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#1 K*I*M

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 11:40 AM

Hi All,

My friend and I are doing Kokoda in January next year (trek 617).  Thought Id take this opportunity to introduce myself (hi!) and start a thread where I could ask all the questions I have (there are a lot wont ask them all at once!).  Then when people get bored of me they can always stop reading!

January in PNG wet season?  Does this mean it rains all the time, or should we expect torrential downpours for just a few hours a day?  Should I expect to be wet the entire time?  Is it hot?  I can live with wet, but less happy about being cold!  

Cheers,
Kim


#2 peterh13

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 04:30 PM

I think cold might be the least of your troubles.....
Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.

Non semper erit aestas.

#3 Geoff Hardie

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:41 PM

Hi K*I*M,

Welcome to the forum. I will endeavour to assist you with any of your queries whenever I can.
I am not sure of the climatic conditions you can expect in January as I trekked in August. No doubt it would be very hot, humid with periods of torrential rain however others maybe able to offer more reliable advice. I would suspect that even the higher points would be milder in January than in August when the temps. can be quite low at night.
Cheers,
Geoff Hardie

#4 K*I*M

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 01:51 PM

Thanks Geoff (and Peter)!

So I'll take something warm for the night time then.

I'm sure a million other questions will pop-up here, just can't think of any right now!

Cheers,
Kim

#5 Mrs Moo

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:39 PM

In January I would expect the creeks to all be in flood, the swamps to be extremely yukky, storms and heavy rain to pour down every day.  Are you sure you want to trek in the wet season?

#6 Rocky

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:48 PM

Kim, I went in late April this year.

It was just after the "official" wet season (dec - mar) though I was told it was a long wet season this year. It rained most days late afternoon / night, quite heavy twice. I can only guess that it'll be wetter than that in January.

Creeks would rise in a hurry when raining and just after but settle down again quickly.

In April it was stinking hot most of the time and outrageously humid. Sweat just pours off you. You will have absolutely no problems with the cold with the possible exception of 1 night around the 1900 area - I even unzipped the sleeping bag once at this point. (you'll likely be begging for a nice cool breeze in January...).



#7 peterh13

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:10 PM

QUOTE(K*I*M @ 7 Sep 2009, 01:51 PM) View Post
Thanks Geoff (and Peter)!

So I'll take something warm for the night time then.

I'm sure a million other questions will pop-up here, just can't think of any right now!

Cheers,
Kim


It wont be cold at night, I went in July and only had 2 cool nights.
Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.

Non semper erit aestas.

#8 K*I*M

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 05:49 PM

Hi All,

Mrs Moo - we have already booked for January, so no backing out now!  Really is the best time for us in the work that we do.  The fact that it's the wet season is just lucky  unsure.gif

Rocky - it there anything you would suggest (in terms of gear) that would be particularly helpful in the wet season?  A friend who has done some hiking suggested waterproof pants (oh, the jokes that could be made...), but I'm thinking with the humidity that this would be pretty uncomfortable.  Would you agree?  I've read to take a cheep plastic poncho, but again with the humidity (and hence sweating) I'd imagine this would be fairly sticky.

Peter - guess I'll hold off on the Marino long johns then!

Seems like people mostly wear shorts (based on the photos I've seen), but I think this website recommends long pants.  Does it really matter?

I bought some shoes that are a suede / Cordura upper and NGX liner.  Is it worth using a waterproofing product on these also?  I know they'll just get (and stay) wet the entire time, but would further water proofing improve their life span?  I've tried looking this up online, but haven't been able to find any info about this really.  Anyone with experience?  I'm not fussed if the waterproofing changes the colour of the boot, just if it will cause any damage.

Alright - I'm off to train in the urban jungle!

Kim

PS.  Thanks for all the replies, really appreciate it


#9 Rocky

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 09:52 AM

Hi Kim,

Exciting times for you - train hard, but you'll be OK. The track is used to (and mostly copes pretty well) with the wet. It's sticky, muddy, slippery, etc but I was surprised that after heavy downpours the track is still passable. From the Owers end the mud is like clay and alot of the water runs off ...probably because it's so bloody steep most of the time....and towards the Kokoda end the tree roots tend to limit the depth you can sink into. Will likely be deeper in flatter parts of Naoro, etc but there aren't many of these.

If you listen to any advice... and frankly a lot of advice given, including mine, comes down to personal preference....then please listen to this. Do not bother with any heavy duty wet weather gear (except tent of course). I'd recommend a light poncho, which is what I took, however when out in the rain didn't even bother putting it on. I just draped it over my pack as I didn't have a pack cover. Realistically you are so wet already from sweat, you don't care much about the rain. I personally can think of nothing worse than taking the track on in long pants, and waterproof ones would be particularly diabolical.

It's suggested by others on this website that if you're going to spend money on something then let it be shoes, and I agree. My only extragance was a pair of scarpas (gore tex).  They were always damp from sweat and covered in mud but will only get really wet if (when!) you can't avoid water going in over the top - regardless of gaters. By all means waterproof them further if you wish but I'm not sure what effect this may have on suede... I confess I didn't bother with additional waterproofing other than 1 cursory spray and although they coped well on the track my boots are now a little warped on some of the material - I guess from sustained wetness - perhaps I should have made more of an effort with the waterproofing...

Enjoy the training, wear your hiking boots as much as possible.


#10 peterh13

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 04:40 PM

I agree with Rocky, wet weather gear is a waste of time,,,,we had no wet days at all but my clothes were soaked from sweat from day one.
KEEP YOUR FEET DRY.
Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.

Non semper erit aestas.

#11 K*I*M

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 08:54 AM

Thanks Rocky and Peter,

Re the wet weather gear, you have confirmed what I more or less thought.  I have found a waterproofer for my boots so if can't hurt to do that.  If there is anything I've learnt from this forum is that the dry feet and good foot care is criticial.  So I'll keep on that!

Anyway - I'm out of questions for now.  But I'll keep reading the forums, and when the next issues pops into my head I'll post again.

Thanks for all the responses so far, it's really good to have somewhere to post when you are having a minor freak out!  Not that I''m freaked out  wink.gif

Cheers,
Kim

#12 Brian

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 03:10 PM

Hi

We had rain heavy at times on 7 days of our 9 day trek fortunately at the very last moment I threw a rain coat in but only wore my rain coat once and then I would have not normally done so.

I injured my leg on the third day out, not looking where I was walking and had a nasty fall, so by the 5th or 6th day I was really struggling so much so that I was told after that they were arranging to lift me out.

On the 7th day my leg was killing me and I was to put it politely psychically buggered it was a long very wet day I did not make it to camp until 9,30pm that evening I was wet cold and frozen this is when I wore the rain coat mainly for the warmth it gave me had it not been for this I would not have worn the rain coat the entire time. Next morning I was up and at it again without the rain coat.

You are just as wet from perspiration and normally a lot hotter wearing a rain coat on the trek than you are without it.

You are right look after those feet treat them like gold as they and your boots are the most important things that you will take.

Next important thing don't do as I did by not looking where I was bloody walking, stupid me. You will need to look where you place your feet each and every step of the way believe me you will. If you want to look around stop and do so but not whilst you are walking.

Brian


#13 K*I*M

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 11:41 AM

Brian - your story is a little bit inspirational!   cool.gif Mental toughness at it's best.

I was looking at booking hotels pre/post trek.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I think I've read that the Gateway is good, but I any other places people would suggest?


I have read in here somewhere that it takes a while to get track information from the company when you book, can anyone give a bit of a time line for this?  There is soo much to do, I'm not sure how it will all get done in time!  Eek! ohmy.gif

Cheers,
Kim

#14 Rocky

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 12:54 PM

KIM, the gateway is good I managed to check it out but didn't actually stay ther. Very handy for pickups and close to the airport, a good complex. You'll find most people stay at the gateway.

I stayed at loloata island - about a 20 min drive out of moresby + a short boat ride. Loved it - you can snorkel, take little walks and relax. Moresby itself is a bit dodgy frankly (not a place you'd wander about in) so was very pleased with our choice of accommodation.

#15 39thdecendant

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 02:10 PM

Hi Kim,

We stayed at the Holiday Inn, it was very nice. Make sure you check, check & double check your booking, just because you may have booked in advance & paid for it dosn't mean that your room will be there!! Make sure that they email or fax you a CONFIRMED booking form with your payment recorded and a receipt. This is PNG and you leave NOTHING to chance! Two 39th Vets made a trip up recently, rooms were booked and paid for.. but the hotel had no record.. luckily they had their booking form and receipts with them. Holiday Inn have a bus to pick you up at the airport.

cheers
Nettie







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