Te Araroa Gear List

te araroa trail gear review

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Here are my recommendations for a good quality Te Araroa Gear list. The Te Araroa has a reputation for being hard on gear with lots of rain and mud.

When I hiked the Te Araroa my gear list is around 6kg (13lb) which put less stress on my body compared with some other hikers that carry heavier loads. As I have hiked many long distance thru hikes I completed a gear list for the Te Araroa that is lightweight.

Ultralight Te Araroa Gear List

As mentioned above the mud, the cold and the difficult terrain makes the Te Araroa a tough trail for gear. But is possible but take high quality lightweight gear on the trail.

Best Lightweight Tent for the Te Araroa

The best tent for Te Araroa will be lightweight, waterproof, bug proof and able to withstand windy conditions. Here are a list of the best lightweight 1 person and 2 person tents.

Best 1P Tent for Te Araroa

Best 2P tent for Te Araroa

Read the full review of the Best Ultralight Thru Hiking Tents

Best Backpack for Te Araroa

The best backpack for the Te Araroa will be lightweight and have enough capacity to carry all your food and gear for up to around 5 days. For most lightweight thru hikers a 50 litre pack will be enough. Some hikers that have not committed to carrying a lightweight and compact load may need a slightly bigger sized pack.

Read the review of the Best Thru Hiking Backpacks

Best Sleeping Bag for Te Araroa

There are some great quality ultralight sleeping bags for the Te Araroa Trail that will be perfect for the trail. Here are my recommendations.

Read the full reviews of the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags

Best Ultralight Quilts for Te Araroa

In recent years many ultralight hikers have moved from sleeping bags to ultralight quilts. I think they are a better and lighter option for most people. They function well until the temperatures get a couple of degrees below freezing. At that point a sleeping bag becomes a better option as they function better in colder weather.

Read the full reviews of the Best Ultralight Thru Hiking Quilts

Best Sleeping Mat for Te Araroa

Lightweight and compact with good insulation is what you need in a sleeping pad for the Te Araroa. Here are some great options.

And don’t forget a good quality ultralight pillow and a pack liner to ensure everything stays dry during the inevitable wet weather.

Read the review of the Best Sleeping Pads for Thru Hiking

Footwear for Te Araroa

I wore 3 different pairs of trail running shoes on my hike to see which one I like best.

But will Trail Running Shoes make your feet happier?

You have a choice of wearing Lightweight Hiking Boots, Lightweight Shoes or Trail Runners. There are pros and cons for each. I wore trail runners but found they performed poorly in the muddy conditions. Hiking boots put too much stress on your feet during the long road walk sections and lightweight hiking shoes don’t perform as well during mud. So which is best?

The answer is, there is no answer. I hiked in trail runners and they performed very well on all sections of trail except the very muddy sections on the North Island. In particular the mud near the very northern sections of the trail and the Tarraroa Range in the southern section of the North Island. The mud and tree roots destroyed my trail runners.

Maybe lightweight hiking boots such as the Merrel Moab GTX Boots for the North Island and Ultralight Trail runners such as Altra Lone Peak Trail Runners for the South Island.

Here are my 3 recommendations for the best shoes and boots for the Te Araroa hikers with wide feet.

Here are my 3 recommendations for the best shoes and boots for the Te Araroa hikers with narrow to feet.

Don’t forget a good pair of hiking socks. I like the New Zealand Macpac Merino Hiker Socks which you can easily pick up online in NZ. If coming from overseas then Darn Tough Socks are one of the best options.

Read the Detailed Review:
Best Lightweight Hiking Boots
Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes
Best Trail Running Shoes for Thru Hiking
Best Hiking Socks

Insulating Layers – Down Jackets / Fleece / Baselayers

A good layering system that includes a warm down jacket, fleece mid layer and a lightweight base layer will be needed and much appreciated on the Te Araroa. One of the key things about this layering system is not to overdo it, or over think it. Take items of clothing that will work, are high quality and can be used in combination to see you through all kinds of weather conditions. For the most part there is no need to look any further than New Zealand brand Macpac.

Down Jacket

  • Macpac Icefall – This jacket seems to be on clearance so are quite cheap, if you can find one be sure and buy one as they are perfect for the Te Araroa!

Fleece Mid Layer

  • Macpac Nitro – Ultralight and much warmer than the weight would suggest. I have one and love it.


Don’t forget underwear, again take a look at Macpac. I love the Merino Underwear.

Read more detailed reviews about the follow:
Best Ultralight Down Jacket
Best Mid Layers
Best Fleece Jackets
Best Base Layers for Thru Hiking
Best Hiking Underwear

Hiking Pants / Hiking Shorts / Hiking Shirts

Just like your layering system of insulation mentioned above you should take a good look at what kinds of Shirts, Shorts and Pants you will be wearing.

Hiking Shirts

Hiking Pants

Hiking Shorts

Gloves / Hats / Sunglasses

Take a look at some of the hiking gear guides that will advise you on the best gloves, Hats and Sunglasses for the Te Araroa.

Raingear for Te Araroa

It will rain a lot when thru hiking Te Araroa. Be prepared with a high quality lightweight rain jacket and rain pants. Here are some of the best for 2024:

Hiking Poles

Do you need hiking poles for the Te Araroa? Short answer, not really. But if you are like me and you use them when long distance hiking then take a look at my guide below. Or for something lightweight from Macpac, take a look at the Macpac Carbon Trekking Poles.

Cookware – Stoves & Pots for te Araroa

You will appreciate a warm meal at night and maybe a hot coffee or tea in the morning. Here are some cookware sets, stoves, pots and other gear you will need for the trail.

For more info take a look at the following detailed guides:
Best Hiking Stoves
Best Lightweight Cooking Pots
Best Sporks

Water on the Te Araroa

Overall the water quality on the Te Araroa is quite good but as with almost every backcountry trip, you should treat the water and carry enough for your needs. Here are some recommended water treatment devices and water storage bottles and bladders.

For more info take a look at the following detailed guides:
Best Hiking Water Filter
Best Water Purification Tablets
Best Hydration Bladders

Cameras and Electronics

With so many electronics that we take on the trail these days it can be hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind. Take a look at some of the items you may need and follow the links to my detailed guides about which ones are the best.

  • Best Cameras for Hiking – For the photographers. Most people will be happy enough with the quality of their smartphone.
  • Best Battery Bank for Hiking – Very important to have a high quality battery to recharge all your electronics.
  • Best Hiking GPS – Not really needed for the trail as most people can navigate OK with a smartphone App.
  • Best GPS Watch – More and more people are hiking with a GPS watch. They are great but will need charging every night so be sure to take a portable battery bank with you.
  • Best PLB and Satellite Messenger – Highly recommended for thru hiking the TA. Many people get into difficulty on the trail and one of these can save your life.
  • USB Wall Charger for New Zealand /Australia+ Cables.

Other Gear

  • Plastic zip lock bags
  • Money / ID / Credit Cards
  • Blister pads
  • Strapping Tape
  • Foot infection anti-biotic
  • Ibuprofen
  • tweezers
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Safety Pin
  • Needle
  • Deet insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Toilet tissue

I hope this helped with your planning in some way. If you need more help with all the best lightweight hiking gear then take a look at my Gear Guides.

Read all the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

All the best stuff about the Te Araroa Trail?
Complete Guide to The Te Araroa Trail
Where to Resupply on the Te Araroa Trail

te araroa trail gear list

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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4 thoughts on “Te Araroa Gear List”

    • Cheers Chris, I’m not quite in the ultralight category like you but not many lightweight hikers here on the TA.

    • I use a 13 litre Sea to Summit ultra sil bag. Good enough for up to around 5-6 days worth of food so its rarely full.

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