June Empty Packs Newsletter

22 June 2021 - David Cary

Thanks for all your kind support over the last 11 months. I am making some really good packs and I love every minute I spend at work.

This is the last Empty Packs Newsletter as I was recently informed that the name Empty Packs infringes on the intellecual property of the Voyager Group in Tauranga, I had no idea. Empty Packs is becoming Fiordland Packs and my new web address will be fiordlandpacks.nz. The old address will continue to work and will be configured to redirect to fiordlandpacks.nz. It is a lot of work to get all the changes made, the show must go on. As it stands the new web site is still not complete, but in the next week it will grow and blossom. My goal is to keep it simple but to project a friendlier, less sparse image, and to make the shop easier and more intuitive. Websites are hard things and the work is never finished.

I have been on a few adventures since the last newsletter, the most interesting being a trip to Dusky Sound to check traps on Mamaku/Indian Island for Pure Salt and the Southern Conservation Volunteers Network. Indian Island is fabulous, almost predator free, Kiwi were originally introduced by legendary conservationist Richard Henry, Kaka entertained in the tree tops every morning, seals barked and the dolphins cruised by. The weather was mild and sunny for this time of the year. Terrain very very steep.

From a network of many hundreds of A24’s only a few freshly dead rats were seen and the cameras were fairly empty of predator sightings. Good news as a mast year is on the cards, Kakapo on the neighbouring Anchor Island are expected to breed in the comming season.

We returned on foot to West Arm via the Dusky track in four days of pouring rain. I can report that the 35l pack I used performed admirably. XPac never does absorb water but eventually the seams will leak though it is not a problem, only my clothes and sleeping bag were in a very minimal dyneema dry bag. Honestly, a plastic bag would have done the job.

Unfortunately rat catches on both Pomona Island in Lake Manapouri, and in the Homer/Gertrude Saddle area on the Milford Road are surprisingly high. I worry about the Rock Wren over winter and the female Kea as they nest in the spring. During the last mast, Mohua appear to have become locally extinct on Pomona and the Haast Kiwi on the Island are precious.

Please consider volunteering some time to a community conservation group, lets look after the commons for future generations of trampers, packrafters and climbers.

Regards David