Essential Clothing

  • Good waterproof raincoat PVC is good but must be rain proof not ‘shower proof’. Reflex, Gore-tex and similar fabrics are also OK, but more expensive.
  • Sturdy Boots Ask your trip leader or the Chief Guide if you are unsure about whether your footwear will be appropriate.
  • Socks Take a spare pair as well as the ones you will be wearing. Should be wool or polypropylene.
  • Hat / Balaclava Keeps you warm. Preferably wool, polypropylene or polar fleece.
  • Gloves / Mittens Keep you warm. Preferably wool, polypropylene or polar fleece.
  • Jersey / Jumper / Bushshirt Carry at least one. Wool, polypropylene and polar fleece are best.
  • Shorts Shorts should be nylon, not cotton, so they dry quickly. There is nothing worse than putting on wet shorts and t-shirts in the morning. DON’T take jeans.
  • Longjohns Both top and bottom. Currently preferred material is polypropylene but wool also does the job well Take at least one pair if possible and preferably two.
  • Sunhat Especially important during tops travel in clear conditions.
  • Sunglasses Only essential for trips expecting to encounter snow.

Clothing not essential - but very nice

  • Gaiters Not strictly necessary but they can make tramping in snow a lot more pleasant.
  • Overtrousers Come into their own during winter travel in exposed, windy conditions. Very good at lowering wind chill.
  • Hut Clothes Spare clothes for wandering around the hut in. Footwear is also quite handy as putting on wet boots to go outside is a bit of a chore. Remember however that you will have to carry these hut clothes, so make decisions on what to take accordingly.


Note that on winter trips - extra warm clothes may be necessary.


  • Pack Should be good quality and carry at least 60 litres of equipment.  You should have your own pack, but the club has some spare packs, if really needed.
  • Sleeping Bag should be good quality and at least three or four seasons, particularly if you are tramping in winter. Both synthetic and down are satisfactory.
  • Snowfoam / Thermarest You sleep on this so that the cold ground doesn’t make you cold. Snowfoam is cheaper.
  • Fireliting Equipment Matches in waterproof container, candles, a piece of inner tube, fire-starters etc. Go on bushcraft to learn how to use this equipment.
  • Head Torch Take spare batteries as well.
  • Cutlery, Bowl & Cup To eat and drink with, after a hard day's tramping.
  • Water Bottle A 1.5 or 2 litre plastic soft drink bottle is sufficient.
  • Map(s) & Compass Your leader will have a map and compass so these articles are not strictly necessary. The preferred maps are the 1:50000 lands and survey maps, available in most tramping and sports shops. In the Tararuas the two maps are S26 Carterton and S25 Levin.
  • Waterproof Liner Put all the things to go in your pack in the liner so that if the pack gets wet all of your things inside don’t. Can either buy a ‘proper’ plastic liner or just use a couple of rubbish bags.
  • Groundsheet You sleep on the groundsheet so that ground moisture doesn’t get your sleeping bag. Cut up a rubbish bag for a cheap groundsheet.
  • Toilet Paper Hopefully, everyone knows what to use this for!
  • First Aid Kit The club has three types of first aid kits available to take on trips. 
  1. SMALL x 4 group first aid kits, which rely on the participants having basic personal 1st aid kits.
  2. STANDARD x 2 first aid kits, which are the traditional compromise between personal first aid/emergency 
  3.  BIG x 1 kit geared for the larger events like freshers and bushball.

Basic training on how to use a first aid kit can be provided by the club. It is expected that the necessary first aid equipment will be taken on every club trip. It is the responsibility of the trip leader to organise group first aid kits, and individuals to have some basic knowledge and personal first aid equipment. Club first aid kits are for emergencies only.


Don’t forget to purchase hut tickets or an annual hut pass if you are staying in huts.

The hut tickets cost $5, and one to three tickets are required (depending on the hut) to stay in a hut for one night. These are available from tramping stores, some sports stores and DOC offices. The annual hut pass entitles you to stay in any hut in the Tararuas. If you buy an annual hut pass then don’t forget to take your FMC card along for 33% off the standard price. 


Pack everything in plastic bags to keep your gear dry. The club gear cupboard is well stocked with gear - ranging from packs, primuses, billies and tent flies to specialist gear like ice-axes and crampons. Party gear on club trips is covered by a gear levy worked out for each particular trip. 

Make sure you know exactly what you need for a trip. The trip organiser will be able to advise you if you are unsure of what to take.