It's essential to have suitable equipment, clothing and food for a safe and enjoyable experience on the Routeburn Track.

Personal equipment

  • Backpack – 40–60 litre size for multi-day hiking
  • Waterproof/plastic pack liner
  • Sleeping bag – 3–4 season
  • First aid kit including blister treatment materials
  • Survival kit including survival blanket, whistle, paper, pencil, high energy snack food
  • Safety equipment relevant to the track and time of year, for example, map, compass
  • Torch/flashlight and spare batteries
  • Rubbish bag
  • Booking confirmation and ID
  • Earplugs for communal bunkrooms
  • An emergency shelter, for if you are trapped by flooded rivers or bad weather
  • A distress beacon

Cooking and food equipment

  • Drink bottle – 1–2 litre capacity
  • Eating and cooking utensils – knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup, pot/pan/billy, cleaning kit, tea towel. Check individual huts for what cooking facilities and lighting are provided.
  • Matches or lighter in waterproof container


  • Toiletries, including insect repellent, sunscreen, and personal medication, for example, antihistamine for allergy to wasp stings
  • Use a toilet when you see one and be prepared with a backup toilet option
  • Some of our Great Walk huts have sanitary bins but do come prepared if there isn't one. Find out more about Menstruation in the backcountry.

If camping

  • Tent
  • Sleeping mat
  • Ground sheet
  • Gas cooker


  • 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
  • Socks – wool or polypropylene
  • Shorts – quick dry material
  • Shirt – wool or polypropylene
  • Under layers, top and bottom – wool or polypropylene
  • Mid-layers – wool or polar fleece
  • Raincoat – waterproof, windproof with hood
  • Overtrousers – wind and waterproof
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Extra socks, underwear, shirt/lightweight jersey


  • Gaiters
  • Lightweight shoes for inside the huts


You cannot buy food on the track. Carry all the meals and snacks you will need, plus some spare, and a water bottle. We recommend food that is lightweight, fast cooking and high in energy value.

We do not provide emergency food in huts. You will need to carry emergency food supplies in case you are delayed by weather.

Store your food in a rodent-proof container or bag. This is especially important if you are camping

May to early November

For safety reasons the Routeburn Track doesn't operate as a Great Walk/Easier tramping track during May to early November. If attempting the Routeburn Track at that time, you'll need additional equipment:

  • food for at least two extra days
  • stove and gas for cooking
  • lighter or matches
  • alpine equipment: ice axe and crampons
  • avalanche equipment: beacon, snow shovel, avalanche probe
  • personal locator beacon
  • satellite messenger (optional).

Walking the Routeburn Track in May to late October

Equipment rental

Outdoor gear supplies and hire in Fiordland

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