8 Jan 2013

Fiordland Gear Check

I am just back from 8 day in NZs lower South Island - Fiordland. We did the Coastal Route from Mathyrs Homestead to Gunns Camp via the Hollyford River. We had good weather the first and last two days, but inbetween the heaviest rain the area has seen in two years!

We managed to get across the major rivers (Cascade, Gorge, Hackett and McKanzie) before flooded. However our second party got blocked at the Pyke River and had to retrace their steps (5 days - yuck).

My Zpacks raincoat performed wonderfully. I also had a chance to test my new rain shorts Joe made. I wore these over my undies (as shorts) on the days the rain was bucketing down. They worked well. However the waist bungy cord is too light. I will replace with heavier cord.

My Zpacks Arc Blast pack also performed well. Coupled with the cuben inner linner I had no water issues. However, the side hip pockets are not fully waterproof. Granted, we had unusually heavy rain. I found small pools of water in the pockets at the end of the day. Luckily I had my camera in a zip lock bag. I will suggest to Joe to put a small drain hole in the middle bottom of eack pocket. I am getting my "seamstress" daughter to do this.

Go to Trips page to see link for photos.



  1. What i would give to try out a breathable cuben rain jacket.
    How did it cope with the abrasion from your backpack?

    What temperatures did you walk in?
    Have you used a pair of cuben overmitts?
    So many questions, so little time.

  2. Abrasion: No problems. This is constructed from 1.42 oz/sqyd Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fibre material. The fabric is a three layer laminate with high strength Dyneema fibres in the middle.
    Temps: 13 to 25c - Think about a large and then you can put two layers under if really cold.
    Over mitts: I use MLDs Event mitts, but Joe's would also be good as these would be tape seamed. Mine do leak despite seam sealing.
    One looks like a walking ghost with white jacket and shorts. Just as well I got the brown cuban fibre for my pack. Had I got white I would have looked like a small iceberg:-)


Hey, thanks for you contribution - I monitor my blog weekly. I will reply with comments, ideas and suggestions ASAP - In the meantime, remember, hiking is an outdoors experience to enjoy, not an army boot camp training exercise!!