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    I am planning on walking the Kokoda Track mid 2013, which is officially a lifetime away. As a teacher I enjoys ample holidays, and have therefore become somewhat obsessed by the Kokoda Track experience, spending countless hours (much to my wife's amusement) scouring the internet looking at forums, blogs, trek company websites etc etc etc. As noted, mid 2013 is ridiculously far away, however my planning and preparations have officially commenced. Some background:

    1. I was born in 1969, I have 6 beautiful children, age range 19-3 months. As noted, I am a primary school teacher, however was destined for Officer training in Canberra until my wife-to-be got her hands on me and from that day forth we have been inseparable. Put paid to the army career! I do have a very been interest in Australian history, in particular the wars. On my left bicep I have the southern cross and the words 'courage, endurance, mateship, endurance' tattooed. These are written in french script as a reference to the air war in ww2 and the western front battles of ww1.

    2. My wifes grandmothers brother was killed in action at the battle of El Alamain on October 31 1942. He was a member of the 9th Division, 2/24th, and saw a great deal of action in the middle east. Keith didnt have a long life, but he crammed more into his life than most 100 year olds. He was killed whilst trying to carry his wounded NCO back to our lines. I will carry something of Keiths when I walk the track.

    3. I am average height, reasonable fitness. I have an obsessed personality and once I start something I see it through to the end. I coach a local AFL team and all of my kids are involved in either netball or football depending on gender. So, what does all of this mean? It means that although I wont be doing Kokoda until the middle of next year, I have started gear selection and training sessions ALREADY.


    I have found a number of excellent web resources, including one that has a detailed costing list and blog. https://kokoda.techrescue.org/ I found this costing list to be the best around.

    I was somewhat surprised to read somewhere that the trek company had something like 40 walkers and 60 porters/support staff. Thats a massive group! I'm aiming for a 'personal' experience.

    Training has started in earnest………….a combination of reduced alcohol and not eating anything that I shouldnt, plus some mixed aerobic sessions at our local park, Rosi Park in Bendigo. These sessions are core and general fitness. One night a week of 'boot camp' run by our A-grade netballers, one night a week of running by myself and one session of either bush walking with my pack (and 8kg load of rice) or stair walking with my pack. 100 steps up the Rosi Park poppet head, tonight I did 9 of these and 3 hill-running circuits. Fitness wont be an issue come mid next year……I'm obsessed!


    A footy mate of mine, Peter Holliday, was killed in a plane crash on the way to Kokoda in 09. I miss Pete, he was a great mate.

    So far I have been putting together some gear:

    * Black Wolf McKinley 85L pack.
    * Lightweight Black Wolf mat (got it on special :-)………
    * Black Wolf Grasshopper lightweight 2-man tent.
    * Backpack cover (to keep out baggage handlers)
    * Waterproof Pack cover (cheap one as I will be walking in the dry season)
    * Lightweight sleeping bag.
    * 2 L hydration bladder.
    * The start of a personalised first aid kit.

    I HATE camping/bushwalking so I'm starting from scratch with gear.

    Boss Meri

    Well done Andrew, I have just read your posts and think its great what you have done. Yes, agree, some trekking companies take HUGE numbers on any one trek – I guess its all about profits.

    We have a trek out out there at the moment with only one trekker plus my son Shane so like to think profit is good but at Kokoda Trekking we like to provide a service for our clients and with this trekker it was the only time she could get away from work so why should we deny her a trek.

    goodluck with your future training and planning.


    Yes I have been following that particular trek on Facebook………I'm impressed!

    Rode my bike to work today…….VERY sore after the running and pack climbing session last night.

    Will do another session tomorrow after work.


    Just got the Field Guide 50% off on ebay……nice!

    Sore in the ankles today after a running session last night and bike ride today in 35 degree heat……pack goes on tomorrow for another Rosi Park step-climbing session. June 2013 seems SO far away, especially as I have all essential gear aside from boots. Put the tent up a few days ago…….very light (2.6kg)!


    2500 steps up the Poppet Head this afternoon with 8kg approx in the pack……felt good.


    Approx 3000 steps up the poppet head (I lost count) with 15kg on the back! Will be sore tomorrow….good tip from Jenny, train in a jumper. Imagine the sweat!


    G'day Andrew. You've picked something fantastic to do and will no doubt come to remember your trek as an awesome experience.
    I trekked with Gail and her team back in 2006 and can't heap enough praise on her company. We had 7 trekkers plus porters and that was just about the right amount.
    I too was born in 1969. I was not the fittest guy before starting training, and like you, started early, about a year off from going for me. My only comment with training would be to not wear yourself out early. Get yourself fit sure, doing whatever you like to do, but really start the hills and stairs with about 3-4 months before going. I found with a couple of months to go I was starting to wane a bit. Maybe wasn't fully wound up and payed for it on the track. Walking the track is something you really cannot describe it to anyone until you have done it. The experience is out of this world.
    I see you are in Bendigo, and when winter comes around you'll notice it gets harder to train. One of the hardest things I found was leaving a Brisbane winter (nowhere near as cold as Bendigo) and turning up in Port Moresby. Into a sauna basically. Remember to keep your fluids up from the time you leave Australia.
    Anyways mate, good luck with the training. You say you hate camping/bushwalking, but make sure you do a few overnighters in the bush somewhere before you go. Really use all your gear to make sure you're ready.
    18 months might be a long way off but you'll find it'll be here before you know it.


    Thanks mate, great advice.

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