People are often asking me what gear I take on a waterfall trek with me, like I'm some kind of expert. I know it may seem that way, but believe me, it's not the case.
I'm somewhat of an amateur hiker, by no means am I an extremely fit hiking guru with proper expensive gear. However, I do have some essentials that I never leave home without when going on a waterfall adventure. So, without further adieu, here's a list of my top 5 things to take on a waterfall adventure.
1. My Kathmandu Backpack
Let's be real, it doesn't really matter what backpack you take along with you. Everyone has a preference. However, having said that, I honestly couldn't survive my waterfall treks without my Kathmandu backpack.
The great thing about this backpack (aside from the great value for money: buy it here), is that it has plenty of pockets for organising and storing things.
It's quite large, and I can fit a three-legged tripod, a water bottle, hat, portable charger and other electronic accessories, snacks, keys, a kimono, a raincoat (or two) and sometimes even another pair of shoes in this bag. The straps are well-padded and easily adjustable, so it's super comfy and the weight is evenly distributed on my back. Really, I would never go past one of these bags.
2. Cygnett Portable Charger
I bought my Cygnett portable charger from JBHifi for around $40AUD and I've never looked back. Honestly, this thing is the best. It's 4,000 mAh lithium polymer battery, and it charges my phone (iPhone 6s, though the USB port on the charger means it's compatible with anything) from 0 battery to full battery about three to four times. It's also got a digital display which tells you how much charge is left (a scale of 0 to 100). It's been my saviour when I've been out and about with limited phone service draining my battery (*cough* uploading everything to my Instagram story *cough*). I can tell you now, it's worth investing in one of these bad boys. Cygnett even do a 10,000 mAh version for double the price if you want one with a bit more juice.
3. My Hunter Gumboots or Kathmandu Trekking Boots
As you can see in the cover photo of this post, I almost never embark on a waterfall trek without my trusty Hunter gumboots. These were slightly on the expensive side, sure, but they're a solid investment. Trekking through mud and crossing streams and rivers in these sturdy rubber boots is a piece of cake. I've even had people pass me on muddy tracks and comment on how appropriate my shoes are, with a hint of jealousy in their voice. Don't sleep on the rubber boots, they give you so much freedom.
And if I'm not wearing my Hunter boots (or Nikes coz I was super unprepared, or knee high Wittner boots to impress Instagram - more on that here), then I'm in my Kathmandu hiking boots. I've had these babies since 2011, and they've done their fair share of hiking. They were worn-in during a World Challenge trip to Borneo, hiking through humid rainforest and up Mt Kinabalu, so I know they're reliable. Their fairly waterproof exterior paired with the strong lace-up design means that my ankles are always secured. The grooves on the soles make them great for gripping surfaces and they survive through mud, gravel and rock face. Highly recommend. Since they're about six years old, I'm sure Kathmandu don't still sell the same ones (I'd be extremely surprised), but I'm sure you can find something similar. Try your luck here.
4. A Quality Raincoat (or Two)
If you've seen my Instagram feed, you'll know that I have a flair for vibrant rain coats. But not only that, my raincoats are also super effective. The first choice is my Kathmandu raincoat (I'm sensing a theme here, anyone? Let's just say I love Kathmandu, it was where I lost my hiking-gear virginity, so I have a soft spot for the brand). This raincoat is bright pink, which I actually used to be quite embarrassed about (my family all had matching ones except Dad's was black, Mum's was a dark purple and my sister's was a nice aqua colour, so I'd gotten the shitty end of the stick in my opinion), however now I kind of love it. The great thing about this raincoat is that it folds into one of the pockets and becomes a rather compact, square carrier case of it's own! Amazing.
The second raincoat I take with me is actually from Bunnings. You know, Bunnings Warehouse? Lowest prices are just the beginning? Bunnings Sausages? Let me know if I've lost you - any Aussie would be feeling me 100%. Anyway. I went searching and searching for this yellow raincoat from Bunnings, which isn't so much a raincoat as it is a rain blanket. It's one size fits all, but it's super thick and sturdy, and the large fit has actually ended up saving me many times, because it means I can fit my backpack and camera underneath it when walking and keep everything dry. It also has a detachable hood, so I mean you can do what you want with that. Also, it was $15 bucks (Australian), so if that's not a bargain, I don't know what is.
5. Swimwear (in Summer)
Anyone who knows me would know that I'm absolutely obsessed with bikinis. No, I'm talking like totally obsessed. I own that many pairs of bathers, it's not even funny. One pieces, bikinis, mix and matches, you name it - I own it. If I'm trekking to a waterfall in the hotter months, I'll likely be sporting more than one pair (no - I wear one pair, and stash another in my bag, silly!) Anyway, here's some of my favourite brands. Eat your heart out- they're fab!
The list goes on...
And there you have it! My top 5 waterfall essentials. Happy waterfall chasing!