MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food from

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.

MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food from

Postby Snooze » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 1:30 pm

Hi, and thank you to everybody in this great community who answered my two previous posts. We are two people, leaving Sydney on 2 Feb and starting eight days on the OT on 5 Feb and are still trying to figure things out. (Unfortunately the window for internet shopping is closing fast).

1. Those alloy fishbone tent anchor things. I ordered some a while ago off ebay. (These items were supposed to be in Sydney but they are taking their time to turn up so I suspect they were warehoused in China all along.) Anyway, last night I discovered these fishbone anchors come in two lengths and I have ordered the shorter ones at 670 mms, and probably should have ordered the 760 mm length ones (which can only be ordered from China, making it too late for us.) Should we still bring the shorter ones (if they ever even arrive) or abandon the idea and just get those Bunnings cup hooks.

I planned for us to have two rest days, but my partner does not seem to like the idea of resting as much as I do. He said he prefers to keep moving and enjoy different scenery at every overnight stop. (Maybe he’ll change his tune. And also maybe he will want to do the hut-based side trip to Mount Oakleigh which he is currently uncertain about.) Anyway I agreed, provided we are blessed with good weather, to have two nights “dispersed camping” between the six huts, if possible (swapping rest days for late start days).

2. When "dispersed" camping between huts, where does food go? Inside the main tent packed inside a closed up dry bag? There seem to be infinite thicknesses of dry bags out there. Obviously I would get the very lightest one (that “ultra-sil” one I assume) if they all work. It’s only the smell of the food that’s causes the issue, isn’t it? Is anything sold as a dry bag going to be possum and rat proof, ie block the smell? (Or does food require a more “heavy duty” dry bag.) Someone mentioned double bagging as possum proof—would that be food inside a big Ziploc inside a drybag, or a drybag inside a drybag? Also if there was a tree available at the campsite, could we hang the food in a drybag in the tree?

3. It would be great to have a map with reliable places to gather water (particularly to know the last place to gather water before a campsite). I compared the 1:100,000 plastic Tasmap one with the 1:50,000 maps in the 2008 Chapman I borrowed from the library—but they show somewhat different information. (I think I will bring photocopies of the six maps in the Chapman, along with the Tasmap.) I would love any advice on planning where to gather water.

4. We will carry one little stove each, one an MSR pocket rocket and the other an Aldi-bought, cheapo copy of a pocket rocket (two in case we are separated at lunch), and will need to shop for two gas cannisters in Launceston. I was hoping we would be able get the biggest and the medium sized cannisters. Is there a particular outdoor shop in Launceston we should target for MSR gas cannisters on our allowed shopping day, a Sunday?

Thanks for reading. I will really appreciate anyone’s advice.
Snooze
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue 05 Jun, 2018 3:20 pm
Region: New South Wales

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Snooze » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 1:31 pm

*MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food from animals, gathering water between huts, buying gas in Launceston
Snooze
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue 05 Jun, 2018 3:20 pm
Region: New South Wales

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 2:03 pm

Answers to a few of your questions.

Snooze wrote:2. When "dispersed" camping between huts, where does food go? Inside the main tent packed inside a closed up dry bag? There seem to be infinite thicknesses of dry bags out there. Obviously I would get the very lightest one (that “ultra-sil” one I assume) if they all work. It’s only the smell of the food that’s causes the issue, isn’t it? Is anything sold as a dry bag going to be possum and rat proof, ie block the smell? (Or does food require a more “heavy duty” dry bag.) Someone mentioned double bagging as possum proof—would that be food inside a big Ziploc inside a drybag, or a drybag inside a drybag? Also if there was a tree available at the campsite, could we hang the food in a drybag in the tree?


Could try odur proof bags. Loksak Opsak Odor proof bag, 31 x 50 cm - 41g
A recent overland track walker used a super tough minor critter bag along with a odur bag - https://www.ursack.com/product/ursack-minor/ however your likely be fine with a ultra sill dry bag and the odur proof bag inside it. Possums/rodents find it hard to grip onto ultra sil as its very slippery.

If there is trees or hut beams hang your food sack. Use stong fishing line for (for last 1m) and place half a soda bottle aprox half way along the line so the possums/rodents cant 'abseil' down the line. If no tree/hut I would put it between you while you sleep. Dont leave in vestibule. Make sure all food and empty wrappers are out of your pack/clothes. Check hip belt pockets

Snooze wrote:4. We will carry one little stove each, one an MSR pocket rocket and the other an Aldi-bought, cheapo copy of a pocket rocket (two in case we are separated at lunch), and will need to shop for two gas cannisters in Launceston. I was hoping we would be able get the biggest and the medium sized cannisters. Is there a particular outdoor shop in Launceston we should target for MSR gas cannisters on our allowed shopping day, a Sunday?

Thanks for reading. I will really appreciate anyone’s advice.


As your new to multi day walks I wouldn’t recommend separating from your hiking partner even on something as well marked as the overland track. Therefore you wont need two stoves. For 8 days I expect one large 450 gram canister will be enough for the two of you. See to calculate your gas needs - https://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.co ... ation.html
User avatar
wildwanderer
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Nuts » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 2:28 pm

A squirrel stole my opsack and it's food the very first night, first night /first squirrel.. I had thought them little & jittery not strong & turbo charged. I considered it may have been some minor odour on the outside. It's one to watch, food kept down inside your main pack, and otherwise keeping everything clean and packed away should do it, including those few crumbs in a coat pocket and clean hands on gear. The possums are nowhere near as well trained away from common campsites. Then again, it's not really necessary to shorten the days by camping away from the huts and moving food into the huts is probably simplest.

The shorter anchors aren't quite long enough unfortunately.
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
Nuts
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8116
Joined: Sat 05 Apr, 2008 12:22 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Warin » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 3:40 pm

Some of the transport companies will get you gas canisters. Best to ask, and stipulate what you want when you make your booking. Check with them a 2 day or 3 days before you go that they have the gas canisters...they can 'run out'.

Some people use oven bags (for chicken etc) as odour proof bags. The silicon bags can be eaten through.. Even canvas bags can be eaten through (person experience - slept through it). Most hang their bags up. So.. it is the food and rubbish in their own bags. Inside an odour proof bag (ok, I'll have 2, one for food the other for rubbish). Then inside a sil bag that gets hung up with 1 metre of slippery line vertically free so a possum will fall off it.

Tent platforms have methods of attaching your tent ... they just may not be in the right places. You'll be able to use some of them. I'd take the cup hooks as you can get them now and not be stressed.

Tasmania: water every where. One description.

I'd plan on 2 nights in Pelion .. to do side walks.. see how you go. If he is keen at Waterfall Hut send him up Barn Bluff. there will probably be others going too. You can watch from below with your feet up. :wink:
User avatar
Warin
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 743
Joined: Sat 11 Nov, 2017 8:02 am
Region: New South Wales

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby bobcrusader » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 5:57 pm

1. The 67mm ones are fine - I used them Jan 2018. But a couple of cup holder/screw in pegs are also handy. You kind of need a combo of both.
2. Possums might not be able to get into your tough/double-bagged food bag, but if they smell food, they will tear your tent to shreds trying to get to it. I don't have a great solution away from the huts, but hang your food in the huts when you can.
3. The little store are Cradle Mountain sells stoves, but call ahead to make sure they have yours in stock.
4. There is water almost everywhere with the following exceptions: the first day up Marion's is dry once past Ronny Creek/Lake Lilla until the plateau; there might be a trickle of water as you head up Mt Ossa, but don't rely on it; and then from Ossa to Kio Ora Hut its a bit dry.
bobcrusader
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 11:30 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby peregrinator » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 6:19 pm

bobcrusader wrote:edit
2. Possums might not be able to get into your tough/double-bagged food bag, but if they smell food, they will tear your tent to shreds trying to get to it.
edit


Just wondering whether this applies only to an uninhabited tent (i.e. food left while walkers do a side-trip) or whether an occupied tent at night is safe.
peregrinator
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 2:50 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby north-north-west » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 8:02 pm

peregrinator wrote:Just wondering whether this applies only to an uninhabited tent (i.e. food left while walkers do a side-trip) or whether an occupied tent at night is safe.


Possums (and antechinus) couldn''t care less if there was a full-blown orgy going on inside the tent. If they think there's a chance at getting some food, they'll try it.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
User avatar
north-north-west
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 11774
Joined: Thu 14 May, 2009 7:36 pm
Location: The Asylum
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Region: Tasmania

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby peregrinator » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 9:01 pm

north-north-west wrote:
peregrinator wrote:Just wondering whether this applies only to an uninhabited tent (i.e. food left while walkers do a side-trip) or whether an occupied tent at night is safe.


Possums (and antechinus) couldn''t care less if there was a full-blown orgy going on inside the tent. If they think there's a chance at getting some food, they'll try it.


OK, I get it. Possum behaviour, that is. Won't go into the other stuff here.

Therefore a follow up question. Is this problem only an issue in Tasmania, or can it happen elsewhere? I've not experienced anything like it on numerous trips in Vic, SA, NSW. (But I suppose my suburban backyard in Melbourne might be one place I could begin an experiment. Not that I really want to sleep on brick paving.)
peregrinator
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 2:50 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Tortoise » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 9:25 pm

peregrinator wrote:Therefore a follow up question. Is this problem only an issue in Tasmania, or can it happen elsewhere? I've not experienced anything like it on numerous trips in Vic, SA, NSW. (But I suppose my suburban backyard in Melbourne might be one place I could begin an experiment. Not that I really want to sleep on brick paving.)

I had a large rat eat through the zip of my tent north of the Hawkesbury, at a campsite frequented by scouts at other times. Woke me up (and a young 'un, to whom I still haven't told the whole story) before it got any food, which would have been at least triple bagged. Didn't sleep much after that.

At Blue Waterholes, there was another group camping near us. They had screw-top barrels to store all their food overnight. When one teenager had their food eaten, they claimed that a kangaroo had undone the twist-top. Would have enjoyed seeing that.
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Warin » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 9:32 pm

peregrinator wrote:Is this problem only an issue in Tasmania, or can it happen elsewhere?


Oh it happens elsewhere.
Queensland,tassie and NT for me. Start practising now before they take your breakfast and lunch ... These were all well used sites with frequent campers.
I'm not counting the geese in WA, El Questro who demanded breakfast from me, were not given any... one of them hit me in my back with its head as they left. If you see them coming don't let any of them behind you, and use a big stick :evil:
User avatar
Warin
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 743
Joined: Sat 11 Nov, 2017 8:02 am
Region: New South Wales

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 17 Jan, 2019 9:37 pm

Ive also been lucky enough not to have anything eaten in nsw. The only time I had problems was at a site used by other bushwalkers on a frequent basis. I did hang my food that night and watched in amusement as a possum leaped and crash landed several times in a attempt to get the Sil food bag.

Offtrack in rarely used sites I haven't had problems. So while not a guarantee, it seems risk is minimised by avoiding popular areas/tracks.

Wont help on the overland though.. hanging the food bag is a good idea.
User avatar
wildwanderer
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Nuts » Fri 18 Jan, 2019 8:50 am

Around the Overland huts, keeping food away from the tent sides is good enough for possums.. so long as your'e the cleanish type and it's not a left over curry (I have seen them 'juice' food through several tent and pocket layers if they get the chance.. ain't silly / judge distance /effort needed)
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
Nuts
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8116
Joined: Sat 05 Apr, 2008 12:22 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Mark F » Fri 18 Jan, 2019 9:59 am

Hanging your food is by far the best solution, something I have done whenever near well used sites for some years. If the weather looks good I will often hang my pack as well. Thanks to wildwanderer for the idea, I have now made a 60cm length of stainless steel fishing trace (40kg breaking strain nylon coated) with swaged loops at both ends. The cable threads though a bottle cap and each end has a very small snap hook - so far under 20 grams complete with a collar to go around the cable to keep the smaller "rats" from getting to the food bag and keeping water from getting in the top although this is something I have not (yet) experienced. The screw cap is permanently attached with a small blob of silicone to keep the hole where the cable goes through waterproof while the top of the section of bottle can be removed if not needed saving 11 grams.

Critter deterent.jpg
Food suspension kit
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
User avatar
Mark F
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2079
Joined: Mon 19 Sep, 2011 8:14 pm
Region: Australian Capital Territory
Gender: Male

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby ChrisJHC » Fri 18 Jan, 2019 1:40 pm

Anywhere there are regular campers the local animals will be trained that there is easy food available.

I was sleeping in my hammock one night with my food in my pack underneath me. A possum tried to get in (luckily I woke up). Even shining lights at it, yelling and so on did nothing more than make it look up for a second before continuing.

When I eventually got it to move, it only went about 2m and sat there with a “what are you going to do now” look on its face!

I now hang my food anytime I’m in a popular camping spot.
ChrisJHC
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat 25 Feb, 2017 8:22 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby peregrinator » Fri 18 Jan, 2019 2:05 pm

Warin wrote:
peregrinator wrote:Is this problem only an issue in Tasmania, or can it happen elsewhere?


Oh it happens elsewhere.
Queensland,tassie and NT for me. Start practising now before they take your breakfast and lunch ... These were all well used sites with frequent campers.

edit



Now I begin to understand how I've avoided animal assaults so far. All of the latest posts have referred to popular campsites. I make a point of not using any of these.
peregrinator
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 2:50 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby emma_melbourne » Sat 19 Jan, 2019 5:16 pm

1. I had both the Aliexpress tent anchors, AND Bunnings cup hooks. I personally found the cup hooks better. I understand it's better to "leave no trace", but I found the Aliexpress tent anchors weren't long enough in some cases, and they easily fell through the grooves if setting up late and fatigued (Bert Nicholls hut) and dropped into an awkward spot underneath the deck which was on a bit of a cliff edge drop and impossible to recover, so they were worse (for me with user error) than the cup hooks. I used natural cracks to put in a cup hook and typically was able to mostly use the chains but occasionally where one didn't line up well or being used by the other tent on the same platform I'd use 1 cup hook, or 2 cup hooks. They worked great, and you couldn't see where I'd been unless you had a magnifying glass. So if I did it again, I'd take 6 cup hooks.

2. I think 2 rest days is a lot, personally, as you have some days which are only 3.5 hours long walk anyway. If I were going to plan a rest day, I'd choose to do it at Pelion hut. Why? It's a modern and larger hut, and it's got good day walk options from there such as to climb Mt Oakleigh, etc. So it gives you options to totally chill out all day, or do a little day hike if you want to. And it's about half-way "ish" along the track, so it kind of makes sense from a variety of logic. I personally would die of boredom with 2 rest days, but each to their own. I think 1 rest day makes more sense.

There's less places for "dispersed camping" than what you'd think. The landscape and bush and slopes and mud don't provide heaps of options to just stop wherever you want to camp. And indeed it's part of the reason there are so many platforms for camping is not only to avoid damage to the landscape but also to provide a flat place for tents to camp where there in many cases wouldn't otherwise be anywhere.

There is a place to camp at "Frog Flats" which is an hour or so before Pelion Hut. I can't recall exactly how long the walk is so don't quote me on that, but it's when you come down the climb through forest and cross the creek, it's the rare flat patch directly to your left. However no-one camped their that night to my knowledge as it was full of mosquitos and there are no ammenities there obviously. (eg No toilet, no grease trap, etc.)

3. Regards water, it's only on Day 1 that there's a longer stretch without water. Every other day on the Overland Track there is constantly water sources, as well as being water at the huts. I had capacity to store up to 4 Litres, but I only usually filled 1.5 Litres each day to drink. I don't think you really need to plan it out too much as you regularly come across water, and when you do I suggest drinking as much as you want while you're there - so you're carrying less, and then fill up the quantity you personally like to carry. For me, that was 1.5 Litres, but everyone's different in how much they might want on them.

4. I had the same conundrum only worse because I was hiking out on Christmas Day. So I did a "mission" around Launceston to get gas canisters. Anaconda has them. Paddy Palin has them. (And there's likely others but those I know for sure have them). However all my running around to get gas canisters, it turned out that both my transport company had them. (Overland Track Transport did my transfer, and they have them for sale and you can pre-order them.) And the actual Visitor Centre at Cradle Mountain sells the gas canisters. (The place where you pick up your Overland Track pass) That Visitor Centre was way more set up than I imagined, and it sells for example gloves, hats, rain gear, fleece jackets, pack liners, and a large percentage of the things you could need - or possibly an item you forgot. They had a lot of gas cylinders there for sale.

Hope this helps.

Emma
User avatar
emma_melbourne
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun 18 Jun, 2017 2:49 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby emma_melbourne » Sat 19 Jan, 2019 5:28 pm

Oh and on the issue of critters...

I had a Minor Critter Bag which is made of Kevlar (the stuff they use in bullet proof vests), and inside that my food was in a large Ursack Opsak bag which is a special "odour-proof" bag (commonly used by drug traffickers), with each day's food in its own zip lock with day name on it so I had my food rationed and it meant I didn't need to use as much brain power at night having to think as it was all labelled.

It's a two-layer system which works because the Opsak anti-odour bag STOPS SMELLS, which is what attracts the animals in the first place. Then the Minor Critter bag HELPS STOP TEETH getting through the exterior bullet-proof fabric bag.

LINKS:
Minor Critter bag: https://www.ursack.com/product/ursack-minor/
Opsak: https://www.ursack.com/product/opsak-od ... ag-2-pack/ and Massdrop also do drops on these Opsak bags from time-to-time.

As their website didn't offer Australia postage, I placed an order on their website and it only allowed USA, so I contacted them and they invoiced me separately for the extra postage to Australia which worked fine. It was quite a bit of money all-up, but I felt like it was an investment that I'd use again and again. And I'm happy with it.

This system worked well. I didn't have any food eaten or any holes in my bag.

However I also put my pack in the huts every night that it was an option to do so.

Everyone that didn't put their bag in the main hut, had their bag eaten into by animals. One person had a hole in their backpack hip pocket from an animal getting into their pocket where they had a snack. They'd left their bag hanging up outside of the hut, in the entrance corridor kind of area of Kia Ora hut. I heard stories of other people having a hole eaten in their tent as they'd had food in their tent.

So definitely animals are an issue. There's talk of putting in metal pack holder bins at all the huts in the future, the same as is currently at Echo Point, which are animal proof. However currently that's just an idea / pipe-dream.
User avatar
emma_melbourne
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun 18 Jun, 2017 2:49 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: MORE questions: platform tent anchors, protecting food f

Postby Snooze » Tue 22 Jan, 2019 2:56 pm

fishbone.PNG
No fishbone anchors :(
fishbone.PNG (70.52 KiB) Viewed 3614 times
Snooze
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue 05 Jun, 2018 3:20 pm
Region: New South Wales


Return to Overland Track and Cradle Mountain

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests