Overnight Adventures

Ever tried overnighting when you have to carry all your water for 2 days as well as your tent, sleeping bag and of course food!! Suffice it to say that as seasoned adventurers we are well equipped to carry all of the above, EXCEPT the water factor. Add 5 kg of dead weight to your pack and its a significant difference.

Well the adventure started beautifully from our Palm Beach ferry ride to Wagstaffe and we set off in magical sunny and warm weather. Hiking up the first hill, well the poles came out straight away and we laboured up that 8 degree slope wondering why it felt so hard? We discussed this and figured we needed to slow down and let the body get used to the weight and the fact we were carrying almost 20kg. Most of us after a bit of a hiatus from the big carry's, and one of our party for the very first time. Slowing the pace a little we carried on over the hill and across the beach to take a morning tea break at Killcare beach. The ocean looking very inviting with the heat and the load! However after a coffee and a snack we decided to power on to Maitland Bay and take a dip after lunch. More hills, spectacular cliffs and a heavy swell gave us some wonderful viewing over the ocean and back towards our homes on the Northern Beaches. The hills & lots of stairs ( thank goodness for Trail Fit training!), made our going slow with the load and the beckoning of the beach and a dip keeping us moving forward.

Some pack adjustment required for some of us to bear the load of the water, although the heat giving us cause to thankfully lower our water load as we had to drink lots!!

A well earned break at Maitland bay and power over the last 3 km to get to our campsite at Little Beach - we all ditched the packs and flopped into the ocean! Grateful to be divested from our load and savour some floating in the ocean.

A great campsite with ocean views made the evening a delight.

All our stoves worked a charm, despite mixed reviews of the freeze dried dinners! The chocolate for dessert made up for any calories not already replenished.

Discussion went to pack type and what was best for whom. I have been using an Aarn balanced pack for the last 2 big hikes, and have been so impressed by the comfort and versatility that I have now 3 of these in various sizes. The others using other brands were keen to try my pack and see what the difference was.

After a great nights sleep and following an early morning dip and breakfast we packed everything up and loaded up ready to head back to Hardys Bay. The girls took turns to try my Aarn pack and see what I was talking about. The verdict was unanimous - We all want one of these packs!!

So setting off for a well earned 'real' coffee & lunch at Hardys Bay, our loads significantly lighter having used most of our water and only having to carry what we needed for this part of the day. We were much happier and almost ran the 8km back to lunch. Or was it the coffee that beckoned us!!

A wonderful lunch and coffee at Hardys Bay before our diverted return journey.

Finding out that heavy swells and high wind had cancelled the ferry services to Patonga and Wagstaffe, we had to get an Uber to Woy-Woy station and get the train to Chatswood. As we were still required to don masks on public transport we became the BU Bandits, as most of us only had buffs and the combination of caps, sunnies and the buff over our mouth and nose .....see pic!!!

A thoroughly memorable, fun and challenging overnight.

Points to note:

  • Get an Aarn pack (well not really, but DO check your pack weight and balance and walk with it around for at least an hour or two before setting off on your overnight hike)

  • Hiking poles are recommended

  • Don't take anything that you don't absolutely need

  • Sleeping bag liners are a MUST - if its warm weather they will stop you sweating in your sleeping bag

  • Test your stove & food beforehand

  • Be prepared to pitch and drop your tent on your own - practice at home

  • If you need any gear - talk to me at BU Adventures (I do have some equipment available to hire at nominal cost)

FURTHER READING: How to select your pack.....

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