What to Bring

Red Rocks, Wolgan Valley


by Ashley Burke

This equipment list is suitable for MountainSphere's Red Rocks 2 day hike. For information about this guided 2 day walk please see the Red Rocks Page.

Equipment List - Red Rocks


Item Comments Availability
Sleeping bag The sleeping bag should be 3-4 season rated, or temperature rated to zero degrees celsius.  
Pack/Rucksack Minimum volume 60L, or 55L at a pinch. Try to pack everything inside. Avoid loose items strapped to outside of pack. Foam mats can get scratched or torn if strapped on outside of pack.  
Lightweight tent or space arranged in shared tent.

Your tent should be a small lightweight 3-4 season tent. There are many brands available.

It may be possible to share tents. I can help organise tent accommodation. Contact me about borrowing or sharing a tent if you do not have one. If you do have a tent with spare space, please let me know.

Rent a Big Agnes 1-person tent: $30

You may borrow a lightweight 1-person tent from me for $30.

Brand: Big Agnes

Weight: About 1.3kg

Foam mat or thermarest

A foam mat can be purchased inexpensively from camping stores.

Other options are Thermarest. There are many different models in the Thermarest range. The Thermarest NeoAir is the lightest for the amount of warmth, insulation, comfort and compactness.

Can be borrowed.
Waterproof rain coat Can be lightweight.  
Water bottle(s)

Enough to hold 3-4 litres is required. 4 x 1L Nalgene bottles are recommended. Alternatively just take old soft drink bottles or used wine cask bladders.

There is very little water available en route and you need to be able to carry enough water to last a full day and night. It is very important that your bottles and bladders are watertight. Before the trip, check all water containers carefully. Bladders with bite valves are prone to leak whenever pressure is placed on the valve so please be careful with these and take screwtop Nalgene bottles as a backup. Bottles with a wide mouth are preferred.

Torch A small head torch is ideal  
Fleece or warm jumper Depending on season  
Thermal underwear Top and bottom  
Walking shoes For further advice on walking shoes, contact me directly  

Cooking and eating utensils:

  • Billy or cookset
  • Plastic cup
  • Spoon
  • Pocket knife
  • Fork (optional)


Camping stoves are optional. On most trips we will have a campfire which you are welcome to use for cooking on. Camping stoves can be shared, and I can provide you with boiling water for your cooking needs.

A "billy" is a small aluminium pot which is used to cook over the fire. Alternative to a billy if using a stove is any kind of camp cookset.

Camping stove (Optional, can be shared)

We adopt a minimal impact approach to bushwalking so stoves are preferred over campfires and we will always adhere to park fire bans or total fire bans.

Stoves may be shared, one between two. If you do not have, or don't bring a stove, you may either share mine or have me boil water for you, 

There are many types of camping stove. For this type of trip, a gas stove such as MSR pocket rocket is the lightest, most compact, and easiest to use.


Bring enough food for yourself for the duration of the trip. Normally everyone brings their own food unless specific arrangements to share food are made.

See food suggestions below for help on what sort of food to bring.

For the Red Rocks hike you require:

  • An evening meal for the pre-hike camping at Newnes on the evening prior to the hike, depending on what time you arrive at Newnes.
  • A breakfast for the morning of the first hiking day, consumed at Newnes before we start the hike

Plus for the hike itself:

  • 1 breakfast
  • 2 lunches
  • 1 dinner


  • Any food if you are staying on at Newnes after the trip concludes.

Shirt and shorts or long pants for walking in during the day

Shorts or long pants? This depends on personal preference, and time of year or expected temperatures. Bear in mind that you will be walking through scrub which may be dense in places and therefore long pants are recommended. In the summer months or in hot weather, shorts are ok, though gaiters are highly recommended if hiking in shorts.  
Gaiters (optional) Gaiters for the lower legs provide protection against the low scrub and also from snakebite. Optional.  

Additional warm clothes (depending on time of year):

  • Beanie
  • Gloves

Check the weather forecast prior to the trip. The weather in May-September can be variable and cold weather is likely, especially at night. Ensure you have sufficient warm clothes for chilly evenings and mornings. Most likely not needed on trips in March, April and October.


Personal items:

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • First aid

Keep to minimum. Due to limited water availability and for environmental concerns, do not bring soap, shampoo or detergent. Hand sanitizer gel (that doesn't require water) should be used for hygiene and for cleaning hands after toileting and before handling food.

First aid kit must include as a minimum:

  • 1 x compression bandage (minimum dimensions 7.5cm wide x 2.3m long unstretched)
  • band aids
  • Antiseptic cream or betadine

Also recommended:

  • Cotton wool balls
  • safety pins
Compass (Optional)

The Red Rocks walk is an opportunity for you to practise navigation skills learned on the MountainSphere navigation training weekend. Bring your compass with you, and a map will be provided for you to use on the weekend. I can supply compasses at the prices as shown below. Compasses can also be purchased from camping and outdoor stores or online. On this trip a compass is optional.

For information on what is the best compass to buy, see Section 7.2 of my navigation tutorial.

Here is a price list for different models of compasses that I can supply for you:

Rent a Silva Ranger for the weekend - $15

Buy a Suunto A-30: $50

Buy a Silva Ranger: $55

Buy a Silva Ranger S with mirror: $85

Buy a Suunto M-3 Global: $96.50

Buy a Suunto MC-2 Global with mirror: $115

Topographic Map of the area we will be walking in. Optional

The required map is no longer in print. You will be provided a topographic map printed on waterproof and tearproof paper when you attend the trip and this is included in the trip cost. The map is then yours to keep. It is printed on durable paper, laminated on the reverse side.

If you already have your own copy of the Ben Bullen 1:25000 topographic map (8931-4S) you may bring it, and then you will receive $20 off the cost of the trip.


For your personal expenses travelling to and from the start point.

Payment for the Red Rocks trip is required in advance, however you may purchase maps, compasses and other gear on the day for cash.


A whistle is an important safety item for attracting attention in an emergency or in the unlikely event that you become separated from the group.

Some backpacks come with a whistle built in or attached. These are often too small and feeble for a genuine emergency. Bring a separate pealess whistle if you have one. If you don't have one, MountainSphere can supply one for you for the trip.

Recommended brand: Fox 40 Sharx Pealess Whistle

Keen to join The Red Rocks walk? Click below:

Food Suggestions

It is normal practise for everyone to bring their own food for the trip. That way, each person can eat according to their own preferences and diet, and less time is spent organising communal food.

Below are some suggestions on the sorts of food that are suitable to bring on the 2 day Red Rocks walk. These are suggestions only, based on what I normally take on this trip. Everyone's tastes and diet are different, so feel free to make any changes to the list below based on your preferences. Also feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about what sorts of food to bring.

On the Red Rocks 2 day hike you will need:

Plus to carry on the hike itself:


General Comments

Things to avoid:

On the other hand, food can be fun and easy to cook when camping, and it is possible to have good variety, including fresh foods on an overnight hike.

Freeze dried meals are a popular choice and are easy to prepare, though more expensive and lacking in fresh ingredients. If you bring a freeze dried meal, I can provide you with boiling water to rehydrate your meal. This is a good choice for keeping your pack weight to a minimum.











If you like to snack between meals then you can bring anything such as chocolate, nuts, biscuits, snack bars or other snack food.



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This page created 08 Nov 2019, last updated 15 Jun 2020.