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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
    All over! I actually think I covered more ground there in 2 months then I ever have at home. (missed the central bit of the North Island though - the volcanic parks etc - I spent way longer than I had planned in Northland and I had an interview in Wellington I had to get to).

    I love your country! I gush about it all the time. I nearly moved there permanently. I may yet...
    Cool! I've travelled around the country a few times. How did you get around? I like it up North. Used to hitch hike up North whenever I had the chance.

  2. #22
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Cool! I've travelled around the country a few times. How did you get around? I like it up North. Used to hitch hike up North whenever I had the chance.
    I picked up an old car. Cheaper to buy than to rent for anything > month or so. I picked up some hitch-hikers at one point. That was a mistake!
    Also internal flights - pretty cheap. I spent most time in the national parks tramping and camping. I'd be hard pressed to pick a fave but I have particularly fond memories of Abel Tasman...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  3. #23
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    I wish I could afford travel. Maybe some time mid-century when I'm grey and retired...
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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  4. #24
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    nice pictures... have you considered joining any groups for expeditions?
    I joined the local AMC and I went on my first backpacking trip with them. It was a light one night backpack, but one night is also enough to find some of the major flaws in your gear. I got a real stove and a new sleeping bag after that experience. After that I did my first solo, which are the pictures you see. I might go with the AMC again for my trip this season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizy View Post
    These threads always seem to become a confusing combination of Backpacking and "backpacking".
    I noticed that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizy View Post
    Actually, in my experience the purpose of the hike is an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand the hike is meant to be relaxing, to travel into the wild and unblemished and purify the mind through relaxation and meditation. However more often than not my hikes turn into tests of will and endurance. Weathering the elements, the long distances, and the altitude. Both have their merits, and interestingly enough both seem to work towards the same end.
    For reals. When I did my solo backpack I was thinking of just getting away for a couple days, let myself absorb nature and spend some time in self-reflection. Instead due to my inexperience, I thought I was falling way behind on my schedule and wasn't sure if I carried enough food on me. As a result I spent all my time pressing on, setting up camp just moments before sunset, wondering when was the next time I would see water, etc. It was supposed to be a two night hike but because I was paranoid I finished it with one night, though I had to spend the last two hours hiking in the dark. That was a scary experience. There was a point where I had to tell myself if I didn't calm down now I would start getting disoriented.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  5. #25
    Senior Member Nizy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallentineChen View Post
    For reals. When I did my solo backpack I was thinking of just getting away for a couple days, let myself absorb nature and spend some time in self-reflection. Instead due to my inexperience, I thought I was falling way behind on my schedule and wasn't sure if I carried enough food on me. As a result I spent all my time pressing on, setting up camp just moments before sunset, wondering when was the next time I would see water, etc. It was supposed to be a two night hike but because I was paranoid I finished it with one night, though I had to spend the last two hours hiking in the dark. That was a scary experience. There was a point where I had to tell myself if I didn't calm down now I would start getting disoriented.
    I've been there, never by myself, but hiking in the dark and not being sure of my next water source have been problems on a number of my treks. On my last trek my friend and I made the peak(11,500ft) then as we began our decent along this trail traversing the barren, rocky side of the mountain. We came upon a massive snowbank blocking the trail. We were painfully unprepared for snow, and for an instant my adrenaline spiked wondering how we would continue. But the sense of calm and determination that came over me was almost as powerful as the adrenaline rush. We pushed through that snow bank, using our poles like ice axes. Those are the memories that keep me coming back.

    I've been working on decreasing my pack load. Over the years it has gone down simply from using more expensive equipment, but now I'm making a concerted effort to drop the weight.

    Currently I carry approximately 33lbs for 4 nights of hiking, I'm looking to drop my weight down to at least 20lbs and hopefully in time 10-15lbs. My backpack will be the first to go. Right now it is a 7lb 8oz 4800cubic inch monster external frame. I'm looking to get into a pack thats under 1lb, internal frame, and maybe somewhere near 3600cubic inches.

  6. #26
    Junior Member nonplussed's Avatar
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    Those are some lovely pictures. It's been a few years since I've gone, but I'm planning on going soon, since I'm unemployed and have plenty of time off. I recently purchased a 'new' pack and tent from goodwill for about 7$.

  7. #27
    Senior Member wrldisquiethere's Avatar
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    Yes, but so far only 10-17 mile day hikes. I've been wanting to go on a 3-4 day backpacking trip for a very long time but haven't had an opportunity yet.
    Si, Fe equal Fi & Ti

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  8. #28
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Talking Gear!

    I'm constantly revising, modifying, and optimizing my gear. Here's the current state a few days ago, but things have changed a little since then.

    My gear (when nights are 30 F or warmer):


    Packed up, sometimes along with a Wetterlings forest axe (3/4 size) in side ski slot:


    My pack mule bag: For when I need to carry more (such as winter sleeping quilt, coat, lots of photography/video gear, hauling the whole family's gear), I recently got a large 6650 cubic inch pack (Kelty Red Cloud):


    From a trip last summer:


    I no longer sleep in a hammock because I'm mainly a stomach sleeper, and that's nearly impossible in a hammock (except for bridge style hammocks). I actually prefer to sleep on the ground. I'm modifying my tarp into a tarptent to keep the bugs out (adding netting and a floor). Trying to sleep while bathed in DEET or breathing smudge fire smoke isn't easy. Head nets and partial bug bivies are annoying, and I'm usually 1/2 uncovered at night during the summer.

  9. #29
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    ^very cool pics and descriptions. i'm going to bookmark this so i can refer to it more later. my son's been getting into backpacking more with his buddies. just bought a large backpack today actually, but still need to get many items so he's fully outfitted. your post really helps.
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
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  10. #30
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'm glad it helped out some. Backpacking can be a door into a whole new world. Stores and magazines make backpacking sound like it's all about the gear. Some gear is necessary, but I'm constantly eliminating items on trips. I prefer to cook over a fire, but sometimes fires aren't allowed, so I need to either eat food which doesn't require cooking, or bring a stove. Also, I don't have a water filter, and rely mainly on boiling to purify water, with Micropur tablets as a backup. I hate to buy stuff, so I made several of the items myself (stoves, tarp, hammock, quilt), either from a kit, or from stuff around the house.

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