Five Essentials to Pack for a Day Hike in NZ

Tramping throughout New Zealand is one of the best ways to access our gorgeous coastlines and native forests. And with countless trails all over the country, summer is a perfect time to head outdoors and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Ready to get going but unsure what to take? Take a look at our list below, of 5 essentials to pack for a day hike in New Zealand. We’ve kept it simple so you can get organised, pop on your backpack and head out the door!

1. Warm clothes

The old saying ‘four seasons in one day’ certainly rings true when it comes to NZ’s climate. Include a rain jacket and warm clothing in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. If you’re heading up a mountain, make sure to read about the terrain at the top – in some spots, the temperature can drop right down to 0 degrees celsius, even on hot summer days.

Be sure to include:

  • A warm jumper – an option with a zip at the front is great
  • Extra layers like polypropylene or merino
  • Light-weight rain jacket
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Consider gloves, a beanie and a warm jacket in colder months or trail-dependent


2. Sun Protection

In New Zealand, the sun’s UV rays can be damaging throughout the year. Did you know that around 80% of UV radiation can still get through on a cloudy day? Be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your skin and eyes.

Don’t forget:

  • A sunhat/ cap
  • Sunscreen, recommended at least SPF 30
  • Sunglasses with good UV protection
  • Long-sleeved light-weight top to protect your shoulders

3. First Aid

In case of any accidental trips or falls, bringing along a simple first aid kit is an important addition to your daypack! While you hopefully won’t need to use anything inside, we definitely recommend one for your hike, especially if heading to an isolated trail.

Your first aid kit should include:

  • Plasters in different sizes
  • Sterile gauze dressings and tape
  • Tweezers, scissors and safety pins
  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • Thermometer
  • Skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
  • Bug spray
  • Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine cream or tablets

Be sure to speak to your health professional if hiking with children as they will have different requirements


4. Navigation Tools

It’s time to brush up on your map and compass skills! While most NZ walks are well maintained and clearly signed along the way, it’s still essential to carry a printed map and compass in case you venture off the path.

Don’t forget to tell friends and family where you are going and what time you plan to be back. You might not get a mobile signal on your phone in remote areas so it’s important that others know when to expect you. 

Take along:

  • A printed map of the route and surrounding areas (ideally in a drybag/ziplock bag)
  • A compass – make sure you know how to use it!
  • Tell friends/family where you are going and when you expect to finish your hike.


5. Food and water

The last thing you want on a long hike is running out of energy, so ensure that you pack plenty of high-calorie snacks for the trip. Nuts and seeds are a great option as they are both high in fat and protein and will keep you fuelled for longer. We love taking a SuperFood Butter (made with 7 nuts and seeds) sandwich for a healthy and delicious lunch. 

Packing enough water for the day is essential too – remember at least 1/2L – 1L of water per hour of walking in moderate temperatures.

Start by having a filling breakfast before you head out for the day! We love oatmeal and scrambled eggs and fresh fruit.

Our fav snack ideas include:

  • SuperFood Butter (or any nut butter) sandwich on seeded loaf
  • Bliss balls – try our Cookie Dough Bliss Balls!
  • Nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  • Fruit that doesn’t need to be refrigerated like bananas, apples and oranges
  • Energy bars, seed crackers
  • Dark chocolate
  • Water – at least 1/2L – 1L of water for every hour of walking.


Tramping in New Zealand is a fantastic activity for both your mental and physical health. Round up a couple of friends, pack your essentials into a light-weight backpack and most importantly, be sure to wear a pair of comfortable covered walking shoes!

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