Tramping, nearly camping.

The Ruahine Range called to us again...there's so much you haven't seen yet. So, of course, we returned for more exploration, more tramping and more muddy boots! This time we took the somewhat unsettlingly named 'Swamp Track' which made us all immediately start looking over our shoulder for beasts rising out of the mist and gloom.

Eomer launched into a 'what to do if we get stuck in a swamp' instructions (lie on your back and keep your body flat, in case you ever need such advice) and I was thinking in the back of my mind of all the recent heavy rain and wondering if I'd actually remembered to pack any spare clothes for the inevitable muddy journey home?! But, in reality, it was an easy round circuit stroll through some of the beautiful Macrocarpa forest in the National reserve.

The peace and quiet meant we could have been miles from anywhere but were actually only about 30 mins from the car. Amazing! We passed large numbers of people doing the Sunrise Hut route - which we had walked on our previous visit. However, this time we did a sneaky side shoot and snuck out to the lowest hut on the mountain, one that often gets missed as people head to the top.

The grandly named "Triple X" hut. Another fine hut, both kids raced to the bunks, laying out the mattresses and declaring who was sleeping there. But of course, this time we were only staying for lunch! Delicious bacon sandwiches cooked on the most compact Trangia you will ever find. Another family came through the trail to the hut, specifically drawn by the smell of cooking bacon and then had to literally drag their children away again as they gazed entranced at my awesome cooking skills (!).

Now, this little Trangia and I have a history together and I've always had a huge soft spot for it. I first started travelling in the nineties, heading to Africa for a year before university and along with a pack full of classic 90's gear, this Trangia stove stayed my trusty cooker up mountains, down rivers and through the years continued travelling with me in Canadian forests, and later throughout cycle touring in Spain. The compact size and lightweight packability meant it made the cut every time! And now, we have the new version, which includes a non-stick fry top. Superb!

Anyway, suffice to say, we all loved our new adventure trail and will be packing the Trangia in every tramp, camping or not, as the temptation of cooking a little lunch or hot drink with such a little weight can now be possible. Hooray for gear designs that are so perfect that little has changed in nearly 20 years! Hats off to Trangia )

Written by Ruth Lively-Masters on Sunday, 06 November 2016.

Posted in Environmental Education and Wildlife


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