The Perfect Hiking Packing List For A Long Distance Trek

This hiking packing list for a long distance trek has everything you need to take with you to make the most of your trip.

If you are planning on embarking on a long-distance trek and are unsure what you pack, you are in the right place. I have done many long distance hikes and I am here to help you pick what you pack. Continue reading for the best hiking packing list with all the trekking gear and other essentials you need to carry, and for all the things you should know before you pack for long distance hiking.

This packing list is intended for long distance accommodated hikes. I don’t intend to share tips about camping or camping gear.

hiking packing list
A good backpack is a key factor when packing for a long distance hike

The Best Long Distance Hiking Packing List

Hiking Essentials and Unmissable Trekking Gear

Backpack

You want to keep the weight down as much as possible, so try not to go for a backpack that packs more than 40 liters for women, or 50 for men. The backpack must be lightweight, but also sturdy and either waterproof or with a cover that you can put on it in case of rain.

It also has to be comfortable and adapt to your body, sitting nice and easy on your hips rather than pulling the weight down your shoulders. It must have side compartments where you can place your water bottles, and open from both the top and the bottom, so that you can easily find whatever you need.

I am a fan of Osprey packs, but other brands have some excellent ones too. These are the best 40 and 50 liters backpacks that will carry all the items in your hiking packing list:

Hiking Clothes

Your list of hiking clothes should include:

hiking packing list
Make sure to carry a rain proof jacket. This is by Kuhlicon.

Hiking Boots

These are essential to make any hiking trip successful. You want your feet to be warm in the winter, to be protected from water, and you need proper ankle support. Boots should have a good grip on the soil, for those trails that may be rocky or muddy.

These are some highly recommended hiking boots:

I have an old pair of Dolomites with which I hiked the Inca Trail, the Jordan Trail, the short hikes in the Dolomites of Trentino and much more.

Remember to also include a pair of flip flops or light sandals. At the end of a long walking day, you’ll just want to give your feet a break!

hiking packing list
Pack a camera, or at the very least a good smart phone!

Other Items

Camera Gear

If you are into photography as much as I am, take a good camera on your trip. If not, a good smartphone will do.

This is the camera gear I normally take with me:

  • A good DSLR camera. I have a Nikon D3300 which is nice and easy to use.
  • A couple of good lenses. I normally carry a 18-105 millimeters, good for landscape photography, and a 70-300 millimeters one in case I may come across some wildlife.
  • A power bank, which I normally use to charge my phone on the go.
  • A go-pro, if you plan to do anything more adventurous than just hiking.

Beauty And Personal Care Items

You can easily get travel size to minimize weight. Other than the strict necessary, consider bringing:

  • Sunscreen, best if high SPF.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • All purpose biodegradable soap bar: it’s perfect to wash your clothes in the sink, and you can even use it as a body wash or a shampoo if needed.
  • Tea tree oil: use it to medicate minor cuts, and apply it on insect bites to ease the itch.
  • Toilet paper or tissues.

First Aid Kit

Bring a first aid kit and a few medications. Make sure to take these basic items:

  • basic pain relief medicines such as paracetamol.
  • imodium or any other diarrhea medication.
  • bandaids and other bandages.
  • antiseptic wipes and cream.
  • cortizone cream.
  • steristrips.
hiking packing list
A beanie is a light extra to add to your hiking packing list

Miscellaneous Stuff

Other things you may want to include are:

  • A hat to protect against the sun in the warmest months, or a beanie for the coldest ones.
  • Leggings that you can layer under your hiking pants on colder days. Icebreaker makes excellent ones.
  • Gloves, if you plan to hike in cold weather.
  • Sunglasses: they protect from both the sun and the wind.
  • A power bank: you’ll need it to charge your phone.
  • A GPS device.
  • A compass: it will help you navigate the trails, especially if all else fails.
  • A water bottle that you can refill: be nice, save plastic!
  • A water filter: it’s especially handy if you don’t have access to potable water.
  • A head lamp or a flashlight: always keep it handy, as you may walk through a forest where light is scarce, or may end up walking for longer than expected.
  • Snacks: if you are running out of energy, you need something quick that gives you a boost until lunch or dinner time.

Travel Insurance

Wherever you plan to go, make sure to get a good travel insurance. You can get a quote here.

Read my post Why You Need A Good Backpacker Travel Insurance.

hiking packing list
If you are hiking long term, you need to keep your hiking packing list short!

What To Keep In Mind When Packing For A Multi Day Trek

You need to pack light

A key factor when going on a multi day trek like is to pack as light as possible, as chances are you may have to carry your backpack with you, even on the longest hikes and even when you are puffing up a mountain.

You have to be prepared for the rain

I have been on many multi-day treks and the only time I was lucky enough not to get any rain was when I hiked the Jesus Trail in Israel. For every other long distance hike I have done, I encountered rain at some point (and every single day in the case of Poon Hill, in Nepal). This is to say: regardless of where you go, you must be prepared for rain with appropriate trekking gear.

hiking packing

You have to wear layers

Unless you are hiking in the summer, I recommend to wear layers, starting with a good thermal or quick dry shirt as the under layer, a good fleece and then a wind and rain proof jacket. You’ll inevitably get warm and sweat as you walkand you’ll need to take layers off, but as soon as the sun starts to set, temperatures will drop and you’ll need to layer up again.

Quick dry items are your best choice

With the amount of walking you’ll be doing, and changing accommodation almost every day, you need to have quick dry items that you can easily wash at night and will be dry the morning after, by the time you set to hike again.

Keep your accommodation options in mind

Are you planning to stay in camping sites or in hotels? This is an important thing to consinder, as what you’ll carry will inevitably change, and if you have to include a tent, a sleeping bag and a towel, you’ll have to keep the list of other items even more essential.

Final Notes

A long distance hiking trip is about having fun, enjoying nature and challenging yourself. You don’t have to look pretty: you must be comfortable, stay hydrated, eat healthy food that gives you plenty of energy to hike even the toughest mountain!

Further Readings

Make sure to read my other packing tips posts:

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Discover what to pack for a long distance hike - via @clautavani

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