Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Zealand!

5 days. New Zealand. Two weeks of hiking my way around one of the most beautiful landscapes this world has on offer. I'll surf uncrowded waves against a backdrop of cliffs and snow capped mountains. I've already got my route planned, though I will be tracking the swell as the day gets closer. A cyclone is due out of the north and will make landfall early this weekend. Fortunately I will miss most of the flooding and wind, and arrive just in time for the offshores and well over-head waves. As the swell passes, I'll head south in my rented camper-van surfing various breaks around the north island, before I ferry across Cook Straight. The south island is majestic, and as some may already know is where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed. Think big mountains, beautiful waterfalls, ever changing weather and relative isolation.

I'll be bringing my camping gear as sleeping in the comfort of a camper-van isn't really my style. When the waves die, I'll find myself a good trail head and head out for a few days with my pack.

This will also be the first iteration of my gear check for my year in South America. I'll get a feel for what it's like to backpack with a surfboard, which I expect to be a fair bit more challenging than what I'm used too. I'll also quickly discover gaps in my gear as it has been some time since I've hit the trail. All of this will be done from the relative safety of a first world country. Unfortanately, I lost a lot of my outdoors equipment during the move to Bahrain. It's been rather expensive stocking back up, but here's the list so far:

  • Osprey Aether 70 pack
  • Kelty rain cover
  • Paha Que Solo tent
  • Kelty Cosmic Down 20 degree bag
  • Self inflating iso mat 
  • Coleman mess kit
  • Ultra-light camp stove
  • Asolo boots 
  • Various rain gear and clothing
  • Quicksilver 4/3 wetsuit
  • JBS custom surf board
  • Wool socks x2
  • Sunscreen (Zinka)
  • Weatherproof matches
  • Match case
  • Magnesium striker
  • Cuban cigars
  • Xikar cutter
  • Nikon D7000
  • 50mm 1.4 nikkor
  • Tokina 12-24mm
  • Nikkor 70-300mm
  • Manfrotto tripod
  • various filters
Anything I'm missing? Suggestions? Leave a comment and save me some misery on my trip!