Coast to Coast backpacking gear list

I’ve done it. I’ve become one of those hikers that weighs all of their stuff. I had a moment when putting my bra on the kitchen scales where I wondered if I’d crossed some sort of line, but I now think it’s an important part of preparation for any long distance hike. If you don’t know how much your stuff weighs, you can’t go about reducing it. And if you don’t think about reducing the weight of your gear, then you might not be having as much of a fun, safe and comfortable hike as you could be. It’s also remarkably satisfying and addictive trying to cut away a few grams here and there. I’ve told you I like spreadsheets, right?

I am by no means a lightweight or ultralight hiker. I believe this a process that takes time, experimenting at each hike over which areas of kit you can adapt to having lighter gear, or removing pieces altogether. It takes time to acquire the skills needed to be safe with ultralight kit. But, I will always be trying to reduce my pack weight so I can further enjoy the freedom of movement of hiking. Andrew Skurka talks about this nicely and Alex Roddie talks about the ‘controversy‘. And, after spending a bit too long getting sidetracked, I found a (nearly geriatric, in internet years) article by Jim Wood who quite rightly suggests I may well be better off looking to shed a few kilos of my own.

You could spend a lot of money getting the lightest kit, and to be honest, if I had a lot of money I probably would. Instead either I use what I already have/can borrow, buy second hand, or make some sort of compromise on weight vs price. For example, the only sleeping bag I used to have was a tiny one rated to +12°C. Clearly not suitable for outdoor use for 99% of the UK year. I could have spent £440 on a PhD K Minim 400 for a 635g to -5°C bag, but went for a £180 Alpkit Pipedream 400 for 840g to -6°C. I like Alpkit a lot.

The list below is my kit list for walking the Coast to Coast in April. It’s my first backpacking kit list, and second hiking one – I’ve made a few changes from my Switzerland gear.

It comes to a total base weight of 10.5kg. Base weight refers to the weight of the backpack and everything in it minus any consumables (food, water, gas etc.) and anything that you are wearing/holding. At this weight, I’m on the edge between ‘traditional’ and ‘lightweight’.

Packing – 2.3kg

Kit Item/brand Weight (g)
Backpack Osprey Aura 65 1930
4 dry bags Karrimor/Alpkit 276
Map & phone cases   15
Pocket Handbag   53
Bin/plastic bags   20
  • 65 litres should be roomy for this trip – the extra space is intended for sections of the TA when I’d need to carry many days worth of food. The Aura’s waist belt is like a crab’s claw that hugs you, very comfortable. It’s heavier than I was intending to get, but with the weight of my gear at this point on my hiking career I’ve gone for the comfort option
  • I have all my gear in colour-coded dry bags inside my backpack, for back-up dryness from the rucksack rain cover, and for ease of finding stuff
  • Waterproof cases for maps as it’s highly likely whilst walking in the UK I’ll need to look at a map whilst it’s raining
  • Pocket handbag – really useful in the evenings and food shopping, folds into it’s own pocket (stocking present a few years ago!)
Osprey Aura 65

Shelter – 2.7kg

Tent Tarptent Scarp 1 1484
Sleeping mat Thermarest NeoAir X-lite 357
Sleeping bag Alpkit Pipedream 400 840
  • I won’t be taking the cross-poles or groundsheet for the Scarp
  • I’ve swapped the pegs that come with the tent for MSR mini groundhog stakes so there is more of a purchase to loop the guyline around, and the V shape should stay rooted in softer ground
Scarp, thermorest and pipedream

Kitchen – 0.6kg

Stove Alpkit Koro 133
Pot Alpkit Mytipot 900 122
Cutlery Sea to summit spork 10
Water filter Sawyer mini filter 93
Water bottles Camelbak, Platypus, OMM 334
Ignition Alpkit spark & lighter 43
Sponge   5
  • The 900ml pot is big enough for 1 person cooking
  • I’m not expecting to use the filter much, if at all, but at that weight it can’t hurt
  • Water bottles = Camelbak 750ml, Platypus 1L, OMM 500ml, plus the ~400ml pouch included in the filter, gives me a max capacity of ~2.6 litres, which should be plenty
Koro and Mytipot

Clothing (carried) – 2.5kg

Camp shoes New Look 340
Walking shorts Columbia 176
2 x Walking socks Hilly 112
1 x Tent socks GoOutdoors 22
2 x T shirts Rab/northFace 167
Mid layer jumper Lowe Alpine 274
Down jacket Rab 370
Waterproof coat Mountain Equipment Manaslu 475
Waterproof trousers Berghaus 235
Gloves Ronhill 36
2 x pants Patagonia 70
Sports bra H&M 72
Pyjama short BAM 188
  • New Look might not be the go-to for outdoor kit, but my espadrille-style £10 pair I got a few years ago are comfier and not much heavier than my flip flops, for campsites and as a dry alternative to my walking shoes in the evenings
  • Tent socks so I always have something dry to put on
  • 2 spare socks, shirts and pants means I have one drying from being washed and one clean set to put on at the end of the day
  • Waterproof trousers with a full-leg zip are essential – no more hopping around in the mud
  • I may yet cave and throw in my windshell jacket, as its so much nicer to wear when it’s just windy than my waterproof jacket
ME Manaslu being tested up Helm Crag

Bathroom – 1kg

Washbag   42
Toothbrush   20
Toothpaste   50
Shampoo/conditioner   105
Moisturiser   60
Chap stick 13
Suncream   50
Contact lenses 2 weeks + spare 80
Glasses + case   132
Compact (brush and mirror)   38
Ladies hygeine 2 weeks 54
Towel Lifeventure 178
Toilet roll   20
Clothes wash & line   87
Trowel Coghlans Backpacker Trowel 51
  • I wear daily contact lenses – more bulk, but easier hygeine when camping
  • I’m being optimistic with the sun cream…

 

Electronics – 1kg

Headtorch Lenser SEO 5 105
Chargers   95
Battery pack Anker 13000mAh 254
Phone Samsung A3 & case 130
GoPro & spare battery Hero 3 182
Headphones   18
Kindle   212
  • Chargers = wall charger with micro USB cable (phone, kindle) and mini USB cable (GoPro)
  • The battery pack will provide 5 full charges of my phone
  • Headphones are for travel, not walking (I don’t understand people that walk in the countryside with headphones in)
  • Kindle is perhaps a luxury but an essential one for me, particularly when solo

 

Misc – 0.4kg

Cards, money, ID   55
Pen knife Leatherman Ps4 57
Tissues   26
First aid kit   103
Compass Silva 4 38
Pen   7
Spare batteries   35
Needle & thread   5
Duct tape  
  • First aid kit with plasters, pain killers, bandages, wipes, tweezers, antihistamine etc.
  • Duct tape is wrapped around the pen
Peaked hat and wicking t-shirt

Wearing – 2.3kg

Walking boots Inov 8 roclite 325 650
Walking trousers Berghaus 370
T-shirt Rab 92
Socks Hilly 56
Underwear   107
Buff Buff 38
Hat North Face 57
Watch Casio 41
2 walking poles Black Diamond 482
Maps/guidebooks   413
  • Planning on experimenting with not walking in traditional boots – the roclite 325s are designed for ‘fastpacking’ and provide more stability than a trail shoe, but are much lighter and dry quicker than a boot, and shouldn’t give my ankles a nasty heat rash
  • I prefer peaked hats to sunglasses; friendlier when people can see your eyes, and the peak is useful in the rain as well as sun. My hat is now set at a jaunty angle from walking with the sun on my left for two weeks (west across Switzerland), so maybe as I walk east this time it’ll straighten out!
  • I wouldn’t go back to walking without poles now – they add stability and rhythm
  • I’ll be taking the Cicerone guide book and associated map booklet – in pockets for quick access

 

I may well make a few last minute changes, and I’ll do a gear rundown after the hike to see what did and didn’t work!

One thought on “Coast to Coast backpacking gear list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *