22kg on my back

Out walking by Andrew Gills
Out walking, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

It’s now less than two weeks until I set off on my Great North Walk hike. As the time gets closer, I’m becoming more excited about the trip. But the reality of lugging my pack all day is also starting to set in.

I weighed my pack yesterday and it weighs 22kg (48lbs). I’m hoping to get it down to 20kg (44lbs) but there are certain things I’m hesitant to leave behind so it’s a challenging process.

While saving grams might help a bit, the reality is that the human body and mind are amazing things. They can adjust to almost any hardship if given time.

The first three to four days of a long trek are always the most difficult. That’s when the mind is battling excitement and nerves about the adventure ahead. And when the body is not yet used to the fact that it won’t get to sit at a desk all day long (though my body and soul hate sitting at a desk all day).

To make the first three to four days of my hike easier, I’ve decided to get out walking with my full pack at least once a day every day until I leave. This will help fine tune my fitness so that I can enjoy the first few days of my hike instead of being in discomfort.


  • Tuesday: 5km walk with 22kg pack
  • Wednesday: 5km walk with 22kg pack

8 responses to “22kg on my back

  1. How long do you expect the Great North Walk to take? I hope it goes well.

  2. So exciting! I can’t wait to read about your walk.

    • 🙂 I think that I am unlikely to have power to charge my phone while I’m away so I’m going to be writing the walk report old-school with pen and paper. But I will retype it all when I return home because I love sharing stories of my adventures 🙂

  3. Is it complete wilderness or do you have points to resupply on the route?

    • Hi Michael,

      There are a couple of shops along the route but reports are sketchy as to whether they have regular opening hours (or, indeed, whether they still exist). The first and last day or two are pretty good for resupply if you like takeaway and walking an extra couple of kms to get to Coles / service stations. But the middle section travels through quite isolated areas. The biggest issue is actually water. It looks like there’s going to be 2-3 days in the second third of the walk where I’ll need to carry extra water (I’m bringing two 2L hydro bladders) and rely on creeks (though I’ve checked recent weather and the area between Sydney and Newcastle has had plenty of rain over the past week or two).

      I think I could do it with slightly less food and rely on resupply but I don’t want to have to worry about it. 🙂 It will also be good practice for some of the other hikes I want to do in the coming years that have more wilderness (Larapinta Trail and Australian Alps Walking Track).

      I know you can do this entire walk in 2-day sections because it runs really close to the Pacific Hwy so it’s not that isolated from the world. There’s just not many towns down there.

  4. Good idea on acclimating yourself to the pack before you go, 22kgs is a lot of weight, but you are a fit, strong guy, so I know you can do it. I am really excited for you Andrew and cannot wait to read all about your adventure!

    • Yeah, 22kg is a lot of weight. It’s 29.7% of my body weight so it’s a good couple of kgs heavier than ideal (ideal is no more than 25% body weight). But it’s only for the first few days. Though I could use it as an excuse to eat lots of food next week to gain a few kg (definitely only kidding).

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