36 days to go

36 days to go

The time before I leave is ticking away very quickly! It’s pretty nerve racking now!

I’m still in a bit of disbelief, it doesn’t quite seem real.

But I’ve broken the halfway point on my fundraising, and hopefully will continue to raise some money once I hit the trail!

I don’t have anything particularly worth blogging today, but felt the need to write something. Seeing posts from people on the trail is keeping me going for now!

Come at me Te Araroa! I’ve got this!

Progress report: 48 days left

Progress report: 48 days left

Howdy readers!
This week my has fundraising reached $1200! I’m super grateful to all the fabulous friends, family, and companies who have already donated to my cause, and to the businesses and strangers who have heard my story!

Continue reading “Progress report: 48 days left”

Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Foundation

A big thank you to all those who have donated to my cause so far. Weve still go a long way to go! At $1 per km I’m just passing by Auckland airport! (At least untill the new track updates in Northland get released)

So this post is reaching out to my hospitality friends, and their friends. Owners and managers.

This is an open letter, which I’m going to be spamming out to a bunch of hospo groups and the like.

To whom it may concern!

Kia Ora, my names Dan. And this Summer I’m walking Te Araroa, Cape Reinga to Bluff, 3000kms.
(Sorry not available to cover the bar this summer)
As part of my journey along the country, I’m raising funds and starting conversations about mental illness.

I’ve decided to approach the hospitality industry as its one I know.
Hospitality is an industry where those suffering from mental health often find them selves, with the combination of easy access to alcohol and drugs, long hard hours, and an antisocial schedule. It can be easy to spiral into a pretty bad place.

So with this email, I’m seeking sponsors, donations, and asking management to look out for your team throughout the silly season!
If you would like to contribute to the fundraising,
here’s a link: https://events.mentalhealth.org.nz/fundraisers/dansanson

I’ll also be setting up some charity auctions, if you would like to contribute with something other than a cash donation.

If you’d like to know more about my plans, or have any questions, check out my blog. Or don’t hesitate to message me.

(PS anybody hiring come March 2018 – that would be rad)



Hopefully there’s a few people out there who would like to contribute so I can stop only bothering my friends!

Thanks for reading.


Weekend escapism

Weekend escapism

As the year seems to accelerate towards me, hitting this trail consumes my spare time. Reading, researching, generally pondering about gear, the trail, pros and cons, and of course my (lack of) fitness…

So to escape it all this weekend I went hiking! A quick overnight trip to a hut sounded ideal. After a little research, I stumbled across Crosbies hut. The pinnacles lesser know sibling. While all the paths to the pinnacles are knocked out by flooding and damaged tracks, the paths on the other side are all… functional. Nothing like a weekend away in the bush to help re-evaluate what is important.

Early Saturday morning (730am, early by my standards) I hit the road. While there was a forecast of thunderstorms for most of the North Island, I decided to run the risk. Driving in hearing weather warnings made me a little more nervous. Arriving into the town of Thames at about 930am, I received a quick call from one of the DOC rangers at the visitor center double checking if I was still going, and what tracks I’d be using.

After finding a gas canister to replace the one left at home, I made my way to the trailhead. Had a quick chat with a local who was headed into the bush pig hunting, before he vanished into the scrub. I used the Karaka tramping track to make my way in. The trail was in reasonable shape but doesn’t see a huge amount of use, hence doesn’t sit very high on DOC’s to be maintained list. There was a number of trees down and some substantial slips where the Coromandel’s once gold filled hills had given way.
It was secluded, it was wild, it was beautiful.

I came to the top of the range and could hear the thunder rumbling in the distance, encouraging me forwards. Suddenly the sky darkened and the thunder didn’t sound so far away. I precautionarily donned my rain jacket, only to be pummeled by a deluge of hail moments later. It soon softened to rain and even that didn’t last long as I arrived at the amazing vistas surrounding Crosbies Hut.

The Hut itself is brilliant, just a 10 bunker, has some rainwater and a firebox. It’s a step away from the more traditional DOC hut designs, but it takes full advantage of the location it is in, with windows taking in all the views surrounding it.

I shared the hut this evening with 3 others:
Another Westie – ex-army, hiking and mountaineering his whole life. Full of information and good chats.
Two British teachers – both crazy guys, crazy about the outdoors and living life to the fullest. Lads.
A little bit a whiskey and some candles meant we got to know each other during our short time in the hut as all topics were discussed long after sundown.
The next morning, the others were all headed out the same way they came in, The Waiomu track and kauri grove. This was my back up, but after hearing how good the track is, became my way home too.
I walked out at a very leisurely pace, being the last to leave the hut meant I was alone the whole day. With the rain and mud and wildlife for company.

Making my way back to civilization in the little town of Waiomu – where a pit stop in a cafe was on the cards – before hitchhiking my way back to my car in Thames. A weekend well spent!