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Dialling in your gear is a task you can work on forever. Every hiking expert advises you to get your gear as ultralight as possible to help reduce pack weight. A lighter load guarantees a more enjoyable hike.

But what if ultralight means functionality and durability are compromised? If lightweight gear fails what good is it? Conversely, what if you are taking heavier luxury items others may find superfluous? Seriously, does it really matter what other people think? Absolutely, not! Weigh up all their advice (pardon the pun) and decide what gear you want and the weight you are comfortable carrying.

A general rule of thumb is to carry no more than one-third of your body weight. Once you are comfortable with your choices get out on the trail and try your gear out. Consider some preparatory multi-day hikes in varying weather conditions. Remove redundancies, like taking a lantern when your head torch can perform the same task. Take a long, hard look at unused gear. You might be tempted to remove your rain gear if it didn’t rain but essential survival items should be retained. It’s those extra clothes, toiletries, and nice-to-haves that possibly could be trimmed. Remember, it’s your hike and you can take what you like. Just be aware the heavier the load the greater the strain on your body and the potential for discomfort. Ultimately the aim is to find a happy medium where you carry what you need and it doesn’t impact your enjoyment of your epic hike.

Here’s my gear list from my PCT hike in 2019.

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