Listed below are items I use on three-season backpacking trips as of December, 2012. Choices will vary according to terrain, climate, length and nature of the hike (ie. big mileage days usually equate to a lighter load; mellow, more sociable hikes mean a few more luxury items). Generally speaking, my base weight for three season trips is around 3 – 4 kg (6.6 – 8.8 lbs).
- MLD Burn
- Poncho Tarp: MLD Silnylon Pro Poncho or Integral Designs SilPoncho (doubles as outer layer / rainwear)
- Note: In extremely wet environments where I will most likely not have a chance to dry my shelter (eg. Scotland, SW Tasmania), I will often take a lightweight double wall tent such as the Big Agnes Seedhouse.
- Sleeping Bag: Katabatic Palisade 30°
- Sleeping mat: Thermarest NeoAir
- If tarping, I will carry a lightweight water resistant / breathable bivy sack (MLD Superlight Bivy). This increases the warmth of my sleeping system by 5 – 10°.
- Hiking Shirt: Long sleeve polyester shirt with either zip or buttons.
- Shorts: Nylon running shorts
- Socks: 3 pairs – thin / breathable (one pair usually kept clean for sleeping)
- Bandana: Cotton / no-frills
- Hat: Adapt-a-cap; bee-keeper style.
- Vest: Western Mountaineering Flash Vest or Montbell Thermawrap vest
- Lightweight Fleece: Patagonia R1 Hoody
- Alternatively, instead of the Hoody/Vest combination, I will take either a Montbell Thermawrap Jacket or a Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover.
- Wind shirt: Montbell Tachyon Anorak
- Poncho: MLD Silnylon Pro Poncho or ID Silponcho (doubles as shelter)
- Wind pants: Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants
- Note: In consistently wet and cold conditions I will often take a waterproof jacket (Integral Designs eVent Thru Hiker) and pants (GoLite Reed), instead of a Poncho Tarp.
- Alcohol stove (Pepsi Can model – favourite from AntiGravityGear)
- Windscreen (aluminium ovenpan liner cut to size)
- Hard plastic Spork
- Pot (0.9 lt.- lightweight aluminium non-stick)
- Pot cozy
- Small lighter / Matches
- Fuel bottle (capacity 8 ounces / 0.24 litres)
- Cotton wool ball coated in Vaseline (2) – for emergency fire starting.
Medical kit / Hygiene
- Duct tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Bandaids or medical tape
- Hand sanitizer
- Sewing needle
- Dental floss
- 2 x 600ml plastic bottles (one for each side of the pack)
- 2 litre Platypus hydration bladder (if hiking in arid areas I may take more than one)
- Aqua Mira Drops (chlorine dioxide) for water treatment.
- Brooks Cascadia or Montrail Sabino Trail.
- Small utility tool: Swiss Army Classic – simple, light, all you need 99% of the time.
- Headlamp: Petzl Tikka Zipka or Photon Freedom
- Compass: Suunto M-2 (adjustable for magnetic variation)
- Gaiters: Dirty Girl Gaiters for arid environments / MLD eVent Gaiters for snowbound terrain.
- Journal/Phone: iPhone 4s (2012)
- Camera: Canon Powershot SX230 HS
- Umbrella: Montbell UL Trekking Umbrella
- Money / credit card
- Passport / Driver’s license
For temps consistently between 0° and -15° celsius, I generally take the following items which will either replace or complement the above mentioned gear:
- Sleeping Bag: Katabatic Sawatch 15°( – 9° celsius). Combined with an MLD Superlight Bivy plus clothing keeps me warm down to -20° celsius.
- Sleeping Mat: I will sometimes add a 2/3 length thin foam pad to my Thermarest NeoAir.
- Mittens: Merino wool. Combined with thin polypro liners and MLD eVent mittens. This three layer system gives greater flexibility over a wider range of temps and exertion levels.
- Base Layer Top: Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Zip Neck and/or Patagonia R1 Hoody
- Base Layer Bottom: Patagonia Capilene 2 Thermal Bottoms
- Insulation Layer: Down Jacket – Montbell UL Down Jacket
- Outer Layer: Montbell Tachyon Anorak and GoLite Reed pants
- Headwear: Merino Wool beanie combined with the Hood on the Patagonia R1.
- Footwear: For long stretches in snowy conditions, where keeping my feet dry is a priority due to the risk of frostnip or frostbite (see Hot & Cold), I will generally wear lightweight goretex boots, layer my socks (thin merino liner under a wool blend medium weight) and wear full-length eVent gaiters to keep the snow from entering in the top of my boots.