On group expeditions you’ll probably have a porter or pack animal to carry most of your personal gear. Each day, you’ll only need to carry a daysack with what you’ll need until the evening. Obvious items are a water/windproof, water bottle and a warm layer. After those key items, it’s very much a matter of personal preference camera, snacks, notebook/pen, small first aid kit, spare socks, hat, gloves and so on. Of course, if you’re exploring independently, then you may hire a porter or find yourself carrying all your own gear. That’s when ‘lightweight’ really matters!
Whatever style you choose, it makes sense to have a checklist of what you will probably need and take advice from your expedition company, if appropriate, on local variations. If you’re independent, then ask fellow explorers for up-to-date advice and tips from their own experience.
Clothing should be flexible enough to cope with a range of conditions so layering makes sense, especially with fast drying materials. To get you started, here’s a useful list that you can readily add to and adapt to suit your plans.
- Photocopies of your passport and other important documents
- Tough, comfortable mountain footwear
- Light sandals
- Trekking poles
- Waterproof duffel bag
- Sleeping bag and liner
- Warm hat
- Wind/waterproof jacket
- Polar fleece jacket
- Thermal underwear
- Thermal socks
- Wash kit
- Water bottle
- Small first aid kit and insect repellant
- Sun cream and lip balm
- Head torch and spare batteries