Packing for tramping

What to pack for a 5 day hike

Packing for a multi-day tramp is all about balance. Mainly so you don’t fall over. We’re walking the Abel Tasman National Park, staying in tents, 6 days, 5 nights and it’s going to rain. I tried to get the pack under 10kg which I like for tramping, but with the tent and mattress this comes in at 12kg. I could leave out one bag of muesli and the mattress? Yeah, nah.

Here’s the list:

This is a summer tramp, so I am not covering up with wet-weather gear in an attempt to keep dry, I’m going to walk in the rain and get wet. It may involve putting on wet clothes in the morning. I’m going to harden up and be a woman.

Undies; 2 x long johns (one for day, one for sleeping); shorts for walking; longs for the campsite; 4 fast-dry T-shirts (no cotton on a tramp); 4x merino/fleece long-sleeved tops to layer and wear to bed if the nights get cold; wind/shower jacket; beanie; scarf; togs; rain poncho if it pisses down at the campsite. Crocs for the evenings because I’ve lost all shame. Socks and boots. I though about trainers, but with rain forecast it’s going to be a boot camp.

Self-inflating half-mattress (my bottom half may regret that decision); summer sleeping bag; silk liner (essential, adds warmth & luxury and weighs nothing); blow up pillow and pillow case (I can pad it out with extra clothes and they won’t wander off in the night); 2 fast-dry towels because, hey, it’s Abel Tasman and we’ll be swimming even if it does rain; a PLB (You can get them on Flybuys now); loo roll, 3x torches (head torch, hand torch and tent lamp, may be overkill); a tiny day pack for side-trips.

Light as possible for this tramp, so it’s all dehydrated stuff, and a big tin cup that multi-tasks as a breakfast bowl/pot, with a tin foil lid.  I’ll need to buy gas in Nelson as you can’t take it on the plane. The instant dinners are for 2 people so I’ll have half for dinner and will have the rest for lunch cold the next day. Wondering if I’ll regret that one, too.

Home made muesli for breakfast, milk powder, lots of tea and those nasty coffee sachets which taste wonderful when the nearest cafe is 30 kilometers away.
Leftovers in wraps for lunch, with pumpkin soup. There’s a pot of peanut butter & can of tuna for emergencies.
Nuts & dried fruit, chocolate almonds, frooze balls (yuk), oat bars (yuk) for snacks. Hoping I won’t get that hungry.
Freeze dried dinners.

Tramping pack

A good friend with a GSOH who knows lots of songs.

And that’s the lot. 12kg (not including the friend).

I’ll let you know what I forgot when I get back.

Author: Cristina Sanders Blog

Novelist, trail runner, book reviewer and blogger.

One thought on “Packing for tramping”

  1. Make sure you pack all your stuff inside a black bin bag inside your pack. Otherwise, your sleeping bag etc will be saturated if it rains. Personally I would never omit wet weather gear – but maybe your shower jacket is completely waterproof? If not, pop along to Burnsco in Nelson and get yourself a decent jacket. Dried peas and apricots can be rehydrated as soon as you arrive at the campsite and are light but surprisingly yum additions. My brother in law never leaves without the bladder of a red wine box tucked in his pack. Have fun!


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