What to take
IntroductionIt's essential to have suitable equipment, clothing and food for a safe and enjoyable experience on the Mueller Hut Route.
- Backpack – 40–60 litre size for multi-day hiking
- Waterproof or plastic pack liner
- Sleeping bag – 3–4 season
- First aid kit including blister treatment materials
- Map and compass – how to navigate using map and compass
- Head torch/flashlight and spare batteries
- Rubbish bag – all rubbish must be taken out with you
- Distress beacon – options and why you should take one
- Survival kit including survival blanket, whistle, paper, pencil, high energy snack food
- Emergency shelter
Cooking and food equipment
- Drink bottle – 1–2 litre capacity – you may need to carry more depending on resupply options
- Equipment to boil water or water treatment tables
- Gas cooker and fuel, for example, gas canister
- Eating and cooking utensils – knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup, pot/pan/billy, cleaning kit, tea towel.
- Matches or lighter in waterproof container
- Toiletries, including insect repellent, sunscreen, and personal medication, for example, antihistamine for allergy to wasp stings
- Toilet paper – do not wash or use soap in lakes or streams
Optional personal equipment
- Ear plugs for communal bunkrooms
- Navigational tools such as GPS
- Walking poles
- Rain proof pack cover
- For routes where there are few toilets lightweight trowel to bury your toilet waste – how to dig a hole for toilet waste. Another option is a poo pot or bag.
- Sleeping mat
- Ground sheet
It’s not possible to dry clothes in huts. Cotton clothing such as jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts are not suitable. It won’t keep you warm when it's wet. Expect to get wet while in New Zealand's outdoors.
- For multi-day walking you'll need at least one set of clothes to walk in and another dry set to change into at night
- Tramping/hiking boots or firm footwear – should be comfortable and well broken in with good ankle support for uneven ground
- Socks – wool or polypropylene
- Shorts – quick dry material
- Shirt – wool, polypropylene, nylon or polyester
- Under layers, top and bottom – wool, polypropylene, nylon or polyester
- Mid-layers – wool or polar fleece
- Raincoat – waterproof, windproof with hood
- Overtrousers – wind and waterproof
- Warm hat, scarf and gloves
- Sunhat and sunglasses
- Extra socks, underwear, shirt/lightweight jersey
- Clothing to sleep in and wear around the hut
- Lightweight shoes for inside the huts
You cannot buy food on the track.
Always make sure to take at least one extra day’s worth of food in case of delays on the track. For example, if there is bad weather or a river is flooded, you may need to wait at a hut until conditions improve.
Bring food that is lightweight, fast cooking and high in energy value. For example:
- Breakfast: cereal/porridge/oats, firm bread, honey or other spreads
- Lunch: cracker biscuits, cheese, salami, jam/jelly, fruit
- Dinner: instant soup, pasta or rice, dried vegetables or fruit, cheese or dehydrated (freeze-dried) meals.
You'll also need water.
May to late October
If attempting the Mueller Hut Route over winter, you'll need additional equipment:
- Ice axe and crampons
- Avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel
- Personal poo pot (available from the visitor centre) to carry out all faecal waste – the toilet at Mueller Hut may be buried in snow. Faeces do not break down in the alpine environment, and if buried in the snow, will reappear the following summer when the snow melts.