Well the journey still continues ... As a first step of sharing some of my hiking experiences, I wanted to share first my routine gear.
You'll see a new link in my blog page to an excel spreadsheet with an up to date representation of my gear, split into three tabs for:
I'll periodically update the gear lists as I find better gear. For now I'll explain the list.
The first few columns is the gear I currently use, the weight and the price I paid for it. If I think I can go lighter without substituting quality, I've put in a substitute I can aim to get and highlighted the row in yellow.
The rows highlighted in red are gear that I want to find a substitute but haven't yet found a suitable substitute. Isn't that a nice past-time!
Some caveats on my gear. This gear is mainly aimed for Australian and New Zealand four season conditions. So no bear canisters! Also the temperature range I'd expect to go out in is between -10 and 30 Celsius. Oh and measurements are in celsius and grams.
And why go ultralight? I'll be honest. I'm female and lazy and I feel the cold. If I can carry less my walk becomes that much more enjoyable.
By all means leave a comment below If you have questions on the list, or recommendations on what to include. Cheers!
So In Wellington I stayed with trail angel John. He and his family were so kind to me. While in Wellington he and a friend took me out and made sure I was adequately fed and watered. The thing was each day my knee felt insecure and clicky and sore. And my gut was really playing up still. So I went to get a remedial massage for the hip, saw a physio for the knee and gave a stool sample to work out what pathogen was being a bit toxic.
The physio said it’s probable my quadricep tendon is torn and it will just to longer to heal and get more painful the more I walk on it. Because I had a ski trip planned for late January I had to figure - do I want to ski or keep hiking to a point I could cope to (which after Tongariro and anticipating the hills between wanaka and queen Charlotte track didn’t seem like much tolerance at all).
On top of that the test result from my stool sample was negative from the main culprits. But you know did I still feel really nauseous and have diarrhea? Yes. And I didn’t want to be infectious and put myself at risk while on the track. I medicated myself to treat giardia because that’s what I thought the infection was most likely caused by and coincidentally the symptoms ceased two days later. But that experience also put me in a vulnerable place to keep hiking.
Finally, the mind-fuckery of doing solo hiking in wilderness areas in alpine conditions was taking its toll. I was losing confidence each day as I was thinking about the altitude gains, river crossings and kilometres and still unsettled weather.
So I made the hard decision to give it all break.
For about one month later I had this conflict in my mind. One part of me said I made the right decision. But another part was unhappy that I didn’t meet my expectations. So it was hard writing a post.
Nonetheless the lessons I took from this experience is that expectations are arbitrary, to cherish the experiences so far and know I make choices to maximize the possibility for enjoyment in the long run.
So the goal is to continue the Te Araroa - South Island - from Wanaka to Queen Charlotte Track in 2020. Its already less than a year to go to that point!
In the meantime I want to consolidate what I’ve learned and put some resources on the blog for others - particularly women - to use. Pleas leave a comment if you want to know anything particular.
And every day the Te Araroa walks with me.