What Do You Think Makes up The Essentials?

There you are. You have booked your multi day adventure, either rafting or horseback riding, and it has come time to pack. Time to pack “The Essentials”.

Now packing the essentials has somewhat different meanings to different people. Even with the aid of the recommended packing list, there is still tremendous variation. My wife for instance has a somewhat expanded version of essentials to what I have. However at the end of the day, we all want to be comfortable and not in a situation of “I wish I had brought that”, but nor do we want to be lugging round a heap of gear we will never use.

So what would be our suggestions for packing the essential – “Essentials”

Do Clothes make The Man?

Most multi day adventures that involve being out on a river or about on a horse will happen during summer, especially if camping is involved. As anybody who lives in New Zealand, or spent any length of time in this country can attest, the weather here can be changeable. This can create some challenges in making sure that your choice of clothing is appropriate.

The clothing that we would suggest is as follows (excluding what you will wear on horseback or on the raft):

  • Lightweight long trousers
  • Quick dry shorts
  • Lightweight Long Sleeved shirt and a t-shirt
  • Fleece jacket
  • Thermal Top for cooler weather. Medium weight – Heavyweight- capilene, merino or polypropylene is the best
  • Thermal long johns
  • Rain jacket and pants (pants are optional)
  • Underwear
  • Swimwear
  • Sunhat for around camp
  • Sun Glasses
  • Sandals/jandals or shoes/boots for wearing around camp and on walks
  • Socks

During the day while on the raft, you will have the option of wearing river gear provided or your own clothing from the above depending on river and weather conditions.

If on horseback you will need long pants suitable for riding, a cool long sleeve top to keep the sun off and a warm top or jacket. All other items will be supplied including riding boots, long waterproof coat and leather chaps.

A group of rafts and inflatable kayaks on a multi -day rafting trip

Comfy Sleeping Arrangements

On River Valley camping trips we will supply you with extra thick sleeping pads. These are very comfortable and do ensure a good night’s sleep. Of course if you are doing one of our Lodge to Lodge trips by either raft or horseback you won’t have to worry about any of this as you will be in a bed each night.

What you need to pack if on a camping trip is the following:

  • A 3-4 season sleeping bag
  • Travel Pillow
  • Small pack towel
  • Headlamp or head torch and spare batteries

The tents provided are waterproof, roomy, and more than adequate for two people.

The Bare Minimum of Toiletries

This seems to be the area of biggest variation, with some incredible quantities of unneeded bottles of this and that being packed away. Here is our list:

  • Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and shampoo
  • Forget the cosmetics and hair dryer! But we do suggest moisturiser
  • Any medication that you may require
  • Insect repellent – in New Zealand sand flies can be bothersome at times
  • Sun block

What Are The Optional Items?

What we have covered off above are the must bring items. The ones you may regret leaving behind. There are a number of other items however, that are nice to have along.

There items include:

  • A journal or diary for recording your trip memories
  • Photographic or video equipment. On most expeditions we provide a waterproof pelicase for these items. We recommend a cleaning kit as sand gets everywhere. Bring a spare memory card. Also bring spare batteries for your camera.
  • Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman.
  • An iPod or other music preferences
  • A good book to read (I take my Kindle which I find light and convenient)
  • A bottle or two of a special wine or additional canned beer

What Makes It Worthwhile. The View on a Multi-Day Horse Trek

Is That All?

You might say surely that can’t be all you need? After all in everyday life we seem to need a huge variety of items of all descriptions to get through the day.

The great thing about a multi day adventure trip is that it cuts so much of the clutter away from our normal lives. What we are left with is the simple essentials, the simple basics.

The Simple Basics is Not What It Is Really All About

Of course what you will find is that the memories you will take away from the trip will not be about what the simple basic gear you took, or did not take. Rather what it is all about will be the memories you will have of beautiful river vistas, dramatic landscapes, and sharing special times with the people you are with.

If you can see yourself relaxing on a river bank, or viewing grand vistas from horseback, and want to know more about being a part of a multi day adventure with River Valley, click here.

Brian Megaw