I can’t believe I’m already posting about this new adventure, and I still haven’t caught us up to date – but I promise its all coming soon. But before we leave (in less than 12 hours!!!!!), I wanted to get this initial post uploaded.
Gear is probably Jake’s most favorite thing in the world (besides his loving wife). Seriously, he is a supreme gear nerd and loves any opportunity to research the best gear for the job. Our job this time is ultra-light, long-distance hiking; or tramping. Here’s a little video that walks through all our gear:
Living in Colorado for over a decade has allowed us to amass a huge amount of gear for just about any outdoor adventure: climbing, camping, biking, backpacking, mountaineering, skiing, road tripping, sailing, you get the idea. So, when we started planning for Te Araroa we both did our research to see what everyone else is doing on similar trails (Pacific Crest, Appalachia, etc). Most reports are from experienced adventurers that dedicate years, even lifetimes, to these magnificent feats. They have tried and true knowledge of just about anything and everything that will come their way; from gear, to general knowledge and preparedness. So that’s where we began.
We definitely like to research, but not to the point of exhaustion. When we began sailing, we felt that there came a point when we just had to pull the anchor (so to speak) and just go for it. Of course we did NOT feel ready at all, we still had so much to learn. But in reality, the learned experiences came from EXPERIENCE, not just research. So in order for us to know exactly what we need, well, we just have to get out there.
So for our Te Araroa gear, we decided on a few simple rules:
- Gear that can pull double or even triple duty is important.
- Be as lightweight as possible but don’t break the bank…though we might have broken it a little bit.
- The right gear is what you already have.
- Comfort, Comfort, Comfort.
If I had the energy, I might dive into this a bit deeper and post weight details and why we selected each piece of gear. Maybe I’ll come back in and add it later, but for now, hopefully this will be enough to wet your collective blog-whistles. 🙂
As a couple, we can split “team” gear amongst the two of us, which is a nice perk. It gives us a bit more luxury options if we so choose any.
This is our starting gear list, from which we may pair down a bit more, especially once we get going.
Jake – Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Lightweight Backpack
Jill – Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40 Ultralight Backpack
2 Osprey rain covers
2 Gossamer Gear Pack Liners
2 large dry bags- Earth Pak
Nightlight Pads for sitting
Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent just under 3 lbs
Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Sheet
Bags: both just under 2 lbs
Jake – REI Flash Men’s
Jill – REI Flash Womens
2 – compression sacs REI brand
Sleeping Pads: both under 1 lbs’ish
Jake – REI flash
Jill – Sea to summit comfort light
MSR Sweetwater, water purifier (aquifer drops and iodine as back up)
MSR WhisperLite International Backpacking Stove
2 Fuel bottles, 1-20oz, 1-30 oz
Pots, mixed from old sets, collapsible plates & bowls Sea to Summit
Silverware / utensils – ultralight Human Gear
Sea to summit lightweight mugs
4-1L water bottles
1 MSR 1-gallon water bladder
Sea to Summit Trash bag
Garmin 64st hand held
Garmin Quatix watch
Atlas Guides Phone App
Yup, no paper maps
Old Skool Compass
Goal Zero Nomad 7 w/ Guide 10 Charger
Eneloop batteries AA & AAA
2 headlamps Vitchella, waterproof, have held up really well, good battery life
Plug Adapter kit
Panasonic Lumix Camera
Sony A6300 Camera + spare batteries
mini bluetooth speaker, I-home
Clothing: (per individual)
1 – rain jacket
1 – rain pant
1 – hike pant
1 – shorts
3 – socks
2 – underwear
1 – long underwear top & bottom (for sleep)
1 – compression sac
Hiking boots Oboz
Bed Rock Sandles
Med Kits – ultralight
Duct Tape/Repair Kit Fabric for sleeping pads & tent
Bathroom Shovel – ultralight by Tent Lab
Hygeine: (per individual)
trekking poles, Leki-Cressida & Masters-Peak
2 – Bug net
Waterproof notebooks (2)
buff / scarf
wallet / passports
This is a pretty generic list in many places. I believe our base weight is around 15-18 pounds each. This doesn’t include food or water, though we will always have those things, so in reality we will probably be carrying more like 25 pounds each. Jake will probably opt to carry more since he’s a tougher cookie than me.
Then there’s the drop box, which is what we will mail to ourselves when we reach our halfway point (whether we complete the entire trail or just the south island). Our box has a new pair of shoes, some dehydrated food goodies from Harmony House (that we love), some clothing (new underwear, shirt, possibly warmer weather gear) and then we set aside some possible items that we may need, such as extra contacts or prescription glasses if we lose/break ours. Stuff like that would be difficult to come by out in the wilds, but easy enough to mail to ourselves if we need it!
We will try to keep ourselves as fluid as possible, with this adventure. And just like sailing, we don’t feel completely “Ready” but we are excited and nervous and can’t wait to see what sorts of adventures will come. And we can’t wait to share it with you awesome readers, friends and family. And the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!