Everyone who ever packed a bag for a hike or backpacking trip knows the pain and joy of packing. I must have packed, re-packed and packed again for about 15 times before I was satisfied.
As I explained previously, I left for my first hike in kind of a rush. It’s not as if I only had hours to pack, but it wasn’t months either. In this post I’ll list the stuff I took with me. In future posts I’ll give full reviews of my favorite items, but for now a short description will have to do.
I used a Deuter – AIRCONTACT 60 + 10 SL and loved it. It is a classic style pack and is a bit on the heavy side, but it is still going strong and is my go-to pack for multi-day hikes.
For this trip I used the smallest tent I could afford at that time: Jack Wolfskin’s Gossamer. It did a perfect job and I stayed dry in some rough weather, but it was annoying I couldn’t sit upright. I would not like it for even longer hikes. I opted for a more expensive sleeping bag and chose a Millet Base camp. I couldn’t find the type on the English website, but here is the one I have in French. As a sleeping pad I had a Thermarest Neo air Xlite. Most of my budget went toward my sleeping gear. For one because I need my sleep, but also because this is gear I continue to use every holiday. Even if I never hike again, I’ll still camp.
I also had a headlight with me, I used it mainly for reading and mid-night toilet runs. But I also had it with me just in case I needed to pitch my tent after dark. I had a basic Petzl Tikka and it did just fine.
I had a MSR Pocket Rocket with me and it was absolutely perfect. I used it for many years until it finally got lost somehow. I couldn’t find the type I had, but this is the new version. I also used MSR cooking pots. I chose to take two of the stow away pots, mainly because they have fixed handles. I also packed a simple Opinel pocket knife.
I really tried to save money on my clothing and I think I was pretty successful. I will go into some specifics to keep in mind for “cheap” hiking gear in a separate post. For now: what I took with me in Wales:
On this hike I took two zip off pants from Decathlon with me, one specifically for hiking and one with the intention to wear in the evenings and as ’emergency’ hiking pants. Looking back, I would not recommend taking extra heavy hiking pants with you ‘just in case’. The one I hiked in did fine, but the bottoms of my pant legs were so torn at the end that I threw them out. The other one was hardly worn.
I took rain pants with me, but threw them away after one wear. I was sweating so much I was just as wet as the rain would have made me.
I took two shirts with me for hiking, both of them the cheapest ones I could get at Decathlon, as well as two normal shirts to wear in the evenings (also Decathlon). I can safely say: you don’t need four shirts! I was happy I could alternate my hiking shirts, but I in no way needed two extra shirts for the evenings.
My cheap fleece jacket did the trick, but has meanwhile been replaced by another one. I have no idea what brand the first one was, but since I bought it in the supermarket I don’t think it was anything worth noting.
I bought some really great Hanwag hiking boots which, after I broke them in, were absolutely amazing. I still wear them every chance I get. I have no idea which type though. Next to my boots I also took a pair of camp shoes with me. Just to be sure I took hiking shoes as camp shoes. There was of course no need for that, but I just didn’t know any better and dragged them with me the whole way.
I took my Kindle with me for entertainment and a notebook to keep a diary.
Note: The hike was a while back, so I am doing my best to remember everything, but note that this is not a complete pack list.