You’re organising training for Kokoda but are unsure and unassuming what you need to avoid doubling up on equipment
You’re your own gaffer or that of your group charged with that important responsibility for the onerous and once-in-a-lifetime Kokoda Trail trek in Papua New Guinea. You’ve decided to include camping and overnight training hikes for Kokoda. And if you’re wondering how to be equipped for your training hikes, rest easy! That’s because we’ll be helping you to be pragmatic and keep your wits about you with the following list of the basic equipment and food you’ll need whilst out-bush (this isn’t prescriptive so be flexible and adaptable to suit your needs!)
A basic list of equipment and food for your Kokoda Trail training hikes
Go for a 3-man dome tent shared between two people. Most 3-man dome tents have sufficient sleeping area, headroom, windows, and storage space for two backpacks.
Everyone should carry their own backpack which should be about half-full with trek clothing and personal gear. The remainder of the pack space should be used to carry the group’s rations, water and trek accessories. The tent should be carried between your pairs and pack weight should be evenly distributed among the group. Make sure you have dry sacks and rain covers to go with the packs and we recommend 70-litre backpacks with strapping and external attachment points.
There’s no need for daypacks as everyone will have a backpack for the overnight hikes but on the Kokoda Track, you’ll surely need one if you plan on hiring a personal porter to carry your large backpack.
Have dry, wet and cold weather clothing i.e. shirts, shorts, longs, socks, underwear, compression shorts, towel and headwear etc. Make sure you have spares to last you for the duration of the hike.
Have a pair of durable, robust and lightweight hiking poles for the hike. They’re great for support, balance and reducing the strain on your knees and back.
This is important and so everyone will need an all-weather and lightweight sleeping bag and something to sleep on like a sleeping foam or self-inflatable mat and/or pillow.
Have quality training shoes and hiking boots that you can break for Kokoda including gaiters that are comfortable and that can keep your feet dry and free from any serious injury.
On the Kokoda trek, we’ll be doing all the cooking for you and preparing your meals. But for your training hikes, have a portable stove at least with raised supports and one that takes up minimal space in your backpacks. Some stoves are sold in a package with a burner, saucepans, pan and pan grip which is something worth considering.
It’s costly to buy branded trek ration packs so we suggest buying food items for the three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and pre-packed in portions for each meal in zip-lock bags and plastic bags.
This is optional for those who want to sustain and keep their energy levels up during the hikes. We recommend energy bars, trail mixes, beef jerky, dry fruits and nuts.
You must purify your drinking water at all times using purifying tabs or a Steripen. You’ll need this on the Kokoda Track so it’s a good thing to get used to before your actual trek. The Steripen and puri-tabs which come in packets of 50’s are sold in most pharmacies here in Australia.
First Aid & Safety
This is absolutely important so you need to ensure you have at least a fully trained first aid attendant equipped with a fully-kitted first aid kit and who can administer CPR. Ensure you have your mobile phone, portable charger or in worst case scenarios, a GPS, satphone, handheld radio or personal locator beacon will come in handy (a GPS, satphone and PLB are needed if you’re going to be hiking in areas with communication black spots).
Have a compass, waterproof map and guidebook for the area you’ll be hiking in if you’re not too familiar with the area (we suggest having copies of the map for each member of the group).
Like your maps, have a list containing all the important personal and emergency phone numbers which might come in handy during the hike or in an emergency.
Have important trek accessories that you’ll need like toiletries, toilet paper, tissue paper, bacterial wipes, small dishwasher, sunglasses, camera, mobile phone, portable charger and spare batteries.
Nothing will ever prepare you for Kokoda but training will. If you train hard and prepare well, you can rest assured you’ll have a safe and enjoyable trek. You can find more information on how to plan and prepare for your Kokoda Trail trek if you click here. You can contact us if you need to speak to one of our friendly Kokoda Trail Expeditions staff if you have any questions regarding planning, organising and training for your trek.