The best way to test your hiking gear is to head out and do some good old base camping. With a few days off I headed to Halls Gap and the Grampians. Jimmy Creek Campground is about 30 KM south of Halls Gap.
With toilets, water, creek, fire pits and awesome scenery, this was the perfect place to test out the hiking gear for winter. With expected temperate of “0” degrees and clear skies, I headed off with a full hiking pack and an esky full of beer and food.
From Bendigo to Jimmy Creek Campground the drive is just under 3 hours with stops. I headed through Maryborough, Avoca and bypassed Halls Gap to arrive at the campground. (Thanks, Google Maps Navigation).
The plan was to set up the tent and camp early and walk the 7.4KM trail named Teddy Bear Gap. The Vango Banshee 200 tent only takes a few minutes to setup. I added the Tyvek floor mat to compensate the low temperatures overnight. Even though the Osprey Atmos backpack is not really used for day hikes, I wanted to test everything out. So I filled the bag with everything I needed and set off on the trail. See Overnight Gear List.
The trail leads uphill for almost 2.5 KMS. Tough going with a heavy pack but it’s a great workout. While you stop to catch your breath, there are some great views of the Grampians and plenty of rock formations and wildlife to photograph on the way.
Teddy Bear Gap Trail Walk Notes
Jimmy Creek Camp > Cross bridge > Head towards Serra Road > Straight past first intersection > Arrive at Serra Road Intersection > Turn Right > Head Down Serra Road > Turn Right to Ingleton Track > Back to Intersection > Turn Left Back to Jimmy Creek Camp.
Total 7.4KM Walk. Here is the GPS Information to Download.
After we headed back to Jimmy Creek Campground, a few beers were sunk and extra layers of clothing were put on. We lit a fire in the pit and had a great meal while trying to stay warm with the dropping temperatures. The temperature dropped to -5 overnight and it was one of the coldest nights at the Grampians I had ever encountered.
The Sea to Summit sleeping mat and insulated sleeping liner helped with the cold. However, this was a sign to get a decent sleeping bag. In the morning everything was covered in ice and my will to survive was low. We packed up everything as quickly as possible. Threw everything into the car and headed to Halls Gap for hot cooked breakfast.
Jimmy Creek Campground
Overall thoroughly enjoyed the campout and day hike. Highly recommend this campground for an overnight stay. Clean facilities, plenty of wildlife in the area and some awesome walks. I will definitely be back to the Grampians and Halls Gap after winter has passed. The Grampians Peaks Trail is calling out for another hike.
Does anyone have a good recommendation for sleeping bags? Please let me know!