It should not be surprising that Jack and Jude love bush walking and trekking as much as we love sailing the seas. From our earliest times together, we would “get lost” in the woods and mountains. In Africa, we climbed Mount Kenya and took many an extended walk in the wonderfully diverse countryside of South Africa. And when our sons were babies, we’d load them up in rucksacks and take them on overnight jaunts in some of the open forests of NSW.
But it was when we took Banyandah out of the water in 1989 that we turned to wilderness walking as a way of getting our Nature fix and practise our navigational skills. The wet forests cladding the great dividing range of northern NSW were quite a challenging area to learn wild walking, off track for days, even weeks. Just the two of us found the same serenity, tranquillity, and contentment found upon the open sea.
Walks and Treks:
NSW: Mann River – Gibraltar Range NP – Washpool NP
2002 Guy Fawkes National Park – OFFTRACK 5 Days in fairly open riverbank walking to Sara River
2003 Birthday walk to Demons Fault – OFFTRACK – Washpool NP from Boundary Creek Campground
2003 Mann River and Barool River – OFFTRACK – 7 day trek return from Raspberry Lookout.
2005 Jackadgery to Cherry Tree Creek – OFFTRACK – 9 day trek return to an abandoned gold mine
Gold Mine equipment abandoned at Cherry Tree Creek
2009 Boundary Campground to Pheasant Creek via Demon Fault – PART OFFTRACK 6 day walk
2010 Gibralter Range NP to the Cherry Tree Gold Mine – OFFTRACK 8 Day Trek
2012 Boot Camp – OFFTRACK 8 day walk from Gibraltar NP to escarpment.
2012 Duffer Falls, Haystacks, Duffer Creek – Part OFFTRACK 5 day walk from Boundary Creek Campground, NSW
2012 The Valley of Tranquility – OFFTRACK – 5 Days Cooradooral Valley, Gibraltar NP from Boundary Creek Campground
2014 Four days of Dhyana – OFFTRACK – near Jackadgery, NSW – Pleasant camp – access to Mann River
Betsys Bay WALKS – Ontrack Day Walk to West Coast plus Several offtrack outings to great views.
Mt.Sorell Plateau – Day walk from Farm Cove
Mt.Sorell Peak – Three days return from Farm Cove – no track – requires bush skills and camp gear.
Eagle Creek – West Coast Tasmania superb wet rain forest – challenging.
Goulds Track – Historical track from Sir John Falls to Upper Gordon River, first 2 km marked.
This is not a comprehensive guide to gear – just a few notes on our more successful equipment to use as a guide.
Tents: Being two of us we prefer a double entry – double vestibule, and because we’re often off-track in the thick stuff we prefer a tent with a stout tube floor, which, alas, means carrying a bit more weight. The two tents we’ve used with great success are:
1/ Macpac Celeste: weight 3.2 kg. Great floor, everything stout and lasting. (discontinued) We’ve two of these, each lasting 10 years.
2/ MSR Elexir 2: weight 2.8 kg. Separate footprint, same layout, slightly roomier, more headroom, lighter materials. We have two – NOTE: the fly seam seal on one let go after two years, replaced on warranty. Be WARNED: The Replacement rainfly failed dramatically after two years service, maybe 8 outings. A severe downpour saturated our sleeping bags and threatened our electronics. MSR, after some discusion replaced this fly a second time.
OUR LATEST TENT-
3/ SeaToSummit TELOS TR2 PLUS: weight 1.8 kg Seperate footprint. Even more roomy and more headroom. Easiest of all our tents to set up. We thought it might harder to erect, but superior design and an amazing one-pole made it fast and easy. The star tent pegs supplied going into hard ground need a rock or limb to not to hurt your hand.
Backpacks: We have used mostly Macpac bags, which are a bit heavy, but stand-up to the rugged territory we trek.
1/ Macpac Torre 80 litre was Jack’s main bag for yonks – easily carries 20 kg of gear, upwards of twice that – it weighs 3 kgs -The harness has plastic sliders which on older ones can perish, but easily replaced with stout Velcro.
2/ Macpac Canyon 60 is Jude’s favorite – wider, squatter, and easier to access her larder.
3/ Osprey Volt 60 is Jack’s latest – lighter and smaller – A bit too small for multi-day treks.
Sleeping Bags: We both use down bags rated below zero, usually – 7C.
In sub-zero camping, Jack now wears merino long johns and top – magic when getting up middle of night 🙂
Mont 700 is a good bag, but there are many – just look for high loft and about 700 grams of fill
Newest Bags for us – Ultra Loft
Jack: SeaToSummit Trek TREK TKII DOWN SLEEPING BAG (-8°C) 650+ loft
Jude: SeaToSummit WOMEN’S JOURNEY JOII DOWN SLEEPING BAG 650+ loft
Beautiful sleep in 0 C – and think even colder will be no worries.