Planning and Preparation: A Never-Ending Story!
Hello everyone! As I write this, I’m 11 days from starting the Bibbulmun Track. I wanted to chat a bit about the preparation process so far – the mental, physical, and emotional.
To be honest, the whole process has been much harder than I expected, but I think there’s a beauty in that. By immersing myself wholeheartedly, I’ve had to grapple with the reality of what I’m doing and have faced challenges and setbacks that I’ve just had to take in my stride – which I imagine is good prep for the walk itself!
In terms of gear, I’ve been slowly and steadily buying stuff since about January, but the financial toll has been greater than I expected! Beyond the usual big-ticket items that kind of deserve their hefty price tag, it’s been crazy to me how quickly all the little minor items and last-minute purchases (that seem on paper so innocuous) add up and become wildly expensive! Despite that, I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ll be carrying, and only have a few more things to buy. If you’re interested in a full gear list, let me know!
Food prep has also proven to be quite a challenging process. Early on, in order to save money, I decided to prepare and dehydrate all the food for the trail myself. This has meant organising over 45 serves of dinners and breakfasts, and close to 50 serves of lunches and snacks! While I’ve made good progress, it’s definitely not been easy. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a dehydrator from a fellow Bibbulmun Track hiker, but as I’ve never used a dehydrator before the first few weeks consisted of a LOT of trial, error, and failures – some of which, to be honest, almost broke my spirit! I’ve definitely gotten better though, and have almost finished it all! Hooray!
(I’d be happy to post about everything I’ll be eating along the way, if anyone’s interested.)
While doing all this food prep, I’ve also been working long hours and house + pet sitting, all of which have filled my days to the brim! Juggling so many things has definitely taken its toll, and to be honest something was always going to fall to the wayside. For me, this something has been the physical preparation. I walk the dog every day and am on my feet constantly at my hospo job, but aside from that and a feeew hikes here and there, I’ve barely done anything to get my body really ready for this thru-hike. This has been making me feel pretty stressed + nervous, but let’s just hope my youth and baseline fitness will carry me through the first few hundred kms until I get my trail legs!!
(let’s hope that isn’t famous last words…)
At the end of the day, I’ve been forced to come to terms with the fact that I will never feel fully ready for this trail, and that is ok. My body can do this!! I can do this!! It’s ok if I don’t have all my food perfectly prepared; being able to have some flexibility in resupplies will be nice!
Most of all, I think I just need to trust myself and trust the process. I’ve done the best I can, and now I just need to hit the trail and believe in myself + my ability to do this!
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