Packing for Ethiopian Hiking

Having spent the last 4 hours preparing, weighing and packing my pack still feels like I’ve thrown in an extra few rocks just for fun!

Collection Grams
Base gear 4300
First aid 300
Washing kit 500
Personal essentials 2000
Food snacks 1000
Clothes 2500
Total 10600

*edit – oops, I had an previous clothes weight in from round 1 packing, removed 500g (4th t-shirt, extra fleece and happy socks)

The problems:

  • My sleeping bag is FAR to heavy at 2kg it is bulkiest, heaviest item
  • My rucksack itself is surprisingly heavy
  • Expected temperature at night means I need warm clothes, down jackets and layers which adds a lot to my clothes weight – I hate to be cold
  • No electricity for charging along the way means I’m packing 2 power banks which are heavy but I can’t survive 10 days without my kindle, camera, phone.
  • I can’t figure out a way to make sunscreen, insect repellent and my dental hygiene weigh less
  • I’m trying out some new options for knee pain so have duplicates and extras in my first aid kit I wouldn’t usually have

Base gear –ย Rucksack, sleeping bag, roll mat, pillow, tent

First aid kit – Pain killers, anti-inflammatory, blister care, antiseptic, ย bandage, diamox, ORS

Wash kit – Dental care for braces, soap, shampoo, sunscreen, insect repellent, moisturizer

Personal essentials – kindle, phone, camera, chargers, cables, headphones, passport, money, keys and stuff stuff

Food snacks – Dried fruit, sweets

Clothes – 4 undies, 1 bra, 3 t-shirts, 1 long sleeved shirt, 1 base layer, 1 trousers, 1 camp trousers, 4 socks, fleece jumper, down jacket, wind buff, gloves, waterproof jacket, towel.

At least the snacks and wash kit will get lighter along the way and I’m sure I’ll be wearing more of the clothes so wont have to carry their weight on my back.

I’m also packing an extra bag for clean clothes, which I’ll leave in the city, so I don’t get thrown of the flight home for being stinky after hiking for 10 days in the same clothes!

I can also cheat if everything gets too hard and throw my bag on a mule…or get on a mule myself, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.


13 thoughts on “Packing for Ethiopian Hiking

    1. Duplicate undies and socks always needed! I’m not that hard core and hate laundry… 2 hiking T-shirts and a camp shirt… A bit of a luxury…. What do you pack for 10 days sub 0 nights? Repack 3 might happen tomorrow….


      1. I would probably pack only 2 shirts of any kind, there might be some advantage to having 3 including the long sleeve depending on you and your sleep system etc. I would probably never carry an extra pair of pants (esp since you also have a base layer that will presumably always be dry to sleep in).

        For 10 days I would carry 3 pairs of underwear so I’m totally with you on that. (It’s a surprisingly uncommon thing to do… But undies are light.)

        The only other thing I can think of is that something described as a “fleece jumper” is often pretty heavy for the amount of warmth but not sure if yours is or if you’re interested in replacing it. And hopefully your towel is really light. I know some people carry one but I’ve never used mine when I did.

        Everyone is different but I bet you can cut some clothes weight if you think about it! Clothes are heavy. ๐Ÿ™‚


      2. Thanks for the detail, totally agree the fleece needs to be swapped for something lighter weight, but it’s the only jumper I have to take this time.
        Towel could also be downsized now I have a full sleeping matt and I’m not using it as insulation. I definitely use for numerous things so certainly want it along.
        Your right that I actually have 4 tops if including the long-sleeved one. So one can go…. And will have to look at light solutions for the thru hike.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Time to think long term as well as short term Vix. If you’re going to do long walks/treks, then I suggest you get the light weight rucksack and sleeping bag now so you can get max value from them. Rucksack, bag and tent are the big three. But I agree on small luxuries, you need to be enjoying the walk, not doing it under penance! The itinary looks great, exciting and at that height I would imagine quite challenging. I look forward to reading about it, please lot soft updates and pics!


    1. Totally agree, I was shocked at rucksack weight but I’m working on it…. Tent and roll mat are light. I’m always cold so struggle with sleeping bags, this one is warm enough…. But weighs far too much.
      At least I know if it gets too much I can throw it on the mule!


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