We just completed the otter trail a week ago.
Only 4 of us walked it and we loved it! Not quite as tough as I thought it would be. We had a little rain on day one and a lot of mist on day two, otherwise, kindly overcast. The rivers that were for fresh water collection were all quite dry and hardly running.
I learned a few things on the trail:- Clothing:
You don't need a lot of it! I wore one pair of lightweight long pants with zip off legs for the whole trip. Modern hiking clothes are FANTASTIC! I took 2 modern, "wicking" lightweight shirts. They seemed to shrug off dirt and smells, and were fantastically quick to dry. The long sleeved shirt was comfortable in the spring sun and prevented sunburn.
A clean tracksuit is a treat to wear around camp after a shower.
Good, comfortable, waterproof boots make for happy feet. I got a cut under my foot, but the good boots made it easy to walk on.
Good thick hiking socks also help.
A poncho works well! It stops the rain from wetting the back of your pack when you use a rain cover (if you throw it over the pack)
- Walking poles:
Ha! I used to think they were for sissies! They are amazing! I used only one and the help it gave was awesome! I found myself "punting" myself uphill, taking about 15 to 20% of the load off my legs. On the downhills, the stop the jarring on your knees as you gently lower yourself down. USE THEM!- Kit
- A decent head torch is a good idea.
- Modern gas burners are fantastic.
- A candle or two would have been great to have. We omitted them but the would have made the hut nights better.
- If you don't want to take firelighters, a tube of "waterless hand cleaner gel" (alcohol based) works a treat!
- One of us had a UV light steriliser pen, which we used to sterilise the water. (a lot of development upstream). We had no tummy upset at all!
- A "Camelbag" type water bag is worth it! Some of the marked fresh water rivers looked a little stagnant to me. Having 2litres to sip on while you walk is very comforting and keeps you hydrated without you ever feeling the need to fill your belly with water.
- if you have an old backpack, borrow a new one!
- in spring, a lightweight sleeping bag with a liner was more than adequate.- River crossing stuff: