My Bibbulmun Track Journey
My Solo Journey – Post #3 – The List
Months until I start walking: 8
Amount saved: $0
Things I have bought so far:
- 2-man hiking tent: $150
Since I have made the decision that I am definitely going to be walking the entire 1000 km Bibbulmun Track this year (only something like broken bones will stop me from achieving this!), I have realised just how expensive it is to set yourself up for a hike like this. Good quality hiking gear is bloody expensive!!! BUT I know that this is not a fad I am going through and that it is worth spending a lot of money on good quality key items rather than do it cheaply and it affecting how much I enjoy the experience.
A little bit about me. I am a list girl. If it is not written down, it is unlikely it will get done. I have the worst memory and LOVE to be organised, not a good combination! So that is why lists are my best friend and literally help me sleep at night. I wasn’t even sure where to start with writing my list of gear needed for my Bibbulmun Track hike, so I started googling and reading HEAPS of reviews. There is so much information out there that it is quite overwhelming really, and everyone has a different opinion.
I decided that the first thing I wanted to buy was a hiking tent. When I told my mum last night that I bought a tent she reacted with ‘but I bought you a really good tent for Christmas?!’. Yes mum, you did buy me a really good tent, but it weighs 14kg and is 1.1 m long! Haha. I don’t think that will fit in my pack (it is a 4 man Coleman ‘Instantup’ Tent). All hiking gear is so specialized and the lighter the better and more expensive. I bought what would be considered a cheap 2-man tent which only cost me $150. Some of the best 2-man tents can cost up to $700!! I am very happy with my purchase considering how light it is (only 1.3kg). I will put all the info with the photo. Researching hiking gear has become a bit of an obsession for me. I was up till 11pm the night I bought the tent, which might not sound too late for normal people but it is for me when I work on site and have to get up at 4.45am the next morning (ohh the joys of FIFO).
Since I have started researching I have decided that the big ticket items that are worth forking out for are:
- A good pack (I really want an Osprey pack, I have been told these are the best). This will set me back around $300.
- A good sleeping bag (I want one that is a ‘quilt’ style not ‘mummy’ style and rated to at least -10 degrees, yes I know that seems crazy but I get freezing even in summer).
- A good sleeping mat (having a good night sleep is important to me, I am a very fussy sleeper and grumpy when I am tired, I am hoping this experience will help me be a better sleeper).
Other items that won’t be cheap, but I won’t be buying tip of the range:
- Lightweight stove
- A good headlight
- Lightweight power pack to charge my phone
Things I already have (thank god):
- Hiking shoes: I have Solomon shoes, they are not boots which I have been advised I should definitely get to support my ankles. I have decided to stick with my shoes, they are really comfy, good quality, and honestly I can’t justify or afford to buy another pair of boots when I already have these ones.
- Assorted hiking clothing (all from Katmandu): I have some really fashionable (not!! haha) hiking pants which have a zipper and can also be shorts. A couple of marino wool long sleeve shirts, a couple of short sleeve shirts, 2x pairs of good socks.
- Some of the maps and guidebooks for the Bibbulmun Track (there are 8 of each and they cost $11.95 a piece which adds up).
There are heaps of other things on my list, most of them in my head right now. One of the websites that has helped me so much is wildwomenhikes.com, so much practical info about what to pack and general tips for overnight or multi-day hikes.
Something that is pretty cool is that I pass through 9 towns from Kalamunda to Albany along the track, and in each of these towns I will head to the post office and pick up my prepacked, pre-posted boxes which will contain dehydrated meals and snacks for the next leg of the journey (until I get to the next post office) and also things like mini shampoo and conditioner so I can wash my hair (I know this will be like absolute heaven for me, I am a bit of a clean freak!). I will plan all my rest days in towns so I can do my washing and maybe even sleep in a real bed…
My 5-week trip to America and Belize (a tiny country next to Mexico) is not too far away so I thought I could buy lots of things while I am there, they have a much bigger range and it’s a lot cheaper to buy hiking gear in the US. I even specifically booked the hostel I am staying at in Venice Beach because it is walking distance to REI which is a major outdoor store chain over there. Oh how my priorities have changed over the years, and even just in the last month!
It has been so good to have this goal to work towards and give me something to aim for, plan for and look forward to. Something is changing within me, and it is definitely for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my little freak outs and get overly emotional or overthink silly things, but I am feeling a lot happier in general and more at ease with myself. I think that this whole experience will be a life changing one for me, I can feel it already. There is such a great community of people out there that have done similar hikes or want to do something like this, it is really inspiring reading about other peoples’ journeys and taking on any advice I have been given so far. I was so caught up in my own little world I didn’t realise just how many awesome people are out there and adventures to be had that are all so achievable if you put your mind to it.
Once I have the basic gear I can’t wait to start testing it all out and going on little hikes. One of the training hikes I want to do is the Cape to Cape track in the south-west of Western Australia. It is 135kms and takes up to 6 days but I will probably just do a little section to start. Hopefully my parents can do it with me, they love walking (but maybe not sleeping in a tent, I will look into accommodation for them along the track, might help with convincing my mum!).
I have a few questions for anyone reading this that has more experience than me, please let know what you think in the comments:
- Should I get myself some hiking poles?? Do they really help??
- What is something you learnt after doing your first overnight hike that you wish you knew before??
- Should I take my kindle, or try and go a couple of months without it (to really live in the moment)??
I hope you enjoy my journey so far and thanks for reading. I am loving this whole process ?