13 Nov 2012

Joe Valesko (ZPacks) Arrives to Start Te Araroa Trail

Exciting week!

I picked up Joe and Sheryl Valesko (Zpacks) yesterday. They flew into Auckland non-stop from their home in Palm Bay Florida. I became their first "Trail Angel" as they prepared to start their through hike of the Te Araroa trail (The length of NZ). Checkout www.teararoa.org.nz  We spent the day getting DOC annual Hut Passes, food, bank and bus connections North to CapeReinga.

It was an early Christmas for me as Joe delivered my new Hexamid Tarp. I sold my original and have opted for a full screen with the heavier (Jez, did I use "H" word :-)  .75oz cuben, teamed with the cuben bath tub floor. All use include tie outs - 470gms

Other goodies included:

Cuben fiber shorts to go with my cuben fiber rain jacket. I decided to get Joe to cut the legs off his pants design to make them into shorts that I can slip over my normal ones, or use them over my underwear only if it looks like a rain soaked day.  I am looking forward to testing this option in Fiordland at Chrismas.

The Blast cuben fiber food bag - mouse and waterproof!

A new full length NeoAir Xlight - OK it's almost double the weight of my current short Kooka Bay pad, but after 40 plus years of "roughing" it I am going the extra 150gms for great R factor, full length (no more cold feet) and being able to attach my Mont Bell pillow on top of mat. To this end Joe gave me a great idea. He bought down some velcro strips sewn onto cuben fiber tape. I stuck the female side on the mat and male on the pillow - it works great. I have attached a couple of pictures below.

I dropped Joe and Sheryl off at the bus depot 7am this morning and they took off for Kaitaia intending to hitch to the cape to start NZ's long trail later today. The trail passes my house in Milford, so I will have a BBQ, Beer, bed and hot shower waiting for them in a couple of weeks as they pass through. 

Deflated mat and pillow showing velcro positions
Deflated mat and pillow showing velcro positions
Finished position

Finished position