Experienced bushwalker Adriaan Homburg shows us what he always takes on multi-day walks.
Osprey Exos 48 hiking pack – Not so much in my pack, but it IS my pack. I wanted something light but big enough to fit 4-5 day’s worth of food. I settled on the Osprey as it ticked all the boxes and has so many different adjustment possibilities. My favourite feature is the ventilation system which puts a gap between your back and the main part of the pack. I also like the ability to remove the top membrane to either save some weight or as a carry bag if you want to do a side trip and don't want to carry all your gear. The only negative, or perhaps something that would be nice, would be a pocket in the hip belt for phone, snacks etc.
Cook System, (BRS3000T Burner, Toaks 750ml pot and 100g gas canister) – This was a bit of a gamble purchase, but at under half the weight of my previous stove, a good weight saving as well, it really works! This system is good for one person and a simple meal, but if meal prep is complex, or for more than one person, you will probably need one each. I love that it will boil enough water for a cup of coffee in under two minutes and use very little fuel to do so. The super lightweight Toaks pot is the perfect size to store the gas canister, burner and a lighter.
Nemo Hornet 2P Hiking Tent – Although I mainly travel solo, I decided the extra space and minimal extra weight of about 150g was worth it. I’m very happy with the decision as I can fit myself and all my gear inside and no danger of anything getting wet or chewed on by critters at night. It's not a freestanding tent, but the setup is quick and easy. My favourite feature of this tent is just how compact it is. I put the poles in their bag on the outside of my pack and simply roll up the tent and pegs to place inside.
Therm-a-Rest X-Lite Regular sleeping mat – This is the new 2020 version with an R value (Comfort rating) of 4.2 and at 6.4cm off the ground keeps me nice and warm at night; a massive difference from my last one which had little to no R value and was actually heavier. It can be a little noisy when you first lay on it, but if you are a good sleeper, you will probably not notice it. The folded down size to that of a water bottle makes this a real winner.
Scarpa ZG Trek GTX boots – These are my favourite hiking boots to date. My last pair of Scarpas bit the dust when placed too close to the fire inside Bluff hut! This is a new model for me and they have been comfy since first wearing. I went half a size bigger and that seems to have improved the comfort, especially on the 15+km Days. I have put over 600km on these boots and other than the mud, the tread hardly looks worn. The Gore-Tex waterproof layer is great at keeping out the rain but don't expect to walk through a river and keep dry!
Leki hiking poles – Not a new pair of poles by any stretch, but a decent set of hiking poles should last a long time. I first started using a “pole” on the AAWT where I found a nice stick to help me along, and it really helped take the load off my knees and ankles. Now I would never do a hike without my trusted hiking poles. I never saw the need for using poles, but once I did for the first time, I found the going so much better. I will always carry a pair with me on longer walks, including all overnight hikes. These ones are adjustable length and the clips for the adjustment are excellent and stable.
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter – No matter where you go in the bush, unless you like carrying copious amounts of water on a multi-day walk, you will need a way to purify the creek or river water so you don't get sick. First time use of this one, I had the Mini in the past but the flow rate just doesn’t cut it. This one was fantastic, I managed to filter three litres in around 15 minutes. This is ideal for one or two people, but a group may want to find another solution or get more than one.
Therm-a-Rest Reactor sleeping bag liner – If you are going to be out in the elements and the weather is looking to get cold, you really need one of these in your pack. Although I haven't tested it to its full extent, it does make a real difference and keeps you snug and warm. I have tried it on a mild autumn night just by itself (no sleeping bag) and it was perfect. I have also used it with my 0°C sleeping bag in the snow and was toasty warm. It weighs about 250g but is well worth the extra weight, in my opinion, especially in the cooler months of the year.
Decathlon Forclaz Travel 500 Merino hiking T-shirt – I learnt early on in my hiking days that shirt material was very important and that cotton was a no-no. This was my first venture into merino products and won’t be my last. I love it! It is very comfortable to wear and when it does get wet from rain or sweat, it dries out super quick. I managed to pick mine up on clearance for under $30. The weight of this short sleeve t-shirt makes this the real winner.
Garmin InReach Mini – “Safety first” should be the #1 motto when out hiking in the bush. This satellite communicator and emergency beacon is the ideal companion on any hiking trip. I love this little guy, so lightweight at ~100g and tiny. It gives me the peace of mind knowing if I do run into any trouble out there, help is just a button away. I like the ability to have live tracking to a website so those that have the secret URL can keep up to date of my progress. Another great feature is being able to send messages, even without phone reception.