The biggest burden on a trek is what you are going to carry. By all means, it troubles the trekkers a lot during their trek and before the trek. Before the trek, because it compels you to make tough choices.. You can’t take everything and anything on Trek. You have to be very choosy. And during the trek, if you didn’t packed something essential, or packed an item which aint meeting your expectation. I have created a checklist of packing exclusively for treks. I am sure it will come in handy.
Backpack – This is going to be your Pandora Box for the entire trek. Select its size based on duration of your trek, and its nature. By nature I mean, if you will be camping, cooking, on your own. Choose one that is lightweight but built of very strong fabric (Necessity).
Tent – If you are not staying in shelters or guest houses, make sure you have a tent strong enough to beat the weather and keep away rodents, insects, and anything unwanted. It has got to be strong, quick dry, and large enough to accommodate number of people on trek. Tip is you can even try at time of buying with accommodating that number of people it’s built for, and see if its cozy.
Sleeping bag – This thing decides how your day will go once night is over. It has to be comfortable, warm, spacious, most importantly compressible and portable.
Sleeping Pad and Pillow – As I said, to live your dreamt trek you will need a sound sleep. These both things are must to be compressible, portable, and occupy minimum space. Pads can be of foam, or blow up. Pillows have to be blow up. Pay attention to their warmth index.
Cooking Stove – This will save you from stomach cramps. It has to be light weight. You can decide the capacity of fuel tank by the amount of food you will need as per your appetite. But please remember to check whether the fuel supported is available in vicinity of starting point of trek.
The Cutlery – The essentials are to carry a Bowl, Mug and a spoon. This is the minimum set you need to carry. Choose a titanium bowl which will also help in cooking and even eating. Mug for things to carry and drink liquids, and spoon will do better than fork.
Boots – Hiking dedicated boots will do good if you want to protect your feet. Their only problem is that they are bit heavy, but so very tough. If you want to keep it light, you can choose Trail Runners. Top tip is to check the sole of your shoe it must be grippy and non-slippery.
Sunglasses – Don’t compromise on the quality, Polaroid is minimum, go anti-glare, scratchproof, etc. ones. For the frame shape, choose one that covers your entire eyes. Goggle shaped are nice pick as they stick to the face and give no room for rays to sneak.
Backpack rain covers – Your gear has to remain dry by all means, or it will cause much more than little inconvenience. Buy and test it real time with a water bottle. It has to be absolutely waterproof, even if it gets few grams heavier.
Trekking Poles – A couple of sticks will not make you feel old, but will surely ease your trek. Most of the treks have uneven landscape, where poles come in handy. It also helps to distribute the weight of your backpack. In long run, you will yourself feel the difference.
Water Bottles – Keep plenty of it, minimum to survive a day or two. On an average you can have at least a bottle with capacity of two liters. Thoroughly check if it’s not leaking, and is easy to carry. If not you can use two bottles of one liter each.
Water Filter Tools – Needless to say that in treks to remote and inhabited parts of world will get you in situation of water running out. This is where these tools come in handy. There are plenty of them that use different techniques. Point is you drink water safe to consume.
Undergarments – Keep a couple of them, and of fabric that quickly dries. You can’t be hanging around at same place waiting for your undies to dry. The material should be comfortable, as last thing you would want on a trek is itching in your private parts.
Trekking Pants – Choose one with multiple pockets. Khaki pants are overly popular with trekkers. You can also decide the fabric complying with the weather in your trek. Choose Cotton if it’s going to be hot, or something more woolen if it’s going to be cold, or a quick dry for rainy lands.
Shirts – Trek can expose you to extreme wilderness, so I suggest that you carry full sleeves shirts. They will guard you from insects and most importantly sun. If trek is going to be cold, pack woolen shirts. Better it is in drying quick, the good it is for you.
Wind Jackets – These are big boons for trekkers. Main reason that they are very lightweight, and very portable.. It will save you from cold winds, and will sufficiently warm you too. They can also withstand a light shower of rains, making it multi-purpose.
Socks – Too much of walking can be very hurtful and painful for your feet. But if you have chosen right socks, chances for safety of your foot will be more. This is the only item that you can bet on a heavy one. I mean choose socks with thick padding, and it will give comfort.
Hat – You will say thanks to us, for adding this item in your bag. Trust me, though its not Bahamas beach, but a sun hat in treks keeps you away from sun burns. Noon’s can be very killing, especially in tropical parts and higher altitudes. This one is life saver.
First Aid – The kit is must have, with band aids, Antiseptics, Sanitizers, Cotton buds, Paracetamols, Diamox tablets, your regular prescriptions, and emergency medicines. You don’t need to be a doctor, but be well aware of all sorts of sickness that can trouble you, along with preventive measures.
Toiletries – Toothpaste and brush to keep your mouth fresh, Toilet paper, sunscreen lotions to beat the sun, Hand sanitizers, body lotions, and a little bottle of liquid detergent. This will be all you will need.
Gadgets and Tools – Starting with a Swiss Knife, you are also going to need extra packs of batteries for all electronics you carry, a portable solar powered charging pad to electrify your gadget batteries to top, and a GPS to keep track of your trail.
Food – Pack yourself with canned food, ready to eat food, ready to cook food, chocolates, peanut butter, and anything that lasts for your trek without being spoiled.
Pack it like a PRO