Multi-day Hike Essentials for Hiking in New Zealand

multi-day hike essentials

Before setting off on a multi-day hike, there are several important multi-day hike essentials you need to organise.

Hiking is such a good way to stay healthy. Dom and I have just done a 5-day hike of the Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island. We wanted to be prepared for any eventuality, consequently, we spent a few weeks thinking about and researching what to bring with us.

Since it is winter here in New Zealand, we had to consider warm clothes and the what ifs in case of heavy rain etcetera. We did not want to have to carry super heavy backpacks either, therefore we had to choose items that would not have had a huge impact on the weight.

Remember, those multi-day hike essentials should be essentials. Think about what you really need to survive those days rather than what you would like to have with you.

There are huts and campsites along the hiking traks. Dom and I stayed in the huts because it was very cold.

multi-day hike essentials

Multi-day Hike Essentials List

Comfortable and good quality boots

Your boots need to be your priority. You will be walking a lot, therefore you need comfortable boots. Best if they are high up to your ankle. You also want to make sure they are waterproof. You do not want wet and sore feet because they will make your walk miserable.

A light and comfortable backpack

I have an awesome backpack. It is light, small and super comfortable on the back. I am a small person (1.52mt at the most and quite slim), the last thing you want if you are a pint-sized woman is a bulky and heavy backpack. My backpack of choice is an Osprey Kestrel 58 which is already 4 years old. I looked online and could not find it anymore, but you can still easily find an Osprey Kestrel 48 (identical to the one I have just a little bit smaller) or a Kestrel 68. They come with a rain cover which is a great add-on.

A cosy and warm sleeping bag

If you are are hiking during winter or in a place where it might get cold at night, a good quality warm sleeping bag is definitely one of the must-have multi-day hike essentials.

multi-day hikes essentials

Thermal undergarments

These are a must if you are hiking in cold weather. Make sure to have two changes of merino wool (preferably) or polypropylene tops and leggings (just in case one gets wet or smelly). Wool is 100 times better as it does not smell and it does not seem to get wet either. If it does, it will dry fast. To be honest, I used the same merino top under my fleece for the whole 5 days and it was perfect. Remember as long as your core is dry and warm, the rest does not matter.

A change of clothes to wear in the night

If you get wet during the walk, the last thing you want is to stay wet throughout the night. Bring a spare change of clothes to change into.

Wolly or thermal hiking socks

Again, you want to take care of your feet. Count these in your multi-day hike essentials; remember happy feet happy you. Bring one pair of socks per day just to make sure you have enough. You can wear a good pair of wool socks for a couple of days.

multi-day hike essentials

Waterproof jacket with hoodie

Just in case it rains, you want something to help you stay dry. An emergency poncho is also handy.


Pack a micro fibre fast drying towel. It does not take much room in your backpack and it dries fast.

Camping gas cooker and cooking utensils and pots

You just need a simple gas cooker, one small pot and a cup plus a couple of spoons. A swiss army knife is also very handy.


This is the fuel of your multi-day hike essentials. I can guarantee you that you will be hungry. Yet, you do not want to have a backpack stuffed with heavy foods, hence you have to choose your food wisely. You need food that will fill you up and give you energy:

  • lots of nuts and dried fruit
  • instant porridge sachets
  • packs of dry meals (very light to carry and they do not require cooking. Just add hot water to bring them back to life) and sachets of precooked rice for dinner
  • coffee bags
  • bread rolls, salame and cheese for lunch
  • chocolate
  • energy bars

Bring food for each day of the hike plus one day of extra food, just in case you encounter delays.

multi-day hike essentials


Bring a bottle of water for the walk. Make sure to pack tablets for treating water as well. There is drinking water in most huts and camping sites but it is better to prepare yourself in case there isn’t.

Torch and candles and matches/lighter

Be sure to pack these items. There is usually no electricity in the huts and campsites, therefore it will be very useful to have them. There are normally wood burners in the hut. Do not forget matches or a lighter to start a fire.

Toilet paper and rubbish bags

Most of the huts and campsites have toilet paper, but just in case bring a roll with you. You also need to take rubbish away with you, make sure you have rubbish bags.

multi-day hike essentials, hiking, social media

Final Thoughts on multi-day hike essentials

These are basically your multi-day hike essentials. Finally, if you have more room, you might want to consider some nice to have items. These might be playing cards, a Kindle rather than a book (for the evenings), a bottle of wine (we had one for the first night), camera, binoculars, pen and paper.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure and most of all lots of fun. Probably it will be one of your best adventures.

Have you done a multi-day hike? What are your thoughts and suggestions? Feel free to comment below or contact me using the contact form.



14 Replies to “Multi-day Hike Essentials for Hiking in New Zealand”

  1. Quick question: Where do you take the rubbish to? Are there bins down the trail?

    1. Hi Adam, Thanks for reading and commenting. No there are no bins provided. You have to take the rubbish home with you. That’s why it is best to consider bringing stuff that does not make much rubbish. We did not bring any canned food, only sachets and resealable bags so that your rubbish is not bulky or smelly. These together with weight issue was one of the reasons why we only packed dried food mainly. We did not want to carry food wastage. The only fresh food we had was bread rolls, salame and cheese and their packages did not make much rubbish. In 5 days we collected a small bag of dry rubbish which was easily squashed into a smaller bag.

  2. I love NZ, and always so happy to read stories how other people experience it. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Unta. Yeah New Zealand is a wonderful country, perfect for the outdoors 🙂

  3. I’m going to Nepal quite soon so this is super useful 🙂

    1. Hi Pau, thanks for your comment. I am glad you found this useful. Enjoy Nepal!

  4. Camera! Definitely want to capture the adventures! Otherwise, good comprehensive list.

    1. Yeah, I mentioned the camera in the nice to have at the bottom. Maybe I should include it in the essentials. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I should be in this fine country in the next year or so, so this is some valuable information.

    1. Hi Eoin and thanks for commenting. New Zealand is hikers paradise, you will love it!

  6. This is such good information. I’ve not done a long hike before but would love to. I’ll definitely re-read this to prepare if I do!

    1. Hi Steph, thank you for reading and commenting. Hiking is fantastic, there is nothing better than immersing yourself in nature.

  7. I have never done a multi-day hike, but this post makes me excited to do one, sometime soon! Thanks for all the tips, they seem very useful.

    1. Hi Fee, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you found the tips useful 🙂

Leave a Reply

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield