I am getting a progressively heavier pack. There always seems to be some new toy or gadget to include and carry out with me. The last major addition was the 400mm 5.6 Lens, which has added 1250 grams of weight. Latest was a very cool little seat from ALite designs – The Monarch Chair.
We set off, potentially a little later than we should have, and headed for our campsite. We were debating keeping going through to the little hut at the Trig Station, but in the end decided to stop at the camp site – I had my hammock on me, and was keen to use the underquilt again.
In hindsight though, I don’t think I would do the walk again that way. Stopping (relativity) soon at the site means the next days works out at roughly a nine hour tramp. Which is a bit of a killer, and unnecessary. The thought was to reverse the trip next time, stopping at the Trig Hut, and therefore more evenly splitting the trip in two.
Setup wise, we were brought out the Sea To Summit Double Bug Net – while I was safe in the built in mossie net of the hammock – we wan’t to get something to protect anyone under the tarp – after several previous nights of getting eaten alive.
Tarp camping presents one significant disadvantage (also an advantage) over traditional tents – no walls. For many sites, and in the middle of winter, this doesn’t pose too much of a problem, but come summer, and particularly it seems, in the Waitakeries, the Mossies come out with a vengeance. The Bug net is a simple solution, for not much weight.
We simply ran an additional ridge line under the tarp, and fixed the mossie net to it. This particular net gets pegged out, but could equally be stuffed under the bed pad to keep it in place.
Food wise – we had a combination of favorite snacks and the dehydrated foods that Alice has been experimenting with – and while the dehydrated chocolate pudding didn’t exactly set, it was still a great after dinner, thick and rich drink, especially when combined with some digestives!
We have also come to the conclusion that a bowl of cereal really isn’t enough of a breakfast if you are planning on any serious backpacking, as evidenced by our yawning mid morning. Arriving at the Trig Hut, the decision was made to cook up the spare bag of dehydrated risoto we had brought with us. With a decent amount of fuel in us, we felt much better, and headed on our way.
We had made a somewhat late start (shock horror – 10 am!) so realised that we needed to get back to the car before the gates were locked and we had to spend an additional night in the park. In the end though, we made it back with around half an hour to spare.
All in all, it was a good, but hard tramp – the pack isn’t getting any lighter, buy I do feel my overall fitness is improving, which can only be good.
Grade: Moderate / Difficult – some very overgrown areas, lots of mud, some step climbs and descents.
Time: 2 days