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Solo Man

It’s just me on my own now. Gordon flew back to Sydney yesterday and just as he drove down the driveway, the rain came bucketing down. I ran back to my “container”. At check-in my accommodation was casually referred to by the manager as a “container”. My life was now simple enough to be contained in a 3×2 metre box. My self-sufficient traverse was now well underway. For two nights at the Ahipara Holiday Park & YHA this would be home.

Whilst it pelted down on the container, I got busy inside checking through the gear I’d be carrying for the next six month or so. It was the only way I knew how to deal with the feeling of sudden loneliness. The space inside the container was sufficient enough for my gear which took the first rest on the double bed. I’ll rest later!

It was good to finally have time to check over all my gear but in doing so, I had overlooked one piece of important equipment. Twenty-four hours after taking this photo (below), I stopped by a small stream to fill up with water. My water purifier (Steripen Classic) was nowhere to be seen. As a backup, I had a sheet of 25 water purifying tablets but they take 4 hours to kill off the nasty bugs in the water. I was very disappointed in myself for not knowing where the Steripen was. I still had an ambitious distance to cover with not much water to drink. I zoomed into this photo on my camera and couldn’t see the Steripen there either. I cut my losses and focused on the hike ahead.

It would be another two days before I found the Steripen. I felt pretty stupid about it, but looking back I can see that it could easily happen to anyone using this particular pack (Aarn – Effortless Rhythm). It could have been weeks before I found it, but fortunately I happened to reach inside the sleeping bag compartment for my headlamp and felt there was something behind the waterproof liner that shouldn’t have been there. The Steripen had fallen from the top compartment of my pack, through a hole and into the lower compartment behind the waterproof liner. It had been there all along.

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