Hiking, sleeping in the bush and mental health.


Great Ocean Walk was much harder than I anticipated. Mostly due to being a novice and carrying to much weigh biologically and in my pack. I started off on the six-day hike weighing 100.4 kgs. I am sure my pack was 23kgs and I was carrying 3ltrs of water on my belt.  That two poles, just plan simply extendable aluminium ten poles taken in case we wanted to set up a ten fly in bad weather. After the second day, my knees going down inclines where getting painful and this basic pole not designed like hiking save me. They had no handles like the real ones so use physio tape to stop the friction and sore hands.

My knees and whole body were in pain by the second day. The sun and the heat were wearing me down and I actually collapsed gracefully onto a staircase and closed my eyes thinking I might pass out from low blood pressure and I am sure low blood sugar too.


The second day was still the same as the first day easy to medium. However, we did a double on the first two day so we covered 21 kilometers each day. Our total trip would cover 100 kilometres. I decided to collaborate with the other three and make a suggestion. I suggested we get before sunrise and leave just on daylight. The next 60 kilometres would be medium to hard and take on average 5 hours to walk. Beating the heat of the sun made a huge difference to a 49-year-old who was carrying far to much weight. I was thankful for this change and the difference it made was tremendous. We also drank a 1 ltr of water before we left in the morning. We got very organised with packing down tents and eating our cooked oats quick.


If you google the walk you will see Rynes Den to Joanna beach then onto Devils Kitchen is rated medium to hard, it was gruelling for me. However, the campsite at these destinations was spectacular and something I have never seen in my life. This landscape and sunrises and sunsets are imprinted in my mind. Absolutely magnificent. I suffered from physical fatigue and exhaustion. To add to the struggle my pack was not holding. The straps kept losing and because it was gradual I experienced shoulder pain. Packs are meant to sit on your hips not take all the weight on shoulders. Mine was faulty and I received a refund from the retailer. However, even with the faulty pack and to much weight. I love every minute of the hike.

I lost 5 kilograms from 100.4 – 95.4 in six days. I was shocked and did not think it was possible to lose so much weigh in a week. My doctor who has been on my case to lose at least 10 kgs was astounded and now wants me to lose another 10 kgs. She wants me at 85 kilograms.


In summary, my mental health and well being was at its best. I sleep rock solid and felt fantastic emotionally. I am not sure whether sleeping in the bush or total exhaustion helped my Bipolar stabilise. However, I know I will be doing more multiday hikes but with more wisdom and better equipped. I will also be much lighter because I have continued to train each day now walking and running. I am determined to get to 85 kilograms and enjoy good health.

2 thoughts on “Hiking, sleeping in the bush and mental health.

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