Hana Black cycled 45,000km from Alaska to Patagonia and says much of her tramping gear is dual-use and would be the same equipment she’d use on a multi-day bikepacking ride.
When choosing equipment, she places an emphasis on durability, while keeping weight-saving in mind.
“A lighter load places less stress on my body and bike and allows a more agile approach to both tramping and riding,” she says. “But you need confidence in your gear for New Zealand’s turbulent weather.”
My go-to pack is the Exped Lightning 60, which provides capacity for eight-day trips, while not being too much for 2-3 day trips. Considering it has a fully-featured harness and generous side pockets, it’s super light at just 1100g. I use a nylon/PU pack liner rather than a plastic one as they are shaped for purpose and pack better.
Sleeping bag and mat
The Big Agnes Hitchens UL20 (-7c) excels in a variety of conditions and uses waterproof 850-fill down, a lightweight fabric and a short zip to keep weight to 765g. I pair it with a Kathmandu polygiene liner which is comfortable but more durable than silk. Unless I’m sleeping on snow, the Big Agnes AXL Air (369g)
mattress provides plush but ultralight comfort.
I often pick garments with hoods for extra versatility and temperature control on the move. My Kathmandu down pullover is cosy for the weight and the hood adds considerable warmth. The Kathmandu Aysen two-layer Gore-Tex shell is an excellent tramping jacket, at just the right length and with two roomy chest pockets. A recent addition has been a Macpac Nitro Polartec Alpha fleece pullover which packs a lot of insulation in a light, compressible garment.
My Outdoor Research Helium rain pants are light but functional in bad weather.
My 600-lumen Led Lenser MH10 headlamp uses the same rechargeable Li-ion batteries that also work in my Nitecore F2 powerbank. I really like the cross-compatibility. I use my phone for navigation and route planning, so a powerbank is essential. I always carry an InReach device that doubles as a locator beacon and also provides two-way satellite texting and weather forecasts.
I wear lighter boots these days than I would have in the past to save weight and energy. The Scarpa Maverick Mid GTX can handle rugged off-track tramping and still provide all-day comfort.
To save weight I generally look for double-skin three-season tents that can still handle strong winds and heavy rain. I currently pack the Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 UL, Bikepacking edition (1013g), which has extra short poles to help with packing. It’s very light for a double skin, two-vestibule tent without being super expensive.
Cooking and eating
A Jetboil stove and simple meals help me save weight. I eat with my titanium spork and Fozzils Snapfold Bowl (40g, doubles as a cup), which is a new favourite for packability.
My 600-lumen Led Lenser MH10 headlamp uses the same rechargeable Li-ion batteries that also work in my Nitecore F2 power bank. I really like the cross-compatibility. I use my phone for navigation and route planning, so a powerbank is essential. I always carry an InReach device that doubles as a locator beacon and also provides two-way
satellite texting and weather forecasts.
My Fizan Compact three-section poles are light (158g) and reliable without being expensive.
I love my compact Canon G7X II which has a fast 24-100mm lens (f1.8-2.8) and 1-inch sensor.