What I’m packing for a week-long hiking and camping trip
Summer is finally here and I’m SO excited for my first hiking-backpacking-camping-SOLO-multi-day hike. Now if you’re a regular reader of this here blog (and if not you can subscribe at the bottom of the page, thank you kindly) you’ll know that I’ve been slowly working my way up to this over the last 2 or so years, starting with going on a hike by myself, then hiking for multiple days in a row, then camping, then hiking multiple days in a row BY MYSELF, and now we put them all together in a beautiful sandwich that I am calling My First Short Almost Thru Hike. “Almost” because I am still missing one final piece in the puzzle to the true thru hiker status, which is to wild camp and carry my own food and filter water on route. Oh and also not showering for about 8 days in a row. But no matter! I am Thru-Hiking-Lite as I will be camping on campsites because a) wild camping is illegal in the UK and b) this will be my first solo camping mission, and I’m a slow acclimatiser, and c) campsites = higher chance of fries. Judge me all you will.
The hike I’m going to do is a 6-day section of the South West Coast Path called the Atlantic Coast, which runs west from Padstow in Cornwall to St Ives. I’m expecting some strong winds, possible rain and classic British Summer weather, which a friend once referred to as “reliable disappointment”. So basically I’m prepared for most weather conditions from scorching to miserable, but don’t have extras for swapping around each day. My goal is to have as light a pack as I can so I can walk the 6+ hours a day comfortably, and without wanting to throw my bag or myself off a very nearby cliff.
And since these are the type of posts I pore over myself I wanted to share with you what I’m taking on my trip! A few of these items I’m listing may come in handy if you’re on the lookout for new gear yourself, or just want a general idea of how much/little you can get by with for a week-long mission. So without further ado, this is my pack list for a week on the SWCP! I’ve added links for the more obvious things, but some I’ve just had for ages and aren’t available anymore/you probably have something like this at home anyway.
Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV2.
I LOVE this tent.
Sleeping bag: Eurohike down 3 season bag
I bought this bad boy for £50 a few years ago and at 1,2kg it’s actually decently light for a warm and snuggly bag.
Backpack: Osprey Aura 65L
Now, this is pretty massive for such a short trip, but I love the fit of this bag so I want to give it a go. I took off the lid to save 170 grams. *cough Ultralight nerd cough*
I swear by this thing.
Sleeping pad: Thermarest Women’s NeoAir XLite
Light, warm, works a treat. The “loud when you roll at night” myth doesn’t apply for me as it’s too narrow to roll anyway. Ha!
Exped pillow case
I thought this was an actual pillow but it turns out it’s just a case you have to stuff a jumper in to get any pillow effect… meh. Note to self: pick up an inflatable pillow.
Vital for tent life.
I imported this from Switzerland, that’s how much I read about Montbell, and it didn’t disappoint. I really like it.
An old man shirt I got at a vintage shop
Makes me feel cute and great for sun protection, and it covers my butt and it’s cosy ok!!
Nike running shorts
Oh, the freedom.
Nothing fancy here, just an old H&M one I use for yoga. Fun fact: it colour matches my backpack, so that’s cool.
I’ve thought about bringing a Tilley hat before like every hike I’ve gone on but a bog standard baseball cap always wins. This time I’m bringing a blue one. That’s about as exciting as it gets.
For medium-to-cold day hiking. These leggings have lasted me 2 years now and they’re my favourite fit and fabric I’ve tried.
Salewa fleece jacket
I’m leaving my down puffer jacket at home because surely it won’t be THAT cold? And the fleece weighs less and will be great for sleeping and walking. I’ll keep an eye on the weather report for this one though and might switch it last minute.
Quick-drying polyester t-shirt
Any type of nylon or polyester “sports” shirt is what you want here. I thought about getting a merino wool one (merino wool doesn’t stink as fast!!) but surely this will do, and I have it already. Plus, I’m bringing washing detergent this time!
Camp shoes to put on after a long day of walking make me feel very warm and fuzzy inside. I ordered lighter Xero barefoot sandals which I’m really excited about, but alas the shipping is taking longer than I’d hoped so I’m likely to be off before they get to me. So trusty old Tevas it is.
I have a pair of £10 Peter Storm rain trousers I bought on sale at Blacks in the UK that weigh less than HALF my fancy new ones, so these are coming along.
Merino wool leggings
For sleeping, or proper cold days hiking (under the rain trousers if things get really uncomfortable).
3 pairs of pants
Quick drying if you don’t want to hang them off your pack to dry like a pants-flag.
Second pair of hiking socks
For sleeping and/or alternating. Both pairs are Smartwool Light Running socks.
Come on, England.
Hoping for frequent use
Muji packing cube filled with: SPF50, Dr Bronner’s travel soap, shampoo, a comb, Ruby’s menstrual cup, travel toothpaste, toothbrush, travel mascara and concealer (I’ve always travelled with a few makeup-ish products but these days this is as far as I’ll go), lip balm, hand sanitiser, nail clipper, ear plugs, eye mask and a tube of travel clothes washing soap which is THE key to how I wear the same clothes for 2 weeks! Hoorah!
Medicine and stuff
Emergency blanket (it makes my parents feel better), blister plasters, bandaids, ibuprofen, magnesium powder (for sore muscles), rehydrating salts.
Phone charger bank, Kindle, iPhone, headphones.
Travel towel, sunglasses, Kleen Kanteen 850ml water bottle, map book, Exped M drybag for clothes.
Voila! Since I’m also spending a week prior to my hike visiting family I may concede to bringing a non-hiking dress for like in case we go for a “nice lunch” somewhere that has a no-leggings policy (does anywhere?). But overall I’m really happy with my packlist! My current base weight is 8.2kg which feels really fine to carry. I’ll keep updating this post with any changes I make in the course of the week of preparing, and will let you know how I get on with washing all my clothes every day during the trip. Weeeee!