I managed to sneak a night out recently into the Kaimanawa forest.
With a little girl now refocusing my attention to home, it was good to head out for a night and spend some time in the bush. It also gave me a chance to try out an idea I have been kicking around for a while – ditching the traditional pack and ‘camp’ idea, and instead travelling lightweight enough that I could keep everything on me while I hunted and just set-up camp whenever it got to dark to stalk any more. As it turned out, it was also forecast to be a very cold night, so during the warmer months, I would be able to get away even lighter.
Lightweight hunting works for me. The confidence of knowing no-matter how far I wandered I had everything to remain comfortable overnight was comforting – and it certainly made it easier planning the stalk knowing I didn’t have to round trip at any point to get back to camp.
It also reinforced the importance of navigation skills. Once I realised that the Garmin simply wasn’t going to be of any help, I had to break out the map and compass, try and ascertain where I was (not easy when surrounded by trees) and plan a way back out. Simply put, I realised that no matter what, West would take me either to the road or too the main track, so west I went. In the end, I was a lot more north than I thought. No matter, a simple understanding of what the map was telling me, and being able to walk on a bearing soon got me back out.
Lightweight hunting as a concept. Yes. Could I shed even more weight? Yes. But it’s always a balance of comfort, safety and how much you are really wanting to carry.
Part one covers a bit of an intro, describing how major my Garmin Tactix failed me and covers some thoughts behind the trip out.
Part two is the gear, part three is the clothing.
Originally published: July 17, 2015
Lasted updated: June 17, 2018
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