Gear for my 3,000km trail

What do you (I!) need for a 3,000km hike? That question was in my mind for at least a couple of months. Ultralight was the initial goal, but other consideration came into play. After searching on too many websites, blogs, forums for THE best tent, sleeping bag, pad, rain jacket,… I came to the conclusion that I have to find what’s most suitable for ME – as there is no one and only answer. Take rain jackets as an example. There are ultralight ones weighing no more than 100g – but will they really take the weight of a backpack full of gear plus food & water for a week? Will they survive the infamous New Zealand rain on the South Island? What’s more, the possible storms and cold rainy weather of Patagonia (the next stop of my time out after New Zealand). I decided that I will not rely on a ultralight, thin rain jacket for my purposes. I need something sturdier that might keep me dry and safe from wind even in extreme weather conditions. That comes  at a certain weight of course. For other items I already have something good (but non ultralight) and I don’t want to spend too much money rebuying stuff to save even more grams. And then the backpack. I have probably one of the most heavy backpacks (2kg) but when I bought it a few years back I tried every possible brand and backpack to find this one and only fitting perfectly. I am not going to exchange it for a 600g one that might put my back into pain again (after fighting against back pain for a couple of months last year I am still doing my exercises a couple of times per week and I am not going to risk anything here). So now, a couple of days before departure, I find myself with 2kg more than I wanted to have. Still, I am taking fewer things than I wish I could bring but I might still get rid of a few items (at the latest after having spent my first days on trail!). My fellow Te Arearoa trampers (get used to the word ‘tramping’ – the New Zealand version of hiking/backpacking) have already started posting their packing list and some have more gear than I do – but still less weight. So I am happy about any advise on what to cut – but I am afraid I am kind of set now on most of my items and unwilling to not have my Kindle, good camera or deodorant…

Shelter & Backpack
My first night in the tent went pretty well!
My clothes
Luxury items, navigation, survival
Cosmetical & Medical items
Cooking & Drinking


Item Gramm
Sleeping bag ZPacks 20F Wide Width Sleeping Bag, Long (1,85m) 600
Tent, Tent Stakes, Tent bag Zpacks Solplex Tent, Camo 550
Sleeping pad + bag Exped SynMat Hyperlite M 387
Dry bag (doubles as pump bag for sleeping pad) Exped Schnozzel Pumpbag UL M 63
Pack Gregory Deva 60l 2000
Thin insulation pad Mainly used for exercises for my back issues 71
Hip bag For town, money,… (might skip this one) 38
 Total weight shelter 3709
1 pair of sandals Bedrock Sandals 226
1 pair of socks Wrightsocks 45
1 shorts Prana shorts 108
1 rain trousers 253
1 leggings (sleeping gear / cold weather) 130
2 underpants 56
1 bra 50
1 t-shirt (sleeping gear) 122
1 warm layer Arc’teryx Atom LT jacket 295
1 rain jacket Arc’teryx Alpha AR Jacket 397
1 buff (doubles as hat) 37
1 scarf 27
1 pair of gloves 74
 Total clothing to carry 1820
Waterproof bag Moorhead 75
Smartphone with case 130
Kindle with DIY case 215
Camera + 2nd battery + SD cards + case 584
Sunglasses with case Uvex 34
Pen 9
Adaptor + charging unit for all gear 156
iPod (not yet bought, might skip it) 27
Total weight luxury items 1230
Small freezer bag 10
Towel 30
Soap 50
Toothbrush, toothpase, floss 82
sunscreen 69
hairclips 9
scissors, tweezers 27
1/2 buff serving as handkerchief 8
comb 5
sponge 3
deodorant 80
Bag with toilet paper, wet tissues, pee rag, trowel (90g) 160
Total weight cosmetical items 533
Pain and anti-inflammation pills
Tape, patches,  disinfection pads
eye drops
safety pin
Sleeping pad repair kit
Tent repair kit
Total weight medical & repair items 158
Small knife 17
waterfilter Sawyer Squeeze + Squeeze Bag 160
drinking system Source 3L 188
Stove Coleman F1 Lite 74
Lighter 30
Pot Snowpeak Mini Solo Cook Set Titan: Pot: 82g / 830 ml ; Lid: 20g; Cup 44g / 330 ml 145
Windscreen Vari-Vent Trail Designs 48
Spork Snowpeak Spork titan purple, 162mm length 15
Sponge for cleaning 5
Pot cozy DIY 15
gas canister buy in NZ 230
Total weight cooking & drinking 927
Food about 800g per day / 5days average 4000
Water about 2l 2000
Bottles & plastic bags for food storage to be assessed in Auckland what I need for repackaging 150
Sea-to-Summit bag as food bag 23
Worn gear:
Hiking sticks Leki 590
Trail running shoes Altra Lone Peak 524
Special insoles (feet issues!) ?
Gaitors Dirty Girl 30
1 pairs of socks Injinji toe socks 41
1 running tights 200
1 sports bra Odlo 64
1 underpants 12
1 shirt 69
1 long sleeve shirt 130

Bounce Box

My bounce box is a small box to be sent ahead with stuff I need only once in a while. So far I plan to put in there: trail notes & maps of sections ahead, sunscreen, insect repellent, medical stuff for refill, soap, razor, hairclips, nailpolish (unnecessary but I am a girl after all!), wet wipes, pen, Moskitonet for South Island, thermal long sleeve for South Island, syringe to clean my water filter, second pair of running shoes…

11 Comments Add yours

  1. ThierryB says:

    Any comment about the Solplex ? Would be nice to read a review after your arrival at Bluff (next year). I am wondering about the Duplex, to have a living and not only a bedroom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like the Solplex so far as it is very easy to set up and tear down. You just wrap it up and that’s it. The cube fibre is amazing and doesn’t absorb any water. It can fit my backpack and me. It’s very small though but the only thing that annoys me is the little headspace. If I read in my tent I often touch the tent and that’s not nice when it’s wet. There were already a few moments when I wished I had taken the bigger one… But I cannot carry a lot of weight as others do so for me it was probably still the best option. Will let you know after the full trip as my mind might change 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ThierryB says:

    I now own a Duplex, much more (head)space than in the Gatewood Cape.
    “I need something sturdier that might keep me dry and safe from wind even in extreme weather conditions.”. Now that you tasted NZ weather (a really tough class), do you think that my 158g frogg toggs jacket is too thin ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Thierry, after a full day of rain you will be wet – with any rain jacket. I bought a very good one and also talked to others about their rain jackets, everything will just get wet anyway if you are walking in the rain for hours. As long as I hiked I was rarely too cold in the rain though. It’s just key that you can change into something dry in your tent or in the hut once you stop walking. I don’t know about the Frogg Toggs quality so it’s hard to advise, but if it supports a heavy pack you should be OK. (plus next spring and summer you will have fantastic weather for sure ;-)).
      Great for the Duplex, you will be happy with it, I was sometimes longing for some more space!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Daihakken says:

    Just wondering if you kept using the deodorant?
    And was just shorts and leggings enough? I have like 1 leggings and 1 longsleeve for sleeping, 1 tank and 1 tshirt for hiking, and 1 trousers (zipoff) and shorts (merino) but am thinking of just using the shorts, and using leggings in emergency, and use gaiters for when theres alot of tussock/plants sticking out so i can take out the 240 gram zipoff pants.

    Thanks for this list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, no I didn’t keep the deodorant. I figured out that when you are living for a while in the nature, you smell much less than when you live in a town. Plus if all your clothes are dirty after a while it doesn’t matter much anyway 😉 I had rain pants to use not only for rain but also when it was too cold or if I had to fight through nasty plants. I was comfortable though most of the time hiking with my shorts, even when it was rather cold. If my upper body is warm enough, I don’t care much about colder legs. In the end, it will come down to a lot of personal preferences, but especially zip off pants are rather heavy to carry. When are you starting the trail?


      1. Daihakken says:

        Thanks! Im starting at the end of October, so 3 months to go now.
        I don’t have rain pants (I use a kilt) so that’s why the zipoff is still on my list, I do get cold really really easily. Also, sending it in a bounce box and don’t put in my pack until the Tongariro/Tararaus might also be an option.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, thanks for giving such an epic breakdown of your gear!
    I’m going to be doing the South Island section of the TA starting late November so am currently in the figuring out what to take stage…
    I was wondering how you were warmth wise? Looks like you took a little less than my normal layering system…
    Also, I’m curious what you took in your saftey kit, did you take a PLB or survival blanket??
    Many thanks,
    Rachel Miranda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rachel, I was warm most of the time except for a few nights. This will depend though very much on how your own body reacts to cold weather. While hiking I was always warm, except for the one time it was pouring rain and I crossed two very high running rivers. If you normally take a layer more, than take it also on the TA! If you need it usually you will need it on the TA where conditions can change all the time.
      I had a PLB but I consider that if I carry a tent I don’t need a survival blanket. A tent provides better shelter than a blanket. All the best for the trail, I remember how hard it is to figure out what to take! Bettina


  5. Rachel Miranda says:

    Thanks for the epic breakdown of your gear! I’m going to be doing the South Island leg on the TA starting late November.

    I’m curious about how you were warmth wise?
    I’ve grown up always subscribing to my Dad’s layering system which includes spare set of longsleeve top and merino leggings for emergencies/sleeping…

    Also, what was in your emergency kit ie did you take a PLB, survival blanket etc?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated 🙂



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