Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

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TIP: The online Bushwalk Inventory System can help bushwalkers with a variety of bushwalk planning tasks, including: Manage which items they take bushwalking so that they do not forget anything they might need, plan meals for their walks, and automatically compile food/fuel shopping lists (lists of consumables) required to make and cook the meals for each walk. It is particularly useful for planning for groups who share food or other items, but is also useful for individual walkers.

Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 2:21 pm

"When are you going to take me there"? It's a pretty common question I get after telling friends or family of a walk that I have just done. One mate in particular has been very persistent with this question over the years so I recently relented and agreed to take him on a walk. How hard could that be ?? As this mate (at least I think he still is :) happens to be quite a few kilo's on the wrong side of his optimum body weight I knew he was going to be slipping the clutch a fair bit on anything too steep so the first technicality was to choose a relatively flat walk that still passed through some pretty countryside for him to appreciate. Having achieved this we set our sights on a 2 night trip, easy ! The next step was to get my old mate kitted out. He reckoned he had a bit of gear so with a spare sleeping mat and tent from me we were set. I asked my wife along as well which bought the numbers up to 2 more people than I usually walk with. I have done longish walks with my wife before and she goes quite well. No worries there.
The first sign that things weren't going quite as expected came when we called by to pick up old mate on the first morning. Crap was still spread all around his lounge room while he wrestled with the complexities of how to pack so many things he simply couldnt be without. After a lot of ruthless gear culling I finally had him down to what I thought would be a manageable load. We had a long drive to the start of our walk and time was ticking away. The situation didnt improve much as I was constantly asked to pull over so he could make calls as we drove in and out of phone range. By this time my good mood was starting to fray at the edges. When we finally got to the start of the walk we were seriously behind time and old mate was still not happy because his pack didnt seem to fit well and needed a fair bit of adjustment. He reckoned it was pretty heavy too :roll: Over the next few hours he didnt shut up for 1 minute. The only problem with this is that he was only happy at the head of the line where he could determine the pace but seemed to struggle with the complexities of walking and talking at the same time ! Whenever he had something to say he had to stop in the middle of the track to say it......aaargh!! In an attempt to speed up our progress I attempted a bit of a short cut and promptly got us lost. How *&%$#! stupid of me. :roll: While i was having a brief gander at the map my mate decided he knew which direction we should be going in and took off the wrong way. Even after looking at our position on the GPS it was hard work to convince him we really needed to be going in the other direction. Finally we came to a pretty little tarn and decided that would do us for the night. Still well short of where I'd hoped to be. After wrestling with his tent poles for a while he uttered a statement that I was to hear constantly for the next 48 hours. " Your going to have to do this for me " !! Are you kidding !!!
The next morning we agreed to leave our camp set up and do a day walk further into the region we were visiting. Since we were only going for the day old mate asked if he could "chuck a bit of stuff' in my pack so he wouldnt have to carry his. About 10 kilos of gear later we where packed and moving again. It seems my mate had developed an annoying rash from walking in heavy denim jeans the previous day and found the best remedy for this was to dab a bit of aloe vera cream onto his afflicted nut sack every 20 minutes or so. Main problem with this was that I had his cream in my pack and constantly had to stop while he fished through all his other worldly bits and pieces to get it out. Things finally came to a head when we were fronted with a bit of a climb through some head high scrub to get up onto a ridge which I knew would lead us to some open easier walking. Old mate reckoned he was knackered and couldnt go any further. My wife, bless her soul, told him she really wanted to see the landscape ahead so he should just park himself on a near by boulder and wait while her and I ventured on a bit. "I'm not staying out here by myself" was his almost frantic response to that suggestion. The weather was stunning at the time and we had been following the shoreline of a lake most of the way there. Easy to find the way home again. Just where this clown thought we were leaving him and what evil things he thought might occur to him as he sat in the sunshine admiring the beautiful view I have no idea ?? When my wife suggested I stay and babysit while she went on ahead I had to say no. If Id have been left alone with this guy out there on that rock I'm sure 1 of us would have been the victim of a 'terrible accident'.........and it wouldnt of been me ! :evil:
So we returned to our campsite and after swapping sleeping mats with old mate to help him get more comfortable we had an un-eventful nights sleep. Mostly because we had stopped talking to each other by then.
The walk out, punctuated with many applications of aloe vera, went at a snails pace despite the fact that by this point I was carrying 90% of old mates gear. The only thing driving me on was the thought of a cold beer and a steak at the pub on our way home. About 4kms or so from the car we happened to get back into phone range again which was the signal to drop packs and sit around while my mate got on the phone bone to anyone and everyone he's ever met. As a result we where late getting to the pub but still managed to get our orders in and get a beer. As we sat in a very tense silence studying the beer mats before us a women came out to inform us that the kitchen was closed for the day and we could get our money back at the order counter. A classic end to one of the most stuffed walks Ive ever been on !!

I've seen professional guides on the Overland Track and in various other parts of the country and thought to myself that it wouldnt be a bad gig. Working outdoors in a place you love, meeting lots of interesting people and getting paid for it at the same time......how good would that be !!
2 nights in the bush with 1 needy individual has made me see it for what it is........ like herding cats through a paddock full of Tiger Snakes !!

Now how do you do THAT ???????
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 2:23 pm

Whoops....wrong spot. I'm STILL lost !!
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby crollsurf » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 4:27 pm

Haha, reminds me of taking the kids overnight. Will you just shut the *&%$#! up!! Mindless dribble for the most part.

I used to charge a $100 deposit to teach friends how to ski. Listen to what I tell you and don't argue and you can have your deposit back. And that's it, if they have to pay, they do as they're told.

So guiding in some respects is easier because you're in a position of authority but there would always be that one person who...

You're story also reminded me of a time a mate decided he knew where Thredbo was and took off in a whiteout. Had no choice really, had to follow him down into scrub and guide us out once he accepted his mistake.

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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby north-north-west » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 5:55 pm

I could top that story. If I ever get around to writing the full trip report from that nearly fatal PD/SCT trip back in 80/81, you'll realise just how easy your weekend was.

Moral: don't walk with wankers.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby GregG » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 5:57 pm

Hahahaha - brilliantly written, you could tweak this a little and sell the script for a movie. Who would you cast in the role of your annoyingly incompetent mate?
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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 6:19 pm

north-north-west wrote:I could top that story. If I ever get around to writing the full trip report from that nearly fatal PD/SCT trip back in 80/81, you'll realise just how easy your weekend was.


Please do it NNW. Would love to hear your story. Quite a few omissions from mine.....such as boiling water for a cuppa and then deciding to go for a walk. The pot boiled dry and he he burnt the bottom out of it. Then we ran out of gas cooking porridge the second morning !
I could of added heaps more.......just wanted to set the general tone of things !!
north-north-west wrote:
Moral: don't walk with wankers.


Best not to walk with others at all !!
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 6:22 pm

GregG wrote:Hahahaha - brilliantly written, you could tweak this a little and sell the script for a movie. Who would you cast in the role of your annoyingly incompetent mate?


Russell Coight.
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Who'd Be a Walking Guide ??

Postby wayno » Mon 12 Apr, 2021 6:00 pm

good hiking mates are like gold dust , a guy i tramped in was an ultralighter... needed to use my cooker and cup, he wouldnt carry the cooker or the fuel. then he pulls out a can of coke...
then theres the constant whingers, me and my best tramping mate developed an unspoken rule. no whinging.. we had a few other people come along, but seldom invited them back,
from the land of the long white clouds...
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