What do I need?
In short, a booked departure date and some hiking gear. The booking part’s easy: go to the Tasmanian Walking Company site and click “book now”. While you’re there you can check out their gear list for both Three Capes Lodge Walk and Wineglass Bay Sail Walk. If there’s anything you don’t have (or would like to try before you buy) head back here and place an order. We’ll deliver it on the day of your walk, when you meet up with your guides, and collect it back from them at the end of your adventure.
Anything else you recommend?
Make sure you have something with which to take photographs – a camera or smartphone (yes, there are USB charging points in the huts). And seeing as you’re carting along your phone, pick up some apps that will help you identify Tasmanian wildlife, birds and plants. We’d strongly suggest you take a book, especially if you’re walking during the long-daylight hours of summer and have lovely lingering evenings to sit outside and relax. And if you’re not someone who regularly walks with weight on your back (aka most of us mere mortals) it’s worth thinking about a set of walking poles, which are great for up and down steps, and a great saver of tired calves and knees.
What are your payment options?
We have an online credit card payment system hosted by Paypal, through which we accept payment on Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discovery. You don’t need a Paypal account to pay via this system. We chose Paypal because it’s experienced and secure. If you’d prefer to talk to an actual human, you can choose “payment by phone” at checkout and we’ll give you a call to complete your order.
What are the steps to complete and pay for an order?
Once you’ve chosen your gear and checked your bag, you’ll click through to our checkout page. There you’ll be asked to enter billing details, including the departure date and your walk number. Once that’s done and you’ve accepted our Terms and Conditions, you’ll pay and receive a confirmation email from us. We’ll deliver to you on the day of your departure.
How far in advance do you need my order?
The sooner you can place your order the better, to make sure you get the size of hire gear you want and so if anything’s an issue we can solve it with you. You can always place another order for the same walk, and there’s no charge for placing a last-minute order with those final couple of things on it – we’ll just pack them in with the other things we’re delivering to you.
Having said that, we can take orders right up to a couple of days before your departure, but if it’s that late, please make sure you phone first, and be prepared for the fact that some gear items might all already be out on the track.
How do I take delivery of my order, and how do I return hire gear?
On the morning of your walk you’ll get picked up at your accommodation and taken to meet your guides. Your gear will be there waiting for you, with any necessary instruction on how to use it. At the end of the walk, you just hand any hire gear back to the guides, and bask in the successful completion of your adventure …
What happens if I lose or damage hire gear?
If any item of gear you’ve hired isn’t returned to us we’ll get in touch to see if you’ve brought it home by mistake. If the item is lost, or it’s a “for sale” item that you’d like to keep, we’ll charge you the manufacturer’s recommended retail price of the item less the cost of hire.
You’re hiring hiking gear and we know it’s going to cop routine wear and tear. The only thing that will catch our attention is if you return an item that’s seriously damaged. If it happens, we’ll discuss it with you. If the situation merits it we reserve the right to charge you for repairs or replacement.
How will I stay warm?
By dressing appropriately for the conditions. You’ll have read the Tasmanian Walking Company’s gear list for the Three Capes Lodge Walk or for Wineglass Bay Sail Walk, and you’ll have packed according to the rules of layering (keep reading). If the weather turns cold – which it may, any time of year – you’ll wear more layers, and less if it’s warm. It’s a good idea to always keep your raincoat near the top of your backpack as an easy-to-access windproof layer.
Ian believes that somewhere, sometime in the outdooriverse, someone said: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing”. Most often these days it’s cited as an old Scandanavian saying. Whatever. Take it to mean that you’ll have more fun on an outdoor trip if you dress appropriately. You need clothes that keep you dry if it rains, warm if it’s cold and cool if it’s hot. The things you choose should be comfortable, light, hard-wearing and easy to wash. And – seeing as you’ve got to carry it – you want as few items of clothing as possible. Enter the concept of layering…
If you dress in multiple light layers you’re able to adapt to a greater range of conditions. You can add or remove layers depending on the weather and the effort you’re putting in. If conditions demand, you should be able to wear all of your layers in comfort. The three principal layers are base, insulation and outer.
The base, or foundation, layer contacts the skin, which it keeps dry by wicking away moisture. It should be lightweight and quick-drying; merino wool, silk and synthetics including polypropylene are the regular choices. Cotton isn’t a good insulator; it gets clingy when wet and takes longer to dry – save it for in the huts.
The insulation layer is meant to keep you warm. It should keep cold air out and redistribute moisture wicked from the base layer – partly by absorbing it and partly by letting it evaporate. A couple of lighter insulation layers are probably better than a single thicker layer, but don’t get too hung up on this. Popular choices include fleece, down and wool.
The outer layer is there to protect you from wind and rain (and snow, if that’s the climate you’re tackling). The go-to choice for outer wear is garments made with a waterproof/breathable microporous membrane such as Gore-tex, eVent, Reflex (and many others).
How will I stay dry?
Two part answer. During the day, you’ll put on your raincoat (or the jacket Tasmanian Walking Company provides) if rain starts to fall. If it doesn’t fall too hard and your raincoat is waterproof, you’ll stay pretty much dry. If it rains really hard and for an extended period, even with a decent raincoat you might end a bit damp around the neck, sleeves and ankles/knees – but you’ll dry out fast once the weather clears or you’re indoors. And thus part two of the answer: you’ll stay dry at night because you’re in a fabulous hut with a truly spectacular view. Snuggle up and listen to the rain on the roof.
What camping words should I know?
It’s a drawstring bag. For putting… stuff… in. Can’t you just tumble it all into your backpack? Gail has no idea, though she does like that a stuff sack keeps her socks and undies all snuggling together somewhere warm and dry and that they’re easy to find. Ian believes in stuff sacks the way some people believe in Vitamin C. He thinks that hiking, ski-touring and bicycle touring are made easier and happier by a small investment in nylon or Cordura bags. So why wouldn’t you?
Scroggin, aka trail mix, aka Gorp.
Scroggin, or scrog (says Ian), is the name that’s stuck at our house for the hiker’s favourite mix of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and a couple of secret sugary extras. It’s often called trail mix on commercial packets, while others call it gorp (“good ol’ raisins and peanuts” or “granola, oats, raisins, peanuts”).
Gail used to think it was the kind of thing odd people wearing waterproof or breathable shorts, socks that wick and ankle boots ate as they tackled their next perilous mountain. But she’s been converted by Ian’s secret special mix.
Strictly you don’t need to know this one, but’s it’s fun to say three times fast. If you were also carrying your own cooking stuff then every gram counts (Ian knows people who have drilled holes in their cutlery handles to reduce a gram or two – at least he says it’s someone he knows…). A spondonickle – or ‘spondy’ for those in the know – is like a portable handle for camping pots so that instead of carrying the weight and non-tessallating shape of pots with handles you take some neat handleless ones, and a spondy.
That’s it – you’re an expert.
Can I get someone to carry me?
C’mon – it’s going to be great! It’s not like you have to run 20km and then catch up for a meeting and replace your tap washers before preparing a banquet for 10. Every day you’ll start at the beginning, and your only job for that day is to admire the scenery, eat all your snacks and work out your playlist in case it rains. You’ll do it – and you’ll have a blast. Trust us…
By the way, what’s the time in Tasmania?
Tassie runs on Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC + 10 hours) from the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in October, and Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC + 11 hours) at other times. Same time as Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. But not Brisbane, from October to April.
Can I get lost on the track?
Only if you try really, really, really hard. The track is wide and clear and the signs are large. Quite a few other people will be walking at the same time as you. And then there are your Tasmanian Walking Company guides, your expert hosts, charming conversationalists (and excellent chefs!). If still in doubt, keep the ocean on your right and you’ll be fine.
How much can I carry?
You should carry as little as possible: the less weight you’re lugging, the happier you’ll be. Follow the advice on the Three Capes Lodge Walk website, get advice from the Tasmanian Walking Co, and above all remember: light pack = happy walk.
How much you can carry is a beloved subject of hikers. The long-time rule of thumb is to carry no more than a third of your bodyweight, but let’s leave that where it belongs – probably somewhere mid-last century, as far as technology goes. Enter various lightweight fabrics, camping stoves etc and these days even multi-day, independent walkers aim for a total pack weight of no more than 25 per cent of their body weight.
Taking these things together, your backpack is going to be well below the 25 per cent bodyweight mark. And that’s a happy outcome.
What's the absolute minimum I can take?
The lighter your pack is, the more fun you’re going to have, so fight every impulse you have to pack extra clothing. Seriously, one set (top and bottom) of quality merino thermals as a base layer might be the best investment you ever make. Put them on at the start of the walk and take them off at the end. They dry fast if they get damp and they don’t get smelly. Then a set of clothes for walking, a set for the cabins, a spare couple of pairs of socks and jocks, and you’re good to go. Remember, what happens on the Track, stays on the Track