Some information on what tramping gear you should take with you on club trips.
Basic Gear List
New Zealand weather can change quickly: you need to be equipped for cold and wet weather no matter how good it looks at the start. It can also be a lot colder as you get higher and when the wind comes up. It is easier to keep warm while you are moving, but when you stop for a rest you need to have extra layers to put on. Consider how warm you would be able to stay if for some reason you had to stop tramping.
Polypro/thermal clothing is better than cotton: when cotton gets wet it sucks warmth out of you as it dries, and it also takes a long time to dry. Do not wear thick heavy cotton such as jeans or rugby jerseys. Wear shorts with polypro leggings underneath in preference to long trousers: this is much better for tramping in the rain, mud, wet bush or long wet grass, and for river crossings.
- Tramping boots appropriate for terrain. Make sure these fit and are comfortable to wear for the whole day. Essential.
- Wool or wool/synthetic socks (avoid cotton socks--they can allow your feet to get very cold). Essential.
- Tramping pack large enough to hold everything, with waterproof plastic liner to keep your gear dry if it rains or if you fall over during a river crossing. Essential.
- Thermal/polypro top and leggings. At least one layer essential for every trip.
- Waterproof (this means more than just showerproof) rain jacket. This is helpful in the wind even if it is not actually raining. Essential.
- Hat. A hat of some sort is essential in summer; in winter you will need a warm hat (thermal, polypro or wool again). Consider a balaclava for cold conditions.
- Gloves (thermal, polypro or wool). Essential. More than one pair of gloves can be very useful, and water-resistant/windproof gloves are good for bad conditions.
- Warm jersey or fleece top--particularly useful to put on if you stop.
- Waterproof overtrousers. Particularly useful for bad weather.
- Sun screen lotion is essential in summer and winter. Insect repellant.
- Sunglasses. Remember that, in winter, sun on snow can cause snow blindness.
- Toilet paper and possibly travel soap (environmentally friendly) or wet wipes.
- Small knife, torch, whistle, first aid kit (at least blister kit, plaster, strapping tape, and essential medications), matches or lighter. Essential emergency equipment for all trips: you should be equipped to survive the night in the bush by yourself.
- Survival blanket/emergency shelter. Recommended emergency equipment.
- Finally, and totally essential: water bottle. You will need to drink regularly--at the very least a litre per day, more like 2 or possibly more. Check with your leader if you will be able to fill up during the tramp or if you need to carry your whole supply. Don't run short!
- Remember to take your own food. A good lunch plus plenty of high energy snacks--muesli bars, fruit, chocolate or whatever you prefer.
- Especially in winter, make sure you have plenty of warm clothing as well as being equipped for wet weather. Check with your leader about extra gear (eg ice axe and crampons).
Your leader should make arrangements for 'party' gear: tents and cooking equipment. The leader should also talk to you about catering arrangements (food). You will need to leave room in your pack to carry your share.
Your pack should be large enough to hold all your gear. If the pack is too big you may be tempted to take too much (and not be able to carry it): too small and you may leave essential gear behind. Overnight packs should have a waist belt and comfortable harness.
You will need the basic gear above (including fleece or warm jersey top) plus:
- Sleeping bag (and liner). Sleeping mat (Therm-a-Rest type or closed cell foam). Suitable for the expected conditions.
- Spare clothes to change into at the end of the day. Keep these light, warm and quick drying (thermal/polypro or wool again for preference); you may need to wear them tramping if everything else gets soaked.
- Spare dry socks.
- Camp footwear. You'll find it more pleasant to change out of wet boots at the end of the day, but keep it light & consider whether you will be in a hut or tent.
- Plate or bowl, mug, cutlery.
- Toiletries (please consider the environment, and your pack weight), small towel (optional).
- Toilet paper.