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Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

Alexandria, MN
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Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

Hi--My husband and I are going to hike on the Routeburn track in the end of March. I am wondering if we will need to bring any advanced rain gear. I have a rain jackets, but do you think rain pants are necessary? Thanks!

UK
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427 posts
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1. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

You can get heavy rain at any time of year, so yes, they're are a good idea. I also find them very useful for wind-protection on dry but chilly days.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

I really don't like rain pants and the horrid swishing noise they make.

If it's wet and cold I wear woollen thermal bottoms under my hiking shorts - merino thermals are fab and it is claimed they won't smell after a month's continuous wearing but have never tested that theory! Wool keeps you warm no matter how wet it gets, it's lightweight with no dragging on the thighs and knees and it makes no noise :)

For your rain jacket - if it buckets down there are few products which will keep you fully dry. Get something which will shed as much water as possible while remaining light and comfortable to wear. I find a billed cap helpful in torrential rain as it keeps rain off my glasses.

Enjoy :)

Auckland, New...
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3. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

I'm also not keen on rain pants. I find that if you can keep your head and torso warm and reasonably dry you are OK. It needs to be very cold, wet and windy for the heat lost from your legs to be a problem when hiking. The problem is more often getting hot and sweaty under your raincoat, so breathable gear is required.

Christchurch, New...
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for South Island
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4. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

You will find that DOC staff who work in these parks wear waterproof jackets (light ones) and then shorts overLlong Johns, usually merino. The long johns are often bright colours as these are easier to spot from helicopter and chase any wild rabbits away.

While it can rain really heavily it could also be quite wars, so they carry merino jumpers to put under the jackets if it's also cold. Merino has the advantage of screwing up quite small in your pack.

Colorado
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5. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

I plan on going with a lighter waterproof jacket and keeping warm with layers, rather than wearing a heavier, bulkier jacket. Any thoughts on this?

Auckland, New...
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6. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

That is what is recommended, layers that give you some flexibility depending on the conditions rather than down jackets or similar. The typical configuration is:

Baselayer of Polypropylene or merino

Fleece jacket

Breathable waterproof shell such as Goretex

+ sunhat, wooly hat, gloves

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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7. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

You will need a heavier weight /Goretex type jacket as the altitude is high and the chance of snow quite high. Personally I'd carry waterproof over-trou to save having to wear wet pants next day!

Colorado
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8. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

Just saw this post and thought I'd follow up. During my 2 March days on Routeburn, I experienced heavy rain that rarely stopped, cold temps and light snow.

The warnings are true - you can get all kinds of weather at any time. Go prepared!

9. Re: Weather conditions on Routeburn Track

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