Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 8:32 am

Source:

https://www.larapintatrail.com.au/larap ... tions.html

More like 98k approx. than 107k.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby Eremophila » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 8:53 am

Section 4 Standley Chasm Birthday Waterhole 17.9
Section 5 Birthday Waterhole Hugh Gorge 16
Section 6 Hugh Gorge Ellery Creek 31.2
Section 7 Ellery Creek Serpentine Gorge 13.8
Section 8 Serpentine Gorge Serpentine Chalet Dam 13.4
Section 9 Serpentine Chalet Dam Ormiston Gorge 28.6

According to my calculator that's 120.9km.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby north-north-west » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 11:42 am

gbagua wrote:
north-north-west wrote:Just make sure caches at spots without lockers are animal-proof.


Sorry can you explain this further? No idea of what it means.


When I did it, I had two food drops, one at the track junction near Inarlanga, the other at Birthday Waterhole. Minor campsites, no lockers for food drops, so each was in a plastic bin, with lid, thoroughly shrinkwrapped and then covered with rocks to keep it secure.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby north-north-west » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 11:43 am

Eremophila wrote:Section 4 Standley Chasm Birthday Waterhole 17.9
Section 5 Birthday Waterhole Hugh Gorge 16
Section 6 Hugh Gorge Ellery Creek 31.2
Section 7 Ellery Creek Serpentine Gorge 13.8
Section 8 Serpentine Gorge Serpentine Chalet Dam 13.4
Section 9 Serpentine Chalet Dam Ormiston Gorge 28.6

According to my calculator that's 120.9km.


Are those Chapmans or actual measured distances?
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby Eremophila » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 12:10 pm

north-north-west wrote:Are those Chapmans or actual measured distances?


They are from the link Gbagua has quoted. Without checking, I'm pretty sure they are the same as what's on the official maps, and would correspond to the trail markers.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 7:26 pm

Eremophila wrote:According to my calculator that's 120.9km.


Lol. The on top of my head is definitively not Einstein's! Not good at Maths unfortunately. :(


north-north-west wrote:When I did it, I had two food drops, one at the track junction near Inarlanga, the other at Birthday Waterhole. Minor campsites, no lockers for food drops, so each was in a plastic bin, with lid, thoroughly shrinkwrapped and then covered with rocks to keep it secure.


So it was on your own. I guess you rented a car, right?


Hey guys for mid-August should I bring a light puff jacket? Thinking of early mornings while having something to eat before moving on. Or long sleeved merino thermals + beanie is just enough? I can also put a rain jacket as an extra layer.

Asking because I don't have one and they aren't cheap either.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby Eremophila » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 9:35 pm

The trail has kilometre markers with distances on them, which can be a good or a bad thing. I find when you're rationing water over distance, it can be helpful. Or if you can't add up :lol:

As for a puff jacket - yes. Something like this will keep you toasty for a good price: https://www.macpac.com.au/mens/jackets- ... ed-jackets

Or their "Uber Light" jacket, layered under your rain jacket if it's nippy.

If you rented a car, you could spend a day placing your food drops, drive back to Standley and start from there. Car will be safe there. Another day collecting your empty food drop receptacles after.

I take it you've priced airfares? and accommodation? Alice is not a cheap place to get to, depending on your starting point. Direct flights from Brissie were canned a few years ago so I'm guessing you would need to go via Sydney or Darwin. I'd expect you would be paying at least $600 return and possibly a lot more.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Thu 04 Mar, 2021 9:27 am

Yes I realised travelling there is not cheap.

There are direct flights from Bris. via Virgin & Quantas. Lowest return fare I saw was $640 for a mid-August departure and return.

Is accommodation also expensive? Haven't looked into it yet.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby north-north-west » Thu 04 Mar, 2021 11:44 am

gbagua wrote:So it was on your own. I guess you rented a car, right?.


Long service leave. Took the Hilux into the Flinders Ranges, then up the centre, through the Kimberley and Pilbara, down the west coast and back across the Nullabor. Food drops were done while driving from Redbank into Alice to start the walk. Then backtracked to Glen Helen and hitched back in.

The centre can do anything from sweat to deep freeze overnight, and fires are banned on the Larapinta. Be prepared.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Thu 04 Mar, 2021 5:34 pm

One thing I forgot to ask:

When you organise your own food drops, which type of containers have you guys used/recommend to newbies like myself?

Ta.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby ribuck » Thu 04 Mar, 2021 7:04 pm

gbagua wrote:When you organise your own food drops, which type of containers have you guys used/recommend to newbies like myself?

A plastic bin with a lid that you can tape on securely is the usual food drop container. You can buy them from Bunnings. You do need to come back after your walk to collect them, and then you'll have to dispose of them.

Other options are at risk of being broken into by mice that can get through the gaps in the food drop room, however they are environmentally preferable.

I have seen cardboard boxes used. You can put these in recycling bins back in Alice Springs, or perhaps burn them in the communal fire pit at Ellery Creek.

I have sometimes just used a daypack, and made sure that the food inside is totally odour-free (by wrapping it in plastic which is taped closed) so that the mice weren't tempted.

The Serpentine Gorge food drop container is metal and gets really hot from the sun. The Ormiston Gorge and Ellery Creek food drops are in a storage area that is part of a brick building, and don't get so hot - but your chocolate will probably melt anyway.

You will need to hire a key for the food drop rooms, from the Tourist Information centre in Alice Springs.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Fri 05 Mar, 2021 8:10 pm

Thanks for the info ribuck. So I guess the tape needs to be strong enough to secure the lids, right? In order to stop mice from chewing through their way into the containers. Any particular tape?

What sort of rodents live in that place? Atomic rats?? :lol:

Damn things.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby ribuck » Sat 06 Mar, 2021 9:02 am

I think the main function of the tape is to make it airtight so that the mice can't smell the food inside.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Sat 06 Mar, 2021 10:34 am

Just wanted to make sure in case this particular Outback rodent was smarter than the average one. They are highly intelligent animals anyway.

Bttw, is the container good enough?

https://www.bunnings.com.au/ezy-storage ... l_p0171464

EZY storage 18L.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby ribuck » Sat 06 Mar, 2021 3:04 pm

Yes, that's the sort of container people use. On the Larapinta you will mostly see bigger ones, but that's because they are being used by groups. You will need to label the container with your name, planned access date and latest retrieval date, so either put a big label on it or take a marker pen that works on that type of plastic.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Sat 06 Mar, 2021 6:13 pm

Again thanks for the extra tips. There is a lot of planning involved in this hike, sheesh!
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Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby ChrisJHC » Sun 07 Mar, 2021 9:29 am

gbagua wrote:Again thanks for the extra tips. There is a lot of planning involved in this hike, sheesh!
A lot of the planning can be simplified by biting the bullet and using a commercial operator to do the transport and food drops.

You then only have to worry about your gear, your food (that you put into containers that they provide before leaving Alice) and your fitness.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 08 Mar, 2021 8:01 pm

I'm not sure of your budget but have you considered going with one of the trekking companies? They offer 6 day trips of the best bits, which seems to be what your after. And you will get some great meals and good camaraderie throughout the trip.

As an example.

https://www.treklarapinta.com.au/tour/s ... rail-trek/

Or another option is to base your itinerary around a suggested 6 day self guided trip. You don't necessarily need to pay for trip just use their notes in the website and organise your own track transport.
https://www.larapintatrailwalk.com.au/l ... uided-trek
Last edited by wildwanderer on Mon 08 Mar, 2021 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby CBee » Mon 08 Mar, 2021 8:10 pm

But do you really need food drops for a 6-8 days hike? You can fit everything in a 20kg pack that gets lighter every day... my 2c. Haven't done the Larapinta but I assume is all on track, with water tanks, tourists and shelters and without scrambles.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby Eremophila » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 6:39 am

wildwanderer wrote:I'm not sure of your budget but have you considered going with one of the trekking companies? They offer 6 day trips of the best bits, which seems to be what your after. And you will get some great meals and good camaraderie throughout the trip.
As an example.
https://www.treklarapinta.com.au/tour/s ... rail-trek/
Or another option is to base your itinerary around a suggested 6 day self guided trip. You don't necessarily need to pay for trip just use their notes in the website and organise your own track transport.
https://www.larapintatrailwalk.com.au/l ... uided-trek


I see Trek Larapinta are fully booked for this year.

Some pretty big days on both options.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 12:33 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:
gbagua wrote:Again thanks for the extra tips. There is a lot of planning involved in this hike, sheesh!
A lot of the planning can be simplified by biting the bullet and using a commercial operator to do the transport and food drops.

You then only have to worry about your gear, your food (that you put into containers that they provide before leaving Alice) and your fitness.



Yeah proving you got the cash for it. Unfortunately I'm a hiker & a climber too on a budget. Ultralight gear is so expensive. Just purchased a 1000 bucks WM 900 g down bag to save weight. And more to come: tarp tent (900g), lighter puff jacket (300g), lighter rain jacket (OR 180g), trail runners for the hike (La Sportiva Lycan II), etc.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 12:35 pm

wildwanderer wrote:I'm not sure of your budget but have you considered going with one of the trekking companies? They offer 6 day trips of the best bits, which seems to be what your after. And you will get some great meals and good camaraderie throughout the trip.

As an example.

https://www.treklarapinta.com.au/tour/s ... rail-trek/

Or another option is to base your itinerary around a suggested 6 day self guided trip. You don't necessarily need to pay for trip just use their notes in the website and organise your own track transport.
https://www.larapintatrailwalk.com.au/l ... uided-trek


Sorry way beyond my budget, thanks though.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 12:40 pm

CBee wrote:But do you really need food drops for a 6-8 days hike? You can fit everything in a 20kg pack that gets lighter every day... my 2c. Haven't done the Larapinta but I assume is all on track, with water tanks, tourists and shelters and without scrambles.


20kg?? :lol:

10kg max. and will aim for less. I'll probably rent a car and organise all the food drops by myself. Basically very little food I'll carry but very concerned about not skimping on the precious liquid. I have experience with hiking in a 37 deg. day in Sundown where I dared to carry 3L only for the day. Me and my mate almost passed out before reaching the first waterhole. Dec. 2018, sure it was summer but the outback in winter is still a desert.

I'll be careful this time.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 12:41 pm

Any suggestions for accomodation and car rental places?

Thanks again :)
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby ribuck » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 4:22 pm

If you want something central and cheap, the YHA has shared rooms.
https://www.yha.com.au/hostels/nt/centr ... rs-hostel/

If you're happy to be out of town, there are a few backpacker places, or you can pitch your tent at a caravan park.

Unfortunately, the Desert Rose Inn, which was the only cheap hotel in the centre that had a full self-catering kitchen, has gone out of business due to Covid.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 5:02 pm

Anything similar to the Desert Rose Inn or something a bit trendier now that's gone? Not to keen to go to a backpackers accomodation.

Cheers :)
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 09 Mar, 2021 5:15 pm

gbagua wrote:
ChrisJHC wrote:
gbagua wrote:Again thanks for the extra tips. There is a lot of planning involved in this hike, sheesh!
A lot of the planning can be simplified by biting the bullet and using a commercial operator to do the transport and food drops.

You then only have to worry about your gear, your food (that you put into containers that they provide before leaving Alice) and your fitness.



Yeah proving you got the cash for it. Unfortunately I'm a hiker & a climber too on a budget. Ultralight gear is so expensive. Just purchased a 1000 bucks WM 900 g down bag to save weight. And more to come: tarp tent (900g), lighter puff jacket (300g), lighter rain jacket (OR 180g), trail runners for the hike (La Sportiva Lycan II), etc.
You don’t really need to spend a lot on ultra light gear for the Larapinta if you already have reasonable gear to start with.

Assuming you follow a “normal” itinerary, each day is around 25km so approx 6 hours hiking. While lighter is always better (for the same functionality), it’s not a big deal to carry slightly heavier gear (that you already own) and spend the money on a better experience.

For example, you say that you’re buying a lighter puff jacket and a lighter rain jacket. This implies that you already have these but they’re heavier than you would like. I’d have a good think about whether the price per gram saved is worth it.

IMHO and YMMV as usual!
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby Eremophila » Wed 10 Mar, 2021 6:41 am

Agree with ChrisJHC. Your existing gear should be fine.

You won’t find any cheap accommodation that’s “trendy”. Budget wise maybe a campsite or cabin at one of the caravan parks.

Is your planned pack weight of 10kg including water?

Water is available at the beginning and end of every stage. But some stages are overnight, meaning you will need to carry enough water for 2 days.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby gbagua » Wed 10 Mar, 2021 8:13 am

I'll probably go for cheap accomodation as the cost will skyrocket. Need to take into account eating 2 meals per day while not hiking (it's what I normally eat in my normal life). Is there a buffet service anywhere in Alice Springs offers these abs opens before midday?

Car rental also another expense.

I haven't weighted the base pack yet (excluding water and some food).

Current puff (800g) & rain (550g) jackets are way too warm (puff is meant for alpine conditions), bulky and heavy. I physically checked the rain jacket and it almost packs the size of 3 eggs!

Lighter versions 310g & 180g; I will save nearly 1kg,860g to be exact. That's a serious weight save when you include many other things. The water bit is the main killer but unfortunately it's a must.
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Re: Larapinta suggestions (food & equipment)

Postby Eremophila » Wed 10 Mar, 2021 11:20 am

I reckon buffets will be a thing of the past post-COVID. The Todd Tavern used to do a cheapish one with good salad & veg, from around 11.30am (purchase main dish separately and help yourself to salad & veg).

Barra on Todd restaurant (located in a large hotel which has changed name since I lived there) used to do nice moderate-sized lunches under $20. No buffet.

Just don't expect city-quality meals at city prices.

The Tea Shrine, which is a tea shop on Gap Road, does nice vego food for lunch quite cheaply.
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