Swiss Ultralight

Swiss Ultralight

All about trekking, thru-hikes and ultralight equipment

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Waterdrops on plant

Gore-Tex (Pro) vs Ascentshell, FutureLight, eVent and co.

Comparison of waterproof and breathable laminates for jackets, bivouacs, etc.

Shower in the river

5 quick-tips for good hygiene when hiking

Keep body and equipment clean

Marker of Te Araroa

Overview Te Araroa thru-hike in New Zealand (2020)

Thru-Hiking in New Zealand - a summary

Poncho-Tarp selfmade

Cuben Fiber vs Silnylon vs Silpoly

Advantages and disadvantages of each material for tents and tarps

Balls of wool

Merino vs Synthetic vs Cotton

Improve your comfort with the right material

Ultralight Footprint

Ultralight Footprints DIY

The 1 Euro tent pad - protection for the tent floor

Passport for customs

Visa and entry in New Zealand

Applying for the right visa for Te Araroa

Emergency lego image

Insurance and precautions for the hike

Avoid high costs in case of an accident

Finances and administration

How much does it cost to hike Te Araroa?

Start with enough money and minimize worries

Hiker looking up mountain

My gear list of Te Araroa

PLB and other equipment

Mobile phone

Phone providers in New Zealand

Watch out when buying data

Compass in hand

Navigating Te Araroa

Using apps to not get lost on the trail

Food on trail

Resupply / Water / Gas / Poste Restante

Stocking up on supplies on Te Araroa

Bluff sign in New zealand

Starting point of Te Araroa in New Zealand

Where the trail starts and how to get there

Hot sun

UV Rays and the New Zealand Heat

Protect your skin

Stormy weather

Unpredictable new zealand weather

Te Araroa can be stormy

Hat and sleeping bag

Hut's and wild camping on the Te Araroa

Backcountry Pass and other preparations

Helping hand at hiking

Trail Angels and Koha in New Zealand

Give and take on Te Araroa

Beach with single person

Other hikers and HYOH

Don't lose sight of your goal

Cute Rat

Sandflys, rats and possums

Some annoying fellow hikers

River in NZ

Crossing rivers on Te Araroa

Be prepared and don't risk anything!

Kayak on Whanganui River

Whanganui River kayaking

Spend 7 days on the water

A random road

Shuttle for river crossing Raikaia and Rangitata

Bypassing the two big rivers

Oldschool gaiters

Gaiters to keep stones out of your shoes

Minimize blisters and sores while hiking

Man drinking water

Nalgene VS CamelBak VS PET bottle

Which hydration system for hiking?


Vitamin 'I' also called Ibuprofen

Painkillers for hiking

Rainwear for hiking a comparison of options

Poncho vs Rain Jacket

Elevation profile Te Araroa Compass Example Image

Elevation profile - Te Araroa 2019/2020

Elevation profile according to the latest data

Garmin InReach Mini

SOS devices (PLB) for thru-hikes and dangerous hikes

Cell phone reception at the end of the world

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Large shortened

Ultralight sleeping pads for hiking

The difference between shivering and sleeping at night.

Shoes, Gore-Tex and Gaiters

From leather boots to sandals made from car tires

Mosquito seeks blood

Insect protection in comparison

DEET, permethrin, picaridin: what helps against insects?

Different Fabrics and Yarn

Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite), X-Pac, Cordura and co.

Comparison of different ultralight materials

Backpacks in grass

Ultralight hiking backpacks tips and recommendations

...and the fall from Mount Everest

Tiny Backpack

Base Weight Definitions

What do the different terms mean?

Guy with Quilt

Quilt or sleeping bag the pros and cons

Synthetic vs Down


Buff - bandana, headband, sweatband

An insanely versatile tube scarf

Cooker at night

The Super Cat Alcohol Stove (aka Fancy feast stove)

Gasoline stove from metal can

Survival knife

Knife, axe and shovel

Survival on the hike

Merino vs Synthetic vs Cotton

Improve your comfort with the right material

2 minutes read

Balls of wool


Merino wool comes from sheep of the Merino genus. This type of sheep has wool fibers that are usually less than 24 microns thin. These thin threads ensure that sweat filled with bacteria is absorbed from the body. The fibers bind the bacteria of the sweat or trap them between the strands, preventing them from thriving and thus smelling bad. The bacteria are later washed out with the washing machine. Therefore, it can smell stronger during the washing process than when washing synthetics. It is important to pay attention to an animal-friendly origin with this product!


  • Odor regulating
  • Feels warmer than synthetics.
  • Natural product
  • Very breathable


  • Less stable
  • Expensive
  • Dries a little less quickly than synthetics

Snythetics (polyester and nylon).

Polyester absorbs very little water and is largely hydrophobic. This allows bacteria to remain on the surface and thrive (thus creating the strong odor). Nylon absorbs more water, but is more stable than polyester. Often these two synthetic fibers are therefore combined. Since synthetic fibers do not absorb much moisture, the water is mechanically transferred from the skin to the surface of the garment, which in turn ensures faster drying. Studies suggest that a blend of merino (80% synthetic and 20% merino) have a similar anti-odor effect as pure merino.


  • Stable
  • Inexpensive
  • Dries quickly
  • Good availability
  • Absorbs little liquid


  • Smells bad much faster than merino (even with “anti-odor” technologies).
  • Can feel sticky on the skin once damp.


Can absorb up to 27 times its own weight in water. Thus good for use as a bath towel but poor for wearing during sweat-intensive activities. Products made of cotton should be used, if at all, only as, for example, camp clothing.


  • Inexpensive
  • Good availability


  • Smells bad very quickly
  • Absorbs heavily with liquid
  • Drying time extremely long

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