October 2018, somewhere towards Hobart show day I stood at Ronny Creek ready for a Spring stroll along the Overland Track.
The same time the year before, I also stood in the same spot; the only real difference was 10kg of pack weight. That year prior I set off with 24kg of equipment, food and gadgetry. All of it “essential” to a successful Overland Track journey, or so I thought.
I started walking nearly 20 years ago and much of my thinking had remained the same “Weight equals safety, have a back up for your back up” and so on. It was a nice trip, I enjoyed the views and people I met on the Overland Track, the banter and comradery but the one thing I enjoyed the most was taking my pack off each day. It was, well, the favourite part of my day and that’s a bit of a drag when you are surrounded by million dollar scenery.
When I got home from that trip I looked at everything I took, I weighed it both psychically and by the benefit it offered me. I took those weights and started to search online for lighter options. I read Mike Clellands “ultralight Backpackin Tips” about five times. Some of the ideas I took onboard, some such as wiping your bum with a pinecone were not only impractical in Tasmania but also didn’t appeal to me.
So, back to October 2018, standing in the same spot at the start of the Overland Track with my pack weighing only 13.7kg with food. Not bad I thought, considering I planned a few side trips and had ten days of food in my pack.
I had a good-ish weather window (as good of a window as one gets on the Overland Track), the back up of huts close by and nearly 20 years of experience to fall back on. I slept in my tent on all but the first and last night.
Anyway, enough of the diatribe, the gear list is below.
|Pack||Osprey Levity 60||Carry everything|
|Tent||Nemo Hornet 2p||Shelter|
|Sleeping bag||Sea to Summit Ember III Quilt||Warmth|
|Sleeping Mat||Sea to Summit Neo Air||Comfort and warmth|
|Pillow||Sea to Summit Aeros Premium||Comfort|
|Stove||Furno 360 stove and pot set||Cook and drink|
|Cutlery||Sea to Summit Long handle spoon||Put food in mouth|
|Knife||Victorinox Escort||Cut food, repairs, etc|
|Torch||Black Diamond Spot||See in the dark|
|First Aid Kit||Home Made||Treat minor injuries – Note #1|
|Toilet Kit||Home Made||Sanitation – Note #2|
|Power Bank||10000Mah||Charge electronics|
|Camera/end of track communication||I Phone 6||Memories, organise pick up|
|Sunscreen||Cancer Council||That harsh Tassie sun|
|Bug Spray||Bushman’s Aerosol||Keep the annoying bugs at bay|
|Insulating Jacket||Cederberg Down Jacket||Insulation in the evening|
|Mid Layer||100w Fleece Pullover||Layer under Down Jacket|
|Thermals||Macpac Pro-Thermal top and bottom||Layer under Fleece|
|Pants||Columbia Silver Ridge||I prefer pants around camp|
|Gloves||Black Diamond Softshell||Keep the hands warm|
|Waterproof Gloves||Bunnings PVC chemical gloves||Keep the hands dry|
|Warm Headwear||Fleece Beanie||You lose a lot of heat through your head|
|Sleep Socks||1 Pair||Extra warmth for the feet|
|Underwear||1 Spare, wash one/wear one||Self-explanatory I hope|
|Rain Jacket||Marmot Precip||See note #3|
|Rain Pants||Northface Venture II||Keep legs dry|
|Shorts||Northface (no longer made)||I prefer to walk in shorts|
|Shirt||Columbia Silver ridge LS||Keeps the sun off, dies quick, easy to vent|
|Hat||Under Armour cap||Again sun protection|
|Socks||Mountain Designs Merino Light Hiker||I find Merino keeps the sock smell at bay longer|
|Liner Sock||Mountain Designs Merino Liner||Reduced friction, reduces blisters|
|Underwear||Regular Sport style long Boxer||Again Self-explanatory I hope|
|Buff||RAB model no longer produced||Sun, Rain, Sweat mop, Quick beanie.|
|Thermals||Macpac Pro-Thermal set||Carried if not worn|
Note 1- First Aid.
Below is what I generally pack for a multiday trip
Compression Bandages x 4
Non-Adherent Dressing x 2
Elastoplast strapping tape
Note 2 – Toilet Kit.
Toilet Paper – I don’t ration it into squares per day or anything. 1 Roll for 4 days or so, 2 rolls for longer.
Body Glide anti chafe rub on. With the pants already down its a good time to apply it.
Snow Peg, strong, sharp and lightweight for digging toilet holes. bonus, you can use it for your tent too if needed.
Antibacterial body wipes, 2 Wipes per day.
Note 3 – Rain Jacket.
The mentioned jacket is far from a full Gore-Tex jacket, I had a good reliable forecast and was confident in the gear choice. However weather is not always favourable or dependable and your selection of gear must suit your adventure. I would have taken a “proper” waterproof jacket had the forecast looked questionable and in most cases I do take one. This is Tasmania after all.
So there you have it, you don’t need a heavy pack to hike the Overland Track. Just some key pieces and a margin for safety and your off and away.
*This was a spring trip on the Overland Track, for winter I certainly recommend different gear.
Getting there from Launceston
|Overland Track Transport||http://www.overlandtracktransport.com.au|
|Cradle Mountain Coaches||http://www.cradlemountaincoaches.com.au|
Categories: Equipment and Gear