I consider myself relatively cool and I'm still young...please tell me I look 19, but I had no idea this thing had an actual name. The 'Flat Lay' is what is sounds like; you lay out things with a connecting theme (in my case, what I have packed for my trip) and take a fancy ass picture of it from above, tag it to hell on Instagram (forgive me for my tags, it's to attract an audience #liveauthentic) and pat yourself on the back for being so fancy and popular. As you can see from my Flat Lay, I'm screwed.
Now, I know looking at the pictures it is hard to believe, but I really tried to cut weight and gear. I traded in my old sleeping mat for one half the size and weight, got a compact all in one stove/bowl combo and didn't even bring my running gear. However, as we can clearly see, where I failed was electronics. Which was kind of unavoidable. I will be blogging and doing photography while traveling and I can't do that without a laptop and camera gear. Pray for my heathen soul, I may be crushed to death.
A couple details about specific pieces and why I got them, with links to everything below.
Pack-Deuter, Quantum 60 + 10 SL
- I ended up with this pack simply because it was the only one like it that existed. I knew I needed a real hiking pack so all these "travel packs" that look like suitcases you can wear, weren't going to cut it. It is a full hiking pack 60 + 10L, with a real suspension system and a full 18L daypack that has decent straps, no other company even compared. I also liked that it was a women's fit, had nice thick strap padding and came with a rain/travel cover.
Tent- MSR, Hubba NX
- I spent a week of summer 2014 in a Big Agnes Seedhouse 1SL tent and was very tempted to buy it for this trip. What swayed me to this one was the side entrance and waterproofness of the floor. While I didn't find the front entrance of the Big Agnes to be a huge problem, it was annoying at times, especially when trying to make a quick escape from bugs. The big draw for me with the MSR was the floor, it is 3000mm waterproofness compared to the Big Agnes at just 1200mm. I hate being wet. I hate it more than anything (except cold, but wet=cold for me). I hear it rains a fair bit in New Zealand and bottom line, I just didn't want to risk getting soaked.
Sleeping Bag-Marmot, Women's Trestles 30
- This was strictly a case of I already owned this sleeping bag, it packs up small, it's rated to just above freezing andddd it's green and purple and makes me feel like a ninja turtle. BOO YEAH!
Sleeping Bag Liner-Sea to Summit, Reactor Compact Plus
- While I found my sleeping bag almost warm enough on my last hike... that is a bold faced lie, most nights I was freezing. Even though it wasn't near freezing and was the middle of summer, I was still cold. So instead of buying a new sleeping bag, I got this and hope it works. It adds 11 degrees of warmth so now my bag is rated down to -10. And I also now know to wear my toque to bed!
Sleeping Pad-Therm-a-rest, NeoAir Xlite
- This was very simple. It is the size of a 1L water bottle and weighs 12oz. SOLD!
- I had an MSR stove from a previous camping trip but I was never comfortable with it and it was way more than I needed. It required priming the line and actually understanding how it works...and I'm lazy and don't care, just boil my water. Luckily they make stoves for people like me! This is an all in one system AND all the parts fit into the 'pot' part of it so it is super compact. It was between this and a Jet Boil, what made the decision was MSR fuel is more widely available.
Boots-Zamberlan, 996 VIOZ GTX-Women's
- I have the most princess of feet. They hate all shoes. I can't wear flip flops, I get blisters between my toes. My arches are too high to stay inside any pair of heels. My pinky toe tries to escape all sneakers by rubbing though the fabric. Enter these bad boys. They are beasts. They are heavy, they don't breathe and I would die without them. They are full grain leather so pretty much waterproof, they are super wide so my duck feet have lots of room and best of all, they barely needed breaking in. Only complaint would be the sole isn't totally flat so there is a bit of a rocking motion when you walk but I got used to it super quick. They also get marked up really quickly but I am going to try some leather protector and see how that helps.
- I can text/email anywhere in the world. I can send an SOS. My friends and family can track where I am/have been. It has GPS. Need I say more. Also my family won't let me leave the country without it :D
Tripod- Mefoto Backpacker
- I already owned the model up from this, the Road Tripper, but it was just too big. I looked into other brands but I found this one to be the perfect compromise between cost and quality. Also bright colours WEEEE! I now own a pink one and gold one. It is the size of a sub sandwich and weights 2.6lbs but can hold 8lbs of gear.
- I brought my (then new) t5i and 18-200mm on my hike in summer 2014 and was beyond pleased at the setup. Only had to bring one lens for shooting everything from landscape to close ups of flowers and the photos turned out great. I thought about just bringing the one lens again, but now I have the wide angle and have seen the difference it makes to my landscape photos. So it gets to come too. Plus its tiny and light. I will keep repeating that until I believe it.