DGT gear list

29 Jun 2016 11:35 #69023 by advocate_gerrie_nel
Replied by advocate_gerrie_nel on topic DGT gear list
@Adrian - yes, if we keep to the strict regimen. And if the weather holds. And if the Basotho's are nice. And if my tax return during Aug/Sept goes as planned

:)
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11 Jul 2016 09:29 - 11 Jul 2016 09:33 #69102 by Dewrance
Replied by Dewrance on topic DGT gear list
Howzit,

We had a go at a 5 day GT in April (right when those attacks happened) also along the 'record route' and I learnt a few valuable lessons:
1. There is no shame in bailing and having your bum handed to you by the Berg!!!
2. Take sunscreen and particularly a lip balm with sun screen (make sure its easy to reach during the day) the mental fatigue from chapped and sunburnt lips is tiring!
3. Take poles. when there are tracks to follow they are very narrow and there are long stretches with absolutely no path.
4. Don't skimp on food! Particularly snacks during walking times. I was at around 4kg for the 5 days and I felt like it wasn't enough! You may struggle to get under 16kg total with that gear and food plus enough water.
5. I did it in shoes (Salomon XA Pro 3D) and I suffered! Although these were the shoes I trained in my ankles took a beating - if you are going to wear shoes consider having your ankles strapped from the start - or just wear boots. My theory from now on is if I'm not planning on running I'll wear boots every time in the Berg. However one of the others in our party (who is a good runner) wore boots and said next time he would prefer to try it in shoes...
6. Take 2 Buffs. Better to double Buff than to double fleece... B)
7. Do not skimp on sleeping bag. It is miserable to get so cold that you battle to sleep. Lack of sleep makes the next days very difficult. This is the reason I had to bail: got too cold on the first two nights and a chest infection began to set in and I couldn't breathe! I could handle the pain from twisted ankles and blisters under toenails etc but could not handle no air! Make sure you're able to stay warm at night!!!
8. Def take a insulated sleeping mat of some sort - mini inflatable or sawn off rubber one...
9. Know that the record route is by no means even close to the easiest route! It may be the quickest but not the easiest! In Ryno's words: "We like to rest on uphills..." On this: you may seriously want to consider avoiding the Jareteng valley shortcut. We were fortunate to pass through it during daylight - but it was taxing to constantly try and avoid shepherds (who can flippin move bloody quick over that terrain in their gumboots!) and hand out sweets... never mind the constant goat and sheep bells ringing for hours - it was like Chinese torture. We also had a couple of times where we were either stopped at night because dogs started barking ahead of us and we had to camp short of our planned distance, or had to take serious detours up and over ridges to avoid dogs at kraals. I found it mentally rather tough to walk away from the escarpment and head into Lesotho in those valleys! If I were doing it over 8 days I would seriously consider staying closer to the escarpment. The views are stimulating and there are generally fewer shepherds.
10. Lastly, make sure you have spoken clearly about escape routes, walking times and styles. By this I mean that you all need to be very clear on what time you expect to leave in the mornings and when you plan on stopping. Unplanned stopping (either to change gear or get something) cost us dearly in terms of time. Oh, and be prepared for the possible downer after the attempt (whether you complete it or not). I struggled with almost depression like symptoms a few days after returning home - and did not see it coming! It was just a low around the DGT being over. It had taken up so much time and thinking, with planning and training, and all of a sudden it was gone. This may be an overshare, but I thought it may be worth noting.

Unfortunately we didn't make it but I reckon I will some day. We made it to Giants and then had to bail so we did about 150km in just under 4 days which is not bad but I'm still bummed we didn't make Thabana.

Whatever you do, enjoy it! Swim in the rivers and shout on top of the peaks! Is there any way we can follow your trip?

Marc
Last edit: 11 Jul 2016 09:33 by Dewrance.
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11 Jul 2016 19:08 #69108 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic DGT gear list

1. There is no shame in bailing and having your bum handed to you by the Berg!!!

Put differently, if you always achieve what you set out to achieve, you aren't going for challenging enough objectives.

3. Take poles. when there are tracks to follow they are very narrow and there are long stretches with absolutely no path.

I have done 1 GT with a single pole (11 days), 2 with 2 poles (13 and 14 days) and one with no poles (5 days) - I think it depends on pack weight more than anything else. With a light pack I don't use poles, but for a heavy pack they do help.

5. I did it in shoes (Salomon XA Pro 3D) and I suffered! Although these were the shoes I trained in my ankles took a beating - if you are going to wear shoes consider having your ankles strapped from the start - or just wear boots. My theory from now on is if I'm not planning on running I'll wear boots every time in the Berg. However one of the others in our party (who is a good runner) wore boots and said next time he would prefer to try it in shoes...

Like poles, I think this depends on the individual, pack weight, route etc. I have done 2 with boots and 2 with shoes - definitely prefer shoes. I think poles and shoes are a call that must be made based on experience. As someone who was not nearly ready to do a GT when I did my first GT, IMHO, if you aren't sure if you would do better with or without poles, or aren't sure of shoes vs boots - you probably aren't ready to do a GT.

6. Take 2 Buffs. Better to double Buff than to double fleece... B)
7. Do not skimp on sleeping bag. It is miserable to get so cold that you battle to sleep.
8. Def take a insulated sleeping mat of some sort - mini inflatable or sawn off rubber one...

100% agree :thumbsup:

9. Know that the record route is by no means even close to the easiest route! It may be the quickest but not the easiest! ... On this: you may seriously want to consider avoiding the Jareteng valley shortcut.

I am curious if you have done the Popple and Durnford Ridges before :laugh:

But jokes aside, the speed route is definitely easier than the escarpment edge route - most notably due to easier lines through:
- Skipping Singati, Ifidi, Icidi via the Kubedu
- Skipping Nguza Ridge via the Senqu, plus a lot of distance saved
- Skipping Popple, Sanqebethu and Durnford via Jarateng
- Skipping Redi, Mhlamgubo via Mokhotlong and Tsolo
- Ditching Mqatsheni in favour of adding Sehonghong is a fair trade, so no benefit there, aside from a bit of distance
- The line through South Hodgesons might be slightly easier, but more notably, it cuts a lot of distance

I haven't done the full Jarateng route - just the bit from the junction with the Langalibalele (which I didn't do on a GT), on my 5 day GT, we used Bannerman Cave, so we opted for the escarpment edge line (which is about 5km shorter, but much slower). On my next GTs I am also planning on doing the escarpment edge line through this bit, mostly because of the dogs.

There are so many route variations on a GT - all 4 of my GTs have significantly differed from the others in terms of route. I am reasonably certain that no one ever traversed into Mohlesi Pass at 3000m on a GT before.

Unfortunately we didn't make it but I reckon I will some day. We made it to Giants and then had to bail so we did about 150km in just under 4 days which is not bad but I'm still bummed we didn't make Thabana.

Gives you a good excuse to go back :thumbsup:
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12 Jul 2016 16:29 #69120 by Dewrance
Replied by Dewrance on topic DGT gear list

As someone who was not nearly ready to do a GT when I did my first GT, IMHO, if you aren't sure if you would do better with or without poles, or aren't sure of shoes vs boots - you probably aren't ready to do a GT.

I'm not sure anyone is truly "ready" for their first GT... :lol:

I am curious if you have done the Popple and Durnford Ridges before

Nope, not that I know of...

What I meant by the suggestion was not to necessarily follow the escarpment route the entire way, but to seriously consider avoiding the Jarateng short cut... As speed is not a crucial issue over 8 days it may be feasible. There are certainly many instances where it is far easier and quicker (and even spectacular) to venture slightly into Lesotho.

There are so many route variations on a GT

Absolutely. That's why its best to check out the record route and make sure it fits your style, skill level and what you are trying to achieve!

Gives you a good excuse to go back :thumbsup:

Don't know if I'm quite there yet; but maybe the memories are fading just enough for me to convince myself...

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12 Jul 2016 16:46 #69121 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic DGT gear list

I'm not sure anyone is truly "ready" for their first GT... :lol:

Probably true :laugh:

Took me a while to have a go at a second GT, but at least you now know what you are in for when you do try again.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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13 Jul 2016 08:54 #69130 by advocate_gerrie_nel
Replied by advocate_gerrie_nel on topic DGT gear list
Thanks for the additional posts guys, much appreciated. All very valid points. I ended up getting poles and absolutely love them - they make a huge difference. Also started looking into better sleeping bag and got borrowed a set of gore-tex leather boots that i still need to try. And i got rain-pants.

Lots of water has to run into the ocean before im ready for this trip, got myself completely humbled by the Matroosberg South face this weekend...

Still believe we should do a shorter version for more fun and less torment, will chat to team mates. 8 days seems too short, but its what we have. And our strongest member is adamant that its possible to do. We will know our escapes well...
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13 Jul 2016 08:57 #69131 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic DGT gear list

.... got myself completely humbled by the Matroosberg South face this weekend...


Maybe a new thread with some pics on this? We love photos :laugh: And there are few people posting from the Western Cape :)
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14 Jul 2016 13:53 #69149 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic DGT gear list
Gerhard,

Best you start walking in those leather boots as soon as possible. Took my brand new Boreal Zanskars for a 4 day hike about a month ago and didn't have time to walk them in properly. Within 3kms I could feel trouble coming in both heels. I normally hike in TK4 socks, but they were too thick for this boot (for first time use anyway). Fortunately I had a pair of thousand miler socks as well and ended up having to wear these 4 days in a row. I also took some silver medicine tape (Dischem) along and on day 1 on 3kms I stopped, taped my feet up and changed into my thousand miler socks. I only ended up with 5 blisters in total, which wasn't too bad. Wouldn't want to do 8 days in new boots!
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18 Jul 2016 09:10 #69179 by Dewrance
Replied by Dewrance on topic DGT gear list
Hey Gerhard,

If you're enjoying those poles so much you may want to check out some of the "Nordic Walking" videos on Youtube. Its a good style to use on the flats and slight uphills. Be warned - most of the videos are super-nerd made! It is not necessary to have a 'carrot up your bum pose' whilst hiking...:P :eek:

Here's a start: Nordic Walking Video
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18 Jul 2016 20:06 #69192 by Christinejvr
Replied by Christinejvr on topic DGT gear list
Gerhard

Don't forget the headlamp/torch. Might come in handy....

Enjoy!!

Christine
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