How To Plan A Last-Minute Long Weekend Adventure
By The Wild Women On Top Team
There’s nothing better than a spontaneous decision to get outdoors, fill your lungs with fresh air, stare at the stars, plunge into the icy waters of a mountain stream, chat with friends by a campfire, and recharge your soul. This weekend will have the added bonus of a full moon rising so it’s the perfect time to get outside and experience the awe of the wild.
If you haven't yet made plans, it's not too late!
Here is the Wild Women recipe for putting together the perfect long weekend adventure at the last minute. Whether you're keen for a full-weekend adventure or just want to camp in the backyard, we've got you sorted.
I'm Feeling Like... A Full-Day Hike
Organising an epic full-day hike should take about an hour, plus you’ll need an extra hour to pack. Here's what you'll need for the perfect day adventure.
Grab A Buddy
Get on the phone and call your hiking buddy or bestie. It’s always fun to hike with friends but if they’re all busy at such short notice, do it anyway. You’ll love it.
Choose your route
If you don’t have a bucket list of local hikes, Google walks in your area and check out what your local National Parks and State Forests have to offer. A great way to find trails near you is by downloading the AllTrails app. You’ll have hundreds of epic hikes at your fingertips and they’re graded, too. When you’re choosing your route, make sure you consider the grade of the walk, your skill level and its distance from the nearest town.
If you're looking for some trail inspo, here are some of our favourites:
- The Best Day Hikes In Our Capital Cities
- These Awesome Aussie Day Walks Should Be At The Top Of Your To Do List
Check the weather
Download the WillyWeather app and check the weather to fine-tune your gear list. WillyWeather gives you all the latest weather updates, sunset times, and tide information – so you’ll be super prepared for all conditions.
Get your basics packed
Day walk basics include a pack, water, rain coat, a warm layer, a head torch, phone and charger, spare socks, a hat and first aid, as well as a thermos for tea or coffee, a yummy lunch including fresh wraps, salad, scroggin, cookies, fruit, chocolate, bliss balls and buckini bars.
Here's some of the easy, delicious and nutritious food Wild Women won't hike without!
Head off early
Set the alarm and get out on your adventure before sunrise to make the most of the traffic-free roads and a speedy trip to your destination. Swing by your local cafe en-route and grab a coffee, and then go wild.
I Want... An Overnight Adventure, Baby!
Last-minute overnight hiking adventures require a little more planning. But with three days and two nights to choose from, you can use Saturday morning to get organised and head out at lunchtime. Here are the key ingredients you'll need.
Grab a friend or friends
Just like your day hike, overnight adventures are more fun with a buddy. So phone a friend or friends and get planning. If you can’t convince a buddy to come with you, you can also take your kids, your partner, or you can just go solo.
Get your gear sorted
If you don’t have your own camping gear, you’ll need to phone a friend or send out an SOS on Facebook and borrow some. Alternately, you can hire a cabin, or go wild and sleep under the stars. But considering it’s winter, you might want a little extra shelter from the elements.
Overnight hiking basics include:
- your 50 – 60L backpack
- sleeping bag
- sleeping mat
- plate and mug
- warm layer and thermals
- head torch (and spare batteries)
- phone and charger
- spare socks
- first aid
- thermos for tea/coffee
You’ll also need to pre-plan your food so think about what you’re going to make for a yummy dinner (like gourmet cous cous or chicken laksa), breakfast (like our delicious muesli) and two lunches. Check out our wild foodie guide for some ideas.
Choose your route
Google overnight hikes in your area, check out what your local National Parks, state forests and Wild Walks recommend. Make sure you consider the grade of the walk, your skill level and its distance from the nearest town. You will also need to investigate where you can camp, and book a campsite if necessary.
If you're looking for some inspo, here are some of our favourite weekend adventures and trails:
- Wild Weekend Walks In New South Wales
- An Epic Collection Of The Best Walks In Victoria
- Wild Women Approved Hikes In Queensland
- Six Of The Best Places To Walk In South Australia
- The Best Off-The-Beaten Track Camping Spots In New South Wales
Check the weather
Just as you would on a full-day hike, download the WillyWeather app to get across the forecast. Knowing what is in store weather wise will help you fine you’re your gear list.
Have a safety plan
If you’re a beginner, ensure you follow marked trails stay on the track at all times. Make sure your family know where you’re going and when you’re likely to be home.
Before you head off, make sure you know where your water sources are on your walk. Ensure you have 3 litres capacity and puri tabs if you’re getting water from the river. If you’re walking off trail or going more remote, hire an Epirb from the local police station and ensure you have plenty of battery charge for your phone. Carry a map and compass in case you get lost. Google Maps is great to get you out of a sticky spot, as long as you’re on a high point with phone charge.
I'm Staying Inside, But I Want To Stay Wild!
If you don't feel ready just yet to venture outside, or you need to stay indoors to look after yourself or your family, you can still get adventurous. It'll take a little more creativity - but it's totally possible. And seeing as you're not going far, it won't take you too long at all.
Grab a buddy
Just like your overnight adventures and your day hikes, staying wild inside is more fun with a buddy, a bestie, or a family member. If you're indoor camping with your kids, get them involved by putting up the tent together.
If you can't see anyone right now, you can get wild solo and enjoy some solitary time under the stars.
Get your gear together
One way to stay wild 'inside', is to camp in your home or your backyard. Grab your tent, a sleeping bag and a sleeping mat and set yourself up as your would at a campsite. Instead of heading inside for creature comforts of home, immerse yourself in the full camping experience by using a gas stove to cook meals and eskis to keep food cold.
It wouldn't be a true camping experience without a fire. If you don't have a fire pit to roast mashmallows - you can buy a portable one from your local hardware store. But make sure you know how to use them first and that you exercise caution!
Include a good dose of nature
If you're staying wild inside you probably won't be doing any hard-core hikes, but you can still experience the beauty of nature. Before you go to sleep, spend some time gazing at the stars in the night sky, or wake up nice and early so you can watch the colours of the sunrise with a hot cuppa.
We hope your have a super wild, adventurous and safe long weekend! Share what you get up to with us in the Wild Women Community.