The Hobart

Put Your Best Foot Forward: How to Hike

by Zilla Gordon
Put Your Best Foot Forward: How to Hike

We’re surrounded by some of the most picturesque hikes in the country but with quick-changing weather, remote wilderness and undulating terrain, the state’s big peaks can sometimes feel out of reach. Experts say it all comes down to preparation.

Practice makes perfect

Nathan McCulloch, Lead Trainer at F45 Moonah, said when choosing a walk, you have to know your limits.

“To hike in Tasmania, you should have a base level fitness that allows you to easily maintain ‘pace’ for a 60-to-90-minute walk five days a week,” he said.

If you’ve been considering a more challenging walk like the 12.8-kilometre Cradle Summit track, Nathan suggests adding some body-weight exercises or gym classes to your training schedule.

“On day-hikes we take supplies and you’d be surprised how much of a toll that extra weight can take on your body – especially when you combine that with unfamiliar terrain and undulating trails,” he said.

Your body’s recovery time is key for walks like the Overland Track or the Three Capes walk where you’ll be walking day after day.

Nathan suggests upping the kilometres you walk each week and focusing on resistance training to help your body handle longer distances.

Test your equipment at home

Wild Wombat Walks owner Jarrah Keenan, who has been guiding walkers through the 447,000 hectares of the Tarkine for more than 10 years, agreed.

A common trap for new hikers was waiting until they got to a campsite before they tried putting up their tent for the first time.

“It’s better to know how a tent works when you can go inside [your house and] Google how to put it up,” Jarrah said.

And sometimes the most mundane of problems can develop into something unexpected. Jarrah knows people whose hikes have ended with helicopter trips after blisters developed into open wounds.

The tell-tale sign of a blister is a ‘hot spot’ where your foot might feel tender and warm. “That’s when you stop the entire group,” he said.

“Better to deal with it then-and-there with Band-Aids.” Any overnight hiker should also sign up for a First Aid course, carry a first aid kit and a Personal Locator Beacon.

A load off your shoulders

When it comes to equipment, Jarrah said good quality gear is lightweight but can be expensive. Renting kit or opting for second-hand tents, packs and boots can help.

A four-season sleeping bag with a minimum of 600 grams of down is a must, even when hiking in summer.

“Snow has been recorded on the Overland Track at least once a month since 1983 – you will get snow in January, February and March,” he said.

A good quality three-season tent will hold against summer snowfall, but it was important to not pick something too heavy, he shared. “

With a three-person tent, one person carries the fly, one carries the inner and one carries the pegs – then you’re down to 1.2kg each,” Jarrah said.

Another way to lighten your pack is with dehydrated meals.

“If you take fresh food on a two-night three-day walk, you’re looking at the same weight of food as a dehydrated 10-day walk,” Jarrah said.

Ditching for the ‘gram

With weather quick to go pear-shaped in Tasmania, Parks and Wildlife Service Senior Ranger Brendan Moodie said walkers shouldn’t feel ashamed to turn around.

“People see the Instagram photo and they just keep pushing it,” he said. “That’s when people get into trouble, because you still have to walk back out.

People think they can travel four – five kilometres an hour, but for some of the walking tracks in Tassie, that might take you two – three hours to do.”

Brendan recommended chatting to a ranger about your walking plans. “We’re always really happy to talk to people if they’re after information,” he said.

With around 40 per cent of the state protected as national parks and reserves, there’s lots to explore here, and some planning, practice – and good weather – may be all that’s stopping you getting from peak-to-peak.

Love this

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Exploring Tassie These Winter School Holidays
We know that staying indoors with the family isn’t always fun. And while it’s obviously cold outside, you’re only a puffer jacket and beanie away from being comfortable and ready to explore. There’s lots of family fun to be had in all sorts of weird and wonderful places across the state these school holidays.
Sand Surfing on the Peninsula
The half-day walk to Crescent Beach in the Tasman National Park offers so much- including epic sand dunes for surfing and incredible views.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
Magazine
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
August 2022

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!