With accommodation mostly sorted, you will be staying, mostly, in those fabulous backcountry huts, what gear do you need to bung into your pack?
When you think that you will be lugging it all with you no matter what the terrain, there’s an obvious point to make: you want everything to be as light as possible, as long as it does the job.
No point in carrying a lightweight raincoat if it can’t keep you dryish and block the wind. You also don’t want it to fall apart, it can be pretty rough out there.
So the desired tramping gear characteristics: lightweight, does the job, reliable.
Then again, as in life, there’s the cost aspect, together with compromise and making do with something that’s not necessarily 100% perfect.
But the most important aspect with your gear, is it absolutely essential, can you survive without it?
Don’t pack unnecessary weight.
Here’s a handy hint: take the right attire, only the necessary.
For what it’s worth here’s my wet set list …
That’s all? Yeah. No excess.
People swear by their different packs and who are we to argue.
Let’s face it, feet get a bashing: you will be lugging plenty on your back, and feet in the NZ outdoors get wet.
You gotta take a stove of some type: huts usually have a firebox but they are intended for heating only, being generally unsuitable for cooking and in any case sometimes there’s just no dry firewood around, or wet for that matter, or the axe has a smashed handle, etc.
Your stove is essential equipment.
When it comes to health some people go completely over the top in preparing for any possibility: drugs for any condition; bandages for various injuries short of amputation; a full drug cabinet with concoctions for staying healthy.
Others take the minimal health junk.
Accommodation is most often provided courtesy of DOC in fabulous weatherproof huts, many of the recent huts are insulated and even double glazed. In more remote valleys the original huts have neither, often there are louvre windows and plenty of ventilation via the open fireplace chimney, although almost all huts have plastic encased mattresses. Combine that with 41º—47ºS latitude, the elevation and deep, shady valleys and, well, it gets cold at night.