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Hiking hints and tips - packing list

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

I worked hard on keeping the weight of my rucksack down while walking the South West Coast Path. I used almost everything that I carried, except for emergency items like the bandage, so I think that I planned it reasonably well.

I have listed everything that I carried below. I would love to get my base weight down even lower. If you have any suggestions for me, please add them to the comments below. And if there's anything you think is an absolute must, that I have not included, I would also love to hear from you.

Fold up trowel. I carried this in case I had a call of nature when there wasn't a toilet nearby. Because there are so many public toilets on the South West Coast Path, I didn't ever need to use it. Being made of steel, it's quite heavy, so I will think carefully about whether or not I'm likely to need it before packing it again.

One change of clothes – trousers, top, warm layer, knickers, socks, bra, hanky.

Flip flops to wear in the evening - my 300g luxury item!

Wash bag – toothbrush, toothpaste, medication, face cream, deodorant, nail scissors (not needed for shorter trips), travel soap/shower gel, wipes for a tent 'wash', sun cream, insect repellant.

Face mask & hand sanitiser. Well, it was 2020! Wherever I asked, shops and pubs let me fill up my small hand sanitiser bottle from their supplies for customer use.

Outer layer – waterproof jacket and trousers, warm hat, gloves. Waterproof cover for rucksack. I really feel the cold. You might not need all of these if walking in summer.

First aid/emergency kit – bandage, plasters, hikers wool, ibuprofen, space blanket, toe gel tube, sterilising wipes, tweezers/tic remover, whistle. A spare pair of shoelaces that could also be used if a guy rope broke, or to create a clothes line. Water purification tablets in case I struggled to get hold of potable water. Swiss card (lighter than a penknife).

Mending kit – needle & thread, tent-repair kit, safety pins, tenacious tape.

Travel towel - mine are only a few grams each, so I carried two - one for me, one for kit that needed drying off.


Camping kit - 2 person tent (I would have struggled to fit my rucksack in the 1 person alternative, and it was only slightly lighter), inflatable sleeping mat (I started out with 1/2 a foam pad, which is lighter but nowhere near comfortable enough. In the end, I decided that I preferred to carry a bit of extra weight and sleep better), sleeping bag, head torch, spare batteries.

Eating kit - Stove and fuel, matches in case the ignition stopped working. Knife, fork and spoon, scrubbing pad for cleaning pan (integral part of stove).

Food & water - 2 dehydrated meals for use when I couldn't find anywhere to eat in the evening, tea bags, spare food bags & clips. Muesli and dried milk for breakfast. Dried fruit. I added to this as I walked, thinking every day about where the next opportunity to buy food was going to be. Water bottles - 2 litres.

Miscellaneous - loo roll, bag for rubbish, silk scarf (warm, lightweight and can use as a bandage), phone, tripod, charger & plug, ear pods, 2 spare battery packs, notepad & pen, spare specs, cash & bank card (spread out in 2-3 different places, no wallet), 2 clothes pegs.

It seems that I don't have many photos of myself with my rucksack on. This is on a light day - I camped in the same place for two nights, so didn't need to carry spare clothes or camping kit.


Instead of a steel trowel, there exists an aluminum product called "Deuce of Spades." Available in the U.S., I am sure checking Amazon would show results for your geographic area. A common complaint is the metal edge where you grip tends to bite into palm creating soreness; there are competitors whose design eliminates this. Weighs in at 17 gms (0.6 oz). Lifetime warranty.

As a substitute for the insect repellant & sunscreen how about this: I bought UPF/SPF 50 rated clothing with tech-wicking fabric so that even long-sleeves in midday sun feels cool; this gear also can be bought with "Insect-Shield" treatment OR spray-on after-market permethrin takes care of no-see-ums and their flying/biting cousins. No chemicals on hands when you…

Replying to

Thank you. I'm always keen to reduce the weight of my pack further. I hope you enjoy the Camino Frances. Have you seen my blog posts about my pilgrimage on the Camino last summer? And I've just launched a book 'Walking the Camino' that you might enjoy.


Feb 01, 2021

Good tips. Shows the good planning if only 1 item seemed superfluous.

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