The Transportable Town – Potts River Camp

“On a Mish” #109 The Transportable Town. Potts River Camp. Hakatere Conservation Area. 27.6.2020. I will never stop being impressed with the many places my cousin’s incredible Suzuki Jimny can go. And the little beast has kept my constant need / addiction for mountain environments to camp in satisfied in times when I have been unable to get to these locations myself. A hip injury is rather inconvenient for a Hiker / Mountaineer / Explorer, and not being able to wear a pack does restrict the distances I can go with my trusty Marmot tent…

My cousin Adam and I have always enjoyed going on missions together ever since we were kids, and after a few trial runs we constructed a small camp town that we can transport around to remote mountain locations. After successful ventures into the Havelock and Wilberforce River Valleys, we now turned our attention to a far smaller and easier valley, the Potts River. Access was via an old farm / 4wd track up the valley which we followed until stopped where the river meets a small bluff. For us the ease of access seemed too good to be true. During our last couple of missions finding an epic spot to camp had involved many, many large rocks to bounce over, and rivers to cross and re-cross for hours. Now here we were in an epic spot without any real effort at all! After arriving it was time to construct our little camptown village. We started the build with the Jimny’s new side and back awning, and along with the inside of the truck this area serves as Adam’s bedroom. This is followed by a 2.5 x 2.5 gazebo tent, which covers my Marmot tent, and also acts as our kitchen tent. For the gourmet meals we create on each outing we use a little Webber BBQ, and normally the meal of choice is a huge piece of steak and assorted vegetables. The smells of excellence waft throughout the valley as we prepare our next mountain meal. With our campsite now complete we needed something to keep us warm in the form of a blazing campfire. For this we travelled the grueling distance of ten whole metres to the Potts Riverbed, and collected driftwood to be chopped into convenient pieces for the fire using the excellent little chainsaw that lives in the truck. Although the forecast was for evening drizzle, turning to rain, we were treated to a night with a great display of stars. To look up at a star-filled sky unbothered by any artificial light as we enjoyed the perfectly cooked steak beside the fire was as good as it gets! After an evening of whiskey ramblings and way too much food, we retreated to our ‘rooms’ for some sleep, and not long after turning in the rain arrived. During the night the rain increased in force, and I was happy this had happened after we had enjoyed our evening outside.

An early-ish start was accompanied by increasingly heavier rain, but no worries for us as we were dry and happy under the protection of the gazebo tent. The morning coffee was really just delaying the inevitable soaking we were going to get once the defences of the gazebo and awning were removed. After a brief tea chat we made a plan, and with hoods up we set to work dismantling the ‘Town of Potts’. Pack down went well, and we managed to survive the ordeal and drive away without getting too wet, and it was time to move on to the next adventure…

looking west from Potts River Camp

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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