Last week we looked at what you should wear during your long-distance hike. Now that you know that there’s no such thing as bad weather, but only the wrong clothes, we dive into what you should pack for a lengthy hike.
Firstly, you should distinguish between the equipment that you really need and the accessories that could be helpful. In general, a packing list for a 20- or 30-mile hike is not that different compared to a 24-hour ultra-walk of 60 miles, but there are some differences that should be noted. Hiking is a very individual thing, and everyone has their own tips and tricks, so it is always difficult to create an all-embracing list for every hiker. While we have participants who pack like they go for a 4-day camping trip, we have others, who don’t even carry a backpack… Nevertheless, take a look at our overview of items that we would recommend.
Food & drinks
When it comes to our own MammothMarch events you will be adequately cared for by us and will find a refreshment station approx. every 5-6 miles. However, you should not underestimate the needs of your body during a whole day of hiking. This topic becomes even more important when planning for your self-organized hike, e.g. when training for MammothMarch.
Please make sure to drink enough. Therefore, take a 50 oz drinking bottle/water bladder with you so that you can drink enough fluids on the go. Knowing that this means carrying some weight with you, remember that it becomes lighter the more you drink. A 50 oz water load will carry you roughly through the first half-dozen miles, always depending on weather conditions, your personal fitness level, and your hiking speed.
Please bear in mind that your calorie intake increases significantly compared to a regular day that might include an hour or two of exercise. In addition to a reusable water bottle/large drinking cup/water bladder, consider packing some energy bars, vitamins and minerals, nuts/trail mix and some sandwiches.
If you plan on going for a long-distance hike on your own, make sure to check out possible spots that can serve as your personal refreshment stations. There are several water points in many of our parks, but this might not be the case in completely rural and remote areas. Check out opening times of stores along your planned hiking route, too!
Accessory & gadgets
There is some disagreement here, as every hiker has different experiences and swears by different tips and tricks. That's why we collect the most important accessories, in our opinion, shortly in advance:
Backpack (capacity approx. 20-30 liters)
Rain cover for your backpack
Sun protection (headgear, sunglasses, sunscreen)
Cell phone along with a portable charger (having your GPS tracker running in the background will use a lot of your battery)
Face mask (they might still be mandatory for crowded areas along your hiking route, but also inside of stores, restrooms etc.)
If you have these things with you, you should be well prepared for a long-distance hike. Nevertheless, there are some extras that could be helpful for you on your way. We thought about it and put together the following list for you:
Headphones (for music, podcasts etc.)
Head lamp (in winter on shorter days) along with replacement batteries
These accessories could only make your hike a little more pleasant but are by no means a must-have. Just remember that everything should fit in your backpack without being too full or too heavy, as you will need to carry it for a long time. It is also important to know that you do not have to spend big money on everything. As long as your backpack, your hiking boots and your GPS system are of good quality, you should get by. Of course, that doesn't mean the more expensive the better, just that you should find the product that best suits you and your needs.
Please note that we excluded any clothes as we covered that topic last week. Please check out what to wear (and clothes to pack) right here.