Monday, June 2, 2014

Planning: Clothes

The much delayed part II of the gear post: clothing! I'll just jump right in...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Planning: Gear

No topic related to hiking has generated as many words, ended more friendships, or started more holy wars than gear. I am strongly of the opinion that gear is a very personal topic. Beyond a minimum bar for safety and self sufficiency, what you carry is your choice. Every piece of gear involves a tradeoff, whether it's weight, convenience, size, durability, or price, and no one else can make that tradeoff for you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Planning: What Will it Cost?

A really common question that prospective TA hikers ask is: "How much will it cost?"

Planning: What to Expect

Taking on a thru-hike is not a small decision. You have to put your life on hold, leave behind friends and family, and head off into the unknown for 4+ months.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Days 175-179, Epilogue 3: Tongariro

The trail sure didn't want to give up the last bit easily! We made it around the Northern Circuit in Tongariro National Park, but the weather did not cooperate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Days 167-174, Epilogue 2: Familiar Faces

After joking about how trudging through muddy forest for 7 days on Stewart Island was our idea of relaxing, we were looking forward to resting our feet and bodies for real. We hung out in Invercargill for a few days, waiting to see Ben, our giant German friend, one last time. Meanwhile, we tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to start eating a more normal amount of food again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Days 158-166, Epilogue 1: Stewart Island

What a way to finish off our tramping in NZ! Stewart Island, or Rakiura, is a small island that lies 30km south of the South Island. Most of it is a national park, and while it does have many of the invasive species that plague the two main islands, the native flora and fauna are much less threatened here (probably due in large part to significant conservation efforts). Over 7.5 days, we did the Northwest Circuit, which is a 125km tramp that goes around the northern half of the island. It is famous for having epic mud and a high rate of kiwi-spotting.