So we decided that a trip to New Zealand would be a great idea! Michael spent much of his childhood in New Zealand but didn’t spend a lot of time in the south. Soooo of course, that is where we are heading. Queenstown in July. It will be cold and wonderful and I am hoping to see snow for the first time. Although we had talked about the possibility of a NZ trip occasionally, we never really had any solid plans or timelines in mind. But being the spontaneous folk that we are, we booked flights to New Zealand for July. After that, we thought about getting the necessary equipment for our upcoming holiday. This of course meant shopping for backpacks and appropriate attire. We began our purchasing frenzy with backpacks. We opted for Osprey packs based on our research as well as the recommendations from a friend and the sales assistants in Paddy Pallin. Michael’s packs are the two on the left. The biggest being for our longer treks and the smaller one is a day pack. He chose the Osprey Aether 70 AG for long treks and the Osprey Manta 36 AG for his day pack. The AG stands for anti-gravity (something I’ve learned already). I also chose AG bags because it truly made a big difference when weight was put into the bag. My big bag is the Osprey Aura 65 and the blue day pack is an Osprey Sirrus 36. My long trek bag can hold slightly less weight than Michael’s because, let’s face it, he has impressive muscles and will probably be carrying more weight than I will. We are both exceedingly happy with our pack purchases and we can’t wait until we get to try them out.
The next step was to begin purchasing clothing. We live in Queensland where the chance of it getting cold enough for really warm clothing is about the same as me flying to the moon so we went back to the internet for some research. We needed to start from scratch…well base actually. We discovered layering! Base layers, more commonly referred to as thermals, right through to mid layers and then outer layers are something with which we are now familiar. Michael started with pants that would be durable and warm as well as comfortable. He chose Khul Renegade pants based on durability, reviews and comfort and these pants are also classed as a soft shell so that means moderately weather proof. We went to a store to try on pants for size and style but bought from overseas online because we found that purchasing online was cheaper. He also has purchased a mid layer and outer layer. His mid layer is a Salomon discovery MZ and his outer layer is an Arc’teryx Gamma MX hoody (which he is a little bit in love with btw!). His new love is a soft shell jacket so it should protect him from most weather that we are going to encounter. I have purchased some pants thus far. I chose Outdoor Research Voodoo pants as they were super comfortable and feel as though they will be very durable which concurs with the research that I did. We both have bought cheap base layers because it has been recommended that if you have top quality outer layers, you can afford to have lesser brand thermals. We are going to test out this recommendation and report back. My next purchases will be mid layer and outer layer so that my New Zealand wardrobe will be complete. I will make the purchases and create a new blog post with pictures of our gear. Very exciting. In the meantime, I will try to keep Michael’s attention long enough to not lose him to his jacket! Happy travels.