Gear list and questions from noob

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby matagi » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 6:28 am

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

"Soil" is a better word - it should contain no animal waste, no stones and no bits of twig (which can be a challenge depending where you are)
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 10:31 am

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


What I do is get a small handful of clean sand or soil. Put it in my pot and then use my hands to rub the pot/utensils. The abrasiveness of the soil removes all the left over food debris from the cooking/eating gear. Then remove the soil using my hands/shake. Then boil water in the pot. The hot water/steam provides some further sanitation and effectively removes any traces of soil.

Result shiny clean pots/utensils and no chemicals or soap required :D


Re Soap. Interestingly it was Department of Conservation staff in New Zealand that put me on to using soap in huts. I was hutting with 5 or so DOC field scientists specialising in plant ecology and they had soap for cleaning/toileting. So after that I starting using soap :shock:

For toileting, in high traffic hut locations, il now use sanitiser instead of bio deg soap.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Rileyr » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 11:11 am

Gear list looks good to me!

Its probably likely that you will use things and think of things that could have been better as you find out what works for you. You might also find that you dont need certain things or need others.

While you do have to be careful about going ill prepared, its surprising how much discomfort can be felt (not necesssrily endured) before things get dangerous.

Are there any local 1 or 2 night hikes near you to test out?

Re food: you can be a bit deficient for weeks before any real trouble. A week or 10 days or whatever the OT is i wouldnt worry too much about counting callories. Just set out 3 good meals, and some high calorie snacks a day. Maybe you will be a bit hungry, maybe you will be palming off some food, either way not a biggie. I like commercial dehydrated meals for the ease. Something better than backcountry is recommended as they have more of what you need.

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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Wed 04 Dec, 2019 7:15 pm

Thanks again for all the responses, very helpful.

After a bit of planning/weighing I think I can get my food down to about 650gms a day plus a couple of ziplocs, that should make day 1 a bit easier. I've decided to walk from Narcissus to Lake St Clair visitors centre as taking the ferry feels like I'm not doing the full walk, so planning for 7 days food plus a small emergency supply. I'll be starting with at least a week's worth of calories stored in body fat so I reckon I'll survive if I come up short.

Soap is going in and out depending on my mood when I review the list. Think I'll just take some anyway. I was obsessing about a sub 7kg base weight but I've added a couple things in (eg pack lid) for convenience, sitting at 7.15kg currently.

Transport to/from the track - I'll be flying in to Launceston, at present considering Overland Track transport to get to the track. It means a 2 hr bus trip then a 10am-ish start to day 1. Is there a better way to get from Launceston to the walk?

Important question I can't find an answer for - if it's a fire ban can I use my alcohol stove? Will need to plan cold soak/no cook capable meals if not.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Wed 04 Dec, 2019 9:21 pm

You could just cook in the huts - that should be fine even in a fire ban - I think...
Last edited by Joynz on Wed 04 Dec, 2019 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 04 Dec, 2019 10:01 pm

timh wrote:Important question I can't find an answer for - if it's a fire ban can I use my alcohol stove? Will need to plan cold soak/no cook capable meals if not.

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colFireBan

My interpretation would be no alcohol stoves on fire ban days.

You may want to claify with the tas fire Dept re use in huts
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Wed 04 Dec, 2019 10:46 pm

The guidance at that link says that all outdoor fires are banned on total fire ban days, which sounds like a camping stove inside would be OK. Doesn’t hurt to check though...
Last edited by Joynz on Wed 04 Dec, 2019 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Wed 04 Dec, 2019 11:03 pm

About soap, the parks Tasmania website at https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-pa ... e-no-trace says:

‘Wash up using hot water, preferably without soap or detergent. Strain and scatter washing up water 50 metres away from water sources ’.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby north-north-west » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 5:33 am

There's an article in the latest edition of the eMag which covers regulations for TFBs in each state. Tasmania is the only state which has an exemption for bushwalkers' fuel stoves during TFBs. However, this exemption only applies to gas stoves. Alcohol stoves outside are not allowed. So cook in the huts or get a gas stove. Sorry.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Rileyr » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 8:41 am

Personally, I dont use any soap. I take a cut down chux for my mug and a tissue/ hand towel sized micro towel for my body.
I eat between 700g and 1kg per day in food but im a fairly big eater.
I bird bath daily if possible with the towel.


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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Orion » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 9:27 am

Joynz wrote:About soap, the parks Tasmania website at https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-pa ... e-no-trace says:

‘Wash up using hot water, preferably without soap or detergent. Strain and scatter washing up water 50 metres away from water sources ’.


Hot water sounds pretty good. But it isn't usually available. I mean, I can heat up some water in my stove/pot but are most people likely to do that every time they use the loo? I know that I don't get my stove out every time I wash up.

So what are the alternatives?

1. soap and cold water
2. Hand sanitizer (ethanol)
3. cold water rub
4. rely upon immune system

What's the best choice, balancing hygiene and environmental concern?
It's worth noting the next sentence in the Parks TAS webpage:

"Strain and scatter washing up water 50 metres away from water sources "

At a hut there is a drain that is specifically designed for all the nastiness of high density human activity. I don't know the specifics of how this effluent is managed, pretty much like I don't know how my garbage or recycle material is dealt with. But I presume that a certain, limited, amount of nastiness is acceptable. It's part of the trade-off between leaving the wilderness untouched and actually touching it. And my guess is that it's effectively more than "50 meters away from water sources".

In non-hut situations the issue is one of trading viruses (mainly) between friends. I find that a much less serious concern. So much so that I employ essentially no countermeasures other than simply rubbing the dirt off my hands with cold water.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Orion » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 9:31 am

wildwanderer wrote:http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colFireBan


From that webpage: "Bush walkers are advised that the only cooking appliance that can be used on Total Fire Ban Days are LPG (Butane or Propane) cookers or stoves providing that they are clear of any flammable material for a distance of 1 metre."

Interesting. I was advised by a Parks ranger that I had to use my gas stove within the confines of a hut during a TFB earlier this year. It sounds like that ranger was misinformed.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 11:42 am

wildwanderer wrote:
timh wrote:Important question I can't find an answer for - if it's a fire ban can I use my alcohol stove? Will need to plan cold soak/no cook capable meals if not.

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colFireBan

My interpretation would be no alcohol stoves on fire ban days.

You may want to claify with the tas fire Dept re use in huts


Thanks for that link, yes:

"On Days of Total Fire Ban, all outdoor fires are banned except electric stoves and barbecues..... All ... portable stoves, ... that use ... other solid or liquid fuel are banned."

Pretty clear that alcohol stoves are banned. Oh well, can cook in the huts, or cold soak, if needed. Hope it's not that hot anyway but best to be prepared.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 6:35 pm

BRS-3000 on it's way, will decide which stove to take when I see the weather forecast for the week.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Tino B » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 7:23 pm

Tea tree or eucalyptus oil is a good alternative.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 10:16 pm

Orion wrote:
Joynz wrote:About soap, the parks Tasmania website at https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-pa ... e-no-trace says:

‘Wash up using hot water, preferably without soap or detergent. Strain and scatter washing up water 50 metres away from water sources ’.


Hot water sounds pretty good. But it isn't usually available. I mean, I can heat up some water in my stove/pot but are most people likely to do that every time they use the loo? I know that I don't get my stove out every time I wash up.

So what are the alternatives?

1. soap and cold water
2. Hand sanitizer (ethanol)
3. cold water rub
4. rely upon immune system

What's the best choice, balancing hygiene and environmental concern?
It's worth noting the next sentence in the Parks TAS webpage:

"Strain and scatter washing up water 50 metres away from water sources "

At a hut there is a drain that is specifically designed for all the nastiness of high density human activity. I don't know the specifics of how this effluent is managed, pretty much like I don't know how my garbage or recycle material is dealt with. But I presume that a certain, limited, amount of nastiness is acceptable. It's part of the trade-off between leaving the wilderness untouched and actually touching it. And my guess is that it's effectively more than "50 meters away from water sources".

In non-hut situations the issue is one of trading viruses (mainly) between friends. I find that a much less serious concern. So much so that I employ essentially no countermeasures other than simply rubbing the dirt off my hands with cold water.


For post-toilet hand washing:
Hand sanitizer
Cold water and rubbing hands vigorously

I am not suggesting heating hot water for washing hands after the toilet! The hot water is for getting food off your bowl if cold water doesn’t work.

I don’t think I’ve seen any ‘drain that is specifically designed for all the nastiness of high density human activity’ to which you refer.
None of the huts I’ve visited have had one of these.

On second thoughts the DOCS huts on NZ’S Great Walls have running water and flushing toilets so I guess a toilet’s a sort of ‘drain’.
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