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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:24 am 
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That's absolutely amazing GS!!! It was a pleasure hiking with you guys. I'm gonna be in the park on 1 & 2 June (between Phabeni and Satara)...lemme know where you'll be.

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RESERVES were declared to keep natural areas in their wildest form.
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15 Mar: Satara
21-23 March: Shingwedzi
18-21 April Balule
9 May: Sand River Bush Camp


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:04 am 
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Only in the park 26 and 27 May :wink: Berg-en-Dal - Croc Bridge, Lower-Sabie, Skukuza area :thumbs_up: (Sleeping in Crocdile Bridge) 8)

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Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Hi guys,
GS, great trip report thanks (think its in another thread but anyway).

I'm doing the backpack trail from 6-9 September :D

Would those of you who've done it recommend taking a chair/stool? I've never hiked with one before, but can understand one might want a bit of comfort at the end of a long day's walk.

Also, what water treatment did you guys take? I've read that you used purification tablets. Did you use a flocculent as well? Did you filter water to remove solids?

Thanks...

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:26 am 
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I would recommend a small folding camp chair , at the end of the day i was a bit tired and stiff , so sitting on the ground was uncomfortable .
I used water purifying droplets , no floculants or filtration - I experienced no no ill effects , though the water tasted a bit strange without flavourant powder .

Though not mandatory I took some lantern oil in order to burn used toilet paper - animals tend to dig up unburnt paper , rather unsightly in the wilderness .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:47 am 
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thanks for the tips ndloti.
Any other recommendations/suggestions you'd care to give? :)

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:20 am 
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If you aren't an experienced backpack hiker , pack lightly , the terrain is rather hilly and sandy if you follow the river course without shortcuts , as we did , thus we had to cover long distances at quite a pace between resting times in the heat of the day , although different groups may follow a different schedule with slight route variations , making the walking a bit more leisurely .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:32 am 
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thanks. I'm fairly experienced and have been training for my trail for a few weeks already (did the 702 8km Walk the Talk with a 15kg pack as well as other hikes). My boots are also well worn in :)

My biggest issue with the stool/chair is the weight, then how to attach it to my pack.

Thanks again for the advice.

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:52 am 
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Hi joshilweis :D

Great to hear you decided on the most thrilling activity....! :thumbs_up:

To answer your questions, I personally indeed think it is worth to take a stool/chair with. I bought the green Leisure-Quip one from Outdoor warehouse, with a backrest. Weights 1.1 kg's and I think it's definately worth it. Although one night I struggled with it in soft mud.... :lol:
I had a backpack of 18kg, + extra tent & stuff (2,5 kg) from my sister, and had no problem. But then again, I'm 21, so it shouldn't. I would advice a backpack of 20% of your body weight, max 17 kg....

The purification: I had tablets and drops with me, yet I only used the tablets, as Donavan (our leading guide) said it unnecessary to use both. The drops contain too much iron, and continuous use is not healthy :thumbs_up: Tables were real fine, however, take some Tang or Game flavour with to get rid of the chlorine taste.... :thumbs_up:

You can use a cloth covering the top to prevent solids from entering the bottle, but I didn;t even bother and really had no problem doing so. Just fill up any empty bottle at a 'break' as the chlorine must be in the bottle for 30min before usage 8)

Ndloti: we were specifically instructed to BURN the paper under any circumstances, and I agree it's a very good practice :)

Shoes: shoes, hiking socks and gaiters are IMHO the most imporatant. Shoes must be worn in, but not too old. The sand along the river is sometimes extensive, and it goes where it shouldn't, and can prove problematic with gaps between the sole and the shoe. Make sure they're good! DO BUY FALKE hiking socks, the thick ones. They might seem too thick, but they are specially designed for hiking, and although they look too 'warm' they are the best, preventing sweating as much as possible. Then gaiters: don't FORGET them, it's just a pleasure to walk with them, and not having to stop every 10 min cleaning shoes from seeds, sands and thorns.

These are the basics, stick to that and ENJOY :D

I'm Overly OVERLY jealous :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Can't wait to go again. Leave the warm clothes at home, you won't need it!

:thumbs_up:

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Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Thanks GS.
I've already got drops but I'll get some tablets too. I've got a box of Game sachets at home already :) The material filter sounds like a good idea.

Re boots, I've got a pair of year old La Sportivas in great condition, am sure they'll be fine.

I buy only Falke socks, for work, sport, hiking, leisure etc. I've got plenty pairs of plain hiking as well as 'left and right' hiking socks. I usually wear em with a pair of hidden or thin hiking socks too.

I'm gonna try keep weight to 15kg max, though I might struggle with food. My camera and lens also weighs about 1kg (Nikon D40x and Nikon 18-200mm VR). I hope I can match your photos (and sightings) on my trip.

I've got gaiters from my Kilimanjaro trip. The only thing is they're quite high (almost knee height - designed from snow) and they can be very sweaty. I'm worried they'll be too hot for Kruger in September. I might just buy a pair of 'anklets' as well.

I see Makro have a tripod stool for R54 but I'm not sure how much it weighs. I'll check it out sometime.

Lighter/lantern fluid for burning paper sounds like an idea, although in the past I've managed to burn it without needing to add anything.

Another question, when you were picked up at the end of the trail, was there beer in the cooler box as well as colddrinks? (I might have to place a special order at Olifants the night before ;) )

Thanks for the advice. I always enjoy a good discussion. If it relates to hiking/photography/nature outdoors, you might not be able to stop me...

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Haha....you're really going to struggle to beat my passion for outdoors and wildlife, I'm a fanatic :lol:

I would certainly buy some anklet gaiters, those long ones will be a hinder...

Indeed, when picked up, there is a big cooler bag with bear, and cold drinks. I'm not a huge bear fan, as I prefer sweet stuff like Archers, but there is bear and coke/sprite, COLD :D It's quite nice to have after a 3 days without :dance:

BTW, I only used a 18x optical zoom camera (8 MP), the Panasonic DMC ZF18, and it proved to be perfect for this hike. Enough zoom, not switching of lenses, and light... And I was quite happy with the quality :)
Small Bino's (light ones) might prove handy aswell. Then I also had a HDD video camera on me, really felt 'geared up' like a 'tourist' :lol: :lol:

I would advice to talk with other 'team mates' and split the photography/video jobs, one concentrating on either. :whistle:
Then again, the sightings we had amounted to extreme luck, so don;t set your expectation too high! But the changes are there & go for the experience :D

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:16 pm 
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Yeah, think I'll buy anklets.

I've got a small pair of Tascos I use for walking. Not the greatest but they get the job done. My lens is only a 11x zoom, but its a dslr (I moved away from ultra-zoom compacts i.e. FZ20 about 2 years ago).

My dad just bought an HD video camera, so I'll take that too. Will probably give the video camera to a mate (and hope my dad doesn't find out :P )

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Enjoy Boet :thumbs_up: And...WE WANT A TRIP REPORT :twisted: 8)

Oh yeah we do :rtm:

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Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:55 am 
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hi all,
I spoke to a friend today who's done the trail twice (I didn't know she'd done it before today). She told me that we're not allowed to take citrus fruit on the trail because elephants can smell it. Did you guys have this restriction on your trails too?

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:00 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Someone's just pulled out of our trail, from 6-9 September. I know its short notice, but if anyone's keen and able to join us, please PM me.
We're also staying in Olifants til 12 Sept after the hike.

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:14 am 
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joshilewis wrote:
hi all,
I spoke to a friend today who's done the trail twice (I didn't know she'd done it before today). She told me that we're not allowed to take citrus fruit on the trail because elephants can smell it. Did you guys have this restriction on your trails too?


I do not recall a rule prohibiting them , but I would not carry oranges .
I have read that elephants are very partial and are attracted to the smell of oranges (assume also lemons ?) , elephants cause untold havoc looking for oranges in campsites in Botswana , probably because people have habituated them and probably fed them .

Oranges are also perhaps a bit bulky ... ?

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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