Gear List; Te Araroa 2015 – 2016 Season

Coming up to heading off now, I thought I’d put up some posts on some recurring themes that I always see come up as Te Araroa questions.

Everyone always has a question about gear. Essentially, its my opinion the choices in most cases are personal preference and with lightweight vs traditional weights each to there own. My personal opinion is as much as I’d like to go lightweight, I’d sacrifice my comfort, happiness, or safety in some way in order to do so.

My only strong advice is carry a PLB. And be very careful to carry sufficient clothes and shelter. Secondly, if your kit doesn’t cover the conditions that turn up one day – wait it out. Go tomorrow. Hike within your kits capability. Often the lightweight approach will work combining this principle with the discipline to use it. Don’t suffer from get-there-it is. Just get there alive. As long as you have shelter warmth and water you have plenty of time to wait out unfavourable conditions.

Anyway, heres my kit. I have many luxurys, a lot more clothes than a lightweighter, but in some cases the lightest weight kit available without hitting tarptent, or fly-less status on my shelter, or home made meths style status on my cooker.

My kit this season without food & water weighs 14.9 kgs (no significant change). The only substantial change I’ve made is that I’ve gone back to Kathmandu’s top range synthetic for my thermals after using Icebreaker last time. I do like Icebreaker but I have found the lighter weight thermals don’t hold up in terms of durability for me anywhere near my Kathmandu ones (although I suspect this is largely a product of being 100% merino as opposed to being Icebreaker in particular). I have no overall brand preference but I am slowly finding brand preferences for different items and they are surprisingly diverse.

Also, point to note; despite in all other ways being perfect, my partner and I have both had to replace our Black Diamond  hiking poles due to the tungsten tips falling out (spikey end piece). Shame really – otherwise they are great.

Any questions on anything gear or preferences fire away.

Enjoy picking a safe kit that meets your happiness and comfort needs 🙂

Main Items
Tent (MSR)
Sleeping Bag (Sea to Summit – Rated to -2 deg celcius)
Sleeping Bag Liner (Kathmandu – Silk)
Sleeping Mat (Exped – blow up – 163cm)
Bag Liner (Plastic inner sack)

3 x Undies (Kathmandu – Quickdry/Wicking)
2 x Sports Bra (Cotton On – QuickdryWicking)
3 x Merino Socks (Icebreaker)
1 x Merino Knee – Length Socks (Kathmandu Alpine)
1 x Zip Off Pants (Macpac)
1 x Singlet (Kathmandu – Quickdry/Wicking)
2 x T-Shirts (Nike – Quickdry/Wicking)
3 x Long Sleeve Thermal (Kathmandu – Top Range Synthetic Polyester)
2 x Thermal Long Johns (Kathmandu – Top Range Synthetic Polyester)
1 x Soft Shell Jacket (Kathmandu – Polyester)
1 x Windproof Waterproof Jacket (Outdoor Research)
1 x Waterproof Trousers (Outdoor Research)
1 x Down Jacket (Kathmandu)
1 x Merino Neck Warmer (Macpac)
1 x Mittens (Outdoor Research)
1 x Beanie (Fleece)
1 x Gaiters (Hunting & Fishing)
1 x Tennis Visor
1 x Hiking Boots (Salomon – Mid Height)
1 x Jandals

1 x Cup/Pot/Bowl (750ml – Stainless Steel)
1 x Cup (250ml – Stainless Steel)
1 x Stove (Kovea)
1 x Spork
1 x Scrubbie
1 x Lighter

Electronics Bag
1 x Camera Charger & Cord
1 x iPhone Headphones
1 x iPhone Charger
1 x Kobo Cord (charge/download)
2 x 3000mAh Batterys
1 x Flash
1 x Kobo
1 x iPhone
1 x Sunto Altitude Watch

Camera Bag
1 x Camera (Olympus)
2 x Battery
2 x SD Card
1 x Polariser

Town Clothes
Town Underwear
Merino T-Shirt (Icebreaker)

1 x Toothbrush
1 x Mini Toothpaste
1 x Mini Floss
1 x Mini Mouthwash
1 x Comb
1 x Nail Clippers
1 x Tweezers
1 x Body Spray
1 x Lip Balm
1 x Razor
1 x Vaseline
1 x Sanitiser
1 x 20pk Wipes
1 x Toilet Paper
1 x Multipurpose Wash
Contact Solution
Cotton Tips / Tampons
Mini Mirror
Coconut Oil 90ml

3L Bladder (Platypus)
1L Pouch (Kathmandu)
42L Water Treatment Tablets
Emergency Blanket
Tea Candle
10 x Drybags (various sizes)
Mini Mirror
Mini First Aid / Drug Kit
Mini Multi-Tool
Day Bag
Stylus / Pen
Measuring Tape
2 x Cord
Duct Tape Stash
Glad Bag Stash
1 x Carabiner
1 x Sunscreen (200mls)
1 x Rubbish Sack
1 x Mossie Spray
1 x Blister Kit
1 x Towel
Playing Cards
10 x Firelighters
Walking Poles (Black Diamond)
Kiwi Mascot (Steve)
ID / Eftpos / Debit Card
1 x Bag Cover







20 thoughts on “Gear List; Te Araroa 2015 – 2016 Season”

  1. softshells are a bad choice for NZ, heavy, tehy soak up water, dry slowly and offer less insulation than other alternatives like synthetic puffy’s down or fleece. and they dont let sweat out as well as fleeces.. combine a lighter fleece with a windproof or waterproof layer and you get more warmth out of them.
    for the same weight you could get a fleece top and a wind shirt and get more warmth.and flexibility with better layering options.
    i found the kathmandu baselayers cold and slow to dry compared to polypropylene

  2. forget moisturiser, it can block the effect of your sweat, get it when you get into town, personally i’d rationalise your clothes especially your town clothes, the vast majority of your time they are just dead weight… the first thing you do when you get to a town is wash your walking clothes and then you have a clean set you can wear around town anyway… some long distance hikers dont even bother with any change of clothes… before long i think you will be looking at what gear you can ditch when you get sick of the weight, esp once the track goes very vertical…
    hope this helps

  3. i found with heart rate monitors in the end i could tell from my effort what my heart rate was an just found the monitor was superfluous in the end, how you feel is the most important thing, not a bunch of numbers coming off an electronic device.

  4. the boots look like x ultra boots, the rubber is soft and wears out fast, be prepared to organise a replacement pair, if they last to the south island they will wear out fast down there.

  5. oh, a sun visor isnt enough, get a proper sun hat, if its full brimed then get one with a reasonably stiff brim that doesnt bend easily in the wind. i take a peaked had and brimmed if i think the wind will vary a lot…

  6. think hard about whether you want to carry that much camera kit all that way, if you find you want to ditch weight, that camera could be high on your list of things to mail home…depends how fussy you want to be with photos, if you’re not going to make a living from photography consider a more compact lightweight kit…

  7. My prediction is that at your first town stop you will be leaving behind (or mailing home) a big pile of clothes! Good luck 🙂

    1. Lol. Yes clothes tops the scrutiny list! But at this stage (bar the town clothes which are a clear luxury) I do find the clothes are at my comfort level at least for now. I am certainly erring towards more rather than less. I do feel the cold more than most. Thanks heaps for your feedback 🙂

  8. Thank you for all the feedback! 🙂 A lot of things I do have as personal luxurys that I have taken the first 1000km. Town clothes are at the top of my ‘first luxury to go without’. I have thought hard on the camera, but in regards to the huts in particular I would like to be collecting better quality shots for my blog. It was a hard made decision but I think I still pull in light at 1kg of camera gear than at least the more passionate photographer kits. 🙂 A change of clothes for hiking will likely stay but it is something I often consider.
    Anyway, as above thank you for the feedback! 🙂

  9. Very interesting. What pack are you taking? Also what is the 1l pouch from Kathmandu? Is it a back up water carrier or just a dry sack?
    I take a Kathmandu solar charger for the phone as it acts as a backup battery giving two full charges as well as offering solar charging.
    Good luck!

    1. It’s an Osprey 58litre pack. The 1l Kathmandu pouch I find handy for treating water if necessary which isn’t often but it has come in handy enough that I like to carry it. Thank you for your feedback 🙂

  10. My girlfriend has used an Osprey 58l pack and she really likes it.

    I think if you want to drop weight then maybe look at your thermals. Three tops and two bottoms might be on the excessive side – one of each should do it.

    I can understand you wanting to keep your camera gear. I’m a semi-professional photographer, and 10% of my baseweight is camera-related.

    Hope to see you on the trail.


  11. hello there… I would agree with all the others, the less weight the better. Each year I shave some weight off my pack and am always happier. My pack pre food and water weighs 8kg, mostly down to zpac tent and rucsac. whenever I meet people of the trail they cant believe how light it is. Extra weight is just a pain in the butt, more tiring in general, more wear and tear on you, and there is nothing more frustrating than carrying something you never use (apart from a PLB and survival blanket!!)

    1. arghh hit reply too early!! Your clothing list is way too big as others have said, I carry 2 sets of cloths sock underwear t shirt, one fleece, one shorts and one long sleeved top. I just do a lot of washing whenever I can. (small tub of washing up powder)

      1. Thanks heaps for your feedback! Yes, my clothes are definitely my challenge, I’m always interested in the choices of others particularly here. I am thinking over them further but do run cold so I’ll see how I go 🙂

  12. Question 😀How have you found the salomons so far?are they ok for the beach and road sections? Just contemplating if trail runners would be enough until the tararuas. I love my mids but think they might be too heavy for most of the north islands. Cheers

    1. I did find them fine for the beach. In fact after trying a few shoes (I also own salomon trail runners and another pair of non salomon boots – soft leather type), I will be aiming for mid height salomon boots for my replacements in future. They will probably need replacing at least once though – as they are light they can never be as sturdy as leather type boots, but I’d happily buy two for the comfort and lightweight factor 🙂

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