Bring vs rent? (Coming from California)
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Hello! My husband and I will be in New Zealand for 4.5 weeks starting Feb 1 2015. Many parts of the trip will involve hotels, B&B's, and for at least many days, staying with family in Christchurch. We'll be doing several day hikes and typical tourist travelling for most of that month, but have Milford Track reservations as well. So, for 4 days of a month long trip, we will need backpacks. For the rest of the trip, a backpack could be a perfectly good way to carry some stuff, but wont be needed. I dont know whether to bring mine or rent one there. I have 3 packs, from 44L to 75L. Mine are fitted to me, proven to be comfortable, etc. If I could fit all that I need for the Milford Track in the 44L pack, I think it could smush down small enough to go as carry-on for our flight. If I bring the next larger one, it becomes "luggage." I'm used to carrying a tent, cooking equipment, therm-a-rest......so I'm trying to envision just how much space I need for a trip like this in which I DONT need that stuff, but need to be extra prepared for crazy weather compared to what I'm used to. I also just dont know how common/easy it is to rent good equipment there. My husband only has a 44L pack, though I'm trying to get him to backpack more with me, and may just get him a 60L one like my other medium pack...... I'm also not sure if I should bring or rent a sleeping bag, but I think that will get brought, since a few of our other nights will be spent on nice people's floors and in the back of a truck..... Any opinions? On one hand it seems silly to rent things I own, but I dont know how much sense it makes to bring something from here I only need for 4 days. Since my brother lives in Christchurch, and will be going on the Milford Track with us, we have the luxury of his truck for transportation and storage of the stuff we dont carry. We are very excited to be coming, and I will have lots of other more interesting questions later, but for now I am focusing on the practicalities! Thanks, Anne
If you plan on backpacking around I would bring my own. If not though, its a tougher decision. Couple of gear hire places in Te Anau: Bevs hire will hire you a complete package, all you need to bring is boots and foot. Pricey though: http://www.bevs-hire.co.nz/ Outdoor sports lets you hire bits and pieces although you'll probably want to bring more of your own gear to make up for things that can be hired. http://www.outsidesports.co.nz/Rentals/Hiking_Rentals.htm If you've downloaded the Milford track brochure off the DOC website then you'll have a list of what you need to bring (boots, sleeping bag, food, wet weather gear, change of clothes, cooking gear but not a stove, first aid kit, toiletries etc etc). If you wanted to do any other walks then bringing your own gear will help keep prices down though your luggage will go up! :)
Buy your packs when you get here, then when you leave ask your brother to sell them for you on Trademe (eBay, Kiwi style) and recoup some of your money. Or - buy a pack transport bag (Osprey do a really good one called the Airporter - http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/addons/airporter_lz), stuff your pack and everything else in it, then bring it all over as checked luggage. I do this regularly and it works well for me - I can fit a 65 litre pack, my boots, poles and a whole lot of other junk in there easily. When I get to where I'm going, anything I don't need for tramping gets padlocked in the Airporter and left at my accommodation for when I return.
Hmmmm. Definitely some good ideas. So many options.....Thanks!
Are you "Freedom" walking the Milford (ie humping your own gear) or part of the Guided group. If you are going guided Im sure they provide (or can provide you) with all the essentials for the trip. Guided groups also get meals provided,wine with meals, beds with linen, showers etc. Luxury hiking at its best! There is a great difference in experience between the two groups. If the Milford is the only overnight trip you are going on a pack ranging from a large 45-60 litre should be more than adequete. If you have a favourite pack, I would bring it with you, same with a sleeping bag a 30-40F/ 0-5C degree bag would be fine. Light is the most important feature as there is a BIG hill to cross on day 3. Bring a good wet weather jacket, a light weight day tramping jacket will not cut it. When Huey chucks it down, IT REALLY RAINS! Like +1 metre in 12-24 hours. It might not rain (it will rain) but you need to be prepared. You also need a top line dry bag for your pack, in New Zealand you can buy heavy duty plastic pack liners (like a big trash bag) which is what we mostly use. Get them from DOC offices or most outdoor shops, they cost $5-15. It will be amazing.
We are 'freedom walking" I guess! No guided group, though that wine and showering does sound nice. ;). Good to know that bringing the "real" rain jacket is worth it. I considered buying these: http://www.rei.com/product/766592/Evac%20Dry%20Sack?s_kwcid=seR3Yh3xU_dc|pcrid|34212973565|pkw|evac%20dry%20sack|pmt|e|google|main&gclid=Cj0KEQjwvqWgBRChnMjQ7u7UzOUBEiQAooXvYcBIa54cwkAI1LUSEjIBoq7b6vKNh_G7Z0WnGb1CPoMaAvD58P8HAQ Do you have any idea if what DOC sells is as sturdy/ less sturdy? I dont want to waste money, but I will use good quality dry sacs again, so I dont mind paying a little more. Thank you!
anything DOC sells is at rip off prices... and the quality of what they sell isnt that great. they sell a basic range that will do the job but nowhere near as well as some of the gear outdoor shops well
The DOC liners are just a big plastic bag - much more likely to get holey than ripstop nylon. I use one of these : http://www.rei.com/product/848362/outdoor-research-ultralight-dry-sack#specsTab Sea to Summit stuff is available here for around the same price you'll pay in the states - see www.bivouac.co.nz As always, each to their own!
prices in the states beat prices in NZ hands down, distributors here monopolise brands. so they can charge what they like and they buy less product, and you have to often buy it from shops that are in high rental areas,, buy as much of your gear as you can in the states. a lot of people down under can ship gear from the states by buying online and still save big bucks.. do your homework, could be cheaper to buy a pack in the states and mail it to NZ and use it when you get here... not to mention there are big sales on now... a lot of brands you cant ship direct from the onine store to nz, to protect the distributors in NZ.. but you can still ship it yourself... mail forwarding companies get good prices with courier companies if you join the mail forwarding company
Thanks! I have found that my beloved Osprey 60L pack, with its hip belt removed and all straps cinched down, becomes easily less than 118cm in all three dimensions, so I think I have my carry-on item. I'll buy dry sacs here.
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