Preparations for a long-distance hike are never easy. You’d better make sure that you have everything you might need. Here, I will share with you a list of gear that I took with me to hike the GR10 Trail in the French Pyrenees.
I made a list of all the gear that I took with me. My choices were based on few criteria. I’m a student, so I couldn’t invest in a very expensive gear. The price was actually a big factor. Then I had to make sure it would last at least one month. The weight was a very important issue too. I knew I would sleep outside, mostly camping. I was aware that I would carry all of my gear on my shoulders, so my backpack should not be heavier than 15kg. Keeping this in my mind, I made my choices.
Hiking and sleeping
- Backpack – Forclaz EASYFIT 50. I bought it praying it would last at least one month. I must admit I was surprised by the quality. The backpack not only lasted for longer than one month, I finished the GR10 trail in summer 2016 using it. It is still in a great shape. It supported rain, dirt, etc. As for the size, 50l was enough for me. The backpack offers many solutions to attach some of your gear outside. I still use it for my travels.
- Poncho for a backpack – the cheapest sold by Decathlon
- Hiking poles – 1 Forclaz 300 Hiking Pole. I got only one. The handle wasn’t really made for me, but still, it was very helpful. However, for my next hike, I will invest more in hiking poles.
- Sleeping bag – FORCLAZ 10° hiking sleeping bag. The sleeping bag made it for two years. During the cold nights, on altitude, it was not enough. And the model could have been lighter. This weights 1kg.
- Mattress – FORCLAZ M100 foam hiking mattress. Very cheap. Done its job.
- Tent – in 2015, we bought Arpenaz 2 Tent, that was very cheap (around 20€). It lasted the whole trip. I guess, its biggest disadvantage was a weight (almost 4kg). Next year, since I was hiking alone, I had to choose smaller and lighter model. I chose the Highlander Blackthorn 1 tent. It lasted 24 days of hiking, in the sun or rain. I had some issues with condensation. However, for the price (45€), it was acceptable. The weight is something around 1,5kg.
- Headlamp and torch. Both bought at Decathlon – lower range price. I am however looking for some better headlamp for my next hikes.
- Hiking boots SALOMON ELLIPSE MID FEMME GORE-TEX – well, they were such a big disappointment to me. I didn’t feel comfortable, I had blisters all the time. Maybe it was just not my model. I am definitely looking for other shoes for my next hike. I was not satisfied at all with this choice.
- 2 tank tops (next time I will take only t-shirts)
- Rainwear jacket – Rainwarm 300 Quechua, I like the vest, since it comes with a pullover. The only thing is that it didn’t pass the rain test. After 15 minutes of rain, its gets wet inside. As for the wind, it’s really nice.
- Running jacket
- Trousers (with a possibility to transform into shorts)
- 4 briefs
- 3 pairs of hiking socks – I bought the cheapest ones. Next time I will invest in better models.
- Rain poncho – I didn’t really use it as mine was one size too big and it was too long.
- Hiking sandals – next time I would rather take flip flops as they will take less space and will be lighter to carry.
- 2 sports bras
- Water system
- Pocket Swiss knife
I was really missing stove system. Next time, I will invest in one to celebrate my morning coffee. During the GR10 trail, I was passing through a town or a city every one or two days, so I could eat at some local restaurant, etc. Well, my budget was not really pleased, but I decided to treat myself well and I wanted to discover the most of the local cuisine too.
- 2 razors
- Insect spray
- First Aid kit (adhesive bandages, gauze pads, a roll of medical tape, antiseptic, ibuprofen, Compeed patches, band-aid, emergency blanket, water treatment pills)
- Sun-cream SPF50 (Next time I will go for SPF100, I had some sunburns).
- Toothbrush + toothpaste
- Nail clippers
- Bruises, trauma relief gel treatment
- Shampoo for kids – I used it as a shower gel, shampoo, and washing liquid.
- Toilet paper
- Small washing line
- Trash bags
- Camera Nikon Coolpix A300 – Perfect for a hike, very light, good quality for this price.
- Watch – cheapest option from Decathlon with an alarm.
- Solar power – cheapest model bought on Amazon for around 14€, broke down after two days.
- Iphone 4s
- USB charging hub
- Two books – next time, I will take my kindle, way less heavy.
- Wallet (ID card, money, credit card, etc.)
To sum up, I was happy with my choice. I managed to hike the Pyrenees for 46 days in total without major difficulties with this gear. You can read more about my thru-hike here. And my student budget wasn’t ruined.
What are your gear essentials for a long-distance hike?