30 days to overnight hiking challenge 

Well, having had a few misadventures with overnight hiking I figured I’d best go back to basics and try to find a way to do some long overnight walks without straining something!

Enter the very experienced professional bushwalker and blogger Caro Ryan, of lotsafreshair.com. She has put together a 30 day to overnight hiking challenge aimed at providing the knowledge and build up of training to enable folks to head out on overnight walks with confidence!

So, in the interests of relooking at how I’m doing things to better improve my experience I’ve decided to take on the challenge.

There is a day by day task list involving training walks, gear selection, health checks, goal setting and the like. There is also a closed Facebook group for meeting others doing the challenge and it is already rather awesome! There are so many good tips already being shared.

Click here to check out the challenge!
I’m thinking that to cap off the challenge I’ll continue my great north walk hike but do an overnighter. I’m not sure how far I’ll walk or where I’ll spend the night but I’ll work on that as the challenge progresses and I start to understand my limits and needs. I’ll of course provide a full report here!

Down the track (excuse the pun) I’ll be doing the iconic six foot track from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, NSW as a multi-nighter but time and other commitments will decide the schedule. I have the map already!

Anyway, if an opportunity like this comes up where you live or if you’d like to join this challenge, I’d recommend giving it a shot- it looks like it’s going to be very satisfying!

Thanks for all the support and advise you have all give me so far (even just clicking and reading my blog gives me a pick me up!). If you have any tips on how to enjoy overnight hiking please let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to hear them. Wish me luck!

13 thoughts on “30 days to overnight hiking challenge 

  1. You can do it. I’ve been reading your blog. You’re a hiker. Prepare physically and mentally. Carry map/compass, basic first aid, light w/ spare batteries… make your list and check it twice. Don’t try and carry too much; I learned that the hard way! Check some of my posts over the past year… lots of overnight stuff. Good luck to you, and I look forward to reading all about it right here! Bravo!

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  2. Here are my best tips:

    If you have any fear of ‘being out there’ alone at night, it always helps me to make sure I am in my tent before it actually gets dark. 🙂 Benedryl helps with sleep.

    Most of the noises you hear outside of your tent at night sound HUGE, but small mice and harmless possums can sound like a bear at night.

    An overnight in your backyard will help with finding out what you left at home that you need (but forgot) before you are stuck out in the woods. (But the 30 cay challenge sounds like it will prepare you for those things.)

    Don’t keep food in your tent or your backpack at night…even small snacks (I had a mouse eat through my tent and through my backpack to get at a snack bar I had forgotten about in my hipbelt pocket.)

    Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you – good tips! I don’t know how I’m going to handle my first encounter with trail mice! Plus there are rather large bush rats near where I live. And possums. And spiders. And leeches. Ugh. Slowly growing a thicker skin!

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      1. Oh, my! Bush rats? Yikes! Yeah, it happened little by little for me, too, as far as getting comfortable out there at night.

        You’ll do great! 🙂 I look forward to reading about it.

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    2. I’m not sure what wildlife you’ll run into, but I often carry a bear canister to contain my food… then animals can’t get at it. Include toiletries, anything scented, etc. An alternative is to hang the items in a waterproof bag, if you have trees available. The canisters come in various sizes, can be stuffed in some bushes at night so they can’t be rolled away, etc. They add a bit of weight, but they do keep your food secure. Nothing in tent or pack overnight!
      Snakes? Don’t forget snakebite kit… and know how to use it.
      Water filtration… prevent water born problems from the get-go!
      It will be FUN! 😉

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  3. Best of luck, Nathan! I have never camped anywhere other than Britain so can’t advise on anything much. All I would say is, don’t leave it until you are really, really tired before you pitch your tent because it’s easy to make mistakes and forget to do stuff when you are exhausted.

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  4. My biggest tip is to travel light. It is worth buying the lightest and smallest tent, sleeping bag, burner to cook your meals and everything else. Every extra 10 grams weighs you down.I know friends would say to me ‘that doesn’t weigh much, you can take it’, but each one of those ‘light’ things adds to the weight. I know -its obvious. But to increase your pleasure as you walk, less is best.

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  5. You should always pack light whenever going for overnight hiking. With the lack of access to emergency services. You should use your space wisely. I tried using roadeavour collapsible water bottles and it helped me to save space and weight to bring more important tools.

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    1. I’ve actually just started using a collapsible bottle and it is such a good idea! And I agree I want to pack as light as possible but not so light that I am leaving things out.
      I’m hoping to head out on another overnight hike this month.

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