Gear List: The Long Crossing of the Lofoten Islands

Overall I was happy with my gear selections for the Long Crossing. During the seven day trip we encountered inclement weather over the last day or two, but for the most part conditions were excellent. Nighttime temps at some of the higher campsites dipped below freezing, and during the day it rose to the low teens’ Celsius (i.e. low fifties Fahrenheit).  My base weight for the journey was 3.9 kg (8.6 lbs), and the total weight came in at 5.3 kg (11.7 lb).

For a general overview of the gear I recommend for cold and wet environments such as the Lofotens  (along with other advice), see Tips for Hiking in Cold and Wet Weather. Click here for a trip report / backpacking guide for the Long Crossing.

Yours truly with the MLD Burn DCF on the Long Crossing.

MLD Burn DCF w. Shoulder pocket 16     Made the switch to the DCF model in expectation of inclement conditions / This is the third incarnation of the Burn that I’ve owned since 2009. 
Pack Liner (Trash Compactor Bag) 2    
    18  0.5
MLD Duomid (0.75 DCF) 14.5     Upsized from the Solomid XL for a little more space in rainy environs (i.e. Highlands / Lofotens) / Very quick set up / Holds up well in a storm.
Polycro Ground Sheet 1.5       
Guylines – Kelty Triptease  1     Guyline of choice for many years.
Stakes – Mix of sizes & styles (8) / Mostly MSR Groundhogs 2.8     Groundhogs are great; in addition to their durability, the red colour makes me less likely to lose them than the generic silver.
  19.8  0.56
Pad – Thermarest NeoAir XLite (Small) 8     Very comfy / Doubles as makeshift framesheet for pack / Put feet on backpack when sleeping.
Quilt – Katabatic Alsek 22 (Long – 900fp Hyperdry Goose Down) 22.2     I would have been fine with the Palisade 30, but wanted to take the brand new Alsek for a test run. As with my other Katabatic quilts, the workmanship is top notch.
    30.2  0.86  
LokSak 20×12 (Food Bag) 1.2     Food storage bag of choice for hundreds of nights / Seals usually start to go after about six weeks of regular use. 
Gatorade Powder Container 1.8    
Toaks Titanium Spork 0.3     Top end wrapped in orange tape so I won’t lose it.
Bic Lighter 0.2      
Reconstituted sports drink bottles (2) 2.4      
    5.9 0.17  
Sunscreen (repackaged in tiny bottle)        
Hand Sanitizer (repackaged in dropper bottle)       I haven’t had a case of the backcountry trots since 1999…….I think a big reason is the diligent use of hand sanitizer.
Aquamira (repackaged in dropper bottles)        
Mini Toothbrush        
Toothpaste (mini tube)        
Dental Floss       Doubles as sewing thread
Antiseptic Wipes (2)       Clean cuts and wounds
Triple Antibiotic Cream (tiny tube)        
3M Micropore Medical Tape       Breathable, paper tape / Adheres well.
Ibuprofen (8)       Vitamin “I”
Toilet Paper        
Sewing Needle       One armed blind folks can sew better than me.
Duct Tape, Mini Tube Super Glue (repairs)       To compensate for lack of sewing skills
Nivea Lip Balm SPF 30       Kept with sunscreen & hand sanitizer in shoulder pocket. 
   4  0.11  
Rain Pants – Montbell Versalites 3.6     Lightweight, quick-drying, and a surprising amount of warmth for something that weighs less than 4oz / Not super durable.
Rain Jacket – Montbell Storm Cruiser 10     3 Layer Gore-tex / Warmer and more durable than 2.5 layer models – on the flip side, also a bit heavier. 
Insulation – Montbell Chameece Inner Jacket (older model) 8.8     I’ve owned this fleece for the last four years / Ideal insulation layer for early autumn in the Loffies – warm enough, not too heavy, and performs well when damp.
Wind Shirt – Montbell Tachyon Anorak (older model) 1.9     After more than a decade of using Montbell wind shirts, the warmth to weight ratio of these items never ceases to amaze me.
Extra Socks – Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew 2.6     Three years old and still going strong.
Dirty Girl Gaiters 1.3     Helps keep mud out of my trail runners.
Bandana (1) 0.5     Towel, neck/face protection, condensation wipe, convenience store holdups when low on cash.
MLD eVent Rain Mitts 1.2     Outer Layer for hands. 
Montbell Chameece Gloves 0.9     By far my all-time favourite liner gloves.
Warm Hat – Montbell Chameece Inner Cap 0.8     Excellent beanie / Not too thick / Stretchy enough to fit my noggin.
    31.6  0.9  
Phone – Samsung Galaxy S7 (Unlocked)  5.4     Have used an unlocked phone in recent years, to avoid roaming charges when overseas. I pick up a different SIM in each country and pay local rates.
Camera – Sony RX100 3 + Neoprene case 11.3     After a couple of years of using my phone, I bit the photography bullet and upgraded. Happy with the results so far. 
Stuff sacks – HMG Cuben Fiber (3) 2.5      
Montbell Power Head Lamp 1.9     This headlamp has grown on me. Lightweight, double-click, four settings, good battery life, 200 Lumens / 90 m (335 lumens / 120 m in Boost mode).
Montbell Trail Wallet (Orange) 0.5 Love this little wallet. Use it on trail and off. Upgrade from plastic card holder.
Swiss Army Classic 1.3      
Suunto M-2D 1.2     Lightweight, adjustable declination; compass of choice for years | (Note: No longer made. Have upgraded to Suunto M3 Global).
 Wall charger, cover, cord  3      
Small LokSaks for Valuables (2)  1     Protection for phone, charger, wallet
28.1 0.8  
BASE WEIGHT  TOTAL  8.6 lb  3.9 kg    
Shorts – Patagonia Baggies 7″  6.7 Hiking shorts of choice since 2015/16.
Base layer – Montbell Merino Long Sleeve Zip Neck  5.9     Great baselayer / Not too thin, not too thick / Spot on for shoulder season conditions. 
REI Merino Wool Liner socks  1.6 Still my favourite Merino liners after more than a decade / Cheaper and more durable than the big sock companies.
Hat – Adapt-a-cap 2.5 Back from the dead. Had it repaired and sewed up. Not as good as new, but still functional / From what I’ve seen, the latest models have a different design, and aren’t in the same league as the old ones.
Shoes – Brooks Cascadia 13  23.6 I’ve worn every model of the Cascadias since the 3’s, which came out more than a decade ago. Since that time I’ve tried Altras, La Sportivas and a couple of other different brands, but I always come back to the Cascadias.
 Fizan Compact – Hiking Pole (1)  5.6     Tent setup / Fencing practice during breaks. Tokyo 2020 here I come. 
Timex Ironman Watch  1.5      Light, cheap, durable, reliable. 
 Sunglasses  2     Polarized lenses / 100% UV Protection.
 49.4  1.38
 TOTAL WEIGHT 11.7 lb   5.3 kg


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19 Replies to “Gear List: The Long Crossing of the Lofoten Islands”

  1. Rain Pants: I have the OR Helium II rain pants. After about 1 hour of walking in the rain, the inseam at my inner ankle started to come apart (where my muddy Altra’s might rub).
    Does the MontBell pants have that problem too?
    You’d think they would reinforce that seam right there at the ankle.

      1. I like to cold soak when it’s warm.
        But when it gets cold, and I have to use ice cold water to soak the food, it turns into ice cold food.
        Then when I swallow ice cold food…it can chill me.
        How do you get around that Cam?

        1. It wasn’t much of an issue on this hike, as the temps were never that cold and we were occasionally able to pick up hot meals in some of the villages along the way. When it’s consistently well below freezing, more often than not I’ll bring along a small alcohol stove.

  2. Is there an advantage to the dfc Burn over the regular model? Seems like the weights are equivalent but maybe I’m missing something. Nice list- they always keep me thinking.

  3. Hi Cam!
    Ain’t Fizan compact’s on the short side for a duomid?
    I’ve had to look for longer poles (fizan everest -now Lhotse-) for the best pitch on my solomid.

    1. Hi Ricardo,

      Yes, they are a bit short. I used an MLD pole jack with the Fizan. The Lofoten hike was actually the last time I used the Fizan Compact. Over the years I’ve had the twist-lock mechanism fail on me a couple of times in extreme conditions, so I made the switch to a Montbell Alpine Carbon Pole. I’ve found the Cam (flip) lock to be easier to handle, more secure, and worth the extra ounce and a half.



  4. Hi Cam,

    I was wondering how you pack for travel? Do you carry on your pack or check it as luggage?
    I am planning a hike where I can fly in and then uber to the trail head. Looking at the ZPack’s airplane case. It would then double as a liner.
    Your thoughts,
    Thank You very much

    1. Hi Randy,

      It depends on the trip. More often than not I’m carrying a small swiss army knife and a hiking pole, so I’ll generally check my main bag. I usually put it inside an old duffel bag I picked up at a Thrift Store, or one of those plastic Ikea models you can pick up for a song online.



  5. Noticed that you’ve listed the NeoAir XLite Regular as 8oz, while the specs say the regular is 12oz. Did you mean size small as that’s 8oz?

  6. Hi Cam. Thanks for your account. I was in Lofoten solo hiking last year and (hopefully), aiming to return next year, possibly for the long crossing. Did you ever feel you should have taken footwear with more ankle support? i.e. Hiking boots, such as Salomons? Thanks

    1. Thanks for the message. In answer to your question, no, I didn’t ever wish I’d taken a different type of footwear. In my experience, the notion that hikers are less likely to have ankle issues wearing boots rather than trail running shoes is a myth. Over the past two decades, the only times I’ve worn waterproof boots have been while hiking for extended stretches in snowy, sub-freezing conditions when keeping my feet dry is a priority due to the risk of frostnip or frostbite.

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