Thru-Hiking New Zealand: The Fabled Tararua Ranges

In our quest to conquer Te Araroa, New Zealand’s 3,000km tramping trail that runs the length of both islands, one last challenge lies between us and the end of the North Island: the Tararua Ranges. The first real mountains on Te Araroa, the Tararuas are fabled to be one of the toughest hikes yet. From steep climbs and descents to hazardous weather blowing in from the Antarctic, we are in for a real challenge, whether we’re ready for it or not. By now, my dad and I have been on the trail for nearly two months and have already conquered some challenging terrain: steep and muddy rain forests, rocky volcanic scree, and the concrete jungle of Auckland. Though the Bluff, the end of the trail, is still over 1,300 km…

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Staff Picks: Our All-Time Favorite Tents

MSR has been making tents since 1973 when the MSR Mountain Tent debuted as a rugged mountaineering shelter able to withstand any abuse the alpine inflicted. Though our tents have evolved since then, our design principles have not. As a shelter, a tent is a very personal thing. And many people, from hardcore climbers to weekend warriors, feel a particular attachment to their wilderness home-away-from-home. We asked several employees around the office which tent, old or new, they rely on for everything from kayak tours to extended backpacking trips. Diane Levy, lead of Customer Service, Warranty & Repairs: Superfusion 3 My favorite MSR tent is the Superfusion 3, which was made from 2005-2007. It was the last phase in the evolution of a model that began as the Moss Deltoid. It’s a versatile…

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New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail: Tramping vs. Hiking

Perhaps it was the face plant into ankle deep mud, my feet ensnared in slippery roots and grasping vines, my pack pressing me deeper into the sludge. Or maybe it was bushwhacking through a tunnel of needle-prick gorse, my arms and face cut by a thousand tiny, green swords. Or, no, it could have been the time an electric fence was stretched directly across the trail—when I realized New Zealand’s famed Te Araroa might not quite be what I was expecting.

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