Only one more day to go until I begin the Heysen Trail!
A 1,200 kilometre trek that will approximately take 6 weeks (providing nothing goes wrong of course!)
I thought I would start my 'Trail Diaries' by answering some questions I am often asked. Here it goes.
Who are you going with? You aren't going alone are you?! Yep this is mainly a solo adventure. I will be hiking the whole trail on my own, with a few 'drop ins' to keep me company along the way for a day or so. I think it's important to be able to go on adventures on your own. You will learn how to be independent and be happy in your own company.
How do you take everything you need? Everything I need is in my 65 L North Face backpack. In there includes a tent, sleeping mattress, sleeping bag, rain wear, thermals, cooking gear, first aid, 5 days of food, maps, spot tracker device and other knick knacks. There's a fine balance between taking the essentials vs things that provide extra comfort. The last thing you want to do is carry something heavy that you hardly ever use.
For food, I have dropped off boxes of food to be picked up along the way. I'll be carrying a maximum of 5 days worth of food at a time.
Why do you want to go on this crazy adventure?
Well, back in 2016 I completed a two month internship in Uganda. One experience here that impacted me a lot was visiting a village in Dunida. Here the living conditions were poor, and students were walking around 28 kilometres each day to get to school. Many of the children weren't even making it to school, or were involved in vehicle accidents or being harassed (especially the girls) on the way. You can read more about that here.
Ever since visiting here I wanted to help them in some way. So I thought if I walked similar distances to these students of 28 km each day for 42 days I can fundraise money to help my Ugandan friends purchase a community van. If you do want to help too visit this link. I am so grateful for any support!
Where are you sleeping each night?
In a designated camp area in my tent. The tent will now be my home for a little while.
Can I join you?
Yes please, I would love company! Please see my itinerary to give you an idea of where I'll be and when. Contact me a week beforehand to plan where we can meet.
What do you think will be the most challenging?
The biggest challenge is being 100% self-reliant. I need to carry my house, food, water, everything! Many sections of the trail are remote, so there is no chance to 'pop' down to the shops if I forgot something. If it's not in my pack, I won't have it. I'll either have to wait until the next town or learn to live without it.
What sections are you looking forward to?
The Flinders Ranges for sure. The fact that I am walking through the entire park from the north to south amazes me. I love the rugged, outback landscape. I will be beginning the trail after a snow event (it hasn't snowed there is over 50 years!). This both excites me and also makes me a little nervous.
How have you trained to get ready? I have never completed such a long hike before! I have done a few multi-day hiking trips in the Coorong National Park and Yorke Peninsula. Two months before the trek I walked most days wearing a 20 kilogram weighted vest. This helped build my muscles, especially my hips, quads and hamstrings.
Not only did I get ready physically, but mentally too. I built my mental resilience by going for walks and exercise even if I didn't feel like it. Because when I am out on the Heysen Trail I won't have a choice! I have also began thinking about how I would handle difficult situations or fatigue. I tell myself that no what what happens keep calm, positive and just keep moving forward. If I do this, I will definitely make it to Cape Jervis.
Thanks for reading :D
I will be uploading every day to share more about my Heysen Trail adventure.