Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

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Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Wed 27 Jun, 2018 11:49 pm

I have quite a bit of gear purchased over the last few years. (Including having made a number of cock-ups along the way, while I worked out which gear worked for me, and which really didn't work for me. :wink: )

I am planning on doing the Overland Track in January 2019. Maybe on a guided tour, or paying for a private guide such as Wes Moule, or maybe be super-brave and go by myself - I've yet to decide. I will be leaving my then 3 year old with grandparents for 6 days. I would love some input and advice on a couple of gear equipment items from you super-experienced folks.

1) FOOTWEAR
I have a pair of Scarpa Proton trailrunners, with Superfeet Berry insoles. I wear that combo all the time. Never injured myself (touch wood).I like the "proprioception" as you folks call it.

However a number of websites on the Overland Track say you HAVE TO have boots. eg) Tas Walking Co, etc.

Sigh. I was thinking to get Zamberlan Trail Lite Evo GTX boots. Mountain Designs sold out and shut down. I tried Salomon, La Sportiva, but feet and ankles weren't loving them. Found compromise option which is not too bad for me: Keen Gypsum II women's hiking boots. I know they're more day hike boots, but they feel good in store and I didn't feel any spots where they were chaffing on my ankle bone or squishing one of my toes, and they didn't feel so clunky. eg I still had some "proprioception". They'd cost me around $185 - $215 to buy.

However Will Wood and ZPacks did Overland Track, admittedly they had a good run on weather, in trail runners. Heaps of hikers these days do everything in trail runners. So can I get away with trail runners on the Overland?

Can I convince a tour group to let me join even with my comfy trail runners? (For extra clarity, the Scarpa Proton that I have are the deliberately non waterproof model, so yes they get wet, but they try out quick too. I realize I'll get wet feet, and that they may get muddy.) I have got Sea to Summit Quagmire canvas gaiters with me.

2) GLOVES - Recommendations for all-weather gloves, suitable for Overland Track & range of weather?

At the moment all I got down is possibly to look at Northface Women's etip gloves. But any ideas would be great. I do use trekking poles if relevant. Planned date of Overland Track is Jan 2019 if relevant. And I don't do Winter hiking generally, although obviously Overland any weather is possible.

3) TENT
I have a Sierra Designs Flash 2 FL tent which I love. It weighs 1.87 kg. It's proved to be pretty strong in wind tunnel testing from all angles. Am I ok to take this rather than have to get a new tent? I realize it will be a bit blowy due to the ventilation through the "wings" with mesh underneath - what Sierra Designs calls "gear lockers".

I could buy a whole new tent to cut 800 odd grams for a Tarptent, or cut 1.2 kg on a Zpacks cuban fibre tent. But it's a big splurge financially, and I do love my Sierra Designs Flash 2 FL. It makes me happy in my heart when I am in it, with good privacy to change, but I can peer out when I want and enjoy nature and it has good ventilation. :D

Thoughts?

My current working draft set-up is here: https://www.lighterpack.com/r/6qpuiu

Best,

Emma
Last edited by emma_melbourne on Thu 28 Jun, 2018 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby CasualNerd » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 12:46 am

When it comes to stuff like boots, if you know what works well for you, stick with it. Assuming you've done plenty of walking you'll know what suits you better than anyone else.

The weight stuff comes down to cost and fitness. If you can carry the weight and you don't want to spend the money, spend time on your fitness and carry a heavy pack in the meantime to practice and get used to.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 12:51 am

Thanks for your thoughts @CasualNerd.

The tent, I'm pondering on, in terms of saving weight and going with an ultralight tent of some type, but which would still be comfortable to be in for Tasmania, but not as expensive as a brand new Zpacks cuban fibre. It's tricky.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 2:17 am

I’d happily walk the OLT in summer with trail runners, provided they are full waterproof trail runners - like outdry or goretex.

In the wetter seasons, or non waterproof runners like Asics, no way.

Just my friendly opinion :)
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Aardvark » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 3:31 am

I would not tell anyone they couldn't do a route in a particular type of shoe or boot because it usually prompts a barrage of comments by people eager to prove otherwise. The reason someone would suggest or recommend boots is for the purpose of minimising risk. That is, the risk of injury from rolling a foot for instance. Boots will provide the ankle support and the lateral support. Remember the weight of a full overnight pack behind a roll will make all the difference.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby slparker » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 7:27 am

If I was walking the OLT in January I’d stick with trail runners rather then my goretex boots.
I haven’t walked it for many years but if there was a chance of long stretches of mud, creek crossings or rain then waterproof boots is the last thing I’d want.
If it is at all hot and sunny (which it certainly can be) you may regret the boots as your may suffer a paradoxical hot wet foot.
that said, if the track is now substantially boarded with little mud you’ll probably get away with moist feet only in goretex boots even in substantial rain- unless it gets hot...

So, to decide ask yourself: In the balance of probabilities are you going to meet the exact and narrow conditions where goretex boots would be optimal? Or, Will you predictably meet some of the conditions that will result in wet boots that won’t dry out? What if the conditions that result in wet goretex boots occur on day 1 of a 5 day walk?

Don’t be concerned about pack weight and ankle injury. A backpack will increase the risk but changing your footwear will not decrease that risk. The best protection from ankle injury is proprioception, as you have already identified. You may get good proprioception in a shoe or a boot depending on how it is made. If your current shoes offer good proprioception and grip, then ask yourself are there then other predicted track conditions that warrant you wearing boots for the other benefits that they may confer?

That said, If you go with a guide you may need to buy boots to stop them whining at you.

Gloves- thin polypropylene liners - in the balance of probability are their conditions where more substantial gloves would be of benefit?
Tent- I would take a good three season tent if sticking to the hut sites. Again, in the balance of probabilities are there likely conditions where this would be inadequate and how survivable is the outlier?
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 8:51 am

@South_Aussie_Hiker I am interested why waterproof trainers given all get wet isn’t it better they dry out faster? This is interesting to me as many US they-hikers go with non waterproof as they dry out super fast.

@Aadvark I take on board your points re boots.

@slparker Would you go waterproof trail runners, or non waterproof? I’ve heard school of thought that all shows will get wet and what one wants is to dry them out quickly at end of day. Hence I have the non waterproof but Scarpa do the same shoe in a waterproof model.

And what do you class as a “good three season tent” in the context of Overland Track?
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 8:52 am

PS thank you for glove advice. I can certainly look at polypropylene gloves.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby slparker » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 10:03 am

HI Emma,
Firstly -everything is a compromise and if you lash out and buy goretex shoes you will probably get 5 days of hot weather. If you do nothing you will get 5 days of wet weather and complain to yourself ' I should have bought those damned goretex shoes'. the truth is that anything works but different shoes have different advantages and compromises and it depends upon what track conditions that you can reasonably expect. I have seen walkers (well, one) on the OLT in barefeet and I have seen walkers clomping around on the boardwalks in what i would judge to be mountaineering boots - I would prefer something in between those extremes. The aboriginal people who pioneered the track most often walked barefoot.

if it were me i would take your existing non-waterproof shoes.My rationale is the following:

1. It might be wet on the first day and wet feet are unpleasant (at least for the first half an hour). But what if it is hot the next day? Do i really want to be wearing goretex on a hot day? My feet sweat a lot an d I have had blisters in the past from boots and hot weather. If I am wearing non-waterproof shoes they will dry out during they day, or not, but it doesn't matter because I know that my feet can tolerate being wet every day so long as I dry them out at night. Tassy has 4 seasons in one day - which makes 20 seasons on your walk...

2. yes it might rain for 5 days straight but probably won't - if it was to rain for 5 days straight would my feet actually be dry in goretex shoes/boots anyway? probably not given that they are effectively a vapour barrier in wet conditions - so my feet will always be moist whatever weather conditions i experience. Alhtough it is true that you are more likely to have drier and warmer feet in goretex footwear if there is extended rain.

so, i would take the shoes that i know work for me and make sure that I have the best socks (in my case thin, close fitting tight knitted socks - Darn Tough but there are several brands that make good socks) drying your feet and keeping them dry in camp is important too - so one spare pair of socks for camp and a barrier against your wet shoes (plastic bags suffice).

I do wear gore-tex footwear but usually in alpine areas in cold weather where I a can be reasonably certain that my footwear won't be flooded with water (i.e. dryish tracks or snow).

caveat - this is what works for me and many people will advocate for different systems and it does come down to personal preference. Like I said - everything is a compromise. I get sweaty feet and have suffered wet goretex boots on a multiday walk so I now have a bias for the most breathable and driable option.

As for waterproof shoes (rather than boots) - i have limited experience of them - i do own some goretex trail runners that I use for, er, trail running in winter and they are fantastic on frosty mornings and dew covered grass etc. I have used them snowshoeing and I think they are great but I don't know if I would use them for an extended bushwalk in variable weather - they suffer the same drawbacks as goretex boots but potentially would dry faster and I am certain they would not be as hot as boots. They would either be the best of both worlds or the worst of both worlds i suppose....

I use polypro gloves because they are dirt cheap and warmth per dollar and weight is extraordinary and they dry fast. PLus you may but probably won't need them for extended periods. If there is a cold snap you will b eless comfortable in polypro than softshell and goretex but, again, what is the most statistically likely weather?

What constitutes a 'good' 3 season tent? I am not a tent expert but any reputable brand i suppose. My point being that if you have an adequate tent that you already enjoy using why change it given that it if it is a good 3 season tent it will be adequate for the most likely conditions that you will experience. There will be contributors on this forum who could outime the minimum standard of tent suitable fo rthe OLT but if I had to do it in January 2019 I would take my Big Agnes copper spur (3 season tent) and prepare to bail out to the floor of the hut if a severe blizzard or tent-tearing storm eventuates ( a possible but not a probable event if you observe the weather predictions prior).


My risk assessment would be diffrent if i was preparing for more exposed or remote campsites or statistically more likely adverse conditions. I would then take a pyramid tarp and bivy bag and stake the crap out of it.

These points are completely my opinion based upon my preferred walking style, physiology and personal risk assessment. A final risk assessment would be the weather prediction the day before you leave - if a cold front or bushwalker weather alert was imminent I would postpone. I would still prepare for wild weather irrespective of a benign weather prediction but that is unlikley to change my footwear and tent choice. Others more qualified to comment might disagree.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby lorrainey100 » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 3:10 pm

Some pictures I took of the Overland Track in Dec 2014 while leading a group of 6. That year, there was a deranged possum that tore through trekkers tents looking for food and causing thousands of dollars of damage. These two in my group had to keep watch and chase it off after several attempts. Anyway, we all lived with the wet shoes and feet, you just don't think about it after awhile. The only one in my group who did not have wet feet was wearing a Scarpa waterproof boot and he trudged through the water and mud like a bulldozer. I advised everyone in my group to break in their shoes before the trek and to bring 5 pairs of dry socks for each day we trekked. It just made it more comfortable the next day and I did not want to deal with anyone in my group with blisters the from hiking for several hours in cold wet socks, gritty with mud next to your feet. No one had blisters on our hike.

The tents were up to people to decide and if worse came to worse, you could always sleep on the floors of the huts. The hut ranger or host would usually organise people to make room on the floors or tables for anyone who wanted to sleep in the hut. We had a couple of speedy hikers who got up late in the morning but made it to the next hut before anyone else and who were kind enough to reserve some room on the platform beds for the rest of us. I only used my tent two out of five nights during the Overland Track. Three in my group never set up their tent and the rest set up their tent only once. People in my group found it warmer and more convenient and more efficient to sleep in the huts so they could get an early start to the day instead of spending extra time packing up a wet tent in the mornings.

One thing to note, if you are joining an organised commercial trekking group, you may have your own dedicated group campsites on the Overland Track (apart from the luxury trekking group with their own huts hidden away on the track complete with shower, hot meals and red wine). They always looked so clean whenever they joined up on the track the next day. My group was composed of individuals who bought their own Overland Track tickets to keep costs down, and we came together as a group in Tasmania. You may want to check with your organiser that your commercial trekking group can stay in the huts. I never saw commercial trekking groups in the huts we stayed in but I could be wrong.

All of us brought gloves but none of us used it. But it was good to bring it in case it snowed.

wet and muddy.JPG
Day 4 wet weather
wet and muddy.JPG (99.04 KiB) Viewed 3480 times

tent sites overland track.JPG
Tent sites Overland Track
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Penguin » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 5:30 pm

As everybody says: whatever floats your boat.

Just had some young colleagues do the OT in runners. First day it poured and they all got wet feet. Dried out over the next few days. I would second what SLparker said above.

Blisters worse than wet feet so wear something that does not give you blisters.

I have generally used three pairs of socks for a six to eight day hike. One pair for three to four days and then swap. If it is wet a fresh pair will get wet very quickly so what is the point? I make sure I clean my feet each night, dry them thoroughly and then massage with tea tree oil. The third pair of socks I keep dry for nigh time. I have walked with folk that suffer badly from the cold feet and they are the ones that really love the thick socks and waterproof boots.

Over the last 25 years I have worn the whole gamut of boots, vortex, trail shoes.... In the last six years I have wandered along the OT in five fingers in wet and dry, hot and cold (read snow), conditions several times in recent years. Been happy. No blisters. But I do not suffer from cold feet.

As stated above, lots of views and lots of experiences. Get fit and and wear the shoes out and about before hand.

Have a great time - no matter what the weather.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 6:25 pm

Lol. Loving those stories. It’s what gives a track some “texture” in memory is the stories and happenings, animal encounters, as much as the hike itself.

So update: I went out today and called in at Macpac. I tried on and liked a pair of Ahnu Montana boots. They have a sneaker feel to them and quite lightweight, very comfy, but are a mid boot with waterproofing, antimicrobial, and Vibram soles etc. So they should “pass” the boot check test. I don’t think it would be reasonable for any Tasmanian expedition group to not let me hike in these boots, even though not a super-solid build long distance hiker boot. (I can feel ground through boots slightly, which I really like.)

They weigh not that much more than my trail runners and I think they’re going to be a good option for me. I’ve got plenty of time to wear them in before January Overland Track.

I also got polypropylene gloves. Cheap as chips and light. And some digital scales.

Thanks for input everyone.

I’m still considering a ZPacks Duo tent in Cuban fibre in the army colour. I think no point getting a single tent as I’d like to have versatility to use it in future with daughter or a hiking partner.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby nq111 » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 6:51 pm

I agree with SLparker and others.

If you are accustomed to the trail runners and don't have ankle issues you will likely find them more comfortable than boots. Waterproof boots or shoes - your feet will get wet anyway and stay wetter. Key to warmth is good socks, good fit (not too tight) and activity. I walked in boots for years and have walked in mesh trailrunners for the past 5 or so years (including the Western Arthurs last month, other walks in Tassie and NZ) and find my feet are as warm or warmer than in boots. I wear light ankle braces inside the shoe as I have one bad ankle.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 8:18 pm

Agree with the comments above.

Boots are good if you have ground water but no significant rain or /wet foliage. If you have rain/wet foliage then the boots will get wet and wont dry. Rain pants worn over gaiters can minimise this though.

Trail runners will dry (possibly overnight) if you have access to a heat source like a hut’s hot stove but ive heard that most of the coal stoves on the overland have been removed for luke warm gas heaters.

Would make sure you don’t get ankle/lower leg issues with boots. I usually wear trail runners but bought some winter boots for winter walking in Europe/Canada.

By Day 5 the sides of my lower legs were in significant pain where the upper part of the boots were resting against the side of the leg. Day 1-3 they were great but day 4 they started to hurt. Feet did stay dry in the snow though.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 8:28 pm

I hear you on the trail runners - the problem is that if I wish to join one of the Tasmanian paid group trips, they seem to all insist on walkers wearing boots. So it looks like if I wanted to wear my trail runners, I would have to do the walk by myself, or with a private tour who didn't mind me in trail runners. Hence I got some pretty light mid boots that have a sneaker-feel to them, so that I have the option to go on a group trip. And I think I'll probably find some other future use for them for the odd trip where the conditions would suit it.

I'm from New Zealand, and some of the trails in New Zealand I feel are better suited to boots, just due to the thick mud and tree roots etc. Particularly the case in the South Island of New Zealand, where I could envisage using the boots.

I'll wear the new boots in, try touting a heavy load on my back, and compare with trail runners. Then also decide whether I want to go alone or in a paid group trip, and go from there.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Lamont » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 8:39 pm

I know someone -a female- with Ahnu and thinks them great.
You can jog up to Mueller hut in them! Giddyup.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Fri 29 Jun, 2018 11:12 am

Trail runners are fine for OLT (preferred IMO, and preferably without a gore tex membrane). The tent you have is fine too, hardly UL bit still <2kg so perfectly OK.

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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby warnabrother » Wed 04 Jul, 2018 3:08 pm

my wife and I did the track in March/April and had heavy rain every day bar one. well over 35mm each and every day.. wading through thigh high water in some places..
we walked in Altra Lone Peaks - not the water proof ones.. everyone else we walked with/passed was wearing boots.. EVERYONE had wet soggy boots in the morning.. our runners were just barely damp
just about everyone we spoke with who were wearing boots had blisters and abrasions from absolutely soaked boots and feet - we had not one issue with our feet.. we only wore a single layer sock (Darn toughs) and even these were dryish in the morning

quite a few people we spoke with said that they were going to buy trail runners to walk in after chatting with us and seeing our much dryer shoes in the morning
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Neo » Wed 04 Jul, 2018 10:57 pm

Hi Emma
Have't done the OLT but just walked around Namadgi, moslty off track and plenty of snow covered shrubbery! Actually left my shoes behind at a mates but still had the old pair onboard so walked in those. Both non waterproof trail runners and I wear Tasgear gaiters. Lots of stompimg through snow, the occasional leak crossing a creek so a bit damp all the time. My feet perspire any season so GTX for me.

I'd say walk in your existing comfy shoes (or the new boots :) ).

The trick is foot management, which im still working on. Dry your feet at camp and have dry bed socks. I like Injinji toe socks and take a few spare pairs. Can have a fresh change even if my shoes are still wet (or frozen) in the morning.

Take comfy non WP shoes, spare dry socks and some kind of camp shoes as a dry change.

Your tent will be fine.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 05 Jul, 2018 10:21 am

Very interesting.

I think both approaches are valid; that is:

A) Old school approach - sturdy waterproof boots with good grip that aim to also help support the ankles, particularly with heavy loads. And if person does start to trip up or slip, the ankle support *may help their ankle from getting sprained. If they're trudging through mud or puddles, their feet may stay dry in waterproof boots.

B) New school approach - lightweight trail runners with good grip, worn by fit person with good ankles. They are good for proprioception and their light weight means a person can be quite nimble on foot in them, and navigates well with a good feel for ground and surroundings. Their feet will certainly get wet, but their shoes dry out quickly overnight compared to waterproof footwear once wet being very hard to dry out.

I can also see the different approaches suiting different people physically. (As wearing trail runners with a heavy pack requires or relies on the person having good ankle strength and good coordination and foot placement on track.)

I can also see the different approaches suiting different conditions and tracks, in respect of mud, roots, how you approach wading through rivers - whether remove boots and replace with watershoes, etc.

Good stuff. Although I'm still undecided about which I'll wear - my trail runners or new boots.

I think I'm leaning now towards the boots, because:
i) I'm carrying a heavier pack due to all the food for 6 days on top of my normal load-out, and think the boots may provide better support for that heavier load.
ii) If the Overland Track doesn't have deep water, but only low level mud, puddles etc; it might be quite nice to wear waterproof boots and my feet miraculously stay dry, other than sweat.
iii) The boots are lighter weight than I expected - only 420 grams each boot / 840 grams for pair. I was expecting boots would be much heavier. That compares with my trail runners being 364 grams each / 728 for pair. So I'm not paying a huge weight penalty by choosing my mid-boots, as apparently heavy weight on your feet does really take a toll of energy in long-distance hikes.

However all the input has been great.

And I will look at Injinji liner and Darn Toughs on top. I think people underestimate the importance of socks. And also looking after feet in the evenings and ensuring they get some TLC. And dealing with "hot spots" as soon as you feel them - stopping on track and taping them. (I'm definitely taking some Leukotape with me!)

Cheers!

Emma
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby warnabrother » Thu 05 Jul, 2018 11:26 am

Yep.. valid points re pack weight.. my pack was right on 10kg if I remember correctly for 8 days..
My wife's pack was 8kg.. we pack light.. one titanium pot for everything, no change of outer clothing etc.. basic "ultralight" principles.. allowed us to move much quicker than most.. we skipped a few huts due to this and it allowed us to explore Pine Valley which really was the highlight for us
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby nq111 » Thu 05 Jul, 2018 6:46 pm

warnabrother wrote:we walked in Altra Lone Peaks - not the water proof ones.. everyone else we walked with/passed was wearing boots.. EVERYONE had wet soggy boots in the morning.. our runners were just barely damp
just about everyone we spoke with who were wearing boots had blisters and abrasions from absolutely soaked boots and feet - we had not one issue with our feet.. we only wore a single layer sock (Darn toughs) and even these were dryish in the morning

quite a few people we spoke with said that they were going to buy trail runners to walk in after chatting with us and seeing our much dryer shoes in the morning


+1 to that.

I actually like several features of boots over shoes but would only consider light and fully drainable ones now. Has been hard to find but options but they are increasing the past few years - the Inov 8 325 (non-goretex) i may try. Higher side gives a slightly better seal with a gaiter to keep mud and debris out.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby warnabrother » Thu 05 Jul, 2018 7:46 pm

Altra do boot versions of their runners
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby rustyjus » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 9:54 am

Just my 2 cents

ninja ice gloves are great - like 15 buck a pair on eBay ... neoprene with rubber on the palms, they are designed for working in cold storage.

I'd recommend trail runners , theres is no way to avoid getting water in your boot on the overland better of having some that breathes and drains.

as for a tent Id avoid getting a non free standing tents like a Zpacks unless your you now how to pitch it really well, they are not forgiving, also a double wall tent might be better
as condensation will be a issue.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 10:17 am

Great tip on the ninja ice gloves - thank you @rustyjus.

Regards trail runners, I totally agree with you re water and draining. I think the main consideration for wearing boots was that a) The guided groups insist on participants wearing boots, and I was at the time considering possibly doing a group hike of the Overland rather than solo. (I've since bought a ticket now to go solo, so that's now a non-issue); and b) carrying a heavier pack weight, including food for 6 days plus a little extra in case caught out by weather, with boots possibly providing slightly better ankle support with a heavy pack.

I'm still not 100% decided either way on whether I wear boots or trail runners for the Overland Track.

I am trying to get my pack weight down, and if I succeed, then trail runners will win the day potentially.

Regards tents, the Lightheart Gear SoLong 6 which I bought (on sale, as a "sample tent" which Judy made in 30D sil-polyester) will save me 780 grams on my previous weight. The only part of if that is "single walled" is the centre panel, which has vents on both sides, and the outer panels are mesh. There is considerable ventilation because of the double vents plus the large mesh panels on both sides. And even more so when the tent is in awning mode. So it doesn't suffer as much with condensation as some other models.

I've attached generic photos of the SoLong 6 with the fly rolled back partially, and completely, so you can better see the mesh and vents. The reviews of this tent suggest that it doesn't get a lot of condensation due to the ventilation, and that only the central panel is single walled. And if you do get condensation, it's easily wiped down with one of those microfibre hiking mini towels.

And in respect of pitching it, I completely take on board your point. However again partly aiding that concern, the SoLong 6 has a central ridge pole. (Photo of ridge pole attached.)

The trekking pole tips go into the ridge pole and adjust height of trekking poles to have the tent taut. So the process of pitching the tent is basically to stake out the 4 corners, get into the tent and while seated - put the ridge pole on the ceiling and the trekking poles tips go into the ridge pole. There are also stays to further help keep the ridge pole and the trekking poles in position. And then guy out. So I think it *should* (famous last words) be fine to pitch. Lightheart Gear helpfully have a Youtube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQVDpJ3rFgU

I love that cottage industry companies have done Youtube videos on how to pitch their tents. Tarptent do a good job on this also.

I'll let you know how I go on the Overland Track though. I could be eating my words. lol
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 10:49 am

I know things have moved on in the last 40 years but about that long ago a female of my general acquaintance did the overland in winter wearing nothing but tennis shoes [ Dunlop Volley] and Helly-Hansen Lifa underwear and LW proofed nylon golfing rainsuit.
2 sets of Long-Janes and 3 sets of tops [ sleeveless + Crew neck long sleeve + zip neck skivvy] I think she also took a pair of UL running shorts and some sort of LW shirt. She also took polypro gloves, balaclava and socks, all of the H-H brand, also probably a beanie but I don't remember.
Admittedly she was doing this to prove a point about walking fast but it was also a demonstration on how good modern clothing was in cold/wet conditions compared to the traditional wool and waxed cotton a lot of use were still using.
Compared to that almost anything modern will work.
If I was doing a walk where I knew my feet may be constantly damp and/or wet I might decide to wear fully synthetic sock combinations as I wore out 3 pairs of LW woollen socks last week wearing wet leather boots in the snow
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Franco » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 12:19 pm

For boots and packs I put comfort (the one that fits me best/feels better to me) first and weight second.
That is if the weight is not too dissimilar , say up to 30% or so.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby nezumi » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 2:37 pm

You wouldn't be the first to do the Overland track with an ultralight approach by any means - if you have a lighterpack set up, I assume you are probably aware of the reddit ultralight group, but if not: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ultralight/com ... shakedown/

For footwear, I feel like this comes down to your walking style and carried weight - the more weight you carry and the less you think about foot placement as you walk, the sturdier your footwear needs to be. I see you have picked up a bargain new pack, so that shaves off a bit of weight.

Consensus is that gaiters on the OLT are primarily for spinefex, mud and snake bites.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 4:00 pm

emma_melbourne wrote:I'm still not 100% decided either way on whether I wear boots or trail runners for the Overland Track.

I am trying to get my pack weight down, and if I succeed, then trail runners will win the day potentially.

Even with heavy loads a decent set of trail runners (ie. reasonably sturdy one's with at least some structure, not minimalist) are fine, still better than boots IMO.
nezumi wrote:Consensus is that gaiters on the OLT are primarily for spinefex, mud and snake bites.

Gaiters can be useful on the OLT for a number of reasons but snakebites aren't one of them, assuming you're wearing long pants. Don't need big heavy (eg. canvas) ones that's for sure.
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Re: Advice on footwear, gloves & tent (mainly for Overland)

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 5:32 pm

@Walk_fatboy_walk and @nezumi

I got the gaiters mainly for snakebite protection. I'm not sure if I'll be wearing pants or a hiking skirt. (I do prefer a hiking skirt, but pants have some sensibility for sun protection and from branches or anything else I rub against, or if I trip help prevent the worst of the scrapes to the skin).

I'm from New Zealand and we don't have snakes.

In Tasmania, you have lots of dangerous deadly snakes, and I am hiking alone.

Generally snakes get out of the way. They don't want a confrontation. And I'm using trekking poles which give a bit of a shudder through the earth and help let snakes know I'm coming.

However the but is in long grass or plants etc if I did manage to accidentally land on or near one. Unlikely I know. But I'm a single mother of a 2 year old, so I will do every sensible thing I can to reduce the likelihood of snake bite.

I've been told that from multiple sources that the canvas gaiters are the ones that are actually effective if you were unlucky enough to have a snake come at you, and below-the-knee is the place most likely to get bitten. Their teeth and venom will go through a lot of regular fabrics, assuming that they're bringing their jaw down with force and intention.

Regards the "shakedown" - no I didn't know about it.

But I always welcome people "shaking me down".

If there's anything crazy in my pack - I'm always open to advice or at least questioning.

I shudder when I think at how much weight I stupidly took out on my first experiences. Ugh! Embarassing! Someone should have literally grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. lol. And the problem is the shops that sell gear want to sell you gear. lol

I don't consider myself a UL hiker by any means. I'm more like a "luscious hiker". I want to hike lusciously by which I mean really enjoy the scenery, animals, sounds, smell of nature, and the experience.

Luscious hiking is aided by not being loaded down with unnecessary weight, being as comfortable as possible, happy with my pack, happy with my tent, and eating as well as possible (within limitation of weight and calories required) which just requires a little bit of good planning. and having equipment which is durable and good and reliable. That may mean sometimes equipment that isn't UL, but a little added weight for greater durability.

As I'm solo hiking, it also means I'm building in a bit of safety and redundancy, and taking a PLB and a SOL emergency bivvy "just in case". I haven't ever got into any trouble before. But I remember growing up in NZ you'd read quite frequently about hikers dying. Just last week, two hikers died a very short distance from a hut, and they weren't inexperienced hikers either. They had pretty good gear, but didn't have a map and compass or a PLB, and were caught out in viscious weather with extreme cold and reduced visibility, and got hypothermia and disorientated very quickly.

So I'm not going to die over not taking a compass, map, emergency bivvy, etc.
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