While I am down here in Tasmania soaking up the cool weather and fine, fine food I'll also be heading off for this summers photographic walking adventure. Tomorrow I'll be flying out to Melaleuca in Tasmania's remote South West National Park for a 13 day epic. This will be the second time visiting the South Coast Track, back in January 2011 some good friends and I spent 8 days discovering the hidden beaches and prehistoric forests that the walk takes in.
This time however I'll be adding on a few extras. The South West Cape walk that will take me down into some new territory along the last of the south coast then northward along the wild west coast is the most note worthy. A challenging 5 day walk in itself. I'll be back to backing the South West Cape onto the South Coast Track for a total walk duration of 13 Days.
It is set to be an extended photographic adventure in Australia's premiere temprate ecosystem backing onto a very dramatic coastline. Some of the places I'm really looking forward to exploring are Spain Bay, Hidden Bay and the cape itself tho I've read that the cape is inaccessible due to the thick vegetation. To say that it'll be as spectacular as it will be exhausting is no understatement and preparing for such an adventure has been energising.
In the kit all the standard food has been added in plus a few extras for an upcoming project that I'll be working on while out there. Quinoa, Muesli and a host of other nutritious foods fill the bag as well as some of the more comforting foods like chocolate and ample supplies of tea. Some of the more exotic foods include nori seaweed, dried coconut milk, dried anchovies, miso paste, dried blue berries, fried shallots & shiitake mushrooms.
These will all add up to some super healthy and delicious meals while on the trail that will not do too much harm to the back when it comes to weight. Most of the planned meals have only dry ingredients saving weight and require minimal cooking saving fuel. Its far from rocket science but it does take a few good walks to sort out your own personal dietary needs and the types of food you like to eat. For me I love light asian foods and curries and you can see that in the above list of ingredients.
As far as hardware goes on this trip I'm testing out a few new items and ideas. One that I'm looking forward to using is my new Exped Down Mat 7 sleeping mat and as the name suggests its filled with down! Also having done this walk before I've left out a stack of clothing and gone very minimal only taking one shirt and pair of shots for day walking. When it comes to around the camp clothing I'll be using a Mont polartec top and icebreaker 260 leggings to stay warm. For the rain I'm carrying my every trusty Technical North Face shell and Mont Hydronaut pants, both of these are top of the line waterproofs and well worth every penny.
I'm happy to say that my clothing, cooking and camping gear comes in just under 7kg... I'm getting better at this!
Now to the ever important camera gear, yes, obviously the Canon 5D mk3 is onboard as is the 17-40 f/4L and 24-70 f/2.8L when it comes to lenses. The 24-70 is a second hand one I bought from ebay after getting my stolen in Guatemala, just a few days ago the aperture blades locked up but seems to be working ok for now. I'm also taking my tripod, 11 camera batteries, plenty of memory cards and a flash and radio triggers.
It was a bit of a big deal not taking the 70-200 f/2.8L along but its just too heavy and having taken it before on multiday hikes it just doesn't get used enough to warrant the weight. The flash is for another project I'm woking on down here and again is following up on previous work here in Tasmania, it'll be worth carrying.
So as I write this everything is securely packed, I'm all booked in for my flight tomorrow and about to enjoy my last... oops I need to go buy some lighters... ok back, where was I? oh yeah, enjoy my last home cooked meal for the next 13 days. When I get back form this adventure I'll have 1 or 2 days in Hobart to clean, wash, repair and pack all over again because I'll be off to Europe. Thats right back to Europe and I'll be announcing these plans very, very soon!