Easy - Walking through fields and along beaches or other activities that require some effort but not enough to speed up your breathing. A moderate level of health fitness is required for these trips.
Medium - These are tours which may include walking, including some prolonged or mild ascents and descents. A reasonable level of health fitness is required for these trips.
Hard - These are tours which may include demanding levels of walking, including some prolonged or steep ascents and descents. Rough terrain (off the beaten track) may well be encountered. A reasonable level of health fitness is required for these trips.
Q: What camera should I bring?
A: You should always bring a camera that you are familiar with, and can navigate at any point in time to achieve your desired results. You should be proficient in the operation of the camera prior to trip departure to ensure that you get the best possible shots and are not constantly referring to the manual. Generally one camera body is sufficient for the trip, adding multiple bodies or systems adds weight to your pack.
Q: What lenses should I bring?
A: We usually advise not to bring your entire kit on a hike, as it will add weight to your bag and potentially slow you down. Two or three lenses, depending on weight and no more. You should be familiar with which lenses you use (or think you will use) for your trip, and only bring those.
Q: Will I need a tripod?
A: Yes. Landscape photography is not possible without a good, reliable tripod. If you are uncertain about the quality or reliability of your tripod, it is advised that you purchase one for the trip. A tripod will make or break your results when shooting in the wild.
Q: What camera bag will I need?
A: We use and recommend the f-stop range of camera bags, as these are specially designed for hiking photography. If you do not have the means to purchase a new bag, you should find a bag that provides adequate, instant access to your camera gear, plus storage for food, water, clothing and rubbish.
Q: Information about batteries and memory cards.
A: In certain cold climates, batteries will lose their charge and duration of use. Please ensure you bring more than one (1) battery that is fully charged for your trip. Be sure to keep these warm in cold conditions. Memory cards should be of a large capacity and rated at Class 10. These are the best cards to use for the conditions faced during our adventures. Depending on how much you enjoy to shoot, you should plan to bring a primary card and several backups to ensure that you do not miss a moment.
Q: What should I tell family/friends/employer about my overnight hiking trip?
A: Absolutely. It’s your trip and reason to get excited about it, however there is an important safety side. Always advise your family where you are going and when you expect to return. Do be advised that there is not always an internet connection in every location, expect to have some time without it.
Q: Is there someone I can check in and out with just to be safe?
A: Your tour leader will be this person in every instance as they are the point of your contact with the company.
Q: If I get into trouble and need to be rescued, who pays for my rescue?
A: You will be/ Your Insurance company. Insurance is ESSENTIAL on every single trip that you undertake with OOAK. You need to have a policy that covers you for any accident that may happen prior, during or directly related to any facet of your trip. You will be asked to provide details of policy numbers/ insurers prior to the commencement of any trip, as we require everyone to be covered by their own policy. The policy needs to cover the country in which you are travelling, plus any extra camera gear in a monetary figure, to cover accidents which we hope you will not have.
Q: Is there an emergency phone number I can leave with a contact back home?
A: Your tour guide will be the best reference for this, and you will be provided with the contact details of your tour leader/s prior to departure.
Q: Should I be concerned about wildlife?
A: No, however, it is important to make sure that you exercise the normal degree of caution with relation to bites or stings from any wildlife present in the area. Treat every single animal or insect with respect, do not intentionally stir or harm which may result in a defensive bite.
For larger animals, respect that they have as more right to be there than you do; this is their habitat, their home. Respect nature as you are a guest and visitor, leave an area as you found it, and don’t leave anything which may harm them after your departure.
Q: What do I do with my trash?
A: You are required to carry out all of your trash, including toilet paper, to disposal facilities. To do otherwise is littering. When in camp, be sure to hang your trash with your food sack to prevent wildlife from getting into it. Enclose all plastic and aluminum in nylon stuff sacks. Wildlife will eat plastic and aluminum that smells of food, and may die as a result. You are required to carry out all toilet paper and hygiene products in areas that do not have toilet facilities.
Q: Will my cell phone work on our adventure?
A: Usually, unless you are in the back country. Expect to pay exorbitant data/ coverage roaming fees if you are using your home SIM overseas. Check with your provider the rules regarding phone use internationally. If in doubt, purchase a SIM card in the country of which you are traveling to avoid hidden charges.
Q: How hard is the hiking on a OOAK tour?
A: The answer is up to you. Depending on how prepared you are, your trip can be a vacation or a challenge, a revelation or an ordeal. The majority of participants should be familiar with their capabilities and fitness levels, but please be advised that every single hike is different.
Some tours will require you to be hiking with your camera bag, tent, food and clothes, and these tours are the ones that you will need to be in top physical condition in order to complete. Depending on the configuration of your OOAK tour, there may or may not be an option to turn back. If you are in doubt of your abilities at any stage of the hike, you must advise your tour leader. Due to the varying terrain covered on our tours, it is possible that even people in excellent condition often emerge sore and fatigued from time to time. It is important that you give yourself an honest assessment of your physical and mental abilities prior to booking any tour.
Mental attitude, adequate water and food consumption are absolutely essential to the success of any hike, particularly in winter. Every single hiker must be equally prepared for the lack of water, extreme temperatures and isolation in often remote destinations. Be alert but not alarmed.
Q: What is the average hiking time?
A: Every single hike is different, as is every hiker who sets out. Depending on our destination, weight being carried and the height of the ascent, you will find that your fitness will be tested, but due to the variables, it is hard to give an exact time. Weather plays a vital role in any outdoor pursuit.
You will be advised prior to the beginning of the hike, often at the point of booking the trip as to the duration of the biggest hikes in your adventure. These are usually signposted at the start of every hike, and if they are not, you will be told what the average time to reach the destination is.
A good estimation is a couple of hours (1-2) for our easier trips, and upwards of 3-4+ hours for our Extreme trips.
Q: Are there toilets on any of the hikes?
A: This varies from location to location, but generally, there will be no toilets. Participants should prepare and carry adequate provisions for squatting, but please be advised that we respect the environment and leave no trace; taking all waste papers and rubbish back to bins.
Q: Will I need a tent?
A: Unless otherwise stated, OOAK provides tents for use during our adventures. If you wish to bring your own, please advise your tour leader of the type and weight prior to departure, as not all tents are suited to be used on our trips.
Q: Will I need a sleeping bag?
A: On tours that require camping, absolutely yes. Our tours remain affordable because we mix nights with camping out in the wild. For most of our tours, you should expect to have a down sleeping bag rated to at least -9 degrees. If you are uncertain about the quality or fill of your bag, please contact us to discuss, as the right bag is essential to a good nights sleep, or survival.
Please refer to your booking to see whether a sleeping bag is required.
Q: Will I need a sleeping mat?
A: Yes. In most places that we go, a sleeping mat is essential. You will be sleeping in a variety of locations and like your sleeping bag, your sleeping mat is the vital stage of making sure that your night is warm and well. You may not think it during the daytime, but at night, the cold seeps up from below. Even the best sleeping bag cannot be used on bare ground. Please count a sleeping mat as essential along with your sleeping bag.
Please refer to your booking to see whether a sleeping mat is required.
Q: Do I need a stove?
A: In most cases, no. OOAK provide cooking stoves for the boiling of water for dehydrated meals so that all participants can have a nourishing meal. If you prefer to bring your own, please advise your tour leader so that we can make any recommendations prior to departure.
Q: What clothing do I require?
A: All participants should note the weather conditions outlined in the information brochure or check local weather guides for any last-minute information. Generally you would expect to need the following:
FOOD AND WATER QUESTIONS:
Q: How much water do I need?
A: Generally, an overnight hike will require around 2.0L of water depending on your body. You should always take more water than you need, rather than risk running out. Remember you will need to bring water to rehydrate your meals. In warmer months, you should always take more water than you need, prioritising water over other items carried into the wilderness.
Q: Where can I find water?
A: Before we set off to hike, we will often visit a grocery store to stock up on food, water and essentials. When in the wilderness, water can often be sourced from running streams then treated for use.
Q: How do I treat my water?
A: Once collected in a suitable vessel, water should be treated with iodine, microbial tablets or by boiling and cooling to ensure any organisms are killed.
Q: How much food should I take?
A: You should focus on taking high-energy, slow burning foods in order to keep yourself alert in the challenging conditions. A good hiking mix will include nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, seeds and fresh fruit, where available. Generally, you should take the amount of food that you will require, but be aware that refrigeration is not provided.
OOAK will advise you if you need to purchase Backcountry dehydrated food for your meals for any overnight camping adventures.
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