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.
- Osprey Levity 60 pack
- Nemo Hornet 2P
- Thermarest NeoAir X-Lite sleeping mat
- Sea to Summit Ember III quilt
- Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow
- Furno 360 Stove and pot set
- Sea to Summit Long handle spoon
- Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Escort
- Black Diamond Spot head torch (older model)
- First Aid Kit – The basics
- Couple of Band-AidsCompression Bandages x 3Elasto-plastEmergency blanketlarger non adherent dressing (can cut it down, basically if i need to use it ill probably need to re-dress it)splinter probe x 1alcohol swabs
- Toilet kit
- TP 3ply softness, ohh yeahRepackaged compostable wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Body Glide (easy time to put it on as the pants are already down)
- Solar Power bank (older model, no longer available)
- iPhone 6
- Bug spray
- Cederberg down jacket (generic brand from outdoor store)
- Macpac 100 weight fleece pullover
- Macpac Pro-Thermal set
- Columbia silver ridge pants
- Black Diamond Softshell Gloves
- Beanie (warm hat)
- Spare pair of sleep socks
- Marmot Precip Jacket
- North Face Venture rain pants
- 1 Spare boxer briefs (wash one/wear one)
- North Face shorts (older model, not in production)
- Columbia Silver ridge long sleeve shirt
- Under Armour Cap
- Generic wool/poly blend socks
- Wicking liner sock
- K-Mart sports style boxer shorts
- RAB Buff (no longer available)
- Light weight thermal set if required, otherwise carried in addition to the always dry set in my sleeping kit.
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