Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

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Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Fri 15 Feb, 2019 9:43 am

Hi all,

My partner and I are planning on walking the Bib, end to end, North to South, starting September 2019. For those who may not know, the Bib goes from Kalamunda to Albany in WA and is around 1000km.

We decided on walking the Bib for two main reasons. Firstly, after walking the Larapinta, we wanted a long walk which is fairly unpopulated. Secondly, the season for the Bib suits us more than the AAWT because I can't get work off during the best AAWT season.

Other benefits of the Bib appear to be the ease of navigation and resupply. With a clearly defined track and regular markers navigation should be quite simple and we can hopefully focus on walking rather than navigating. For resupply there are around a dozen track towns, most of which have a post office and shops to resupply at. This means we do not have to pre bury our resupplies. Furthermore, water seems to be readily available with around 50 shelters which each have a watertank.

We are hoping to do it fairly quickly, (which is generally what we like to do) but certainly not looking to break records or make it un-enjoyable.

I'm starting this thread to compliment our planning, receive feedback and bounce ideas off the more experienced. Here I plan to note down gear lists, food resupplies and other planning and logistics involved in walking the Bib.

We are both very much looking forward to starting!

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Fri 15 Feb, 2019 10:37 am

A little hiking history about Monica and me:

Some of our hikes over the last few years include some hikes in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (QLD), the Larapinta (NT), Myall Lakes NP (NSW), Cathedral Ranges (VIC), Wilsons Prom (VIC) and the Great Ocean Walk (VIC).

Whilst we are not overly experienced hikers we have done enough to know what kind of gear works for us and what sort of distance we can cover. We can both navigate, have decent first aid skills and have spent plenty of time in the bush (outside of hiking for fun).

Our average pace for the Larapinta was around 28km a day. For subsequent hikes it has been higher as we have lightened our load. We did the GOW in two days which was around 55km the first day and a bit over 45km the second day.

Unfortunately we havent been able to hike as much as we would like the last 12-18 months. Work tends to get in the way of everything. But we both stay fit and do plenty of walking a running.

For the Bib we plan on 30-35km a day averages. We are going to be lightening our load even further with lighter and more expensive gear (love getting new gear!!). So we reckon that distance per day should be sustainable given what we have read about the terrain and ease of navigation on the Bib.

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby lseries92 » Sat 16 Feb, 2019 11:31 am

Hi Rileyr.

I will be also walking the Bib from north to south this year as well, most likely starting around the 23rd August. The plan is for 50 days so I will not be travelling as fast as you. In fact, depending on your start date in Sept, it is quite likely you will pass me somewhere around Walpole or beyond by the sounds of it ...

At the moment I am quite enjoying planning the trip - in fact planning is half the adventure. Looking forward to hearing more and maybe comparing notes ...
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Al M » Sun 17 Feb, 2019 3:54 am

Bring some gaiters as around Sept in the forested bushy parts approaching and towards Pemberton to Albany the tiger snakes come out a lot from winter sleep. I hiked for about a week there onced and saw quite a few but others were counting 1 -3 dozen sitings per day and the track is about 1-2m wide where the snakes come out to sun themselves in close contact with hikers. It might just have been a particular year for that. Perhaps others can confirm if that is a common situation yearly. Other than that no issues and no reports of excessive snake bite rates.
Last edited by Al M on Wed 20 Feb, 2019 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Tue 19 Feb, 2019 9:33 pm

Hopefully we cross paths Iseries92! Yeah the planning is good fun, esspeciall the gear planning for me


Geez I hoped the snakes wouldnt be that bad AI M. I was hoping not to wear gaitors and i like hiking in shorts in low cut shoes. Might be a bit risky without gaitors, but would be keen to hear from other peoples experiences.

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Tue 19 Feb, 2019 9:55 pm

Shelter:

We will most likely be going with an updated tarp and bugnet setup.

Mon and I both really enjoy camping under a tarp. We like how versatile a tarp is, how much airflow we can get through it, how much visibilty they provide, how much room there is under them etc

Here is our current setup.

Image

It is a 3x3 dd superlite tarp (548g) with an ebay bug net (615g) and pegs (125g). Total of 1288g, which cost us around $150 total I think. So pretty cheap and has done us well.

Though we want to go lighter.
Our option of choice at this stage is the zpacks 3x2.6m DCF tarp at 181g and costs around $375. Pair that with the MLD Serenity Duo DCF at 340g and around $420. With same pegs (125g) that would make a total of 646g and $795g. This is comparable in weight to Zpacks duplex in weight (lighter if pegs arent factored) and cost. This would almost halve our shelter weight and save 642g.

Another option we considered was to use the same zpacks cuben tarp with a Borah gear double cuben bivvy (custom) weighing only around 250g and around $350 (maybe). This would save weight but means a big restriction in space. So we decided against it. Though I want a single for solo hiking!

Links:

http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/tarps.shtml

https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/produ ... t-shelter/

http://borahgear.com/cubenbivy.html

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Al M » Wed 20 Feb, 2019 10:45 pm

The tarp setup should be OK except for squally side rain which is not often and most time there are the huts.

Sept can still be winterish temperatures around 2-3C so have a sleep bag rating to match.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Suz » Sun 03 Mar, 2019 2:52 pm

I did the Bibb e2e in Spring 2017 and might do it again this year.

I think your distance expectations of 30-35km per day are fine. It’s less tough on the legs than the Larapinta. Apart from the Perth Hills area it’s not that hilly and you are often walking on old forestry roads. Only other substantive hilly section is probably the section from Donnelly River Village to Pemby. Be sure to have shoes with good grip because of the pea gravel and honkey nuts in the northern half.

September is probably the busiest time of year on the trail and in 2017 they had quite a few wet days. I started Oct 1 and we had better weather. But this year I want to go earlier so I meet more people :) Just a matter of personal choice. It was a very wet Spring in 2018 until November. Just so you know.

I lost my gaiters on the way to the trail - dufus! I did see quite a few snakes on the coastal section, but I survived. Careful footing and watching where you’re going should spare you any trouble. A couple of shelters have ‘resident’ snakes, again in the coastal section. You may or may not see them.

All the towns are decent enough for resupply but Balingup, DRV and Northcliffe are the least good from memory.

Make sure to take a pen with you so you can write stuff in the log books! :D Reading entries in the log books is one of the highlights.

Balingup has the least good accom options and I recommend emailing the Buddhist retreat centre there to see if you can stay.

Ditto for the person who said it gets cold at night. 2-3 degrees is really how it is some nights! We nearly froze in our bags at Nerang, even in October.

Join the Bibb groups on FB is my last piece of advice, very active and helpful groups they are.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Mon 04 Mar, 2019 6:08 pm

Thanks for the comprehensive post Suz!

Im glad you made it without gaiters, I hate them! We will certainly be very vigilant on the coastal areas. We always carry a PLB as well which is good peace of mind.

Good to know about the min temps to expect as well thanks guys. I was thinking a 0deg (30F) from EE should do it. With a jumper if really cold

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Thu 11 Apr, 2019 8:53 am

Sleep System

After much deliberation and research Monica and I are close to ordering and setting up our sleep system for the trip. Monica is a cold sleeper, but I am a fairly warm sleeper.

Quilts:
Initially Mon was hesitant to the idea of using a quilt rather than a sleeping bag. But after seeing how quilts can be secured either to your body, or to sleeping mat, she became more interested. Also, the weight benefits of not having a big zip, a hood, or extra insulation under your body (which isn't very effective) allows Mon to get a warmer quilt for the same weight as a traditional sleeping bag. I like quilts and was always going to get a quilt.

Insulation:
We have decided on synthetic insulation for our quilts. The main reason for this is their performance when damp or wet. I know that there is treated down, and have looked into it but have been told even from the horses mouth that the treatment only lasts so long and the down treatments ends up being ineffective after time anyway. After some research I am fairly convinced that Climashield Apex is the best synthetic insulation, as it is strong, durable and warm. it also doesn't require baffling. So we were after Climashield Apex Quilts. There are a couple of suppliers to choose from globally.

Decision:
We have decided on the Enlightened Equipment (EE) Enigma Quilts because of their minimal design. They have no zip, an enclosed foot box, snap locks and a draw cord for around your neck and proven pad straps. EE state their ratings are on par with the EN/ISO ratings for the "limit temp". "Limit temperature is defined as the lowest temperature at which a person in a curled-up body position is not feeling cold. Hot sleepers, or folks who plan to layer, can look to this number. All EE temperature ratings can be considered to be limit temperatures. This is warm for some, and cold for others, which is why it’s important to know yourself." (from EE site)

enigma.JPG
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Considering the reported temps of down to 2deg, and that Mon is a cold sleeper, she has decided that she is best off with a -6 rated Enlightened Equipment Enigma Climashield Apex Quilt. This will weigh around 760 grams and cost around $300 for the slim, regular length version. Monica believes that adding 160grams for the -6 over the -1 will be a good choice.

I will be getting the -1 rated enigma in a slim, long version at 640 grams.

We will also be getting the EE Hoodlums (a balaclava type insulated hat). They will cost $90 each and weigh around 55 grams. The Hoodlums allow the quilt to be cinched tight around the neck area to seal it off nicely - working as a sleeping bag hood. The benefit is that it can also be used in camp or while hiking.
hoodlum.PNG
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Sleeping Pads:
After much deliberation again, we have decided on Closed Cell Foam (CCF) mattresses. I have always used CCF and have never wanted more comfort. Monica was considering an expensive air mattress (thermarest neo air or the like). However, after trying my Thermarest Z-lite she found that it was comfortable enough and warm enough.

We will be modifying the Thermarest z-lites though. We will be cutting my existing z-lite in half - which will be long enough for both of us to use it as a torso length mat. We will then be adding a detachable thinner, heat reflective mat for our legs. We will attach the two with metal snap fasteners. This means that the bulk of the z-lite will be halved (straps to the outside of our packs). And the thin lower leg portion of the mat can be stored in our packs. I have used the thin reflective mat (cut down to size) for several night now and found it to be very warm but not very comfortable.

The full length thin mat weighs 65 grams
the full length z-lite weighs 400 grams.
Total weight of having half z-lite and half thin mat = about 240 grams per pad. (including snap fasteners)
(The Neoair x-lite weighs 340 grams for full length I believe)

z lite.JPG
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thin mat.JPG
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So, synthetic quilts from EE, modified CCF pads, good balaclava type hats = should be good to go.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby lseries92 » Thu 11 Apr, 2019 1:07 pm

Suz wrote:I did the Bibb e2e in Spring 2017 and might do it again this year.

Balingup has the least good accom options and I recommend emailing the Buddhist retreat centre there to see if you can stay.



I have looked into the retreat on your recommendation - it looks like an interesting option.

As well the Old Post Office (or Posthouse) in Ballingup was due to re-open on the 1st April of this year after being closed for a while (for refurbishments). They have not updated their website but it sounds like another option ...
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Al M » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 12:22 am

Here are some practical user comments on that Apex synthetic insulation https://backpackinglight.com/forums/top ... -question/ one user saying to be on the safe side use about x 2 weight synthetic per equivalent down fill to get the same performance.

Your proposed synthetic quilts at around 700g for -6 C performance is good on paper but if it sounds too good to be true or you have doubts that it will perform then maybe just stick to equivalent weight down will. If the above paragraph is correct you may infact need about 1400g synthetic quilt.

When I did a section of the Bib about 10 years ago in Sept it was about 2 c at night and I bought what I thought was a reasonable 0 C rated 1kg synthetic fill mummy shape sleeping bag from Snowgum for $200, sadly it performed badly and was cold even though I am a warm sleeper and used a cotton liner. Hopefully Apex and similar modern synthetic fills have advanced enough in performance or Apex is much better.

The other issue is that the Bib isnt really an extremely wet hike at that time though on a wetter month you may experience a week of rain and drizzle. BOM average Perth Sept rain shows about 15 days in 30 increasing further south you go.

If you still plan to take the net with tarp that has disadvantages for wind chill and rain a solid walled net or normal tent may be better and less need to go synthetic quilt for fear of rain. Also, the huts are available and when it rains you will be gravitating towards them vs your insufficient tarp shelter.

I recently bought on this forum under-cling Mike’s custom down $300 -2 C 520g and tested in Japan under 0-1 C conditions with poly liner and it was perfect and I would trust that combo down to -6 C. I doubt there is any synthetic equal at that weight performance.

In summary I doubt the 700g Apex synth fill will keep your partner warm to -6 C. Instead that is normal expected performance of a down fill quilt or bag. I would recommend you look at under-cling Mikes custom down -8 C quilt.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 8:21 am

Al M wrote:In summary I doubt the 700g Apex synth fill will keep your partner warm to -6 C. Instead that is normal expected performance of a down fill quilt or bag. I would recommend you look at under-cling Mikes custom down -8 C quilt.


I agree, and so do EE. They state that is the same as the EN/ISO "limit temp" as described above. I have been reading a lot on synth and reviews on these quilts and I'm convinced that they will be good quilts. I can't seem to find the under-cling quilt that you recommended.

For example:
The -6 rated EE quilt uses 8oz climashield apex.
The Terra Rosa -10 quilts use 7.5oz climashield apex.
Therefore, the EE quilt has more insulation, but is rated more conservatively. This conservative rating is reflected in the reviews I have read about the quilt.

lseries92 wrote:Also, the huts are available and when it rains you will be gravitating towards them vs your insufficient tarp shelter.


I wouldn't call a tarp shelter insufficient. I have spent literally hundreds of nights under a tarp shelter, obviously in all sorts of conditions, from the far north of aus, to the far south in all seasons. I am just not a fan of tents, the condensation, the claustrophobia, the lack of setup versatility etc (and I have tried). Each to there own mate, but a tarp shelter setup is not insufficient - unless on the peak of Everest or something.

Yeah the huts are nice to have and maybe we will use them, we will just see how we feel.
Thanks for the comment and information

PS: The bloke who said you need 2x the weight of apex to get the same warmth from down also said he uses a 5oz apex quilt to 35degF = 1.6degC. I will be getting the 6oz apex, and as above Mon will be getting the 8oz apex . His testimony appears to support my research that the 8oz apex (-6 rated) quilt will perform well for Mon at temps approaching 0 C as the 8oz apex has a 60% increase in insulation over his 5oz which he takes down to 2 C. The same guy that you quoted also said "It’s probably safe to use the EE values"
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby north-north-west » Fri 12 Apr, 2019 3:17 pm

Rileyr wrote:
Al M wrote:In summary I doubt the 700g Apex synth fill will keep your partner warm to -6 C. Instead that is normal expected performance of a down fill quilt or bag. I would recommend you look at under-cling Mikes custom down -8 C quilt.
I can't seem to find the under-cling quilt that you recommended.


This forum, Market Place - Specials, Discounts, Adverts. Two threads, one for custom orders, one for ready-made. But I think he only does down. TierGear (Google them) also do quilts and may have a synthetic one amongst their line-up.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Al M » Sat 13 Apr, 2019 11:59 pm

Undercling-Mike’s custom down quilts here viewtopic.php?f=27&t=24995&p=362570&hilit=Custom+quilts#p362570
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Sun 14 Apr, 2019 12:37 pm

Thanks guys! Will look into them

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Thu 09 May, 2019 12:55 pm

Pegs!

So i ordered expensive titanium pegs as a set of 6x sheppards 4x v shape ones for about $35 on ebay.

I already had Y shape alloy ones. Surprisingly the titanium V ones where 12g each and the alloy Y ones 13g.

Image


I tried to bend the cheap Y shape alloy ones with my hands - couldnt do it.

First time try on the titamium V shape ones: Image

No good! Lesson learned!

Im taking 6x Y shape alloy ones for a good strong hold. 1 for each corner and ridge lines.
6x sheppards. 4 for bug net corners and 2 for extra stakes mid tarp for bad weather. I might take out 2 sheppards and use them on the tarp in bad weather and use rocks or sticks for the missing 2 on the bugnet (which is what i usually do in bad weather now).Image

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby crollsurf » Wed 15 May, 2019 7:58 pm

+1 rileyr, those cheap eBay Y stakes are as good as groundhogs. The extra weight isn't even worth thinking about. I'm pretty much the same, 6x Y stakes and 4x Sheppard hooks.

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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Thu 16 May, 2019 10:15 am

Ordered our quilts, insulated jackets, balaclavas and wind pants. All from Enlightened Equipment. Did some more research and nothing convinced me to go down.

All insulation is synthetic (climashield apex). The reason for this is better performance when wet or damp. (A topic of some controversy it seems)

For me:
Quilt: $300, 685grams, comfort -1
Jacket: $210, 210grams
Balaclava: $90, 53grams.
Wind pants: $90, 62 grams

Monica went for the -6 comfort quilt weighing 760grams

LINKS:

Quilt: https://enlightenedequipment.com/enigma-apex-custom/

Jacket:
https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens-t ... et-custom/

Balaclava:
https://enlightenedequipment.com/hoodlum-custom/

Wind pants:
https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens-c ... ts-custom/


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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Thu 16 May, 2019 10:31 am

Rain wear:

We have rain jackets, but they are heavy and we wanted to update.
After researching all the common choices I made a bit of a list:

Zpacks Vertice: $420, 165g
OR Helium II: $240, 180g
Montbell Versalite: $300, 180g
Frogg Toggs UL: $50, 170g

We decided on the frogg toggs. They are a cheap american wallmart type product. Have looked at plenty of reviews saying they do the job, dont breathe great, no zips under the arms, but work. They arent very durable, but plenty of people have done the long trails in USA in one. The front zip is a cheap zip with a storm flap. A weakness of the jacket for sure. But damn cheap and light!

I ordered a mens small off ebay as a set (with pants) for $50. It arrived pretty quickly. I am 186cm tall and weigh 83kg. The mens small is HUGE! I could wear a huge puffy underneath no dramas.

Put it on the scales and was pleasantly surprised: only 152g!

Monica might try a kids size jacket because these things are huge.

Image

Image

* Edit:
We wont be taking rain pants, just the wind pants in the previous post. But in case you are wondering the Frogg Toggs rain pants weigh 110g.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Al M » Fri 17 May, 2019 11:56 pm

Hi looks like good choices so far. Not sure if you would you be using sleeping bag liners. If not the synthetic fill sleep bags are more durable and less prone to down feathers losing loft from human skin oils and the weight difference in not needing liners can be offset.

Also, with the choice of pegs I have always preferred round ones over L shape profile ones as they are easier to push past hard ground rocks and gravel. The Bib can have in areas a mix of orange gravel in the jarrah forests and softer profiles. You have a mix of peg types, perhaps have more twice as many round pegs than you plan.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Rileyr » Sat 18 May, 2019 10:22 am

Al M wrote:Hi looks like good choices so far. Not sure if you would you be using sleeping bag liners. If not the synthetic fill sleep bags are more durable and less prone to down feathers losing loft from human skin oils and the weight difference in not needing liners can be offset.

Also, with the choice of pegs I have always preferred round ones over L shape profile ones as they are easier to push past hard ground rocks and gravel. The Bib can have in areas a mix of orange gravel in the jarrah forests and softer profiles. You have a mix of peg types, perhaps have more twice as many round pegs than you plan.
Thanks for the info AI M. We looked at liners, but were going to add 100g. We even bought a couple of thin silk ones, I tried it out a couple of times and kept waking up tangled - so not much of a fan anyway.

Re the pegs: do you mean swapping the sheppard hooks out for others?


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Re: Bibbulmun Track end to end in spring 2019

Postby Al M » Mon 20 May, 2019 9:51 pm

More round pegs vs all others mentioned.
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