'Definitive' Gear List
Of the regulars, who would be interested in putting together a series of gear lists? Every season the same questions are asked, about the same tracks. Why don't we put together a series of lists that we can simply direct people to? Just as a start, there could be lists along these lines: Clothing for Great Walks in fine weather. Clothing for Great Walks in questionable weather. Clothing for Great Walks in weather approaching winter conditions. Clothing for backcountry tracks fine weather. (etc etc) Food and cooking gear for in-season Great Walks (hut-stay). Food and cooking gear for other tramps, hut-stay. Food and cooking gear for tramps, tenting. Etc, etc, etc. We're not going to all agree on every point; we all have our favourite bits of kit and so forth. But surely we can arrive at some sort of consensus that gives people a safe list of gear, without having to type it out (and reading it) over and over and over again. It would be simple: "What should I wear for (insert Great Walk Track name here) in (insert summer month here)"? Cut and paste Clothing for Great Walks in Fine Weather. And of course, tell them that closer to the date of travel, consider list 2; Clothing for Great Walks in Questionable Weather. We've all seen and written tramping lists. So why not pool all of that knowledge and experience? I don't know about you, but when one of these questions comes up, I now wonder who will the patient regular be who sighs, then writes the same stuff that's been written a thousand times before. :) I don't just want to write this by myself; it should be a series of lists that we all generally agree on. So now that I have finished school for the year, I have a bit of time for it. Anyone in?
It's fairly well covered in the "Starting Out" section. Some questions are genuine but giving prescriptive lists seems too much like hand holding to me, especially when they are doing easy tracks like the Routeburn. It's just fostering the myth that 'NZ Conditions' are unique. If people ask because they lack confidence or are anxious then they need to get confident with the basics before they get here methinks.
Our conditions are by no means unique There are plenty of places where tracks are as cold as hot as dry as wet as windy muddy etc Only difference is we can get all of those conditions on the same day. Also we dont manicure many of our tracks and it seems river crossing is a dark art in so many other countries. Here it is just a typical outing. Rivers and weather are our 2 biggest killers and both are easily dealt with by planning
I am definitely NOT someone who claims NZ conditions are unique. Not by any stretch. As for getting confident before they get here, some people simply don't have that option. For some, a simple track like the Routeburn is a big adventure. And why do those people deserve help any less than someone interested in alpine trekking or peak-bagging? We will keep getting these questions. We have 3 options as individuals: *Keep writing the same answers. *Stop replying to well-intentioned people who are only trying to optimise their perhaps once-in-a-lifetime trip. *Come up with some guides.
Generic gear lists are tricky. There are basic gear items that every trip should have. because a trip is on a great walk, those items will should likely be taken trampers experienced in NZ conditions, trips etc shouldn't need advice of gear lists. its really non NZ'ers and novice kiwis that need advice. these are the people that probably need some items that fit/ experienced/familiar with area etc types, that might choose to exclude. Therefore gear lists should assume potential for exposure conditions, getting lost, being overdue, hut full, getting clothes wet etc etc trying to fine tune a gear list (location/time of year etc) for someone who is unfamiliar with NZ tramping or is a novice, could be risky, IMO. I exclude tent/tent fly or whatever, (but not emergency bivybag) if I am in the Tararuas, (usually) because i know the place well, know the alternative exists, etc. ditto with say GPS.(sometimes) i cant recall the last time i used a map there. but if in say the west coast, even if intending only a hut stay, i'd still be prepared to camp out So I think gear lists should assume low level of experience and/or unfamiliarity. excepting routes like Able Tasman GW or the like, the gear should be standard. and if its winter, possible ice etc, then advise them don't go or to go with someone experienced. or something like that
@Geeves, True, but river crossings and wet weather don't change your gear list. They both need allowance for a dry bag and a change of clothes, which is standard stuff. Knowing how to cross a river as safely as possible is about technique and experience not gear. What people choose to carry outside the basics is up to personal preference and maybe their own level of anxiety about the "what ifs" @Kreig, I know what your getting at and it is a considerate thought :) but I think it's been covered in 'Starting Out' . For e.g the Routeburn might be a once in lifetime trip, and not something they can prepare for before they get here, but it's not a specialist trip and doesn't require a definitive gear list, but a basic one.
exactly, @strider wasn't implying anything gets left out. ie river crossing etc The gear list is pretty well standard, for novices etc. might be for experienced trampers to, but they should know whats in the pack and whats not. Its not gear that's the issue, its the decision making. They don't know what they don't know often the best advice is, if its a trip that is potentially risky for the level of experience, get someone experienced, or don't go.
One thing I will say for New Zealand conditions is that you can get a lot of different backcountry terrains and conditions all in one day. Which can be a big point of difference compared to most of outdoors destinations. Another is that it can be much different to conditions that the bulk of the tourists who visit here experience. E.g. Germans, Brits and yanks. But all this has been covered many times before. As for me I have pretty much the exact same kit summer or winter as it is pretty minimal and does the job. I have experienced some of my worst conditions xmas time on the southern ruahine and northern tarry tops. That's when I've been glad to have polypropylene gloves and waterproof over mitts. My yak wool chollo beanie comes every time too. Other than that rugby shorts wool socks two thin merino shirts a fleece top and event jacket keep me warm in the worst conditions. Just keep moving. Gear lists are a bit boring and subjective for the most part. Getting out there and doing it is more important.
@Geeves, True, but river crossings and wet weather don't change your gear list. They both need allowance for a dry bag and a change of clothes, which is standard stuff. Knowing how to cross a river as safely as possible is about technique and experience not gear. What people choose to carry outside the basics is up to personal preference and maybe their own level of anxiety about the "what ifs" Quite true but does not learning how effectively become part of your gear. Knowledge and experience doesnt weigh much and its worth every bit. Im sure everyone that has participated in this discussion could look at any river and know without thinking about it whether its yeah I can cross and this is how or ***&^^&*that. Same with weather most of us know how to read the forecasts and work out what the met service isnt telling us although if we are not in our patch how do we know local conditions. Of Keigs 3 possibilities. I know where he is coming from and dont disagree but would prefer a personalized responce even though its going over the same ground over than over rather than "read the manual"
Fair enough. I'll say no more; it was just a thought. I just know that I don't have the patience to type the same thing over and over again. I don't know how some of you do it. ;)
Search the forums
Formatting your posts
The forums support MarkDown syntax. Following is a quick reference.
|Type this...||To get this...|
|Italic||*Italic text*||*Italic text*|
|Bold||**Bold text**||**Bold text**|
|Quoted text||> Quoted text||> Quoted text|
|Emojis||:smile: :+1: :astonished: :heart:||:smile: :+1:
- item 1
- item 2
- item 3
|- item 1 - item 2 - item 3|