Packing gear review

After tramping around Gondar national park I want to do a quick review of what was useful and what remained in the bag as it’s clear I need to pack lighter for Jordan.

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


I love my Trekker Tent, weighs less than a kg all in, and for Jordan I’m debating only taking the outer layer and pegs. Unfortunately I bent my hiking poles which double as tent poles, highlighting a critical problem.

My sleeping bag on the other hand is an evil over sized brick at almost 2kg. Its great for car camping and fine for short trips but I can’t carry it 650km.

Roll-mat isn’t the lightest possible, but I upgraded last year to a full length with a high R value. The difference it has made to my overall comfort is amazing and is lighter than my old 3/4 mat.

Rucksack – biggest gear error I made, I was looking for a light pack last year and got sucked into accessories and ended up with a pack which still weighs far too much. It’s also fairly big for what I carry. I might dig out my much loved osprey pack again as it’s lighter and an old friend and keep this pack for travel and backpacking rather than hiking.

I can lose about 1.5kg from my base weight  

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

Luckily I only needed a couple of plasters and vitamin I on this trip, still to save weight I will split up my kit and have extras in resupply boxes in 3 places along the trail

Wash kit – Dental care for braces, wetwipes, sunscreen, moisturizer

Resupply boxes  are the answer for shampoo and luxuries and avoid carrying a months worth from day 1.Also more wet wipes than I consider sane. I ran out of the small pack I took in about a day with all the dust and grim in the mountains.

I thoughtfully took small hotel sized soap with me, but it got crushed within a couple of days, might stick to wet-wipes.

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


eugh… massive weight issues here, but as a victim of modern life I need all the gadgets. A book in the evening is perfect way to get to sleep when and calm the mind from the overthinking of the night.

Phone – goes without thinking about, has my maps, music, podcasts and can call people in an emergency

Camera – harder to justify when I have the phone, but the picture quality is so much better…

Battery pack – Heavy, but lasted all 8 days on the mountains even when it was cold and charged my watch and phone several times, I was really surprised at how long I could run electronics. I’m thinking to get a cheap light solar charger in stead which could save a couple of hundred grams.


Clothes – My cheap ass rain poncho was the surprise best item. I used it as a ground sheet every night, and if it had rained I’m sure it would have protected me

next time: 4 undies and 4 lighter socks, 1 bra, 1 shirt, 1 base top and bottom for evening, 1 trousers, 1 shorts, down layer, buff, poncho, smaller towel …. I’m still considering the fleece/mid layer, I do get super cold all the time.

I think I can lose at least a 1 kg from my clothes weight  

Boots vs trail shoes? As much as I like my boots they feel clumpy and heavy and just feel like I’m dragging bricks on my feet, but they did save my ankles on the loose rock many times, so jury is out


More stuff that needs carried: Food, water, water, water, cooking items.

How on earth do people do this light packing thing?


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