Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice.

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice.

Postby hungryhiker » Sat 21 Dec, 2019 11:31 am

Hi,

I have experience hiking in Tasmania previously during Feb (Overland, short walls of Jerusalem trip) and a few others. My experience has improved since then in NZ and VIC. I have several hikes planned from late Jan-Feb. A walls of J 5 day circuit, the Overland again (focussing more on side trips and going to Pine Valley), the South Coast Track and Frenchmans Cap.

I wanted to update my gear and purchase the WM Apache MF (-9 more weather resistant fabric) or Versalite (-12) through Paddy Pallin before this trip but the shipment will not arrive until early-mid Feb. I wanted the bag to be flexible for colder camping in Winter here in Vic (probably not snow but definatley deal with a dusting).

I currently have a Western Mountaineering (WM) Summerlite which I have used down to around 2-3C comfortably with a light down and liner. I didnt wake during the night and was using a sea to sumit insulated UL mat (R=3.3). I've used this in Winter on the Great Ocean Walk, and in Tas in summer previously. On only one occasion have I felt cold (not super cold, not dangerous), woke up and added a layer etc, slowly warmed and went back to sleep). It got down to -2C.

I am mainly concerned about the Walls of J circut for warmth. The Overland and Frenchans have huts if its colder than 2C overnight, and I am assuming the temperatures for the south coast track to be a little more moderate in mid Feb (TasParks suggests a 0 bag for the trip). I've looked at record low temps (not averages) and it seems that a night lower than 2 is highly unlikely at this time of year. I've also looked at the summer climate forcast and its predicted to be above average temps in Feb in Tas.

I have a few options that I am considering because I wont be able to get the bag I want in time and considering the above conditions. I would appreciate everyones advice re: gear.

1. Purchase the WM Ultralite (-7) to be safe - not really the bag I want. I wanted a bit more flexibility in colder conditions then this one would allow - its an expensive purchase, I dont want to be wasting my money.

2. Purchase a different non WM bag or quilt - conditions would be 850g or less. I prefer a bag over a quilt (I like being a snug down worm). - suggestions?

3. Use the WM Summerlite (0C) and also upgrade my mat to a Thermarest Xtherm (R=5.7), purchase the bag I really want later. I've been considering upgrading my mat alongside the new bag purchase anyway and this would reduce the possibility of any heat loss to the ground when camping (Walls of J). I am leaning towards this but would appreciate any feedback whether this would be risky for Walls of J (27-31st Jan).

4. Hire warmer bag just for Walls of J if forcast is a bit erratic or snow/cold the week before etc. Otherwise go with Option 3.


Sorry about the LONG post but not being able to get my bag in time has thrown me off a bit in my planning.
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 7:17 am

I use an XTherm. I reckon they're brilliant - apart from the price. Just use your existing bag, and be prepared to add clothing layers, as before.

You may get a cold night and be not warm enough, but you're unlikely to be dangerously cold. Just won't get a great nights sleep. Chances are it will be plenty warm enough though, at that time of year.

As long as you a prepared enough to be safe if it's colder. I've had snow in the Walls in January and in February.

NB: You mention huts as though they would be a warmer option. In general, huts are colder than tents. Simply because they have a larger internal space. But of course it depends on the specific hut, the specific tent, and how many people are in each.
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby RonK » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 8:17 am

You would have to be a cold sleeper. A -9 degree bag was way too warm for me on the Overland Track in October weather.

I woke in the middle of the night in a lather of sweat, which then thoroughly chilled me.

I now have only a zero degree bag, and most often use it as a quilt.
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby hungryhiker » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 1:09 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:I use an XTherm. I reckon they're brilliant - apart from the price. Just use your existing bag, and be prepared to add clothing layers, as before.

You may get a cold night and be not warm enough, but you're unlikely to be dangerously cold. Just won't get a great nights sleep. Chances are it will be plenty warm enough though, at that time of year.

As long as you a prepared enough to be safe if it's colder. I've had snow in the Walls in January and in February.

NB: You mention huts as though they would be a warmer option. In general, huts are colder than tents. Simply because they have a larger internal space. But of course it depends on the specific hut, the specific tent, and how many people are in each.


Thanks for your reply. I am leaning towards going with an Xtherm to ensure I'm not loosing heat to the ground and layers and purchasing the bag I want for colder conditions later.

I realise it can snow in Jan and Feb in the Walls though - would you have an estimate of the temp when you were there? less than 0, -2 or colder? I think extended to a bit lower I would be fine, significantly lower -5 or so - yeh it would be uncomfortable.
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby hungryhiker » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 1:18 pm

RonK wrote:You would have to be a cold sleeper. A -9 degree bag was way too warm for me on the Overland Track in October weather.

I woke in the middle of the night in a lather of sweat, which then thoroughly chilled me.

I now have only a zero degree bag, and most often use it as a quilt.


How cold were the nights in Oct? Were you in a tent?

I wouldn't consider myself a cold sleeper, my bag is rated 0 for a male sleeper (I'm female) and I have used it at 2C comfortably.

My concern is getting a dumping of snow and being signicantly cold. I've had a sprinkling of snow at 0 in NZ and was fine, woke up once added beanie etc and another pair of socks - all good. I can deal with down to 0 or -2 probs, anything less though and I think the warmer bag would be the go.

I would use a warmer bag in conditions under 0, the -9 would probably sleep at around -6, -7 for me I expect fully closed up. Maybe it is overkill and I would be packing my fears though :lol:
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 2:53 pm

hungryhiker wrote:I realise it can snow in Jan and Feb in the Walls though - would you have an estimate of the temp when you were there? less than 0, -2 or colder? I think extended to a bit lower I would be fine, significantly lower -5 or so - yeh it would be uncomfortable.


Hard to estimate... but on the three occasions where I personally experienced Summer snow in the Walls it has been probably not much below zero. Twice it was during the middle of the day, and didn't settle on the ground at all, so was probably only -1 or maybe even +1-ish. The other time it was during the night and it sat on the ground for a short while the next morning. Possibly -3-ish.

The last three times I was there it got much colder than that, but they were all outside of Summer.
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby hungryhiker » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 7:53 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:
hungryhiker wrote:I realise it can snow in Jan and Feb in the Walls though - would you have an estimate of the temp when you were there? less than 0, -2 or colder? I think extended to a bit lower I would be fine, significantly lower -5 or so - yeh it would be uncomfortable.


Hard to estimate... but on the three occasions where I personally experienced Summer snow in the Walls it has been probably not much below zero. Twice it was during the middle of the day, and didn't settle on the ground at all, so was probably only -1 or maybe even +1-ish. The other time it was during the night and it sat on the ground for a short while the next morning. Possibly -3-ish.

The last three times I was there it got much colder than that, but they were all outside of Summer.



Sounds like I'm going to be most likely fine with the summerlite and Xtherm. I'll keep an eye on the weather before and my housemate now tells me he has a warm fleece liner thing (~500g though, and the summerlite is 510 (im short) = 1.1kg :shock: - but its free :lol: ) - ill bring it with me if need be of leave it at the hotel in Launceston.

Although I am umming and ahhhing about cold weather and my sleep system I would actually love to see this area with some snow.

Have a great Christmas :)
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby sk8erade » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 9:58 pm

hungryhiker wrote:....and also upgrade my mat to a Thermarest Xtherm (R=5.7)


There's an Xtherm in the for sale section at quite a reasonable price right now, I'd jump on it if I were you, rare to see them at that price.
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby philm » Tue 24 Dec, 2019 5:37 am

We were up there in late Jan a few years ago and it was a heat wave. Walkers were coming out early as we headed up to Trappers Hut
During the day it was just over 30 so we did most of our walking in the early morning. Too warm. Just shows you can get anything
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby hungryhiker » Thu 26 Dec, 2019 3:12 am

philm wrote:We were up there in late Jan a few years ago and it was a heat wave. Walkers were coming out early as we headed up to Trappers Hut
During the day it was just over 30 so we did most of our walking in the early morning. Too warm. Just shows you can get anything


Yes, you can get anything there. I’m not super worried about heat though if it occurs. Ideally I cool-warm weather 10-25 during the day is perfect.

I’ve hiked in hot conditions though and water is quite abundant. Would just have to drink more and keep an eye on myself etc. Like you I would work early, rest during the hotter periods (probably swim) and walk as it starts to cool down again if need be. My itinerary is rather leisurely so can be flexible too
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Re: Late Jan- February Tasmania Hiking Gear Query and Advice

Postby hungryhiker » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 12:02 am

sk8erade wrote:
hungryhiker wrote:....and also upgrade my mat to a Thermarest Xtherm (R=5.7)


There's an Xtherm in the for sale section at quite a reasonable price right now, I'd jump on it if I were you, rare to see them at that price.



I had already purchased mine during the sales when I saw this, at over 30% off I think I ended up with a good deal
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