Gear list and questions from noob

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Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Mon 04 Nov, 2019 5:23 pm

After a few beers the other night I decided it was time to stop talking about it and start doing it, so I signed up and paid for a pass for the OT, departing Jan 30 2020. Will be solo as I don't know anyone else interested in this sort of thing.

I'm 52YO Male, 5'11" 80kg, not terribly unfit but will need to get my hiking fitness up to scratch in the next couple months. I haven't done a lot of hiking, and no overnight hikes. I spent a week in the Grampians spring 2018, but returned to the Halls Gap CP every night. I did sleep in my hiking kit as per the lighterpack list though, and I've spent probably a dozen additional nights in the tent/sleep system but all with the security of a a vehicle nearby.

So, here's my gear list: https://lighterpack.com/r/ghw9xj

I look through that list and "all the gear but no idea" comes to mind, but let's move forward with some questions anyway:

I sleep cold - I read about the strong chance of snow (I've only ever seen snow on the ground a few times in my life, never camped/hiked in it), and I don't want to be that guy that has to get choppered out (or worse) cos I wasn't well enough prepared. Do I have enough warm clothes/gear in there? Do I need a hardshell jacket? Waterproof gloves?

Trail runners - I wore them in the Grampians, and regularly walk around home in them, but is it a terrible idea to wear trail runners on the OT? Or are waterproof boots a better option? I won't say price is no object, but happy to pay for quality gear if it will make my hike better.

2900ish calories per day - is this enough? If not, any lightweight suggestions to bump it up?

Water - do you need to collect it wherever it's available, or are there a few points on each day that you can rely on? Is there somewhere that covers this? When collecting water, can it be collected into a bottle (ie deep pools/streams), or will I need a cup or similar to scoop it out of shallow streams?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Last edited by timh on Tue 05 Nov, 2019 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gear list and quesions from noob

Postby north-north-west » Mon 04 Nov, 2019 6:01 pm

There are plenty of places you can collect water on the way but a few where you need to be extra careful, or even avoid, such as either side of Pelion Gap. Huts all have tanks and plenty of possible collection points are deep enough to use a bottle.

Gear list looks fairly good. I'd add more protein for the evening meals (and maybe the snack food as well - jerky is light) and a bit more variety as well. You can get packets of dried mushrooms and fried shallots in the Asian section of many supermarkets and they make a great addition to meals at very low cost. Or you could add a few commercially prepared meals (Strive are the best IMO). And more chocolate. The most important rule for bushwalking is that there is no such thing as "too much" - or even "enough" - chocolate.
Soap is not necessary, just use hand sanitiser when appropriate for hygiene and learn to embrace your inner grunge.
Sleep system is fine, and with the beanie and down jacket you can wear them at night if it gets really cold.
Trail runners are fine, but don't use them as an excuse to bogdodge or avoid the odd puddle - in most cases you'll actually get wetter and dirtier if you do that, as the firmest ground is mostly right in the middle of the track.
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Re: Gear list and quesions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 05 Nov, 2019 1:55 pm

Thanks NNW, appreciate the info.

Chocolate for breakfast sounds like a good plan. I'm vegetarian/pescetarian so jerky isn't a preferred option, will add some tuna to my evening meals.

Edit: those Strive meals look much better than noodles and Deb, thanks for the tip.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Neo » Tue 05 Nov, 2019 7:08 pm

Coffee & chocolate/a biscuit = breakfast of champions!

I'm a brunch person.

Sounds like your car overnighters have tested your gear and camping skills well.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby crollsurf » Tue 05 Nov, 2019 7:20 pm

Maybe a bit over dressed but a very nice setup all the same. Pretty much on song for an experienced walker let alone a noob.

Maybe a bit too much food but everyone is different so you'll dial that in over time.

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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Lamont » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 11:18 am

Hope you have a grand time timh- NBNW is right -but for me six to eight snack size snickers per day are champion. :D
And tuna is a great idea-a heap of crumbled savoury shapes in a couple of tuna (flavoured) pouches and it's go time!
Please take this with a grain of salt if you have used this set up before and are happy with it but I agree with Crolly a bit. If you get coldish and go for the fleece-would you be then too hot to walk? Sweating way too much?
Each of your warmish items are heavy (not so much weight as thermally) and if you went for the rain jacket instead in cool dry weather you may still be too warm when active and sweating up a storm.
Have you considered a 100 wt fleece? Macpac have some great cheapish ones and they wouldn't be for the one use-100 wt fleeces are the bees knees. https://www.macpac.com.au/mens/tops/fle ... ce#start=1 something like this maybe. Or a champ number the Nitro.
Over your shirt and this fleece you would be right to at least zero-colder again -jacket. You would get lots of use out of this fleece-more (I'd venture) than the one you have for active use.
Yours looks to be a quite heavy (and very warm-too warm?) 200wt fleece at 377gms.
Then you have the big jacket for having your Gin Sling at the end of the day.
But grain of salt and all that if you are happy with what you have and you don't sweat overly when active and it's in the nippy "I need to put something extra on" range.
Cheers.
Good idea 99
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 3:05 pm

Thanks Lamont, just the sort of feedback I was looking for.

I know I'm "packing my fears". I've only day hiked in fine weather, so having had no experience in really cold conditions I'm worried I'll freeze to death (literally) if I don't take warm enough clothes. More concerned about when not walking than on the trail, although thinking about it now you're right I don't have a good option when it gets cold during the day (too cold for shirt and rain jacket alone).

Swapping in that Macpac for my MD fleece would save almost 100gms. That's a block of Lindt dark chocolate.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Lamont » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 3:37 pm

No worries.
"That's a block of Lindt dark chocolate". Thanks but you don't have to do that :lol:
Have a think about the Macpac Nitro also at 135 gms it is a great active piece. That and your merino shirt would be warm down until about 3-4 degrees for me.
I wear that thing more than any other thing I own, just about. Cold wind comes up chuck on your jacket.
The Nitro is what I would recommend but to be certain maybe take the heavier Macpac fleece perhaps until you get your eye in.
Or buy both and choose which one to take the week before, you'll wear them. :D
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Mechanic-AL » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 8:58 pm

Hi Tim
Im not going to critic your gear list, there is heaps of info regarding what is or isnt needed if you do a bit of home work.

But I sense a little bit of trepidation in your post so I would like to put a bit of that at ease if I can.
First of all........at the end of January you definitely wont be doing this walk solo. You may start of by yourself, but you will be walking with a lot of people heading in the same direction so its a good chance you will hook up with like minded people and possibly keep company with the same groups for the whole walk even though you wont be walking with them every step of the way. And its a good bet that many of the other walkers you meet will have little or no experience of the walk they have set out on. That is a great part of the adventure of it all !!
Tassies notorious weather scares the heck out of some people and its not to be taken lightly but in all likely hood at the beginning of Feb. you may well experience some of the most sublime days of alpine walking possible. If the weather does come in, once again it is all part of the adventure and should be embraced as something that makes this walk special. I sometimes think that people who have managed to get from Dove Lake to Lake St Clair without copping a bit of what Tassie is famous for have somehow missed out on a part of the experience and should be made to go and start again !
And even if you dont see them, the Park Rangers are out there and in most circumstances if things do go pear shaped help is never too far away.
My only comment on your gear is from personal experience so it may not relate to you at all but if you do find you pack feels too heavy food is usually the thing I have over estimated on and should have cut back. Now days I always ask myself when packing, would I rather be hungry and warm for a few days or full up and cold ?? Give me warm and hungry any day !!

I'm sure you will have a great adventure and meet some interesting people along the way :D :D

Happy walking
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Petew » Thu 07 Nov, 2019 7:06 am

+1 reccomendation for the Macpac nitro. I walked the OLT in August and it didn't come off the whole week! Very versatile.

It wicks moisture away really well, is reasonably warm and is fantastic under your shell when active in crappy, cold weather.

After a week it will stink though.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Thu 07 Nov, 2019 7:28 pm

Petew wrote:
After a week it will stink though.


Not as much as I will! Just part of the aura...

Mechanic-AL, thanks for those words, that was encouraging. Yes, a little trepidation, overthinking things, but hey, it's adventure I'm after so bring on the challenges. Been longing to do this for a couple of years, can't wait to actually get into it now that I've cut the anchor rope.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby bigwallclimber » Wed 13 Nov, 2019 12:16 pm

timh wrote:
Petew wrote:
After a week it will stink though.


Not as much as I will! Just part of the aura...

Mechanic-AL, thanks for those words, that was encouraging. Yes, a little trepidation, overthinking things, but hey, it's adventure I'm after so bring on the challenges. Been longing to do this for a couple of years, can't wait to actually get into it now that I've cut the anchor rope.


Hey There Pete,

You are walking the track in what could not be a better time to walk it, like what has been said before you will not be alone and there are plenty of people who you will talk to in the process as you are the track everyday with them but not necesarily walking with them.

In relation to the weather, last year my partner and I walked the track (The first time She has walked the track) and not one day was required where a thermal or anything was required. Literally just a shirt and pants. My partner feels the cold and she had her shell on coming up to Marions and just past kitchen hut then it came off. I dont feel the cold and walked the whole track with just my pants and shirt and occasionally a jacket on in the evening.

You willbe fine and you will love the walk.

Dave
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Thu 14 Nov, 2019 4:53 pm

Thanks Dave,

yeah I can't wait now I know I'm prepared enough. I do need to get out and do some longer walks with my pack though.

Wore my new Macpac fleece to Melbourne this week, been eating Strive meals cooked on my alky stove (in my kitchen) for dinners...

Appreciate the encouragement!

Tim (not Pete)
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 14 Nov, 2019 8:12 pm

I just did the OT from 1st to 6th of November.
First day was so crowded from Ronnie Creek to Marion's. Lot's of other hikers and day trippers, so you won't be alone.
After that more normal, a person/group every now and then.
Scrub is worse in the Grampians, so not sure why gaiters are needed. Never used them. Snakes in summer?
Every day I walked in t-shirt and shorts.
Had a light rain jacket for snow and rain, but when you're walking you're hot so anything heavier not necessary (for me).
Just walk through the first puddle you see while wearing wool socks and you're set for the day.
Need warm, dry clothes when you stop at a hut/camp.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby bigwallclimber » Fri 15 Nov, 2019 10:59 am

timh wrote:Thanks Dave,

yeah I can't wait now I know I'm prepared enough. I do need to get out and do some longer walks with my pack though.

Wore my new Macpac fleece to Melbourne this week, been eating Strive meals cooked on my alky stove (in my kitchen) for dinners...

Appreciate the encouragement!

Tim (not Pete)


Hey There Tim (Not Pete),

Not sure you have to to go as far as eating on the Alky stove in the kitchen :-)

You want to head to Lerderderg and walk the East West track with your pack good distance and nice walk.

Dave
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby asset » Fri 15 Nov, 2019 9:32 pm

Hi Tim, I very recently finished a solo of the OT and would add to the excellent advice already received that you should consider waterproof socks if the forecast looks cold and wet. I had a pair of Dex Shell's on inside my trail runners on top of a thin merino liner and feet remained toasty in a freezing/snowy/sleety day 1.

I was the only trail runner person in the 11 in my transfer, just for statistical purposes. I'm pretty sure I'm also the only person who set off with completely dry shoes on day 2 :D

Have fun!
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Zaeed » Sun 24 Nov, 2019 8:41 pm

Hey Mate,

I'm most likely going to book in to depart on Jan 31. Might see you on the trail!
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Gear list and questions from noob

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 25 Nov, 2019 7:37 pm

...been eating Strive meals cooked on my alky stove (in my kitchen) for dinners...

Now that’s dedication!

Re the Strive meals - they’re my favourites, however I’ve never been able to get the risotto to reconstitute properly. The Laksa, in particular, is a big fave.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby north-north-west » Mon 25 Nov, 2019 8:19 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:Re the Strive meals - they’re my favourites, however I’ve never been able to get the risotto to reconstitute properly.


Took me a long time to work it out. I put in heaps more water and then bung the pot in the cosy for at least 30 minutes, preferably 45-50, and stir regularly.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby johnw » Mon 25 Nov, 2019 9:36 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Scrub is worse in the Grampians, so not sure why gaiters are needed. Never used them. Snakes in summer?

I assume the snake comment is tongue-in-cheek but it jogged my memory. When I walked the OLT a number of years ago I accidentally clipped a large, but well hidden tiger snake with my hiking pole going up to New Pelion from Frog Flats. It wasn't happy and performed some brief, very aggressive movements before taking off into the bush. This was late Dec/early Jan. No gaiters but I was wearing long hiking pants, not that they would likely stop a determined snake bite.
FWIW we had rain/cool weather on the first day then fine sunny days for the rest of the trip. But Tassie highland weather is very unpredictable, the following year found us in the Walls in a mixture of sun/heat, rain, gale force winds, snow and near blizzard conditions in the space of 7 or 8 days.
To the OP, be sensibly prepared but don't overthink it. It's a great walk, take your time and enjoy it. I'm determined to do it again sometime, but really slowly.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Mon 25 Nov, 2019 11:08 pm

Hi Tim

I did the OLT about 6 years ago for a friend’s 50th birthday! In late January and had perfect weather. We still talk about the experiences we had on that hike - even though we’ve done a few others since.

Advice:

1. I would bring more toilet paper. Better to have it and not need it.

2. Make sure you bring a few gastrostop tabs too and a few Voltarin just in case.

3. I tend to bring scroggin/trail mix with seeds, nuts, cranberries, raisins and a bit of dark chocolate broken up in it rather than lollies. Better for you.

We had separate ziploc bags for each day so we didn’t accidentally run out of nibbles. I always bring an extra meal just in case.

4. Leave early as you can on the first day - you will have a full pack and might need the extra time. However, we only started from Ronny Creek at 2pm and still got a place in the hut that night. It was a tiring day though.

5. Small thing - Is your spoon long enough to reach the bottom of your dehydrated food pack - I.e to mix it properly? I usually bring one of those long spoons.

6. Are you planning on camping every night? We ended up sleeping in the huts on the wooden platforms every night. My friend did the walk again the next year and camped the whole time and enjoyed that too.

7. Because there are toilets at the huts/camp areas we didn’t bring a trowel. Your needs may differ!
Last edited by Joynz on Tue 26 Nov, 2019 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 26 Nov, 2019 6:00 pm

Some more great comments/advice, thanks all.

I'm glad I tested the Strive stuff at home actually, some of them need a bit more water than they specify, the daal needs heaps of water and was not great IMO, the Laksa is awesome and I could eat it every night. Also getting my fuel usage dialed in, was over-estimating.

Gaiters are for snake protection, keep reading about these Tassie tiger snakes. I'm generally ok with snakes, grew up/live/work in the mallee and come across browns on a regular basis, but I read it could be hours before the rescue chopper gets to me from my PLB signal, so prefer to avoid snake bite if I can (I have a kit and know what to do if needed).

Waterproof socks, check. More TP, check. I never travel without Imodium, in or out of civilisation. On a plane or out bush, it is priceless when you need it.

I plan on camping every night - if I'm carrying the tent I want to use it (part of the fun IMO), and I'm not comfortable sleeping in a room with strangers. If it's snowing/freezing cold I may reassess my stand on this.

I need to stop buying stuff from online hiking stores... :-)
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 26 Nov, 2019 6:27 pm

Zaeed - I'll be the guy looking like a rabbit in the headlights on day one. Hope to see you out there!
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby bigwallclimber » Wed 27 Nov, 2019 7:41 am

timh wrote:Zaeed - I'll be the guy looking like a rabbit in the headlights on day one. Hope to see you out there!

Tim,

You will love day 1, like my partner did the year before last she dos not remeber some of the parts of the track on day 1, in fact she does not remeber going up te chains to Marions lookout.

Enjoy day 1, step off early if possible (Waldheim Cabins are great) and take it easy and look around.

We will be doing that this year (Jan 13th) but linking days 1 and 2 together.

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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 01 Dec, 2019 8:57 pm

Great list, you have good quality and practical gear.

Lots of good advice already given. Would emphasize the more TP suggestion.

If you wanted to save a 100 grams you could ditch the pillow and use your stuff sack filled with clothes. Put your buff around the sack to make a nice cosy pillow. (Think it was Lamont that put me on to the buff on pillow trick, gold!)

958 grams a day would be too much food for me but everyone has different requirements.

I'd also experiment with a few alternative dishes between now and the trip. You could likely boost the variety with a bit of practice. Tortillas, cucumber, mini egg tomatoes keep for at least a week and combined with sultanas or cheese make a tasty lunch.

If your prone to cramps consider a few magnesium tablets in your first aid kit.

I like bio degradable soap when using hut facilities as I can use it to wash up dishes as well as clean hands. Sanitizer tends to dry my hands after a few days ( I do carry a mini bottle of it though)

Switching to two chux one for dishes and the other for body will save a bit of weight compared to microfiber towel and dry quicker.

I assume you have lip balm? Anti chaff balm is also nice.

If your using the Sawyer mini in streams make sure you have a way to back flush if it gets clogged.

Have a great trip.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Mon 02 Dec, 2019 12:24 am

To preserve the environment it’s best not to use soap or detergent as it pollutes water sources and isn’t great for the bush environment given the numbers of hikers through the track.

We just used a cloth to wipe out our bowls. And plain water for underarms etc.

There are creeks/lakes nearby some huts. We had a dip in the creek by Old Pelion hut (walked back a short distance after setting up for the night at New Pelion hut).

Each hut on the track has a rain water tank for hand washing and water collection.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 02 Dec, 2019 8:07 pm

Joynz wrote:To preserve the environment it’s best not to use soap or detergent as it pollutes water sources and isn’t great for the bush environment given the numbers of hikers through the track.


Thanks for this. I've learned something new. I thought biodegradable soap was ok (never near streams but in the ground or hut sinks) but some researching reveals it's still bad.

I think I'll use clean dirt and then rince with water from now on.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Mon 02 Dec, 2019 8:41 pm

Not sure what you mean by ‘use clean dirt’?
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Warin » Mon 02 Dec, 2019 8:56 pm

Joynz wrote:Not sure what you mean by ‘use clean dirt’?


Dirt that is not polluted by soap? :D

Personally I find a nail brush and water cleans most things very well. Hands, shoes, clothing... all with water and nail brush. The Romans used to oil themselves before scraping that off and then bathing. I find after a days walk/work that a scrape with a knife removes the days sweat and dirt,then if wanted a 'wash' with a rag and water should be sufficient for most.

In Griselda Spriggs book "Dune is a Four Letter Word' you will find she uses 'clean' sand to wash the cooking things and dishes... water is a scarce commodity in the Simpson but sand is everywhere.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Orion » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 2:58 am

In a hut I actually think that (biodegradable) soap is a good idea. Rubbing your hands with cold water is not an effective way to sanitize them.

I don't carry soap myself. But the few times I've stayed in huts I've wished for some.
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