Last weekend Shan and I covered over 55km of the Southern Circuit of Wilson’s Promontory with only what we could carry on our backs. 4 nights, 5 days of remote beaches and dense bushland, only crossing paths with the occasional hiker.
B L I S S
The beauty of this kind of escape is the raw simplistic and minimalistic approach that allows you to lighten up (in more ways than one), strip it back to basics and evaluate what unnecessary shit we carry.
I am of course speaking both physically (what I pack) and metaphorically (what I unpack/ leave behind).
So leaving the poetic interplay of articulation for another blog, ill get straight into it this week with what I packed. To save you a snore session, I've interwoven witty commentary and this week will share what clothes I take. Check out the following weeks for all the other cool toys I jam in my pack & WHY!!
LET’S UNPACK MY PACK
5 pairs of undies
Yep! Used all of these! If the weather were nicer, I’d have washed them and pegged on outside of the bag to dry as I walked. Definitely invest in moisture-wicking one's ladies, cotton is not your friend on a hike!
5 pairs of socks
I don’t have enough pairs of injini’s otherwise I’d just wear these every day. A worthy investment, particularly on the long, arduous, walks with the other sock layer to pull moisture away from feet. Smelly feet, no shower and sharing a small tent isn't the most pleasant of experiences, so make sure you have spares of your favourite sports socks.
Get your fancy, expensive waterproof ones if you wish. Honestly, the sound of the fabric swishing shits me so I have the $5 pair of tradies ones and they keep all the crap out of your shoes. When it rains it rains, dry your shoes out and don’t be a baby.
3 x T-shirts
Moisture-wicking, breathable shirts are the best. Leave the singlets for the gym as the bags will rub on your shoulders and it won’t be pleasant. If you love your singlets, a long sleeve lightweight hiking shirt will be your friend.
1 fleece jumper
Mostly this is for when you stop and need to warm up or change out of wet, sweaty clothes. A good fleece jumper will keep you warm or as in Shan’s case, double as a great pillow
I’d love to free boob it, but sadly the support is required in my case. Make sure it’s a comfy one ladies, you all but sleep it in! If you've got ones a little on the smaller size, a soft crop or sports bra will do the trick. Don't pack extras, it's an unnecessary weight to carry and takes up space.
1 rain jacket
Needs no explanation however will torrential downpour; a heavy gauge poncho will be your best friend. As you are still considering weight, a technical jacket with reflective inner will serve to warm your chest on the less desireable of days. Waterproof, windproof and breathable.
1 sleeveless down jacket
I live in mine. It creates a warm chest for the high wind chill days but allows the arms to be exposed and absorb the glorious vitamin D. The full-length sleeve versions are great lightweight options although you won't want to walk in it, just for warmth when you stop. Or a pillow- the blow-up ones suck!
1 pair hiking pants
Quick-dry, breathable pants that stretch are what you want. Mine are from Kathmandu and have all the zippy pockets I need to shove my crap in for quick access on the trail. Buy them. Worth the money. When you aren't wearing them, 280g is pretty light.
I didn’t even pull these out of the bag. If we had some warmer weather, I’d have gone swimming in them or worn when not in my boardies. Super lightweight, so I’d probably pack them again.
Hand me down Billabong boardies that I have had for 10+ years! So freaking comfortable, lightweight, quick-drying so were absolute gold when we encountered 22mm of rain in 6 hours! They're the flashy red pair you see me wearing on the posts of the years. Upcycle, recycle, reuse. don't be a fashion fool.
Cap, sunnies, beanie, gloves & neck scarf
Protect your noggin right?! No brainers all of the above. Weather dependent but this time in cold conditions, I used all, sometimes at the same time. Good look right?! The neck scarf/ bandana perfectly placed over your ears in coastal windy conditions saves the earaches! You will only give a shit how you look once then goof it up like the rest of us hikers.
Dharma Bum Leggings
Whilst these served as great Pj's, I slept in my undies most nights as I was so hot (the sleeping bag is -10c rated) I could've really left them at home but I guess on the off chance the clouds might stop precipitating, I thought I might get a sneaky yoga session in. Not to be.. next time, they won't make the cut. I'll leave the DB's at home for training.
Salomon trail runners
These shoes are amazing! Buy your hiking shoes/boots ½-1 size bigger to allow for feet swelling. Particularly in the warmer weather and when you spend hours on the trail, your feet will swell and toes resemble chipolatas (or are that just me?) – You’ll want the breathing space and avoid the nasty blisters that come with ill-fitting shoes. Gore tech material supports all-terrain hiking PLUS these babies have a quick lace system which is a pull and toggle set up; super easy for on and off, no laces to snap and break. The reinforced toe cap protects you (me) from kicking any rocks, logs or inanimate objects that result in lost toenails.
Whilst I may have disastrous genetics in the podiatrist department, my sense of adventure is the beautiful spark that fuels my adventures and these clothes just facilitate a little comfort.
Less is more when you are carrying the weight on your back. The right gear will definitely make the journey more enjoyable. Next week, ill unpack the rest of my bag and you'll learn why I carry a shovel.
Till then, Happy Hiking.