Preparing the pack for 2020

One of the first questions I get asked is how much does the pack weigh? Hikers refer to a base weight, which consists of all of your gear, less consumables such as water, food and gas for a stove. Much of my gear is from my 2017 walk, which I had down to the bare minimum apart from some warmer clothing items as I had finished in Autumn. The single largest change this time will be my Lightheart Duo tent. Imported from USA it weighs a mere 1kg with weight savings due to having no frame and being mostly single sided i.e. no fly. I will be using my trekking poles to support the tent. I bought the tent for its weight savings but also because it has a large footprint. I am 192cm when lying down and the tent floor is 258cm so there should be plenty of room for me and my belongings. Other savings have been made in liteweight or ultralite gear and clothing. These weight savings have allowed me to add some luxuries such as my rechargeable shaver – no beard!

this is what 5 months of gear looks like

With the help of a borrowed electronic scales, I set about weighing all of the gear to the gram. Sleeping gear, cooking equipment, tech cables, toiletries – you name it went onto the scales to be recorded on a spreadsheet. These I grouped into categories such as Sleeping, Clothing and Toiletries all with their sub-total and a final gross total. And the base weight is – 10.189kg

equipment ‘stuffed in the pack’ vs ‘what I will be wearing’

To be honest I was unsure what 10kg felt like, having not worn the pack for some time. So I slung it on and was pleasantly surprised that it did not feel too heavy nor to bulky. Albeit I will also be carrying water, food and gas when underway. For a start I will probably have 2-3 litres of water and a kilo of food, so lets say the pack will be 14kg tops. That will suit me just fine. If there are water supplies along the way I will carry less water and at least for 90 mile beach we will have support daily from my folks (trail angels), so will not need to bulk up on supplies too much.

It all sounds rosy on paper; we will see how it feels after 30km of trudging along a sandy beach day after day…

packed up and ready to roll
Categories: 2020 Te Araroa


  1. Safe travels Mark😊


  2. Dear Mark, We all wish you well with your WALK and we look forward to reading your emails about your walk.

    Love the Hooker/Bird family 😊

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  3. Nicely Packed Mark. Very good photos….Maybe you might have some ‘Thoughts on your walks’ of books you could write afterwards : Marks backpacking tips & Marks map of NZ coastal walks?!
    Good Luck. Can’t wait to see your fabulous photos and blog. Looking forward to see the ‘Trail Angels’ as well. xxxx


  4. Almost 7kgs lighter than last time – go you. Good luck for the start of the walk this weekend. Will be thinking of you!! G


  5. God luck on the start this weekend. Wishing you good weather too. Looking forward to the updates and your discoveries.


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