Backpacking gear 2012

Female hiker walks along wooden planks in Tjäktjavagge on Kungsleden trail, Lappland, Sweden

Photo: Hiking in the rain on the  Kungsleden Trail, Sweden.  September 2012

Backpacking gear list for travels to Lofoten Islands, Norway and hiking the Kungsleden trail, Sweden.

Here’s a quick rundown of the gear I’m taking with me on my travels this year. First part is 2 weeks of late summer on the Lofoten Islands – a mixture of camping and hostels. Next is camping at a festival in Germany for a few days. This is followed by 10 days of hut-to-hut hiking on the northern section of the Kungsleden trail in northern Sweden. Then I’m back to the Lofoten Islands again for another 2-3 weeks of chasing autumn storms; I’ll probably mostly stay in hostels this time around, but maybe a night or two in the tent if I get a good forecast. Finally I’ll slowly head south. I’ll probably hang out in Stockholm for a few days and then head down to either Germany or Poland for a few weeks before flying back to the UK.

1 – Backpack
Golite Odyssey – 1.6kg/47oz – 90 Liter
Rain cover

2 – Clothing
Shell Jacket – Mountain Hardwear Trice jacket 489g/17oz
Shell Pant – Marmot Minimalist pant 292g/10.3oz
Insulation 1 – Patagonia R2 fleece 371g/13.1oz
Insulation 2 – Patagonia Ultralight down shirt 167g/5.9oz
Pants – Mountain Hardwear Nima pant 607g/1.5lb
Shorts
T-shirt – 2 cotton, 1 synth
Socks – 3 pair
Underwear – 3 pair
Gloves
Beanie
Sandals (for hostel showers)
Shoes – Montrail Mountain Massochist II Outdry

I’m trying something new with clothing this year. I probably have mentioned several times that I don’t really like hard shell jackets, as I often get way too hot in them until the temperature drops a few degrees below freezing. But from my wet, cold, snowy, windy experience on the Kungsleden trail in the autumn of 2009, I think a shell jacket will make sense (of course with my luck, every day will be 15˚ C and sunny. Not that I would complain!) My reasoning is along the lines of: Most days I will need to wear a fairly weather resistant jacket while hiking. If I were to wear something like a soft-shell or Marmot DriClime windshirt, I would still need to carry a rain shell anyhow, albeit a light one. So I might as well just hike a heavy duty rain shell and avoid carrying the extra couple hundred grams of a second jacket.

I’m also going without a second pair of ‘normal’ pants, instead taking only a second shell pant. This will also help to save a bit of weight. For my normal day to days pants, I chose something a bit warmer, so again, I hope I don’t overheat.

For footwear I’m going with waterproof trail runners. It’s possibly a bit risky and I’ll likely end up with some wet feet at a few points, but since I’ll probably be staying most nights in the STF mountain cabins, and with a warm fire to dry everything off, I don’t think it will be a problem. If I knew I was going to be in a tent the whole time, I would definitely take a lightweight waterproof boot or mid level shoe.

3 – Sleeping
Tent – Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum 992g/35oz
Sleeping Bag – REI Sub Kilo -7˚C/20˚F 820g/29oz
Pad – Thermarest NeoAir 397g/14oz (old version)

The only new addition here is the tent. It’s 2 person and lighter than the old 1 person tents I used to carry. And costs a hell of a lot of money! The sleeping pad is a bit heavier than if I were to take a foam one, but the savings on space, as well as added comfort, is worth it for me. The sleeping bag should be plenty warm.

4 – Cooking & Food
Stove: Primus TiLite + Titanium pot (.9l) – 9 oz.
Water filter – Katadyn mini
Food
Fork and Spoon

5 – Trekking Poles
Black Diamond Ultra Distance 297g/10.5oz

6 – Hygiene/Health
Small first aid kid
Toothbush/toothpase
Camp soap (multi-use)
Camp towel
Hand cleaner
Deodorant (only because I feel sorry for anyone who has to sit next to me on a train/bus/plane if I haven’t showered in a few days)

HIking and backpacking gear 2012