10 days, 260kms on foot, undulating terrain, river crossings, muddy trails, rainforest creeks and more, we experienced every type of terrain underfoot except snow! I have just returned from the most epic adventure, taking on the trails of 10 Great Walks in Queensland in 10 Days, between Currumbin and Cooktown, with the adventurous Luke Edwards. Besides the logistical challenge of getting across the nearly 4000kms by car to reach the National Parks dispersed across Queensland, the main question that most people had for me, was how my feet were going to survive the challenge!
This is where preparation and quality gear comes in big time. I wore my ultra soft Icebreaker Merino socks, and my ultra comfy Mizuno rail runners, both of which I had tested out in training many times. Of course I had a back up pair of trail runners and more pairs of socks than most people have in their sock drawer, but this combo just worked. The last three trails we ran, we ended up with wet feet, sand in our shoes from the river crossings and beach sections, and I had to empty them out every so often. I was certain blisters would be on the menu for that day. But in the end, I managed to get to the end of the trip and was so chuffed to have made it through without a blister in sight.
If you are preparing for a big day hike or a multi day walk, testing out your gear in training is a number one priority alongside building up your trek fitness. One blister can floor you for days. It can be debilitating to get blisters on your feet when you are out in the wilderness for several days, and completely ruin the magical experience that could have been. Invest time in wearing your gear in all conditions. Learn where you get hot spots on your feet and stop as soon as you feel one – change your socks (always carry a spare pair in the top of your pack), your shoes (if you can) or use preventative layers on your feet like Compeed and Fixomul tape over the troublesome spots. If you are out hiking and start to feel like a blister is forming, STOP immediately and tend to it.
Here’s my favourite gear, tried and tested on the trails across Queensland, day after day for ten days:
Socks: Icebreaker Merino mid length
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Rider GTX Trail Runners
T Shirt: Icebreaker tech light merino 150 ultralight – we literally wore this shirt for ten days and it did not smell!!
Longe sleeve: Icebreaker Zeal half zip Merino 120 featherweight
Jacket: Aussie Grit Focus lightweight rain jacket -ultra light, water and wind proof, versatile and small enough to roll and take in your day pack.
Running Pack: Salomon 12l trail running pack
Daypack: Osprey Kyte 36l
Water bladder: Camelbak 2l
Trail snacks: Clifbars, Clif shots