My Complete Lightweight Backpacking Gear List (12 Pounds)

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

My Complete Lightweight Backpacking Gear List


The gear you bring along on a multi-day backpacking adventure can make or break your trip.

Heavy packs, uncomfortable boots, or an inadequate camping setup will distract you from your surroundings and cheapen your hiking experience. I’ve learned this fact the hard way.

Nowadays, I keep the weight on my shoulders as light as possible. I simply want to suffer less and enjoy my surroundings more. I bring what I consider to be a minimalist backpacking gear setup – without many luxuries or extras.

Life on the trail is just better with quality, lightweight backpacking gear.

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 on the infamous ‘O’ Circuit in Torres del Paine.

I’ve spent years researching and accumulating the best lightweight backpacking gear for comfortable multi-day trips into the wilderness, and I’d like to to share my current list with you.

Above view of my backpacking gear laid out across a carpet

All of my lightweight backpacking gear in one photo


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

Worn items are not included in the base weight.

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

Lightweight Backpacking Gear Resources

  • – some of the most innovative ultralight backpacking gear on the market. I would buy only Zpacks gear if I could afford it. Joe Valesko, Zpack’s founder, posts a complete backpacking gear list for every single long distance trek he has completed.
  • – a great forum to discuss the ultralight backpacking lifestyle. A very involved community that’s 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 backpacking gear recommendations for any level of hiker.
  • – an extensive database made up of thousands of gear reviews, trip reports, and useful backpacking 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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