This is my comprehensive thru hiking gear list for when I did the Israel National Trail; a 1000km length trail stretching the full length of Israel. I had to be prepared for different terrains (mountains, coastline and desert) and completely self-sufficient. For the most part, the weather was hot in the day and cold at night – although I packed ready for downpours as well.
Make sure you also read my long distance walking tips to help you prepare for your thru hike.
Thru hiking gear list; general items
Following the item, I have linked to the specific model that I took and used for my thru hike in Israel. Any notes regarding the items are in red.
- Hiking backpack with attached water cover: 50L Thule bag
- Walking boots or shoes: Bhutan Walking Boots (there’s a lot of debate surrounding boots vs shoes. I personally found boots more secure on the uneven trail and didn’t get a single blister using them)
- Walking poles: Black Diamond walking sticks
- Pen knife: Swiss Army Pen knife
- Compass: Silva Compass
- Sandals/flip flops: Source hiking sandals (most prefer to take crocs or flip flops as they are more lightweight. You’ll want these for moving around camp and ‘airing’ your feet on rest days. As I did some hiking on sand I liked having sandals I could trek in)
- Water bottle or bladder: Source 3L hydration
- Headtorch & batteries: Petzl Head Torch
- Camera & spare batteries: Olympus Tough
- Maps or hiking guidebook: Hike the Land of Israel: Israel National Trail (you can tear away parts of your guide book or maps as you go and burn them to save on weight)
- E-book: Kindle (broke half way through the trip…I was very bored without it in the evenings!)
- Phone: Iphone 6
- Battery pack: Anker Power Bank (I couldn’t get on with solar charger units – just too slow and fiddly…I’d choose a power bank any day)
Sleeping packing list:
- Lightweight tent: Hubba Hubba NX (love this tent!!)
- roll mat and repair kit: Therm-a-rest (got a lot of punctures and needed to order extra repair kits)
- Sleeping bag: Mountain Equipment down sleeping bag, 3 Season (thicker than is recommended but I’m a cold sleeper and I appreciated it on some of the cold winter nights. Mostly used like a blanket which was very comfortable)
Cooking packing list:
- Lightweight cooking pan
- Camping stove: Jetboil (without the pot attached. I chose to take a separate pot as it is larger more versatile for 2 people)
- Gas canister
- Mug/bowl: Sea to Summit
- Spork (broke and ended up using a regular metal spoon)
Toiletries packing list:
- First Aid Kit
- Sunscreen factor 50+
- Aqua Prove purifying drops (didn’t need to use purification tablets at all)
- Lush Ultrabalm (used as a moisturiser, preventing blisters, chaffing)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- LUSH solid shampoo (for washing myself and clothes)
- Mooncup (women only)
- Duct tape (wrap around the repair kit or a water bottle to save space)
Clothes packing list:
- Bandana (tied around head to keep sweat out of eyes, used as flannel sometimes)
- Warm hat (used quite a bit for the cold desert night)
- Brimmed sun hat
- Waterproof Jacket
- 1 x Fleece
- 1 x cotton shirt (sun protection)
- Pair of trousers
- 2 x t-shirts
- 1 x Shorts or 3/4 length leggins
- 1 x bra
- 2 x Wool hiking socks
- 3 x quick dry underwear
A few notes on my thru hiking gear list
….I was mostly hiking in hot conditions and found loose fitting clothing the most comfortable.
…..When it comes to buying equipment, good shoes and socks are your biggest priority and where you should definitely invest. Buy them at least 6 months before your walk and wear them as much as you can, including for some long walks.
…..Second to the boots and shoes, you want to think about getting a good back that fits comfortably and can be adjusted. After boots, the bag will be the item that causes you the most amount of discomfort. Both are a personal choice so you need to go to a shop and try different options and go for the one that is most comfortable and fits your body the best.
…..I only took a 50l bag which was plenty, although there were 2 of us so some items we could share – stove, first aid, etc. I would try and keep your pack below 60l. Not only will it save you over packing and carrying extra weight, but it will make any scrambling a lot more comfortable.
….I struggle to stay warm so bought a really good sleeping bag and went a season higher than recommended…I definitely didn’t regret this decision!! Make sure you know all the tricks to staying warm in a tent so you are comfortable at night.
….Most items can be easily replenished along the way (toiletries and gas stoves for example) so only pack small amounts.
….Give everything in your bag a place as this will make packing and unpacking so much easier. For more tips on packing your bag read how to pack a hiking bag.
….Depending on the length of your walk, you might want to send ahead replacement clothes to the halfway mark. After about 6 weeks most of my clothes were struggling to stay together!
You might also find these resources helpful:
- For advice on funding and planning, check out this Plan an Adventure page
- A guide to the Israel National Trail
- Jordan Trail guide
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