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Becca Levin
(blsocal) - F
Another New Zealand Gear List on 11/15/2010 15:38:22 MST Print View

Hi folks,

I'd greatly appreciate some advice. I'm no lightweight expert, but I'd certainly like to pack less rather than more for an upcoming 3month trip to New Zealand, followed by 3 mo in Asia.

I'll definitely be bringing some form of shelter/tent. I've got a very beaten REI 2 person tent I could bring, but it is fairly bulky and heavy. Its a great tent if two are splitting the bulk/weight, but i'll likely be doing some solo stuff. If I find hiking partners with other tents or end up in the huts frequently, its something i could definitely jettison for the rest of my RTW travels. Alternatively, I could invest in a lighter, smaller 1person ( possibly tarptent) for the trip as a back up for full huts. I'd rather not go the bivy and tarp route, as i am more comfortable using them and they offer bug protection. It'd be nice to have something that is fine for one and (very) tight for two. I'd prefer not to spend lots, but will if its going to make life much better.

Any advice on tents or other super necessary gear for NZ would be greatly appreciated!

Clint Felmingham
(sef) - F
beached as on 11/15/2010 18:32:12 MST Print View

Depends where you're going :)

If you're planning on mainly sticking to well established tracks, or plan your walks around them, the hut system in NZ is very good. You could get away with only carrying a fly for emergencies.

As far as tents go... most locals carry bombproof (heavier) gear made by Macpac, WE, etc. If you want to be able to camp almost anywhere on the tops in bad weather, follow their example. A single skin ul tent can be pretty miserable on the west coast or in fiordland.

But you'll survive.

I wouldn't underestimate the amount of rain that can fall -- take some good rain gear. Long jackets and gaiters are always in vogue.

I guess the key point is that it really depends what you're doing, and where. Thousands of tourists make it around the popular tracks wearing jeans and carrying off-brand tents, and very few of them get into serious trouble due to gear failure. But climbers and other backcountry kids can face some fairly significant challenges.

I have a (draft++) gear list at:

http://clintssoutherntraverse.blogspot.com/p/gear-list.html

Becca Levin
(blsocal) - F
thanks! on 11/15/2010 21:30:37 MST Print View

Thanks so much for your reply! It was extraordinarily helpful. I've decided against a single wall UL tarptent, and will likely go with a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 tent. I did look at Macpac tents, but new they are fairly expensive in comparison to tents in the States, so I'll be taking a risk there.

Just out of curiosity, I've always used a heavy duty trashbag as a pack liner. Is it neccesary to look into something heavier duty (as you've listed) when I arrive?

Again, thank you so much for your assistance!

Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Tents, not cheap though. on 11/15/2010 23:30:58 MST Print View

Isn't cheap, and not really freestanding, but if you're using trekking poles, this is in effect a two wall tent:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=37100

Single wall you might want to consider if you change your mind:

one of the Zpacks Hexamids with the optional beak.

They're all around a pound.

or for $260, with it's very small footprint, easy set-up and palatial size for one person, the Tarptent Double Rainbow. It's 2.5 lbs though, but is huge and very comfortable for one.

All these tents are extremely compact, so you wouldn't feel too bad lugging them around while using huts.

No experience with New Zealand weather, but for one person in warm..ish weather, I couldn't see condensation being that much of an issue.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Another New Zealand Gear List on 11/16/2010 15:40:04 MST Print View

Becca,

Check out my standard 3 season gearlist for what I use when I go tramping around New Zealand. You would hardly call it lightweight and it's definitely not UL but it works for me in the terrain and climate I experience. If you are sticking to the Great Walks then you could definitely lighten up.

IMHO probably the most important about tramping in NZ is being prepared for rapid changes in weather. Experiencing 4 seasons in one day is not uncommon. Last weekend I was in the Tararuas near Wellington (2 weeks until summer), Saturday was a southerly snow storm dumping up to 300mm of fresh snow. The next day it was blue skies and 20+ degC.

I use a large rubbish bag as a pack liner, never had wet gear in 30 years of tramping.

As others have noted, NZ has a fantastic hut network, and generally (except for the Great Walks and some really popular areas) there is always space/beds available. Just pick up an Annual Hut Pass from DOC when you arrive in NZ.

Trademe.co.nz is a great place to pick up 2nd hand gear.
Tramper.co.nz has lots of trip reports, hut info and an active forum.
Doc.govt.nz offical website for the Department of Conservation