On 9 August 2018 I started my journey on one of Australia’s premiere long distance hiking trails, the Bibbulmun Track. Travelling 1000km between Albany and Perth. This podcast provides an overview of a typical week on the trail completing 210km and travelling between Albany and Walpole. Listen to what I and other hikers go through in what has been some extremely taxing conditions.
Over the next 4-5 weeks I will focus on different aspects of this journey to provide you with an overview on what to expect and to hopefully encourage you to consider hiking this amazing trail.
In this episode we will be discussing my expectations, my apprehensions, and my hopes for my upcoming Bibbulmun Track thru hike which I start on 9 August 2018 in what is forecast to be heavy rains. Tomorrow I spend the day on planes heading to the trail head in Western Australia.
Over the coming weeks I will be walking my way back to Perth and as part of the experience I will be recoding a weekly podcast. I will also be interviewing other hikers doing the track as a thru hike, known as an ‘end to end’ on the Bibbulmun, as well as those doing shorter sections to hear how they are going and what they think of the track. So if you thinking about doing this walk listen over the next 6+ weeks to the 'on trail episodes' as well as the round up episodes at the end once I am home.
The Bibbulmun Track is one of Australia’s premiere long trails stretching 1000km (621miles) from Kalamunda on the outskirts of Perth to Albany on the southern western Australian coast. Given the distance covered there is a wide variety of ecosystems represented on the trail from coastal sections in the south through constantly changing forests that highlight some of Australia’s most spectacular flora and fauna.
In this episode we will be talking to Steve Sertis from the Bibbulmun Track Foundation about how the track came about, the role of the Foundation, and some key takeaways on hiking this spectacular trail.
In episode 002 of the Australian Hiker podcast we discussed the concept of ultralight hiking and my goal to greatly lighten my load from my 'traditional' heavy gear. It's now been 18 months since we released that podcast and in this episode we revisit this journey just prior to me commencing a 1000km/ 5-6 week hike on the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia to see how I have gone.
Whatever type of hiking that you do being fit will ensure that you enjoy what you are doing in addition to keeping happy and healthy on the trail. But what does being fit for hiking mean? This episode provides a brief introduction to hiking fitness and identifies the key aspects that you need to consider.
Planning a long distance hike is really no difference from a shorter hike, isn’t it? In theory the concepts are the same but in reality there are a number of other factors that come into consideration. In this episode I will use my upcoming thru hike of the Bibbulmun Track (1,000km) in Western Australia to provide a broad guide to what you should consider when planning a long distance hike.
Once I have finished my journey towards the end of September I will report back on how I went including how well my planning did, or didn’t, pay off.
On 17-19 June 2018 the Outdoor Retailer Australia Show was held at the Moore Park Exhibition Centre in Sydney. This annual show is a chance for Australia’s outdoor wholesalers and manufacturers to showcase their new and existing products to Australia’s outdoor retailers and allied media.
This podcast is the second recorded at this show and contains a further 6 interviews. If you want to hear the first series of interviews go to episode 069.
The 2018 Outdoor Retailer Australia Show was held on 17-19 June 2018 at the Moore Park Exhibition Centre in Sydney. This annual show is a chance for Australia’s outdoor wholesalers and manufacturers to showcase their new and existing products to Australia’s outdoor retailers and allied media. This is the first of two episodes.
Every time we head out into the bush for the day the one factor that we must deal with on every hike is the weather. Good or bad, the weather can make or break a hike and if we fail to pay attention to extreme weather conditions it can also present safety concerns.
This podcast discusses factors to consider when planning your hike as well as what to look for during the hike itself.
In episode 067 of the Australian Hiker podcast we discuss the concept of Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH). Each of us enjoys hiking in a way that is unique to us and when we vary from this pattern the enjoyment can drop off. What does HYOH mean for you?
In episode 066 of the Australian Hiker podcast we discussTechnology on the Trail, specifically options for staying in touch with family and friends at home while on a hike. This topic is one that I have been thinking on for well over a year as I decide what I will use for my own Bibbulmun Track though hike later this year when I will be out of cellular range on a number of days on my 5-6 week hike.
In this episode I announce announce my first long distance Australian thru hike, and also first thru hike and provide an overview on :
* My reasons for doing a long distance multi week hike;
* Why I picked the trail that I did; and
* An overview of my logistics and what I need to consider before I go.
Over the coming weeks I will be releasing further podcasts on my upcoming trip as well as episodes released on the trail. I looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
While many hikers, and non hikers may be aware of trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail in the USA, or the Camino de Santiago in Spain you may not be aware that Australia has its own long trails and while they may not have the same international media profile (yet) they are progressively making a name for themselves and gaining in popularity.
This podcast episode provides an overview of some of Australia’s better known long distance hiking and multi-use trails (cyclists, horse riders and hikers) over 200km in length.
This week we will be talking to Jacqui Ambrus-Bonazzi from Canberra Fitness Centre about the physical maintenance that we as hikers SHOULD be doing each day on the trail to ensure we maintain our fitness and reduce injuries, something that many hikers take for granted at best, or more typically don’t do at all.
For new hikers it seems like there is so much to worry about. Getting lost, snakes and will you be warm enough are just some of the issues that can all be managed reasonably easily with a bit of practice and development of on-trail skills.
For many new hikers their biggest concern is one of personal safety. How safe will you be when out hiking and do I have to worry about my car at the trail head. This episode discusses these issues and offers some suggestions for minimising personal safety risks on the trail.
Personal hygiene is one of those practices that we are all taught early in life; wash your hands, bathe on a regular basis, and always wear clean underwear. We are used to doing these things in our day to day life and the same rules apply in the bush that apply at home surrounding personal hygiene if we want to ensure that we have a trouble free adventure. However when we go bush we loose all the modern conveniences and with them the flexibility we have at home and have to adjust how we do things. Most practices that relate to hygiene are based around common sense but why then do so many people ignore them when they hike? This article discusses the hygiene basics nessesary to ensure that we have a healthy enjoyable hike. Alternatively you can read the written version of this podcast here.
Issues with feet and lower limbs tend to be a problem that plagues all hikers at one time or another. These issues can be relatively minor and annoying on short hikes and crippling on longer more difficult hikers. Either way they stop us from enjoying our outdoor adventures.
In this podcast episode I talk with Canberra based Podiatrist Matthew Hotchkis from Podiatry Professionals about some of the more common lower limb issues that can cause problems for hikers and discuss ways to minimise their impact as well as prevention and treatment.
The best way to describe Geocaching is as treasure hunting with a GPS/smartphone. Sometimes the kids, or you for that matter, just need that extra little incentive to get outdoors and go hiking and what better incentive than to go treasure hunting!
This podcast provides a basic overview to help get you into Geocaching and hopefully outside more often if you really need an excuse.
The level of navigation skills that you will need as a hiker will vary with the complexity of the walks that you do. If you never leave well marked trails the skill requirement you need, may, but not necessarily, be minimal. The advent of mobile phone apps, as well as the availability of high quality consumer level GPS including some watches has changed hiking forever. Gone are the days when you had no choice but to use a map and compass however having a good grounding in their use should be something we all aspire to.
This podcast episode provides a basic overview of map and compass use that will hopefully add your you kill level as a hiker and inspire you to learn more. To get the most out of this podcast follow along with the written version which has the related images.
For most hikers feeding themselves on short camping and hiking trips, even for a few days, is something that we can easily manage without too much problem. But what happens when we undertake big excursions ranging from strenuous single day trips to multi-week trips. In this podcast episode I talk with Canberra based nutritionist and dietician, Lisa Donaldson from FEED Inc about nutrition on the trail and what we can do to look after ourselves.
Whether your a day hiker or are into extended multi night hikes ensuring that you have correctly assembled all your gear into some sort of order in your pack will make your trip run just that much smoother. But what it the right order? Is there such a thing?
This episode looks at packing your backpack and discusses developing a systematic approach to our packing that will ensure you always know where that bit of gear or food is.
In January 2018 I spent two days in the Kosciuszko National Park (NSW) hiking the Main Range Walk as well as undertaking the Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk, both starting at Charlotte Pass. These two days of hiking also involved a nights camping on Mt Kosciuszko. This Episode is designed to give you an idea of what to expect when hiking in this amazing area.
In this episode we look at where the future of hiking appears to be heading. We discuss trends as they relate to hikers, changes we are likely to see in trail design and use, the impacts of social media on the trail, notable gear trends and the use of technology on the trail, both good and bad.
Our final episodes in our Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail series. In this episode we revisit our initial expectations of this trip and compare them to the reality of the trail. In addition we discuss the good and bad points of the trail and make some suggestions for those of you looking at doing this trip.
This is the second of our 'on trail' podcasts recorded while undertaking our recent Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT) trip. This episode consists of four interviews with hikers, service providers, and the Southern Australian Parks Service and is designed to provide a different perspective on this wonderful trail.
This is the first of three podcast episodes on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail and consists of a series of recordings done over a single day to give you an idea of what to expect from a typical day on the trail. Our next two episode 053 and 054 will provide additional information on this great trail.
When you first start doing longer hikes its not just the gear that you have to think about.What about the food! This episode is aimed at providing an introduction to food considerations for newer hikers who just want to make things easy.
Gill and I have a break between Christmas and New Year and along with our friend Kelly we will be hiking the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail which is located not far from the mainland in South Australia.
This five day, four night trip is approximately 61km (without any add ons). We tried to do this trail earlier this year and didn't book early enough.Lesson learnt.
This episode is an overview of what we are expecting but no doubt reality will be different. As usual we will be recording on the trail and publishing out trip podcasts in January 2018.
If you belong to just about any online hiking forum one of the most commonly discussed topics that you will see posted is ‘what sort of tent should I buy?’ Unfortunately there is no one answer to this question and really what you end up choosing will depend on a range of factors that is most cases are unique to you.
This episode discusses the key considerations in choosing a tent for hiking.
With Christmas approaching it is an ideal time to buy new gear with many manufacturers clearing soon to be superseded products in anticipation of the release of new models. It's also a great time to convince family members and loved ones of the benefits of hiking and start leaving gear brochures turned to the right page in strategic places around the house. If you are buying presents for a hiking fanatic then here are some options worth considering.
On 11 November 2017 Australian Hiker celebrated its first birthday. This episode is a reflection on our past year and where we are heading over the next 12 months.
In this episode we interview two female hikers, one younger, one older, who share their experiences and tips on hiking from a womens perspective.
A lot is written about the different needs of women and men but when it comes to hiking, are the considerations for women that different to those of men? This podcast episode discusses issues relevant to women on the trail and offers hints, tips and suggestions that will hopefully help to answer questions that you may have.
After footwear, the backpack is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment that most outdoor enthusiasts will own. I mean you can’t even discuss hiking without talking about a backpack. Choosing the correct backpack to suit your needs is just one half of the equation. You also need to make sure that your pack is fitted correctly. This podcast episode discusses considerations for choosing an appropriate pack as well as goes though the correct footing process.
This episode discusses snakes ticks and spiders on the trail including how to interact with them, avoid them, and if necessary how to treat any injuries created by these creatures.
In this second episode on hiking with children we are take our niece and her two oldest sons aged 6 and 9 year on their first overnight hiking and camping trip. During the hike we get to hear their views on their first overnight trip. This episode is linked to episode 040 where we talk about considerations for hiking with children prior to hitting the trail.
Hiking is a fantastic past time and one that can be enjoyed by all ages and fitness levels. Those of you who have lots of hiking experience will no doubt want your younger family members to enjoy the same experiences you have when out on the trail. This episode discusses tips to get kids out on the trail and get them hooked on hiking.
In this September 2017, Australian Hiker Bonus episode we interview Jenae from Bushwalk the 'Gong, an Australian blog centred around the Illawarra region of the southern NSW coast.
Jenae is passionate about hiking and through Bushwalk the 'Gong offers an excellent online resource for hiking that includes trail overviews and awe-inspiring photos. In addition Bushwalkers the 'Gong runs regular guided walks to help get people out into the spectacular natural environment that is on offer in the Illawarra region.
This episode looks at the 10 Essentials. What they are, whether they are applicable to Australian conditions, and discusses if we should take a more tailored approach? Finally, I will share my 10 essentials list with you to give you an idea of what I carry.
So you've been thinking about getting into hiking but are confused by the mass of gear available or don't know where to start. This podcast episode is aimed at beginner hikers to provide a basic overview on what you need to start hiking.
Be warned the learning never stops and hiking can become addictive!
In this August 2017 Australian Hiker Bonus episode we interview John Feeney, founder and creator of the Melbourne based Hiking Society. The Hiking Society is a blog that provides hikers with up-to-date information and tips on hiking and camping, showcases trails and camping spots in Australia, and provides hiking opportunities through their meet up groups.
At some stage many of us will choose to transition from day hiking to overnight hiking and apart from considerations such as weather, food and site selection, we also need to consider equipment aspects including some form of lighting otherwise we are going to be travelling in the dark....literally. So what to choose? Handheld, head torch or lantern? this episode discusses these various options.
When most of us first started hiking the common factor as a newbie, almost without fail, was we usually only hiked in good weather. Hiking in wet or rainy conditions is a skill that we progressively learn and often come to relish when the conditions are right and we have planned appropriately.
This episode discuss 10 tips for hiking in the rain that can make your wet weather experience much more enjoyable
Worrying about accidents or safety is not something we really want to do every time we go hiking but it is crucial to ‘Plan for the worst and hope for the best’ to keep ourself safe on the trail.
In this episode we discuss the best way to prevent accidents, provide an example of a typical first aid kit for hiking, and discuss the skills needed to keep us safe on the trail.
In this July bonus episode we talk to Joe Bonington, from Joe's Basecamp in Sydney. Hiking is not just about equipment, you also require a degree of fitness to ensure you get the best out of your planned adventure. We were lucky enough to interview Joe and talk on what you need to do to prepare from a fitness perspective for your hikes and other outdoor adventures. You can easily hear Joe's passion for helping his clients come though in the interview and we both left his facility feeling invigorated and we didn't even do any exercise!
In episode 029 we talked about carrying water on the trail but sometimes that's just not enough; we also need to think about the quality of what we are drinking. At best poor quality water will taste revolting, at worst it can cause a range of both minor and major waterborne ailments that can range from the uncomfortable to the life threatening. Do you filter your water?
The 2017 Outdoor Retailer Australia Show was held on 18-20 June at the Moore Park Exhibition Centre in Sydney. This annual show is a chance for Australia's outdoor wholesalers to showcase their new and existing products to Australia's outdoor retailers and allied media. Australian Hiker was lucky enough to attend this show and to interview some gear manufactures and distributors so that we can showcase some new and upcoming gear as well as equipment and trends that you may not have been aware of.
Regardless of the gear we do or don’t carry and the passionate arguments about which is the best thingamajig, the one thing that you can guarantee is in every hiker’s pack is water. Water is essential to our wellbeing and without it we can’t survive. This episode looks at how much water you should carry and the options for carrying it.
As we grow in experience as hikers we start to gain an understanding of our equipment, how it works, or how it doesn’t, and this includes our hiking clothing. Over a series of hikes you’ll learn to read your body’s requirements and which pieces of clothing go together to form a ‘layering system’ that will keep you comfortable no matter what the conditions.
This podcast starts by looking at what a layering system is, discusses the common layers, and looks at what goes into making up a layering system using examples from our own experience based on three season hiking.
So you’ve been doing day walks for a while now, you enjoy them but you feel that you are missing out. Your friend’s keep on raving about longer trips that they’ve done but you’re not sure you’re up for the change to overnight trips. This podcast episode is aimed at hikers making the transition to overnight hikes from day hikes.
This podcast is linked to the written article with images, as well as to Australian Hiker Podcast episode #27 where we talk you through a trip suitable for first timers in real time by using the Northern Campground Trail review as an example.