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Off-track tramper Danilo Hegg

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May 2021 Issue

Danilo Hegg enjoys tough, mostly off track, multiday tramps as well as easier walks where he can photograph New Zealand’s smallest animals.

“The contents of my pack vary wildly depending on the trip I’m on,” he says. “During summer, however, I like to spend time studying the invertebrate fauna of our alpine regions and I am equipped accordingly.”

Regardless of whether I’m searching for nocturnal invertebrates or having an alpine start to climb a mountain, a good headlamp is essential. I find the Ledlenser MH8 ideal for the purpose because of its strong beam and it is USB rechargeable.

There’s nowhere I sleep as good as I do in a tent. A tent is home. I converted to Hilleberg tents a long time ago, and have never looked back. Their design is superb and they stand up to wind and rain. For solo travel, I carry a lightweight Hilleberg Enan. Kea seem to like it as much as I do; over the years I’ve had to patch a few holes inflicted by their beaks.

The 70L Hyperlite Porter 4400 is a pack with no frills that weighs little and fits plenty of gear. It’s not as tough or durable as other packs I’ve owned, and I had to reinforce the bottom with a foam mat cut-out. My back, however, is irreplaceable and has got to last me a while yet. A pack that is light and comfortable is kind on my back and it is just what I want.

Insect net
A cheap, folding and telescopic insect net purchased on Amazon comes in handy to examine those invertebrates that move way too fast for me to keep up with.

Snow travel
An old Grivel ice axe and a pair of Stubai Tirol crampons are almost always in my pack. The crampons fit well on flexible leather boots and come with a screw to lock the size adjustment mechanism, which means they are not going to pop open half-way up an icy slope.

Cooking utensils
I’ve been using a seemingly indestructible MSR Whisperlite forever – all my other stoves have broken after a couple of years or less. A Primus Primetech pot with a built-in heat exchanger maximises heat transfer, which means less fuel is carried. A foldable Macpac windshield is an inexpensive item that’s been performing well and has outlasted many of its tin counterparts.

A DeLorme InReach communication device has proven invaluable to communicate with the outer world and to get up-to-date weather forecasts. I carry it in the pack’s waistbelt pocket for easy access in emergencies.

This is an item where I do not save weight. I carry a Nikon D850 full-frame DSLR and a set of lenses, including a good macro lens, a strong speedlight and a DYO diffuser for close-up shots. A Peak Design carbon fibre tripod if I think I’m going to need one. My ThinkTank camera holster with chest harness is the most comfortable carry system I have used and keeps the camera easily accessible.