By: Prois Staffer, Emma Sears
Australia and New Zealand saw some of the tightest boarder restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic.We had planned a trip for the rut of 2020 to hunt Sika deer but then bam, Covid happened.
Finally after 2 solids years of lockdowns and travel restrictions we were able to travel again and once NZ announced that their border would be opened on 12th of April 2022. We jumped at the opportunity to plan a road trip and a little hunting on the South Island to chase Tahr.
Packing for any holiday/vacation can be tricky at the best of time. Weight limits, bag limits and catering for all the weather variations can be really tough. However, throw in a toddler on a hunting trip, now that gets a little more complicated.
Being so close to Australia we have traveled to NZ many times, so we had good prior knowledge of the expected weather, terrain and travel conditions which was a huge bonus. However, finding the balance of packing my hunting and casual travel clothes was harder than I remembered.
I have been wearing Prois for over 10 years it's my go to brand for fit, functionality, performance and price point. I have a lot of favorite items, so trying to decide what to pack had me repacking my suitcase constantly in the quick lead up.
For me, it's all about the layers and staying warm. I hate being cold but equally I hate hunting up those mountains if I'm burning up and can't regulate to cool down, so balance is key.
I have always been a fan of merino base layers. I love the fact that merino keeps you warm but adds in the bonus of moisture wicking to keep you cool on those big pushes up the mountain. For me though, the odor control that merino provides is next level and I'm yet to find anything that stacks up to the natural fiber.
The Ollan merino line Prois launched a few years ago is terrific. It was a no brainer to pack these for both casual wear during our holiday and for the hunt.
I then had the struggle of my mid/outer layers, I just couldn't decide between camo for hunting and my casual gear for traveling. I love my Prois but I have to be honest, I didn't want to walk around NZ in full camo mode. In the end I chose my Callaid down vest matched with my rain coat, with a plain black hiking down jacket stuffed in my pack and dry bag if the weather happened to be horrendous.
I found my decision on pants much easier. I packed my non-Prois hiking pants which meant they doubled for both casual wear and hunting, this was a win on packing and weight.
We were very lucky with the forecast, it was a fresh crisp morning of -1c but with day temperatures to be around 18c it signaled for a great day in the mountains.
I ended up hunting in my casual pants and gaiters.
Layered with Ollan singlet, solas lightweight long sleeve as the sun was up burning off the frost I could feel it was going to get warm, so I actually ditched my Ollan long sleeve as I thought I would be too hot on the climb.
In my pack I had my Callaid vest, casual down jacket, beanie and gloves on the off chance it cooled off. I decided with such a great forecast I didn't need to pack my rain jacket and left that in the pick up.
Our time in the mountains was so successful, we spotted a group of Bull Tahr feeding in the scrub, we picked out a great looking mature bull and made a quick climb to close the gap.
I took a great 14.5inch bull and I couldn't be happier.
We had a great trip and I'm so glad Prois was with me all the way.