People often ask what’s in my backpack.  Below is a list of the gear I carried 3000km on the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand.  Your needs may vary on other hikes but this is a good starting place to edit your packing list from.

I do not claim to be an ultra-light hiker.  While I want to save weight as much as anyone, I will only do it to the extent that I don’t compromise safety or enjoyment.  That means I carry plenty of warm clothes when conditions require, and I carry a decent first aid kit plus a Personal Locator Beacon (all of which have been used).

Food and water is additional to the list below and varies depending on the trail.

Other Notes:

  • I carry shorts only for really hot conditions.  Long pants give protection against the elements and overgrown trails.
  •  Instead of a towel I carry a loofah mitt to wash with and Chux dish cloth to dry myself off.  Both are light as a feather.  A loofah mitt allows you to scrub the dirt and sweat off you with minimal water and soap.
  • Aarn packs have totally revolutionised my hiking experience – they are so incredibly comfortable (read my full review on the Natural Balance for more details).

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