Heysen Trail packing list

I spent a lot of time and effort putting together my own Heysen Trail packing list. Despite having done plenty of multi-day hikes before, packing for a two month trek is quite a different story. There’s a lot to consider, plus I also upgraded some of my gear so I could keep my pack weight down as best I could.

Overall I was pretty happy with everything I took and wouldn’t make many changes at all, if I was to do it again. After getting asked quite a bit about the gear I took with me for my 55 day journey across South Australia, I decided to put this extensive guide together with everything I packed.

Below is exactly what I packed for the Heysen Trail, including the specific brands and products I used. While some items I’d had for many years, others I bought new or upgraded to better quality and lighter options before heading out. I share all my thoughts and opinion on the gear I took below, so keep reading!

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Packing for the Heysen Trail

Packing for a very long trail will look different for everyone. It will heavily depend on the gear you already own, your previous hiking experience and what kind of pack weight you’re aiming for. While I’d done several multi-day hikes beforehand, I’d never done anything quite as long as the Heysen Trail. I wanted to aim for a lighter pack than I’d carried previously, so I upgraded some of my main pieces of gear right before leaving.

Some things to consider:

Pack weight

I’m still nowhere near an ultralight hiker, and I enjoy my comforts like an inflatable pillow and my JetBoil stove. I carried around 12-15kg including food at any given time, depending on distances between resupply boxes. I didn’t weigh every single item before leaving so I can’t be exactly sure how heavy my pack was at different times (sorry for all those who love talking pack weight!).

Grandpas Camp Heysen Trail

Weather

You do need to be prepared for all different weather conditions on the Heysen. The coldest temperature I had was around -3 degrees and the hottest was 25 degrees. We were met with torrential rain, hail, and extremely strong winds, interspersed with a few sunny days every now and then. If you don’t like being cold (like me), then you’ll probably want to pack a good down jacket and windproof rain jacket, plus gloves and a beanie.

I chose not to pack thermals, although looking back maybe I could have. I tended to just sleep in my Ottie merino tee and, when it was really cold, I would sleep in my leggings and fleece jacket as well.

Food and water

Food was definitely my heaviest overall contributor to pack weight. While I managed to keep my base weight down, I was carrying a lot of food, especially towards the end when my hunger really kicked in. The longest stretch between food resupply was 7 days, with the shortest being just a couple of days. Quite a few times I was carrying between 5-7 days worth of food, which certainly adds up in terms of weight.

Luckily, being a wet year, there was no problem with water. Every tank had ample water except for one in the Flinders at Trezona Campground. This meant I could easily get by with just a day’s worth of water at a time, around 1-3 litres depending on distance.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the food I took in this post, instead it covers all my gear and clothing.

Read more: How To Plan Your Food For Hiking

what to pack for the Heysen Trail pin

Heysen Trail Packing List

Below you’ll find exactly what I packed for the Heysen Trail, including the specific brands I used. I was super happy with everything I packed and didn’t have any major gear failures during my 55 day thru hike.

Here’s my Heysen Trail packing list!

Gear List

For major gear pieces like my tent and backpack, I tried to upgrade a lot of it to lighter weight options. The only thing I would probably change from what I took was a lighter and more compact sleeping bag, although it was a really warm bag which was nice on those cold nights. Here are all the main pieces of gear I took:

Big Agnes Copper Spur tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent

I upgraded my cheaper and heavier Oztrail tent to the mighty Big Agnes. I did a lot of reading on different tents and it came down to choosing between the Big Agnes Copper Spur, MSR Hubba Hubba, Nemo Hornet or the Mont Moondance. I ended up going for the Big Agnes because it was super light at 1.4 kg, roomy with a few handy internal pockets and it had a very good reputation in the thru-hiking community.

Two things I would say about picking a tent for the Heysen Trail though. First, I really appreciated having a free-standing tent. This was great for all the random places I slept including on rocky ground, concrete floor shelters, camp kitchens and inside huts. With a non-free-standing, you’re more limited as to where you can pitch.

Second, I was glad I took the 2 person tent for the extra room. It easily fit myself and my pack with plenty of room to spare which is ideal if you’re living out of it for two months.

Verdict: I loved my Big Agnes tent and will be taking it on many more adventures. It felt a little flimsy in high winds, but it never failed me and was very waterproof even in downpours.

Tent Footprint

I also purchased the Big Agnes tent footprint designed for the Copper Spur UL2 tent. While I used to consider this as an unnecessary piece of gear, I’m incredibly glad I took one on the Heysen. Not only does it protect the tent floor from damage or water during rain, but it was super handy when sleeping in the huts to use as a ground sheet.

However, you don’t have to splurge on the expensive tent footprints that go with your tent. Some people use light tarps or plastic groundsheets or even emergency blankets instead.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack

If you’ve watched any PCT YouTube videos (who hasn’t?), then chances are that you’re familiar with Gossamer Gear packs. The US-based company makes some of the most widely used ultralight backpacks on the market. They’re not the easiest packs to find in Australia, and I had to go into Backpacking Light in Melbourne to check them out.

I looked at both the Gorilla 50 and the Mariposa 60 but settled for the latter. With a minimal frame, large pockets and ripstop nylon and mesh material, it’s a light pack weighing just over 800g. I really enjoyed the design, with large outer pockets and hip belt pockets, and a fold over top, I found it a lot more practical than my Osprey pack.

The load range is around 12-15 kg. It’s a good idea to play around a bit with packing it, so you can distribute the weight evenly, as this tended to impact the comfort a lot.

I also looked at the Osprey Lumina 60, which is part of the Osprey ultralight range. This would be the equivalent to the Gossamer Gear Mariposa if you wanted to stick to Osprey packs.

Verdict: I was pretty happy with my Gossamer pack. I loved the design and how durable it was. However, without the added support that I was used to with the Osprey packs, it does get uncomfortable when it was at the upper weight limit of around 15 kg. Once I’d dug into my food supply though, it was a great pack!

Pack cover

Pack Cover

A definite must for the Heysen Trail is a pack cover or rain cover. I got a Sea to Summit waterproof pack cover to fit my Gossamer Gear backpack. I kept it permanently within easy reach because I used it far more than I would have liked, due to the bad weather. It was easy to put on and kept my pack dry even during intense downpours.

However, I would still recommend using it in conjunction with dry bags (listed further below), because sometimes after hours of rain, water still drips around the edges into the pack. This was rare though.

Macpac sleeping bag

Macpac Latitude 700 Sleeping Bag

I’ve had this sleeping bag for over 5 years now and it’s been on countless adventures. I’ve been really happy with it so far and I decided to take it with me on the Heysen Trail. It’s a down sleeping bag that has a comfort rating of -6 degrees, but it’s not a super light option weighing in at 1.7 kg. Macpac have since discontinued this sleeping bag, but their Azure 700 would be the new equivalent.

I looked at purchasing the Sea to Summit Spark IV which is a similar warmth rating but comes in at under a kilogram. However, it was yet another big purchase to add to my list and I decided to put it off in favour of updating my backpack and tent instead. Looking back though, it would have been nice to save nearly a kilogram in base weight!

Verdict: I stuck with my Macpac bag and it did the job really well. I would say the warmth was definitely necessary. Still, it would have been nice to carry something slightly lighter so I’ll be looking to upgrade in the future.

Ultralight Insulated sleeping mat

Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat

Another item I’ve had for years. I borrowed this Sea to Summit sleeping mat off my dad in 2018 for the Larapinta Trail and have never managed to give it back… sorry dad. But this is a very popular inflatable sleeping mat that weighs less than 500g and rolls down into the size of a drink bottle.

Extremely portable and durable, I’ve never had a problem or hole in the mat and neither did my dad, so it’s worth the investment. It’s insulated well, so it’s good for cooler weather, although it’s certainly not quite a four season mat.

Verdict: The ever reliable sleeping mat was perfect for my 55 day trip. The only downside was that it is quite noisy so I definitely annoyed my hiking buddies sometimes, especially when sleeping in the huts!

Sea to Summit pillow

Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Inflatable Pillow

A luxury item that I would happily include in my Heysen Trail packing list again. The Sea to Summit inflatable pillow changed my camping experience when I discovered it and I’ve not looked back. It folds down into a small square and only weighs 100g, so it’s worth it, if you ask me.

Verdict: Definitely worth it – makes sleeping on the ground a million times better!

Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp

Black Diamond Revolt 350 Rechargeable Headlamp

Another piece of gear that I upgraded for the Heysen Trail, this Black Diamond headlamp was one of my favourite things I took. It has five lighting modes that can easily be used with a touch of the button. Plus, it’s waterproof so it didn’t matter what kind of weather we were camping in.

However, my favourite feature was that it’s USB rechargeable, so I didn’t have to worry about batteries and could just use my power bank to charge it. It lasted for a long time on low beam, which was enough for doing what I needed around camp.

Verdict: A USB rechargeable headlamp is hands down the best investment and I would highly recommend this to everyone.

Helinox poles

Helinox Trekking Poles

While everyone has their opinion on hiking poles, my Helinox poles have been with me on countless adventures. I actually prefer not to use them on most hikes, but I decided to take them with me to tackle the rocky ground and steep climbs. I was glad I had them, especially for the Flinders Ranges at the start.

Helinox make extremely lightweight hiking gear, so while they’re an investment, I would say their portability makes them one of the best trekking poles you can buy. I have their Passport Poles, which are their lightest option, but their Ridgeline Poles are the all-rounders and more popular option.

Verdict: Definitely a worthwhile piece of gear to pack for the Heysen, especially in the Flinders Ranges and for the coastal section from Victor Harbour to Cape Jervis. But, I definitely liked the fact that I could fold mine up easily, because I often prefer not to use poles and I like to be able to pack them away.

Patagonia Hip Pack

Patagonia Ultralight Mini Hip Pack 1L

Another tip I got from watching too many thru hiking YouTube videos was to carry a small hip pack, fanny pack, bum bag, or whatever you want to call them. It basically gives you extra pockets that are within easy reach while walking. While my Gossamer Gear backpack had decent hip belt pockets and my leggings had side leg pockets, it was still really handy to have even more accessible pockets.

I tended to keep my GoPro, earphones, ID and bank card, and maybe a snack, in my Patagonia Mini Hip Pack. It also made for a great little purse for town days, that I could easily take into the supermarket or cafe.

Verdict: While definitely not an essential item, I found it pretty handy, especially to have my GoPro so accessible all the time. I would definitely take it again on a long distance trail, but you could easily do without it.

Sawyer squeeze

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter

Yet, another favourite of thru hikers in the US (there’s a strong trend here I know), the Sawyer Squeeze is the perfect little water filter. I had used a LifeStraw up until the Heysen Trail, but decided to switch to Sawyer because you can filter bulk amount of water using a gravity system.

The filter comes with collapsible water storage bags which I used to fill from the water tanks and then I would run the water through the filter into my hydration reservoir or water bottle. It can also be screwed directly onto a Pump water bottle (in Australia) and then you can drink directly from that too.

Quite a few other hikers also had the Sawyer Squeeze and we all loved it. They do recommend flushing it out with clean water often, but I only did this a few times and it was fine.

Verdict: The Sawyer Squeeze was one of my favourite pieces of gear I took, because of how easy and convenient it was, plus I’ve never been a fan of chemical based water purification – so it was a clear winner.

Osprey 3L reservoir

Osprey Hydraulics 3L Reservoir

I’ve had this Osprey water bladder since I did the Larapinta Trail four years ago and it’s never failed me. While a more expensive reservoir compared to other brands, I think it’s worth the investment for peace of mind that it won’t break. Cheaper brands tend to easily get holes or leaks.

Not everyone is a hydration bladder person though, with some hikers preferring to simply use drink bottles. But, I tend to drink a lot of water and I like to be able to sip throughout the day rather than having to stop every time I want to have a drink. This bladder also nicely fits in both my Osprey and Gossamer Gear backpacks.

Verdict: I’m a committed hydration bladder hiker, and I don’t go on an overnight hike without one. I was really happy with this on the Heysen, because I could stay hydrated without stopping for a drink all the time.

klean-kanteen-stainless-steel drink bottle

Stainless Steel Drink Bottle

On top of my hydration bladder, I also carried a 1 litre stainless steel water bottle. This was helpful for cooking, making cups of tea and having as a drink bottle in my tent. It also boosted my water carrying volume if needed during the day.

But perhaps it’s most useful feature was that I could put boiling water in it. On many cold nights I used it as a hot water bottle and I really don’t know if I would have slept as well without it. I’m a cold sleeper so this was a life saver!

I took a really old, battered and bruised stainless steel bottle that I think was originally from Kathmandu. But Klean Kanteen make some of the best quality ones and it’s a certified sustainable company.

Verdict: An added luxury on cold nights that I was so grateful for. Plus, it was easier to use and drink out of around camp than a hydration bladder. If you’re taking a drink bottle, make it a stainless steel one.

PLB

A must for safety reasons, carrying a Personal Location Beacon (PLB) is a given. I’ve had an ACR ResQLink for a few years now, but I’ve since found out that a lighter and more compact option is the Ocean Signal Rescue Me PLB, which I’d probably prefer in the future.

With the limited phone reception across the trail, an emergency device is obviously essential. But there’s also other options, like the Garmin InReach Mini, which is a popular choice and acts as a GPS and emergency communication device all in one.

However, I didn’t think a GPS device was overly necessary for the Heysen Trail, considering it’s well marked and my phone helped when needed. So, I just took a PLB in case of an emergency.

Verdict: A must for all hikers. An essential item. No questions asked.

Sea to Summit dry bag

Assorted Dry Bags

I quickly learnt that dry bags or dry sacks are very useful hiking gear items on the Heysen Trail! I ended up taking a variety of Macpac and Sea to Summit branded bags, with 5L, 10L, 4L and 8L options.

The obvious use for them is to keep your stuff dry, but I also found them really helpful when it came to gear organisation. I had one for my clothes and one for important electronics. I also used one to cover my camera in downpours.

A couple of other random uses for them, were as shopping bags in town and to sit on for breaks on wet ground.

Verdict: Way more useful that I originally thought and worth taking multiple sizes and types for a variety of purposes.

Backpackers-Trowel

Trowel

I’ve had this cheap, plastic trowel since the Larapinta Trail and honestly probably should have upgraded to a better one, but it did the job. A lot of campsites on the Heysen Trail don’t have long drop toilets, so you must bring a trowel to ensure you leave no trace.

I’m looking to get the Helinox Ultralight Pocket Trowel, which would probably be much better for portability and also digging into the tough ground of the Flinders Ranges.

Verdict: Don’t think about skipping this, a trowel is an essential on the Heysen Trail. Go for something strong and sturdy, as the ground is hard and rocky in places.

Cooking

A true ultralight hiker would opt to cold soak, but not me. I loved my cooking setup and wouldn’t change a thing. This is what was in my backpacking kitchen:

Jetboil zip

Jetboil Zip Stove

Another piece of gear I stole from my dad for the Larapinta Trail and never gave back (conveniently he wanted to upgrade anyway). My Jetboil Zip has been taken on all sorts of adventures and has never failed me.

It’s perfect as a one person cooking setup, as I didn’t even have to take a pot. I simply used the Jetboil cooking cup for everything from boiling water to cooking. It boils water in less than 3 minutes, which does make it difficult for cooking elaborate meals, but for dehydrated or freeze dried food it’s perfect.

Verdict: While not the lightest cooking setup, I love my Jetboil and will be taking it on every adventure until it stops working!

Gas

Fuel canisters were relatively easy to find along the trail but I did have a few 100g (small) gas canisters in some of my boxes just in case. While I preferred the 100g canisters because they fit inside my Jetboil cup, the next size up was more commonly sold on trail and does last a lot longer.

Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly how much I used in the end, but I know it was less than I thought. It’s still good to be cautious of gas but don’t stress too much about it, they generally last longer than what you think and most towns sell them.

I did end up carrying a spare 100g canister for a while, but that was probably unnecessary. It’s a good idea to use your cooking set up at home or on camping trips and learn how much gas you actually need for a week at a time.

Kathmandu mug

Mug

I took a very old aluminium Kathmandu mug that I’ve had for years (similar to picture above). It’s super light and was basically just used for my cup of tea every morning and afternoon and the occasional electrolyte drink. The only thing is that it’s a little awkward to pack, so a collapsible cup would probably be more practical if I upgrade in the future.

Verdict: I love my tea so a cup is worth carrying. However, you could easily not take one if you weren’t into tea or coffee or you could simply use your cooking pot for drinking too.

Waterproof matches

Matches

I started off with these waterproof matches, but I ran out and couldn’t get them on trail. I soon realised how important they are because when I bought regular matches some got wet and rendered them useless until the next town.

Some hikers prefer a lighter, which makes sense too. Although I found matches were better at starting fires in the hut!

Sea to Summit spork

Cutlery/spork

I bought a Sea to Summit titanium spork for the Heysen Trail. It was the only utensil I took and I was super happy with it. It weighs just 12g and was perfect for all my meals from noodle soup to curry and rice and scooping peanut butter straight from the jar.

If I ever needed a knife, I just used my small pocket knife my dad gave me. Otherwise a spork was all I needed. You can get a spork and knife set from Sea to Summit if you wanted both.

organic-dyed-plant-based-sponge-dish-cloth

Dish Cloth

Possibly another unnecessary item but I found that it made life easier. I carried a small plant-based dish cloth that I kept in my Jetboil cup. Considering it doesn’t weigh much at all, it made cleaning up a lot easier after dinner. But you could certainly get by without one.

Clothing List

I tend to pack minimal clothing on any multi-day hike, and I opted for bare basics for the Heysen Trail. I even sent home a couple of items after a few weeks and continued with pretty much only what I was wearing plus a couple of warm layers. Here’s what I wore on the Heysen Trail:

Toiletries and First Aid

I tried to keep my toiletries and first aid minimal but it ended up blowing out a bit as I got blisters and then muscles aches. But by the end I could’ve easily downsized again as my blisters had gone and my body got used to the trail. Luckily, you can pick up supplies at the pharmacies in a few towns on the way, but between towns you’ll have to make do with whatever you’ve got, so it pays to be self-sufficient.

First aid kit

First Aid

You could buy a pre-made first aid kit or make your own up. I tend to make my own with all the items and brands I like, which is what I’ve listed below:

Sunscreen

Sun Protection

Tek towel

Sea to Summit Tek Towel

I took my small microfibre Sea to Summit towel with me. It’s another piece of gear that I only used when I was in town for a shower, but it was still worth carrying. I’ve always had the small towel, although they do have bigger sizes if you prefer a proper size towel.

If you’re staying at accommodation on the way, you’ll also get given towels in your room, so you could almost do without your own. However, as I camped at a few caravan parks, I needed to supply my own toiletries.

Verdict: A towel was nice to have for showering, but it was a little annoying having to carry something that I only used once a week. I’m glad I only took the small size as it didn’t take up much space or weigh much at all.

Toothpaste powder

Toothpaste Powder

I discovered toothpaste powder when I was shopping for the Heysen Trail in my local health shop. I’ve used My Magic Mud toothpaste for a few years now (a natural charcoal toothpaste), so I figured their tooth powder would be very similar. The powder weighs a lot less than paste and I used very minimal, as you only need to dab your toothbrush in the powder lightly.

I only took half of what came in the container and transferred it to an even smaller reusable container and it easily lasted the entire trail.

Verdict: I think this was one of the best lightweight hiking hacks I learnt while packing for the Heysen Trail. Tooth powder is definitely going to be on my packing list in the future, it weighed virtually nothing.

Bamboo Toothbrush

I’ve used Biome bamboo toothbrushes for years. And no, I didn’t cut the handle off as some ultralight hikers do, but they weigh very minimal anyway, so I wasn’t too concerned.

Wilderness Wash

Wilderness Soap

Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash has been a staple in hiker’s packs for years. The multi-purpose soap can be used for clothes, dishes and body. I predominantly use it for clothes and dishes and it works well. It certainly doesn’t replace proper detergent for washing your clothes after days of hiking, but it does the job until you can get to a washing machine in town.

Verdict: It’s handy to have on trail, but you could go without it if you really wanted. I often just rinsed my Jetboil cup with water, which was good enough. Plus, you can leave some washing detergent in resupply boxes for using the machines in town instead.

Electronics

This is where some of my weight adds up, because I like to carry photography gear. I was pretty happy with everything I took. I decided not to take a portable solar panel like I have on previous hikes, and I’m glad I didn’t as it would have had minimal use with the mostly cloudy and rainy conditions.

This is all the electronic gear I carried:

olympus omd5

Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark III + 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Lens

My main camera body is the Olympus EM-5 Mark III, which is a rugged, tough and relatively lightweight mirrorless camera. It’s perfect for hikers and outdoor adventurers, because despite its compact size it packs a punch in terms of quality and colour.

I use it for both still photography and video. I chose to just take the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens because it’s my most used and versatile lens and I didn’t want to lug around a bigger zoom lens. Overall, I think it was perfect for what I needed, although occasionally a zoom lens would have been handy, especially for shooting wildlife.

Verdict: A camera I’ve been happy with since I upgraded to it. It really is perfect for hikers looking for a quality camera that isn’t as heavy and bulky as a DSLR camera.

Capture clip

Peak Design Capture Clip

How I’ve always preferred to carry my camera with a pack. I use this Peak Design clip to hang my camera body off my shoulder strap so that it’s easy to grab and shoot whenever I want. However, I have to say the clip wasn’t great for my shoulder when my Gossamer Gear backpack was full. You have to play around with it to figure out where it feels the most comfortable.

Verdict: I’m still yet to work out what works best for my Gossamer Gear pack. But, I’ve used this clip on plenty of day hikes with my Osprey daypack and love it.

GoPro Hero 10

GoPro Hero 10 + Shorty Extension Pole and Tripod

I upgraded my very old GoPro before the Heysen Trail, which meant I hit the trail with the new Hero 10. Despite already knowing what they are capable of, I was still blown away with the quality of the GoPro Hero 10. It was such an easy camera to use, and I whipped it out from my hip pack multiple times throughout the day to capture the trail.

The battery doesn’t last as long as my camera battery, but it charged pretty quickly off my power banks while out on trail, so I never ran out of juice.

Verdict: Definitely my favourite piece of camera gear I took on the Heysen Trail. So versatile and easy to use, with an incredibly high quality camera. Can’t speak highly enough about it.

Nitecore 10000

Nitecore NB10000 Power Bank

I had heard about these Nitecore power banks from within the hiking community. They’re known as being the lightest and most compact power bank on the market coming in at around 150g each.

With 10,000mAh, it can charge a new smart phone around three times, so I decided to get two of them to make sure I wouldn’t run out of battery life in my phone, GoPro, headlamp and watch while out on trail. As with most power banks, they do take a while to fully recharge but I always managed to do it overnight in towns.

Verdict: Definitely worth buying, especially because of the compact size and weight. You could easily get by with one as most hikers do, but if you carry other electronics like me, two was perfect.

RODE mic

Rode Video Microphone On-Camera

This high quality Rode video microphone was on my Olympus camera for the entire hike. It’s a popular choice by hikers who are filming the trail, and it definitely stood up to the test being outdoors all the time.

It’s pretty small and light at 50g, and definitely improved the quality of the sound on my camera, especially when the conditions were constantly windy all the time in South Australia.

Verdict: Unless you’re super committed to filming the trail, this is not an essential accessory. However, I think it definitely improved sound quality which I was happy with.

flexible tripod

Mini Flexible Tripod

I decided to carry this flexible tripod for both my camera and phone. It easily slid into my outer front pocket of my backpack and weighs around 250g. However, I probably didn’t use it as much as I thought and only really bothered to get it out a handful of times.

If I’d walked more on my own I think I would’ve used it more often, but it was still a good thing to have for taking self-timer images and videos.

Verdict: Another photography accessory that isn’t essential but I like to have with me. If I really want to cut weight on my next thru-hike I’d think about leaving it behind.

Garmin Forerunner

Garmin Forerunner Watch

My Garmin Forerunner Watch is a few years old now, but I still wear it on every hike and run I do. I like to be able to record my day, especially kilometres, time and elevation, which then helps me put together hiking guides afterwards.

It is annoying having something else to charge on trail, but it charges very quickly off the power banks and lasted a few days when full.

Verdict: I literally never hike or run without my watch, so it’s definitely an essential for me. However, if you’re not used to having one I wouldn’t say it was necessary. I like to be able to record my days and see the stats.

Misc. Electronic Gear

  • Spare GoPro batteries
  • Spare Olympus camera batteries
  • Earphones
  • Memory cards (I had x3 for my camera and x2 for my GoPro)
  • Phone charging cable
  • Camera battery charging cable
  • GoPro charging cable
  • Garmin watch charging cable
  • Power bank charging cable
  • 240v USB wall charger adaptor

Other Bits and Pieces

Some other random things I took that don’t fit into the above categories.

  • Paper maps from Friends of the Heysen Trail
  • ID and bank card
  • Notebook and pen
  • Fishing wire and carabiner clip (for hanging food bag in huts)
  • Whistle attached to my backpack
  • Toilet paper
  • Pocket knife
  • Small spikey massage ball (for underneath my feet)
  • Some Gorilla tape wrapped around a hiking pole (for general repairs)
Snack break on the Heysen Trail

A Few Things I Decided Not to Take & Why

You might notice a few things missing from my Heysen Trail packing list, that you would otherwise choose to take. It’s a very personal process and everyone’s list will be different, but I thought I’d share a few obvious things that I didn’t take and why.

  • Deodorant: Gross, I know. But in all honesty, there’s very little reason to take it because you’re only going to sweat every day and not shower for days on end. I don’t think it really makes any difference so I opted not to take any and I didn’t regret it.
  • Insect repellent: I originally had this on my packing list but at the last minute decided not to take it. I figured it was unnecessary weight that I wasn’t sure if I’d even use. I think only a couple of times on the whole trail mosquitoes were a problem, so I’m glad I didn’t carry any.
  • Hand sanitiser: Again, probably sounds like a bad personal hygiene decision but I never actually use hand sanitiser even when travelling overseas and I think I’ve built a good immune system because of it. If I ever wanted to wash my hands, I used my wilderness wash with water.
  • Wet wipes: I have carried these before so I could wash at the end of the day, but for a 55 day hike like the Heysen Trail I decided it wasn’t worth the extra weight and waste. If I really needed to wash between showers, I used my towel and some water.
  • Thermals: Another clothing item I didn’t take which surprised a lot of other hikers. But I tended to just sleep in my walking clothes (gross, again) if it was cold or underwear if it was mild. I don’t think I really missed having them, but it probably would be nicer if I slept in thermals rather than my sweaty, dirty hiking clothes!
  • Waterproof pants: My Amble leggings dry pretty quickly, especially when I’m walking. So, even if they got drenched in rain, they’d usually dry by the end of the day or overnight. For this reason, I don’t really see the point in having rain pants, so I went without.

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