After Action Report - Horse Gully Hut hike and overnight- December 2013



Located approx 50km south of Tuggernong ACT in the Namadgi National Park in the Naas Valley.Getting thereFrom Point Hutt Crossing and through the township of Tharwa, keep heading south. Road is tarred until approx 15km north of the turn off to Mt Clear Campground. Trailhead is located adjacent to the Mt Clear Campground.


  • Burghaus 65lt Biolite pack, purchased Dec 2013, $115AUD on massive write down
  • Kathmandu Lansan 2p 3 season hiking tent (1.85kgs) $249aud also on massive markdown from $699
  • Camelbak 3l Milspec bladder with insulated hose
  • MSR Pocket Rocket butane burning stove
  • Kookaburra Outdoors light mesh fly face vail


  • Delorme InReach 2way Satellite tracker and communicator
  • Goal Zero Guide 10+ solar panel and 4xAA battery pack
  • Magellan eXplorist 110 GPS
  • iPhone 5 64gig with Lifeproof case

What Worked

The real stand out of the trip would have to be the location. The track was well sign posted along with being well looked after. Bother huts were well appointed for their age (dating from 1940s). Both huts along the trail had a full and clear corrugated iron rain water tank along with brick fireplace. The addition of the fly mesh face veils really lowered my frustration level at flies trying to get into my mouth and climb on my face as I was sweating, while walking around.

What didn’t work

  1. The Tent- firstly it was very small, even with the tiny weight I did not expect to be sleeping shoulder to shoulder. We are both not very tall ( Frankie is 180cm and I am 172) and there was not much room below us feet wise that was not being used. Additionally on the left hand side at the head end, the fly did not come down low enough to cover the mesh body by about 4-5cm. There was no rain the night we camped but there was a heavy dew that is common with warm days and cool nights. From the location of the moisture I can tell it was not condensation. Moisture was coming through into the mesh body from contact with the fly exterior. Every guyline was tight along with every peg point – the tent could not have been tighter. Simply it is going back to Kathmandu.
  2. The lighter – CountyComm Tiny Split Pea Lighter. It is part of my carry every day kit as my emergency firelighter. No matter how many times I fill it with zippo fluid it is dry when I need it – BINNED.
  3. Delorme InReach – As a tracker it is brilliant, as a message sender it is ok, as a message receiver – CRAP. As per the video – there was some dark dark clouds hanging around so I messaged my friend back in Canberra to see on the weather radar if some nasty weather had blown in. He received my message within minutes and replied in a short period of time – yet still by the next morning nothing was received. Additionally while the tracker has ben running on the same set of batteries for over a year, the warning from full battery to shutting down is a tiny red flashing light with less than an hours warning – hard to know you are no longer tracking with only an hours notice.
  4. The pack – the light padding on the shoulder straps is a little annoying as is the velcro ripping sound when you are putting the pack on while full as the height adjustable rotating hip belt sorts its self out.

 What I wish I knew, that I didn’t know before

The water – the huts have a great supply of clean fresh water. While it is always good to plan to carry extra, knowing there was some available would have mean the 4lt (3 in the Camelbak bladder and 1 in reserve Naglene bottle) could have been adjusted.When we got back to the house I weighted my pack after eating all the food and drinking most of the water – 12kgs. Too heavy so will start shaving weight.


Before my overseas readers start commenting that a tarp would be mush lighter to carry – while you are correct, it offers to protection from the army of animals, reptiles or insects that Australia is home to that if they don’t kill you, they will not make your day happy