Mary Drenth hails from the Netherlands and moved to New Zealand in 2017 to walk Te Araroa Trail. She’s currently a ‘manager in training’ at Auckland independent outdoor retailer Living Simply where she is discovering everything there is to know about gear.
“When I need to replace my gear, or want to treat myself, I prioritise lightweight, durability and colour.
“I bought my gear in Europe when my partner and I were preparing for Te Araroa and most of it is still in my pack because it works so well.”
I love tramping in shorts, no matter the weather, and wear RAB gaiters to protect my legs and footwear from mud and water. My Fjallraven Daloa zip-off trousers were excellent for Te Araroa. I also carry one long sleeve, one fleece vest and an Outdoor Research rain jacket. At night, I wear my merino leggings and t-shirt.
No freeze-dried meals for me. I got hooked on cold soaking (oats, couscous, peas, noodles) but still carry an Optimus stove to make a hot cuppa at the end of the day.
My Deuter 40+10 SL was given to me by my parents as a gift about 15 years ago. It used to be bright orange but has seen a lot of the world and faded over time. I would not want to carry anything bigger. I recently bought an Aarn Peak Aspirations pack and I can’t wait to take it out.
I carry an ACR ResQLink PLB and a basic first aid kit – better to be safe than sorry.
I’m ‘borrowing’ a DD Hammock tarp tent from my friend. It only weighs 900g. When I tramp with my partner, we carry a Hilleberg Anjan 3, which weighs 1900g.
I sleep like a princess on my Exped Synmat HL mattress and Mountain Equipment Helium 400 sleeping bag. My bag does need a wash though…
I use Leki Cork Lite poles to pitch my tarp tent and on water crossings, where they give me confidence. They keep me going on long days, checking the depth of the mud and when tackling those steep uphills and downhills.