I know this isn't the usual or normal piece of gear in New Zealand, but I am going to hammock camp as often as I can while completing the Te Araroa Trail. I've read about one tramper, Jacob who took a hammock, so I know I'm not the only one!
Why a hammock? I get a fantastic night's rest in one. I've been using a Warbonnet Blackbird for almost a year continuously now, even indoors (!) instead of a bed. Weird? Maybe... but I wake up feeling great, no kinks or neck pains.
If you've checked out my gear list , you'll note a few things to help me out if (ok, when) I find myself without trees to hang from. I usually use an under quilt to keep me warm and insulate my butt. For this thruhike, I'll use a CCF pad instead. That way when I need to 'go to ground' I can use the pad. My trekking poles will be used to support my tarp like normal tent poles, and my hammock itself will be used as a bug net or second wall when needed.
What do you think, am I mad? Have you done much tramping with a hammock in New Zealand conditions before? Your thoughts and/or advice gratefully received. Don't forget to check out my Givealittle page to donate to Shine... thanks, you are awesome!
Monday, 29 July 2013
Monday, 15 July 2013
Sunday, 14 July 2013
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
This is what I am planning to take.. more or less. I'm waiting to get back to NZ to pull kit from storage and weigh it, hence why some items have no weight! Weight is in kg. I cut this from an excel spreadsheet, didn't line up as well as I hoped, please forgive the ugliness of this list!
|Aarn Featherlite Freedom||1.8|
|Pack Cover/Liner||included in pack weight|
|Stuff Sack (Clothing)||Kifaru stuffsack||0.075|
|Stuff Sack (Sleeping Bag)||Kifaru stuffsack||0.075|
|Stuff Sack (Food)||Cuban fibre||0.04|
|Stuff Sack (Shelter)||bishop bag (incl in hammock weight)|
|Stuff Sack (Ditties)||Kifaru pullout/ziplock|
|Warbonnet Edge Tarp incl whoopie slings and guys||0.375|
|Stakes||6 x GG Ti-lite long tent stakes||0.042|
|Bug Tent||Warbonnet blackbird 1.1 dble and suspension||0.83|
|Hammock sock||Warbonnet travelsock||0.264|
|Kifaru doobie express||0.595|
|GG1/4in thinlight wide||0.227|
|Rain Jacket/Poncho||Zpacks Cuban Fibre Rain Jacket w pit zips||0.138|
|Spare Pants/Shorts||Adidas running shorts||0.15|
|Warm Hat||Icebreaker beanie||0.045|
|Waterproof sock liners|
|underwear||Icebreaker or Arc'teryx||0.085|
|To be printed A4 sheets|
|First Aid Kit||home made||0.1|
|Fire Starter||cotton balls/vasaline||0.035|
|Emergency Whistle||built in to e-lite|
|Bug Repellant||Goodbye sandfly 40ml and head net||0.08|
|Possibles pouch||kifaru small pullout/ziplock .01||0.03|
|EPIRB||Delorme Inreach 2 way sat comms||0.23|
|Hand Sanitizer||use soap|
|Toothbrush and floss (double as sewing thread)||0.015|
|Blister Treatment||duct tape|
|iphone w Lifeproof case and earphones||0.2|
|Spare Batteries||AA and CR||0.07|
|Battery Charger||Powermonkey classic (70gms?)||0.095|
|Shorts/Pants||Macpac crossterrain (.35)||0.35|
|Shoes/Boots||Salomon XA 3D Ultra 2||0.775|
|Sunglasses||Rudy Project Impactx||0.035|
|Sun Hat||Macpac Legionnaire hat||0.08|
|Trekking Poles||Black Diamond Alpine Cork Trek||0.49|
|Wallet||travel wallet, waterproof||0.02|
Yes, I'm taking a hammock. I've been sleeping in one as a matter of preference since about Sept last year and I've been loving it! I'm fairly confident I can modify it to suit the conditions (hammock sock, going to ground etc).
|Aarn Featherlite Freedom stuffed to the gunnels. Shouldn't look like this except for long sections of the walk! 35l assault pack in the background for comparison|
Monday, 8 July 2013
I've been thinking about walking Te Araroa for a while. And you know how it is, an opportunity presents itself and you can either go for it or hope it will come around again. In my case, my employer couldn't tell me what role they wanted to place me in after coming back from an overseas post.... and I thought, hmmmmm. How about five months leave? Sold!
And I have been quietly putting things together, reading blogs, and planning. Only to wake up to the fact that it is only about seven weeks away before I should be standing at Cape Reinga and pointing my nose South! Holy crap. Better get cracking then.
Why am I doing this? Ok, mostly because I can. But selfishness aside, it was suggested to me to use my time to raise funds for a worthwhile cause, and that appeals. I'm working on that part, and getting word out, so stay tuned.
The basic plan of attack is to take things slowly at first. Plan the first week in detail, see how things go. Adapt, adjust, roll with the punches. I've walked El Camino de Santiago in Spain, which was just amazing and life-affirming. I was going to go back seven years later, but thought I could do better. See what my own back yard has to offer.
That's it! My first blog too, you will notice this because it is a bit pokey and no bells and whistles... I'll try to flash things up as I go! For anyone interested, I'll also post soonish my equipment list so you can ridicule me for my gear choices :-) Hey, if you don't have a sense of humour... you know how it goes.