Choosing the right tramping gear is crucial, but isn’t always so easy. 

Firstly, you need to know what the must have items are, and what gear you might want to take but should probably leave at home.Tramper with pack at Tongariro National Park

Plus, you’ll want your gear to be light. A heavy pack will slow you down and take a lot more effort and energy to haul up those hills.

A few kilos of extra weight can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of your tramp – especially if everyone around you has a lighter pack and is finding the going easier!

Then there’s the cost. Lightweight tramping gear can be expensive. Do you want to spend that money, or could you find a cheaper alternative that’ll still do the job?

This page has links to help you decide what gear to buy, and comprehensive gear checklists for your multiday tramps.

Your tramping gear – what to buy

It can be hard getting sound independent advice on what tramping gear to buy. Online advice can be a minefield, and brick and mortar retailers will often sell you anything via sales people who don’t know that much.

So what do you do?

You read our very own Uncle Wacko’s columns. Uncle Wacko

Now be warned, Uncle Wacko’s a bit of a character - opinionated, not afraid to call a spade a spade, and prone to using rather colourful language. But he knows his stuff and his advice is sound. In fact, he’d probably call you a plonker if you didn’t buy the gear he recommends!

Here's where to tap into that advice:

What pack to buy

- What to look for in a pack, and 6 superb lightweight and (mostly) cheap options

Your tent

Key shelter advice

- What to look for in a tent to handle NZ conditions, and the 4 best brands for high quality lightweight double skin tents

- The 4 best single skin shelters to buy

- If price is an issue – the surprisingly good local tent manufacturer

Sleeping bags and pads

The right sleeping system for you

- Everything you need to know about buying a sleeping bag, and the 4 bags and brands Uncle Wacko recommends

- The lowdown on sleeping pads and liners

Pack, tent and sleeping system combinations

- 4 recommended combinations of your “big 3” gear based on different priorities: the lightest weight, most features (comfort), lowest price and a middle road (value for money)

Keeping you pack weight down

- What tramping gear to take and what it should weigh




Alpine gear for hire

For club members, there is some club gear for hire including:

- Alloy shafted Ice Axes

- Crampons

- Snow Shovels, large and small

- Snow Stakes

This gear is hired out at nominal rates. Call Keith Ayton:

Phone: 09 630 7010 (between 7pm - 9pm)



Please clean your gear after every tramping trip!

We all know that our trips around the country can get a bit muddy, and there are constant reminders of the possibility of us transmitting plants, diseases and pests to places where they don’t currently exist – weeds, kauri dieback, didymo, and of course the island sanctuaries that are predator free.

Muddy tramping boots

So all of us need to be constantly aware of the risks around us:

- Clean and dry boots thoroughly

- Clean and dry gaiters thoroughly

- Clean and dry walking poles

- Ensure packs are clean and free of plant material between trips



Multiday Tramping Gear Checklists


Packearly ATC tramper with bulky pack

Waterproof pack liner

Tent or fly

Groundsheet (optional)

Sleeping bag, liner (optional)

Sleeping pad or air mattress

Cooker, fuel, lighter/matches

Pot(s), cup, utensils, plate/bowl

Water bottles

Torch and spare batteries

Toiletries, first aid, medications

Map and compass

Gps, plb or InReach (shared in the group)


Boots or stout shoes, socks

Shorts or quick-dry trousers



Fleeces for insulation

Waterproof rain jacket with hood 


Headwear – sunhat and beanie, sunglasses (optional)


Spare underwear, socks

Hut/camp clothes (additional to your tramping clothes)

Light shoes for hut/camp (optional)

More About Food

Enough for all meals and snacks – see more tramping food suggestions.



Notes about your tramping gear

Contact the trip leader with any concerns or gear short-falls - you might be able to borrow or share items.

Tents, cooking equipment and meals can be shared with others, if arrangements are made in advance.

Several retailers have gear available for hire, including tents, packs, sleeping bags, boots etc



Are you an Auckland Tramping Club member? If not, make sure you’re aware of the many benefits of joining ATC!