It’s 99 days until I start my Bibbulmun Track hiking journey in Western Australia; 1003km (623 miles) over a 5-6 week period. I have been planning this trip since December 2014 and this initial planning led me to think about setting up my blog.
While initially I thought about doing the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the USA (this is still in my future by the way) the catalyst for both my blog and this trip was actually an article I read on the Canadian West Coast Trail. Mmmm, west coast, maybe there’s a pattern here? Something about this Canadian trail just spoke to me in a way no other had. In thinking about this trail and also the PCT it occurred to me that maybe there was an Australian option I could do and so the research began.
Research into the respective trails, research into equipment and research into myself. So, after a month of web trawling I identified the main Australian long trails and quickly narrowed my choice for 2018 down to the Bibbulmun Track, in Western Australia, and the Heysen Trail in South Australia. Somewhere in my warped mind the extra 200km on the Heysen Trail just meant an extra week of walking.
But why two trails you ask? Both the Bibbulmun and the Heysen are prone to environmental impact from things like bushfires and also flooding. While the Bibbulmun was my first choice 2016, 2017, and 2018 saw both bushfires and flooding impact the trail. The hiking season for both of these trails is essentially mid-Autumn to mid-Spring and while fire is highly unlikely at that time of the year, the impacts from the previous summer’s fires can affect the experience on the trail so I have been waiting with baited breath to see the impacts of this year’s fire season. The Bibbulmun did lose one of the on-trail huts to fire this year but I can cope with that. The final decision only happened about two weeks ago but having said that I am still keeping the Heysen Trail up my sleeve just in case. What can I say I love planning.
Over the coming 99 days I will be posting at regular intervals, initially once a week and then daily in the final two weeks on this new section of our website as I ramp up my preparation and planning for this hike. My physical preparation started 15 months ago but has really ramped up in earnest in February of this year.
As part of this journey some of the podcasts leading up until my August start date will relate to this trip but also to the average hiker who never intends on doing these distances. I will also be recording and releasing podcasts on the trail as well, so you can hear the highs and lows as they happen.
I look forward to sharing this experience with you!
My first post as I lead up to start my Bibbulmun Track Journey in August 2018