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

Shoes, Gore-Tex and Gaiters

From leather boots to sandals made from car tires

3 minutes read

The general opinion says, as soon as one undertakes a longer hike or is on the way in the mountains, symbolically the 1.5 kg heavy leather boots are unpacked. Basically, every foot is different and everyone must find the appropriate recipe for themselves..

High shoes can contribute a bit to stability in the ankle joint. But if you are about to twist your ankle, it may be the knee joint that will suffer instead of the ankle.

In addition, several studies (Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development) concluded, that the extra weight on the feet is between 4.7 and 6.4-times as much on your back. Example: 500 grams of heavier boot means about the equivalent to 2.5 kg of extra weight on the back due to energy consumption.

The conclusion is that the feet also tire much more quickly, which in turn can contribute to a higher risk of accidents.

Many Thru-Hikers now rely on trail running shoes. These are similar to sneakers very light and comfortable. However, they often have a very good sole for outdoor adventures.


For short hikes, Gore-Text and the like can be useful. The problem with this is once water resistant shoes are wet, they dry massively slower than non-water resistant shoes.

Most of the time, the shoes get wet in any case, whether it is from the outside, by rivers, rain or a wet meadow, or even more likely from the inside by sweating. However, non-water-repellent shoes then dry again very quickly.


They are available in all kinds of variations. Waterproof up to the knees or the super light and stretchy ankle-high ones made of spandex and polyester. Often thru-hikers go for the lighter variation to keep small rocks and sand out of your shoes. Dirty Girls Gaiters and Altra offer good options here.


A zero-drop means the shoes are the same height at the heel and toes. Often shoes have a 6-12 mm drop. These are then 6-12 mm higher at the heel than at the toes.

Popular trail running shoes among ultralight hikers:

It remains important in any case: test the shoes extensively before a long trip. What works for one, does not necessarily work for the other. Depending on the anatomy of the foot, such as wide forefoot, flat foot … a different model or even boots with hard soles can make sense. Apparently there were also hikers who made a sandal out of an old car tire and used it for the PCT. Others walk around barefoot their whole life.

The metatarsal bones are significantly more stressed with a soft sole. In the worst case this can lead to a marching fracture. Therefore, try it out and listen to the alarm signals of the body.

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