Oct 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm #1240264
I'm heading off to New Zealand for 6 weeks in mid February. I've done some research and I have been reading other threads on the forums here. Very excited about the excellent looking hut system.
I plan to get out into the backcountry often but travel through towns and cities (staying in hostels) as well. I want to pack as light as possible for that reason specifically. How realistic is it to depend on the hut system completely? I love the freedom of my own shelter but not having a tent/tarp and a sleeping pad is starting to sound quite nice.
Any thoughts or advice? Any must check out hikes that have zero huts? I'm not against bringing the extra gear, just trying to simplify :)Oct 15, 2009 at 1:57 am #1536532
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
It is possible to rely completely on the hut network if you plan your hikes to do so. However, if you can fit them in I would bring a tarp and a pad if you can. It will give you more flexibility in routes, somewhere to sleep if the hut is full and some safety margin if you can't get to the hut.Oct 15, 2009 at 11:42 am #1536680
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Yes, as Jason says, the huts (with exception of the Great Walks) cannot be pre-booked, so you risk turning up to a full hut and no where to sleep. And sometimes due to track conditions, swollen rivers etc…you don't make your anticipated hut. A pad and bivy or tarp would be a minimum that I would carry.
"Any must check out hikes that have zero huts?"
Depends on what level of hiking you plan on doing. But the most popular tracks all have huts on them (that might be one of the reasons they are so popular). We actually go out of our way to avoid huts, so it's a personal style thing.Oct 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm #1536713
Thanks for the info, sounds like I better bring along a minimal shelter and pad. Around here you usually book a hut so it's good to know that you can show up and have it full!
This opens up more possibilities anyways, more freedom and less planning is always nice.
As for hikes, I'm looking for anything that doesn't require ice picks or extra gear to accomplish. I've done fairly difficult hikes here in the Rockies so I'm comfortable in the mountains and in variable weather conditions.Oct 15, 2009 at 1:59 pm #1536732
@jephotoLocale: New ZealandOct 16, 2009 at 11:19 am #1537013
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
I just wrote a really long piece only to lose my internet connection. :( Always do a command/control before sending on BPL! A few bits.
"LP Tramping in NZ" ! Check out the DOCS NZ site. They are great and answer their emails. Note walking times are for SLOW walkers. Check out the Ozzie/Kiwi school holiday schedule (varies by state in Oz). All booking and payment through DOCS. Often day of no shows. In huts not requiring reservations, always room for one more — whose gonna kick you out. Nothing wrong with staying in huts. Great way to meet interesting people! Milford a PITA. Don't forget the North Island — esp. Tongariro. Stewart Island worth the rough ride.Oct 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm #1539605
thanks for all the info folks!
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