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
- Nemo Hornet 2P – 35oz (1003 grams)
- ZPacks Duplex – 20.75oz (588 grams)
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultramid 2 -18.85oz (534g)
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.
- ZPacks Arc Air – 50 Litres – 19.2oz / 544g
- Osprey Exos 48 – 48 litres – 36oz / 1030grams
- Osprey Exos 58 – 58 litres – 37oz /1060 grams
- Osprey Levity 45 – 45 litres – 28oz – 780 grams
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 2400 – 50 litre – 30oz / 852 grams
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 2400 – 50 litres – 30oz / 851 grams
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 3400 – 55 litre – 32oz – 910grams
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 3400 – 55 litre 32oz – 902grams
- Macpac Hesper – 52 litres – 1170 grams
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.
- Feathered Friends Hummingbird – 20F / -7C – 24oz – 680g
- Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20F / -7C – 29oz / 820g
- Marmot Phase 20 – 20F / -7C – 23oz / 660g
- Rab Mythic 400 – 20F / -7C – 23oz / 660g
- Sea to Summit Spark 4 18F / -8C – 31oz / 880g
- Macpac Dragonfly 400 | -5C – 731g
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.
- Feathered Friends Flicker UL 20 Quilt – 20F / -7 – 26oz / 748g
- Sea to Summit Ember EB3 Quilt – 14F – 25F / -10C/-4C – 25.5oz / 725g
- Enlightened Equipment Revelation – 20F / -7C – 22.5oz / 639g
- Katabatic Sawatch – 15F / -9C – 25.1oz / 712g
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.
- Thermarest Uberlite – 8.8oz/250g
- Thermarest Neo Air Xlite – 12oz/340g
- Thermarest Z Lite Sol – 14oz/410g
- Nemo Tensor Insulated – 14oz/410g
- Sea to Summit Ether lite Insulated – 15oz/425g
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Macpac Merino – For lovers of good quality Merino Wool.
- Macpac Geothermals – Cheap but good enough
- Macpac Prothermals – The Best quality, lightest and highest quality base layers available. I have a pair or tops and bottoms and love them.
Don’t forget underwear, again take a look at Macpac. I love the Merino 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.
- Macpac Hiking Shirt – Light and Stretchy long Sleeve shirt
- Macpac Hiking T Shirt – For those that prefer a T Shirt style hiking shirt
- Macpac Trekker Pants – Lightweight softshell. I’ve been wearing them for the last couple of years.
- Kuhl Radikl Pants – Also lightweight and very high quality.
- Macpac Boulder Shorts – Nice, lightweight and stretchy
- Kuhl Renegade Shorts – Another nice pair of 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 2023:
- Macpac Tempo Ultralight Rain Jacket – 220 Grams
- Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket – 180 Grams
- Outdoor Research Helium Pants – 153 Grams
- 6 Moon Designs Hiking Umbrella – 227 grams
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.
- Evernew Ti DX Stove Titanium 86 Grams.
- Snow Peak Trek 900 Titanium Cookset with homemade aluminum foil lid 114 Grams.
- Sea To Summit X-Mug – 78 grams
- Titanium Spoon – 12 Grams
- Gerber STL 2.0 Knife 28 Grams
- Bic Lighter – 20 Grams – A necessary item, obviously.
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.
- Steripen rechargable– 140 grams
- Katadyn Micropur Water Purifier Tabs – 20 Grams.
- Platypus Bottle 2-Litre – 36 Grams
- Nalgene Water Bottle 1 litre– 178 grams
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.
- Plastic zip lock bags
- Money / ID / Credit Cards
- Blister pads
- Strapping Tape
- Foot infection anti-biotic
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Safety Pin
- Deet insect repellent
- 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.