Hiking needs

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Hiking needs

Postby picnic » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 7:53 pm

Hey All

so i go bushwalking on my own and am new to this, what do you recommend i take?
i normally take
3 lts water
some fruit
some juice
chips or biscuits
mini first aid kit
camera
phone

what else should i be taking with me?
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 9:19 pm

Picnic, welcome to the forum. It seems that you are seeking guidance about day walk gear, and this is a good place to start, much easier than weekend gear. The amount of water taken depends on how much potable water there is on the trip, and where. I'd avoid the chips and take food with a lot of energy; aim for at least 1500kJ/100 grams. Lunch should be simple, not needing to be cooked or heated. Toilet paper is useful, not a whole roll, just enough for the day and pack in two plastic bags. Wet paper is of limited use. Depending on where you are a mobile phone may not be in line of sight to a tower. Charge the phone before starting and keep in sleep mode wrapped up in something soft. Screens break.

Carry all this in a day pack so that nothing is on the outside. It's critical that if there are zips for the main compartment that the zips go no more than half-way down each side. The reason is that if a zip breaks and the zips go all the way, top to bottom, then the pack is dead until the zips are fixed. With a half-way system at least the bottom is a sort of pocket. Have items in plastic bags so that if it's wet the contents stay dry.

You should have a map and compass, and know how to use them, or at least have this in the party. Stay together. I've seen tales of woe where a party has been spread out and people get lost. Let someone know before you go where you are intending to walk and what time you will be back. Have this in writing. Scenario, 8pm on a Sunday, call to the Police. "My son is overdue on a bushwalk." "Where is the walk?" "Um, hinterland, mountains, not sure." Car rego?" "Not known." Who is he with." "Some friends, don't know their names, one is called James." This happens, so leave written information.

A waterproof top is essential. A small sheet of plastic or nylon to sit on is good, or a space blanket. Clothing for all likely condition is essential. You probably don't need to plan for snow. Wear a broad brim hat, a long sleeve shirt, maybe light gloves if you get sunburned, long pants or shorts, and suitable footwear. You should not need to buy much for day walks. Have a change of clothes at the car for after the walk, especially shoes and socks. Make a list and tick items off until you know the list.

Take it easy on the first few walks until you get an idea of your skills, fitness and gear. Going with an experienced person or a bushwalking club can make it a lot easier.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Echidna not » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 9:53 pm

Torch or better yet a headlamp , just in case you walk out further or take longer than you expected to return to starting point ( make sure the batteries are fresh)
Food / drink back at your car so your not starving on your drive home .
If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life. Oscar W.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 6:09 am

If your hiking by yourself, I would suggest the following.

Assuming day walk.

- A PLB. (locator beacon)
- Map and compass. (and know how to use)
- Water depending on distance, weather and availability of clean water on route. Remember you have to carry it. If its a hot day then you may need 3+ litres in Queensland. On a cool day you might be fine with under 2 litres.
- Mobile phone (in flight mode to save battery). (If your tech inclined then a a mapping app can be very useful. Don’t use the GPS anymore that absolutely necessary to save battery.
- (Most phones can double as a torch in a emergency. If your lost at night, find shelter, stay put don’t try to walk out in darkness.) (stay put advice works for being lost during the day as well.)
- Rain Jacket
- Hiking shoes that are comfortable/don’t give you blisters. Many prefer shoes to boots.
- Food for the trip. muesli bars and fruit (limited) are good for a day walk. Longer day walks you can be more creative and bring a prepared lunch. Chocolate bar or banana is good immediate energy to get you up a hill. Wouldn’t recommend chicken/non preserved meats due to heat/spoilage.
- small first aid kit = fire starters and snakebite bandage, some neurofen and blister/elastoplast tape. a couple band aids, small wad of toilet paper.
- Insect repellent and sunscreen.
- light fleece Jacket.
- sunhat.
- clothes you find comfortable to hike in.

- small day pack. Remember as long as you have the essentials (listed above) anything extra is weight you have to carry.
- Its a good idea to put your warm jacket in a plastic bag to prevent it getting wet during rain. Dont bother with pack covers.

Always tell a friend/family where you are going and when your expected back. (send them a photo of route on a map etc).

That’s it.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 8:13 am

A PLB is good for people that go in more remote places on overnight walks, and I carry mine at all times when bushwalking. However, it might be a bit much for a new starter on day walks. If Picnic sees herself as going bushwalking on a regular basis, even if it's just day walks, then a PLB makes sense and the cost seems to me to be justified.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby warnabrother » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 9:43 am

I carry a PLB on every walk.. never know when you or someone else may be in a life threatening situation - heart attack, snake bite, fall form height etc..
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Echidna not » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 6:48 pm

PLB can be loaned from some police stations , I usually loan one from Katoomba, they can also be loaned from some information centres ,
It’s A good idea to loan them from police stations you need to fill out forms of where your going and when you est your return , the forms (online in station) take approx 10min to fill out .
If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life. Oscar W.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby picnic » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 7:19 pm

Thanks All quiet a few things here i never considered, i always text my mum, dad and a friend where i am going, how long i should be ect and i will check in to the rangers station if there is one around to say hello and take a map.
any suggestions where to get a good bag? i dont intend to do night trips all my walks will be day walks :)
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby MikeB62 » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 7:25 pm

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Re: Hiking needs

Postby MikeB62 » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 7:39 pm

Osprey packs are a great option. Providing it comfortable on you. Local hiking shop is best place to buy. This with mesh panel is great in warmer QLD weather to stop sweaty back. This appears to be the new 2017 model. Always check as the older model although very similar and same name should be a cheaper option. This has women's specific harness features that may or may not suit depending on your body shape.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Osprey-Sirrus-24-Womens-Hiking-Pack-Ruska-Purple/253086626143?epid=625683398&hash=item3aed23715f:g:WukAAOSwP79ZvxPN
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby drewmac » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 7:42 pm

Hi there,

Happened to have my day pack ready to go for a walk from the weekend, so grabbed a photo.

Compass
Whistle
Note pad and pencil
PLB
Mini first aid - it includes a space blanket
Camera
Water proof food bag
Toilet kit with plastic Bunnings shovel
Zip lock bags and paper plus rubber band
Headlight
Gloves
Red mini day pack
3 lt water bladder - I may take a water filter thing if I am off somewhere where 3 lt is not enough.
Raincoat - that is the black thing
Hiking poles - often for others who may be with me....
Small water bottle - for tea and spare plus collection
Pot, stove and gas - I like to make tea, not all would take that.....

On me as well would be a GPS, pocket knife thingy, mobile phone, scarf(spare sling as such) or tourniquet

It is essentially scaled down kit from my overnight / multi day set up, all gear is minimum weight stuff.

Food
Sandwich, food bars, chocolate/nut/dried fruit mix, mandarin, banana maybe, apple, tea

Yes you could take less but I walk a bit off track / on my own etc.....YMMV (your milage may vary)..

Day pack.jpg
That stuff....
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby drewmac » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 7:48 pm

Oh...

Plus a map of where I am going.....
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 8:37 pm

Well technically speaking you don't NEED anything to go for a walk, at the right time of year and in the right company you don't even need shoes or clothing.
We carry all this stuff to cope with changes. Mainly changes in the weather.
So all the "stuff" is there to keep me in that narrow range known as "Thermo-neutral" neither too hot or too cold and hydrated.
Previous posters nailed it
The further out you walk and the more the serious consequences of an accident or fatigue the more "Stuff" I tend to carry; careful tho or too much stuff gets heavy leading to fatigue and getting home late
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 8:43 pm

Lophophaps wrote:A PLB is good for people that go in more remote places on overnight walks, and I carry mine at all times when bushwalking. However, it might be a bit much for a new starter on day walks. If Picnic sees herself as going bushwalking on a regular basis, even if it's just day walks, then a PLB makes sense and the cost seems to me to be justified.


Agree. However I would add..

It really depends if a person is walking in areas without mobile reception and walking solo. In those circumstances then I would definitely advocate that person should have a PLB, day trips included. Heaps of the rescues we see on the news are people lost/injured on day trips.

When I started hiking I never used a PLB (and survived fine). In fact up until I recently purchased one, the only time I would have PLB with me was if a mate brought one on a trip or If I was doing a remote solo trip and I could borrow one from the police station or a mate.

Having said that, as someone who often walks solo in areas with no mobile reception I’ve realised how foolish I was not to buy one earlier.

For $220 it saves your life against one strike of bad luck. Its’s easy to get distracted and have a fall or get bitten by something.. doesn’t have to be a snake, heaps of people are allergic to bull ants.. you don’t know until you get bitten. With no walking companion to go for assistance... by the time someone stumbles on to you it could be too late. Also, newer people are going to be less experienced in navigation so more chance of making a mistake and becoming lost.

So if you’re going hiking anywhere where you can’t get a mobile phone signal and hiking solo.. then I think having a PLB is a absolute no brainer. PLBs are light and relatively cheap.
Last edited by wildwanderer on Tue 21 Nov, 2017 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 8:51 pm

Also +1 Osprey packs. Something in the 15-25L range will be fine for day walks.

Somethign like this would be good https://www.osprey.com/au/en/product/te ... 6_550.html. Womens fit

Or the talon series https://www.osprey.com/au/en/product/ta ... 8_669.html Unisex fit

Both those packs have different style hip belts to cater for different body dimensions so try on before you buy.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 10:28 pm

My preference is for an email to the contact, and copies to interested others, making it clear who the contact is. If this is not done then the people receiving the email may think that another person is the contact.

I'd think about a form, perhaps in a table, with all the information. This will make one put in all the details.

Contact form.png


Wildwanderer, good points about the PLB. It also depends on how popular the track is.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Eremophila » Thu 23 Nov, 2017 6:34 am

An Emergency Contact Form, with your details, any medical conditions, allergies, blood group, doctor’s details etc, and your preferred emergency contacts. Keep a copy in your daypack in a ziplock bag -in an obvious place.
That way if you’re injured and someone else is assisting you, they can easily locate it.
Also re the pencil and notepad - handy if, say you were bitten by a snake and awaiting help. A note written before you lose consciousness detailing the time of the bite and the location on your body, will assist emergency services.
All stuff that you’ll probably never use, but if you do, you’ll be glad of them.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 23 Nov, 2017 7:33 am

Good points about the contact form and notebook. All these details are on the back of my driver licence and Medicare cards. In the bush I'd add writing down any drugs that have been taken, how many and when. This can assist the ambos when medicating. I carry items I hope to never use, like a PLB, emergency firelighters and a first aid kit. I've used the firelighters just once, snowing in summer, hypothermia pending in some party members. Small first aid items are used now and again, nothing major.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Hallu » Thu 23 Nov, 2017 10:43 pm

That depends where you hike, and over a long period of time everyone develops their own quirks. For example, in my bag, I usually have 3 L of water, crampons, gloves, beanie, camera, cereal bars, fruits, and anti-chafing cream. I know it's bad but I don't even have a first aid kit, it's in my car. And on my person, I have walking poles, my phone/GPS with offline loaded maps of where I'll be walking, and sufficient clothing. My only quirks I think are the anti-chafing cream (necessary in cold weather) and the 3L of water. After a couple of dehydration episodes in Australia, I now always carry that much on day hikes. It's often unnecessary, but that's how I do it.

In France, even in the Alps, you rarely do a hike where you don't see other people, and there's mobile reception pretty much everywhere. So in summer you don't really need to tell someone of your plans. In winter I think it's best. In Australia, no reception and seeing noone can be the norm, so telling someone of your plans and having the first aid kit/notebook etc... is vital. Also in the Alps I don't take any chances with the weather. I only go out when I know it won't rain. Too many places where a wrong step = death, and mountain storms are bad. In Australia I often hiked during rain, so I had all the necessary gear added to the usual.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 23 Nov, 2017 11:05 pm

Hallu, tres bien. You have given a good example of assessing each case on merits. Most of us here will carry more or less the same gear, with slight variations depending on the trip. In your alps, bad weather between the huts can be fatal, not just for comfort but for being able to proceed. Strong winds, cold, hail, snow and more can be quite bad. So I share your caution. in New Zealand many years ago a climber died going from an alpine hut to the toilet, maybe 75 metres. He did not clip into the wire, and was blown off the mountain. Wind is deadly.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby cajun » Fri 24 Nov, 2017 8:28 am

I really enjoy threads like this as I always learn something.
I too always carry a PLB, as the one day I didn't while in the RNP my wife tripped over a branch and fell quite heavily. No damage done but a real awakening, as we were 5k's from any road with no mobile reception.
The first aid kit (put together after reading posts here) has been used a few times mainly for strangers.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby crollsurf » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 3:42 pm

With Christmas around the corner maybe mention a PLB to your mum. Unless they are short of a dollar, good chance you'll find one under the tree.

Really all you need is to put safety first. So a fence or a log you would normally hop over, you should take your time and climb over slowly and deliberately. Don't worry if you look pathetic, no one will be watching.

What you take is a personal thing so start with easy walks and work it out as you go along. Maybe join a bushwalking club.

On a day walk I'll take water, sunscreen, a Ham and salad roll, an energy bar to get me home in the afternoon. A PLB because I've got one and not much else other than what I'm wearing. If the forecast is for rain I just don't go that day.
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Hallu » Tue 05 Dec, 2017 12:39 am

Lophophaps wrote:Hallu, tres bien. You have given a good example of assessing each case on merits. Most of us here will carry more or less the same gear, with slight variations depending on the trip. In your alps, bad weather between the huts can be fatal, not just for comfort but for being able to proceed. Strong winds, cold, hail, snow and more can be quite bad. So I share your caution. in New Zealand many years ago a climber died going from an alpine hut to the toilet, maybe 75 metres. He did not clip into the wire, and was blown off the mountain. Wind is deadly.


Yeah people don't realize how many people die in the mountains. Just a week ago 3 cross country skiers died in Chartreuse. It's a low mountain (the pre Alps as we call them), less than 2500 m, and not prone to avalanches, but it snowed a lot recently and the 3 were swept away (2 + 1 by two different avalanches). I would say that on average, in the French Alps, given what I see in the local news, 20-30 people die in summer (mostly alpinists and hikers on vertiginous tracks), the same or more in winter (mostly alpinists and skiers).
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Re: Hiking needs

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 05 Dec, 2017 8:08 am

As everyone has basically said, all you are packing is insurance. Depending on your mindset there will be a temptation to either carry too much stuff, or start leaving things behind. A checklist is a great way to monitor this so you can stick to your load limit.
So far every person I've seen come to some trouble during a walk came from an assumption. They assumed that there would be water at the destination, they assumed someone else would be on the track, they assumed they would have cell service... you get the idea. As you gain confidence and skill, you will settle into your way of doing things.

My solo worst-case scenario is getting either a snakebite or another injury that keeps me from moving. So with that in mind, think about what would you want with you to spend the night sitting still under a tree as you wait for rescue (assuming that rescue is sent when you do not return)

Though its worth keeping in mind that that due to my training and experience, I pretty much only think in terms of being responsible for other people, I really have to work to get into the full solo mindset. Many people get by with very little. I don't like to get anywhere near the "just getting by" line, where as others are quite comfortable there.
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