I’ve received several requests to put up my packing list for the Kepler Track hike, so without further wait, here it is! I got most items off Amazon, cos such gears normally cost a lot more in shops here in Singapore.
- North Face 50 litres backpack. I got additional straps from an outdoor shop to strap the tent on the bottom part of the pack as there wasn’t enough space to keep everything in.
- Domke F-5XB in rugged wear. This was used to store mainly my camera and other important stuff. It was with me all the time. The rugged wear surface did pretty well to keep some light rain away. If given a choice next time, I would bring a completely waterproof camera bag.
- Medium Ziplock: To store trash accumulated along the way. Leave no trace! 🙂
Clothing, shoes & hand- carried gear
- Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro Trekking Poles. To me, poles were really helpful for the descend. Other than that, it was mostly hanging over my bag straps as I realised it didn’t facilitate my ascends much. I also preferred to keep my hands free.
- Raincoat from REI. Didn’t use this, as I didn’t encounter heavy rain. But definitely worth packing in!
- Down jacket. This was my life- saver for those cold mornings and nights.
- Beanie & Gloves: Didn’t bring one, but the ranger from the visitor centre advised me to make this important last minute purchase!
- Light, old and worn cotton t shirts. Check the weather before you go, but always try to prepare for surprises as the weather is very unpredictable in the mountains! I brought 2 t shirts (1 worn) and worn long convertible pants(The type with a half zip which converts to shorts). Try to wear long sleeves and black coloured clothing to avoid getting bit by the sandflies!
- Merino wool socks. I got these in Christchurch on arrival, and they were definitely useful to keep the feet warm, especially at night.
- Brooks Cascadia 10 trail shoes: Highly recommended, though I would want to try Altra shoes next!
Shelter & Sleeping
- ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent. Worked really well for me! Easy to set up, and had enough space to keep my backpack in as well (had to keep out the Keas!).
- TETON Sports Tracker 5F Ultralight Sleeping Bag. I was preparing for really cold sleeping weather, so I was a little more cautious on what sleeping bag to bring. This one worked really well to keep me warm, both in the hut and at the campsite.
Water, Cooking, Food, Snack
- Lightweight Cooking pot. Useful for boiling water in the hut. However, I brought mostly dried energy bars for meals, so this was rarely used.
- Spork. Useful for proper meals.
- 400ml Vacuum flask. I’m a camel. I don’t take much water during hikes, so this was kind of sufficient for me. Besides, I was going to try taking water from streams (with water pills) so I reduced on the volume of packed water.
- POTABLE AQUA PA+Plus Water Purification. This was interesting, given that I used it for the first time! Other than the waiting time needed for the pills to work, it’s definitely worth bring along (check if fresh water sources are available along the trail).
- Random Peanut Butter energy bar
- Freeze- dried meal. A fellow hiker also recommended bread, which was kind of a genius idea as it is light weight, yet fills you up quickly. It’s weird how I hadn’t thought of that! Will definitely try it for my next hike.
- Stove Ignitor (Didn’t bring this, but this is essential for cooking in huts!)
Electronics & Camera
- Sony A7 and 28mm F/2 prime with 1 battery and 3x 8GB SD cards
- 10000mAh power bank: Enough to charge my phone and Sony A7 throughout the hike. But it really depends on how intensive your shooting is going to be.
- RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Port. As I wasn’t going to get access to external charging points for my gadgets, I got this, knowing that half the time I’d be more or less exposed to get some sun for some free charging. It worked like a miracle! It was also my first time using solar- powered charging, so it was quite fascinating. I got this as it was highly recommended on Amazon. If you’d like even more power, bring along a fully- charged power bank, in case the sun doesn’t show up!
- Energizer Headlamp. This is very important, especially when you’re hiking late into the night or before sunrise. Also very useful when you’re camping out as there are no external light sources around you.
- Xiaomi Redmi Phone
- Manfrotto Tripod with ball head. Great for capturing the stars at night! But given a chance, I might give this a miss, to cut some weight off my shoulders. I was too tired and cold to head out for the stars at night anyway.
Basic Survival Gear, Hygiene & Medication
- Medication for headaches, diarrhoea, vomitting etc
- Face moisturiser
- Sea To Summit Pocket Towel. Super lightweight, soft, absorbent, and dries quickly.
- Wet wipes. Great for ‘dry showers’. No shower facilities are available during the trail, so prepare whatever you need to keep you feeling fresh!
Things I wished I’d packed along…
1. Better food! After a long day of tiring hike, all your body wants to do is be treated well, so some junk food wouldn’t harm! I was really bored of eating the same energy bar by day 3
2. Ignitor (For stoves in the huts). I didn’t expect the stoves to require this so I’d to borrow from a kind fellow hiker!
That’s it! It took me a while to research on various websites on what to bring, and what variation of each item to bring along. Well being a first timer there were definitely some hits and misses, but it was all fun, and it really makes me look forward to a better hike next time! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions too.
Oh and of course, do not forget to pack with you an adventurous spirit! Click here to read my blog post on the hike if you haven’t! I hope it can help in your planning. Have an amazing hike out there!
As shown above:
1. North Face 50 litres backpack.
2. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent.
3. TETON Sports Tracker 5F Ultralight Sleeping Bag.
4. RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Port.
5. Manfrotto Tripod with ball head.
6. Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro Trekking Poles.
7. Raincoat from REI.
8. Lightweight Cooking pot.
10. 400ml Vacuum flask.
11. POTABLE AQUA PA+Plus Water Purification.
12. Sea To Summit Pocket Towel.
13. Down jacket.
14. Comfortable clothing.
15. Domke F-5XB in rugged wear.
Lastly, pack along your spirit for Adventure! 🙂