Updated: Apr 18
Packing for an overseas trip is hard, let alone packing to run t run for 66 days across a country. So where did I start?!
First I did a brain dump of everything I could possibly think of that I might need. And then I googled the hell out of “Kit for Te Araroa” and compared my lists to everyone else’s list and added on anything I missed. Google. Add. Google. Add.
Ofcourse, this isn't a fool proof method. There were things I forget or didn't realise I needed until I was knee deep in the adventure. There are also plenty of things that I lugged across the country with me that I never used!
So what did I actually use in NZ? Let me break it down for you.
Probably my most important piece of kit. I started wearing Hoka One One shoes in July 2019. My feet were getting sore from running 100+ kms a week and I needed a more protection. My coach recommended Hoka and I haven’t looked back!
I took nine pairs over with me which mean I always had dry shoes. I came back to Aus with four pairs.
Hoka Torrents: My go to shoes for trail running. Grippy, light but still provide protection. I wore these for majority of the off-road sections.
Hoka Evo Mafate: For the more gnarly and aggressive trails where I need some serious grip, like going through the Ratea Forest.
Hoka Challengers: More cushioning and an easy, comfortable ride for cruisy trails and road. I wore these on sections where there was a mixture of trail and road.
Hoka Rincon: Light weight and cushioned - it was a dream to put these on! Worn for the road sections.
Outdoor Research Helium II Waterproof Jacket: Used/carried when running on road and there was rain forecast. However for torrential rain or overnight trips I used the Macpac Prophet jacket (below).
MacPac Lightweight Prophet Pertex® Rain Jacket: Amazing jacket. Waterproof for eight hours, great hood which actually keeps the rain out and loads of pockets. In the mountains, this was my fav piece of kit.
MacPac Hightail Pertex Rain Pant: Fit well (especially for running), super light and packs down super small. I tried on loads of different brands and most had a weird crotch. Easily the best pair I tried.
Macpac Pulsar Plus PrimaLoft® Hooded Jacket: Amazingly warm and packs down pretty small too. Didn't wear this on the trail but I wore it pretty much every evening after I finished running.
T-shirts: Various running t-shirts and long sleeve tops.
2XU Compression Shorts: Love these shorts. Don’t ride up, comfy and helped me avoid chafe!
2XU Calf Sleeves: Wore these alot in the South Island to protect my legs from the dreaded Spear Grass which literally tear up your legs. Also protected me from mud which caused skin irritation.
2XU Arm Sleeves: Great to have handy to add some warmth without having to take my pack off.
Injinji Toe Socks: I started off in normal merino socks but got three blisters on day one! As soon as I moved to these socks, I didn't get another blister. I will wear toe socks for every single race from now on!
Various buffs, hats and visors.
Backpack & vests
Nathan VaporHowe 12L: I thought I would wear a number of different sized Nathan packs but I ended up wearing the 12L the entire time. It is designed for women so it was super comfy (zero chafe!) and had lots of storage to fit all my kit in (waterproofs, first-aid, food) plus a 1.6L bladder. It has a handy zip pocket on the chest which was perfect for my phone. Love, love, LOVE this vest.
Macpac Fiord 28L: Used for overnight stays in huts where I have to carry my sleep system (minus tent) plus lots of food! Comfortable bag with lots of storage, including outer pockets which kept my food and phone handy. Also has an option to extend for another 7L. My only complaint was there wasn't any easy way to get the bladder in/out of the pack to fill it up - I had to unpack it every time. But it only took a couple of mins so no biggie.
Leki Trail Vario Poles: These change height so I can adjust for up and downhill. I love the shark grip. Makes life a lot easier and also meant I didn't lose my poles when I stacked it in a river.
Spot Tracker: To track my every move and allowed me to send msgs to Tom if I was running late to meet him (so he didn't freak out). It also has an emergency button in case something major happened, which thankfully it didn't. But it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Soek Sunglasses: A range of designs coz a girl gotta look good on the trails.
Black Diamond Spot 325 headlamp: Has good lumens (80m), is lightweight and fully waterproof.
Moxie Gaiters: I had both the ankle and shin gaiters. I wore the ankle gaiters for the days in the mountains to keep out mud and sticks. I only used the shin gaiters once - I preferred my calf sleeves which were a little lighter
First aid kit
Water sanitising tablets