I like to get a head start packing my backpack. Having my pack loaded several months in advance allows me to hike with it and to eliminate what I will not need or to add something essential. The absolute key is to keep the pack light. I may get sick of wearing the same things over and over again, but I thank myself as I climb a long difficult mountain that I decided to not be the trail fashion plate! Without water my pack is about 15 pounds.
Pack & rain cover – my pack is a REI Traverse 48 liter women’s pack with a rain cover and a sleeve for a hydration system. I insert a Sea to Summit Ultra Dry Sack for the hydration system just incase of a leak
Hiking poles – They save my knees on the downhill and propel me uphill. Hiking poles have to be checked on the plane. I have a pole bag that I have made just for this purpose.
Boots – well broken in and waterproof!
2 hiking shirts
1 pair of zip off hiking pants
1 1/2 zip fleece for evening or for layering on cold days
1 base layer wool shirt such as Smartwool
1 down jacket- Mt. Hardware ghost whisper jacket is warm and very lightweight
2 pairs hiking socks
1 pair of hut shoes/sandals
1 bandana – I tie this to my pack so that I am not always reaching for tissues.
2 pairs underwear
1 pair waterproof gloves for warmth and rain
rain jacket – quality counts! A wet day is a miserable day so get the good jacket!
rain pants – ditto above!
1 hat with a visor. I use it for sun and under my rain jacket hood.
1 ear band or warm cap
1 pair long pants/tights for evening or days off
sleeping attire for communal living
head lamp for emergencies or after lights are off in the hut
GPS loaded with appropriate software
batteries for GPS
Smartphone and charger – I use my phone for my camera, storing reservation confirmations, as well as communication. I get an international plan for my phone for the length of my trip. I made sure that the charger was compliant with 220.
adapter plug for the countries I visit
ziplock bags for storage on a wet day, pack organization, wallet, snacks, etc.
small towel – rei pack towel
sleep sack (silk is light weight) for the huts. They provide a pillow & blanket.
toiletries: ie. toothbrush, toothpaste, brush/comb, shampoo, soap, sun screen, medications, lotion, chapstick, minimal makeup, etc.
First Aid: ie. bandaids, mole skin, small scissors, ibuprofen, etc.
small zippered pouch for passport, drivers license, insurance cards, alpine club card, 2 credit cards, debit card, etc.
Satellite GPS Messenger – I use a SPOT. This allows family and friends to see where I am on the trail and to know I am safely done for the day. I can also send a signal that I need help. I pay a small fee for a helicopter rescue if it were needed.
batteries for SPOT