Things I am glad I took – great buys

  • Cabin shoes – my Adidas slip ons were very light weight and I could wear socks with them.  A must take.
  • My small tripod stool – was useful in huts as well along the way when we stopped for lunch or a cup of tea.
  • Sleeping bag Mountain Hardwear Spirit 32 – kept me warm on nights that dipped below zero.  Am confident that this bag could go a lot colder.
  • Keen Targhee Hiking Boot – A lot of people on the walk with me had the same shoes. I asked each person whether their socks were dry and based on the sample of 5 or so mine were the only one that stayed waterproof.  I thought they were very comfortable and light weight.
  • My Rab Latok jacket kept me dry and the Event fabric kept me comfortable.  My waterproof pants also did the job and more importantly kept me warm on the first three days.  I did not wear long johns at any stage.
  • My backpack and harness was fabulous – at 60 Litres the Medium WBA by One Planet was an excellent piece of kit – a great investment.
  • Dry Sacks – one for clothing, one for sleeping bag, one for sleeping gear, and three smaller ones for tea/coffee/utensils, toiletries, medicines & bits n pieces
  • Panadol, Sunscreen, hat
  • Gaiters are mandatory
  • My Macpac down jacket was perfect for evenings over an undershirt it was all I needed.
  • Small candles make a difference in the dining rooms

Gear that failed

I took a pair of Black Diamond Ultra Distance Carbon hiking poles but only came back with one.  My son was using a pole and on a steep section with tree roots he slipped and the pole snapped at the junction of the pole and the hand grip.  My pole lasted the whole trip and was a must have piece of kit.  Light – but maybe too light.

Gear I should not have taken as it was extra weight and not needed

  • A mini towel – a Chux cloth is all you need.
  • Kettle – only used it once on an evening where I cooked up in the Macpac titanium pot.  In hindsight that was a wasted 100g.
  • Less spare clothes – I took two thermal tops spare (one long – one short). I should have left the short sleeve at home.
  • A second spare pair of underpants – one spare was enough.
  • Labels on items – I did not spend enough time going through clothes and the tent removing labels.
  • Second gas cylinder.  Took a 230g and 100g.  The 230g can was fine for two people with evening meal and hot drinks at least twice per day.  I gave the spare can to a school group on the last night.
  • Extra food – I should have planned a bit better and had a plan for each meal.  Could easily have saved another 200-300 grams.
  • Roll on deodorant – 60 grams of waste.   I felt much better after a simple wash with a Chux wipe and some Sea to Summit Wilderness wash in warm water.
  • Map case – plastic waterproof type.  The map provided by the Parks people is water resistant and I did not need to consult the map at all during the day.
  • I figure I could have saved a kilo easily which would have meant starting with 16 Kg instead of 17 Kg

Gear lessons for next time

Take good gloves.  The gloves I took on this walk were not waterproof and got sodden quite quickly on day one.  While this was a bit of a problem it was interesting to note that even wet the polyester fibre still kept me warm once I was walking

Later on I spoke to a ranger about what gloves he recommended and he recommended Ninja Ice. Apparently these gloves are used by workers in ice factories and they are very cheap. ie less than $AUD15 a pair shipped.

My Overland Track experience