25 Jan 2015

Gear Update

Hi All - It's a lazy long anniversary w/e here - happy 175 Auckland. I'd love to be tramping, but the back is still keeping me 'grounded', a bloody nuisance! So I spent some time today on my blog putting links into my gear list. This will help you with your gear research.

I also posted some new photos of the Xmas trip on TA Trail

Christmas 2014 - Canterbury Section of the TA Trail

Donald, Lynda, Kathy and I knocked off the Canterbury Section of the Te Araroa Trail. I started with a bad back and was fortunate enough to survive the first two sections from Cora Lynn car park through to the Ragitata River, albeit scoffing 'vitamin i' tabs all the way!

We had great weather except one day. Missing the Two Thumbs Range was a blow. Don, Kathy and Lynda went on. After a left at Potts Bridge they crossed the Rangitata OK. Their confidence boosted by meeting Carol and Matt who had just crossed. Brent drove in with our re-supply and to pick up Matt/Carol. I was very lucky in being able to get a ride through to ChCh airport with Matt.

I am sorry to report as of today, the back is no better and I have the ATC trip on Great Barrier to lead in two weeks!  

26 Dec 2014

First Tramp of 2015

Hi fellow trampers, hikers, hill walkers - I trust you all had a 'Turkey of a day' yesterday.

I'm getting excited! The first tramp of the year begins tomorrow. We are completing the Canterbury section of the Te Araroa Trail. Starting near Arthur's Pass to and coming out on Jan 8 at Lake Tekapo.

I will try and post some pictures as we progress as I will be taking my iPhone and Suntactics solar charger. I tested this out in the Kaimanawas on the recent Labour Day W/E trip and it was fabulous.

Here's a couple of pictures of this baby that weighs in at 240g!!

12 Dec 2014

Sleeping Bag

My go to bag is the Western Highlite at 445 grams and +2 c rating (it has hood)
Over the shoulder season I use my Zpacks 20 bag (-7c). This is a true warmth to weight bag, but with no hood. I ordered it in extra length so I can pull it over my face, but wearing a beanie to bed adds warms and protection.

I love this bag!!

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20 Nov 2014

Sleeping Mat Review

Came across this sleeping mat review that will be of interest to those contemplating a new lightweight mat. I'm pleased my Neo Ultra Lite rated best with this reviewer!

http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/the-best-outdoor-sleeping-pads-for-every-camper-1659697249

16 Nov 2014

Camp Footwear

Many lightweight trampers scorn camp footwear as unnecessary weight. Personally I love getting into camp and slipping off my tramping shoes to let my feet breath.

I have experimented with a number of sandals and thongs (even a fleeting moment with Crocs). My current choice is the Bedrock Gabbro Lite at just 116gm.

In colder conditions, or for sandfly protection, I team these up with toe socks - not the 5 toe variety, but the Japanese style with two pockets (big toe and rest of toes, sort of like a mitten). I found the basic toe sock was difficult to put on when my feet are damp (like after bathing).

To see the Bedrock range go to HERE