Hiking Gear List – Milford Trek
Packing for a big adventure is always exciting. But as the big departure date comes around, packing practically for your trip starts to become a priority.
If you’re the super prepared type, who finds themselves consulting the experts at the outdoors shop, trying to work our what weight sleeping bag to buy, or which hiking socks to stock up on, then you can print out this list, and walk in to the store fully prepared.
If you’re the happy-go-lucky kind of traveller who is happy to just wing it, you’ll find the essentials that we recommend as must haves for a Kiwi Adventure.
When packing for a hiking adventure there are two things that usually come to mind:
How Much To Pack:
Weight: You’ll want your pack to be light and easy to carry, but still contain all of the essentials you need to make your trip a comfortable and enjoyable one.
Quantities: How many of each item of clothing you’ll need. If you are wearing merino socks and shorts, for example, you won’t need as many items. Merino keeps you cool in the heat, and warm in the cold. It’s also fast drying, and does not retain smell.
Think about the weather, terrain, and altitude of the area you’ll be hiking in. Obviously you’ll need to modify your gear as needed based on the environment. New Zealand is equally as beautiful on a sunny day as it is on one with mists and rain showers, so you’ll want to be prepared. A good waterproof windbreaker keeps you dry and warm, on hot or cold days.
What Should I Pack for Hiking in New Zealand?
The best advice you can get comes from people who’ve been there and done it. So if you can talk to someone who has visited New Zealand, or even better, a local, then you’re on to a winner!
Comprehensive gearlists and packing tips for hiking in New Zealand
(courtesy of Activeadventures.com)
Going for a day hike? View this: Packing List for a Day Hike.
See the Able Tasman Coast: Packing List for a Great Walk.
Going on a backcountry trek: Packing list for a Multi-Day tramp in the backcountry.
(If you’re joining an Active Adventures New Zealand trip, they give you a comprehensive trip-specific gear list when you book.)
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
It’s not uncommon for the weather in New Zealand to change quickly. So when hiking it makes sense to carry all appropriate clothing. We’d advise you to wear multiple layers, that way you have the flexibility to wear as much or as little as you need to stay warm, dry and comfortable no matter what the weather. Seasoned New Zealand hikers will tell you to take a waterproof shell/Gore-Tex rain jacket or similar. We’d also recommend some merino wool layers. Merino wool is a highly breathable and eco-friendly natural fibre. It is renowned for its ability to keep you warm or cool through a wide rage of temperatures, and best of all, it is very odor resistant. Good to have when you’ve been hiking for several hours at varying effort levels and in changeable weather conditions.
It’s not uncommon on “scenic” walks to see see people wearing anything from sandals to hiking boots, but when taking a longer hike, say anything more then an hour or two, it’s important to wear adequate footwear. We recommend always wearing closed shoes – no sandals or flip-flops! Day hikes are fine for wearing trail-running or “approach” shoes, but for longer trails, it is wise to wear leather or fabric/Gore-Tex hiking boots for comfort and practicality.
10 easy steps to help you pack for a multi-day hiking trip:
First multi day hike? Or haven’t done one in a while? Things change, like gear and clothing to make your hiking adventures more comfortable. You’ll always high energy foods, and a decent capacity water bottle.
- The gear list – Layout a place for all your stuff, so you can see what needs to go into your bag(s) and what you’ll need to pack, from first to last.
- Pack liner – You don’t need a fancy liner, a heavy duty garbage bag will do for the main compartment, then smaller bags to separate stuff for easy “plucking” out of your bag as needed. To guarantee you’ll keep your bits, bobs and stuff dry no matter where you go, it’s a good idea to use liners to line and organise your gear.
- Good organization – Not only do these inner bags help protect your gear from the rain, but they are also super handy for keeping your pack organised – another key to hassle free packing and hiking!
- Bulky items at the bottom – A lower center of gravity makes walking and balancing easier. It’s also much easier to pull out smaller items, than have to haul out something big and bulky to get at your lunch or insect repellent. Smallest items last is the rule of thumb.
- Food – If you are on a guided hike, most of the food will be prepared for you, but you’ll definitely want to snack along the way. We’d suggest putting snack bars, bags of nuts etc. in the side pockets or the lid of your pack – that way they’re easy to access quickly. If you’re carrying food for evening meals or breakfast, then pack these in the middle of your pack, above your bulky sleeping bag, but below the small stuff like sunscreen and bug spray.
- Waterproofing – Be prepared for a sudden downpour in New Zealand – yes a rain shower, misty mountaintops and forests are beautiful, but not if you are unnecessarily wet or cold. Take at least one set of wet weather gear so you can enjoy all weather and not miss out on all of the changing scenes you’ll be raving about when you get home.
- Camera and hydration – Keep your drink bottle handy and take small sips often – it’s the best way to stay hydrated and maintain concentration. Keep your camera handy too – and take a big memory card, you’ll need it for all the shots you’ll have the opportunity to take.
- First aid kit – We’d recommend carrying band-aids, blister kit, bandage, scissors, painkillers, sling, antiseptic cream and mosquito repellent – a must have for anywhere in Milford especially at night! The very top of your pack is a perfect place to keep a first aid kit.
- Top it all off – Fold the waterproof lining over the top, shut the pack down tight, and you’re good to go.
- Looking great – When you’re all packed up, and your strap adjustments are made, it should look tidy with nothing hanging off the sides (you don’t want to get snagged on branches as you walk past!) It should look well packed with all straps fastened and tucked in. Now you’re all set to begin your awesome hiking adventure.
This trip has it all!
The ‘Manuka’ trip, including Milford Track, had everything. Excellent guides, who can cook, drive, entertain, and keep us on track and safe. The mix of hikes, accommodations and scenery were non stop breathtaking. The companionship that developed will make this a trip I will long remember.
Terry Born, Active Adventures New Zealand ‘Manuka’ trip, January 2016