Sunday, June 24, 2012

Te Araroa Trail Gear List

Here is what we took with us and what we wore and the weight in grams.

Sleeping bag 845 845 Can be zipped together into a shared double bag for warmth
Silk liner 110 110 Important for sleeping bag hygiene and warmth 
Sleeping bag dry bag 35 35 Replaces stuff bag and plastic bag. UltraSil
Sleeping mat 320 320 Could be replaced with foam mat to reduce weight
Plastic bags 20 20 For food, etc
Pack 1265 1200 Osprey Exos 58
Pack liner dry bag 110 110 UltraSil
Lid pocket dry bag 35 35 UltraSil
Tent 1170 Tarptent: Cloudburst 2
Billy 210 160 Two billies
Tea towel 30 2 thick Chux cloths
Scrub pad 5
Stove 90 MSR titanium
Gas cylinder 370 370 We get up to 40 boils from each. Weight empty = 130gm
Wind shield 25 Aluminium foil
Emergency/first aid kit 165 210
Sunscreen, dimp 70 150
Matches, candle 15 For emergency firelighting
Plates x2 120 Aluminium
Spoons x2 20 Plastic: (plastic "Sporks" both broke)
Mugs x2 95 Plastic
Leatherman mini 55 Incl pliers, blade, screwdrivers, tin opener
Knife 15
Clothes dry bag 40 40 UltraSil
Towel 90 90 Polyprop
Parka 695 660 Oringi Milford (un-needed material cut off; heavy but effective
  for NZ conditions)
Overtrousers 215 180
Balaclava 50 50 Polyprop
Long johns 135 110
Fleece jacket 475 450
Fleece long-sleeved top 280 275
Tights 100 Lycra
Polyprop skivvy/vest 165 110
T shirt 150 110 Merino - Mainly In bed (unless cold when used as extra layer)
Silk vest 90 In bed 
Socks hut 50 30 Merino
Spare walking socks 50 40
Gloves 35 30
Underpants 50 30 One spare each
Bra 50 Spare
Handkerchief 15 15
Hut shoes 480 445 Rob- Crocs; Debby- sandals 
Toilet paper 80 80
Torch 135 Debby uses solar cap with LED light
Cord and clothes pegs 30
Camera drybag 35 UltraSil
Cellphone 100
Charger 55
Radio 110
PLB 175
GPS 210
Batteries (AA x 4) 95
Compass 25
Maps 30
Track papers 100
Camera 230
Charger 90
Notebook & pen 75
Bank security key 15
Money cards/money 30 30
Hut/YHA passes 20 20
Book 225 230
Spectacles 85 (incl case 45g) Prescription lenses -double as sunglases
Reading glasses 20 30
Toothbrush, soap etc 70 85
Water bottles 95 95 2 each; one empty unless needed
Lip salve 5 5
Leki pole 315 250 Not needed in North Island; essential South Island
TOTAL 9495 8425
Food Rob 4600 3000 For about 6 days
Water 1000 1000
Total 5600 4000
GRAND TOTAL 15095 12425
Shoes - Salomans 730 540 Techamphibians, light and dry out quickly.
Socks medium 55 40
Zip-offs pants 275 255 Used as shorts unless in town
Underpants 50 30
Bra 50
Sun hat 70
Solar cap 135 "2C Solar Light CapSun" sun hat with solar panel and 2 LEDs
Long-sleeved shirt 230 215 Polyester
Handkerchief 15 15
Bandana 30 For round neck or as neck shade tucked under hat.
TOTAL 1425 1310

Some Tips for Trail Walkers

A book has recently been published called "A walking guide to New Zealand's long trail Te Araroa" by Geoff Chapple. If you can get hold of a copy you would find it useful for background reading - it's a bit heavy for actually carrying on the trail though. It has plenty of detail on most of the tracks, photos, maps etc. I compiled notes from the Te Araroa website, but there is work being done now on trail guides which will contain all the information you need.

 Our philosophy is to travel as lightweight as possible without compromising safety. In NZ weather is always unpredictable and you must be prepared for cold and wet conditions, as well as very hot and dry.

 We have a very lightweight tarptent, lightweight packs and sleeping bags, and carry minimal clothing - but excellent waterproof jackets and fleece gear including balaclavas and gloves. We also carry cellphone, gps and personal locator beacon, compass, maps and first aid kit including gel blister plasters. We carry a tiny little fold-up burner and use gas canisters and yes, you will need to have some means of cooking as there are often no facilities whatsoever along the way. DOC huts mostly do not supply gas, some have wood-burners. (See our detailed gear list).

 In most places you can find somewhere to put up a tent, but always ask if it is on private property. Bear in mind your safety too - we don't have harmful creatures but we do have some unsavoury characters out there.

We dehydrate most of our meals and send food parcels to various points along the way – many youth hostels and motor camps are happy to hold parcels. Other trail users have managed without using food parcels and found it reasonably easy to resupply along the way. Usually, you need to carry 5-7 days of food with 1 section in the South Island where you need to carry 9 days (The Richmond Alpine Route). The trail tends to go to a resupply point every 5 days or so - some of these are small towns with a lack of variety!

Our advice is to do some long distance walks to get in training - about 20-25km. This is just to get your feet used to doing long distances day after day - they really suffer. We wear lightweight running shoes but that is a personal choice - some tracks are very rough and many are muddy, but on the roads heavy boots are a killer.

I am 59 and Rob is 69. We have both done a reasonable amount of tramping here and overseas; Rob has tramped quite extensively in New Zealand. We found the trail challenging in parts, especially sections of the South Island. There are some huge climbs and descents, some quite demanding tracks, and many river crossings.

Many other people will be happy to give you help/advice - the Te Araroa website is wonderful, there is a Te Araroa Facebook group and a Te Araroa Google group which are both useful ways to get in touch, as well as many trail stories and blogs.

 We hope this is a little help with your planning – walking the Te Araroa Trail is a totally amazing and rewarding experience - best of luck!!