Himalayan Hiking Prep

Over the weekend I escaped to to serene Wellington National Park with the amazing Amanda and vivacious Vaelei. They sound like super heros, which is not far off the mark for in fact they are super women – the perfect camping/hiking companions! Vaelei with her extensive wilderness experience ranging from mountain biking in New Zealand to hiking the Canadian rockies, and Amanda with her all round capabilities and priceless common sense. It was the perfect trip to test my fitness and gear for trekking in the Himalayas.

Here’s how the weekend went:

FRIDAY
2:30pm Pick up and load Amanda(‘s things)
3:00pm Pick up and load Vaelei(‘s things)
3:30pm Food shopping
4:15pm Depart Fremantle
7:30pm Arrive Honeymoon Pool camp site – according to our camp site neighbour we had arrived at midnight but still managed to set up our tent and start a fire (on which we cooked our first of many delicious weekend meals) with just an LED torch we bought on the way and my car headlights. Note to self: leaving the engine running with the lights on drains even a brand new battery. It is possible to have the lights on without the engine running. Another thing we learned thanks to the same camp site neighbour (who we later discovered lives at the camp site and drives 150km to work as a paint ball referee) is how to sustain a fire; start small and build up a tee pee that allows oxygen through to feed the flame.

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Relaxing at a successfully set up camp.

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Oh sweet fire – you give so much: light, warmth and the power to transform raw food into delicious meals!

SATURDAY
9:00am After our 10 hour sleep in our luxurious 3-man tent we emerged to the most beautiful morning and cooked up a breakfast for champions!

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Coffee/Tea, toast, baked beans, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes and two eggs each! Word of warning for fellow campers: beware of swooping kookaburras! Amanda was lucky she didn’t get any eyes pocked out when one sneaky thief swooped in and stole her last sausage!

Noon    It must have been this breakfast that sustained us on our 20km hike which took five and a half hours, including a one hour detour that was the result of us missing the poorly marked trail signs. This pipeline maintenance track was a continuum of steep uphill hell! The remainder of the actual track felt like a walk in the park. Haha literally.

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Our trail – yellow.

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The river flows all the way alongside the Jabitj trail.

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Colours of the trails.

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Native flora.

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Lunch at Potter’s Gorge – another campsite.

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Potter’s Gorge seemed popular with families.

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An ancient find on the Sika trail.

5:30pm Made it back to camp just in time for nightfall!

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Sleeping under the trees.

SUNDAY
8:00am There’s nothing more calming than starting the day with yoga in the forest. With a lighter breakfast of toast and yoghurt had packed up and gotten the car jump-started by another neighbouring camper by 11:00am.
1:00pm Detour for multi-award winning Pinjarra pies!

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Red wine infused beef and mushroom pie = DELICIOUS.

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Vegetarians and vegans look away!

2:30pm Back in Perth!

ESSENTIALS LIST

  • tent
  • esky with 2 bags of ice
  • firewood, firestarters + matches/lighter
  • 2 torches (one that can be hung on a tree + in the tent) + spare batteries
  • sleeping bag and mat
  • walking shoes + socks
  • comfortable light-weight walking pants + top
  • lightweight rain/wind proof jacket
  • warm sleeping clothes (including gloves + beanie) + ugg boots
  • sunnies (+ hat) + sunscreeen
  • water bottle to carry in backpack + extra water for camp
  • bathers + towel
  • thongs
  • toothbrush + toothpaste
  • cotton buds
  • wet wipes (hand sanitizer dries out the skin)
  • toilet paper + tissues
  • (hair ties + bobby pins – for long hair)
  • paw paw cream/lip balm
  • band-aids
  • muesli bars (I love the nut bars that can be found on the bottom shelf in Coles)
  • fruit (bananas are always winners)
  • knife + chopping board
  • aluminium foil (so handy for wrapping up anything to throw in the fire and more)
  • cooking spray
  • Bar-b-mate (Amanda has an amazing Wiltshire one – it really is all purpose and I want one!)
  • jumper leads
  • wrench
  • screwdrivers

It didn’t rain so I didn’t get to test out my rain proof jacket. Fingers crossed there will be a night of heavy rainfall in Perth before I leave so that I can go for a test run. The Macpack backpack I went with in the end because at 22L it had capacity to fit my SLR whereas the attractive Kathmandu 15L that I had my eye on just wouldn’t take it no matter how much I tried. I’m confident with the Macpack fitting all my extra necessities like food and warm layers, but all that added to the 2L bladder was quite a noticeable weight. My leather hiking boots also required an effort but they were very sturdy and didn’t give me any blisters! Bring on Himalayan hiking!

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