New Zealand, how much gear do I need?
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Colin Sproule
(cawlin)

Locale: The Rockies
New Zealand, how much gear do I need? on 10/14/2009 22:09:02 MDT Print View

I'm heading off to New Zealand for 6 weeks in mid February. I've done some research and I have been reading other threads on the forums here. Very excited about the excellent looking hut system.

I plan to get out into the backcountry often but travel through towns and cities (staying in hostels) as well. I want to pack as light as possible for that reason specifically. How realistic is it to depend on the hut system completely? I love the freedom of my own shelter but not having a tent/tarp and a sleeping pad is starting to sound quite nice.

Any thoughts or advice? Any must check out hikes that have zero huts? I'm not against bringing the extra gear, just trying to simplify :)

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
NZ on 10/15/2009 02:57:26 MDT Print View

It is possible to rely completely on the hut network if you plan your hikes to do so. However, if you can fit them in I would bring a tarp and a pad if you can. It will give you more flexibility in routes, somewhere to sleep if the hut is full and some safety margin if you can't get to the hut.

Edited by jephoto on 10/15/2009 03:03:22 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: New Zealand, how much gear do I need? on 10/15/2009 12:42:51 MDT Print View

Yes, as Jason says, the huts (with exception of the Great Walks) cannot be pre-booked, so you risk turning up to a full hut and no where to sleep. And sometimes due to track conditions, swollen rivers etc...you don't make your anticipated hut. A pad and bivy or tarp would be a minimum that I would carry.

"Any must check out hikes that have zero huts?"

Depends on what level of hiking you plan on doing. But the most popular tracks all have huts on them (that might be one of the reasons they are so popular). We actually go out of our way to avoid huts, so it's a personal style thing.

Colin Sproule
(cawlin)

Locale: The Rockies
thanks on 10/15/2009 14:08:46 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info, sounds like I better bring along a minimal shelter and pad. Around here you usually book a hut so it's good to know that you can show up and have it full!

This opens up more possibilities anyways, more freedom and less planning is always nice.

As for hikes, I'm looking for anything that doesn't require ice picks or extra gear to accomplish. I've done fairly difficult hikes here in the Rockies so I'm comfortable in the mountains and in variable weather conditions.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Hikes on 10/15/2009 14:59:21 MDT Print View

Useful thread here http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=23282

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
DOCS on 10/16/2009 12:19:18 MDT Print View

I just wrote a really long piece only to lose my internet connection. :( Always do a command/control before sending on BPL! A few bits.

"LP Tramping in NZ" ! Check out the DOCS NZ site. They are great and answer their emails. Note walking times are for SLOW walkers. Check out the Ozzie/Kiwi school holiday schedule (varies by state in Oz). All booking and payment through DOCS. Often day of no shows. In huts not requiring reservations, always room for one more -- whose gonna kick you out. Nothing wrong with staying in huts. Great way to meet interesting people! Milford a PITA. Don't forget the North Island -- esp. Tongariro. Stewart Island worth the rough ride.

Colin Sproule
(cawlin)

Locale: The Rockies
thanks on 10/25/2009 18:03:27 MDT Print View

thanks for all the info folks!