My Complete Lightweight Backpacking Gear List (12 Pounds)

A green and black trekking backpack with a blue water battle in the side propped up in the forest

Lightweight trekking gear list


The gear you bring along on a multi-day hike can make or break the trip. Too much weight, poorly fitting boots, or an uncomfortable backpack will distract you from your surroundings and slow you down. I have spent years researching and accumulating what I believe is the best lightweight gear for a comfortable multi-day trek.

I keep my backpack as light as possible because I simply want to suffer less and enjoy myself more. I don’t bring many extra clothes or luxuries because I simply don’t need them while I’m on the trail. Although, my approach may seem extreme to some, there are people that take ultralight hiking to a completely different level.

If you are just getting into multi-day backpacking or are simply trying to lighten your load on the trail, check out some of the gear I carry. Some of the items in my bag are a bit expensive, but I don’t regret a single purchase that has made hiking more enjoyable. Life on the trail is just better with a quality, lightweight setup.

What works for me might not work for you, so do your research and spend your money wisely.

The base weight of my pack (total weight minus food, water, and consumables) is just over 5.4 kilograms (12 pounds). I have enough extra space in my backpack for up to a week of food and fuel. I am comfortable sleeping in temperatures down to -9° Celsius (15° Fahrenheit) and my tent has withstood wind gusts up to 100 kph/60 mph.

Above view of all necessary trekking gear laid out across a carpet

Gear. Sweet, beloved gear.


Backpack and Sleeping System

Carried Clothing

Cooking System

Water Storage and Filtration



Total Base Weight: 202.5 oz/12.65 lbs (5.74 kg)

Worn Items

(Not part of base weight)

Total Worn Weight: 103.25 oz/6.45 lbs (2.93 kg)

Lightweight Trekking Resources

  • – some of the most innovative ultralight gear on the market. I would buy only Zpacks gear if I could afford it. Joe Valesko, Zpack’s founder, posts a gear list for every single long distance trek he has completed.
  • – a great forum to discuss the ultralight lifestyle. A very involved community full of like-minded hiking fanatics. A great resource for trail reviews, gear banter, and advice for your next trek.
  • – Andrew Skurka is a legend on the trekking circuit, completing some unthinkably ridiculous expeditions. His site is full of useful tips and gear recommendations for any level of hiker.
  • – an extensive database made up of thousands of gear reviews, trip reports, and useful ultralight information. A gear nerd can get lost for hours on this addictive and information-packed site.


  1. Hi Noel, just starting to make my own plan for hiking the O. Your website is a great resource!
    How many cans of gas did you take with you for your stove? I don’t see that on the list above.


    1. Hey, Sal. So glad you’re going to hike the ‘O’ Circuit! I’m glad you found my article. Makes me so happy to know that it’s helping people like you. To answer your question, I used one regular sized canister of fuel for the entire hike. Had plenty of gas to spare.

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