Updated: Oct 27, 2021
I have already discussed my packing list in several blog posts and you can find it here. But to go into more detail, I took a new picture of the contents of the backpack that I carried with me on the GR738 last week. Per item, I explain why I brought it along. In the end, the total weight without food, drinks and hiking poles was 6,6 kilogram.
1) Backpack: Granite Gear Crown VC 60. My lightweight backpack, weighing about 1kg. It more than meets my needs for a hike like the GR738. Because this GR hike has to be done partly in complete autonomy, I had to bring enough food. If there were more possibilities for resupply, a 40-45L backpack would have sufficed.
2) Trekking poles: Black Diamond Trail Shock Pro. These are relatively heavy hiking poles, but they do what they are supposed to do. The suspension provides extra comfort on descents. These are actually only in the backpack on the way to the hiking area.
3) Freeze dried meals: For years I'm taking MX3 (tasty, not too expensive) and Expedition Foods (high in calories) with me and recently I got to know Lyo Foods (very tasty, top quality but expensive). The meals usually go in the bottom of the rucksack if there is a large quantity involved. A smaller quantity I keep on hand in a dry bag from Osprey (see number 25). In total, I had 4.4 kg of food with me for 6 days of autonomy. The picture does not show the total amount of meals, but just a small selection. I foresaw about 2500 to 3000 kcal per day.
4) Snacks: Go along in an Osprey dry bag (see number 25), together with some freeze dried meals.
6) Gas stove: Optimus Crux Lite. A more powerful little burner of only 72 grams (87 grams with bag) than this one is not easy to find. That's why it always goes in the backpack.
7) Cooking pot: MSR Titan Kettle. This titanium cooking pot with 0.85 litre capacity is actually too large for bringing water to the boil to prepare a freeze-dried meal. But sometimes I also cook in the pot and then the pot just suffices. There are lighter alternatives than the MSR kettle, such as the 700ml from Toaks.
8) Knife: Opinel n°7.
9) Gas cartridge: MSR IsoPro 230g. The gas mixture makes little difference during the summer months. By chance, this was the cartridge I had left with sufficient capacity for this trip. You can read all about gas cartridges and their autonomy here.
10) Water filter: MSR Trailshot. With its 144 grams, it is certainly not the lightest filter on the market, but I think it does what it is supposed to do and is also sufficiently practical. A water filter ensures that you can fill up wherever there is water available and therefore - if you plan well - you will need to carry much less water. The plastic bottles that I carried had a total volume of 2.5 litres.
11) Spare underwear (2 pairs)
12) T-shirt: Icebreaker Anatomica Short Sleeve. Merino wool base layer that I use as a t-shirt. Light, comfortable and also provides enough warmth when I'm all sweaty.
13) Spare socks: Falke TK2 Short Cool (2 pairs). My favourite socks for years and years, made from polypropylene, nylon, lyocell and polyester.
14) Leggings: Icebreaker Oasis 200. I use these both in the evening at camp and at night to sleep, so I don't have to take a sleeping bag liner with me.
15) Cap: Protection from the sun. Always take it with you!
16) Fleece: Arcteryx Delta LT Jacket. A light fleece that is mainly used to keep me warm when hiking. I usually wear it when there is a slight breeze and of course on chilly mornings. In the evening I can keep it on under my down jacket when it cools down a bit.
17) Topoguide GR738. Normally I opt for printed hiking maps. They are much lighter than a topoguide. But in this case I didn't have the time to get the maps.
18) Down jacket: Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket. In the past, I have made the mistake of relying solely on a fleece in the mountains, even in summer. Therefore, I have chosen a slightly lighter fleece (the Arcteryx Delta above) supplemented with the Down Sweater Jacket from Patagonia. I wear this mainly when staying on a summit or in the bivouac for a longer period of time.
19) Scoop: TheTentLab The Deuce. The scoop to bury my shit! Read more about shitting outdoors here.
20) Toilet paper: Preferably uncoloured and unscented. Better for nature if I have to leave it in the hole.
21) Rain jacket: Patagonia Torrentshell 3L. There are plenty of GoreTex jackets on the market which do have a higher water column and may also be more hardwearing. But with its H2NO membrane, Patagonia has a jacket that offers a good compromise between price, waterproofness and breathability in comparison to more expensive GoreTex copies. Moreover, Patagonia repairs broken garments for free (if they are still repairable, of course).
22) Garbage bag: Ortlieb Dry Bag. This Dry Bag from Ortlieb serves as a bin bag. I put a plastic trash bag in it. This way, my dirt cannot leak into the backpack and in the worst case, I can easily attach the dry bag to the outside of the backpack.
23) Towel: PackTowl Ultralite. This small towel hangs from the shoulder belt to wipe sweat from my forehead, but is also used in the morning to wipe condensation from the tent or tarp. Dries very fast.
24) Towel: Sea to Summit Drylite Towel XS (30x60 cm). A microfibre towel that can be wrung out. You never really get completely dry with it, but it does absorb most of the moisture. You will dry fast anyway because your body heat will do the rest.
25) Dry bags: Osprey Ultralite Dry Sacks (2 x 12 L, 2 x 6 L). The two largest dry bags, 12 litres, are used for food, spare clothing and dirty laundry. A 6 litre dry bag is used to store all the cooking equipment, but also the next meal. This way, I can quickly prepare food if necessary. The other 6-litre bag is for all the other equipment such as lenses, power bank, first aid kit, etc.
26) NOK Akileine: This anti-friction cream can be used against blisters, but I use it mainly to prevent friction between the buttocks. There is nothing more annoying than having to walk with a burning butt. I never have blisters (unless I have bad shoes, like on the Eifelsteig in 2020). I took the whole tube with me, for lack of a small jar to put it in.
27) First aid kit: This kit contains only the most necessary, such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, plasters, gauze, bandages, a tick remover and an emergency blanket.
28) Toothbrush and toothpaste. I use the head of my electric toothbrush and some toothpaste in a small jar.
29) Wet Wipes
30) Coghlan's mirror: This mirror is for putting in my lenses, because after all these years I still can't do it without. It can also be used in an emergency.
31) Contact lenses: I use daily contact lenses, but also take my glasses with me (not pictured).
32) Headlamp: Petzl Bindi. This headlamp weighs 35 grams, making it one of the lightest on the market, if not the lightest. Three adjustable light intensities (6, 100 and 200 lumens). No matter what anyone says, you won't need more than 200 lumens, even if you're hiking at night. The Bindi also has a red light so you won't be blinded when you turn your light off.
33) Powerbank: Xtorm 20,000 and cable. Sufficient to charge my phone about 5 times. I can also last 3 to 4 days with my phone in full battery saving mode. I use my phone to take the photos that are on this website.
34) MSR and Big Agnes pegs. I use both the standard MSR pegs and the Big Agnes Dirt Dagger. The Big Agnes ones, in an I-shape, are much more robust than regular pegs and can be used in ground that is full of stones.
35) Pillow: Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight Regular. Actually, I use my spare clothing bag as a pillow and wrap my fleece around it to create a soft surface. But I wanted to try something different.
36) Sleeping bag: Sea to Summit Spark SpIII. A sleeping bag with a comfort temperature of -2°C with 850 cuin down and nice and light with its 665 grams. After my previous trips to the Alps, I opted for this one to be sure I wouldn't get cold at night. The temperature can drop below freezing in the mountains, even in the middle of summer.
37) Sleeping mat: Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated. Not my standard mat, but one that I got on loan. Very comfortable with its 10 cm thickness and an insulation value of 3.2. The storage bag doubles as a pump bag and is easy to use.
38) Tarp: DD Hammocks Superlight Tarp. My latest acquisition. Actually it is for two people, but I wanted more space and construction options.
39) Footprint: MSR Universal Footprint 2. Because my bivy bag was not delivered on time, I chose MSR's footprint to sleep on and thus protect the mat and sleeping bag from dirt and condensation from below.
Not on the photo: the clothes I was wearing, water bottles (2 x 1 Liter and 1 x 0.5 Liter), emergency whistle and glasses+case.