- Gas canister and backpacking stove for if you want any warm meals on the track. Cans of soup or chili are easy because you can put the can right onto the stove (make sure to peel off the wrapper first so it doesn’t catch on fire!). Ramen is also quick and easy (and doesn’t add much weight to your pack), so it doesn’t use up too much gas. If you’re indoors, make sure you crack a window while cooking so the gas doesn’t build up inside – it can be fatal!
- Lighter – To start your gas stove and/or campfires. Many areas in New Zealand have a total fire ban, so make sure you’re legally allowed to have a campfire before you make one.
- Deodorant – You’re gonna have a rough time if you forget this one.
- Band-aids – If you haven’t done much hiking or haven’t worn in your boots, it’s likely that you’ll get some blisters. Bring band-aids to wrap them up so your feet aren’t in as much pain.
- Camera – Snap some cool pics of the amazing places you’re going! New Zealand is filled with stunning scenery.
Additional things to think about:
Tents are not essential, but camping is generally far cheaper than staying in huts. For example, a hut on a Great Walk can cost up to 70 NZD a night (about 50 USD), while campsites are generally only 15 NZD. Also, a Great Walk will be far cheaper if you do it out of season (May-October). It’s a good idea to book campsites/huts in advance to make sure they don’t sell out, especially on a popular trail like a Great Walk.
Freedom camping is generally not allowed in New Zealand. However, if you have an RV or self-contained vehicle, there are many places you can stay overnight for free, such as select rest stops. While freedom camping (camping in random places that aren’t designated as campsites) is possible if you’re smart about where you stay and wake up very early, it’s a $200 ticket if you get caught. It’s probably best to find an actual campsite, which are usually $10-15 a person.
Have fun out there and go experience the New Zealand wilderness!