Well, it has been some time since my last update – 50 days to be precise. I have finally completed selecting and acquiring my gear, and have completed my first video update for your viewing pleasure. I have also uploaded my gear list, along with weight and price. If you have a question, or comment on any part of my gear – feel free to let me know!
I have done a lot of research, and there is a lot of very useful information available to help with planning, but a word of caution: people have very different ideas about what to bring and what not to, this is a very much a personal decision. So, what may work for one person, may not necessarily work for someone else. Select your gear according to your own budget, what you can carry (remember it is going to be a long hike!) and importance placed on key items that you believe you will need. Do your research, there is plenty of information available and people willing to help you with your own plans.
Having not yet taken a single step on Te Araroa, I still don’t know what items are not necessary, and what I am missing – so I will be sure to keep you updated on completion with a review of my gear, as well as what worked and what didn’t work for me. My current base weight is 12.34 kilograms, so will probably be carrying 18-20 kilos’ with food and water.
One point I would like to make is, don’t go without a Personal Locator Beacon and some way to update people as to where you may be on the trail. This season I have already seen a number of friends and families trying to find out where their loved ones are as they may not have checked in or haven’t arrived when they said they were going to. I can only imagine the stress and worry on these people and want to ensure I have all the tools and equipment so I can communicate and update my friends and family. Also, if ever there was an emergency, the Search and Rescue team will be able to locate you and provide assistance much easier than without. I know that the Garmin InReach goes through to GEOS, but I selected this device as it has other benefits such as SMS through the satellite and 10 minute GPS updates so my family can see where I am. You can also hire a PLB in New Zealand.
Finally, I also want to / have to say a big thank-you to the wonderful people who have already completed the trail and provided a wealth of information online. As well as providing responses to my questions and assistance in selecting specific items. I have also be grateful to receive advice and assistance in regards to my health, nutrition and general well being from my friend and mentor – Andy Heyden, whom has represented Australia 7 times in the 100km road championship and World Record holder for the longest distance ran on a treadmill in 24hrs! Andy has been a fantastic mentor and I know his advice has helped prepare me for the TA!
A busy few weeks remain before I hit the trail. I have my lovely wife’s 40th Birthday party next weekend and our final work offsite and Christmas celebration in Cairns the week after. And before I head off, we are heading to Hawaii for a holiday and to continue the birthday celebrations. Fun times ahead!