FILL IN THE BLANKS / MIX 'N MATCH GEAR LIST–SHOW US WHATCHA GOT!
'Round the end of every year, the HMG Team always looks back to see what kinds of posts all of you in our beloved orbit viewed and liked the most. As a complete shock to absolutely no one, gear lists elbowed their way to the top–our A PACKING LIST FOR MULTI-DAY HIKING TRIPS taking first place in that topic category.
This particular list has etched itself into our collective heads as a result of sharing it bazillions of times with customers and friends via email and the phone, or during visits at events like Trail Days, festivals, or trail magic pop-ups.
It should come as no surprise that quite a few items on the list are our own. If we didn't choose that stuff, it'd be a good sign we need to get back to the drawing board! And for the gear we don't make, many are the same pieces of kit we offer in our accessories collection because we like using them a lot. Other things filed under clothing and miscellaneous would be futile to recommend for myriad reasons. All of us would have different favorites if you asked, and we're sure you'd have yours, too.
As we looked at it again, we thought it would be a fun experiment to post it here on The Trailhead so we could all talk about it in greater detail–assuming any members would want to discuss gear (we have a hunch you might).
Check it out, and while you go through it, we want to know:
What pieces would stay the same, and which ones would you swap out and why? (You're not gonna hurt anyone's feelings–there's a lot of great gear choices out there that suit a wide variety of needs!)
For items not specifically assigned a particular product, what would you suggest and why? What do you grab when the rain drops fall, or keep up on your domepiece in chilly weather? What's your favorite thing not listed?
We're stoked to hear your thoughts and see what your lists look like! Without further adieu, here's ours!
A PACKING LIST FOR MULTI-DAY HIKING TRIPS
Unbound 40 or 2400 Southwest (As the number of days out increases or limited options for resupplies demand it, move up in pack volume – three to four-day – 3400, five to eight day – 4400)
Shoulder Pocket or Versa (for easy access to phones, maps, cameras, snacks, satellite communicators, etc.)
UNBOUND 2P or UltaMid 2 Pyramid Shelter
2 Voile Straps (to create your shelter center pole with your trekking poles)
40-Degree Quilt (choose the appropriate quilt or bag for the temperature ranges the time of year of your trip)
Side Entry Pod (for quilt storage)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad
MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stove
Mini Bic Lighter
REpack Freezer Bag Cooking System
Vargo Titanium Long-Handle Spoon
(A few of us like the GSI Outdoors Compact Pot Scraper for cookware clean up, and one of us has definitely eaten their dinner off it)
Sawyer Squeeze Filtration System
Platypus Platy 2.0 - 2 L Reservoir
(Add another Platypus Platy or additional Smartwater Bottles if water sources are limited on your route)
XL Drawstring Stuff Sack (Shelter)
Small Pod and Small Drawstring Stuff Sack (Kitchen/Cookware/Food)
Nano Drawstring Stuff Sack (Electronics)
Large Pod (Clothing/Ditty)
(*What you wear every day is up to you! Don’t rely completely of what looks to be a perfect forecast! Weather can change quickly, and many of these items can help mitigate uncomfortable circumstances that could lead to dangers like hypothermia.)
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD
iPhone and case
Extra Misc (License/Credit Card/Advil/Soap)
TOTAL WEIGHT: *Very pretty approximately 10-ish lb there'bouts
(*Give or take a few grams or ounces based on time of year, pack size, sleep system temp rating, and clothing)
(*Before consumables like food, water, and fuel)
Let 'er rip, People!
I'm always trending towards BASEWEIGHT ZERO, so my modifications are as follows:
+ Ditch dedicated stuff sack for sleeping bag and shove that thing down in the bottom of your pack and into a nyoflume pack liner.
+ Swap Xlite for Uberlite — especially if you're in a zone where you're using a 40 degree quilt. I know, mixed reviews here, but I've done 2,000 miles on one without issue. R value is only 2-something, though, so stick with the Xlite when you're using a 20-degree (or colder) bag.
+ Don't cook. :) If cooking, use VARGO BOT. More versatile for hot cooking and cold soaking.
+ Swap Platy for a CNOC if using a Sawyer Squeeze. Platy reservoirs pop when pressure is applied. CNOCs are a little heavier, but much easier to fill in tricky water sources and a lot more durable on a long-distance trail. This is a do as I say, rather than as I do; I took a 2L Platy on the FT and AZT this year, but I used a lot of Aqua Mira tablets and tried not to squeeze. I also carry a 1L plastic bottle as my daily drinker, reserving the bladder for longer water carries.
+ One large Pod fits all of my clothing, electronics, and hygiene stuff without issue. Usually my cookware, too, if I'm carrying it. Strive for One Pod Perfection.
+ Nano drawstring sack is a perfect fit for a backcountry bidet and soap. Likewise for a small first aid kit.
+ Use toothpaste tablets, rather than paste. So much lighter, smaller, and better for the environment.
+ I didn't see any kind of electronics charging on this list. This is one of the heaviest categories for me, adding at least 1 lb of weight. I use two Nitecore 10ks, a Ravpower cube with 2 PD fast chargers and one USB port, and various short cords (PD, USB-C, USB-B) to charge my Nitecore headlamp, iPhone, AirPods, SOS device if carrying one, etc.
+ I didn't see any basic first aid supplies, either. I carry bleed stop, some kind of adhesive tape, a safety pin, sting relief, antihistamine, Tums, ibuprofen, at the very least. I've used—and been deeply thankful for—all on various adventures. Women will also need to consider additional hygiene products. I use a Divacup and a portable bidet.
+ YES to Ultamid and Unbound 2P, both. It's a battle between these two shelters depending on the conditions, but both are trusty friends with more than 7,000 combined miles on them.
+ Other things I carry are tiny scissors, tiny tweezers, headphones, a ground cloth or something to sit on during rest breaks, sometimes an umbrella, definitely a trowel, lip balm, sunscreen, bug spray, a tiny tub of Vaseline, Montbell wind pants, and some paracord.
How about y'all?1