A multi-day hiking adventure requires thoughtful consideration and planning. If you want it to be enjoyable, then less is more when it comes to what you pack in your pack!
The creature comforts of home are only going to weigh you down out there. There is a cathartic detachment of ‘things’ that shifts internally when we challenge ourselves on outdoor exploration. A minimalist approach that resonates through into daily life; empowering and uplifting the detachment from unnecessary items and the simplicity that comes with the experience cannot be understood, it must be experienced.
Below I unpack what I take in my pack and a brief WHY. Over the years I’ve adapted, updated and completely ditched some things. Each season and location requires a slight adjustment but these are the main items I pack;
WHAT'S IN MY PACK
Microfibre towel -lightweight, quick dryer and can loop on outside of the pack for drying whilst you walk. If you score a gypsy bath you’ll want a towel, plus it helps rub off sand between your toes to avoid blisters.
Lunette cup ladies, you know what this is, worked a treat on my most recent trip. Only having to empty 12hrly plus you’re not carrying waste. If you’ve been using these for a while, you’ve got the gist of doing this spot free!
First Aid kit- With all the usual suspects & ALWAYS include a snake bite kit, epic pen and Ventolin. Snakes are EVERYWHERE so always be prepared and know what to do. No allergies or asthma? Did you know that you can develop a life-threatening allergic reaction or asthma at any stage throughout life? PLUS if you’re remote, these will save your life or someone else’s. Pack them, worth it 100%
Toilet paper & a small pack of wipes- Don’t believe this one requires explaining, however when you use (not in a drop loo) BURY your paper! If you’re using wipes, take them with you, a lot of brands don’t break down like toilet paper.
Sunscreen, lip balm and bushman’s deet- Again, self-explanatory. The harsh sun on a long day hike or mooching by the beach can collect some serious rays.. not a comfortable sleep I suspect. A good strength insect cream, you will want. Our recent trip to Sealer’s Cove, Wilsons Promontory, the air was so thick with mozzies and other hatching bugs post humid conditions.
Shovel – compactable, lightweight and ethical. Bury your trail poo when you can’t use a drop loo. By burying your poop, you are not pushing out the local wildlife that may relocate their homes to an unsafe environment. They are smell sensitive and therefore danger adverse and instinctively driven, it is the same reason you DO NOT take your animals into National parks. It protects the native animals. The shovel can be stored on the outside pockets of your bag, its only dirt on it.
Inflatable Mattress and pillow- Ours are over 7 years old and actually suck! This last trip I noticed how much I am ready to set aside my tight ass tendency and invest in a great mattress! I am such a baby for my memory foam pillow, I’m considering cutting off an end taking hiking! We are currently researching new mattresses so stay tuned for updates. It’s an investment but a good sleep on the trail is worthy of such funds!
Sleeping Bag- Lightweight -10c rated. Depending on the season, you will want a good rated sleeping bag and weight is a key factor. There is definitely a balance between the warmth of a winter bag and the lightweight down of summer. If you’re an all seasons, a -10c will serve all-purpose and open it up for a blanket in warmer weather
Silk liner- Can add 5c to your bag so if in winter or cooler nights, and added comfort and less than 100g. Silk liner protects your sleeping bags, making the post-hike cleaning process easier. They're breathable and in warmer weather can be used instead of a bag.
Denali Squall lightweight tent – We’ve had this tent for over 7 years also. It worked for our budget and weight requirements at the time and under 2kg, it’s been a great addition to our adventures. Easy to set up/ pack up. The floor space works ok for the two of us but looking for a slighter bigger tent to store packs at our feet.
Leki lightweight trekking poles – When carrying the additional weight, these are lifesavers. Use to hoist you up the hills as you amble of overall that nature set in your way and great for relieving the impact on the knees on the downhill. For the moments that they shit you and you trip yourself over (yes that happened), stick them in/on your pack – most packs have an attachment area where these can be stored. Lightweight ones can be found for under $100 for the pair. Again, another worthy investment and you will use these on day hikes for muddy adventures too!
EPIRB- Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. Remote hiking? Best invest unless you have the most incredible telepathic powers to summon emergency services to within 50m of your location…
Headlight- self-explanatory. A torch would work too but if it's stuck to your head your hands are free to cook, search through your pack or any other function required.
Lighter/ flint starter/ whistle – Always expect the unexpected. Be prepared
Paracord- Shan made a bag deco with paracord a few years back. More than aesthetics it serves as a high tensile rope for any emergency situation you find yourself in. Most of the leading outdoors stores have bracelets that serve the same purpose made from this highly durable material.
A blog worthy of its own feature is what I pack to eat and the system I use to cook with. When multi-day hiking, food can be a heavy commodity so it takes careful consideration as to what will provide the most energy per gram and ensuring that you feel satisfied. Hiking is a high energy burner and I guarantee you when you aren’t eating or snacking YOU are certainly thinking about it!!
Till next week, happy adventures!