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

My gear list of Te Araroa

PLB and other equipment

4 minutes read

Hiker looking up mountain

PLB (Personal Location Bean) - SOS Device

There are a few sections that seem rather dangerous. Worth mentioning here are: Tararuas and the Richmond Ranges. Basically, as with most hiking, the risk of injury is a reality as with other sports. From the risk of falling to river crossings to blood poisoning. The dangers are many and varied. A PLB (personal location bean) can save lives. The PLB informs the emergency call center via satellite with location data and thus works in most locations with a clear view of the sky even without a network connection. Some PLB’s also support obtaining weather data via GPS. This is extremely helpful for planning more dangerous sections.

See in this regard: SOS Devices for Thru-Hikes and Dangerous Hikes

Good hiking poles

are also recommended, as these can often prevent falling and twisting.


Extremely helpful to keep small rocks and sand out of your shoes. Blisters are reduced.

See in this regard: Gaiters to keep stones out of your shoes

Hiking backpack

The volume of the backpack is very individual and especially adapted to the base weight. For me personally, a light 45 L backpack without frame worked very well with a base-weight of 4.7 kg. During the 10 day resupply sections, the backpack was certainly pushed to the limits.

See in this regard: Ultralight Hiking Backpacks

sleeping bag/quilt and sleeping pad.

The temperature can vary extremely. Therefore, better to pack a little too warm than to freeze on the trail. I prefer the quilt and especially down. Before the hike I was strongly advised not to use down in New Zealand because of the humidity. I cannot support this statement. Down worked flawlessly in my case and provided a much better weight to warmth ratio than synthetics.

See in this regard: Quilt or sleeping bag the pros and cons and Ultralight sleeping pads for hiking


I wore out a total of 5 pairs of shoes. However, the quality of my Fuji Trabucco Ultra-Runners were not very good. Many other hikers have worn out 3 pairs of shoes. Most of the thru-hikers also wore trail runners. It is important to test shoes extensively before starting! For some, hiking boots may be a better choice.

See in this regard: Shoes, Gore-Tex and Gaiters

Tights and hiking pants

Depending on the model, the tights or hiking pants help to keep the extreme UV rays as well as sandflys away from the legs and are absolutely recommended.


I would recommend a long sleeve UV50 shirt that is as light and breathable as possible. A polyester or nylon shirt is ideal. Merino is also a good choice. Cotton and the like should definitely be avoided as with other sports.


To protect the head from the extreme rays of the sun, it is recommended to wear a sun hat. These are available in many variations.

Head net

In order not to lose your mind by the thousands/millions of sandflys, a head net is recommended!


In New Zealand it can be very rainy. Don’t worry it doesn’t rain every day! I was amazed at how little it rained compared to my expectations. A poncho or a good rain jacket is a must.

See in this regard: Rainwear for hiking a comparison of options

My gear list for Te Araroa

BackpackCustom 45L X-Pac VX21
Sleeping BagQuilt EE Revelation
Walking SticksBlack Diamond
Down JacketRAB
Poncho-TarpCustom (selfmade)
sleeping padThermARest Xlite Large hip cut
mesh tentCustom inner tent
Cell PhoneHuawei P30 Pro
baselayerPatagonia R1
Satellite PhoneGarmin InReach Mini
hiking tights and shortsPuma tights and shorts
PillowNemo Pillow
Water FilterSawyer Squeeze
SocksSmartwool phd light
cooking potTitan 550 ml
SocksSmartwool phd light
underpantsSmartwool Antomica
headlampNitecore N20
Emergency KitIbuprofen, cold tablets, alcohol tab, plaster, eye drops, emergency blanket
Tent Stakes6 MSR mini Groundhog
Multifunctional Scarf / Neckerchief / CapPolyester Buff
Gloves-WaterproofShowa 281 XL
Necessairtoilet paper with removed cardboard roll
Water Filter AccessoriesPlatypus Bag 2L
Bag for foodCustom (selfmade)
Bottle with SportsCap1.5 Liter
Disinfectant50 ml
mosquito netSea to summit
NecessairToothpaste mini
Trowel / Backup-StakeAluminum
KnifeVictorinox mini
Titanium Spork
Lip BalmBurts bees
Necessairdental floss
In Ear HeadphonesJBL Endurance
Necessair PouchCustom (selfmade)
LighterBic mini
Money / Cards / Passport - PouchCustom (selfmade)
NecessairEarplugs for sleeping
Stuff-Sack Tent-StakesCustom (selfmade)
Powerbank13000 powerbank
hiking bootsFujitrabucco 7
Hiking ShirtMarmot UV 50 (Nylon)
CapSunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat
NecessairUSB->Usb-C and MicroUsb Charging Cable
Waste Bag-
StoveMSR Pocket Rocket 2
GaitersCustom (selfmade)
SoapBar Soap
Wet WipesFor Alternative Shower
Nail Scissors-
GasGas Canister MSR 230g (lasts 10+ days with 1-2 times boiling water)
Gloves BaselayerRAB
Camp shoesNew Balance Ultralight Slippers

Back to Te Araroa overview

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