Following on from my Bibbulmun Track Overview post of a couple of weeks ago, I am starting to firm up my walking plans and I am not afraid to admit that I am a little overwhelmed by the scale of this adventure.
Yes, I have walked 1000’s of kilometres across Spain, Portugal and Italy, but this stroll in the Aussie bush is a whole new kettle of fish or 18kg backpack.
Can you help me?
This is what I have worked out so far:
Timing: My rough plan is to:
- Start: on/about Friday 23 September 2022.
- End: on/about 12 November 2022.
- Walking Days: 47
- Rest Days: 4
- Total: 1 005km
- Average Daily Distance: 21.4km
- Longest Daily Distance: 33.6km
- Shortest Daily Distance: 13.3km (a toss up between two short days or one BIG day)
- I suspect there will be some adjustments once I actually get out onto the track, get fit and find my walking legs.
1. Kalamunda to Dwellingup: 10 days (passing through no towns or villages)
Rest Day: Dwellingup – Collect Bounce Box
2. Dwellingup to Balingup: 10 days (passing through Collie, into the Mumby Pub, out of the Mumby Pub)
Rest Day: Balingup – Collect Bounce Box
3. Balingup to Pemberton: 8 days (passing through Donnelly River Village)
Rest Day: Pemberton – Collect Bounce Box
4. Pemberton to Walpole: 9 days (passing through Northcliffe)
Rest Day: Walpole – Collect Bounce Box
5. Walpole to Albany: 10 days (passing through Peaceful Bay and Denmark)
What Will Be in My 65litre Backpack?:
- Basically, everything I will need on a day-to-day basis.
- Tent, Mattress, sleeping bag.
- All my food.
- Water and water filter.
- All my clothing. Yes, back to carrying just two pairs of undies.
- All my first aid, tech and other gear.
What Gear Do I Own?:
- Clothes: My usual camino/walking clothes.
- Backpack: new Osprey Ariel 65litre
- Stove: new Jetboil Mighty Mo
- Maps and guides.
- and that’s all so far.
This is where you come in.
For the hikers out there, I need advice on a whole range of gear and, as per usual, my budget is not limitless. I have done some research and very quickly realised that the more $$$ you spend, the lighter the gear becomes. I need to find a happy medium somewhere even if it means I have to sacrifice a few grams/ounces.
Can you recommend the best, most cost-effective lightweight:
- Sleeping bag: Down and rated to -5°C?
- Self-inflating mattress: high R-rating/insulated?
- Personal Locator Beacon or similar: I know nothing about these so I am really flying blind on this one. Help?
- Powerbank: Even going bush I will need the capacity to recharge some devices on the go. Again, this tech-Luddite knows zilch! Another Help?
- Coffee System: Yes, I can exist without coffee, but it is not an overly pleasant existence. How can I enjoy my daily long black/Americano out on the trail? I realise this is very much a luxury and will be the first thing to be sacrificed if I can’t find a lightweight option…a girl can dream though…
See? This is a whole new world for this camino-addict and I am excited to be learning new stuff.
- I don’t think I really want to keep track of the amount of money all my new gear is going to cost. Sometimes it is better not to know these things. 😉
- I have been told that I should be budgeting for around AUD$2500 for the +40 days on the trail (around AUD$53 per day). This includes all my bounce box costs, food and accommodation, and resupply in towns along the way. I will also need to consider the cost of pre/post accommodation and flights/transport too.
What I Have Done So Far:
- Dehydrator: I scored a dehydrator for Christmas and have been experimenting with this a little. I have attempted the usual herbs and fruit, and made a delicious batch of beef jerky/biltong. I plan to dehydrate as many of my trail meals as possible. Any tips of what I could/should be trialling in the dehydrator? Do you have any recommended meals? Or go-to websites? YouTube?
- End-to-End Webinar: I sat in on a Bibbulmun Track Foundation webinar run by an experienced end-to-ender. It was really useful, really exciting and a tad overwhelming, especially when it came to crossing waterways and inlets by canoe! Talk about a multi-adventure adventure!
- Bounce Boxes: For those novices just like me, I had to learn that a bounce box is a parcel of food (I am thinking of more dehydrated meals) and gear (soap and shampoo! Ah, the luxury!) that you send ahead of yourself to a town and it waits patiently for your arrival. Other than my body-weight in chocolate, what do you recommend goes into the Bounce Box? Any must haves that you really appreciated when you opened up your own parcel?
What other advice can you give me? I am completely open to all advice and any suggestions other than to stay home or book into a five-star resort!
I feel like such a newbie and I know that is a good thing It is forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and learn a whole range of new things.
And that is a good thing, right?
Please share all your wisdom in the comments below. Happy Trails
What: The Bibbulmun Track is an epic stroll through the Aussie bush with native blooms, soaring trees and the odd snake.
Where: East of Perth, Western Australia, South, South, South until you hit the water and then East again until you hit Albany.
When: Aiming for Springtime 2022.
Why: For a big injection of Mother Nature and a long, long opportunity to stretch my legs.
How: By foot, car, plane, foot, plane, foot, foot, foot, foot, foot, etc, plane, car, foot.
Who: Myself and a couple of fearless chicks.
Related Posts: For more background reading on my Bibb plans, read here.
Read About it: And if you prefer an armchair adventure instead of actually slogging along a long distance walk, grab a copy of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Cheryl decides to run away from her troubles by walking the Pacific Crest Trail on America’s West Coast. Little did she know what she was getting herself into or what she would be like at the end. Available from Book Depository.
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