Home » Hiking » Latest gear arrivals . . .and plans for a proper test hike

Latest gear arrivals . . .and plans for a proper test hike


I recieved another package in the mail this week: Half a set of tent stakes, plus a Petzl E-lite, which not only fills a significant gap in my hiking gear, has also come in very handy around the house this week!


The stakes are the Terra Nova Superlite Titanium V’s. I’m very impressed with them – in terms of look and feel anyway as I’m yet to try them out in the ground with a tent attached! These combine with my 8 Ruta Locura carbon stakes to give the 14 stakes needed for the tent. I was going to get 7 of each type but coincidentally the V’s came in a 6 pack and the carbon stakes came in a 4 pack! They add ~100g to the tent weight (6 x 10g + 8 * 6.25g) but I think it is definitely worth it. Here is the full set, with the ZPacks stake bag (2.5g!!). I’ll probably take the original “stakes” as well just as an extra option (at 1g each, why not?!)


This completes the set of gear to go with my tent, although I have a bit more tinkering to do before I’m completely happy with my setup. I need to cut my groundsheet to size and will endeavour to make a bit of a bathtub floor for my vestibule area too (so I can leave my pack outside the tent and have some chance of it staying dry in wet weather). I also want to rig up some rope to allow me to pitch the fly first, then put the inner up afterwards. I’ll explain in more detail (with pictures) when I get around to doing it. By the way, I’ve just put a couple of new pictures of my tent on the Tent page. (look, I’ve got this linking thing sorted!)

And now for the “proper test hike”. More than a just a long walk, as it will involve camping, and it should be a proper test of my setup. I have almost all of my gear now, with just a couple of minor things to arrive, buy or decide upon and really should give it a go before taking it all the way across the world.

The plan for this test hike is to walk 101km along the Bibbulmun track over 4 days, getting dropped off at Sullivan Rock and walking back to the northern end of the track in Kalamunda, where I can catch a bus back to my house. The walk will be staged as follows:

Day 1: Sullivan Rock to Canning Campsite. 22.8km. There are two substantial hills, with mainly bare granite which can be quite slippery and difficult in the wet.

Day 2: Canning Campsite to Beraking Campsite. 31.1km. There is one substantial hill (also possibly granite) and several patches that can be very boggy (great practice for NW Scotland!)

Day 3: Beraking Campsite to Ball Creek Campsite. 26.4km. Undulating terrain with a couple of major rivers (with proper crossings) that add some substantial up/down walking.

Day 4: Ball Creek Campsite to Kalamunda. 19.8km. Undulations, plus a nasty finish to Kalamunda which sits at the top of the hill!

My friend Steve (from the previous ill-fated multi-day test hike) has agreed to come along. I really thought I’d scare him off with the 31km day, but he says he’s more scared of the day after the 31km day! (ie when the knees don’t bend and the back doesn’t straighten)

I look forward to giving you a glowing trip report of how well it all went when I return (it’s a bit late now if everything fails or I simply don’t enjoy it!!)

Also, a special “hi” to my grandparents who are following my blog and are now official sponsors of my trip!
And to my friend T, who gave me Bibbulmun track maps as a present a few years ago – it’s taken me a while but they’re coming in very handy!



  1. annathrax says:

    Oh man that is so awesome! Wish I was coming along! Look forward to your report!

    • Helen says:

      We have the option of leaving on a Sunday so you’re welcome to come along for some of day one . . . although you’ve already done that section of the track. I’m looking forward to seeing the views you posted photos of. Just hope I can see them through the inevitable rain!

      • annathrax says:

        Thanks for your kind offer! Even though i did that section i loved it so much i’d do it again anytime! What sunday are you planning? Btw, a few of us girls are doing the echidna trail in walyunga national park next sunday. Its 10.6km and apparently rated “hard”. You are welcome to join if you wish!

      • Helen says:

        I’ve emailed you about this . . .

      • annathrax says:

        I didnt save your email and i am too stupid to find it on here. Lol. Did you end up going on your hike? We canclled ours due to some girls pulling out and te supposed storm that was coming. We have rescheduled, if you can email me privately i can let you know when we are doing it again if you want to join! Cheers x

  2. Forgive me if you already know this, but if you put a loop of cord through the hole in the top of each tent peg, it makes it much easier to pull the pegs out of the ground 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I have read this before but am always happy to get useful advice. I have put loops through a couple now and it certainly makes it a lot easier. Also, my carbon stakes don’t have holes in the top so the cord loops in my V’s come in handy to hook over the carbon stake heads and pull them out too!
      I did some tinkering with my tent setup yesterday so will have a post about that soon! The pegs worked brilliantly (both types), although I found the V’s quite hard to push into the ground by hand (narrow edges hurt) – I ended up putting another V horizontal across the top and pushing down with that. What do you do with yours? Boots, rocks, etc?

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