Updated: Jul 24, 2021
STEP 1. Decide when to go - check out the Bibbulmun Track Foundation for more info.
Summer - Doable but not recommended by the track foundation for two reasons: 1)water tanks can be empty after long periods without rainfall, 2) summer can be stinking hot here in Western Australia
Autumn- Recommended: cooler and slightly less rain than winter, no wildflowers
Winter - rain +++, could get flooding in some areas
Spring - Recommended: can still get rain, less likely floods, WILDFLOWERS SEASON
STEP 2. Decide how long you will need to complete the track?
Your fitness level
Your goals - do you want a slow meditative experience or a physical challenge?
Rough Guidelines to follow:
10 days - you are aiming for a FKT (fastest known time)
3 weeks ~50km/day YOU'RE A SPEED DEMON, very fit and motivated to finish in a short amount of time, you're not interested in taking a rest day
4 to 5 weeks ~28-35km/day YOU ARE FIT, perhaps you have limited time, you would like to at least have a couple of days rest or have an evening relaxing in camp.
6 to 8 weeks ~18-24km/day YOU HAVE AVERAGE FITNESS, you would like rest days and time to relax in camp, you would like to slow down and take rest stops while hiking to absorb the experience (THE MOST COMMON TIMEFRAME FOR MOST HIKERS)
8 weeks+ <18km/day NO NEED FOR SUPERIOR FITNESS, you are here to soak up a holiday and walk perhaps in the morning and chill all afternoon. A great way to simplify life and take things easy.
STEP 3. Book in holidays at work.
Or quit? just an idea...
If you have a spouse and responsibilities you'll have to think about them too.
Is someone available to look after you pets, plants and home?
STEP 4. Four to Five Months before you go.
Visit The Bibbulmun Track Foundation Website - and start reading the information there. This is a magical resource. Or use blog posts.
Become a member of the Bib Track- a great way to give back to the track and support the people maintian and promoting it for you
Start Gear Collection - Use the " Bibbulmun Packing List" or visit another thru-hiker's blog/website to get gear ideas:
? Consider if you will need to hire gear.
? Make sure you select items that are lightweight - you will be carrying them all
? Avoid unnecessary items
Do a couple of over-night practice hikes - this can really help you refine which gear you need before you go
Start an exercise routine - even if its just walking daily.
STEP 5. Three months before you go - in no particular order
Book a trip planning session with someone from the Bibbulmum Track foundation - you will get one-on-one time with someone who has one it before to help you, you have to be a Bib Track member to book this.
Create a tentative itinerary so you can get your head around roughly where you will need to be at what time. You will need:
Your time and km/day goals
Writing pad or your computer
Track guidebooks or blog posts from people for more information
Make an exercise schedule - try to get out once a week on a longer hike and walk or run a few times a week. This is very important for not only fitness but also sorting out and discovering any issues with your shoes, feet, joints etc you may have on trial.
STEP 5. Two months before you go
Pack your bag - with everything you will need and make your own packing list if you need to. This way if anything is missing you still have about 2 months to order anything that you need.
Hiking practice: Definitely be out and about doing some day hikes, perhaps even an overnighter at some point to sort out all the kinks.
Food - there are many ways to get food it's a good time to start thinking about it now. You can order from some of the hiking food companies. Check out backcountry meals - maybe order a ration pack to try first?
You can start now and dehydrate some of your own food, regardless check out some recipe books, here are a couple of examples
Or you can decide to just refill at the local town stores.
Hiker boxes - if you are going to be mailing food or gear to the track towns, start asking around for some friends that can help you with this.
Looking after home - check in with who you asked to look after plants, pets and your home to see if everything is still okay with them.
STEP 6. Four Weeks Before
Final gear check - make sure you are ready
Start accumulating items you need - eg bug repellant or sunscreen
Make a rough food plan and start accumulating or preparing - consider if you want prepackaged freeze-dried meals and order them ahead of time, for example, backcountry meals from amazon are between $5 to $10 cheaper on amazon. Maybe grab the ration back from backcountry meals to try it first?
Start packing your hiker boxes - food, maps, gear, treats, envelopes for mailing back gear to home. If you are not sending yourself boxes it's still good to prepare a bag or box that may contain anything you think you'll need so that it's easy for someone to mail this your way.
Decide how you will document your journey and don't forget to incorporate this into your plan- journal paper or phone? pictures? videos? memories?
STEP 7. Two weeks before
Get your life in order - do any final organisation to leave your home for several weeks
Food prep - should be finalised about now
Hiker boxes - your first one should be sealed and ready to go, you may elect to mail it to Dwellingup yourself before you go. The rest of the boxes should be neatly organised and ready to go. Do not seal these as you may want to ask the person mailing them for you to add something. Any gear you think you may need should be with these boxes.
Organise someone to do a food drop at Albany Hwy between Kalamunda and Dwellingup.
Celebrate with a going-away dinner with friends or family?
STEP 8. You're on your way - Day of your departure
Book your accommodation in Dwelling up if you are staying over there.
Expect things to not go according to plan
Be flexible and prepared to change your itinerary
Be prepared to communicate with you support person sending you boxes.