild camping on the Te Araroa

Backcountry Pass and other preparations

Helping hand at hiking

Trail Angels and Koha in New Zealand

Give and take on Te Araroa

Beach with single person

Other hikers and HYOH

Don't lose sight of your goal

Cute Rat

Sandflys, rats and possums

Some annoying fellow hikers

River in NZ

Crossing rivers on Te Araroa

Be prepared and don't risk anything!

Kayak on Whanganui River

Whanganui River kayaking

Spend 7 days on the water

A random road

Shuttle for river crossing Raikaia and Rangitata

Bypassing the two big rivers

Oldschool gaiters

Gaiters to keep stones out of your shoes

Minimize blisters and sores while hiking

Man drinking water

Nalgene VS CamelBak VS PET bottle

Which hydration system for hiking?


Vitamin 'I' also called Ibuprofen

Painkillers for hiking

Rainwear for hiking a comparison of options

Poncho vs Rain Jacket

Elevation profile Te Araroa Compass Example Image

Elevation profile - Te Araroa 2019/2020

Elevation profile according to the latest data

Garmin InReach Mini

SOS devices (PLB) for thru-hikes and dangerous hikes

Cell phone reception at the end of the world

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Large shortened

Ultralight sleeping pads for hiking

The difference between shivering and sleeping at night.

Shoes, Gore-Tex and Gaiters

From leather boots to sandals made from car tires

Mosquito seeks blood

Insect protection in comparison

DEET, permethrin, picaridin: what helps against insects?

Different Fabrics and Yarn

Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite), X-Pac, Cordura and co.

Comparison of different ultralight materials

Backpacks in grass

Ultralight hiking backpacks tips and recommendations

...and the fall from Mount Everest

Tiny Backpack

Base Weight Definitions

What do the different terms mean?

Guy with Quilt

Quilt or sleeping bag the pros and cons

Synthetic vs Down


Buff - bandana, headband, sweatband

An insanely versatile tube scarf

Cooker at night

The Super Cat Alcohol Stove (aka Fancy feast stove)

Gasoline stove from metal can

Survival knife

Knife, axe and shovel

Survival on the hike

Cuben Fiber vs Silnylon vs Silpoly

Advantages and disadvantages of each material for tents and tarps

2 minutes read

Poncho-Tarp selfmade

Silnylon is often used as the main material for tents. That is a nylon layer, which is coated with silicone on both sides. The silicone increases the tear strength and makes the material water repellent or waterproof.

Instead of nylon, sometimes polyester is used with the same process. This is then called Silpoly. The following is a list of advantages and disadvantages. The trend among homemade tents and tarps is slowly moving more towards Silpoly due to some very positive properties. However, the big manufacturers are still mostly using Silnylon.

Ultralight tents are also increasingly made with Cuben Fiber. It is a laminate with extremely strong Dyneema fiber in between. This makes it very tear resistant and waterproof. For more detailed construction and technical data see: Cuben Fiber (Dyneema Composite), X-Pac, Cordura and co.



  • Low price
  • More tear resistant than polyester
  • Can be folded very compactly
  • Wide range of colors
  • Larger selection of fabrics compared to Silpoly.


  • Very susceptible to UV rays which damage the material.
  • Can get relatively waterlogged despite silicone coating
  • Loses tension when wet which can mean re-tensioning the tent.
  • Seams need to be sealed.



  • Low price
  • Does not lose tension when wet
  • Polyester itself is water repellent. This means it does not soak up water as much as silnylon.
  • Very good UV resistance
  • Can be folded very compactly
  • Wide range of colors


  • Seams must be sealed.
  • Less tear resistant than silnylon of equal weight.
  • Limited material selection.

Cuben Fiber (Dyneema Composite)


  • Extremely tear resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to repair with common adhesive tape
  • Does not absorb water
  • Low stretch


  • Very expensive
  • Abrasion resistance for non-hybrids.
  • Does not fold up as compact as silnylon and silpoly.
  • Must be pitched perfectly as a tent since no stretchability
  • Stiffness
  • When kinked, holes can occur

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