Rain jackets for Routeburn track
Hello People! In March I will do the routeburn track and I would love to know how you would correctly pack your gear for 3 days walking. Plus I'm going to buy a rain jacket specifically for this adventure... I'm undecided between a Rab kinetic plus jacket and a normal gore tex rain jacket...do you think for NZ weather conditions they are good gear? Please any advice are more than welcome. Regards G.
There is a good guide on what to take etc at https://tramper.nz/15811/ Packing gear start with a tramping pack that fits well then ignore all it says about being waterproof and buy a plastic pack liner. The old school way of packing was sleeping bag at the bottom then clothes then food and cooking gear then tent if you have one. It still works but a lot of people try to get the weight closer to the center of the pack. Dont put the heavy stuff at the bottom but beyond that and trying to get the weight evenly across the pack and keeping it close to your back it doesnt matter with modern packs. I dont know the Rab gear but that sounds like a bit of overkill. Fiordland in more a case of its fine in which case a light poly shirt and fleece outer would deal with temperature from 0 to 20+ which you could strike in March or its raining in which case you want that gortex coat anyway, No point having 2 waterproof jackets
Routeburn track accommodation must be pre-booked in-season. If you've got a hut bed guaranteed, then that reduces the gear list a little. Huts have gas cookers and probably a selection of pots etc, but if you have your own tri-stand, gas & billy, that'll save you queueing and you'll know you have the cookware you want. Unless you want to reduce that weight ?.
the rab kinetic is a tight fitting stretchy jacket, it will be hot to wear... because limited air can move underneath.. its designed for cold alpine conditions. get a normal raincoat with pit zips to vent heat. its a prolem with the newer fabrics, they are often designed for specific conditions, and have limitations outside of those conditions, people buy them because they like the look or feel of them , not realising they'd be better off with something more tried and trusted and proven.
Pit zips are useful if you intend to continue activity without taking the jacket off. For example, the first modern jackets to feature pit zips were for climbers who may have a harness on and climbing. In order to ventilate they open the zip. No need to remove the jacket. This of course will lower the ambient temperature in the jacket and cease being breathable. Breathability depends on temperature differential. Pit zips provide another potential entry point for water, another potential fault point in the jacket over time, so the zip needs to be durable with use. It takes time to dry inside using your breathable jacket. Any jacket is going to contain the water vapour you emit for some time, and if your use is not for an extended time, then expensive, highly breathable and feature packed jackets are probably less a necessity than a cheap waterprooof jacket or an umbrella. Lets face it, the routeburn is a highway anyway with short hops between huts. Your clothing should be anything but cotton therefore it'll dry or at least wick moisture and dry in use.
Personally I think as long as you have a decent rain-coat which keeps the rain off if and when it's raining, as well as all the other prescribed equipment, the Routeburn Track should be reward enough without having to fret about whether you have the exact perfect thing for ultimate efficiency and comfort. There might be small annoyances, and people in forums like this one can talk and argue about the finer details of gear forever, but you needn't put up with those annoyances for longer than 3 days max. Probably you'll not be wearing it for all that time anyway. If you have it for a while and find things you don't like about it, you'll have a clearer idea for next time as to what matters for you.
@izogi Personally I would pack one Goretex thin hard shell (less sweating in that one) and have also either a spare regular rain poncho or a second Goretex...I'd probably have some Goretex pants as well.
if you're looking at buying a raincoat , its not hard to find one with pit zips. its not a must have but worth getting if you can...
Thank you so much for everything... Yes I did booked the huts for march already and now is matter of waiting... I did show interest to the Rab kinetic just because seems really light and very performing in case of rain which Nz is likeble to get even in Summer and seems very light...I did asked a couple of question even in tripadvisor and many people responded that I need to be prepare even in case of really cold conditions that can happen even in full summer...So I probably try to pack a bit of everything...
Yes shorts and a light polyester shirt plus socks and boots and a sun hat could be all you will need to wear all trip but you need to carry wool or polyester long johns and thermal vest a fleece jersey and maybe some fleece trousers and the cold is covered to be safe in the coldest you will get there at that time of year. That covers me year round in the lower north island. Then a good quality coat preferably gortex and some breathable waterproof overtrousers and you would be very unlucky to have a weather event you were not prepared for. You could add some hut shoes if you want and crocks or there copies work well and weigh less than a 5 cent coin and no one laughs at crocks in tramping huts
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