What solo tramper carries 400 g of coffee?

I do like a couple of rounds in the morning to kickstart my heart. It’s a ritual to sit in contemplation for a while, first thing in the morning.

Maybe that helps explain why takes me a couple of hours to leave a hut.

I’m appreciative of a decent cup, and use paper filters with my old Ortlieb filter holder that I’ve used consistently on my travels since I found one at an Adelaide bike shop back in 2009. It’s been used at least 2000 times over the years.

Probably my most useful single piece of equipment I’ve ever carried. I’m on my third sleeping bag since then, and fourth tent, and an embarrassingly large number of cameras. My only older piece of equipment is a fleece vest from 2003, and I know that because I have a photo of me in it from when I was here on a non-solo Rakiura tramp, but the garment has only had sporadic use.

I enjoy great coffee, but I’m not a perfectionist, searching out the ultimate coffee available. I just get what’s cheap at the time and fail to note if it was good or not. The current open bag is okay, I guess.

On rations for milk powder as I’m only carrying a kilo to last three weeks. Once that runs out, I’m back to black coffee like I drink at home.

Still pitch dark out there, but I’m getting the porridge cranking.

Sunrise currently, down near 47° South, is 8 08 am, with its setting at 5 40 pm. Not much twilight due to usual cloud cover. They are short days, 9.5 hours, hence the early start.

Today is marked by DOC as 6 — 7 hours, and the tides are not going to allow walking around the coast unless I chose to wait from late morning departure, and that might cut it fine with the daylight. You can save around 1.5 hours by staying on the flat, and the track is little used, south facing with a few windfalls and later on a swamp on a slope to negotiate.

Calm and not a cloud in the sky when I woke. Venus shone brightly, with Orion almost on the horizon. Of course, that didn’t last, and showers are predicted.

Then a young whitetail deer appeared on the track out to the toilet and hung around for 10 minutes. It noticed my interest but didn’t seem too concerned, at least until her tail flicked and she was gone.

5.5 hours of actual tramping, according to my app, but it took all day and I arrived at Freshwater Hut about half an hour after dark.

As I was approaching the hut, I heard a gunshot, and when I arrived 10 minutes later a hunter was dealing with the deer he had just sorted. He thought it unlikely anyone would arrive, and expressed profuse apologies. He mentioned with the noise I was making as I approached the hut it might have been an entire school party arriving.

Unfortunately, it’s common enough to be shot close to a hut, hence my making it apparent I wasn’t another four-legged herbivore.

But he was very experienced and had a raft of great stories, so I just sat back and soaked up the entertainment. Today was his sixth day, having arrived by water taxi, and it was his first deer.

As recompense, I was offered as much meat as I could carry, but politely declined. No need for additional ballast.

And in any case, I was off to Freds Camp Hut which has a great bank of mussels just outside the hut, accessible at low tide.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Freshwater Hut

Freshwater Hut, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island
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