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Hiking Hot

January 08, 2019

Hiking Hot

We spoke with ioMerino Outsider Sputnik about his recent trip to the Red Centre, and got him to share his tips for hiking in the warm weather.

 

Have you been to Uluru before?

I was there a few years back when I went up for the World Rogaining Championshipsin the East MacDonnell Ranges. I didn’t compete but photographed the event, then stopped at Uluru on the way back to Adelaide. It was June which is a really good time of year to go - mild days, cool nights. Like a lot of people, I was surprised at just how far away from Alice Springs it is. I’d always thought of it being quite close but it’s about 5 hours drive away so it’s quite a side trip.

 

How was this time different?

This trip was a bit last minute, and it hadn’t really occurred to me that the weather was going to be excruciatingly hot. I packed my merino track pants and hoodie for the cold nights, and it was 36+c the entire time so it’s fair to say they didn’t get worn once we were north of Coober Pedy. It was actually so hot, some of the trails at Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon were closed for safety reasons. 

 

Hiking Hot - Merino is warm weather | ioMerino

 

How much hiking did you do while you were up there?

We stopped at the Breakaways just outside of Coober Pedy on the way up, but there’s not really any hiking you can do there. We did the Uluru base walk (14kms), the Valley of the Winds hike at Kata Tjuta (9.5kms) and the Kings Canyon rim walk (9kms) on consecutive days and I don’t mind admitting we were pretty cooked doing those three in the heat. Kata Tjuta was closed from 11am and the rim walk from 9am so we went out early, but it still got super warm. After a relaxing day in Alice Springs, we then explored the West MacDonnell Ranges where we hiked some shorter trails and swam in a few waterholes - which provided some welcome relief from the heat.



What equipment did you use?

I’ve got on Osprey 22L daypack that’s the perfect size for these sorts of day hikes. I have a 1l drink bottle I stash in the side pocket, and I usually took an extra emergency bottle as well, stored in the main compartment. I use a Garmin Fenix3to track distance covered just so I have an idea of how far we’ve gone and how far it is to the finish which helps me ration water if we’re getting low. I’m a trail runner, so I don’t usually wear boots but hike in my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes. Probably not smart if there’s snakes around, but it works for me. Other than that, I usually carry a lot of camera equipment with me which is where all the weight comes in. I had about 5kgs of camera equipment that I carted around everywhere so keeping everything else as minimal as possible was pretty important for me.

 

What did you wear in the heat?

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about wearing my ioMerino in the warm weather. It sort of defies logic that the stuff I wear to stay warm when it’s cold, can also keep me comfortable when it’s warm, so this trip I decided to put it to the test. We were on the road for ten days, and I rotated three merino T-shirts and I’m happy, and honestly a bit surprised, to report they were fantastic. It turns out all the stuff they say about them being breathable and insulating is true. Could not have been more comfortable and the fact I only needed a few tops and didn’t have to worry about doing laundry along the way because they are stink-resistant made the trip even easier. 

 

Hiking Hot - Merino is warm weather | ioMerino

 

What were the highlights?

Uluru was amazing again - no pictures can ever do it justice. For me personally, the rim walk at Kings Canyon is probably the best hike you can do. It’s absolutely spectacular even though pictures don’t really do that justice either. Finding a Thorny Devil along the way was easily one of my favourite moments, and because I’m a self confessed ‘bird nerd’, spotting rainbow bee eaters and a splendid fairywren were highlights as well. 

 



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Fabric Guide

While Merino is an amazing natural fibre, not all Merino fabrics are created equal. At ioMerino, we make our own fabrics, using only the best quality fibres, and to very specific specifications that make the most of the natural benefits of Merino. All of them are 'Merino rich’. No cheap blends passed off as Merino. No cheaper scratchy fibres or synthetic substitutes to save money. No unethical production. And each fabric is made for a specific purpose. So if you see something with a small amount of elastase or nylon added, you can be sure it absolutely needs to be there to enhance the natural stretch and durability. 

It took every bit of our 140 years of experience in the wool industry to perfect our fabrics, but we think you’ll agree the end result was more than worth the effort.

Ethically Made. Ethically Sourced. Perfectly Natural. 

 

Altitude / Zodiac

Lightweight 170gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 

 

Ultra / Universal

Lightweight 160gsm 83% Australian Merino Wool blended with 12% nylon blended for extra durability and 5% Elastane for stretch and comfort.

 

Chaser

Midweight 265gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 

 

Summerino - Keystone 

Ultra Lightweight 150gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 

 

Merino Compression

Midweight 280gsm 76% Australian Merino Wool, 15% Elastane and 9% Nylon for extra stretch and compression properties.

 

Vital

Ultra lightweight ribbed 155gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Summit

Outer Weight 280gsm Fleece 100% Australian Merino Wool. MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Pinnacle

Midweight 260gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Elemental 

Midweight 260gsm waffle texture 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Stride / Glacier / Velocity

Midweight 255gsm French Terry 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Natural Merino Wool benefits: