All we need while long-distance hiking: find out what’s essential

Long-distance hiking is an excellent way to get rid of excess clutter. It teaches you what you really need. This is the list of items that we ended up carrying on our long-distance hike. Not suggesting that this is all you will need, it’s just to give you an idea of all we needed to survive and thrive at that moment.

With all our necessities on our back, we’ve walked about 400 km (250 miles): England’s South West Coast Path, from Bristol/Minehead (Somerset) to Newquay (Cornwall). This beautiful path can be strenuous, with lots of steep ascents and descents, so you get very selective in what you carry.

one month hiking gear
Our long-distance hiking gear

Basic hiking gear:

  • 65 liter lightweight Backpack
  • Walking sticks (when carrying a trekking backpack)
  • My trusty double flutes (they go everywhere I go)

Sleep & Shelter:

  • Lightweight 2-person tent (about 2kg/4Lbs with groundsheet)
  • Lightweight inflatable sleeping pad
  • Lightweight sleeping bag
  • Earplugs & sleeping mask
  • Sleeping bag liner (especially for colder nights)

Food & Drink:

  • 2 water bottles within easy reach
  • Large water bladder inside backpack
  • Titanium cooking pot
  • Spork & Swiss knife
  • Lightweight stove with fuel & lighter
  • Dry meals
  • Soluble coffee & chocolate
  • Power bars / flapjacks
  • Trail mix

Health & Hygiene:

  • Towel
  • Wet wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Glasses / contacts
  • Small toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Deodorant
  • Soap (doubling as shampoo and laundry soap)
  • Sunscreen (on top of hat & long-sleeved clothing)
  • Paracetamol, anti-diarrheal, bandages, preservatives, insect repellent
  • Nail clipper (especially for the feet)
  • Shaver
  • Sanitary waste bag


  • Quick-dry Pants & Shirt
  • Trail runners
  • Best possible hiking socks (very important to prevent injuries)
  • Hat
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Pack cover
  • Fleece pullover
  • Down Jacket
  • Clean sets of socks and underwear
  • Pants & T-shirt for the night while laundered day clothes are drying
  • Buff (doubling as a pillow case)
  • Light water shoes to wear at camp


  • Cellphone (for communication, research, pictures, reading, …)
  • Power bank
  • Headlight (USB chargeable)
  • Charger with 4 USB slots & cables
  • All in a waterproof zip-lock bag

Various equipment:

  • Lightweight foldable mini-backpack
  • Guidebook
  • Area map
  • Sky map for stargazing
  • Book (In this case: Henry David Thoreau’s essay ‘Walking’)
  • Light lock
  • Passport, Credit Card, Cash, Paperwork
  • Duct tape
  • Rope
  • Pencil
  • Repair set for tent & sleeping pad
  • Large Ikea zip bag (FRAKTA) protecting backpack in public transport
  • Waste bags (Leave No Trace!)

This is all we really needed. Base weight: about 10kg / 20 Lbs.


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