New Zealand

Tramping Clothing

The main attributes of clothing for tramping is for it to be lightweight, quick-drying and warm. Starting at the top, some sort of hat is a good idea, a fleece beanie to keep the heat in on winter tramps, or a baseball cap to keep the sun off your head and out of your eyes in the summer. Sunglasses are always a good idea year round to protect your eyes from UV rays.


Tops should be lightweight and quick-drying, there are many types out there that vary in price accordingly. I tend just to use lightweight t-shirts, although these arenít ideal if they get damp. To keep warm nothing beats a polyprop top. I always carry one to pop on when I get to a hut as my top is usually a bit damp after a dayís tramping.


Jackets should protect you against the elements, keeping both wind and rain out ideally. I usually take two jackets, a fleece to keep me warm (also doubles as a pillow) and a waterproof top.


Trousers again should be lightweight and quick drying. Pairs that have zip off legs to convert them into shorts are handy and my own pair even have a few Velcro tabs to loosen the legs so they can be removed without taking off your boots.


Socks should be comfortable and warm and some provide support for your feet as well.


Now for the probably the most important piece of gear youíll ever use, your tramping boots. You could write a whole book on what boots to wear for tramping and hiking, but Iíll try to keep it short. I tend to prefer boots that offer some ankle support, but obviously this at the expense of weight. My current boots actually have a foam padding inside and the most comfortable boots Iíve ever had. Iíve also never had a blister from wearing them either. But whatever boots you do end up with they must be worn in before their first tramp. I also buy boots a size bigger than my shoes to allow for thick tramping socks, itís always handy to take a pair with you when buying your boots.

Other bits and pieces would include your underwear, water-proof top and trousers, gloves and a pair of thermal bottoms.

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