Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Back in NZ - Final Prep Begins!

Apparently I WAS doing it wrong! So, I have finally arrived back in NZ and commenced my final preparations in earnest.
Walking - I've been putting in a few miles and toughening my feet up... and printed out the maps. That was sobering and exciting!
There are 141 A4-size maps, 1:50,000 scale. This is the overview of the route:

Gear - here's the final selection (less the dog, and the clothing I will be wearing):

And much to my parent's amusement, I've been sleeping outdoors rather than the spare bedroom (yes, I sold my house, moved back home.. thanks Mum!). This has really helped me acclimatise, reassured me that my gear will work to at least 0 degrees in wind and rain, and I also got to enjoy the sound of tuis and moreporks from my hammock! Boy, did I miss the sounds of NZ.

Wow, I start travelling North to Cape Reinga early next week! I'm absolutely buzzing about it, and very thankful that my work has given me the time to do this. They have been really supportive, as have complete strangers, friends and family. It's all very humbling. I had a good chat with Malcolm at Shine, and he updated me on some of their programmes - in particular the KIDshine programme which is such great work and a very worthwhile cause. More on this soon! I'd better get back to some hammock hang time :-)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Am I Doing it Wrong, or What?

Ok. Common sense might suggest a few things if you were preparing for a thru hike, right?
Maybe pack hikes, studying maps, how and where to resupply, acclimatising to NZ weather which should be cold, wet, rainy and maybe snowy. Especially when we are talking about starting in less than a month.

So, to prepare for lots of walking, I've been doing mostly this:

And to get used to wintery NZ conditions, I've been doing this:

Luckily, I've got a plan! Mostly it involves getting off this lovely tropical paradise and getting back to NZ as soon as I can. To a place I can actually download the maps I need to do detailed work with... gear is sorted (well, pretty much sorted. Thanks Judith, the two Benjamins, and everyone who provided advice at the Te Araroa Facebook page). The cottage industry guys at Dutchwaregear, Papa Smurf at Dream-hammock, and Zpacks have been fantastic rushing through some upgrades for me!
Best of all, family and friends have been amazingly supportive, and that feels really special.

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I'm having a ball, and I'm looking forward to the ground rush of the last couple of weeks before I begin! What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts, advice...
Check out my Givealittle page, or Shine, for more info on the charity I am raising funds for.