OT First Timer - End October

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

OT First Timer - End October

Postby Hyena » Wed 20 Sep, 2017 2:25 pm

Hi guys, I'm a long time lurker first time posting :)

My partner and I are Starting the OT in 5 weeks and to say I'm excided is an understatement. We'll be doing the 6 days and taking the ferry. I'd love to walk out and spend the night at Echo Point Hut as this might be my only opportuity to do the OT.

As I've got Autoimmune Disease and am sore and get tired easily, I've been working hard at keeping my pack weight as low as possible. Partner will be carrying the tent and some equipment, I'll be carrying all our food and cooker as well as all my own personal gear. Reading through previous forums gave me the encouragement to dehydrate most of our own meals and pack smarter. Weighed my pack as a full load with all wet and warm weather gear loaded in and it just came to 15kg without water. I'm stoked! (Could pack lighter still, but I'm looking forward to dessert every night)

Feeling confident with all our food, equipment and bedding, however I'm just not sure if I should cut more weight by taking a lighter fleece for the days rather than my thicker Polartec. I've got a good long Goretex jacket and a thick merino neck gaiter, but just not sure if in a few weeks it will still be blighty cold or a bit warmer. Am expecting it to rain, rain and rain a little more so was thinking it would still be quite cool for someone who's regular winter has mins in the 20's :lol: However, would be more convenient to take the lighter weight fleece.

Any advice would be greatly received as I don't know anyone who's completed the track at that time of year.
“You're off to Great Places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!”


― Dr. Seuss
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Re: OT First Timer - End October

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 20 Sep, 2017 6:49 pm

Hyena, welcome to the forum. You must promise not to bite. A pack of 15 kg for six days is fine. However, the question to ask is how you feel carrying such a pack. There's plenty of water, although some places should be avoided, such as Pelion Gap. Wild water is best. That is, away from huts, away from the track, and preferably running. Take as much clothing and bedding as you think you need for cold and snow. Thin layers are better than a single thick layer, which is either on or off. Even in very cold weather, at Cradle in summer I wear a thermal top, a short and a blizzard jacket. There may be a thin windproof top, and often a warm hat. When moving this is enough. Take a complete change for evenings.

If you can get away early enough from Windy Fridge, you should reach Narcissus for lunch, and Echo Point is a few more hours. The ferry may be able to pick you up from Echo Point, which has a dock.
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Re: OT First Timer - End October

Postby Hyena » Wed 20 Sep, 2017 8:34 pm

Thanks Lophophaps, I did not realise you could be collected at Echo Point! Will be looking into this :)

I'm feeling ok/ish about carrying this much weight. I invested in a Deuter SL pack and noticed a massive difference in the support of the pack compared to my old 70L. The 15kgs is weight including the GoreTex jkt, jumper, warm hat, neck gaiter and leg gaiters and walking poles. Looking at the weather forecast I'm quite confident I'll be wearing the jacket and gaiters most of the time.

Thanks for the heads up re water. We're planning to fill up regularly from the clean streams, however I might still treat my water just to play it safe.

For night I have a goose down jacket, merino thermals and top, and warm pants as well as my polartec booties as I do feel the cold. Only one set for day and one set for night, however spare day socks because I don't like dirty socks haha. R5 STS Comfort Plus sleeping mat and a warm liner for DownTek sleeping bag. For a more comfortable sleep am packing an inflatable pillow... feels like glamping!

PS: Hyena is more about the laugh than the bite :lol:
“You're off to Great Places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!”


― Dr. Seuss
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Re: OT First Timer - End October

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 21 Sep, 2017 11:21 am

Manic laughing is fine. See how long you go on the OLT doing this before a helicopter with nurses and straight jackets arrive. I will watch the news with interest.

Putting the weight on the hips and other tweaks can really make a difference. I've never carried a jumper on walks, just thermals and shirts. I'm unsure what a neck gaiter is. Did Ned Kelly have one of these? I'd take a sun hat, broad brim, not peaked. Due to the mud I'd wear the gaiters all the time while walking. Maybe save the water pills for suss water and drink wild water untreated. It's up to you; read the log books and ask the PWS. Note that PWS always say to treat, and this is the same in all jurisdictions. The reason is that if they say otherwise then punters can blame PWS et al for poor advice. I have a very light day pack, 64 grams from memory, that doubles as a pillow. You say "I'm quite confident I'll be wearing the jacket and gaiters most of the time." Most people take off their jacket and gaiters when sleeping. It may be different in Brisbane.
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