Field Hut

Trip report: Field hut family trip.
Punters: Barry & Ella Cuthbert, Josh & Duncan Tabor, Yingjie Zhang & Alex Huang, Mike & Toby Gilbert, Richard Lyth (without Hamish!)

A small contingent from WTMC family group made the climb up to field hut on Saturday night (18 May). The party consisted of four 10-year olds and a rag tag assortment of five adults. The weather was overcast and dry - as dry as walking through the clouds can be.

The tramp included five families and four children (Richard Lyth having failed to convince Hamish that a trip to field hut was way more fun than a birthday party.) We started out for the hut at around 12:30 after keeping Barry and Ella waiting patiently for half and hour.

The climb up is sharp and steady. One young punter had decided not to each lunch. 45 minutes into the hill he was in tears and beside himself. The adults conferred for on the options and decided that a radical sugarectomy was required. Thus the hike up to the hut was punctuated with chocolate, gummy worms, and jelly beans at 20 minute intervals. The young punter, having consumed a decent amount of slats, fats, proteins, and sugar was much recovered by the time we got to the hut.

Coincidentally, the lower bound of DOC time is set to the pace of a 10 year old. All four (see photo) made the trip within minutes of the four hour mark.

The hut is tidy and rustic. Being built in 1924, the hut wears its age well. It is not as fancy or snug as the modern Turere lodge or the new Kime hut, but it is serviceable and functional.

As the fire making crew went to work two problems became apparent: no dry firewood and no firewood cutting tools. Richard made a noble effort using the remains of a Pulaski that undoubtedly dated back to the making of the hut. Mike Gilbert and Duncan Tabor also made an effort to find firewood with little success. Mike observed that all the big firewood had been picked over or rotted so quickly as to be useless. This meant picking over the piles of dry kindling to find a suitably thick twig to try to sustain a fire more than 10 minutes. Yingjie Zhang did a remarkable job teasing out a fire most of the night.

Dinner was Auntie Rata's famous beef stroganoff. The proportions were just about right and left overs were given to Matt from Otaki who unexpectedly found himself sharing the hut with a family trip from the WTMC.

Pudding proved to be less successful, with Auntie Rata's rich chocolate mousse recipe more difficult than remembered. It may have been a result of the fact that the ratio was judged to be about 1 litre of water to about 1 cup milk powder to about four packets of mousse. More likely it was that the measures of those amount were carried out on an intuitive estimation of volume and weight. This is about 1 litre of water, that looks to be about 1 cup of milk powder, and she'll be right with four packets of mousse. Either way, the result was less of a mousse and more of a thick chocolate soup. The young trampers hardly seemed to noticed and consumed admirable quantities along with an entire can of whipped cream.

The evening's entertainment was a rollicking game of UNO played by Ella, Alex, Toby and Josh and adjudicated by Richard, Mike, and Barry. Josh was clobbered the 10 year olds.

Everyone turned in around 9pm with the blowing out of the hut candles being the highlight of the night for some of the 10-year old crowd.

Then the rain started.

From midnight intermittent showers pelted the hut, making the numerous late night and early morning bathroom runs damp.

The rain would prove to add just enough adversity to make this the-most-epic-bad-weather-tramp-ever-in-our-lifetime-for-the-Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club*.

The group mustered out of the sleeping bags around 7am for a hot breakfast of either weet-bix or porridge. Just as we finished breakfast the rain switched from intermittent to steady. The bags were packed snugly, pack liners we checked, and rain covers were deployed. The hut was cleaned, and by 9:30 we found ourselves with a clean hut, packed packs, and a two hour down hill hike. With nothing left to it we donned rain jackets and warmies and started out.

The down hill hike was quite exciting for the young trampers. Ella Cuthbert set the pace and held the boys to their place behind her. There were new islands to be claimed for the crown, new inland oceans had appeared overnight, and solid mud had turned into deep quagmires. The excitement of the hiking down a raging river bed as well the natural descent help to carry the kids down the hill. The rain had stopped by 10:15 and by 11:00 am we we at the bush line. The young trampers arrived at the car park at 11:45 happy and content.

The rag tag assortment of adults arrived slightly later.

* as experienced by four 10-year olds on the field hut hike.


Kapakapanui track

A 13 KM hike up the gentle side of Kapakapanui a 1089 meter high hill behind Waikanae with a knee shattering descent down the steep side.

We did the tramp on 28 of April a day of two parts. It was sunny and partly cloudy below 500 meters. Above 500 meters it was cold, wet, white and windy - a hike in the clouds really.

With Mike Gilbert and Andrew Bichan - honorary members of the Wellington Alpine Naturalist Club.

Highlights include:
- a snug little hut,
- a yield sign hung in a tree just up from a trail junction, and
- a trig station a meter out of place.

Mike is planning to run the trip as part of the WTMC family group trip in June. Unfortunately we will be unable to attend as we have a prior commitment.


Caveat Emptor

Caveat Emptor is Latin for  “Let the buyer beware.”  If you are a diehard android fan or Microsoft supporter, you can probably skip this site. You are not my target audience. 

You won’t find anything that offensive, hateful, or intentionally derogatory. I don’t engage in link bating. 

It’s just that the basic technology I am writing about will not be of interest to you. You might find some of the post about workflow interesting; however reviews of applications that are specific to the iPhone / iPad  (of which the majority will be) will probably not be of interest. 

Just wanted to be clear.


Good project managers will tell you that all viable projects start with a scoping exercise. Good scoping provides focus, and can make the difference between a good project on paper, and a delivered project in real life.

So what is in scope for this little project? Here is what I will be looking at:

  1. All iPhone and iPad task management apps.
  2. Mac clients (where they are available companions to the iPhone / iPad apps).
  3. Discussions on Getting Things Done (GTD) or other organizational systems.
  4. Workflow conversations.
  5. Reflections on challenges of balancing new technologies / with old school, tried and true technologies.
  6. Other odds and ends that come a long.

As the author / owner / purveyor I reserve the right to change the scope as this project evolves.  I don’t think it is going to go from posts on  personal organization / GTD / Workflow to Justin Bieber fan worshiping over night, but stranger things have happened.

Note the emphasis on iPhones / iPads / and Macintosh computers. This is not a debate about the merits of one platform versus another or one piece of hardware over another. I made my decision about technology and I am happy with it.   For the most part the tools I have make me effective and I am looking at how to improve and enhance that effectiveness.


I have a passion for all things organizational. I am one of those people who will wander the aisles of the big-box office supply stores admiring all the options to organize things. I love fountain pens and plain paper. I love applications that promise (but never quite seem to delivery) organizational nirvana.

Over the years I invested heavily in Franklin-Covey day planners, palm pilots,  windows pocket PC,  iPhones and iPads. I started on the PC, hated it, and left for a Mac. I stayed with a Mac until Windows 2000 seduced me back.  I return to Mac OSX in 2003 just after my children were born. Over those two decades I have transitioned  from using task lists to a loose getting-things-done workflow. 

This is a series of about my search for a solid workflow and tools that help me be productive. Along the way I am sharing what I learn in the hope that it is beneficial to others. 

There are no strings attached. 

No gimmicks. 

All I am trying to do is get stuff done in the most effective and efficient manner possible given the technological constraints I work under:  a troglodytic IT department at work (Blackberries only and Windows XP) versus and a full blown Apple-Drink-The-Kool-Aid-We-Stopped-Shipping-Optical-Drives house.  That is it.