A good rain coat


The planning for Te Araroa

Planning for a journey of this length, covering 3,000 km and being on the trail for 152 day, is more like planning for a full-on expedition than a just another summer tramping trip.

There are two main planning aspects to consider: equipment and food.

All your equipment needs have to be well planned. Too much gear and you will be weighed down, too little gear and you will compromise on safety issues. Light weight gear is essential, just as long as it is adequate to do the job required. So by all means take a light weight tent, minimal changes of cloths and few, if any, luxury items, but do make sure you have a good solid rain jacket and good boots. I wore a pair of top quality Mendal tramping boots and they lasted me the whole journey and still look in great condition today.

My equipment list was as follows:

Total12.950 kg
Sleeping bag1.290g
Tent (2 man)2.050g
Sleeping Mat 730g
Pots/Frying Pan1.030g
Kitchen gear 380g
Gas stove 500g
Toilet gear 200g
Trap/ground sheet 270g
Raincoat 950g
Woollen jersey 370g
Zip jacket 500g
Spare cloths 2.050g

Planning your food supplies is without doubt the biggest challenge over such a long journey. I have given some tips elsewhere on what worked well for me on the Te Araroa Trail, you will also find my tramping food cook book – Fast and Light – very useful. The main concern is to get sufficient energy to meet the demanding needs of walking for long hours each day. Food is often a very personal choice.

My best advice is to stick with what you like and feel comfortable in preparing on the trail, and leave the experimentation stuff at home. Also, always carry spare food with you for emergency or extra rations, preferably food that doesn’t need cooking: nuts, chocolate and biscuits are all good for this.