What and how to pack for a multi day hike

On multi-day hikes, it is essential to carry all you need for the duration of your trip. Your comfort and survival depend on what you carry in your pack.

Ensuring that you take everything that you need and at the same time keeping it light is what most beginner hikers struggle with. For example, you’ll be easily caught on how much food to bring or what tools you would need. 

But don’t fret as it takes experience to master this process. In this article, we will provide you with a basic list of what you need during a multi day hike. This is a perfect guide for new hikers who are lost in what to bring and what not. 

Here is a complete checklist of what to bring in your multi day hike whilst avoiding lugging unnecessary baggage.

Multi day hike checklist

Day Clothing Essentials

What and how to pack for a multi day hike 1

– Hiking boots or shoes
– The 4 essential top layers:
    – T-shirt (we recommend you to have a Merino wool t-shirt, they don’t smell even after multiple days)
    – Fleece
    – Down jacket
    – Waterproof jacket (we recommend Goretex)

– The 2 essential bottom layers:
    – Hiking trousers or shorts (depending on the region you hike in and the season)
  – Waterproof over trousers

– For your head: 
– Sun hat
 – Warm hat
    – Sun glasses (having a spare pair of sunglasses is recommended in case you break or lose them)

– Underwear:
    – 2 pairs of pants (you can always wash one and wear the other one, they dry quickly)
    – 2 pairs of socks (you can always wash one and wear the other one, they dry quickly)

– To cover the rest of your body when it gets cold:
    – Buff
    – Gloves (having a spare pair of gloves is recommended if they get wet)

Night Essentials

What and how to pack for a multi day hike 2

– Some night clothes to wear while your day clothing is drying (when you can wash it):

   – T-shirt
    – Legging or shorts

– Ear plugs

– If you sleep in huts:
    – Sleeping bag liner with integrated pillow case
    – Usually, huts provide blankets, but worth double checking in advance, and if they don’t, replace the sleeping bag liner with a sleeping bag

– If you camp:
    – Sleeping mat
    – Sleeping bag
    – Tent or tarp (tarp is recommended since it is lighter)
– Headlamp and spare batteries

Technical gear

What and how to pack for a multi day hike 3

– Hiking poles
– Hiking backpack (40-50L is enough, the bigger your bag is, the more you will fill it)
– Waterproof backpack cover and/or waterproof inner bags for things that you want to remain dry (bin bags work too)
– Little tool-bag with things that can be useful for repairing gear:
    – Duct tape (to gain space, you can roll some duct tape around your hiking poles)
    – Zip ties
    – Piece of wire
    – Piece of string
    – Knife or multitool knife

Food and Beverages 

What and how to pack for a multi day hike 4

– Snacks and meals
– Thermal bottle to keep your beverages warm or fresh

– If you plan to cook:
    – Little stove and pot
    – Spork
    – Small camping plate
    – Small mug

Pharmacy

What and how to pack for a multi day hike 5

– Sun screen and lip protector
– Plasters, bandages, and basic medicine
– Toilet paper

Important Tips:

  • When finalizing your list: consider the duration of your hike, the weather forecast,  and the remoteness of your destination. These factors will dictate the kind of clothing items, the amount of food and water, and what relevant tools you have to bring. 
  • When choosing clothing items:  go for items that are multi-purpose. Pack the item that serves more than one purpose, weighs less, and takes up less space. 
  • In terms of meal planning:  be aware that you’ll need to consume more calories than usual when walking all day long—as most do on thru-hikes. In addition to planning three meals a day, load up on healthy, nutritious snacks that will energize you while hiking.
  • In arranging your pack, make it light and smart: plan and pack by zones. This article has all the tips on how to do so.

Ultimately, planning is the key to an enjoyable and safe hike. Make sure to check out this article on how to plan and prep your hikes and have all aspects of your hiking adventure covered. Happy hiking!

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