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Lessons learnt from the Overland Track

lessons

I blogged about hiking the Overland Track back in December just yesterday. It was an interesting adventure… some bits were frustrating, some were horrible when the weather turned, while the rest was quite enjoyable. I learnt a lot about myself and well, about multi-day hikes in general. You see, prior to the Overland track, the longest hike I’d done was over two nights and three days. Not much. This was six nights and seven days.

Pace yourself: When I started hiking ages ago, I was always gung-ho about it and one of the first few in line. Then my knees played up. Over the last few months, after some physio, I also learnt that there was nothing wrong with pacing myself. Nothing wrong with being at the back of the line. And given that this was a long walk, I stuck to that. I was almost always the second-last person in our little group of 8. And it didn’t matter. I went at my pace and I think it helped in the end because I didn’t end up with any injuries and my knees were fine! Touch wood!

Carry a book: Ok, so I was trying to keep the weight in my backpack to a minimum. When I commenced the walk, I weighed 48.1 kgs and my pack was about 15 kgs. When hiking, it is recommended not to carry more than one-third of your body weight. I can’t do more than 15 kgs and even with that, I struggled a bit on Day 1. Having said that, I really, really wish I had carried a book. There was so much time spent in the huts especially on wet weather days with not much else to do. After all, there’s no internet either and there’s only so many games of cards you can play! Not carrying a book was my biggest regret. The added 500 gms would have been so worth it!

Real food: My meals on the track were so-so. Lunch was pretty crap — I had chorizo and cheese sandwiches every single day. And it was dry bread. And not that great. But it was sustenance. My dinners were a little better. But still packaged meals — the one minute brown rice or couscous with salmon from a packet. One of the guys in our group brought a whole lot of real food — sausages, lentils, mushrooms, capsicum, carrots and potatoes! Of course, his pack weighed 26 kgs which was ok for him but I reckon I could have carried some kind of dehydrated veggies or at the very least, lentils.

Carry minimal clothing: This was a good tip from G — my friend who organised the whole thing. For the entire seven days I had two sets of quick-dry undies, two tops, one pair of shorts, one pair of long pants, tights and a set of thermals and pyjamas for the night. I just reused the tops and even though they smelt, I had a chance to occasionally rinse them in water and air them out. There’s no point carrying heaps of clothes because you just add to the weight. You could carry something useful instead. Like a book.

Rain + Wind + Cold = Miserable me: I knew I didn’t like the rain. And I haven’t always been a fan of the cold. Add them and some wind chill and you have a very miserable me. I am so not cut out for that kind of weather!

Showers are essential: Ok. I’ll confess. I am a bit of a princess when it comes to showers. I need them. I missed taking a shower for seven days. Most nights, I managed to clean myself with soap and water from the rain water tanks but it’s still not the same as a hot shower. Especially when you are drenched and cold from the previously mentioned rain + wind + cold. I realised that I am not cut out for multi-day hikes. Physically I am. But I would prefer to do multi-day hikes where there are hot showers available at the end of each night. I think it would make it a much more enjoyable experience.

Camping is the best time to catch up on sleep: Some of you might know that due to being busy in the last half of the year, I lost out on sleep. But the trip was great to help me catch up on my sleep. There was one night I was asleep by 7 p.m. and before 9 almost every other night. Moreover, the days when it rained and we’d gotten to the hut early, with nothing else to do, I’d just go for an afternoon nap. It lasted about one to two hours.

Those were just some lessons I learnt on this epic adventure. I won’t be hiking there any time soon {scarred by no showers and the cold!} but I would like to take these lessons on to my next hiking adventure. Wherever that may be.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

 

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  • Sulekha
    January 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I dread hiking because of the very reasons you have mentioned. I need hot showers and dry weather 🙂 hats off to you for going on a week’s hike.

  • Sulekha
    January 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I dread hiking because of the very reasons you have mentioned. I need hot showers and dry weather 🙂 hats off to you for going on a week’s hike.

  • Sulekha
    January 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I dread hiking because of the very reasons you have mentioned. I need hot showers and dry weather 🙂 hats off to you for going on a week’s hike.

  • obsessivemom
    January 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    You make me want to take a hike Sanch apart from the no shower deal. Of course here in India it’s just not done. The catching up on sleep sounds most tempting. Hope the lessons you learnt stand you in good stead later on.
    obsessivemom recently posted…No more happily ever aftersMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      January 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Oh I’m sure you could do hikes in India — I’ve met a girl here who has hiked there. Plus I have a school friend on FB who has been hiking recently. I regret not hiking until I came to Australia.

  • obsessivemom
    January 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    You make me want to take a hike Sanch apart from the no shower deal. Of course here in India it’s just not done. The catching up on sleep sounds most tempting. Hope the lessons you learnt stand you in good stead later on.
    obsessivemom recently posted…No more happily ever aftersMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      January 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Oh I’m sure you could do hikes in India — I’ve met a girl here who has hiked there. Plus I have a school friend on FB who has been hiking recently. I regret not hiking until I came to Australia.

  • obsessivemom
    January 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    You make me want to take a hike Sanch apart from the no shower deal. Of course here in India it’s just not done. The catching up on sleep sounds most tempting. Hope the lessons you learnt stand you in good stead later on.
    obsessivemom recently posted…No more happily ever aftersMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      January 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Oh I’m sure you could do hikes in India — I’ve met a girl here who has hiked there. Plus I have a school friend on FB who has been hiking recently. I regret not hiking until I came to Australia.

  • Beloo Mehra
    January 15, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I am mighty impressed that you did this multi-day intense hike. I don’t think I am cut out for such sort of thing 🙂 I enjoyed reading about the lessons you learned in this experience. Happy hiking! The picture is beautiful.
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…All is Not WellMy Profile

  • Beloo Mehra
    January 15, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I am mighty impressed that you did this multi-day intense hike. I don’t think I am cut out for such sort of thing 🙂 I enjoyed reading about the lessons you learned in this experience. Happy hiking! The picture is beautiful.
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…All is Not WellMy Profile

  • Bikram
    January 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    excellent .. I love hiking although in UK dont have many places to do that .. next year when i come to OZ I am sure to email you to take a lot of TIps ..

    Bikram’s
    Bikram recently posted…Day 15 :- Thursday Challenge (56) – REDMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      January 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Happy to help out with tips Bikram! It’s beautiful Down Under! 🙂

      • Bikram
        January 19, 2015 at 11:29 pm

        yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

        yeah i know I had sucha gala time twice now i have visited oz.. 2016 coming again.. was to come this year but due to some unforseen circumstances that i find myself now , have had to change to next year ..

        have to go to india this year again soon
        Bikram recently posted…Day 19 :- Retail Therapy Not just for Ladies/Women/GirlsMy Profile

  • Bikram
    January 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    excellent .. I love hiking although in UK dont have many places to do that .. next year when i come to OZ I am sure to email you to take a lot of TIps ..

    Bikram’s
    Bikram recently posted…Day 15 :- Thursday Challenge (56) – REDMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      January 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Happy to help out with tips Bikram! It’s beautiful Down Under! 🙂

      • Bikram
        January 19, 2015 at 11:29 pm

        yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

        yeah i know I had sucha gala time twice now i have visited oz.. 2016 coming again.. was to come this year but due to some unforseen circumstances that i find myself now , have had to change to next year ..

        have to go to india this year again soon
        Bikram recently posted…Day 19 :- Retail Therapy Not just for Ladies/Women/GirlsMy Profile

  • Zita
    January 19, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I think I would be exactly the same as you! At least you can say that you have done it and learnt the lessons that will help you chose future hikes more wisely! I think you are brave for doing this one in the first place!!
    Zita recently posted…to reveal my plansMy Profile

  • Zita
    January 19, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I think I would be exactly the same as you! At least you can say that you have done it and learnt the lessons that will help you chose future hikes more wisely! I think you are brave for doing this one in the first place!!
    Zita recently posted…to reveal my plansMy Profile

  • Zita
    January 19, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I think I would be exactly the same as you! At least you can say that you have done it and learnt the lessons that will help you chose future hikes more wisely! I think you are brave for doing this one in the first place!!
    Zita recently posted…to reveal my plansMy Profile

  • Grace
    January 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    My very first mini break with my future husband was a hiking/camping trip. It was totally hard core and while I didn’t know it at the time, I reckon it was a make or break!
    But I loved it! Had the best time! Would do it all again!
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Fitted For WorkMy Profile

  • Grace
    January 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    My very first mini break with my future husband was a hiking/camping trip. It was totally hard core and while I didn’t know it at the time, I reckon it was a make or break!
    But I loved it! Had the best time! Would do it all again!
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Fitted For WorkMy Profile

  • Grace
    January 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    My very first mini break with my future husband was a hiking/camping trip. It was totally hard core and while I didn’t know it at the time, I reckon it was a make or break!
    But I loved it! Had the best time! Would do it all again!
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Fitted For WorkMy Profile

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