Gear list and questions from noob

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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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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Smellypaddler » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 3:31 pm

Just got back from the OT today. The first two days were cold and wet with snow knee to waist deep at times up near Kitchen hut and multiple KMs of walking along what appeared to be a creek bed. There were a couple in trail runners and they looked to be having a horrible time. That being said waterproof boots won't be waterproof for long. I wore goretex overpants, gaiters and full grain leather scarpa boots and had wet feet everyday.

Hand sanitizer is good for keeping things clean. The drains referred to are grease trap type drains for washing up, cleaning teeth etc and are flown out along with all toilet waste which is deposited into compostable toilet pods which are then also helicoptered out.

I took cereal with milk powder for breakfast and backcountry freeze dried meals for lunch and dinner plus museli bar and mini choc snacks for each day.

I would definitely take a hard Shell jacket and pants plus gloves and a beanie as weather can be brutal.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Sun 19 Jan, 2020 8:28 pm

Less than two weeks to go until I step onto the track, I think I've got everything sorted thanks to the good advice on here and the people at Wild Earth etc. Not sure I'm mentally prepared for waist deep snow but thanks for reminding me that it's a possibility SP.

My main concern (apart from nagging self-doubt about my lack of trail fitness) is storage of food overnight. I've currently got my food in either original packaging or ziplocs, then in large ziplocs to organise breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks, then in a silnylon pack liner.

If I leave my pack and food in my tent am I likely to have an issue with possums/mice? I've read about people having problems but is it a real issue for food that's well wrapped? Any advice on dealing with this in a lightweight manner is most welcome.

Actually, another question - since day 1 is the toughest, I don't want to carry more water than I'll need, was hoping to depart with 1 litre and collect water along the way. The guidebook recommends avoiding water before Waterfall Valley (Scott Kilvert for me) but if it's filtered it should be ok shouldn't it? Thinking of topping up at Crater Lake. Is there water around Kitchen Hut?.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Sun 19 Jan, 2020 8:48 pm

Will you be carrying a filter?
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Sun 19 Jan, 2020 8:50 pm

Yes, Sawyer mini, and a method to backflush it.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Tino B » Mon 20 Jan, 2020 10:46 pm

For good storage grab some Aloksak / Opsaks from Backpacking Light or a similar store:

https://www.backpackinglight.com.au/search/Opsak/

Two of the larger ones should be more than enough for all of your food. Put them in your silnylon bag and hang it in a hut at night. Store trash the same way.

Get a smaller Opsak for toiletries coz wildlife may go for toothpaste etc too.

Water is generally abundant on the OT but always filter it, no matter the source, even tanks. Practice good hygiene by using hand sanitiser before eating, filling water, toilet etc.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Joynz » Mon 20 Jan, 2020 11:11 pm

I just used ziplock bags on the OT. But I did sleep in the huts each night - so maybe less risk than if you are camping?

Met a guy on the first night who went to take some night photos.

He put his day pack down on the ground as he went to take some shots - and came back to find a possum had got into his muesli bars!
Last edited by Joynz on Tue 21 Jan, 2020 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 7:24 am

Thanks for that. Ordered some Aloksaks, they might get here in time. And will hang them in the huts.

Was planning on filtering all water that's why I questioned the advice in the guidebook. If it's filtered correctly it must be ok to drink.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Amahb » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 10:10 am

Your gear looks good.
I would add a book or kindle, there is a bit of sitting around at the end of each day.
I would also add crocs (the cheap and lighter ones from kmart). We don’t normally carry much in the way of luxuries as I am very weight conscious, however you will spend a lot of time in the huts where you don’t really wear your wet shoes around. You then need to get to the toilets in your night socks and will not want wet shoes for this or bare feet as its a long walk. If its dry you don’t want them, but in the wet I think they are essential.
The weather can get harsh and I have pertex gear the same as the Helium but its not good enough for days of constant rain. Buy yourself a cheap poncho from Kathmandu (100grams approx) and put over when it goes bad. We do this. You probably should have water proof gloves, XL dishwashing gloves do the trick. We didn’t on our April trip (wife and 3 kids) and regretted it.
You don’t need spare batteries if you start with new ones. The phone would cover it if you somehow left your torch on.
Good luck. You will have a ball.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 10:41 am

I've been tossing up crocs or not.

I've been finding the pack weight (13.5kg) pretty easy to handle in my training (only incline intervals on the treadmill, no hills around here, and it's been hot) - I can probably afford a little bit more weight, will add them in along with gloves to go over my poly gloves.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 5:49 pm

I'm not sure which walk of shame was the worst - walking out of Kmart with a pair of knockoff crocs, or walking out of Bunnings with a single pair of rubber gloves :D

But 325gms for the knockoff crocs is triggering me... by far the heaviest luxury item in my pack.

My Dexshell waterproof socks are only 124gm and I'll probably be carrying them anyway - what about slipping them on then wearing my trail runners to walk around outside? And just wear my dry sleep socks in the huts when cooking/hanging out?
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby coimon » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 6:32 pm

timh wrote:My Dexshell waterproof socks are only 124gm and I'll probably be carrying them anyway - what about slipping them on then wearing my trail runners to walk around outside? And just wear my dry sleep socks in the huts when cooking/hanging out?


Curious about this... especially since I've been pondering trail runners and dexshells.

I've been watching this thread closely, it's been very informative for the decisions on my own OLT lighterpack. Thanks all!
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Amahb » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 7:10 pm

Interesting, my crocs are 242 grams. My wife’s had a liner thing I pulled out, hers are 204 g, does yours have this?

In my opinion only its like this. You arrive at the huts and its pouring rain, the floors are a little wet but most people are respectful and leave their shoes outside. The floor is dirty and now has a little bit of water and food etc on it. Your sleep socks are not so good for walking around in this environment and then jumping into your extremely well made quilt (we have the same one, only a double). It’s different to hiking and then just hanging out in your tent. We went to the Prom last week and had a huge rain, I would not consider crocs then as we were laying about in the tent and going barefoot into wet shoes straight from the tent to the toilet is no issue.

Also your question about water at Kitchen Hut is yes. There was a stream when we were there. We carried 4.6 lts for 5 people at any one time. We ran out once but the next refill was close by.

The gloves we use are the black rubber dishwashing heavy duty gloves from Coles. My kids have much lighter versions in green.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby Amahb » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 7:19 pm

Also, on the water. About 1.5kms past Kitchen Hut you come to the Fury River (its shown on the map).This is a good source of water as well. A great camp spot too. After that you wont have any issues I wouldn’t think.
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Re: Gear list and questions from noob

Postby timh » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 9:14 pm

Fantastic info, thanks a lot, it's very helpful. Yes, walking around on a damp dirty floor in my only pair of dry clean sleep socks isn't something I want to do. Really appreciate the context, it's important. I'll see if I can remove some weight from these crocs.

Couldn't get extra large gloves in anything but chemical gloves in my town. Bonus is they are light, and I think they'll last the 7 days, but probably not much more if they get a lot of use.

Useful tips on water. I just didn't want to carry any extra weight up the steep part if I didn't have to. Will make sure I have some in reserve though.
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