What to pack on a hike is always a source of consternation. What do we really need? Below I’ve prepared a gear list for a long distance hike. It’s not an exhaustive list, but should give you a rough idea of what you’ll need as a minimum.
If you’re an ultra-light enthusiast, then you probably already have your kit ready, and don’t need any assistance.
The final decision and choice of what you bring is ultimately yours, based on previous experience, your research and experimentation.
When choosing what to bring with you, think about what can be used in a variety of situations. For example, a pair of woollen socks can be worn on your feet and on your hands as gloves, it can also carry or protect equipment. A buff can be worn on your head, around your neck, as a bandage and used as a wash cloth. If in doubt about the kind of equipment to take, ask yourself if you would use it everyday. If not, then you probably won’t need it.
The list below is for summer in Norway, which can mean snow, rain, fog, cold, and also warm sunny days. The same is pretty true for Tasmania. A summer pack with 3-4 days of food and water, and everything listed below, should weigh around 15-16 kilos.
For where to purchase goods, I’ve provided a list of links at the end of the gear list. Any questions, just shoot me an email.
- Backpack (40-75 L; 1-1.5 kg)
- Tent or tarp (3 seasons, rain proof; for two persons 2 kg)
- Sleeping bag and silk inlay (for temperatures between 0-15 degrees; 1 kg)
- Insulated sleeping mat (200-300 g)
- Shoes or boots (footwear is a very individual thing, and ideally should be very quick drying and breathable. Often shoes that are advertised as waterproof are not when tested outdoors in the wild. Trail running shoes are a good compromise, as they drain and dry quickly, are suitable for most areas, and can be worn with waterproof socks; 200-500 g)
- Extra pair of minimalist shoes or sandals that are lightweight for camping
- Outer shell jacket (wind and water proof)
- Quality hiking pants (ideally mosquito repellent and wind proof)
- Waterproof pants, hat and gloves (the advantage of having waterproof shell pants rather than waterproof hiking pants, is that after a heavy downpour, you can take off your shell pants, and walk around in your hiking pants.)
- Poncho and pack rain cover. A poncho may seem like an old-fashioned thing, but it’s very handy and can be used to sit on, to shield yourself from wind, as a tarp for your backpack inside a tent opening, etc.)
- Fleece mid layer (or a thin down jacket)
- Wool base layer (wool holds up the best in terms of perspiration, smell, handling)
- Extra change of clothes in case you get wet or fall into a river (shorts or jogging pants, quick dry shirt)
- Good quality hiking socks (fit well and are wool, at least 2-3 pairs)
- Tent or hut clothing (basically something to lounge around in, like a woollen base layer; what you bring will also depend on how warm your body temperature usually is. Hiking will heat you up fast and you won’t need many layers while active; the most important is when you stop hiking, and start cooling down)
- Beanie and buff (if heading for the mountains)
- Trekking poles (Norwegians don’t usually use them, but they’re invaluable for ascent/descent, slippery rocks, crossing rivers, testing snow depth, emergency first aid, tarp pole, etc)
- Water bottle and/or ultra flask (BPA free and preferably a thermos, so you can carry hot water for quick rehydration of meals on the go, also nice if it has a cup)
- Utility or Swiss army knife and spork
- Gas canister, mini camp stove, lightweight cook pot (up to 1 L for two persons; to save weight and space, my partner and I cooked and ate out of the same pot and used a flask for drinks)
- Lighter or matches in a waterproof bag or container
- Pen and small notepad (if you are a writer or recorder of ideas, thoughts)
- Maps, GPS, compass and trail info
- Cash, credit card, ID, DNT membership card
- Camera, spare batteries and SD cards (or a mobile phone with a good quality camera)
- Mobile phone and recharger (whether solar powered or other; solar charger should also be capable of recharging your camera, if taking one)
- Small lightweight wash cloth / towel
- Solar torch/lamp and headlamp with batteries
- Toiletries and toilet paper
- Scrub for washing pots and utensils
- Snacks until next food drop off point or shop
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days, even if it’s a weekend, always take an extra day’s food in case of emergency
- Emergency first aid kit (tea tree oil, tape, tweezers, travel scissors, sewing kit, honey, emergency thermal blanket or bivvy, alcohol wipes, disposable gloves, snake bite bandage, whistle, iodine drops, fishing line, paracord, sharpening stone, flint, heat balm for sore/tired muscles)
- Waterproof pack sacks (invaluable especially if your backpack disappears over a waterfall or you fall into a river while crossing one; 20-40 L)
- Army and Outdoors - Quality military surplus, excellent service, fast shipping
- Survival Supplies Australia - Gear carefully selected by the team at SSA for real world use
- Uberleben - Camping wood stoves, wooden cups, fire starters
- Wolf and Grizzly - Fire safes
Would you like to contact Map of Tassie? Get in touch on 0448 381 306 or firstname.lastname@example.org :)
*** Banner image: Dawn on our camp site on the Overland Track, Tasmania.