Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Overland Track - Winter Camping

You can experience winter type conditions at any time of the year on the Overland Track so if you plan to camp on your 6 day journey, we have some tips for you to make your trip hassle free.

Firstly, on the Overland Track you are required to camp in the designated camping areas and this means using the wooden tent platforms at each hut location (not at Waterfall Valley - use grass area).

The current anchor systems on the platforms make it difficult to secure your tent so we advise that using a free standing tent (ability to stand up by itself without the need for using tent lines) is more suitable and easier to pitch.

When you pitch your tent ensure that there are no overhanging tree branches above your tent as snow build up on the branches will eventually weigh the branches down and cause the snow to fall onto your tent in large clumps.

By using a 4 season tent, this will keep you a lot warmer. With a 4 season tent the outer fly generally touches the ground which keeps out the wind and snow pushing through. The inner mesh is also a lot thicker and windproof.

One disadvantage may be the the buildup of condensation on the inside of the tent. Most tents have a separate fly mesh that can be unzipped to allow air flow (adjust to suit). A good tip is to have a small chamois inside the tent to wipe up any condensation present. In winter conditions it is common that the top of your sleeping bag may feel slightly damp the next morning due to the condensation.

Weather conditions may not make it possible to dry your tent each day and you will have to pack it up wet. We suggest that you use a dry bag to store your tent in as not to get other gear inside your backpack wet.

Once you have pitched your tent at your next campsite use the chamois to dry the inside of your tent then lay down your bedding.

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