Wanna know what’s in my backpack on long distance hikes in Ireland?
In this post, I will outline everything that I carry in my backpack on multi-day trails. These type of trips might include the Wicklow Way, Kerry Way or the Ireland Way. It’s not recommended that you buy this gear (please do your own research) but these items were mostly chosen based on my first hand experiences on various hiking trails in Ireland.
Intro to My Gear List for Long Distance Hikes
I’ve walked many long distances routes at this stage. Aside from upgrading to high quality gear, I’ve tried to carry less and reduce the weight of specific items in my backpack. This is because weight is everything on a long distance trips and most first-timers carry far too much gear – so much that it ruins the trip. You might not notice this so much when trying out the backpack at home but weight becomes more and more important (and noticeable) over long distances.
Here’s some questions I recommend thinking about:
“Do you really need it?”
- Do I really need all those toiletries?
- Do I really need four pairs of underwear?
- Do I really need three books? (books are heavy)
- Do I really need two pots, or five litres of water or an axe?
By the way, there’s a simple downloadable checklist at the bottom of this post:
Everything in My Backpack on Long Distance Trails
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2
My tent is a two-person and three-season shelter – the Hubba Hubba NX2 by MSR. It’s ultra-light (1.5kg) and comes with a green rain fly which is great for wild camping in particular. If I was not using this tent, I would go with a Vango Banshee Pro 200 which is somewhat heavier but also really good and reasonably priced.
My Sleeping Bag
Vango Cobra 400
The Vango Cobra 400 has a nylon shell that feels strong and water resistant. It packs down extremely small and offers a nice balance between weight and warmth. It’s a 700-fill goose down bag and ideal for the summer months. I am using this as my sleeping bag for the Ireland Way and will write a full review for this item at the end of my walk.
My Sleeping Bag Liner
This is my sleeping bag liner and I love it. A sleeping bag liner is useful for keeping this inside of my bag clean and because it’s much easier to wash a liner on trail as opposed to a sleeping bag. But the main reason I carry this item is because it offers extra warmth which I may or may not need on colder nights in the tent.
My Sleeping Mat
Vango Thermatrek Sleeping Mat
I mostly carry a closed-cell sleeping mat for this trip instead of a self-inflatable mattress. Here’s why I’ve used this camp mattress on certain trips. In short, it’s very light, quick to deploy and just about comfortable enough (for me).
My Complete Sleep System for the Ireland Way
I also began carrying this camp pillow by Gelert.
My Hiking Shoes, Socks & Hiking Poles
Merrell Moab 2 GTX
I like to wear trail runners in warmer/dry conditions but find it’s better to choose something more sturdy and rugged for hiking shoes in Ireland. The Merrell Moab 2 GTX are just really strong and perform well in wet conditions. They offer great traction and decent protection in rocky terrain. I’m not a fan of boots myself but there is also a boot version.
1000 Mile Trail Socks
I used two pairs of these socks on my walk around Ireland two years ago and they lasted the entire trip. This is something that most hiking socks in Ireland simply cannot do. I would compare 1000 Mile socks to a brand in America called Darn Tough. They are light, durable and very comfortable – and I also think they look pretty cool !
My Hiking Poles
I’ve been using hiking poles for years. Poles make so much sense and you will definitely appreciate them on a long distance walk. Hiking poles not only help with balance, they take pressure off the knees and can often be used to give yourself a push uphill or for stability to ease yourself down a steeper gradient. I bought two of these poles in Asia and gave them away recently but I’ll replace them soon.
My Bum Bag
I am now using a KK bum bag on the trail for easy access to my camera and other personal items.
My Head Torch
Actik Core by Petzl
I love this head torch by Petzl and have been using it for several years. If I was to recommend any other had lamp, it might be the Ledlenser MH5 head torch which I recently gave away on my Facebook page.
Water Filtration System
Aquatabs and/or Lifestraw
I’ve used every type of water filter that I know about. They all work. Some are easier than others but I’m going back to basics with Aquatabs on this trip. If I get fed up of the taste, I will also have this lifestraw on hand. FYI The Sawyer Squeeze is my all-time favourite water filtration device but don’t buy the “mini” version which takes forever to use.
My Clothing for Hiking Long Distance Trails in Ireland
Believe it or not, I first bought this jacked in Penneys four years ago and then a replacement two years ago. It was initially an impulse buy but I was so impressed that I took it on the Pacific Crest Trail. Yes, I hiked through mountains, deserts and big wilderness regions with a €20 jacket from Penneys. It’s not as warm or well-built as what you might find here but I’ve grown attached to the damn thing and will continue to wear this until it falls apart !
I’ve just bought this recently as my North Face Shell is a little old at this stage. This jacket is pretty light for a 3000mm waterproof rating and windproof aswell as having a nice sized hood which is something I look for with rain jackets.
I’m using an old pair of non-branded waterproof over trousers. They are heavier than the Mac-in-a-sac and not too tight. You really need to carry this item for hiking long distance trails in Ireland as it’s so important to stay as dry as possible.
I’m going for a reasonably light pair of gloves on this trip because when it rains hard, I most often walk with my hands/gloves in my pockets. It’s also much easier to use your hands with these type of gloves. For instance, cooking or setting up the tent or taking out the camera for a quick snap of the foul weather!
Tresspass Richmond Active Shorts
I’m a shorts only kind of guy. If it’s raining hard or especially cold, I add leggings and rain pants.
I use leggings on cold mornings/days and sometimes wear them to bed on especially cold nights.
Outdare is my own outdoor clothing brand. It’s a nice breathable t-shirt that suits both active and leisure wear.
It took me ages to decide between the Outdare hoodie and Outdare sweater. I went with the crew neck sweater because the cotton content makes it slightly warmer. You can support my trip/work by making a purchase on Outdare.ie.
I find these boxers feel much better on the skin while hiking. They also dry really fast after washing/getting wet.
Buff Trucker Hat XCross
I bought this hat because it fits nicely and looks really cool. Remember my discount code DEREK15 gets you 15% off.
This is also a beanie from my outdoor clothing brand. Almost any beanie will do on the trail but I do ask that my followers help support what I do by keeping Outdare.ie in mind for sweaters, hoodies, beanies etc.
Great multipurpose item that can be used for covering the neck/face and also as a sweatband.
My Cooking Gear
APG Portable Camping Stove (and Gas Cylinder)
I was gifted this stove by an old school friend – Thanks Johnny Cahill! It’s similar to a Jetboil and my first time to take anything other than my tiny BRS stove on my trips. This has worked really well so far and I’m excited to use it more.
I don’t like drinking out of plastic or metallic cups and have been really enjoying this wooden cup by OYL.
A fork and spoon in one – nothing else to explain about this item.
+ Misc Kitchen items: Lighter, matches, pocketknife and a small cloth.
Aside from photographs and emergencies, you can download offline maps to a smartphone.
Powerbanks – TP Link & Energiser
I have two separate power banks – TP Link 15600amp and this 20000amp powerbank bought in Northern Ireland. This is a LOT of power and I only pack so much due to lack of charging points and needing so much battery to make videos.
Misc for electronics: USB charging cables & headphones.
Camera Gear: Camera, drone, batteries, tripod, adapters etc.
Maps – Offline & Paper Maps
Paper maps for the full trail printed from the Hiiker App / Website.
Offline trail maps for the Ireland Way on the Hiiker App.
I strongly recommend downloading this app for a long distance trail.
Other Miscellaneous Items
SPF Lip Balm
Emergency foil blanket
Bar of soap
WANT A SIMPLE CHECKLIST OF ALL THE GEAR ON MY PACKING LIST?
It’s totally FREE so just drop your email in the box below!
Anyway, that’s my full packing list for the Ireland Way. I hope you found some value from my list and thanks so much to the kind folk that have “bought me a coffee” as a thank you/encouragement for sharing this kind of info!
And do you have any favourite pieces of gear that you think I should know about? See you in the comments!