David Noble – A life of adventure

A Blue Mountains Canyon

Bushwalking, peak bagging, canyoning, climbing, caving have all been a huge part of our special guest’s life for over 25 years.

Whether it is a 23 day traverse of the south west of Tasmania, wandering around the Central Plateau and Cradle Mountain area in Tasmania, bushwalking, canyoning or climbing in the Blue Mountains, undertaking long trips in France, Italy and Switzerland or getting wet on a regular basis in New Zealand, Dave Noble has lead an extraordinary outdoor life. Dave has been kind enough to share some of his story via an email interview. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have:

1. How about a bit of background on yourself. Live where? Work where?

I was born in New Zealand and came to Australia with the family when I was four. I grew up at Springwood in the Blue Mountains but since uni days I have been living in Sydney – in the inner west. I work as a high school teacher – so the holidays are good breaks for bushwalking.

The Overland Track – Winter trip with Caitie and Lauren

Marions lookout track- Cradle Mountain- Overland Track

Planning to hike the Overland Track in Winter? Looking to bushwalk from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair? If you have ever wondered what the conditions are like “off season” on this famous World Heritage journey, then this article is for you. Welcome Caitie Moncur who has been kind enough to share her journal notes from a very recent trip. After months of planning and preparation, and one final night of packing, weighing, unpacking and repacking, the time has finally come. We are Caitie and Lauren, 26 and 25 years old, best friends since we were 3 years old and we are about to take on the challenge that is The Overland Track… in Winter!

Great Walks? You bet, an interview with Brent McKean editor

Brent McKean - escaping from the office

If you’re an Aussie hiker then you probably already know and love Great Walks Magazine. If you’ve never heard of it, now is as good a time as any to head out and buy yourself a copy. Need convincing? Well read on and you might be persuaded.

Brent McKean has been editor of Great Walks for several years now and is obviously a very keen hiker. I recently asked him to participate in a brief e-mail interview, thinking it would be a good opportunity for Our Hiking Blog readers to find out a bit more about another interesting outdoors enthusiast and also about the magazine.
This is a guest post by Neil Fahey from Bushwalking Blog. Neil does a lot of hiking (mainly day-hikes around Melbourne) and shares in-depth trip reports on his blog. He has also recently written a few stories for Great Walks Magazine.

Shorts and Gaiters and/or Shorts and Long Johns!

Even the Track marker is wearing gaiters!

Not sure if you have ever had a good look around Flickr. It is a huge community of people who love to share their photographs and enjoy the work of others.

Flickr also has a lot of “groups” where you can join like minded people and “pool” photographs on different subjects or topics. There are groups for Tasmania with 5000 plus photos, a group for Trangia’s (600 + images), Love of the Outdoors (30,000 + images) and Backpacking (9000+ images). There is even a group for Travelling Toys (21,000 + images)

So we shouldn’t be surprised there is a group that celebrates people who wear Shorts and Gaiters and/or Shorts and Long Johns, after all, it is our standard fashion wear when hitting the bush!

This combination is the perfect bushwalking outfit for your legs!

Practical, quick dry, protect your lower legs from scratches, keeps the mud out of your boots and means you don’t have to hike with wet pants clinging to your legs.

Andy Reynolds – Soulfree Adventurer – An Interview

AndyR

Continuing our series of interviews with interesting outdoor people, let us introduce Andy Reynolds.

Andy, is an Outdoor Educator with many years experience exploring some fantastic parts of Australia.

He walks, climbs and loves snow sports. His latest venture is Soulfree Adventures , a company that “specialise in providing high quality walking tours for the walking traveller”. While Andy is keen to promote his business (and who wouldn’t be), he also has a huge amount of experience in the outdoors and some fantastic yarns he has shared.

We hope you enjoy Andy Reynolds’ story.

O.K. Let ’s keep it simple. How about a bit of background on yourself. Where do you live? Where do you work?
I live in beautiful downtown Buninyong, a small rural village whose key claims to fame I suppose are being Victoria’s first proclaimed inland settlement (Wiki) and the home of the Scody Australian Road Cycling Championships, on our notoriously gruelling hilly course on the slopes of Mount Buninyong, an extinct volcano.

It’s also a pretty nice place to live. I run my own walking company Soulfree Adventures from my home office on Buninyong. This gives me the freedom to work as long as I want (!) and is a great base for work and play.

Let’s get into your early bushwalking experiences. How did you first get into bushwalking? Any particular mentor or group?

I first got into bushwalking as a student at a well known Melbourne private school. Back in the 70’s we still had 3 term school years and each school holidays our loosely described bushwalking group would head for Breakfast Creek, north of Licola in the heart of Victorian Alps.

Food to Go update

How to take a drink of wine with you

Just a quick post to let you know we are still busily editing Food to Go, our new guide on how to eat well in the outdoors.

So,what is the current state of play?

Food to Go will be over 120 pages
It includes over 50 high quality images taken specially for the book by our co-author Deb Hadskis.
Bill Journee from Social Media Solutions is just about to start creating the masterpiece using Adobe InDesign.
We are worried it is going to be too long and have too much detail (not a bad problem to have)
It will sell in eBook format (you will download it from here) for $A19.90.
In this post we let your know the various chapter names and share some of the great images takes especially for the book by Deb Hadskis.

Wet walking track – give up on dry feet?

Bushwalking in Tasmania can be a wet experience. In this post we share a short video of some of the track conditions you can encounter after a lot of rain. Wet feet are part of any backpacking journey and this video was shot near Cradle Mountain and Lake Rodway. We hope it demonstrates how wet the tracks can be after a good lot of rain. Enjoy !

Falls Creek, AAWT & Heathy Spur Track – “short” walk

Heathy Spur and Australian Alps Walking Track

So we traveled to Falls Creek for the opening of the Victorian snow season. We did not ski but hiked in snow and on ice. We got vaguely “off track”. We discovered the delights of the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) and are keen to return. In this article we recount a 16km day hike through some beautiful country in the Australian Alps near Falls Creek and the AAWT. It was great to get the first snow for the season and have a terrific walk.

Hiking in a Skirt – one good reason

Heading into the Walls of Jerusalem - Tasmania - the one on the left is wearing the skirt (Hi Rhona & Simon)

Ok, it’s Frank here. I don’t usually hike in anything but shorts, no matter what the season.

I don’t walk in a skirt and neither does Sue. We’ve never found a good reason until a few days ago.
We came across an article at Dressed in Dirt.  This excellent site,  subtitled the tips and tales of a female backpacker is run by Adelaide Brown. Adelaide is a writer currently living in Portland, OR, she  runs the Portland Women’s Outdoor Club and has done “a good bit of travel” including  a few months on the Appalachian Trail.

Anyway, back to the story, what is the big advantage of wearing a shirt hiking?   Drumroll……

Overland Track Video – Winter or Autumn, you decide

As we all know Frank is a pretty ordinary cinematographer.

Others have more refined skills that combine a great eye and terrific editing skills.

Let’s introduce Jeff Jennings from  Bridport in Tasmania. He has a terrific selection of videos over at YouTube and maintains a site for his passion,  Sea Kayaking in Tasmania.( that stuff looks really scary)

We came across his video on the Overland Track in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park recently and thought it well worth sharing.

Jeff has combined two different trips , one in Winter and the other Autumn. The contrast is quite spectacular.