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Equipment list - Otter Trail

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
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Equipment list - Otter Trail

Unread post by caz1981 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:06 pm

Hi there

I will be doing the Otter Trail next year in April over the Easter weekend. I would like to take 12 people (incl myself) when is the earliest I can book? 2ndly is there a list of equipment to pack and how to pack it? With regards to costings, if I book now do I pay October prices or the current price?

I look forward to your reply.


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Unread post by restio » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:30 pm

Hi caz1981 and welcome to the forums! :D

I assume that you've looked at the Otter trail page and the Otter Trail topic in this forum.

The SANParks site also links to, and on that site I found a nice equipment list.

Hope you have a wonderful trip! :mrgreen:

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Equipment list - Otter Trail

Unread post by Coenel » Sat May 16, 2009 8:24 pm

Hi there

My hubby and I are goiing on the Otter in Nov :D . Is there anyone that can give as a good idea of what to take and what not :huh:. We know about the survival bags ect. But like food, what would you suggest or anything else that people forget to tell you. This would be a first trail for my husband but not for me, I know it is a bad one for a firstimer :big_eyes: , but he wants to do it. So any ideas that might help, please help? :?

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Re: Otter, food & & &....

Unread post by Elzet » Sun May 17, 2009 8:06 am

Hi Coenel, I envy you! Wish I could explore that rugged coastline some day (Hubby and I love the Tsitsikamma region):

Pistol-Pete had this advice (uhm, ten years ago...):

Having done the trail 7 times (1st one at the age of 5!) I can hopefully give you a few pointers when planning for it.

Accommodation on each night is in two log cabins with 6 beds (1 inch mattress), so just the old sleeping bag will do - no mattress. Rubbish bins, fire wood, braai areas and grids are provided at each hut, making a braai a good idea for the first night. Vacuum packed meat seems to last quite some time and can be taken for nights 2 and 3.

Crossing the Bloukrans River (Day 4) should only be attempted at low tide, so check the tide table for that day - waking up at 3 in the morning to make the low tide is sometimes necessary! Rain can be quite frequent, and can pose problems for crossings of the Bloukrans (Day 4), Lottering (Day 3). On one occasion we had to swim the Haartenbos (Day 3) and even Natures Valley! (Day 5). Take a survival bag to float the old rucksack through difficult sections, should you be caught. Be very aware of currents at the mouths of these rivers. Also don't hesitate to use the numerous escape routes marked on the map should the crossing appear to be dangerous in any way. Check that all the people on the hike can swim - we have been caught out like this before! Watch out for the accent up to the plateau about 7 km into day 4.

There is evidence of people missing the path and continuing along the coast to the mouth of the Bloukrans. Fill up the water bottle at the last water point before the overnight hut. There are asbestos rain water tanks, but these are often dry especially in the dry months. Try to use water sparingly from these tanks, as the next group of hikers will appreciate your consideration. Candles seem to be a good idea for night time in the huts, just clean up any mess they make. The otter is a very shy little guy and if you see one, consider yourself lucky.

Bottle nosed dolphins are a common sight and often come in close to the shore and play in the surf - look out for them at Oakhurst hut. The Knysna Loerie can quite often be seen jumping about in the upper forest canopy, and are full of character. Do not rush to get to the next hut, as you will end up missing a lot along the way. Take time to explore river mouths, swim etc.

Before and after the trail, Forest huts are available at Storms River Mouth and at Vasselot and accommodate two, with bedding and braai facilities - communal camping ablutions. They are good value for money and are very welcome to the tired and weary hiker. Book them through the National Parks Board. The restaurant at Storms River Mouth used to be excellent for a slap-up dinner, but we have found that recently the food and the service is appalling and you would be better off braaiing.


- sleeping bag
- pillow slip (to make a reasonable pillow using clothes as stuffing)
- survival bag (cape union mart)
- good, comfortable pair of boots or running shoes if you don't like boots
- waterproof Anorak
- sox
- underwear
- warm top
- tracksuit bottom
- 3 x T-shirts (1 for evenings)
- 3 x shorts (1 for evenings)
- costume
- light running shoes/slops for evenings
- hat - sun cream
- 1 box matches/lighter
- sense of humour.

- small biodegradable soap
- toothbrush
- little tube of toothpaste
- 1 roll loo paper
- whatever blows your hair back (no hair dryers)
- hand towel .

- Game isotonic powder drink: try 1 litre at least per day
- biltong
- dried sausage
- peanuts, raisins
- super C's

- Provita/Ryvita, sliced bread
- margarine (in a well sealed small Tupperware container as this stuff leaks when molten)
- Sardines, mussels, potted meat spread
- chips, although they take up a lot of room and are liable to get squashed. Try Pringles
- fruit, not too much as it is heavy
- two minute noodles (emergency rations, also good bachelor food at home)

Really up to you - flask of whisky/brandy whatever. They still have to invent dehydrated beer

- water bottle 1 - 2 litres
- plate (plastic preferably, as it is light and doubles as a frisby if bored and still full of energy)
- pen knifes come in handy, especially when opening beers at the end of the trail
- fork, spoon
- 1 candle
- a light torch with new batteries
- gas stove
- 2 gas bombs per hut
- billy
- First Aid kit

- 2 x wooden huts (they aren't heated like some of our local jails)
- balcony, braai area in front
- bunks with about a 1 inch mattress
- wood is supplied in reasonable quantities at the huts for general fire dancing and cooking purposes

Good luck and I hope this helps you.


There are plenty of other sources that you might like to visit, including the Sanparks site: ... /otter.php

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t.” - Harvey MacKay

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my list for the otter : suggestions?

Unread post by jxharding » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:28 am

i bought every single magazine with details on the otter and followed every single bit of advice on what people wished they took and wish they did not take.
i checked the complete interwebs as well :)
also checked sportsmans warehouse's list.
also did a few trails and made my own decisions based on others' comments

i am sitting next to my stash before putting it into the backpack.

writing down all the goodies im taking, for my own reference so that i can use it next year (if all goes well), and so that others can also advise, starting 9 april on the trail

2.5l bladder
5x day packets food consisting of:
5 packets dried fruit and nuts mix
4 2min noodles
3 instant soup
10 packets nescafe
20 huletts sugars
5 mini cheddars
5 energy bars
1 m&m
5 super c
3 more chocolates

small marie biscuits
powder milk
isotonic game
3x vacuum packed steaks
dry wors

head lamp
extra batteries
cable ties
survival bag
walking stick
tough black refuse bags
gas bomb/canister
gas stove
some more ziplocs for e.g. dirty socks
small elastic rope with hooks
hand towel only
balaclava / beanie
first aid kit @ netcare

water purification tablets
half a small soap
small toothpaste
fissan baby paste
lip balm SPF 30
1x R40 waterproof bag @ sportsmans warehouse
1x R40 hard plastic, sealable, waterproof camera case with carabiner


gas canister
3x t-shirts
1x long shirt
3x shorts
1x tracksuit pants

money for gate
money for food afterwards

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Re: my list for the otter : suggestions?

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:15 am

Hi jxharding
2 things first: you're taking too much food and too much clothes.
Take 1 t-shirt, and 1 pair of tracksuit pants, besides what you'll be walking in. You won't need more. Take a clean pair of underpants and socks for everyday (clean socks every day is a must).

I'd also recommend taking a second small water bottle to use while the purification tables are working in your bladder (this is what I did on the Olifants Backpack Trail).

You also don't have a sleeping bag or pillow on your list.
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