Extremely excited doesn’t even cut it at this stage. As of today we have both handed in our notices at work, we have been through a combined ten vaccination injections and the next four weeks are packed full of visits with our family and friends. Let the count down BEGIN! …. 33 days to go.

Amazon-proof? Questionable. Frankenstein’s Monster of a contraption? Correct.

After weighing up the pros and cons of obtaining a DSLR camera for the trip, I’ve instead opted to retrofit my dutiful Huwaei Honor 9 mobile phone with a variety of select components to achieve a much more expedition-friendly deal. Here’s what the aptly nicknamed ‘MegaRig’ is made up of:

The benefits of this setup are;

  • Battery life (to be charged by portable solar panel)
  • Waterproof (…ish…at least moreso than a Canon or suchlike)
  • 64GB internal storage (courtesy of the Honor 9 model)
  • Lightweight and easy to carry. This whole setup can easily fit into a day bag.
  • Discreet. At least inbetween points A and B on an expedition.
  • Improved zoom and macro photography (courtesy of lens kit and a key need of mine!)
  • Collapsible and fun to put together. Looks like the offspring of two Mars rovers.

Looking forward to putting this to the test! Early test results are great and (luckily) punch past the novelty factor.

More a personal tent than a sleeping bag, I’m leaning towards this durable waterproof sack proving itself as a multipurpose nice to have moreso than an essential piece of kit.

I was gifted this by a old colleague who was a high-ranking military officer in his younger years. Its genuine military issue just like my Greener Miltary Rucksack. Score! Been used a couple of times wildcamping as a level of extra protection against the elements but has never really been fully tested. Supposedly you can slip into one of these standing, bunny hop through a river and come out dry on the other side. I’m going to test this.

Weighs very little but rolls up (relatively) large. Might not actually make the cut.

I’ve opted for an authentic ex-military 1990 era “shorty” rucksack, previously owned by someone Greener. Serial number 978-5302, SL32A/4662.

After reviewing (and often falling in love with) tonnes of different modern-day, featured-packed and ultimately more ergonomic rucksacks – I couldn’t deny myself the opportunity to pick up something unconventional and designed for hardcore expeditions. Plus I like that I won’t be flouting some florescently coloured, heavily branded affair in the jungle.

This rucksack easily matches some of the snazzier contemporary equivalents in terms of carry capacity at approximately 65 litres across a large main cabin, 1 inside lid pocket and two external zipped pockets. Not pictured are the ludicrous detachable side pockets which almost double the carry capacity and could easily smuggle a large loaf of bread each. This rucksack is a little weightier that modern day counterparts, but the fact it’s 100% waterproof will make up for this. This has been tested by pouring a glass on water on it. The water pooled in the creases. Wicked.

Best thing is that it has ‘J W D G’ stamped on the front which, even though the letters are kind of the wrong way around, reminds me of an old nickname for my brother, D-DAWG. I know it doesn’t really make sense, but I’m looking forward to being reminded of my bro whilst trekking through unknown jungle. It’ll be a nice prompt to channel his creative/writing energy and inspiration I get from it and trip out about Ash of Jequitibá.

Previous owners scribble above military issuing labels

Mega loaf mode (with pockets)

Had to be done on the day of purchase 😀

If you like intense passion, boundless joy, contagious smiles and information overloading… ask Tom about the Amazon Rainforest and it’s creatures.

Video by Ash , Essence by Tom.


I came to the UK five years ago, driven by my love of adventure, the unknown and experiencing other cultures. I walked off the plane and into my sisters Camden flat and haven’t looked back since. England for me was a massive dose of self discovery, adventure and brilliant people. But now my heart won’t shut up and it’s time to DO ONE back home to the land of the long white cloud, Aotearoa, New Zealand (eventually, after a stint in Mighty Australia).

I feel incredibly lucky to be bringing my favourite lanky bean pole, adventure buddy and trouble maker with me. We have an amazing bond I want to see grow. We are both over city life. So we are out.  First stop Peru and Ecuador, South America, We want to lose ourselves in the Amazon Rainforest. We are both longing for nature, stars, cicadas, hammocks and bugs. So we are going for it.

As I write this, time is flying by at an unbelievable rate towards us leaving… Nothing but excitement for this upcoming chapter. Good times await down under and I cannot wait to see what’s going to unfold.

Ash’s travel retrospective (so far):

  • Spain – Shenanigans of a bunch of 16 year olds with Mrs Pearse of Rosehill College.
  • Australia – Triple8funk dance crew! Habitat hostel life!
  • Japan – Triple8funk dance crew… Ninja dance set at the top of Tokyo Tower!
  • Hong Kong – 3 amazing luxurious days thanks to Jojo!
  • Switzerland – Street tour of the country by a great friend Joe.
  • Germany – Meeting up with many of my CVNZ friends. SO. MANY. CASTLES.
  • Austria – Cute day trip on my bike.
  • Belgium – More meeting up with CVNZ friends.
  • Amsterdam – Such a beautiful city.
  • England – Mega 5 year adventure about to come to an end. Big cities / small islands / Big friendships.
  • Alderney Island – A small bunch of ecologists and mates, clinging to a rock.
  • France – Birding tour where I got told off for focusing the binoculars on the goats instead of birds.
  • Cambodia – Learning to dive, paradise islands and Angkor Wat.
  • Thailand – Maid of honour for my best frriend Sam marrying the man of her dreams Mike.
  • Ireland & Northern Ireland – A highlight was checking out my family’s history in Templemore, Tipperary.
  • Wales – Have spent 3x NYE here with small groups of great people. Each has been magical.
  • India – 4 undescibable weeks with 2 of my best friends and a wicked tour group!
  • Morocco – Tom and I’s first trip together, haggling, eating and walking about, lapping up the atmosphere.

Things I love:

  • Life
  • People
  • Trains, busses, planes
  • Wetlands
  • Trees
  • Birds & bees
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Cozy friendships reuniting
  • Learning
  • Laughing
  • Questioning everything
  • Cuddle puddles
  • The unknown
  • Music
  • Camping conversations
  • Pushing limitations
  • Naps
  • Maps
  • Deep family bonds
  • The beauty in the world

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our lil blog project I will be working on with Tommo. Much love to all.