Friday, 2 January 2015

A day in my life – Camping

Just for something a little different here is a rundown of a typical day for me when I am camping.

0530 Get woken up by birds in dawn chorus.

0630 Wake up properly. Open the valve of my mattress so my body weight helps deflate it. While this is happening I finish waking up and deflate and fold up my pillow.

Boil 450 ml water. Pour into mug with my Complan and Milk Powder mix to make a hot drink. Drink this drink while packing my sleeping bag into its Dry Bag and folding my Mattress and placing into stuff sack with pillow and plastic bag used to inflate mattress.

Clean Mug and brush teeth. Dry mug and pot and pack away.

Put on socks, gaiters and shoes (gaiters before shoes which I forgot a few times early on).

Put everything into my pack and move to the side. Ensure tent is clean and sweep out if not.

Take down Tent and put into Pack. Readjust walking poles to 110 cm.

Fill in toilet hole and do final sweep to ensure I have not left any sign of my presence.

0730 start walking.

Roughly every hour but depending on how I feel take 5 minute break and eat either some scroggin (Peanuts, Cashew Nuts, Macadamia Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Dried Cranberries, Dried Otago Apricots), muslea bar or fruit leather. I drink continuously as I go which is why my drink bottles are so easy to access.

1230 ish. 2 x Tortilla with either peanut butter (longer sections) or cheese, Salami and hummus. Followed with some biltong (beef jerkey) and a couple of lollies.

20 minutes to an hour later start walking again. If taking a longer break or my feet are wet I will take off my shoes and socks to air my feet out.

Continue snacking throughout the day. Stop to filter more water when I only have 500 ml left (I carry 1 litre normally unless going on a ridge for an extended time).

1700 assess how I am feeling to determine if I need to start looking for water source to fill up another 1.2 litres for camping requirements and to look on map for likely campsite.

If feeling tired stop around 1730-1800. If feeling good stop around 1900.

Assess campsite for flatness, under trees if possible (no dew, reduced condensation and shelter from wind and rain), likelihood of waking up in lake or stream if it rains, prettiness and view.

Clear tentsite from big sticks and rocks (due to my fantastic mattress and groundsheet (polycro commonly sold in NZ in hardware stores as Window Insulation Film) I do not need to be too worried about clearing everything as the groundsheet protects my tent from punctures and the mattress is thick enough to not get things digging into me like roots or rocks when lying down.

Adjust tentpoles to 123cm and 80 cm. Unroll tent (always rolled with door to the left so I know which way to unroll it to face the right direction). Stake out front corners. Insert Walking Pole to front and stake out. Insert Walking Pole to back and stake out. Stake out back corners. Stake out ends.

Empty pack contents into tent and prop tent under tent flap.

Dig toilet hole.

Sit in tent and remove shoes (placed beside pack), socks and gaiters which are hung from line above my tent door.

Boil 700 ml water. Pour water into Zip Lock Bag containing meal of the day, seal and place in foil pouch (BackCountry Cuisine Packaging). Pour water into mug with soup mixture and drink. Pour cold water into Instant Pudding/Milk Powder small Zip Lock Bag and stir. Put Replace Sports Electrolyte Powder into one waterbottle for the next day.

Inflate mattress using plastic bag (take plastic bag, cut of bottom corner, place hole over mattress nozzle and fix with rubber band. Collect air in rubbish bag, roll top and squeeze air into mattress. This reduces the amount of moisture that gets into the mattress from using your breath which reduces mold build up.

Inflate pillow and take sleeping bag out of drybag to let it fluff up.

Review route for the next day.

Eat dinner which is now cooked followed by Instant Pudding which is now set.

Clean Mug and pack away stove.

Eat one lollie while writing Blog on phone.

Toilet then sleep usually around 2100 2130.

Tent setup inside

Full setup


  1. I started reading your blog at the right time - no sooner did I finish but you updated the next morning (for me, anyway!). I'm loving reading your adventure. It's not sating my wanderlust as I had hoped - making it worse, actually. (One day I shall visit NZ and walk part of Te Araroa!) Congratulations on completing the North Island and good luck on your adventures in the South!

    1. Hi Allison. Thanks for your comments, I am glad you are enjoying it. Beware the scenery is going to get better now i am in the South Island and you may find yourself wanting to come to NZ earlier than you planned

  2. Well done on completing North Island; your blog is one of the best I've read. We're all looking forward to your adventures on South Island.

    1. Thanks Rob. It is always good to know people are enjoying reading my blog. I will try to keep you entertained for the next couple of months

  3. Con grades on completing the North Island and keeping the purest in me satisfied as you do for your self. I was wondering how you include so much detail and guess you input on your phone as you go.Well done :)

  4. Wow, you have a very efficient schedule! Well, I guess that comes naturally after camping for a while. It will help refine your discipline in a lot of aspects. And in most cases, it can help campers regulate their sleep-cycles according to nature, not to mention provide a lot of exercise for your whole body. Anyway, good luck on completing the trail and your future camping endeavors. Have an amazing day!

    Getawayaway Outdoors