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Packing for a week of hiking

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Packing for a week of hiking

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This is a sample list of things you might take on a week-long trip hiking in a wilderness area. Even more than with other kinds of travel, packing for this kind of trip requires compromises between keeping weight down and making sure you bring everything you'll need, because you have to carry it all with you. Depending on where you're going and the time of year, some of the items may not be useful to you, and there are inevitably additional items you'll want to bring along, but this should give you a general idea of what you'll want to pack. (Please keep in mind that we want this list to be useful to people in general, so don't edit it for your own specific needs.) For information and advice about gear selection, see Wilderness backpacking.


  • 4 synthetic undershirts
  • 4 long-sleeve shirts
  • 4 t-shirts
  • 3 pair of pants (suitable weight for current weather)
  • 8 pair of underwear (long underwear if needed)
  • 8 pair of wool socks
  • hiking boots
  • sandals (for wearing when not hiking)
  • waterproof windbreaker, or at least a jacket.
  • raingear - ponchos can drape over your pack and save you the expense of a waterproof packcover.
  • swimsuit?
  • women: 2 good sports bras
  • hat, beanie, gloves
  • gaiters
  • fleece jacket

Get around[edit]

  • backpack
    this (other than a tomahawk) is going to be the most important thing you will have. this is going to be holding practically ALL YOUR STUFF. it can't just be "a backpack." it needs a frame to help get the weight to your hips. it needs to have a minimum amount of space of 4500 cubic cm. the closer you get to 6500 cubic cm, the better. it needs a thick (and comfortably) waist-belt for bearing loads. while external pockets and loops are pretty awesome, they are just a convienence. make sure it has the other features first. don't be afraid to ask around. good packs are EXPENSIVE. do not skimp on these or you WILL suffer.
  • trekking poles/staff
    while these can be useful for both hiking and defending yourself, these are a matter of preference. i personally don't use these. i like having my hands free and normally carry both a tomahawk and a hatchet instead.
  • headlamp or flashlight, spare battery
    headlamps are the better option. non-rechargeable lights are better (you can have spare batteries and you're not going to be plugging anything into rocks or trees.) another option are ones with self-contained generators. these are things that you should really only be using in emergencies, honestly. this way you have them if you need them instead of running them down day two.
  • maps, compass - make sure you can read them before you set out.
    make sure the maps are at least water resistant too. last thing you need to be doing is trying not to get lost by following points on a pile of wet pulp. also, it helps if the maps are topographical. this helps to be able to get bearings and landmarks and choose the best route.
  • tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat
    the tent-bag-mat system is tried and true, but they offer considerably less versatility than a hammock. a hammock and fly with a hammock bag or underquilt and blanket will offer better insulation and usually beat out the tent in terms of space. due to lightweight materials they are still close in both weight and price. but with some creativity, your hammock can be much more comfortable than a tent ever would be.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • oatmeal, cereal bars, trail mix, energy bars
  • freeze-dried meals
  the original author isn't specific enough. get BACKPACKING meals. they are often packaged using the smallest amount of material possible and vaccum sealed. additionaly, only bring meals you will eat.
  • cooking pots
  • gas camping stove
  • waterproof matches/lighter/fire starter
  • plate, cup, utensils
    if you have a good folding pocket knife (not the multi-too thing below) you only need a spoon for an actual utensil. find a reasonably priced collapsable cup and a lightweight mess kit and you will be good. they normally have a plate, a pan, and a small pot.
  • dish cloth, scouring sponge
  • multi-tool pocket knife (e.g. Swiss Army or Leatherman)
  • water bottles
   bladder systems are more expensive, but less awkward. they are able to offer higher capacity while having a flexible shape. if you are doing some serious trekking consider one of these instead.
  • plastic bag for trash
  • water filter -to remove physical debris
  • iodine tablets -to remove germalogical issues an alternative is water purification tablet
    if you have a good water filter, these will be unnecessary. weight and space are both concerns, so it is better to go with something more expensive if this isn't going to be a one-time thing.

If you're traveling in bear country ensure your food is bagged so it can be tied up and away from the floor.

Stay safe[edit]

  • sunglasses
  • sun lotion
  • after sun treatment such as aloe vera gel
  • a hat (to shade your face and/or trap heat)
  • light trekking towel, bioshower-soap
  • insect repellent
    while convienent, hold off on this until last. if you can fit it, you will probably want it near the top or in an outside pocket. if you can't fit it, you can always just skip showering and your body oils will naturally repel most insects.
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • an analgesic painkiller such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • anti-diarrhea medicine
  • survival blanket- mylar blankets are noisy, easily blown away, and easily compromised. do not depend on this unless an emergency
  • blister care (e.g. moleskin, adhesive bandages)
  • insurance card (Highly unnecessary, but doesn't weigh much)
  • ID card (Highly unnecessary, but doesn't weigh much)
    don't pay attention to the above and below stuff. CARRY THESE THINGS ON YOU. it helps for medical attention, emergencies, identifying your body if a series of unfortunate events happens, and is overall a GOOD GODDAMN IDEA. carry cash, a card that connects to an account with money, some identification, and your medical insurance card if you have them.
  • cash, bank card (Highly unnecessary, but doesn't weigh much)
  • hankies (dozens of uses, mere ounces of weight)
  • snakebite kit where appropriate
   i'm going to be honest. this is retarded. most of the kits you would be willing to buy and drag along with you are going to do MORE damage than save your life. if you're solo and get nabbed by a poisonous snake, i'm sorry. you're screwed. you have ~30 min to get some help. that's a generous number for someone that is CALM AND STILL. so you can run and die quickly or lay down and die slowly. take one if you want, but you're better off studying all the poisonous snakes in your region and just being vigilant. also, if you come across a snake, back away from it. they usually aren't looking to pick fights with creatures the size of a human. if you back away slowly, you reduce the chances of startling it and also keep it in your vision. if you want another option, look at the tomahawk entry further down. if i only got to pick two things to get stranded with, it would be my pocket knife and my tomahawks. or maybe it would be a gun store and a 50 million dollar mansion. i'm really torn between both of these things.
  • a knife
  • a hatchet and/or tomahawk. *
    one of these will save your life. you can build fires easier, use the environment to make shelter, make a makeshift stretcher, etc. this is hands down the most useful tool. ever. your limit is going to be your imagination. if you have items that will be utilizing stakes as anchor points, it is best to get one that has a flat/hammer side. if not, you CAN spring for one that has a claw/point on the backside.
  • 3 metre length of rope (myriad of potential uses)
    20m of 550 cord is the same weight and space as 3m of most reasonable tensile strength ropes. this will give you more options. 
  • women: tampons or pads
    this isn't a women only thing. tampons can be used to staunch blood flow from puncture wounds and pads can help with deep lacerations.
  • a least one lighter, gas or petrol plus small pack of storm matches (can be a life-saver in heavy rain)
  • topical antiseptic solution (eg Iodine) for cuts, bites and grazes [isopropyl alcohol is a better alternative. it can be used as an antiseptic and can also be used to start fires easily if 70% or higher concentration.]
  • wet-wipes
  • water proof stuff packs
    alright. i can't say that these are a BAD idea. compression sacks help save space, and if they're waterproof, you can compartmentalize your main storage space. also if you forget to close your bag or drop it in a river/lake, you wont be completely boned. if your bag is fancy enough, it will have an attached rain cover to pull out. these are super awesome when they aren't compromised. having at least one of these bags big enough to fit your sleeping system is a pretty solid idea.
  • small shovel (This can be left behind if your pack weight is too heavy already)

seriously, use your hands. or your knife. or your TOMAHAWK. and too heavy? if your pack isn't between 40-60Kg(88-132lbs) you are rich and got all the ultralightweight stuff. or you cut so many corners that you're going to die. my pack's starting weight normally beats mine (i'm 62Kg) and i dont carry half this fluff. i normally have 2 full outfits and 4-6 extra pairs of socks. if one gets wet/dirty.. wash it out (if appropriate) and hang it on your pack to dry while you walk. problem solved. more space for other gear.

  • lantern

if you have a flashlight, don't waste space on these. whoever wrote this list originally seems to want you to be mistaken for a low-flying UFO. you HAVE to pack smart and make good use of your limited space

  • emergency/survival mirror
    these are good for checking to see if you got all your nose hairs, checking hard to see places (like your crotch) for ticks, or signalling during the day (watch a video online and practice before you go.) they are small, lightweight, and super-duper handy. i cannot oversell the usefulness of this item. 
  • whistle
  • cyalume glow-stick
  • emergency flare

two to three of these things are the best thing. check their dates. ive had quite a few high end flares not light because of poor conditions or they expired years ago.

  • sewing kit/sewing needles- when used in conjunction with floss, it can easily be used to patch up cloth based items and people
  • backup personal water filter
    i cannot stress that having a very small and portable personal filter is a good idea. an example of this is a Lifestraw. there are other companies out there that make similar products at competitive prices. this is something you can keep in your pocket in case your gear gets lost/destroyed.
  • 10-15m of fishing line and 2-3 hooks.
    unless you're allergic to fish, carry the hooks. i hate fish and if i haven't eaten for two days, pretty much everything is "on the menu" at that point. fishing line is too useful for you not to carry some. you can use it for snare/traps to augment your food stash (if it is legal.)

See and Do[edit]

  • camera, film, spare memory card, spare battery
  • notepad and pen for journal cards

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