16 Nov 2010

More Info On How to Go Light

I just came across this Backpacking Light UK site - not as good as the US one, but they have a good gear page on their site for the "newbies" looking for "going light" suggestions. Check it out here

14 Nov 2010

Gear List Update

I splashed out today on some new digital scales - $40 at the Warehouse. I thoroughly recommend you go digital - more accurate. I re-weighed all my gear again today, there was a difference from my old "dial" scales.

I have updated my weights on my gear page. After my big Christmas trip I will have a more accurate "average" daily food weight.

As always, I enjoy your feedback. If you have a gear list, email it to rob@assess.co.nz and I will post it. Or let me know your web page address where your list sits.   

10 Nov 2010

Going Light - Some Great Ideas From Gossamer Gear

I had an alert from Glen Van Peski at Gossamer Gear about their updated website. Glen enjoyed my blog posting on "going light" - he has a more comprehensive summary. You can read it here

9 Nov 2010

Hexamid Tarp

My new Hexamid tarp arrived last week and I immediately headed for the bush for a trial. I was praying for bad weather!! But Nelson sunshine prevailed. I did an overnight in the Bryant Range - 8.30 hours on Saturday and 4.30 hours on Sunday.

I camped below Dun Saddle on Saturday night. It's the mineral belt, so not a comfy spot to bed down!
Joe at Zpacks.com did a great job on this tarp. I got the version without netting as I use a bivy bag with my lightweight sleeping bag, great protection against rain splash and extra warmth if weather turns nasty.
If it's mid summer with high temperatures, I put the bag on top of the bivy.

I also use a Gossamer Gear Polycyro ground cloth. Not really needed as my bivy has a sil-nylon base but for a couple of grams it adds some extra protection to the bivy if really damp or rough ground. I use to use a piece of tyvek (would still recommend this and may go back to it, but heavier than polycyro).

The Hemamid is made of cuben fiber - incredibly light and strong and 100% waterproof. If it's good enough for Americans Cup sails it's ok for us backpackers! I got Joe to sew an additional beak on the front to stop rain splash in NZ conditions. He liked the idea so much that he has added it as an optional extra. See photo below.

There was more room than I thought. I parked myself towards the back of the shelter, but with the extra beak you could almost squeeze two in here. In fact Joe did this with his wife on the latter part of his 159 day CDT trip - Surely the ultimate testing ground! Here are some pictures of my set up - more to come. I hope I can get some nasty weather ones - do I really!!!

If you check out You Tube you'll see a clip of the Hexamid in heavy rain. Joe also has a great snow shot in his CDT pictures on his website.