I’ve been asked several times along my journey whether I managed to secure any sponsorship. Whilst I was unable to find a “here’s a tonne of cash” benefactor (and hence very appreciative of everyone who has pre-bought my book to help fund this trek!) there are a lot of people who assisted in other ways.
Here’s a quick summary of why I like them all sooooo much:
Mega Advertising has given me online credibility – when newspapers and magazines and future sponsors check out my activities on this blog, they find my adventure ‘looks good’.
MapWorld‘s GME Accusat GPS emergency locator beacon is my very economical insurance policy should (touch wood) anything go wrong. Even a hunter I met up the Taramakau River was impressed I had one. The freshmap digital mapping software will be most useful as I write up the book and calculate exactly how many kilometres I strolled. The Garmin GPS has actually been more useful than I thought it would be, even when strolling through urban areas!
My Pacerpoles have become my two best friends on the trail. I credit them with supplying me the power to walk further each day than if I didn’t have them. I have not had one blister on my hands from holding them every single day and they are the perfect ‘how deep is that mud really?’ testers. Plus, they’ve given me rather defined triceps… 😉
The Aarn Design Natural Balance bodypack from Invercargill’s Southern Adventure has generated the most interest from fellow hikers. The twin balance pockets at my chest mean I look different from a traditional walker but there are three distinct advantages in the design: 1) My centre of gravity is over my hips, so I feel balanced and even gazelle-like as I hop over streams and from boulder to boulder. 2) My posture is upright, so I breathe more fully and don’t feel as tired at the end of the day. 3) Within easy reach is my camera, snacks, water-bottle, sunscreen, maps – I actually have to remember to take my pack off for a breather every now and again!
I have been thrashing the Earth Sea Sky clothing. It’s still all going strong. My long-sleeved shirt in particular is not quite the same colour as I started, but even now it can pass as ‘tidy’… just.
The powermonkey-eXplorer portable solar charger from Tightlines in Napier has come into it’s own in the South Island, since I’ve been far from electricity for days on end. It means my mobile phone can be fully charged when I really need it.
I feel sorry for the Formthotics Shock Stop insoles Podamo gave me – they have been subjected to a couple of thousand kilometres of pounding, days of sogginess from wet grass and river crossings, loose shingle and grass and twigs. They’re still rocking, treating my feet with love.
Thrashed. It’s the only word I can use to describe my poor old socks. For over 80 days I’ve walked in just three pairs of LifeSocks from The New Zealand Sock Company, sometimes for a week at a time without washing (unless you count a river crossing). The cream coloured pair aren’t really cream anymore, but the black pairs can still pass as ‘new’. They’re awesome.
Jennifer Manson has been donating $1 from the sale of each of her ‘Tasha Stuart Interviews…’ novels – if you haven’t checked out this brilliant read, you need to.
Now as much as I love chocolate and sweet things, I’ve been super impressed with how tasty and filling the beef jerky and steak bars of Jack Link’s have been. Full of protein and energy, they keep me going until dinner time. My favourite is the BBQ flavour steak bar! M-mmmmm…
Now that the temperatures are dropping, I’m very glad I have a merino GT Velocity Crew tee from Icebreaker to sleep in each night. Toasty! And their Hike Lite Crew socks are perfect for an evening in a mountain hut.
The Pacer1 tent from Aarn Design was the smallest tent at the Scout Jamboree in Hamilton in January. But that’s a good thing, because I wouldn’t want to carry more than it’s 1.3kg! It keeps me warm and dry and safe from all the creepy crawlies I’ve encountered along the trail.
Meals from Back Country Cuisine have been a godsend at the end of a long day walking. Fast and easy to prepare, tasty with a wide range of flavours (Chicken Tikka Masala rocks!) they’ve been handy to have in my pack if I need them.
Of course, Bluebridge and L.A.Fitness teamed up to help me walk across Cook Strait. Without them, I’d have spent 3.5 hours just sitting down, relaxing. Now when I reach Bluff I’ll be able to say I’ve walked ALL the way from Cape Reinga!
Huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me so far on this journey: sponsors, friends and unexpected Trail Angels. You’re all awesome… 😀
[Oh, and remember, being super-clear, these people and companies are supporting my walk of Te Araroa and thus MyAdventurePlus. They don’t have a direct connection with SCOUTS New Zealand. And any donations via the ‘Donate’ button at the top of this page go to me, Stuart Fleming, for use during the trek.]
That said, if you would like to enquire about how you can support SCOUTS directly (yes, achieving sustainable funding is a very high priority for our National Office!) then please contact National Fundraising Manager, Tony Hickmore on +64 (0)4 495 8675 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! 🙂