Unlike many of the people we encountered doing or planning the AAWT, we are not “full-on” hiking enthusiasts. Prior to planning this trek, our biggest hike was four days, and far more commonly we did simple day walks. We had little experience in off-track hiking and navigation, and probably only average fitness levels, thanks to indoor desk-based jobs. So here are a few of the things we learnt along the way…
- We did the 12-day Great South West Walk as part of our preparation for the AAWT. It is no comparison in terms of terrain, all maintained track and not very steep, but it did give us the chance to test out our gear and check food quantities, and even just our endurance over a longer distnace. It was a valuable experience, and we made a number of modifications to our plans as a result.
- With little practical experience in off-track hiking, we started rogaining as a way to improve our navigation skills. As it turned out, we also found a fantastic new pastime
- We highly recommend going from Canberra to Walhalla, rather than the other way around.
- Our first AAWT plan had us completing the walk in six weeks, with no rest days between the Thredbo and Hotham breaks. We went back and adjusted, adding in an extra week to shorten some days and include extra rest days.
- Condition of track – overgrown etc takes time
- Home dried meals allowed best control; best re-hydration start the night before
- More food towards the second half of the trip
- We broke two orange plastic trowels: a lightweight metal trowel may be a better option!