Te Araroa packing list

Walking 3000 km (1865 miles) is quite an undertaking. To be safe I am taking a PLB on this hike, a first for me, but a personal locator beacon is just smart in case I run into trouble – or get lost. Navigation is going to be a challenge at times. After all, this trail is not as well tramped as many other long trails and there are a lot of maps… 141 pages to be exact. Printed double sided of course to save on weight. Because naturally weight management is key. My ambition was to shave about 4 kg off my base weight* for this hike compared to what I carried on Kungsleden this summer. Not an easy task, but I think I might have pulled it off.

One thing that helps a lot is the use of a bouncebox system this time around. A bouncebox is a box that I will keep sending ahead to myself at regular stops along the way. This way I can keep clothes and gear handy for when it is needed and save on carrying the weight. I also have different strategies for my feet depending on the terrain and for long stretches I will opt for walking in trailrunners and bounce my boots for rougher sections up ahead. I will also need to replace a few things that will simply wear out, like socks and even shoes! Granted, New Zealand is not the end of the world (only middle earth…) so if I miss something I can always pick it up along the way, but gear preferances are rather personal so it is nice to have most of it sorted ahead of time.

Another way to lighten the load is of course to upgrade to lighter gear. This can be a very expensive endeavour but I opted to replace a few key pieces for this hike. Most notably my tent, always a big ticket item on the gear list. For Te Araroa I am bringing Hilleberg Niak which, at 1700g, is 100g less than the Soulo I started Kungsleden in and a whopping 1600g less than the Allak I finished it with. Although much lighter, it is by no means an ultra light option, but one I will feel safe in so I am happy. I also replaced my shell/rain gear. The new Mountain Equipment jacket and full-zip pants together actually weigh less than my old jacket alone! Well done.

Then it is all about whittling down the list really. Striking a balance between weight and comfort as best you can. As it stands now my base weight checks in at around 11 kg, I was shooting for 10-11 kg… so I am nearly there. I will fine tune it a bit more no doubt and also adjust what I carry from stage to stage along the way, but this is basically how I imagine I will start at Cape Reinga on day one. Barring any major revelations. Oooh… this stuff really keeps me up at night! I welcome input.

Only two weeks to go now. Crazy how fast time flies!

*Base weight =weight of the backpack not including food, water, fuel and what I am wearing.


**I will either walk in boots or trailrunners, so I will not carry both at the same time but rather send the other choice of shoes/socks ahead in the bouncebox. Oh, and I normally like to double up on socks to prevent blisters, but am still undecided on this approach in the trailrunners.


  • trailrunners
    • The North Face Ultra Endurance W’s (542g)**
    • Merrell W’s Capra Rapid (556g) – camp/river walking
  • biomechanical insoles
    • Superfeet carbon, TNF trailrunners (72g)**
    • hiking boots, leather shell: Lundhags Mira Mid (1200g)**
    • trailrunners: The North Face Ultra Endurance W’s (542g) – replacement pair
    • biomechanical insoles
      • Superfeet green, boots (96g)**
      • Superfeet carbon, trailrunners (72g)

Base layer

  • merino wool
    • briefs: Aclima (46g) x2
    • boxers: Kari Traa (74g) – camp/sleeping
    • sports bra: Icebreaker Rush (108g)
    • camp socks: Icebreaker multisport light mini (57g) – camp/sleeping
    • socks trailrunners: Icebreaker run+ light mini (40g) x2**
    • tank top: Icebreaker (84g) – camp/sleeping
    • t-shirt: Icebreaker (115g)
    • thermal shirt, long sleeve half zip: Kari Traa (208g) – camp/sleeping
    • thermal pants: Kari Traa (182g) – camp/sleeping
    • briefs: Aclima merino (46g) x2
    • socks trailrunners (liner): Icebreaker multisport+ ultra light mini merino (28g) x2 (? undecided)
    • socks trailrunners: Icebreaker run+ light mini merino (40g) x2
    • socks boots (liner): Smartwool hiking liner crew merino (34g) x2**
    • socks boots: Bola hiking merino (60g) x2**
    • waterproof socks: Sealskinz (145g)
    • t-shirt: Icebreaker merino (115g)
    • thermal shirt, long sleeve crew: Ortovox merino (236g)

Mid layer

  • long sleeve button down shirt: Ortovox RNW cool shirt, merino/tencel (236g)
  • insulated jacket: Norrøna Falketind PrimaLoft100 hoody (396g)

Outer/ reinforcement layer

  • hiking pants/shorts: Fjällräven Keb Gaiter, zip-off (658g)
  • shell/rain jacket: Mountain Equipment Ogre (390g)
  • shell/rain pants, full zip: Mountain Equipment Odyssey (295g)


  • sun visor: Craft (36g)
  • sunglasses: Redbull Racing (26g)
  • headband: Buff coolmax (14g)
  • bandana/ hankie: snusnäsduk (18g)
  • buff: Buff merino (48g) – buff, beanie, pillowcase
  • shorts: Nike DF Essential (158g)
  • tights: Nike DF Essential (250g)
  • gaiters: Dirty Girl (30g)
  • belt: Houdini (88g)
    • wind/waterproof gloves: Sealskinz (100g)
    • dress: Arcteryx contenta (160g) – town clothes


  • 62L backpack: Osprey Aura AG 65 (1900g)
  • rain cover: Osprey hi-vis (112g)
  • waterproof pack bags: Sea to Summit/ Osprey (misc sizes)
  • compression dry sack: Sea to Summit UltraSil eVent (90g) – for sleeping bag
    • flight bag: Osprey Airporter (450g) – flight
    • 18L packable daypack: Osprey (90g) – flight carryon/in town


  • tent: Hilleberg Niak (1700g) + footprint (250g)
  • sleeping pad: Therm-a-Rest Neoair XLite Large (460g)
  • sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering Alpinlite, down (900g)
  • liner: Sea to Summit, silk (165g)
    • liner: Sea to Summit, thermolite reactor (255g)


  • stove: Primus, express set – gas burner, 1L pot, bowl, windscreen (570g)
  • gas canister
  •  utensils
    • titanium spork (20g)
    • titanium long spoon (19g)
    • stainless: whisk (12g)
    • spatula (10g)
    • rubber dish scraper (14g)
    • tiny dish sponge (2g)
  • folding cup, 6dl: Wildo vikkåsa (46g)
  • 30ml bottle (ghee/cooking oil): Nalgene (12g)
  • 15ml bottle (all purpose soap): Nalgene (6g)
    • all purpose soap: G Travel Washit All – refill


  • filter: Sawyer Squeeze (77g)
  • dirty water sack: Evernew 2L (42g)
  • hydration bladder: Platypus Hoser 2L (102g + cap 9g)
  • water bottle: Nalgene wide 0.5L (90g)
  • purification tablets: Katadyn – backup only
    • syringe to backflush Sawyer filter (12g)
    • dirty water sack: Evernew 2L (42g)
    • hydration bladder: Platypus Hoser 2L (102g + cap 9g)

Tools/ miscellaneous

  • multi-tool: Leatherman Juice CS4 (159g)
  • repair kit/tools (232g)
  • first aid kit (299g)
  • foot care
  • fire (lighter, matches)
  • trekking poles: Black Diamond W’s Trail Pro (490g)
  • maps & trail notes (on paper + iPhone/Kindle)
  • waterproof map case: Sea to Summit (56g)
  • mosquito head net: Sea to Summit (12g)
  • seating pad: Therm-a-Rest Z-seat (60g)
  • dew rag: MSR (20g)
  • headlamp: Petzl E Lite Classic, 26ln (27g)
    • wax (leather boots)
    • cleaning tabs (water bladders): CamelBak
    • knee braces x2 (158g)


  • Sony CyberShot HX90V (242g)
  • SD memory cards (128GB) x3
  • extra camera battery x1
  • camera case: Lowepro Apex 30 AW (100g)
  • tripod: Gorillapod mini (36g)

Communication and power

  • iPhone 6: Apple (143g)
  • headphones: Scull Candy (12g)
  • e-reader: Kindle Paperwhite (358g)
  • waterproof case for iPhone & Kindle: E-case (42g/48g)
  • PLB: Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 (116g)
  • portable battery: GP PowerBank 12000 mAh (259g)
  • apps for iPhone
    • Guthook Guides (Te Araroa Hiker)
    • DayOne Journal
    • Spotify
    • Audiobooks
    • Google Drive
    • Kindle
    • PlayMemories (Sony)
    • + several local services (weather, tides, hostels, wifi etc.)
    • Instagram
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • usb power adapter 12w with NZ plug: Apple (74g)
    • usb-hub (4): Plugable (32g)


  • valuables (money, bank cards)
  • travel papers (passport, visa, tickets)
  • glasses/contacts
  • microfibre towel: PackTowl L (86g)
  • toiletries
  • toilet paper
  • potty trowel: The Deuce of Spades (17g)
  • travel pharmacy
  • ear plugs
  • sun screen
  • bug repellant
  • liniment
  • e-books (Kindle)
  • audio books (iPhone)
    • toiletries – refill
    • travel pharmacy – refill
    • razor
    • laundry detergent
    • hair dye (ehm… no really, I am a natural purple)


  • Regular resupply stops along the way, plus 3-4 food drops on South Island (north).


About the Author:

Karma is an environmentalist, hiking zealot and orchid nerd from Sweden. She is also a designer/art director and a blogger. She has been the editor for the Swedish Orchid Society magazine, published internationally and held lectures on orchid culture. At the moment Karma is a digital nomad, intent on discovering the world one trail at a time.


  1. Sam November 11, 2016 at 14:28 - Reply

    I enjoyed reading about Kungsleden (and also this one) and hope you will be able to do a few blog entries while you do the Te Araroa hike. How long do you expect to be away for this hike?
    I’m planning to do parts of Kungsleden (Kvikkjokk to Abisko) myself in August 2017, so reading your blog entries are very motivating 🙂
    I need to go through your backlist again for improving my own.
    Keep on hiking 🙂

    • Karma November 11, 2016 at 16:09 - Reply

      Thank you Sam! I don’t plan to rush through Te Araroa, so I imagine about 150 days or so barring injury or other mishaps. The extended visa is good for 6 months, so that would be a hard deadline. I am very happy to hear that you find inspiration in my travel journal. You will LOVE Kungsleden! 🙂 Good luck in planning your hike.

    • Karma November 11, 2016 at 16:35 - Reply

      Oh… and I do recommend the Calazo maps app for Kungsleden. Same maps as the paper ones (Calazo are the best maps for hiking in Sweden) but in your phone. Worked beautifully! The app is free, but maps cost, about 90 SEK per map. Well worth it!

      Calazo kartor: https://appsto.re/se/vssnH.i

      • Sam November 12, 2016 at 17:17 - Reply

        I already have paper maps ready for the sections I plan to hike but great with the digital map, I normally use this when I hike here in Switzerland (I have no real experience with reading real maps). 90 SEK sounds pretty alright I would say. Thanks for the hint 🙂

  2. Karma November 12, 2016 at 23:56 - Reply

    Anytime! 🙂

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