Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Gear List

Here is a list of gear that I am taking:

Backpack: Osprey Aether 70L, Mountain Designs 70L – 90 L Backpack Rain Cover, Katmandu Day Pack 20L

Outer Shell: Mammut Kento Rain Jacket, Marmot Minimalist Rain Pants, Merino Wool Gloves

Clothing: 2x Merino Wool Ultralite T Shirts, 1 x Synthetic T Shirt, 1x Long Sleeve hiking shirt, 1x Convertible/Quick Dry Pants,  1x Quick Dry Shorts,  1x Board Shorts, 1x Fleece Sweater, 1x Singlet, Sea to Summit Medium Packing Cell

Base Layers: 1x Merino Wool Light Weight Leggings, 1x Merino Wool Midweight Top with Hood

Tent: Terra Nova Solar Competition 2 Tent, 10x Aluminium Tent Pegs

Sleeping: Sea to Summit SP1 Sleeping bag (long), Sea to Summit Hiking Pillow, Therm-A-Rest  Neoair Xlite,

Electronics: Macbook Air 11 Inch with Case, WD Passport 2TB Hard Drive with Case, Kobo Glo Ebook Reader, Garmin Oregon 650 GPS, Ipod, Universal Adaptor, Spare AA and AAA batteries

Hydration: Osprey Hydraulics 3L Bladder

Cooking: MSR Pocket Rocket Stove, Butane Gas, MSR 1.1L Stowaway Pot, Sea to Summit Foldable Mug, Sea to Summit Foldable Bowl, Fork, Spoon

Toiletries: Toiletries Bag incl. Small Mirror, Toothbrush,  Toothpaste, Sunscreen, Soap,  Sea to Summit Micro Towel Large,  Hand Sanitiser

Medical: Medicine pack, Small First Aid Kit, Emergency Blanket

Lighting: Kathmandu Sabre100, Energizer Head Torch

Misc: Swiss Army Knife, Sea to Summit 20L Folding Bucket, Wide Brim Foldable Canvas Hat, Pacsafe 80L Exomesh, Security Hip Belt, Clothes Line, Waterproof bag for Electronics. Cotton Laundry Bag, Buff Head Wear, Trowel

Total Weight: 14.5kg

Tokai Shizen Hodo Map

One of my main concerns about walking the Tokai Shizen Hodo nature trail was the absence of a comprehensive map that outlined the trail in fine detail. As for maps in english, they just don't exist. There are many other maps in Japanese, but none of these seemed to be comprehensive enough, only showing small sections of the trail. The best ones were user created with detailed instructions in Japanese which I cannot read very well. Whilst I have read the trail is well marked for most of the way, my concern was that if I lost the trail for whatever reason would it take me several hours or even a day to find again, and thus spend much of my time looking for the trail rather than actually walking it.

What I needed was a GPX file for my GPS that included the whole trail in detail. After several hours of searching and translating Japanese pages into English, I am glad to say that I found one that appears to be just what I was looking for. I managed to track down the webpage of a Japanese man who has done the whole trail and recorded it on his GPS. Now whilst I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the trail, it appears to correspond correctly with all other maps I have compared it to. So I think it is quite accurate. But I will have the definitive answer for you on its accuracy after I have walked it myself following this man's route.

The GPX file is in 13 parts and can be downloaded from here. You can knit the files together on Garmin's Base Camp application and presto, you have what seems to be a finely detailed trail map of the entire main section of the Tokai Shizen Hodo. One thing to note however is that it does not appear to contain the large Kansai deviation section of the trail that adds a few hundred kilometres onto the walk. Whilst I would have liked this, beggars can't be choosers, i'm happy that I found this at all.

What is the point of all this?

Hi there,

My name is Tom, i'm 28 years old and from Australia, and in February 2015 I plan to set off on a year long trip around Asia. I have created this blog in order to keep a record of my travels, and, if anyone is interested, to let my friends and family know how I am doing.

After spending two months relaxing in Indonesia, my first adventure is in Japan where I will be walking the Tokai Shizen Hodo, a nature trail that runs from Tokyo to Osaka. Because information in English on this nature trail is so scarce, I plan to keep a record of my journey and the trail in order to add the information that is currently available.