Tim’s Multi-Day Hiking Gear list

I use a range of gear for all my multi day hikes ranging from two days in length all the way up to multi-week trips (including my 2018 1005 km Bibbulmun Track thru hike).  The equipment listed in this article is what I used through 2018 and it has served me well but I always do some minor tweaking depending on the destination, weather and time of the year.  I also swap out gear as I find that ‘next great thing’ to make this list just that tiny bit better or if I’m travelling with Gill where we need the two person version.

In compiling this list I focused on gear that is readily available and easy to replace. I want to know that if I do need a replacement I can walk into a local store and pick it up or have it delivered in a matter of days if need be. I like to carry the lightest weight gear I can afford and justify however there are a number of items where I have deliberately NOT chosen the lightest option, instead making my choice based on other considerations such as comfort, or function.

I have included some brief reasons for each choice.  I use the term ‘system’ for most of the item headings as the products often combine to work together.

Please note that this list is based on my particular needs and circumstances.  The list may or may not suit your personal needs however I hope that it will provide you with a basis for developing your own gear kit.  You can download a PDF version of this list here.

List last updated May 2019 (correction of errors)

Pack System

Pack: Osprey Exos 48

Why I chose this pack:

  • The thing I really love about this pack is the trampoline style suspension frame that provides airflow across the back
  • I find this is one of the few packs on the market that doesn’t saturate my back even in hot weather
  • I can fit all my equipment including eight days of food into this pack and it will carry up to 21kg in weight if necessary even though I rarely ever carry that much

Pack Liner: Sea to Summit 90 Litre Dry Bag

Why I chose this pack liner:

  • As a blogger I carry a fair amount of electronics with me so I need to ensure that this expensive equipment stays dry
  • In addition I don’t want my clothing or sleeping bag to get wet
  • I used to use the 70litre dry bag but switched to the 90 litre size as it can go on the outside of the pack if necessary which occasionally happens at night time when I need to protect everything from that fine red central Australian dust

Pack Liner: Sea to Summit 13 Litre Ultra-Sil Dry Sack

Why I chose this dry sack:

  • For the same reasons I use a pack liner on my pack, this small dry sack becomes the liner for my Pack Brain

Pack Liner: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover 50-70Litre Pack Cover (medium)

Why I chose this pack cover:

  • Provides additional protection for gear inside the pack
  • I use this in conjunction with the pack liners and dry sacks

Shelter System

Shelter: Nemo Hornet 2 Person Tent

Why I chose this tent:

  • This tent weighs just under 1 kg including pegs and poles which makes it one of the lightest double skin tents on the market and lighter than many one person tents
  • It also takes up very little space in your pack
  • The two person option means I can keep all my gear inside with me with only a 100gram weight penalty over the one person version

Tent Pegs: MSR Carbon Core tent Stakes 150mm

Why I chose these tent pegs:

  • These tent pegs weigh less than 6 grams each and are excellent in very rocky or hard soils
  • I will always carry at least 4 of these stakes unless I’m hiking in sandy soils or snow

Hydration System

Hydration Bladder: Osprey Hydraulics 3 Litre Bladder

Why I chose this bladder:

  • I find that by using a bladder I will drink more water than if I use a bottle
  • I may not always fill up a 3 litre bladder but on days where I walk 20-40+ km, when its hot, or when I know water may be hard to find, I definitely use this amount of water and often much more
  • I use this particular bladder mainly due to the magnetic chest clip that keeps the drinking nozzle in place which makes it easy to access

Water filter: Katadyn BeFree 600ml filter bottle

Why I chose this filter bottle:

  • I prefer to filter my water and this filter bottle is fast and easy to use
  • It’s lightweight
  • It can act as an additional small water bottle

Sleep System

Sleeping bag: Sea to Summit Micro 2 Sleeping Bag

Why I chose this sleeping bag:

  • This is my current sleeping bag of choice in all but the coldest conditions (below 0 degrees celcius)
  • This bag is apparently being replaced over the next year or so but is still readily available and well worth considering for warmer adventures
  • It’s very compact when its in its compression sack
  • Very lightweight
  • Folds out to form a flat quilt

Sleeping bag liner: Sea to Summit Silk Liner

Why I chose this sleeping bag liner:

  • Keeps the sleeping bag clean which helps to extend the bag life
  • Can be used as a sleeping bag when its really hot

Pillow: Exped Zip Pack-Large – See Layering System

Why I chose this pack:

  • I don’t carry a dedicated pillow but instead I use this packing cell stuffed with my spare clothes to perform the same function
  • I find it comfortable and it doesn’t add any weight to the pack
  • Water resistant

Sleeping Mat: Thermarest Neo Air Xlite

Why I chose this sleeping mat:

  • I’m a side sleeper so I need a sleeping mat with lots of cushioning
  • This mat folds down to a tiny package and weighs very little

Cooking System

Stove: Jetboil Zip

Why I chose this stove:

  • I don’t cook on the trail but instead boil water for rehydrating food and for two hot drinks a day so I want a compact efficient unit
  • I can use this stove during total fire bans when liquid fuel stoves are usually banned
  • This is Jetboil’s smallest stove currently on the Australian market

Stove Fuel: Jetboil 100g canister

Why I chose this fuel:

  • Ever since I started using Jetboil stoves I have used their fuel as well if its available
  • It’s the smallest Jetboil canister available
  • In rehydrating a commercial meal each day for dinner and two hot drinks a day, as a solo hiker I can comfortably get 12 days of use out of a single 100g canister

Spoon: Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spoon 

Why I chose this spoon:

  • I’m a big fan of long handled spoons as a find short handled implements to be messy and uncomfortable to use as I have large hands

Mug: Sea to Summit X-Cup

Why I chose this cup:

  • The X-Cup folds down flat
  • Weighs very little
  • Holds a good sized drink

Stove bag: Osprey 6 litre Stuff Sack

Why I chose this stuff sack:

  • Keeps the stove bits and pieces all in one place and out of the environment

Knife: Deejo Tattoo Naked topography Knife

Why I chose this knife:

  • I mainly use a knife to cut cheese and other food
  • I have been known to occasionally use it to whittle (to create tinder or even a pair chop sticks when I couldn’t find my spoon)
  • This extremely lightweight knife is a joy to use as well as being a work of art

Fire Starter: Bic Disposable Lighter

Why I chose this:

  • Easy to use particularly in wet and windy conditions
  • I used a single Bic lighter on my 36 day Bibbulmun Track hike and it still had fuel left

Food container: Empty 500g Peanut Butter Jar

Why I chose this:

  • Kraft/Bega brand jars use a heavier grade of plastic than other brands and are almost bullet proof
  • I use this jar to rehydrate foods such as Overnight Oates or dips

Footwear

Footwear: Merrell Moab FST Trail Runners

Why I chose this:

  • They fit my feet very well
  • I can get around 1200km of wear out of a single pair
  • Easy to find worldwide
  • This model has now been replaced with the Merrell Moab FST2

Shoe Inserts: Superfeet Blue

Why I chose this:

  • Most stock shoe inserts don’t provide much foot support
  • I usually swap out the stock inserts and use the Blue Superfeet inserts on most (not all) of my shoes
  • I get around 350km of life out of them and my feet are much happier for using them particularly on big trips where I can travel 25-40+ km day after day with a loaded pack

Socks: Darn Tough Light Micro Crew Light Cushion Socks

Why I chose this:

  • Just the right level of cushioning and warmth
  • Firm fit that doesn’t move around
  • About as bulletproof as socks get

Gaiters: Altra Trail Gaiters

Why I chose this:

  • Unless I’m worried about snakes, I use a lightweight lycra gaiter to keep debris out of my shoes as well as providing a bit of tick proofing
  • These gaiters are easy to purchase online in a range of sizes

Layering System

Underpants: Exofficio Give-N-Go Sports Mesh 6″ Boxer Brief Mens

Why I chose this:

  • They fit well due to the well designed panelling and don’t chafe. What more can you ask for?

Pants: Prana Zion Convertible Pants

Why I chose this:

  • They last for ever
  • They stretch when/where needed
  • Have loads of pockets in just the right places
  • The legs zip of so they very versatile

Long johns: Icebreaker Mens Anatomica Leggings

Why I chose this:

  • These form two functions for me
    • As an under layer in extremely cold weather
    • As part of my town clothing on rest days when I’m washing my outer clothes (yes, I wear shorts over them when in public!)

Shorts: Men’s UA Sportstyle Cotton Graphic Shorts

Why I chose this:

  • These shorts are one of the few pairs that are easy to find and that don’t have built in inserts
  • I wear these over the top of my long johns when in town or if I get saturated on the trail and need to let my clothing dry
  • I carry these on trips where I’m taking a break in a town to wash my outer clothes.

Lightweight Long Sleeved Top: Wilderness Wear Cumulo Merino Long Sleeved Top

Why I chose this:

  • These days, I wear long sleeved tops on all hikes I do
  • This lightweight merino top is well made, soft and comfortable
  • Is has extra length in the torso

Midweight Long Sleeved Top: Wilderness Wear Fusion Long Sleeved Top

Why I chose this:

  • This is the second layer I wear when I’m washing my outer clothes or when it gets really cold
  • Light the lighter weight versions this top is soft and comfortable to wear

Puffer Jacket: Northface Thermoball Hooded Jacket

Why I chose this:

  • I wanted a synthetic jacket to cope with expected wet conditions over a long period
  • This one fits me really well
  • The hood on this jacket was new for me and something I have come to love

Rain Jacket: Marmot PreCip Jacket

Why I chose this:

  • This is a bulletproof jacket that has kept me dry for the last three years through some very heavy rain storms

Rain Pants: Rainbird Waterproof Pants

Why I chose this:

  • My main reason for using these rain pants is that the leg zips are nice and long which means I don’t have to take my footwear off to put rain pants on

Buff: Buff Original

Why I chose this:

  • I always carry at least one buff on every trip
  • Buffs are so versatile performing many functions not least is keeping my bald head out of the elements

Hat: Outdoor Research Sun runner Cap

Why I chose this:

  • My hat choice for the cooler part of the year and for when I know its going to be wet

Foldback Clip 19mm

Why I chose this:

  • One of the ‘hacks’ in my hiking kit that I have only started using over the past few months
  • This clip holds my rain jacket hood to my hat when its raining and windy
  • It also creates a porch that keeps most water away from my face
  • It’s well worth the few extra grams of weight

Gloves: Icebreaker Quantam gloves

Why I chose this:

  • I usually avoid heavy gloves unless its absolutely necessary so I find these lightweight merino gloves work well to keep me warm and still provide the ability to feel
  • I only carry gloves when the temperature is expected to be around zero degrees Celcius

Clothing pack: Exped Zip Pack-Large

Why I chose this:

  • This lightweight dry bag keeps all my clothing dry and in one spot
  • I can tell by the colour in low light which bag is which
  • My clothing bag also doubles as my pillow

Safety/Navigation Equipment

Compass: Suunto A30 Compass

Why I chose this:

  • A simple no nonsense compass that performs all the basics

Emergency Beacon / GPS: Garmin InReach Explorer+

Why I chose this device:

  • This bit of technology has taken pride of place in my hiking kit for so many reasons and has now replaced my Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and GPS
  • The two way communication option is a huge bonus on remote solo trips providing my family with the ability to track how I’m going in real time and to communicate with me even when there is no phone signal

Miscellaneous Equipment

Sunglasses: Mako Blade Sunglasses

Why I chose this:

  • They fit my face which is the main consideration when choosing a sunglass
  • I tend to update my sunglasses every few years and have been very happy with this pair which fits my face well

Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles 130cm

Why I chose this:

  • My knees hate going down steep hills so I have been a pole user for a number of years
  • On flat or uphill ground I find they increase my speed
  • These poles are very lightweight and fold down to almost nothing when travelling

Head Light: Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp

Why I chose this:

  • Comes with rechargeable batteries as standard
  • The latest version is waterproof
  • Great all-round headlamp

Reading Glasses: SOOLALA Lightweight Compact Reading Glasses

Why I chose this glasses:

  • Not much choice here as I struggle to read with any accuracy without glasses
  • I opt for a cheap pair in a small protective case on my hikes and leave my expensive pair at home
  • I’m lucky that I can do this but its not an option for everyone

Charging cables:

  • USB-C to Lightening cable for iPhone/iPad
  • Mini USB for GPS, Camera, iPhone battery case, battery pack
  • Fitbit charging cable

Charging Adaptor: Cygnett Dual USB Wall Charger

Why I chose this:

  • Compact, lightweight, and robust.
  • Allows me to charge two devices at once

Powerbank: Cygnett 10,000mAh USB-C Powerbank X 1

Why I chose this:

  • I carry an iPad so need a USB-C power bank as opposed to a standard power bank for  a fast charge
  • This one’s compact, has a protective soft feel outer shell, and lasts me for around seven days which is usually enough to get me to another power point

Wallet: Scrubba Weightless Wallet

Why I chose this:

  • Credit card security (RFID) is something I always carry to prevent credit card skimming
  • This wallet is also ultra lightweight at 7 grams

Clothing pack: Exped Zip Pack-XS

Why I chose this:

  • The smallest size in the range carries all my little bits and pieces including all those little accessories that are otherwise hard to locate when you need them

Camera: Olympus Darn Tough TG5 Camera

Why I chose this camera:

  • This camera is definitely tough and lived in the front pocket of my pants for five weeks on the Bibbulmun Track Hike
  • It copes with harsh and wet conditions really well and provides quality photos to boot

Memory Cards: San Disk Extreme Pro 16GB Memory Cards X 4

Why I chose this:

  • I use memory cards for both my digital voice recorder and my camera
  • I prefer 16GB cards rather than a single large card as it provides me with a degree of flexibility
  • I also prefer to use high speed cards which makes transferring sound/image files onto my computer much faster

Phone: iPhone 8

Why I chose this:

  • Personal preference here I know but I’m an Apple guy across all my tech
  • It’s easy to use and relatively secure

Phone Case: Mophie Battery Case

Why I chose this:

  • Due to the amount of social media / blogging I do, a phone case that is also a battery made sense
  • With this case I get 2.5-3 days of phone life which also reduces the size of the power bank I need to carry
  • It also provides extra protection for my phone when I’m out bush

Toiletries

Toothbrush:

Why I chose this:

  • You have to clean your teeth but its OK to be a minimalist
  • Use a short handled toothbrush if you can find one (try the airlines on overseas flights) or cut the handle down on a longer brush (to reduce size not weight)

Toothpaste: Lush Toothy Tabs

Why I chose this:

  • I hate the taste of toothpaste
  • This lightweight alternative is a great option
  • You can carry just the right amount for your trip

Floss: 50metres

Why I chose this:

  • Oral hygiene, particularly on longer hikes is just as important as it is at home

Toilet Trowel: GSI Cathole Trowel

Why I chose this:

  • This lightweight trowel will dig through hard rocky soil better than lighter metal options
  • Always bury your waste!

Toilet paper: 10 sheets/day

Why I chose this:

  • I never rely of toilet paper being provided
  • You may need it away from provided facilities, or if the on trail facilities have run out
  • My daily supply goes into a ziplock bag so it remains dry

Hand Sanitiser: Hand Sanitiser 60ml

Why I chose this:

  • The biggest cause of digestive distress on hikes is due poor sanitation after going to the toilet
  • You wash your hands with soap and water at home, and you should clean your hands on a hike as well
  • Hand sanitiser is a convenient option for hiking

Towel: Escape Microfibre Towel x 1

Why I chose this:

  • Ultralight towel option
  • Takes up almost no space in your pack

Nail Clippers

Why I chose this:

  • Keeping your toe nails trimmed to the correct length is important to minimise blisters
  • Not really necessary on a short hike but very important on longer multi-day hikes when toenail growth becomes an issue

Storage Pack: Exped Zip Pack-Small  (also holds first aid supplies)

Why I chose this:

  • The small size is lightweight and reasonably waterproof
  • Colour coded so I can tell by sight in minimal light which packing cell I am after

First Aid Equipment

In over 40 years of hiking I have never had a serious accident or needed to treat one.  In most cases what I am dealing with is blisters, splinters or ticks.  Having said that, I still carry basic first aid equipment just in case.  My first aid supplies go into the same packing cell as my toiletry gear.

Splinter Pick

Why I chose this:

  • Sometimes you get splinters so I will always carry a decent splinter pick

Tweezers

Why I chose this:

  • Can be used for splinters as well as removing ticks
  • Don’t stint on the quality here as most cheap tweezers just won’t pick out the small stuff as they don’t have the stiffness and/or fineness at the tip

Compression bandage x 2

Why I chose this:

  • For immobilising limbs in the case of snake bite or physical injury

Triangular bandage X 1

Why I chose this:

  • Just in case!
  • I have never had to use this in real life but its a versatile piece of safety gear

Crepe bandage X 1

Why I chose this:

  • Another part of my first aid kit
  • It is suitable for use as a dressing retention, stemming bleeding and providing light compression

Safety Pins X 5:

Why I chose this:

  • Always handy to have and not just for first aid use
  • Ever split your pants or broken a strap?

Pain Killers: Neurofen x 6

Why I chose this:

  • The only time I use Neurofen is when I’m hiking
  • In addition to dealing with the rare headache is also aids with inflammation that can arise from doing extra long days
  • I don’t use Neurofen that often and only when absolutely necessary

Go: Laxatives

Why I chose this:

  • I’ll always carry a few tablets just in case

Stop: Imodium

Why I chose this:

  • Also just in case
  • There is nothing worse than having diarrhoea on a hike!

Foot Taping

I know from personal  experience when I do multiple days of 25+ km I will develop hotspots on the balls of my feet which have the potential to ruin my hike.  I now tape my feet, mainly the front sections, for the first week or two and this fixes my issue.  It also allows me to do big distances day in day out with no pain or discomfort.  My taping system consists of the following:

Foot taping 1: Fixomull

Why I chose this:

  • Non allergenic and easy to remove when you need
  • Provides the base layer for my strapping system

Foot taping 2: 38mm strapping tape

Why I chose this:

  • Provides the main protection and goes over the Fixomull

Foot taping 3: 20-25mm strapping tape

Why I chose this:

  • The final layer to hold everything in place

Bandaids: Miscellanoeus waterproof X 15

Why I chose this:

  • I use Band-Aids on nearly every extended trip, mainly for my toes at the start of the trip while the skin is hardening up

Wash cloth: Chux

Why I chose this:

  • Cheap, lightweight and very easy to rinse out
  • A good lightweight option for cleaning yourself
  • Just cut it down to size before you leave home!

Tea Tree Oil 

Why I chose this:

  • Part of my wash kit
  • Helps remove much (not all) of the smell built up on multi-day hikes

Swap Outs

I carry most of the equipment above year round but there are some pieces that I change over (swap out) depending on the weather, physical conditions of the hike, or the numbers of hikers.  The following equipment is what I will carry as the conditions dictate.

Tent Pegs: MSR Sand peg

Why I chose this:

  • If the soil is very sandy or soft or I am using timber tent platforms I will replace my MSR Core tent pegs and carry at least two of these pegs
  • They work great with most tent platforms, slipping in between the gaps in the timber as well as with soft soils where other pegs fail to get a grip

Cold Weather Buff: Buff Merino Wool

Why I chose this:

  • If conditions are going to be cold I will carry a wool buff as well as my lighter weight version to keep my follicle-ly challenged head warm

Insect protection: Sea to Summit Head Net X 1

Why I chose this:

  • Sometimes the flies just drive you mad
  • This net keeps them off your head and out of your mouth!
  • Mosquito proofing at night

Lip Balm

Why I chose this:

  • For those conditions where cracked or sunburnt lips is a potential issue

Gaiters: Sea to Summit Quagmire Gaiters

Why I chose this:

  • I usually don’t worry about wearing heavy gaiters but when I’m going into a snake infested area I up the leg protection with a serious gaiter

Summertime Hat: Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat

Why I chose this:

  • My hat of choice for warm-hot dry weather where sun protection is critical
  • Use the chin strap and this hat is windproof
  • I love this hat!

Ipad Protection: Scrubba Air Sleeve

Why I chose this:

  • Not your usual bit of equipment, the Scrubba air sleeves are designed to protect iPads, tablets and laptops
  • They also double as an inflatable pillow
  • If I’m in full blogging mode then this forms part of my standard kit. I used to be anti inflatable pillow but don’t have to be asked twice to use this

Lightweight Pack: Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

Why I chose this:

  • When travelling on an extended overseas/interstate trip I will use this as my carry on luggage
  • During extended hikes, I will sometimes send this back home by mail and other times I will keep it with me depending on what I will be doing

Two person stove: Jetboil Minimo stove

  • We only boil water when hiking for rehydrating food and a hot drink
  • The MiniMo is fast and suits two people just right

Two person tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2

  • For when there is two of us
  • This tent is the perfect compromise for a couple that wants space and minimal weight

PDF Version of my current gear list

The following link is a downloadable version of my 2018 multi-day solo hiking gear list.  I will do a full update of this list on an annual basis (last updated 1 October 2018).

Tim’s Multiday Hiking Gear Checklist 2018

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