Critique my gear - early March

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.

Critique my gear - early March

Postby monochromatic » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 12:26 am

Hi all,

I'm planning a wander on the OLT in early March. Going for 7 days solo.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on what's necessary and what's not. Trying to go as light as possible while still being prepared.

Packlist here: https://lighterpack.com/r/bdh7bl

My big 4 are unfortunately set, and I will need all my clothing layers as I run very cold and understand I shouldn't be surprised by snow on the trail.


Thanks!
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 6:51 am

Looks good.

Food estimate may be a bit low at 600 g per day. I’d expect around 700-800 g per day.
Fuel estimate looks a bit high, but I use alcohol not gas so not sure. You may drink a lot of tea/coffee!
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Mark F » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 8:32 am

Overall a good list. I would ditch the Kleen Kanteen which I assume is used as the vessel for use with the Steripen. Either purify water using your pot or cut down a pet drink bottle or similar. A Jalna yoghurt pot with the top section removed will slide perfectly over a 230g gas canister so it takes no extra volume or cut the top off an old collapsible bottle if you have one. Also consider taking only one gas canister or perhaps a 100g one in place of the 2nd 230g canister. A smaller power bank?

The Primus stove is rather heavy, a lighter stove with a al foil windscreen should save you 100g.

Foodwise I find 600g per day is possible if I choose my food carefully.

Enjoy your trip.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby CBee » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 9:10 am

I don't see any pack rain cover or dry bags or spare batteries for the head lamp?
I personally would not carry soap, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, linen towel, moisturiser. But just toilet paper and wet tissues.
As per cooking set a 12g titanium screw on stove and 10g windshield will do.
An ultralight backpack for quick sidetrips is also handy and a couple of platypus bladders with mini sawyer water filter.
Also 600g of food per day would not be enough for me, but that's personal.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby matagi » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 12:22 pm

I don’t see a rubbish bag in your list.

Also, I’d ditch the soap and toothpaste and go with tea tree oil which is more environmentally friendly. If you take a medium bristle toothbrush, it will give sufficient abrasion to clean your teeth without bothering with toothpaste. A couple of drops of tea tree oil in a cup of water is sufficient for quite a thorough sponge bath, which will keep you fresh. Definitely carry hand sanitiser.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Mark F » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 12:45 pm

CBee - I wish I could find an 12 gram gas stove but the lightest I know of is the BRS-3000T at about 25g. I would take hand sanitiser and ditch the wet tissues. They are an environmental disaster as the do not biodegrade despite the claims on the packets. From memory there are requests to NOT dispose of them in the olt toilets but to carry them out. They, and disposable nappies, are a key cause of the fatbergs that now clog up sewerage systems.

No need for a rubbish bag - I just use the ziplock bag that contains my first dinner.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby CBee » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 1:18 pm

Mark, I always take with me the wet tissues after use, I assume hikers don't leave anything behind. The sanitiser only for longer trips where huts and water tanks are not available. As per stove: you are right, I have the BRS-3000T too, but my scale says 24 grams. Not sure where I got 12 g from...
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Warin » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 1:33 pm

CBee wrote: spare batteries for the head lamp?


Batteries should last the entire trip .. at least!

----------------
I too would go with 700g of food per day.
Umm you will need some toilet paper?

No passport... why? Unless you are from overseas and could be medically evacuated back ($$$$$) then you will not need a passport.
Take some photo id, a credit card and some folding cash.
Luggage key? No. If they want your luggage where ever it is stored they will simply take it all and open the case later. Put it in the case.
No soap, nor moisturiser.
No tissues - take 2 hankies, they don't fall apart if they get wet.

--------------
If you want med evac back to overseas - get insurance to cover it. It will not be cheap but it is much much cheaper than any med evac would cost.

Passport etc can be left at the hotel for pickup on return, same with soap etc..

You can loose ~100g by leaving off the brain on the back pack.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby CBee » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 2:15 pm

Batteries should last the entire trip .. at least!

And much longer. Unless the headlight accidentally turns on inside the backpack during the day, draining the batteries and leaving you relying on your friends torches.
Annoying, but if you are a solo walker, worst. This is obviously subjective, but I think if you rely on something that requires batteries, you should carry one set of spares.
I too would go with 700g of food per day.

I carry between 700 and 800g of food per day but I know of other bushwalkers carrying up to a Kg. This is very personal.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:11 pm

Good list.

As others said you could ditch a gas cylinder. A single large cylinder 375 gram should be fine for the OLT. A lighter stove?

Pack liner for your gear is a very good idea.(essential imho) I have an opsrey exos (I assume with your listed pack weight you have the same or a lumina) and it absorbs minimal water so I don’t find any benefit with a pack cover. (pack covers also absorb water). I would however recommend a pack liner. a sea to summit 70L ultra sil pack liner is very lightweight and will keep your gear dry. Ive had mine for 18 months with extensive use and I can still use it to gather water (eg no holes/leaks)

Im going against the crowd and say bring soap. Your staying in huts with people of unknown hygiene. If your very unlucky and someone your sharing a hut has gastro due to cryptosporidium your will be glad you’re able to wash your hands frequently. (hand sanitiser doesn’t kill cryptosporidium although it kills virtually all other germs/bugs). Hand sanitiser will likely be adequate though, i wouldnt bring both.

I typically use sunscreen to moisturise my skin. Saves weight and has mostly the same effect as a dedicated moisturiser.

Ditch the batteries. Sure your torch might turn on in your pack (unlikely with a button lock but not impossible) but there is also the chance, your shoe will desole or a pack strap breaks or a devil steals your entire food supply. :P Its easy to start carrying spares of everything based on just in case.. If worse comes to worse I reckon your phone with that 20K MaH battery pack could provide you with enough light for the trip.

Do you need the trowel? Huts have toilets and its fairly easy to dig a hole with your boot or stick. As Warin said. Toilet paper is a must. Bring more than you think you will need.
Last edited by wildwanderer on Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby monochromatic » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:48 pm

- Multiple comments made about the food situation - I'll have another look at my meal plan.
- You are right that an extra 100g gas canister will be more than sufficient. The single large canister idea is good too, I just wanted a spare.
- The Kleen Kanteen doubles as a hot water bottle for me. Admittedly heavy though.
- The al foil windscreen is a great idea. It also looks like I should explore lighter stoves.
- Power bank will recharge my phone (camera, notebook, alternate flashlight), GPS watch, and PLB, so has to be the size it is.
- I don't use a pack cover, dry bags will be heavy duty garbage bags. I tend to have a few spare plastic bags as actual rubbish bags or in case one fails. Added to the list.
- A daypack will be useful. Is it safe to leave my things at the huts or in the tent during side trips?
- I should look into the Sawyer Squeeze instead of the Steripen?
- I suppose I could substitute tissues/toilet paper with just water and soap, but I'm not sure I'm ready...
- If bringing soap I will ditch the sanitizer.
- Backpack weight is already without the brain.

Great comments so far!
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Mark F » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:50 pm

There can be a lot of excess weight in "fears" and also in having too many power sources (power bank plus batteries). Consider in the future standardising the recharging effort. For me this means a usb system with micro usb ports - rechargeable Steripen (Freedom 81 grams), headlamp - Petzl Tikka XP2 with Core battery (71g) but plan to change to a Petzl Bindi (35g), phone for gps/navigation/entertainment - This is powered by a modded Miller 102 charger (24 grams with cable) with the desired number of 16850 3400mAh batteries (46g each). For 2 days I rely on the existing charge in the devices so no recharging capability, then allow 2 days per battery. Any trip longer than 6 days I drop back to one cell and add a cut down solar charger (88 grams) - 158 grams for a infinite power supply. I don't try to charge while walking but put out the panel at lunchtime and before and after walking or on any longer stops.

The problem with soap is that it requires water while hand sanitiser doesn't.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 5:01 pm

monochromatic wrote:-
- I don't use a pack cover, dry bags will be heavy duty garbage bags. I tend to have a few spare plastic bags as actual rubbish bags or in case one fails. Added to the list.
- A daypack will be useful. Is it safe to leave my things at the huts or in the tent during side trips?
- I should look into the Sawyer Squeeze instead of the Steripen?
Great comments so far!


- While I have done long trips with garbage bags they are prone to ripping/holing over several days unless your very careful with getting stuff in and out. (being careful can be a pain when trying to find something in a hurry). A pack liner is quite cheap and will last you many trips. Plus adds extra protection should the worst happen and you slip and fall in a creek.

- Most likely clothes/pack would be safe unless your gear is all Arc’teryx (ie brand new and very expensive). I wouldnt leave valuables/electrics though.

- could also consider water purification tablets as lighter and faster. I switched to tablets after a year of using the sawyer sqeeze. Water purifiers are fiddly, can take a while if your source water is silty and its no fun squating in a swamp purifying water when you could be watching a sunset with a mug of hot tea in hand. Never used a steripen but I believe they are fast and effective if you have clear water. Not effective if your water is cloudy and you cant prefilter it.

- keep in mind that if your carrying two gas canisters your carrying almost double in metal weight. A single large is lighter than two smalls.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Warin » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 5:45 pm

Soap use is not allowed on the Overland track. You might bring a small sliver for the showers at the end.

PLBs should not require recharging - they have an internal battery that lasts for years. If your using something else as a PLB then that might require recharging, but a genuine PLB - no recharge.

Most side trips are done between huts/camps. The backpack will then have to have a cover to keep the birds from opening zippers to get at food. Most people use a backpack cover for this.

Get a guide book and read it. Even a local library should be able to get hold of a copy (interlibrary loan), possibly old but still usefull. That will have things like the bird problem .. and hanging food up overnight.

"Just wanted a spare" goes against minimising weight.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby crollsurf » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 10:08 pm

I'd go with a single small canister but unscrew the stove after cooking to ensure the stove doesn't leak. Running out of gas is no biggie.

Soto Amicus stove weighs more and costs more but simpler because you wont need to phaff around with a windshield. And more fuel efficient. Otherwise the BRS and windshield is a good cheap option.

Sawyer Squeeze is hard work. I'd go for the BeFree. Scoop and go. Better flow rate and less effort.

Still a pretty sweet package as is. Enjoy.

BTW you know the TNF Thermoball is kind of rainproof. You could dump the rain jacket and if you get wet, at least you will stay warm

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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Mark F » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 7:19 am

Sorry to say this Crollsurf but bad advice on two counts.

1. The olt is fuel stove only and there are plenty of rangers and other walkers wandering around so just lighting a fire is not only prohibited but very likely to result in a fine.
2. In the highlands and SW of Tas you need a decent rain jacket that can withstand several days of continuous rain/sleet and strong very cold winds. It is not like mid summer in the Blue Mountains where you can get away with a showerproof and a bit of hardship.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby crollsurf » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 9:02 am

Mark F wrote:Sorry to say this Crollsurf but bad advice on two counts.

1. The olt is fuel stove only and there are plenty of rangers and other walkers wandering around so just lighting a fire is not only prohibited but very likely to result in a fine.
2. In the highlands and SW of Tas you need a decent rain jacket that can withstand several days of continuous rain/sleet and strong very cold winds. It is not like mid summer in the Blue Mountains where you can get away with a showerproof and a bit of hardship.


I wasn't thinking of starting a fire, rather cold soaking. I guess there is food that needs boiling but I've found rehydrating in cold water works but good point, no fires.

The Thermoball is not good advise in hindsight but I have used it in the rain in the Snowy Mountains (approx 5C) for hours and stayed warm and pretty much dry. But not rain day after day and I was able to dry out in a hut. It leaked a bit around the seams on the shoulder.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 9:23 am

Mark F wrote:- This is powered by a modded Miller 102 charger (24 grams with cable) with the desired number of 16850 3400mAh batteries (46g each). For 2 days I rely on the existing charge in the devices so no recharging capability, then allow 2 days per battery. Any trip longer than 6 days I drop back to one cell and add a cut down solar charger (88 grams) - 158 grams for a infinite power supply. I don't try to charge while walking but put out the panel at lunchtime and before and after walking or on any longer stops.


Sorry for going a bit off topic. Mark where did you buy the miller charger and batteries from? Ive seen there are many sources on the internet but I wanted to buy from a store thats offering good quality (for the batteries especially)
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby matagi » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 9:55 am

crollsurf wrote:
Mark F wrote:Sorry to say this Crollsurf but bad advice on two counts.

1. The olt is fuel stove only and there are plenty of rangers and other walkers wandering around so just lighting a fire is not only prohibited but very likely to result in a fine.
2. In the highlands and SW of Tas you need a decent rain jacket that can withstand several days of continuous rain/sleet and strong very cold winds. It is not like mid summer in the Blue Mountains where you can get away with a showerproof and a bit of hardship.


I wasn't thinking of starting a fire, rather cold soaking. I guess there is food that needs boiling but I've found rehydrating in cold water works but good point, no fires.

The Thermoball is not good advise in hindsight but I have used it in the rain in the Snowy Mountains (approx 5C) for hours and stayed warm and pretty much dry. But not rain day after day and I was able to dry out in a hut. It leaked a bit around the seams on the shoulder.


Running out of fuel on the OLT could make for a pretty miserable time if the weather turns bad and you're hanging out for a hot drink or some warming food. Cold soaking won't cut it in those circumstances.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby bobcrusader » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 10:26 am

I second the use of purification tabs on the OLT. The water from the rainwater tanks at the huts can usually be drank untreated (you'll find the rangers don't treat it), but it doesn't hurt to throw a tablet in. If you take from the streams, again its pretty clean and just needs a tablet. We took a group of 15 in Jan 2018 and only used tablets (but went through up to 6L a day/person - it was over 28C most of the week.)

Take hand sanitizer (unscented) and a roll of toilet paper.

Fuel wise, I'd expect you to use maybe up to 200gm. For 2, we went through 175gm for a six day walk and used the Jetboil 3-5 times a day. 230+100 should be fine.

Bring a dry bag that you can use to hang your food in the huts. I can't overstate how aggressive the possums are.

Lastly, a set of clothes to change into while your hiking clothes and boots are drying out from rain or sweat.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Mark F » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 11:57 am

wildwanderer wrote:
Mark F wrote:- This is powered by a modded Miller 102 charger (24 grams with cable) with the desired number of 18650 3400mAh batteries (46g each). For 2 days I rely on the existing charge in the devices so no recharging capability, then allow 2 days per battery. Any trip longer than 6 days I drop back to one cell and add a cut down solar charger (88 grams) - 158 grams for a infinite power supply. I don't try to charge while walking but put out the panel at lunchtime and before and after walking or on any longer stops.


Sorry for going a bit off topic. Mark where did you buy the miller charger and batteries from? Ive seen there are many sources on the internet but I wanted to buy from a store thats offering good quality (for the batteries especially)

I bought mine from FastTech https://www.fasttech.com/p/1137904 along with a couple of Panasonic NCR 18650B batteries (3400mAh). Important to note that the charger works with UNprotected cells which is fine as you are only using one at a time.

I modded the charger by stripping off the plastic case and replacing it with a 18650 battery holder from Jaycar. It took a little bit of carving to get the board and contacts to fit, then a thin slice of foam over the back of the board and some transparent packaging tape to hold it together while allowing the charge level leds to remain visible. Your decision whether the 16 gram saving is worth while.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Neo » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 1:22 pm

Hi. I was anti using tablets or drops in water, thinking it mustn't be good for gut flora.
Now I guess that its not any worse than tap water (which my nose often detects has a chlorine type aroma when blasted into a bucket etc)
So Micropur drops in a tiny Nalgene are my current method instead of packing the UV, but I still like it.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby Mark F » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 7:57 pm

Do remember that tablets and drops require quite a wait before the water is decontaminated. For example Micropur Forte - 30 minutes for viruses and bacteria and up to 2 hours for giardia. Double these numbers for some other versions and increase the dose for dirty water. Steripens and filters are almost instantaneous. For my purposes I want to decontaminate and drink, not to have to wait to quench my thirst. The weight of that water you are carting around waiting for the drop to work is far greater than the weight of the filter or steripen. That said, tablets and drops are great as an emergency backup.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 13 Jan, 2019 7:25 pm

Mark F wrote:Do remember that tablets and drops require quite a wait before the water is decontaminated. For example Micropur Forte - 30 minutes for viruses and bacteria and up to 2 hours for giardia. Double these numbers for some other versions and increase the dose for dirty water. Steripens and filters are almost instantaneous. For my purposes I want to decontaminate and drink, not to have to wait to quench my thirst. The weight of that water you are carting around waiting for the drop to work is far greater than the weight of the filter or steripen. That said, tablets and drops are great as an emergency backup.


This is true however I've found im often only gathering water of an evening and morning. (Unless in a pristine area where I'm drinking from rivers untreated as I go along)

So an area where the water may be risky eg used campsites, popular walking areas or near farmlands etc I'll gather 2L and put in a one chlorine dioxide tablet per litre. (Which is more effective than chlorine only tablets I've read)

I'll also gather another litre of water and not treat it.

The untreated water I'll immediately use for a nice tea and also use for cooking. The water is being boiled.

By the time I need my chlorine dioxide treated water well over an hour has passed. Often 2 hours. So most of the nasties have been inactivated within 30 mins and a whole lot more (even crpto) with 2 hours.
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Re: Critique my gear - early March

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 13 Jan, 2019 8:48 pm

Mark F wrote:I bought mine from FastTech https://www.fasttech.com/p/1137904 along with a couple of Panasonic NCR 18650B batteries (3400mAh). Important to note that the charger works with UNprotected cells which is fine as you are only using one at a time.

I modded the charger by stripping off the plastic case and replacing it with a 18650 battery holder from Jaycar. It took a little bit of carving to get the board and contacts to fit, then a thin slice of foam over the back of the board and some transparent packaging tape to hold it together while allowing the charge level leds to remain visible. Your decision whether the 16 gram saving is worth while.


Thanks for all this info. Will have a look at fast tec
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