When hiking for an extended period, the challenge of ensuring everything you need is packed and
that you stay within a goal weight for your backpack is no mean feat.
Some members went to great lengths to cut down a few grams here and a few grams there. In the
end, all backpacks weighed in at about 18kg when fully loaded for each day. This is surprising
considering what is to be taken along.
Here is a sample schedule of what I believe is necessary to pack:
Camping and Cooking - tent, mattress, sleeping bag, gas cooker and cylinders, lighter, pot,
mug, spoon, penknife and water bottles (I prefer to take two 750ml runners bottles, one for
water and one for juice).
Accessories - Hiking Poles, head torch, GPS, maps, spare batteries, spare bootlaces,
whistle, emergency blanket, plastic bags for waterproofing inside backpack, camp sandals or
Clothing - Rain gear (Shell with hood and long trousers). Warm gear including beanie, fleece,
thermals, gloves and perhaps a down jacket. Walking gear including shirts (3), shorts (2),
socks and underwear (3 sets), gaiters and boots.
Medical - Strapping plaster, blister plasters, Deep Heat, Voltaren, Suntan Lotion, Zambuk,
Antiseptic, optionally water purification tablets and personal prescriptions.
Toiletries - Toilet Paper, toothpaste and toothbrush, hiking towel, facecloth, and optionally bio-
Food - This is a very personal space. Aim to pack about 600g to 700g per day. This would
mean that no more than about 3.6 to 4.2kg should meet your needs for 6 days up until re-
Depending on your weight, you may need more or less calories per day than someone
else. Balancing calorific needs with weight restrictions can be quite a science. Take
time to look at energy and weight ratios and you will be quite surprised and perhaps
rethink about what you carry.
In short you need multiple small meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure a
constant energy supply.
Preparation times must fit in with the group schedules. Quick meals (instant oats /
soups) make it easier for everyone to ensure they do not delay the group early in the
morning or at short stops during the day. Evening meals can take more time.
Main Meals as well as snacks and treats should be packed, including teas, drink
sachets etc. Dehydrated meals good for main dinner meals; tuna packs, cheese and
provita good for lunches; energy bars, nuts and trail mixes good for snacks; and Milo
or cappuccino sachets great as a bedtime treat.
Water and drinks - depending on availability of fresh water on the mountain, you should be
prepared to carry between 750ml and 2 litres of water. If you sure you are to be camping at
water, this can be reduced during the day.