If you’ve ever been interested in doing a backpacking trip or have started looking into doing a multi-day backpacking trek across a mountain range or through, chances are that you’ve realized just how many choices are carefully made throughout the entire planning process.
Multi day hikes are an amazing opportunity to get out into nature, spend time with others or by yourself without distractions and challenge yourself. I’m not going to lie, a lot of work goes into planning a multi day hike as it is important to be prepared as you won’t be in close contact with those that can help straight away or a 7 eleven around the corner.
If you are like us, when we started planning our first multi day hike we had all sorts of questions; what do we need to take, how much food, how much water, how much weight and just what are the cheapest but best gear opinions. This is our guide to help you answer those questions and get your prepared to tackle the off-beaten track.
First, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- How long will this realistically take me?
- Am I fit and healthy enough to complete this hike with a pack?
- Do you feel confident doing the trek alone or with those joining you? i.e. do you feel equipped to be able to handle an emergency situation?
- What is the weather going to be like?
- Will there be animals or other obstacles that I need to think about?
These are the resources we used to prepare our packing list (need to add food), adding/taking out cold weather as needed:
- Adventure Junkies have a comprehensive Hiking Quick Starter Guide that answered a lot of our questions. They also have a complete Multi-Day Hiking Packing List and an accompanying checklist
- Section Hiker ‘What should I pack on a 3 day backpacking trip‘
- Uncornerned Market ‘Trekking Packing Checklist‘
- Trail Patrol of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club ‘BPChecklist‘
- Washington Trail Association also had some great tips for Backpacking 101
- For planning our food we used this guideline
All of these lists and purchased items are based on our own research and opinions. After testing everything out we were very happy with all of our purchases. We didn’t feel as though we were missing anything. Additional purchases since the original post are marked.
WHAT TO WEAR?
Through a lot of research and testing out at different occasions at REI and MEC we decided on the following clothing, boots and backpack.
|Backpack||Gregory Jade 53 – Purple||Osprey Atmos 50|
|Water Bladder||Zomake 3L||Camelback 2L|
|Boots||Ahnu Montara||Lowa Renegade GTX Mid|
|White Sierra Convertible||Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible|
|Hat||Outdoor Research Bucket Hat||Sunday Afternoons Cruiser Hat – Sand|
|Rain Jacket||Rivers Rainbuster||Marmot Precip Jacket|
|Bag Cover||Provided with backpack||Osprey Ultralight – M|
WHAT GEAR DO I NEED?
Between our backpacks we split the following gear:
|Sleeping Bag||Marmot Trestles -11C||2.0|
|Pots/stove||Snowpeak Personal Cooker 3||0.60|
|Compression Sack||Outdoor research – 15L||0.10|
|Water Purification||Saywer Mini||0.13|
|Stove||Etekcity w/ piezo ignition||0.14|
|First Aid kit||Oumers||0.11|
|Multitool||Gerber Suspension MultiPlier||0.25|
|Tent Footprint||Outad Waterproof||0.38|
|Inflatable Pillow||Naturehike inflatable||0.08|
|Sleeping Pad||Thermarest lite sol (Small 130cm)||??|
WHAT DO I NEED TO PACK?
All of the above, plus the following in our backpacks:
|Stainless Steel Utensils |
|Merino thermal |
|Wool socks (2 pairs)||Dish Scrubber|
|Underwear (2 pairs)||Ziplock Bags|
|T-shirt (1 extra)||Toilet Paper|
HOW MUCH FOOD TO PACK?
From our research the below are the main points and tips to keep in mind when deciding what to pack. From the below we packed 4L of water (3L in bladder and 1L in plastic bottle for Gatorade) and about 2kg of food each for 2-3 days.
- 3000 – 4000 calories per day = 450-900g
- Plan 3 meals per day + snacks
- Measure and package meals individually (ziplock bags are great for this)
- Buy instant foods for dinner (just add water) and pre-package lunch (so don’t have to unpack on the trail.
- Drink 3.8 L of water per day
This is a meal plan of what we took for each day and what we packed.
Mustard & Mayo