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Gear we took to New Zealand, final part — electronics, miscellaneous and summary

The idea of the whole trip was to 'switch off'. So I did not take a laptop or tablet with me, which was the best thing I did in a long time. But there were lots of other electronics and miscellaneous items I carried. Let's get into that and then sum everything up.

I talked about the camera and the battery pack in first part of this series, but there were some other well picked electronic items I took on our journey:

Electronics

  • Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
    My go-to headlamp since ~2 years, and I've tested a whole lot of them. Rechargeable via micro-USB, but you can still use 3 default AAA-batteries, very bright, dimmable, an actually usable red light — just everything I want. 102g
  • iPhone5
    80% of the time the phone was in airplane mode. But then, having a smartphone while traveling is advantageous. Checking departure times for buses and ferries, booking hostel rooms in advance, offline maps for all hiking trails and cities, an emergency compass, camera and GPS, and (sometimes people forget this…): you can call people with it. And listen to podcasts and my handcrafted New-Zealand playlist. The fucking internet in your pocket. But you know all that. While the bliss of hiking without a phone is something one has to discover for themselves, traveling with a smartphone makes things much easier. 113g
  • Headphones
    I brought my good in-ear headphones, Fischer Audio DBA-02 mkII, custom cable, equipped with tight sealing Complyfoam tips. No noise on the plane, no noise in dorm rooms, fucking good audio quality. Nothing beats listening to Colour Haze while chilling in the hammock with a beer. 22g
  • Airplane headphones adapter
    Bought this at the airport. There still are planes that don't have a standard headphone jack on their media-system. 25g
  • Kindle Paperwhite
    I've read books! I decided to ditch the iPad and bring the Kindle instead and it was the right decision. I had time to read actual books (as in fiction), and it was a blast. Battery life is amazing and it serves as an emergency flashlight! I dumped all booking confirmations and passport-copies as PDFs on the Kindle, as a backup. A luxury item, but worth the weight. I did not bring any case for the Kindle, so now I have a small dent in the screen. 203g
  • Mirco-USB-cable + tiny lightning Adapter for iPhone
    One cable was enough to charge up all devices. My wife carried another one so we could charge up 2 devices at once, but all in all we mainly used the charger for the battery pack and the camera. 23g

Electronics weight total: 488g

Cooking and Water

While I went over the shared weight of the cooking system in the first post of this series, there were more kitchen accessories on my back:

  • Sawyer Mini water filter + Syringe
    While very lightweight and easy to use, the flow rate of this water filter is very slow. Filtering two liters of water almost took me 5 minutes — and that's why I more often used the Aquamira water treatment drops. 83g
  • Water bottles
    2L Platypus, 40g 1L Platypus + extra Pull-Suck-Cap, 31g. The one liter bottle was in a side pocket of my backpack, easily reachable while hiking. The two liter bottle was basically just a backup for additional water, and I carried it inside my pack. I really have to learn not carrying too much water, which I always did. Having a total capacity of three liters was nice on the drier stretches or where water sources where weird (arsenic, volcanic streams anyone?), and for camp. The bottles hold up quite well and are still going strong.
  • Food Bag, Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack
    The Ultra-Sil Day Pack is a very light and simple backpack. I used it for day-hikes and around town and as my carry-on luggage for the flights and ferry trips. During the longer hikes it served as a food bag, and I stored all food for up to 6 days inside it and just shoved it in my larger backpack. A very convenient solution for a hiking/traveling trip. You can easily hang this bag into trees or elsewhere to prevent your food from getting stolen by critters in the night. The bag is not very comfortable on it's own (because it is just a non-padded piece of nylon), but it served it's purpose quite well. The fabric is a bit flimsy and I already have managed to poke some holes in it, but it was well worth the buy. 68g
  • Light My Fire Plastic Spork
    Cheap, smooth and unreliable. We broke two of those in two months, just by cleaning them or stirring porridge. Still bought one replacement, because the outdoor stores had nothing else… for non-stick-pots I still will use them in the future over titanium/aluminium sporks and spoons. 11g
  • Sea to Summit Alpha Light long spork
    Same weight as the plastic spork but way more durable and the long handle is very nice. Bought this after the plastic sporks failed, will definitely keep it! 11g

Total weight for additional kitchen items: 244g

Miscellaneous

And finally: all other miscellaneous gear:

  • 4 small titanium stakes + extra Cordage + carabiners
    Extra cordage is always a nice thing to have and a real multi-purpose item. More lines for a tighter tent pitch, for attaching stuff to the backpack or as a spare shoelace etc. pp. With the tiny carabiners, the ultralight small extra stakes and my trekking poles, we used this quite often just to pitch up a line for drying clothes or rigging the poncho as a sunshade. 40g
  • Spare Bottle Cap
    3g are worth not rendering a 2L Platypus useless if I lose the screw cap :)
  • Wallet
    With all credit cards and other identification cards, the so called Butterfly Wallet I use just weighs in at 60g
  • Passport, 56g
  • Silva Compass
    I bought this in New Zealand, because I've read that it would be better to buy the compass calibrated to the hemisphere you are actually gonna use it in. Turns out: we did not use the compass that often. The Great Walks are very well mapped out and you almost cannot go the wrong way. Though, obligatory. 28g
  • DD Superlight Hammock
    This was one particular item I really thought about leaving at home, and in the end I did not use the hammock that often, maybe about seven or eight times. But those times were so relaxing that it was easily worth the 286g.
  • Another spare cotton bandana
    With the one in the cook kit and the one on my body I took another spare bandana, and used it quite often. It basically was: one 'clean' one, one for the dishes, and one dirty piece of cloth to wipe the tent etc. I could have managed with two. 30g
  • Sunglasses in protective case
    I always wear glasses and do not use contact lenses at all. So I had to carry expensive prescription sunglasses, and put those in a case. I used the sunglasses very often, since the New Zealand sun does not shine, it scorches ;) 66g
  • Towel
    Just a cheap larger microfibre towel from Decathlon. Just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker (or New Zealand hiker ;)) can carry. 126g
  • Zip-Loc-Bags
    I always carried some spare Zip-Loc bags about 3-4 one-liter bags. They are just useful for everything: as small trash bags, as a bag for your hygiene items, for nuts and couscous etc. The total average weight should be about ~60g for all of them.
  • Self-made Sitpad
    A 40x90cm large piece of closed-cell foam to sit on, to kneel on or to take a nap on. This was the only item I attached to the outside of my backpack, rolled up tight. I used this quite often, especially on the rainy days, where a dry warm place to put my butt on was really nice. The size fits two people sitting next to each other or my upper torso lying on it (e.g. in the hammock, for less wind-chill) 64g
  • And another stuffsack
    I put all electronics and the smaller miscellaneous items in a small waterproof 4L stuffsack, weighing 19g

Total weight for miscellaneous stuff: 838g

Summary

So let's sum things up:

  • Shared gear: ~2300g
  • Backpack: 1150g
  • Sleeping system: 1787g
  • Additional clothing: 3161g
  • Electronics: 488g
  • Cooking + Water: 244g
  • Miscellaneous: 838g

Total carried weight: 9968 grams so pretty much exactly 10kg. Not an ultralight setup, but for two months hiking and sightseeing I was very happy with everything. Sometimes the weight was a bit more, when I converted my pants into shorts and walked in sandals, but even the total skin-out weight with about 12.5kg was totally doable.

I can't wait for my next longer trip to test out some new gear and an even more minimalist mindset ;)


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