You Pack It – You Carry It

Lightweight Hiking

Hoadley Hide is a four day hike with competitive activities held each Easter in Victoria. It is important that you take the correct gear so you are adequately prepared for the challenges of the terrain and weather conditions. When preparing for a hike, every gram of unnecessary weight must be eliminated – each piece of equipment and food has to be carried on your back. The decision of what is essential to take and what can be left behind is critical to ensure that you have a comfortable, enjoyable and healthy hike.

Ground Rules

  • No thongs
  • Keep to the tracks where possible and follow your hike leader – keep together, no stragglers
  • Take out your own rubbish, do not litter the bush; you take it in – you take it out.
  • Always carry a second change of clothes at the car for your journey home.
  • Bury toilet waste and tell your hike leader if you need a nature stop – you may get left behind !
  • Place your sleeping bag in a plastic bag before packing it in your rucksack – there’s nothing worse than a wet, soppy sleeping bag
  • Use a large thick, plastic garbage bag to line the inside of your rucksack and then place all your clothes in the bag to prevent them from getting wet
  • Packs should be 10 – 14 Kg (total weight)

Sleeping Bag

This can be the most expensive item to purchase. Remember that you are not sleeping in a caravan or scout hall which most of the lower price bags are designed for. An extra blanket takes up a lot of room and is extra weight for you to carry. Sleep in long johns or tracksuit pants. Down mix or Hollofil bags seem to be the most popular. Check the temperature rating of the bag for the conditions that you expect to encounter. Remember, there’s nothing worst than being cold at night in the great outdoors !

Sleeping Mat

Some people use them, some don’t and the prices and variety varies enormously. A closed cell, high density foam type is the better of the cheaper ones, but remember – it is extra weight that you have to carry.

Ground Sheet

A very important and necessary piece of equipment that you should have to protect you from dampness Tent This is up to the individual to consider for style and price range when purchasing. Remember that if it’s a two person tent, you will have to carry it for half of the time. Consider the weatherproof design, ease of putting it up and the weight before you buy.

Cooking Things

Cooking pots or mess kits are usually used. A strong plastic mug for hot drinks is best as enamel is heavy and aluminium can burn the lips. Don’t forget your knife, fork and spoon and also a pot scrubber. Leave your cast iron dixie at home !

First Aid Kit

A small personal one should be carried by each person. Make up your own, it’s cheaper and include plaster strips to treat any blisters. If you are taking any mediation, remember to take it with you and tell your hike leader

Washing Kit

It is necessary to keep clean, so take along a small piece of soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb – all contained in a plastic bag with a towel


A very small one with two AA batteries plus spares – it’s compact and light


Ensure that they are comfortable and sturdy enough to make the distance – don’t take footwear that is too small, wearing out or liable to let in water. In summer and spring, good solid sneakers should be OK, but in cold or wet weather, comfortable, waterproof hike boots are a must. Never wear new shoes or hike boots without first wearing them around at home to allow them to mould to the shape of your feet and to prevent blisters


Depending on the time of the year, the hike terrain and the weather forecast – this will govern what you wear. You must be prepared for both hot and wet weather conditions and have appropriate clothing. If cooler conditions are expected, an extra jumper or parka is needed. A shower proof jacket and coat is a must. In mountain areas, days can be warm and nights extremely cold; two thin woollen or wool mix jumpers are better than one thick one. A woollen flannelette shirt can be used instead of a jumper. Wool absorbs perspiration and remains warm even when wet. Windcheaters are not recommended unless you have a woollen jumper. Similarly, jeans allow body heat to escape, especially when they are wet and are no good for hiking in wet or cold conditions; wear long pants with a woollen content, eg. cords, warm track suit, army daks. Thick socks of wool mix are best and two pairs should be worn. Hike in shorts, especially when it’s raining and change into long pants when you make camp. Designer clothes for evening wear are out! Keep the weight of your spare clothes to an absolute minimum

Other Essentials

Remember to take at least one compass for your hike group and a waterproof plastic cover for your map. Competition hikes usually require ropes and other gear to be carried by each team member

Your Sample Packing List

Measure the weight of all items that you intend to take and keep them as light as possible Rucksack Hat Mess Kit Sleeping Bag Runners (evening) Spare Socks (2) Tent (half share) Food Spare T Shirt Matches and Torch Ropes Long Pants Towel / Toilet Kit Ground Sheet Shorts Hike Stove and Spare Fuel Sleeping Mat Handkerchief Cooking Gear First Aid Kit Water Bottle Waterproof Parka / Coat Washing Kit Compass Spare Underwear Toilet Paper Woollen Jumper Eating Implements