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Jatbula hammock camping

PostPosted: Thu 16 Aug, 2018 2:02 pm
by benji
About to do the Jatbula trail, and hammock camping seems like a good way to go light and keep cool. Haven't been able to find much on other people doing this though. Has anyone done this, or is anyone able to confirm there are places to hang a Hammock at all the campsites? Cheers.

Re: Jatbula hammock camping

PostPosted: Thu 16 Aug, 2018 3:02 pm
by philm
Why not just take a mosquito net that is all you need
No need for a tent
Not sure you would have an adequate range of tie points for a hammock anyway

Re: Jatbula hammock camping

PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2018 2:19 pm
by nicktobin
this is an absolutely sensational hike ,
not sure if a hammock would be that great , id take a mosi net , if i did it again I would take my WE Tarp as a bit of shade would be nice.
walk itself is not hard but the first day is possibly the hardest as Im used to walking in Tasy / Victoria and you can only start by memory at 9am as you need to get the punt accross the river , every other day I started at 6.30am to beat the heat and spent the rest of the day lounging around the rockpools swimming.

Re: Jatbula hammock camping

PostPosted: Fri 28 Sep, 2018 10:16 am
by benji
Just got back from the hike, thought I'd do a quick post for anyone that's also looking at doing jatbula with a hammock.

First of all, absolutely stunning hike! Can't recommend it enough.

Re hammock camping, this worked really well for us. There are plenty of spots to hang at all campsites (noting that we didn't stay at Sweetwater and it's not super shady there, but think it'd be fine). You definitely need a mozzie net, and I'd definitely recommend taking a lightweight tarp too for shade (the shade at the camps varies and changes- when it's hot like that having solid shade over dappled shade really makes a difference)

We did the hike in the build up to the wet season (late Sept), so it was getting really hot- high 30s and probably 40s at 17 mile camp what with all the rock radiating. We started hiking at 6.30-7 the first 2 days (get the earliest punt you can on day 1! Ours left at 7), and then left at 5am the last 2 days (being the longest walking days). It would be less of problem at other times of the year, but in sept I would not leave any later- you really want to be done with your walking by 9.30. then you just laze around by the swimming hole reading, swimming and sleeping the rest of the day.

The hammocks (and tarp shade) were priceless for the hot days, can't recommend it enough. Even if I was taking a tent I'd still pack a hammock- it's hands down the best way to relax and stay as cool as possible in that heat. There are also some great places you can hang a hammock right near the water where you can't pitch a tent (esp the first camp, which is a bit of a walk to the water).

For nighttime the hammocks were also good, although it got surprisingly cool early morning so despite going to bed hot, we needed sleeping bags. This went for the campers in our group too- a couple didn't take much warm stuff and got quite cold. Recommend doing a night at Katherine gorge to enable an early start to the hike and also to test your setup (I slept in a sleeping sheet and quickly realised I'd need to take my sleeping bag)

Trying to think of any other tips. The bus service to drop you back at Katherine gorge is stupidly expensive (esp for a larger group). Both ends of the hike are quite busy and touristy, and we had no issues hitching.

We found 3l of water plenty for each day's walking (assuming you walk early. If you are walking in the heat you'd need much more). Take lots of hydralyte or similar (we use the poor person's version- salvital or wards fruit saline).

You're really not supposed to wear sunscreen or insect repellant in the water (it's everyone's drinking water after all). We took a small lightweight fabric sink to use as a wash station so everyone could clean the gunk off before going in the water and that worked well. Some people in our group had rashies and strappy sandals for the water, and I was very jealous- the sun is harsh and there can be a bit of rock clambering in the water so I think this is a really good (if daggy) setup.

That's all I can think of. Again, magical hike!

Re: Jatbula hammock camping

PostPosted: Fri 28 Sep, 2018 12:01 pm
by ofuros
Being a hammocker, I'm liking the sound of this walk...thanks for all those tips, Benji.

Re: Jatbula hammock camping

PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2021 7:43 pm
by davec

I just finished the jatbulla and managed to hammock each night.
I was the only one in a hammock, so had no competition for trees which made it easier.
Great hike though and high recommend.