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Te Araroa Gear Updated

When we “set sail” to New Zealand, we felt good about the gear we had with us, considering we didn’t over think it too much. Our adventures have leant themselves to keeping a bit of an open mind when it comes to stuff, because when you have no idea what to expect, and what might happen, its hard to prepare for it. And If you want a refresher, here’s the video we made before heading out to New Zealand:


We were quite happy with the gear we brought, although there were some modifications made along the way. And for all of you gear junkies (like Jake) out there, here is an update of our Te Araroa gear list, and a couple of do-overs.

Packs:

Jake
1 – Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Lightweight Backpack w/ frame & lid (22.9 oz)
2 – Sitlight Pads (removable for sitting) (4.2 oz/total)
1 – hip belt with pockets (7.7 oz)
(Total pack weight fully configured – 34.8 oz)
1 – Gossamer Gear Waterproof Pack Liner (1.2 oz)
1 – Osprey rain cover – Large (3 oz)
1 – 20L Adventure Lion dry bag w/ strap (17.6 oz)
1 – Macpac Ultralight pack liner – Medium (4.2 oz)
1 – Osprey Airporter LZ – Large (18.7 oz)

Jill
1 – Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40 Ultralight Backpack w/ frame & lid (23.8 oz)
1 – Nightlight Pad (removable pad for sleeping) (5.5 oz)
1 – hip belt with pockets (7.7 oz)
(Total pack weight fully configured – 37 oz)
1 – Gossamer Gear Waterproof Pack Liner (1.2 oz)
1 – Osprey rain cover – Medium (2.8 oz)
1 – 10L Earth Pak waterproof dry bag w/ strap (8 oz)
1 – Osprey Airporter LZ – Medium (17.3 oz)

Sleeping System & Shelter:

1 – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 tent w/ rainfly (44 oz)
1 – Foot print (6 oz)
1 – Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Sheet (1.6 oz)

Jake
1 – REI Flash Men’s Sleeping Bag (25 oz)
1 – 11L REI stuff sack (2.8 oz)
1 – REI Flash pad – Regular (15 oz)

Jill
1 – REI Flash Women’s Sleeping Bag (25 oz)
1 – 11L REI stuff sack (2.8 oz)
1 – Sea to Summit Comfort Light Pad – Small (15 oz)

Cooking/Kitchen:

1 – MSR Sweetwater, water purification (11 oz)
1 – MSR Sweetwater spare filter (6 oz)
1 – Aquamira water treatment drops and iodine tablets (2.2 oz)
1 – MSR WhisperLite International Backpacking Stove (10.9 oz)
2 – MSR Fuel bottles: 1 – 20L (5.2oz) 1 – 30L (7.3 oz)
1 – Sea to summit 2.8L folding pot (10.3 oz)
2 – Sea to summit folding bowls (2.8 oz/ea)
2 – Human gear spork (0.53 oz/ea)
2 – Sea to summit mugs (4.4 oz/ea)
1 – GSI fry pan (17 oz)
1 – Nylon GSI Lid (3.4 oz)
1 – Nform Pot gripper (2.2 oz)
1 – GSI cutting board (4 oz)
1 – Mesh bag for pots/pans (0.5 oz)
4 – 1L Nalgene water bottles (6.2 oz/ea)
3 – 1L Nalgene water bottles (6.2 oz/ea)
1 – MSR 4L Dromedary water bladder (6.9 oz)
1 – Sea to Summit Trash Compression Bag (3.5 oz)
1 – Outdoor Research 35L ultralight stuff sack for food (1.7 oz)
1 – Waterproof matches kit (1.7 oz)
1 – BIC lighter (0.8 oz)
1 – MSR folding spatula (0.5 oz)
1 – MSR alpine dish brush/scraper (0.8 oz)

Additional gear purchased:
1 – Macpac sports towel & bag – size Large (cut down to about 1/3 size) (1.2 oz)

Navigation:

1 – Garmin 64st hand held GPS (9.2 oz)
1 – Garmin Quatix watch & charge cable (3.2 oz)
1 – iPhone 5s (w/ Atlas Guides TA phone APP) 3.9 oz
1 – Life proof case for iPhone 5s (2 oz)
1 – Charging cable & 12W portable power adapter (0.6 oz)
Yup, no paper maps
1 – Old School Compass

Electronics:

1 – Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit Solar Charger w/ 4-AA batteries (19 oz)
4 – Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries (0.5 oz/ea)
7 – Eneloop AAA rechargeable batteries (0.3 oz/ea)
2 – Vitchelo V800 Headlamp (2 oz/ea)
1 – Plug Adapter kit (1 oz)
1 – iHome mini bluetooth speaker & charge cable (3.4 oz)
1 – iPod Nano w/ EarPods (1.3 oz)
1 – iPod Touch w/ EarPods (3.5 oz)
2 – noise-cancelling headphones (0.5 oz/ea)
1 – Panasonic Lumix Camera (7.5 oz)
2 – Panasonic rechargeable batteries (0.5 oz/ea)
1 – Sony A6300 Camera w/ Zeiss Landscape Lens (34 oz)
4 – Li rechargeable batteries (3 oz/ea)
1 – Camera cleaning cloth & stick (1 oz)
1 – Pelican SD Memory Card Case + 6 – SD cards (3.5 oz)
2 – battery chargers (1 for each camera) (3 oz/ea)
1 – Camera Coat Rain slicky (0.5 oz)
1 – Oval Caribeaner (2 oz)
1 – 5L Seal Line ultralight bag (1.2 oz)
1 – 3L Osprey ultralight bag (0.8 oz)
2 – small ziplock bags (0.01 oz)

Misc Clothing:

1 – Flight 001 Travel Laundry Bag (4 oz)
2 – REI multi-towel light – Medium (1.2 oz/ea)
1 – REI multi-towel light – Medium (1.2 oz)
2 – Bug net (1.2 oz/ea)
1 – Bug net (1.2 oz)

Jake
1 – Patagonia light rain jacket (12 oz)
1 – REI rain pants (10 oz)
1 – Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap (2.8 oz)
2 – Ex Officio Underwear (3.1 oz/ea)
3 – pair Smartwool Hiking Ultra Light (4 oz/ea)
1 – Mountain Hardware Mesa pants (9 oz)
1 – Salomon Cairn Shorts (7 oz)
1 – Sunshirt (9 oz)
1 – long sleeve jumper (13 oz)
2 – quick dry t-shirts (5 oz/ea)
1 – Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Dry Sack 6L (2.3 oz)
1 – Oboz Sawtooth Low B-Dry Hiking Shoes (33.4 oz)
1 – pair Cairn Bedrock sandals (15.6 oz)
1 – scarf (6 oz)
1 – Buff (1.3 oz)
1 – glasses (1.6 oz)
1 – sunglasses w/ strap (1.2 oz)
1 – glasses case (2 oz)
1 – SPF arm sleeves (3 oz)

Jill
1 – Marmot PreCip rain jacket (11.4 oz)
1 – Patagonia Alpine Houdini rain pants (5 oz)
1 – Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap (2.8 oz)
1 – Ex Officio Give N Go Crossover Bra (1.6 oz)
3 – Ex Officio Underwear (1.3 oz/ea)
3 – Pair smartwool hiking socks (3 oz/ea)
1 – Mountain Hardware pants (9 oz)
1 – REI long underwear pants (7 oz)
1 – Brooks running shorts (4 oz)
1 – Sunshirt (8 oz)
1 – mountain hardware long sleeve jumper (8 oz)
1 – Wicked-lite long underwear shirt (4 oz)
3 – quickdry t-shirts (5 oz/ea)
1 – Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Dry Sack 10L (2.6 oz)
1 – Oboz Sawtooth Low B-Dry Hiking Shoes (27.6 oz)
1 – pair Cairn Bedrock sandals (15.6 oz)
1 – Buff (1.3 oz)
1 – glasses (1.2 oz)
1 – sunglasses (1 oz)
1 – glasses case (2.2 oz)
1 – SPF sun gloves (0.8 oz)

Additional Clothing Items Purchased
2 – wool hats, 1 for each (~ 1.8 oz/ea)
2 – Sea to Summit Alpine gaiters (8 oz/ea)
1 – long underwear pants for Jake (9 oz)
1 – pair SPF gloves for Jake (1.4 oz)

Tools:

1 – ultralight medical kit – waterproof (10.4 oz)
1 – small bag misc. medicines (tylenol, pepto, dayquil) (~ 8 oz)
1 – nail clippers (2 oz)
1 – tweezers (1 oz)
3 – Glow sticks (2 oz/ea)
1 – Pocket Knife (3 oz)
1 – small swiss army knife (4 oz)
1 – 10 meters of Paracord (0.4 oz)
1 – Duct Tape/Repair Kit Fabric for sleeping pads & tent (0.4 oz)
1 – Deuce of Spades shovel (0.5 oz)

Hygeine:

2 – travel toothbrush (1 oz/ea)
1 – toothpaste (6 oz)
2 – floss (0.3 oz)
1 – travel waterpik (8 oz)
2 – travel size Castile soap (2 oz/ea)
1 – travel razor w/ case (~ 1.5 oz)
2 – sunscreen (6 oz/ea)
1 – sunscreen (6 oz)
1 – insect repellant (6 oz)
3 – toilet paper rolls
1 – package baby wipes
1 – travel contact solution
4 – spare contact lenses per eye
1 – small bag basic makeup (foundation, chapstick, lipstick)
1 – travel box tampons & maxi pads
1 – travel lotion
1 – travel hair brush

Miscellaneous

1 – Pair Leki-Cressida trekking poles (15.6 oz)
1 – Pair Masters-Peak trekking poles (19 oz)
2 – Space pens (0.2 oz)
2 – waterproof notebooks (0.8 oz/ea)
1 – waterproof notebook (0.8 oz)
1 – 10pk ear plugs (0.4 oz)
2 – wallets & passports, money & CC’s (~ 14 oz)
4 – books (2 each)
* at various times we each carried 1 book throughout the trail, and then left them behind in hostels, huts or with other people when finished.

You may notice that several items on the above list are crossed out. These items we deemed no longer necessary (or they got lost) and we sent home. We found a few items we really didn’t need and/or found suitable lighter-weight options to replace heavier gear.

Overall, Jake’s pack weight would range from around 18-40 pounds and Jill’s pack weight would be around 15-25 pounds. Generally speaking, we each only had to carry 1-2 liters of water per day since New Zealand has an abundance of water sources along the Te Araroa. Only once or twice did we need to stock up with water between sections. Fuel consumption didn’t affect the weight too much. The biggest variable on pack weight was food. Sometimes we would load up for longer sections, and the packs would be weighty. But near the end of each section (or shorter sections) the packs would be much lighter.

There were only a couple things we wish we brought with us on the trail. Some items that we wish we brought include:

2 – Kindle (1 for each)
2 – lightweight synthetic down jackets (1 for each)
2 – bug nets

Note that the cost to replace or purchase outdoor equipment in New Zealand is exorbitant, so we only made purchases if absolutely necessary, and not too crazy price-wise.

Several TA hikers had e-book devices, such as nooks or kindles. For some reason we figured this would be one too many electronic gadgets (since I had tons of camera gear) and opted to stick to books. However they are bulky, heavy and few and far between. A kindle is lightweight and can store hundreds of books and thousands of hours of entertainment in a small package.

The weather in New Zealand (especially the south island) is unpredictable and erratic. And although the trail is mostly hiked in summer, its still cold. It rains, it snows, and generally temps can stay in single digits (or lower) at higher elevations. We both own lightweight synthetic jackets that would have been perfect throughout the trail (and double as a pillow!). So many cold mornings and nights could have been spared. If we could turn back time, we’d add these items to our must-bring list!

And finally, we started out the trail with 2 bug face nets. However we NEVER used them. Not once in the first 500 kilometers. In an effort to widdle down extraneous items, Jake sent his back home. Unfortunately as soon as that happened, we needed bug nets almost daily to combat the ferocious mozzies and sand flies while camping or collecting water. Whoops!

Hopefully this comprehensive list will help some of you future TA walkers, or really any type of thru-hiker could find it useful. And hopefully it wasn’t too boring for the rest of you! More to come.

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5 comments on “Te Araroa Gear Updated

  1. This is a really great comprehensive list. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  2. “ferocious mozzies”? What are “mozzies??

    • mozzies are what New Zealanders call “Mosquitos”. They are vicious biting creatures 🙂

  3. Hi there

    We will start the TA in October. Found some good information here.
    Thanks!

    Kevin

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