Gear Lists

Lists of important gear for NZ tracks

What to take to the Beach

Water at the BeachLots of Water– The aver­age adult requires 8 full glasses of water each day as recom­men­ded by doc­tors every­where. This num­ber increases when lying out in the sun. A good tip is to bring a gal­lon of water and a couple water bottles. That way you can keep one water bottle in the cooler and not have to waste valu­able cooler space.

Good Sun­screen– While many of us remem­ber to bring the sun­screen, often is the case of when we return home that even­ing, we are sur­prised that we some­how still have a bit of a sun­burn. Make sure you know which SPF suits you.

Umbrella– An umbrella is a per­fect way to keep the kids from hav­ing to endure all that sunlight.

Extra Blanket– It is always a good idea I find, to bring a large blanket with you to the beach. That way the beach tow­els can be used for dry­ing off and you won’t have to worry about wet, sticky sand. Blankets are usu­ally heav­ier than tow­els and it will be easier to keep the blanket on the ground rather than blow­ing down the Grand Strand.

Jug of WaterJug of water for sandy feet –Do you ever find your­self return­ing from a long day at the beach just to get into the car with half the beach with you? Keep a jug of water in the trunk so you can wash off those sandy feet before you enter the car. There are park­ing lots that have feet wash sta­tions, but guess what, those park­ing lots usu­ally have sand in them! So it does no good.

Change of clothes– How many times have you returned to your car only to have 5 semi-​​wet people climb­ing in? With a quick change of clothes kept in the trunk, noth­ing more than some ath­letic shorts

Chairs– For those who prefer to be on the beach just not ON the beach, a beach chair is a great companion.

Radio– A good way to drown out those annoy­ing beach neigh­bors of yours, is the help­ful little com­pan­ion known as the radio. Whether it’s an ipod ste­reo or just a clas­sic little boom box, the radio light­ens the mood of the whole party. Just remem­ber to be respect­ful of your neighbors.

Lots of Enter­tain­ment– Bring foot­balls, bocce balls, Fris­bees and any other game activ­it­ies the whole fam­ily can enjoy. A fam­ily that plays together, stays together.

Book or Magazine– Maybe a ref­er­ence guide on what kind of shells there are? Or if you just want to relax, bring some light read­ing material.

First Aid Kit– It’s always best to keep a little first aid kit either in your car or with you at the beach. You’ll be sur­prised at how handy that will be.

Beach BinocularsBin­ocu­lars– Often there are times where you are on the beach look­ing out toward the ocean and someone asks you “what is that?” point­ing to a small blip in the dis­tance. How nice would it be to be able to tell them? Well with a cheap pair of bin­ocu­lars, you could tell them.

Flip-​​flops– Flip-​​flops are vital for that trans­ition from the hot sand to the not as hot sand as you trek towards that watery abyss. Bring them and you won’t regret it. It’s never fun to remove shoes and then try to put them back on with sandy wet feet.

Sunglasses– Now this may seem like a no-​​brainer, but to those who don’t wear sunglasses reg­u­larly, you may for­get this handy little item.

Boo­gie Board – there is no one on the Earth who doesn’t like to catch a wave. There is no easier way then to take a boo­gie board along with you.

Published: October 13, 2014

Travel Lighter!

1. Do you need a sleeping bag? Or will a silk sleeping bag liner suffice? This obviously depends on your destination and time of the year. On a recent summer trip many years ago I was staying in hostels across the country and decided there was no need for a sleeping bag, simply taking my silk sack. It’s small and light whilst still providing a little bit of personal space and protection. 

2. String/washing line. Just a few metres of nylon string allows you to hang your clothes up in a hostel or hotel to dry overnight (after you’ve washed them in the basin of course!).

3. Learn (at least some of) the Maori language. Hard right. Try taking a small piece of paper and writing out key words, phrases and numbers (you can write double-sided), then keep it in your pocket at all times. You’ll use it much more frequently than a phrase book that you have to keep getting out of your bag and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick things up. Don’t go overboard writing every phrase under the sun down, keep it simple. Hello, goodbye, thank you, numbers 1-10, what time does the bus leave?, etc.

4. Shoes take up a lot of space. My current go to travel shoes are a pair of New Balance Minimus (other brands of minimalistic shoes available!). On a recent 3 week trip around the country I took just the one pair of shoes, the pair I was wearing and used them for day to day use, tramping and dining. They are light, super comfy, dry quickly and very versatile (if you get a non-fluorescent pair – I’ve got all black ones). I also completed one of NZ’s Great Walks, The Heaphy Track walking 80k over 4 days wearing a pair of these, rather than my tramping boots with no blisters!

5. Segment your gear into several grab bags. Don’t go overboard and have a different bag for everything as you’ll soon get frustrated. However, it’s great to be able to reach into your rucksack and pull out a bag of clean clothes when you arrive at a hostel, dump them out onto the bed, change into fresh clothes and chuck the dirty clothes into a second bag, before putting it all back into your rucksack. Easy.

6. Put a little time into your packing and be brutal. Do you need 5 t-shirts? Whilst travelling, you’ve got licence to get more wear out of your clothes, it’s expected, so embrace it. I don’t know about you but I find I can wear the same t-shirt for 3+ days easily while travelling without it stinking! This obviously depends on where and what you’re doing… Also, be honest, if you’ve got a shirt that you don’t wear at home, will you wear it whilst away? Probably not; pick one you will!

7. Zip off pants. Nerdy I know! Mine go with me on every trip and get so much use. Whether I’m tramping through a jungle or in a restaurant having dinner, they work a treat. Embrace the zip off pants!

8. On a similar note – compression shorts. Sounds strange I know. I always take them. Mine are Skins, but many brands are available. I use them for a multitude of activities including walking, swimming, running and even every day wear if I need/want too (assuming you find them comfy of course). They are easy to clean, dry very quickly and more versatile than standard cotton underwear. (I do take some of these too!

9. Purchase a Kindle. I know, I know, everyone loves a physical book but a Kindle really comes into its element when travelling, allowing you to carry many books at once.

10. In-ear noise cancelling headphones. I don’t travel without mine. They are a lifesaver on the plane when you want to block out an annoying background noise or person! Being in-ear they are small, light and reasonably priced. A bit of a luxury item maybe but worth it!

11. Setup a Dropbox or Google Drive account (or other cloud service) and save all your important docs you’re your passport, tickets, etc. so that you’ve got convenient access to them from anywhere with internet. You can then also save off your photos to it as you go, from any internet café…and you can share the Dropbox folder with all your pics with one click with family and friends back home.

12. Shampoo, soap, sun cream etc. Purchase this when you arrive at your destination. One, it prevents any disasters of shampoo leaking all over your pack, and two, you usually can’t get it through airport security anyway.

13. Electric shaver? Not for me. Travelling gives me an opportunity to experiment with facial hair and imagine how impressed your friends will be when you return with a beard!? If it gets annoying, just purchase a disposable razor.

14. Be that person that has playing cards with them and knows one or two card games. Seriously. Everyone will love you.

15. Finally, don’t fill up your rucksack! It seems obvious, but whilst you are packing I can guarantee that whilst there’s free space, you’ll be tempted to keep adding stuff until every compartment is bulging. Resist the temptation! You’ll regret it when you have to lift the pack, carry the pack, lug into on and off transportation and also when it comes to find something, the less you have, the easier things are to find!

Published: March 7, 2014 | Comments: 0