We all approach the task of packing for an adventure differently. Some people will eagerly anticipate this ‘job’ and will start laying out their gear weeks in advance. They're the organized ones who know the sales staff at the local outdoor shops by name. They will probably agonize over which sleeping bag to buy based on its performance to weight ratio. They will spend hours mulling over which order to pack their stuff, so that it's convenient to retrieve yet also well balanced. They could even go as far as colour matching everything, so it's easy on the eye. The lists will get systematically ticked off and labels may even be sewn here and there so there won't be any awkward moments of confusion down the track.
If this is you, the team here at ‘Active HQ’, who have all fielded plenty of pre-trip phone calls and emails, have got preparing for a hiking mission down to a science. Check out our lists below for every hiking occasion:
1. You're charging up Ben Lomond, a favourite day hike near Queenstown. View our Packing List for a Day Hike.
2. Summer is upon us and it's time to tackle the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. View our Packing List for a Great Walk.
3. Easter is around the corner! And with that comes a well-earned long weekend. View our Packing list for a Multi-Day tramp in the backcountry.
(If you’re joining us for an Active Adventures New Zealand trip, you’ll get a comprehensive trip-specific gear list upon booking.)
The weather in New Zealand can be variable, and so when hiking, you need to make sure you're carrying the appropriate clothing. A layering system is best, where you can add or remove layers depending on the conditions at the time. Most seasoned New Zealand hikers will always be carrying a waterproof shell/Gore-Tex rain jacket or similar, even if the sun is shining when you set off, and several layers of merino wool clothing. Merino wool is a breathable and eco-friendly natural fiber that doesn’t retain odour, keeps you warm even when wet, and also wicks moisture away from your skin to keep you more comfortable while you hike. It’s no wonder most Kiwis (and all those sheep!) wear merino wool outdoors.
On some of the "scenic" walks you might see people wearing all manner of shoes on their feet, but all too-often people are caught out using inadequate footwear, and we would recommend always using a closed shoe – no sandals or flip-flops! On day hikes, some people are comfortable wearing trail-running or "approach" shoes, but for longer trails, a proper leather or fabric/Gore-Tex hiking boot is required.
So you're taking on your first multi-day hiking mission – ever? In the last 5 years? Or since you were at school? Well, you may be a little rusty, or you may just want to know how the experts do it! We all have a special packing system that helps us navigate our way around our backpacks easily and effortlessly, always able to find those snacks when the mood is running low, or to easily grab a water bottle, but if you're new to this or you're out of practice then this guide is for you.
There are so many hiking trails in New Zealand and there's plenty more to hiking New Zealand than just the Milford Track. If you're not sure of your plans just yet, a good place to start is our brochure. With a full fold-out map of New Zealand, information on our hiking trips, as well as lots of cool photos, it's a great place to begin your research.
REQUEST A BROCHURE
Or, if you want to have a chat with a local about your plans, feel free to give Miri, Fiona or Matty a call on 1 800 661 9073 (USA/Canada), 0808 234 7780 (UK) or +64 3 450 0414 (worldwide).
Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.
We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.
As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.
Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.
With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.
It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.