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

bathing suit

guide book/maps

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

sun glasses

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



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