The equipment you select when preparing for a trekking travel adventure is probably the most important aspect of this exciting outdoor pursuit.
As you have to carry everything yourself, you need to be careful and get a balance between taking too much and too little.
Of course where you intend to trek will dictate whether you need to keep warm, protect yourself from insects, have the right kit for the terrain etc., but here is a basic list of items that you should look to be taking.
This is a basic list of essential items and you should look to be carrying no more than 15 – 20kg’s
– Lightweight thermal tops
– Fleece jacket
– Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket depending on conditions
– Lightweight thermal gloves
– Underwear (4)
– Shorts (2)
– Lightweight cotton long trousers/pants
– Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
– Sun hat or scarf
– Warm fleece hat or light balaclava
– T-shirts (2)
– Thin, lightweight (inner socks) (4)
– Sunglasses with UV protection
– Sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees (3/4 season)
– Head lamp spare bulbs & batteries
– Small padlock to lock trek bag
– Basic First Aid Kit
-One or two person tent
– Plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag
– Daypack (35-40 litres/2500-3000 cubic inches)
– Camping mattress, e.g. thermarest pad
– Water bottles (2)
– Small wash towel
– Footwear appropriate to the trip
– Waterproof shell trousers/pants (preferably breathable fabric)
Of course if you are planning to be away from civilisation for any length of time you will need to think about adding food and water, plus energy tablets to this list
We also recommend you take some telescopic trekking poles to assist with your walking
Of course you will need proper hiking boots and spare laces (which we will look at later)
If you can fit them in binoculars, iPod, reading books would also be a welcome addition.
In respect of what tent to take, the smaller and lighter the better. However you will need something that can stand up to windy and wet conditions.
The Hilleberg Akto is one such tent.
While somewhat heavier than a bivy bag, the Hilleberg Akto offers significantly more space, and its vestibule will easily hold all your gear. Yet it still stuffs down to a package that easily fits into a pack’s side pocket, and its single-pole, tunnel design sheds wind, snow and rain with nary a problem.
Pitching the Akto is simplicity itself. Insert the pole into the pole sleeve, place the end into the pole tensioner, then peg the corners and the guy lines on each end, and, voila: instant shelter! Fiberglass rods in the corners of the outer tent provide extra height, eliminating the claustrophobia that many solo tents cause. In windier conditions, the side guy lines ensure stability.
The tent weighs only 1.3kg and has a double wall and is 87inches long by 36 inches wide. The single pole makes it easy to carry and erect. The tent is made of Kerlon 1200 fabric and has adjustable vents at both ends of the tent.
Prices start at $520.
The proper boots are going to be the difference between a great trip and a nightmare one. In older times, the boot would be made of leather. However with the invention of so many synthetic materials, this isn’t always the case.
La Sportiva – Trango Ext Evo Light GTX
All synthetic, waterproof and insulated; La Sportiva’s Trango Extreme Evo Light GTX is the perfect lightweight, warm technical mountain boot for ice climbing, mixed climbing and cold weather alpine pursuits. The completely rigid 6-7mm HP3 midsole accepts automatic crampons and are great when standing on edges when out of your crampons. The 3D Flex™ ankle hinge allows side to side movement for better footwork while still providing longitudinal lockout when front pointing.
The boot weighs only 30.51 oz. and is made of a water repellent cordura. Prices start from around $420.
Getting a good night’s sleep whatever the temperature to recharge your batteries for the next day’s trekking is critical and a good sleeping bag will make a massive difference to your mental and physical state.
Introducing the Western mountaineering – Antelope MF
When places like the Sierras or Rocky Mountains are your stomping grounds and you need a light and warm bag to push the 3-season boundaries, leave nothing to chance with the Western Mountaineering Antelope MF. Its roomy 62″ shoulder girth allows for comfort and the 7″ loft from 26 ounces of high-lofting 850+ down provides warmth to 5° F. The security of this bag is sealed with a full 3-dimensional down-filled Super Collar and a robust draft tube.
The Antelope’s highly moisture-resistant MicroLite XP™ shell retains maximum breathability, and makes for a very compact and light bag. The Antelopes take over in early spring and last till late fall, and are the most substantial of Western’s 3-season bags.
Like all of Western Mountaineering’s bags, the Antelope MF is made by hand in San Jose, California.
Prices are around $550.00
A quality backpack is also important so you can carry your expedition gear in comfort
Osprey – Xenith 88
Osprey’s Xenith 88 has enough space for over a week in the backcountry or full-on mountaineering trips. Deluxe is the key word here: a cushy yet supportive BioformCM™ hipbelt and shoulder harness help you haul monster loads up to 75 lbs. as comfortably as possible. The Xenith series is full of features to help you organize and access your gear with ease.
— Dual compartment top pocket converts to lumbar pack with built-in belt
— External hydration sleeve in back panel simplifies refilling and protects contents from spills
— Two roomy front pockets with coated zippers help keep often needed items handy
— Stretch mesh front pocket for quickly stashing extra gear
— Curved side zips on each side of pack provide wide, easy access to main compartment
— Wide-mouth access sleeping bag compartment with divider
— Zippered hip belt pockets provide secure storage
— Dual access stretch mesh side pockets
— Dual side compression straps
— Removable sleeping pad straps
— Two ice axe loops and handle wraps
— Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment
— New BioForm4™ harness with NeoSpacer™ fabric provides a comfortable fit
— Single 6061-T6 center stay maintains back panel shape
The cost is around $350
Brunton Echo Pocket Scope
The Brunton Echo Pocket Scope is an easy to use scope that gives you a 180 ft. field of view at 1000 yards. 7x power. The scope weighs only 1.8oz and will fit easily into a pocket on your backpack.
The cost is around $25
Of course whilst safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of any trip, you would be unwise not to take out some form of trekking insurance and in a lot of cases this is compulsory.
You should make sure that any insurance you take, include all your expensive gear, medical expenses, including helicopter rescue, search and rescue and repatriation.
There are a number of travel insurers, who specialise in backpacker insurance and are able to tailor a package to your specific needs. There are a number of good sites like that’s insurance who explain the types of cover in more detail and you should familiarize yourself with the salient points before getting quotes.