Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

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Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Tommydoodle » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 6:07 pm

What's the worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered on your travels?
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 6:43 pm

Some things I've seen:
Old canvas "raincoat"
Sleeping bag in a trash-bag, not able to be fitted inside the pack.
Heavy bottomed kitchen pot, wooden cutting board and a full sized kitchen knife in a cardboard sheath
Bivy tarp that was about 40cm shorter than the person
60% pack weight of "utility" or non-specific just in case stuff
steel-cap elastic side boots in hill country
cotton hammock with no bug mesh or protection
4D maglite, no head torch-night walk
cheap uncovered "camelback" new in the package, slightly not sealed
In bear country: no rope for a food hang, no spray, small "combat" knife for "protection"

and oh so many cases of no sunblock and no bug repellent,
I also won't admit to how many of those things I've ever done ;)
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Lamont » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 6:48 pm

I was talking to someone that I trust who walked the Overland Feb 2018. The rangers turned back someone with just a shopping bag. Also she came across a youngish European couple that had taken on the same Overland trip two cucumbers and some tomatoes and a half cup of rice-she and others provided them with food. They scrounged all their food apparently for the whole trip by approaching different people each time. They had their begging skills down pat.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Tommydoodle » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 7:09 pm

Lamont, I may have come a similar case some 10 years ago at the start of the Overland Track. An overseas visitor who had all his gear in a plastic shopping bag, the entirety of which was a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a 600ml bottle of water and a disposable raincoat. I had a chat to him and he told me he thought that there were backpacker hostels and hotels the whole way along the track where he could hire a room for the night and buy a meal.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby andrewa » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 7:55 pm

I mostly don’t encounter anyone, which is my intention.

Beyond this, I’ve never had any bad experiences as described. Winter ski touring on Bogong is where I mostly encounter people, and the only malequiped person I’ve met there had forgotten his sleeping mat, but slept on rucksack etc that night (as I did, when my expedition down mat failed).

But, @Gadgetgeek, just FYI, I do often use a cardboard sheath for my knife! Light, cheap, replaceable...

A
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Mark F » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 8:09 pm

It is many years ago ( mid 70's?) but I have come across a girl descending from Pelion Gap towards Pelion wearing minimal sandals and carrying everything in a string bag and a very small day pack. This was before the N to S rule, and olt track fees.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby CasualNerd » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 9:33 pm

Three young guys at waterfall valley had prepared 14 fresh ham and cheese sandwiches each, wrapped individually, to last them two per day for lunch on the OLT. They seemed really proud too, I wonder what they were like by Day 7 ?

A couple at Pine Valley had a full sized saucepan (on the coal heater), crockery bowls, a single woolen blanket and no mat between them, I don't remember seeing a backpack but who knows.

Part of me is always glad people get out and enjoy themselves even without the right gear but it makes you wonder.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Tekker76 » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 10:08 pm

A family I know who are lovely people and ask to accompany me on day hikes but are almost impossible to convince that thongs aren't the best hiking footwear
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby cajun » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 7:11 am

In the RNP a Japanese tourist in a kimono, full makeup (not geisha makeup, but western style), and high heels. About 1.5 km in from the track down to wedding cake rock. Her partner was in jeans and expensive runners.
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Huntsman247 » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 7:53 am

Tekker76 wrote:A family I know who are lovely people and ask to accompany me on day hikes but are almost impossible to convince that thongs aren't the best hiking footwear
I personally will wear better footwear but after a remote jungle hike in the Philippines with a ridiculous amount of elevation up and down each day and our guide (which you need to have due to the language barrier and native villages) wearing cheap sandals not quite as bad as thongs but I have to say that I can't mock them as much now.
He claimed they last much longer than expensive hiking boots in those conditions.
His pack was a small bladder bag with only a traditional knife, plastic shopping bag with plain white rice and a bag of beetle nut and just a cheap cotton windbreaker. That was for 5 days.
And it was damn freezing one night at 3000m. It was not hot either at the altitude we were at.
He is a tough bloke. He does that day in and out with that kit.
Truly ultralite. But it worked for him. Lol.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Johnnie Walker » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 8:15 am

Not seen by myself, picture is from another forum.
UiZWb0R.jpg
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Tekker76 » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 1:17 pm

Huntsman247 wrote:
Tekker76 wrote:A family I know who are lovely people and ask to accompany me on day hikes but are almost impossible to convince that thongs aren't the best hiking footwear
I personally will wear better footwear but after a remote jungle hike in the Philippines with a ridiculous amount of elevation up and down each day and our guide (which you need to have due to the language barrier and native villages) wearing cheap sandals not quite as bad as thongs but I have to say that I can't mock them as much now.
He claimed they last much longer than expensive hiking boots in those conditions.
His pack was a small bladder bag with only a traditional knife, plastic shopping bag with plain white rice and a bag of beetle nut and just a cheap cotton windbreaker. That was for 5 days.
And it was damn freezing one night at 3000m. It was not hot either at the altitude we were at.
He is a tough bloke. He does that day in and out with that kit.
Truly ultralite. But it worked for him. Lol.


Hunstman well the romans conquered the west in sandals, nothing to scoff at there. Thongs are a problem more regards durability, cheap ones the first slip siedways and they pop out. Excellent story btw, thanks for the post

Quite a few equatorial folk still go barefoot, One of the young fellows I know here walked the Mt bartle frere track barefoot( 1600m summit). The less known/rougher the trail or heavier the loads the more footwear comes into it though.

We have similar climate to Phil's lowlands and its always a question of what to wear and what will last. Ed Stafford the first guy to walk the whole amazon on foot back in the 2000's(I think took him two years) settled on a two pair system of top tier alltberg panama jungle boots and gumboots with holes cut in the sides(!) depending on the days terrain.

I like to carry a set of crocs or scuffs in the pack for use as camp wear or if my feet are breaking down in wet boots, I can switch to them. Generally only do this on flat decent trails though. Western loads and bodyweight a bit more than your guide. :)
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 2:58 pm

andrewa wrote:I mostly don’t encounter anyone, which is my intention.

Beyond this, I’ve never had any bad experiences as described. Winter ski touring on Bogong is where I mostly encounter people, and the only malequiped person I’ve met there had forgotten his sleeping mat, but slept on rucksack etc that night (as I did, when my expedition down mat failed).

But, @Gadgetgeek, just FYI, I do often use a cardboard sheath for my knife! Light, cheap, replaceable...

A

Got nothing against the cardboard sheath, but if you are going to bring a 10-inch cheif's knife, it might as well be sharp. I don't think he actually needed the sheath. We were unsure at times if he was chopping carrots, or cutting firewood.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 3:03 pm

@huntsman247, I guess with the guide it was a case of knowing instead of carrying. But that said, I've heard that beetle nut can carry someone a long way, so maybe that will be a trend for the hyper-ultralighters some day? No food, just go-pills?
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Overlandman » Sun 30 Dec, 2018 9:15 pm

From an old topic

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9272

I will never forget the Russian in Sandles who stayed the night at Kitchen Hut & arrived at Waterfall Valley Christmas morning with snow on the ground (in the 90's). In his broken english he said " you with boots, water stays in, me with sandals water flows out. I advised him that he should not proceed on the overland track due to the conditions & rougth terrain, he spent two days at Waterfall, he had walked a lot of miles in those sandals. I asked him to sign the hut diary at the end of my entry that I had advised him not to proceed and if he required rescuing that he would have to pay for it. When the snow melted, he headed South, walkers walking North a few days later advised me that he had done the ligaments in his ankle, heading down to Frog Flats, he was helped to Pelion where a Doctor walking with a private group rendered first aid, he then waited for two days due to poor weather to be flown out by the rescue chopper, thinking the whole time how he would pay for the rescue (which he did not have to contribute at all)
Regards Overlandman

There was also the barefoot bushman, with old canvas pack & bluey coat who did the OLT back in the 90’s
The soles of his feet were like leather.

There were numerous people that did the OLT begging for food the whole way.

The guy that rocked up at Waterfall Valley with only a Christmas cake, I managed to turn him back after 2 days.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Huntsman247 » Tue 01 Jan, 2019 3:12 pm

Gadgetgeek wrote:@huntsman247, I guess with the guide it was a case of knowing instead of carrying. But that said, I've heard that beetle nut can carry someone a long way, so maybe that will be a trend for the hyper-ultralighters some day? No food, just go-pills?
Lol. Well I'm certain he was not a single bit comfortable at the summit all night.
But yes it was a case of knowing and he did add to his meals by collecting stuff along the way. Although at the summit I was no longer jealous of his superlight pack.
Last edited by Huntsman247 on Wed 02 Jan, 2019 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Huntsman247 » Tue 01 Jan, 2019 3:22 pm

Does this count as underequiped? Lol
Imaging tripping on some stinging nettle...

http://www.greatwalks.com.au/news/nude- ... in-germany
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby tastrax » Tue 01 Jan, 2019 4:44 pm

Overlandman wrote:There was also the barefoot bushman, with old canvas pack & bluey coat who did the OLT back in the 90’s


I portered on a commercial trip in the mid 80's and one client walked barefoot all the way through including over Pelion Gap in light snow. We made him carry his boots all the way and just kept an eye on him. His feet were also like leather!
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 02 Jan, 2019 6:45 am

I was on two walks decades ago and two people had horrible gear. One walk was in the Upper Dargo River, which drains Mount Hotham to the south, three days. WE had usual gear for the times for a three day walk. One person had spares of nearly everything, with a pack that was probably about 35-40 kilograms. This was a huge pack, maybe 100 litres, with a bulging day pack strapped on the back with a thick wide leather belt with a heavy metal buckle. We attempted to convince him that he should discard some gear but he said he needed all of it. Then we said he would struggle to keep up with such a heavy pack. No worries, I can manage. He lasted about 30 minutes, exhausted. Then he went back to the cars and waited for three days.

A second trip had a bloke with a new pack for a weekend trip. He picked it up and a shoulder strap snapped. He was surprised – he paid $40 for it. At that time a decent weekend or longer pack cost about $150. We diverted to my place and I found an old pack, battered but functional. As we approached the city fringes the punter was repacking and discovered that he had no sleeping bag. We left him with his broken pack at a railway station. He was never seen on a trip again.

On the OLT a group of walkers had cheap sleeping bags in stuff sacks of dubious waterproofness strapped to the outside of their packs. With difficulty I squeezed the bags inside their very small packs.

I wonder how many near misses there are from the sort of people in the above posts.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 02 Jan, 2019 12:20 pm

On the subject of thongs. I did do a 4 night coastal trip almost entirely in thongs/barefeet about 15 years ago. For over 65% of the trip we were walking on beach sand though. And that was in the old days when my pack weighed 20kg. Would I do it today.. unlikely :D
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby Hallu » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 10:35 pm

Plenty of hikers in flips flops yeah. Saw one at the Lake Solitude track in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming. He was a young bloke with tough feet and walked about 12 miles with them. Otherwise a friend of mine told me about a guy walking the Overland with no food other than a jar of Nutella.
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby north-north-west » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 7:10 am

Second trip up the overland I ran into a bunch of young Poms at Waerfall.
First lad has good, quality gear, used enough to show experience but still in good condition. Carried himself like he knew what he was doing.
Number two was the classic "gilded turkey" - everything brand spanking new, everything of the most expensive, and no idea how to handle any of it.
Number three had what was essentially a soft suitcase with shoulder straps, and was walking in oversized brown denim jeans, with matching down-at-heels Plimsolls (no socks). His sleeping bag was KMart special standard. No tent, no stove, all cold food like bread and cheese (yes, he was carrying a couple of loaves of bread) and salami. His only wet weather gear was a plastic poncho. He headed off south from Waterfall the day I spent doing Barn Bluff, Cradle, Scott Kilvert, etc. The next day I walked out to Pencil Pine in a storm that turned into a mini-blizzard. Only hope he had sense enough to stay at Windermere that day until the weather cleared.

But itr's classic for the Overland. I've mentioned before a logbook entry at Pine Valley on that trip, with someone gushing about both the scenery and the kindness of the ranger they encountered there who had fashioned rain ponchos for her entrie party because they didn't bring any wet-weather gear as "we didn't realise we'd need any".
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Re: Worst equipped bushwalker you have encountered

Postby CBee » Fri 04 Jan, 2019 9:33 am

A bunch of kids leaving Charlotte Pass and heading to Mt. Kosciuszko in shorts and T-shirts, carrying only a carton of beer. Got eventually caught in a blizzard and rescued.
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