Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

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.

Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby flatfoot » Wed 19 May, 2010 8:21 pm

I thought it would be great if there was a thread that surveyed the range of pack weights for this trip. The replies will hopefully help people plan their own trips with consideration of the experience of others.

For each trip where you have memory of your pack weight, please post:

- trip duration (number of days on track)
- time of year (month you started the trip)
- weight of pack in kgs

If you were sharing gear with others ... what was the average pack weight in your party?

Please post your specific thoughts relating to the weight you carried - maybe you had too much or not enough gear - if so what?

What would you have done to improve your pack weight with the benefit of hindsight?

If you know the total weight of the food you carried on the trip, that would be useful information also.

You may have observed the packs of others and particularly noticed really poor planning or clever ideas of others.

Looking forward to some good info and perhaps some horror stories as well. :mrgreen:
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby samh » Wed 19 May, 2010 9:43 pm

trip duration: 6 days (food for 7)
time of year: june
weight of pack(s): PERSON 1: 22kg
PERSON 2: 12kg
Total: 34Kg
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Rod » Thu 20 May, 2010 10:24 am

First significant walk taken during Uni days in 1989.I had no idea and was solo!!
Met many great people along the way.
Pack weight was 28 kg.
Trip done in 9 days incl many side trips.
Weight included tins of 'Braised steak and veges' and (No I'm not kidding..)
a dolphin torch....
Had an absolute ball! :D
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Joel » Thu 20 May, 2010 5:37 pm

a dolphin torch....


That is aweseome mate.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Steve73 » Thu 27 May, 2010 10:35 am

Probably also useful to state the weight of the person carrying the weight, if that makes sense.

My wife and I did it in May last year over 5 days.

I carried 25kg (I weigh 75kg) and my wife carried 12kg (she weighs 50kg).

I carried the tent and we both had food for 7 days.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby flatfoot » Thu 27 May, 2010 12:35 pm

Steve73 wrote:Probably also useful to state the weight of the person carrying the weight, if that makes sense.


It would also be useful to state the weight of the people after the trip. Presumably after 80+ km (assuming additional side trips), you'd loose some weight along the way with all the calories that would be burnt.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 27 May, 2010 12:51 pm

flatfoot wrote:
Steve73 wrote:Probably also useful to state the weight of the person carrying the weight, if that makes sense.


It would also be useful to state the weight of the people after the trip. Presumably after 80+ km (assuming additional side trips), you'd loose some weight along the way with all the calories that would be burnt.


Actually, I tend to gain weight when bushwalking. I'm a skinny runt with no fat to burn, and generally very unfit with not much muscle either. The walking puts on a little extra muscle, and increases my overall weight.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby cixelsyd » Thu 27 May, 2010 5:26 pm

I recently did the Walls -> Never Never -> Windy Ridge to Narcissus with my wife

8 days

My weight 82 kg
My pack weight 24 kg.

Note this is the heaviest my pack has ever been. I have a curved spine and for weeks after I was waking up with a crook back.
I think 21kg is the heaviest I can do without back pain.

hope this helps.
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Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby flatfoot » Thu 27 May, 2010 7:11 pm

I've just spent the last 2.5 years losing 34 kilos. I still need to lose a little weight but I'm well past the half-way point.

I'm hoping that because of the weight I carried for years, my body will be "tuned" to carrying a multi-day pack again. I will try to be conservative in terms of the equipment I take.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby jocielou » Fri 28 May, 2010 1:44 pm

I walked the track in November 2009 - my first solo hike and first overnight hike in Tas (now planning many more including NZ in Dec)

Went for 7 days with food for 8
Pack weight - 18kg
My weight - 60 kg

Would definitely recommended this as safe solo walk for people... with the usual caveat that they have their head screwed on and know how to prepare.
Best bit of gear that I took was a pack of cards - really creates a fun atmosphere in the huts.

cheers,
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Taurë-rana » Sat 29 May, 2010 7:41 pm

samh wrote:trip duration: 6 days (food for 7)
time of year: june
weight of pack(s): PERSON 1: 22kg
PERSON 2: 12kg
Total: 34Kg

and
Steve73 wrote:
My wife and I did it in May last year over 5 days.

I carried 25kg (I weigh 75kg) and my wife carried 12kg (she weighs 50kg).



Sounds like there are some lucky women out there, and some good blokes. I reckon if I only had to carry 12 kg I could run all the way! (I weigh 50kg).
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby enduro » Sun 30 May, 2010 8:37 pm

Well, I haven't been yet and I have pre weighed all my gear and intend on my total pack weight to be 17kg. This includes a 1.4kg Tent, Bivy Bag and 2.3kg of camera gear.

I weigh 85kg and have some very dodgy knees.

I will be travelling in late Spring.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Biggles » Sat 12 Jun, 2010 1:19 pm

Like many others, I'm fascinated by how "the others" do it!
My stats:
• 56.2kg
• 17.605kg pack weight for 4 day walks
• 13.2kg for quick overnight walks (usually reccés, not with big camera, but small digi)
• 1.270kg tripod (comes on reccés)
• 2.32kg camera ('Brutus'!)

Other bits: I am an ultra-stable/fit long-term renal transplant recipient (10.3.1977—one of Australia's longest). I look about 25, but I'm about to turn 50 (!) :shock: . Not really endowed to a heavy load and 21kg would seem to be the limit before I get back pain. At the end of a day's walking I swear the pack is heavier, but I also swear that's what other walkers think, too! :D . One problem I carefully monitor is lateral ileotibial band syndrome on both knees and wear lateral sports braces to prevent 'flaring' (which can be debilitating); can flare up with unnatural, twisting, pounding, rolling foot or other "tricks". Trekking poles valuable. I have more muscle tone than fat (have been a road/MTB cyclist ever since transplant), so I stock up on nuts, jelly babies, dark chocky, cup-a-soups and cashews, with an energy food intake before a walk (Sustagen, Horlicks malt extract and maybe an egg nog), lots of scroggin during and a mega-feed the night before a long or arduous walk. I'm still around! :lol: Will be planning a solo Overland Track walk in late November (to fotygraf the scoparia at Pelion Gap) and if that's OK, another one in autumn to fotygraf the fagus in Waterfall Valley.

I gave up overnight walking and ski touring 20 years ago to concentrate on cycling (also how the knees became so wonky!). I had successfully summited Mount Bogong in Victoria twice in that era. So at this time, with the benefit of vastly more advanced equipment, better materials and awareness of weight and its impact on walking, I consider myself on L-plates, joining experienced friends on progressively more adventurous walks (such as this weekend's to the snow, but mind you, only for one night in the freezer!! :( ). I have some solo walks lined up from mid-August with progressively more days to around 7-8. Experience is a wonderful teacher, and all that experience will come in handy in planning for the Overland Track.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Liamy77 » Sat 12 Jun, 2010 2:40 pm

just a quick question - are you folks carrying and including any water in these figures?
or just filling up at camps n creeks etc?
at a kilo per liter i usually carry one or two litres on me if there is water at campsites?
cant remember what my pack weighed last time i walked the OT... think it was just under 20kg with two liters of water... partner carried a few kilo less(14-15 kg ish). went for 7 days packed for 10 and did a heap of side track exploring....
cheers
Last edited by Liamy77 on Mon 14 Jun, 2010 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Biggles » Sat 12 Jun, 2010 3:15 pm

1.25L water in pack. That's about 1.16kg last time I weighed it.
In summer, I increase the capacity to 2L and use PLATYPUS flasks in streams/creeks/waterfalls for a jolly good drinking session (of water, I mean! :lol: ). I am not sure if it is safe to drink from tarns/lakes on the OT; I seem to recall reading in one of John Chapman's books that this was not a good idea. But creeks, streams, waterfalls, no doubt OK; if in doubt, treat the stuff.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Lindsay » Mon 14 Jun, 2010 2:55 pm

Its been a while since my one and only OT walk but as far as I can recall:

Me 110kg (at the time)
Pack 18 kg incl. 750 ml water bottle.
Food for 7 days, took 6 to complete.
Time of year - late October.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Steve73 » Fri 18 Jun, 2010 3:20 pm

Liamy77 wrote:just a quick question - are you folks carrying and including any water in these figures?
or just filling up at camps n creeks etc?
at a kilo per liter i usually carry one or two litres on me if there is water at campsites?
cant remember what my pack weighed last time i walked the OT... think it was just under 20kg with two liters of water... partner carried a few kilo less(14-15 kg ish). went for 7 days packed for 10 and did a heap of side track exploring....
cheers


I only carried 1 litre at a time and just filled up along the way from streams/lakes and had no problems with the water. If you're a little paranoid just take some purification tablets but I really don't think they're needed, especially if hiking the track at this time of the year with not many people around.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby tasadam » Sat 19 Jun, 2010 12:49 pm

[pedantic alert]
Biggles wrote:1.25L water in pack. That's about 1.16kg last time I weighed it.
Better get some new scales or a more accurately marked water container, assuming it's pure, water is exactly 1KG per litre (at 4 degrees celcius).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water
On 7 April 1795, the gram was defined in France to be equal to "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to a cube of one hundredth of a meter
[end pedantic alert]
There's some really interesting facts on water here.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby RPN » Sat 19 Jun, 2010 2:16 pm

Solo walk late April 2009, pack weight of approx 19kg including 0.5l water, food for 9 days, walked 8. Never carried more than 0.5l of water, plenty available along the way without treating.

Will either leave tent behind next time or replace the Macpac Stellar (2.4kg) with a tarptent.

From memory I had about 7kg of food, bodyweight started at 71kg, finished at 72.5kg....ate like a king!
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Biggles » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 10:17 am

I am unsure if the Overland Track can be summarily treated like e.g. New Zealand's Heaphy Track where a tent needs not be packed and you walk from one hut to the next easily. Points are made all the time that the OT huts are there for emergency use but many people I speak to say it's easy to leave the tent at home and stay in the huts. Erring on the side of safety I'm much inclined to take my mini MONT rather than assume there will be "space for one more" in any of the huts, irrespective of how large. It adds weight of course. But it is also a safety factor. And no tent means no O'N side excursions e.g. Lake Will or Pine Valley. What is the opinion of Tassie walkers who have walked the OT several times and have a good idea of the situation?
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby whiskeylover » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 5:15 pm

It is wise to always take something that could protect you from the elements in case of emergency, i.e. even just a light tarp that could be made into an uncomfortable but life saving bivvy if necessary. And doubles as a shelter in adverse weather for lunch and such. But yes, the huts do get crowded and/or you might find yourself keeping pace with a group that has a snorer, sleep walker, small bladder (gets up every hour person) etc., that keeps you awake, so I would suggest it would be worth taking a small tent of some description even if you intend using the huts, just in case. Winter, less crowded huts most of the time, but more and more people are choosing to walk in winter to avoid the crowds, and you definitely need to take a tent as you may not make it to the next hut - you may unexpectedly get heavy snow, thick, slippery ice, or an injury.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby tasadam » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 6:08 pm

whiskeylover wrote:......and you definitely need to take a tent as you may not make it to the next hut - you may unexpectedly get heavy snow, thick, slippery ice, or an injury.

Exactly!
Fatigued, lost, hut burnt down... You never know.
My opinion is you need to be self sufficient.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Biggles » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 9:55 am

And I am in agreement with the responses. Not the same in NZ where people are actually booked into the huts along the route. So I'll be taking my Mont Moondance 1 with me. I reckon I'll aim for about 19kg with 6kg of food.

Anybody got an idea of what the southern end of the OT is like from 29th August (NW or Narcissus Hut to Pine Valley)? Recent walks here in Victoria around Mount Clear (S of Mount Buller) had me fearing for life as I entered a section of track that gets no sun and it had turned into an ice-skating rink!! It was my first exposure to a completely iced-over track and a major struggle to stay upright. :lol:
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Bap » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 10:13 am

I don't think you would have any problems with ice on the track, it is quite sheltered in the valleys around there. I went last year in early september and the track was quite dry.
It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is much better at the top.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Biggles » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 10:27 am

Excellent. But, a sheltered area is where I found all that ice, which was very surprising. The value of trekking poles has been well-proven in allowing me to carefully side-step down that 1.4km section. BTW, that 1-night camp I joined was a 13kg pack weight (with alpine kit), but only the digimon came with me.

My end-August Narcissus Hut to Pine Valley ramble will be a leisurely, laid-back base camp so I can wander around with 'Brutus' and hopefully do a day walk to Lake Elysia. Could be back in Tassie each month all the way up to March when the OT in full should beckon. :D
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby north-north-west » Mon 05 Jul, 2010 6:48 pm

Biggles wrote: Recent walks here in Victoria around Mount Clear (S of Mount Buller) had me fearing for life as I entered a section of track that gets no sun and it had turned into an ice-skating rink!! It was my first exposure to a completely iced-over track and a major struggle to stay upright. :lol:

Since the June long weekend? Exactly where were you walking, and how did you get in?
I'm heading out that way as soon as I get a day off (note that I don't even speculate on the possibility of a full weekend off . . . ) to have a go at MacDonald while it's under snow, and would like to get up near Clear as well.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Biggles » Wed 07 Jul, 2010 9:21 am

north-north-west wrote:
Biggles wrote: Recent walks here in Victoria around Mount Clear (S of Mount Buller) had me fearing for life as I entered a section of track that gets no sun and it had turned into an ice-skating rink!! It was my first exposure to a completely iced-over track and a major struggle to stay upright. :lol:

Since the June long weekend? Exactly where were you walking, and how did you get in?
I'm heading out that way as soon as I get a day off (note that I don't even speculate on the possibility of a full weekend off . . . ) to have a go at MacDonald while it's under snow, and would like to get up near Clear as well.



Just to answer your question OT a bit, we went on the QB'day weekend. Mansfield-Sheepyard Flat-Brocks Road. Leave car in clearing beside Clear Creek — bridge out, only 4WDs with clearance can cross (and Brocks Road now closed until Thurs. after Melbourne Cup long weekend). Walk east 2.1km to Clear Creek Track and up and up and up for 8.9km to saddle below Mount Clear (water available 1km south of campsite along snowed-under track). Snow was at 800m level, patchy around camp. Doubtless under a heap of it at the moment. Campsite is flat and pleasant (and really cold; we built a campfire!!)), but not spectacular with good views north of Buller and The Bluff and Mount Clear looming nearby. Our party split 2-1 with 2 continuing the circuit from Mount Clear to High Cone and The Nobs but they lost the track, losing 1.2 hours, eventually turning up at the clearing where car was left as darkness fell. So if doing that circuit do it in longer daylight hours (circuit is a long and tedious — undefined tracks — 14km from saddle camp).

Mount McDonald best approached via Nobs Track (misnamed as Mount Clear Track on maps). Follow Brocks Road. Very steeply up to the helipad then grade lessens off, then a pleasant burble through the bush along the ridge to Mount McDonald. I too am planning an assault on Mount Mac at the spring thaw to catch the sunlit prow of The Bluff in evening light on camera, wildflowers too. No water available on summit. Northern approach is way shorter but believed to be extremely steep and rough.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby north-north-west » Wed 07 Jul, 2010 7:32 pm

Sounds like you did a reverse of some of my favourite route up there. The climb up Clear from that side must be a gut-buster.

I know the MacDonald north face quite well - done it five times so far, but never in winter. Am picking up a pair of crampons tomorrow, which should be enough to get me up - the snow doesn't get that far down, but it's bound to be icy.
It's not too bad, really; I've hauled a full pack up it twice. There are a few rock faces to negotiate but it's just a matter of choosing the correct side on which to dodge the worst bits. And the wildflowers are brilliant in late spring/early summer. Masses of yellow mountain lilies and sun orchids and all sorts of other things. A few shelves higher up that would be good overnight campsites, if you don't mind hauling water up. Perfect spots to watch the sunset. And sunrise.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Azza » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 12:53 pm

Biggles wrote:Anybody got an idea of what the southern end of the OT is like from 29th August (NW or Narcissus Hut to Pine Valley)? Recent walks here in Victoria around Mount Clear (S of Mount Buller) had me fearing for life as I entered a section of track that gets no sun and it had turned into an ice-skating rink!! It was my first exposure to a completely iced-over track and a major struggle to stay upright. :lol:


Narcissus to Pine Valley is too lower altitude to support an ice rink... you get frozen ponds and puddles but nothing too extreme.
Cetainly very unlikely to hold snow or icy up for an extended period down in the valley.

Up in the Labrinyth could be a slightly different story.
But by the time you start getting on into September the snow is turning to slush and melting anyway.

Ice wise the only time I've seen it dangerous in Tassie is on the slopes of Mt Ossa, particularly when you traverse along the side on the way up.
I've heard stories and seen people slide deliberately down there. Its actually pretty dangerous under certain conditions.

Pack weight wise.. 15-20kg is a pretty good range to aim for.
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Re: Overland Track - Pack Weight Mega-Survey Thread

Postby Erica » Fri 09 Jul, 2010 1:50 am

went through in july 2008 (i think) from sth to north and there was lots of snow/ice about (like mentioned, it mightn't be so cold in sept) but the places we found really icy were du cane gap and the slopey bit that has already been mentioned up ossa. up in the labyrinth it was more just deep snow and the lower sections of track didn't have much ice/snow on them at all.
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