Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Tue 23 Apr, 2019 7:38 pm

Hi Folks. An old bushwalker could use some advice. I have been bushwalking more than 40 years but it has generally been 2/3/4 day walks in the Blue Mountains/Budawangs/SE Queensland. Now I have been invited to join friends to do the Overland track in Tasmania, probably in October this year, and I must confess it’s got me scratching my head. I have read the blogs, taken in as much info as I can but would appreciate some advice on a couple of points.

1. If I was walking in NSW in October, it would generally be nice Spring weather with the odd day’s throwback to Winter. Is Tassie the same, or more the other way around ie Winter weather with the odd look forward to summer?

2. In the interest of getting a lighter tent (and being a cheapskate) I bought a Naturehike Cloud up 2. It weighs 1500 g which I thought was reasonable, except the floor is so thin you really do have to get the 240g footprint as well. BUT . . I cannot use this tent. The walls sag inwards and the whole thing gives me a claustrophobia panic attack just thinking about it. I need a bigger but still light tent. The Tarptent Scarp 2 would probably do except it doesn’t seem to be available any more. Any suggestions for an alternative? I like dome tents and don’t use trekking poles, but am open to suggestions.

3. Was talking to a workmate who is originally from Tassie. He reckons he got giardia from the tanks on the track, but that water along the track is generally safe. Does that co-incide with other’s experience?

Thanking you in advance.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 8:00 am

Gday Johnno

1. This topic should sort you out re the weather in October http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=729
There is also a nice graph here http://blog.tasmanianexpeditions.com.au ... r-climate/

2. Are you sharing the tent with another person? as for solo use the cloud up looks fairly big. Re the sag. Are you sure your setting it/guying it out correctly? Quick google has this video showing the expected interior room of the cloud up 2. https://youtu.be/4j3Q0Mfkhn4?t=333
Are you expecting to use tent platforms? If so you may not need that footprint. (will let others comment on how rough the platforms are.) If your planning to use huts and the tent is just for emergencies.. id not worry about the interior space or the footprint.

3. Alot of traffic along the overland some people bring sickness with them. Your mate likely got giardia from a door knob exiting the toilets/main hut etc rather than a water tank. Doesnt hurt to bring some water purification tablets incase your concerned. Most important thing is good hand hygene. use soap/antibacterial gel before you touch your face. My general rule on water is clear running side streams with no human habitation or tracks/camping spots in the upstream catchment are usually* fine to drink untreated. everything else I drop in a tablet. I used to use water filters but found it took to long.

have a great trip.

*exceptions include areas with farm animals upstream or areas where old mines have caused heavy metal contamination.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby crollsurf » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 10:17 am

Hi Johno
Just so you know, the OLT track wise is similar to the Corang Loop in the Budawangs, wetter and a bit harder in places but if you can walk The Castle/Monolith Valley area no worries you'll find the OLT a walk in the park. So long as the weather cooperates.

1. From my limited experience, the weather down there changes very quickly. Can be a nice day and turn into a semi-blizzard in short time so be preapared for the worst.
2. Platforms work really well so your old tent will be fine. As mentioned the thin floor wont be a problem even with a hole in it, as the water will drip down through the cracks on the platform. You can always escape into one of the huts but yeah, always nice getting a new tent. 3 season will be fine just depends on budget. TT Aeon is a good $$$ choice, the Massdrop Dan Dustan Mid is the talk of the town ATM for a $$ tent. Each to there own but tent sharing is for young people, not cranky old men like me ;)
3. I filter through habit and filtered all my water using a Katadyn BeFree which I would recommend. Others didn't use anything and were fine so your call really but the Befree is so easy to use, costs nothing in effort for peice of mind.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby weeds » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 12:50 pm

1. We did the walk in December 2 or 3 years ago and it snowed, best to plan for all seasons.

2. We used tent platforms every night, we carried ground sheet but didn’t use. Brass cup hooks are damn handy. We used a one planet goondie, no poles required.

3. We drank water from creeks and tanks and didn’t treat.


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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby weeds » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 12:58 pm

1. We did the walk in December 2 or 3 years ago and it snowed, best to plan for all seasons.

2. We used tent platforms every night, we carried ground sheet but didn’t use. Brass cup hooks are damn handy. We used a one planet goondie, no poles required.

3. We drank water from creeks and tanks and didn’t treat.


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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 3:09 pm

Cheers Weeds - will definitely take some cup hooks. I like the look of the Goondies too, will need to try and see one in the flesh.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 3:17 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Gday Johnno

1. This topic should sort you out re the weather in October viewtopic.php?t=729
There is also a nice graph here http://blog.tasmanianexpeditions.com.au ... r-climate/

2. Are you sharing the tent with another person? as for solo use the cloud up looks fairly big. Re the sag. Are you sure your setting it/guying it out correctly? Quick google has this video showing the expected interior room of the cloud up 2. https://youtu.be/4j3Q0Mfkhn4?t=333
Are you expecting to use tent platforms? If so you may not need that footprint. (will let others comment on how rough the platforms are.) If your planning to use huts and the tent is just for emergencies.. id not worry about the interior space or the footprint.

3. Alot of traffic along the overland some people bring sickness with them. Your mate likely got giardia from a door knob exiting the toilets/main hut etc rather than a water tank. Doesnt hurt to bring some water purification tablets incase your concerned. Most important thing is good hand hygene. use soap/antibacterial gel before you touch your face. My general rule on water is clear running side streams with no human habitation or tracks/camping spots in the upstream catchment are usually* fine to drink untreated. everything else I drop in a tablet. I used to use water filters but found it took to long.

have a great trip.

*exceptions include areas with farm animals upstream or areas where old mines have caused heavy metal contamination.


Thanks WW for the quick response, and the links. Part of me will be disappointed now if I don't get some bad weather!

Re the tent, the floor space is adequate, but without a spacer bar (like big agnes/mont/many others) the sides just flop inwards. I might have a crack at making some modifications to improve the tent.

Will definitely take tablets, but you have made me paranoid about door knobs.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 3:21 pm

crollsurf wrote:Hi Johno
Just so you know, the OLT track wise is similar to the Corang Loop in the Budawangs, wetter and a bit harder in places but if you can walk The Castle/Monolith Valley area no worries you'll find the OLT a walk in the park. So long as the weather cooperates.

1. From my limited experience, the weather down there changes very quickly. Can be a nice day and turn into a semi-blizzard in short time so be preapared for the worst.
2. Platforms work really well so your old tent will be fine. As mentioned the thin floor wont be a problem even with a hole in it, as the water will drip down through the cracks on the platform. You can always escape into one of the huts but yeah, always nice getting a new tent. 3 season will be fine just depends on budget. TT Aeon is a good $$$ choice, the Massdrop Dan Dustan Mid is the talk of the town ATM for a $$ tent. Each to there own but tent sharing is for young people, not cranky old men like me ;)
3. I filter through habit and filtered all my water using a Katadyn BeFree which I would recommend. Others didn't use anything and were fine so your call really but the Befree is so easy to use, costs nothing in effort for peice of mind.


Thanks Crollsurf.

Saw that Massdrop Dan Durston, but have bought stuff from Massdrop before and you can never tell when you will actually get it. Will have a look at the TT aeon.

Will also check out the befree, I have a katydin pump filter thingy but don't want to take it because it's relatively heavy, a pain to use and the suction pipe has been known to freeze in cold weather.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby weeds » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 6:03 pm

JohnnoMcJohnno wrote:Cheers Weeds - will definitely take some cup hooks. I like the look of the Goondies too, will need to try and see one in the flesh.


If you were in Brisbane you’d be more than welcome to come and look.....I don’t even have any planned work trips to Sydney.

The only problem is you probably won’t find one in a shop to look at.


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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby north-north-west » Wed 24 Apr, 2019 6:45 pm

If you like Tarptent designs, you could get the Double Rainbow - it doesn't need trekking poles unless you want to set it up without pegging. 1.2kg, which is even lighter than the Scarp2.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby matagi » Thu 25 Apr, 2019 9:46 am

Hi Johnno,

as far as weather goes - plan for anything. Hubby and I did the OLT in the first week of November last year, so a few weeks later than your planned start and I would describe the conditions as less than pleasant. Day 1 weather was brutal. I believe Parks were advising people who checked in after lunch not to go and Cradle Mountain Huts (commercial group) cancelled their walk. We were blasted by high winds on Day 1 and at one point were seriously considering turning back. Days 2-4 it rained, so wasn't cold but with the resulting mist it meant you couldn't see anything from any of the scenic outlooks along the way. End of Day 5, coming in to Bert Nichols/Windy Ridge we had snow. We used the huts at Waterfall Valley, Pelion and Windy Ridge and camped at Windemere and Kia Ora. Fortunately for us, the rain held off until we had our tents pitched. Cup hooks highly recommended for the platforms.

If you get claustrophobic in tents, can I suggest you consider a Black Diamond Mega Light? Not cheap by any means, it has its own carbon fibre pole but you can use two walking poles and a joiner to erect, and you wouldn't have to worry about the walls closing in on you. This is my husband's preferred snow camping tent. On our OLT trip it was our kitchen tent and we slept in a Hilleberg Anjan 3, which I guess is another tent you should consider although again, not cheap.

Water - we've never had problems with water and have filled from the tanks, rivers and creeks along the way on this occasion and previous walks. Be ultra paranoid about hygiene. Avoid touching surfaces such as tap handles and door handles (hand sanitiser is your friend) and also about where you put down things such as eating and cooking utensils and you should avoid any nasty gastrointestinal surprises.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Thu 25 Apr, 2019 11:02 am

With reference to wanting a Scarp 2, one has just come up on this website’s marketplace for sale.

WRT to weather, I’ve been on the OLT in mid Feb and have been snowed on. Spring is the most unpredictable and changeable time of year in Tasmania. Expect and prepare for sub zero overnight temperatures and the possibility of rain/wind/ice/snow for your entire walk. That way if you get a couple of clear days it will be a nice surprise.

SAH
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Thu 25 Apr, 2019 6:41 pm

north-north-west wrote:If you like Tarptent designs, you could get the Double Rainbow - it doesn't need trekking poles unless you want to set it up without pegging. 1.2kg, which is even lighter than the Scarp2.


Thanks north-north-west, you're right that Double Rainbow doesn't look too bad. Not sure about the single skin, will peruse the blogs once more.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Thu 25 Apr, 2019 6:47 pm

matagi wrote:Hi Johnno,

as far as weather goes - plan for anything. Hubby and I did the OLT in the first week of November last year, so a few weeks later than your planned start and I would describe the conditions as less than pleasant. Day 1 weather was brutal. I believe Parks were advising people who checked in after lunch not to go and Cradle Mountain Huts (commercial group) cancelled their walk. We were blasted by high winds on Day 1 and at one point were seriously considering turning back. Days 2-4 it rained, so wasn't cold but with the resulting mist it meant you couldn't see anything from any of the scenic outlooks along the way. End of Day 5, coming in to Bert Nichols/Windy Ridge we had snow. We used the huts at Waterfall Valley, Pelion and Windy Ridge and camped at Windemere and Kia Ora. Fortunately for us, the rain held off until we had our tents pitched. Cup hooks highly recommended for the platforms.

If you get claustrophobic in tents, can I suggest you consider a Black Diamond Mega Light? Not cheap by any means, it has its own carbon fibre pole but you can use two walking poles and a joiner to erect, and you wouldn't have to worry about the walls closing in on you. This is my husband's preferred snow camping tent. On our OLT trip it was our kitchen tent and we slept in a Hilleberg Anjan 3, which I guess is another tent you should consider although again, not cheap.

Water - we've never had problems with water and have filled from the tanks, rivers and creeks along the way on this occasion and previous walks. Be ultra paranoid about hygiene. Avoid touching surfaces such as tap handles and door handles (hand sanitiser is your friend) and also about where you put down things such as eating and cooking utensils and you should avoid any nasty gastrointestinal surprises.


Thanks Matagi, that sounds like an epic trip. Black Diamond looks very un-claustrophobic, which is exactly what I need. I hadn't thought about a teepee/pyramid type tent but that is worth considering. Good too if you need a group shelter at lunchtime. Anjan looks good too, I always thought Hilleberg only made bullet proof tents but that one is quite light.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Fri 26 Apr, 2019 6:58 pm

South_Aussie_Hiker wrote:With reference to wanting a Scarp 2, one has just come up on this website’s marketplace for sale.

WRT to weather, I’ve been on the OLT in mid Feb and have been snowed on. Spring is the most unpredictable and changeable time of year in Tasmania. Expect and prepare for sub zero overnight temperatures and the possibility of rain/wind/ice/snow for your entire walk. That way if you get a couple of clear days it will be a nice surprise.

SAH


Well spotted SAH, I have taken the plunge and bought it. Thankyou for pointing it out, I didn't even know there was a marketplace here.
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Re: Tassie advice for old bushwalker

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Fri 26 Apr, 2019 7:02 pm

Thankyou everyone for the encouragement and good advice. I have bought the Scarp2 that SA Hiker kindly pointed out was for sale. I have a couple of bushwalks planned between now and October to try it out so we'll see how it goes. If it doesn't work out, well I now have several other good suggestions I can try if need be. Thanks again.
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