Since the trekking season is approaching it is a good time to take inventory of our trekking and camping gear: We will use some things from the previous years, buy some new ones after thorough research and put some great items on our wish list. In any case, a great price-quality ratio is something we are taking into consideration when buying trekking gear.
In this category, our choice depends on where and when we want to trek. Depending on weather and trail conditions, we are looking for different features in the shoes.
During the warm season, we choose lightweight shoes. Apart from not having to carry extra weight on your feet, lightweight shoes allow you to avoid lugging around extra kilos in your backpack. We love to combine both trekking and urban exploring in one trip and carrying shoes that occupy half the backpack while strolling down the streets of a big metropolis is not something we enjoy. The shoes should also be breathable: to avoid smelly feet. They should be flexible. They should dry easily: then it is not important if it rains or you have to cross a river - the best gear is not the one that doesn´t let water inside, but the one that dries quickly.
The type of a shoe that meets all these requirements is a trail running shoe. And from the trail running shoes, our top choice is the Columbia Vapor Vent. Weight: 18.7 oz / 532 g (pair) Price 60-85$
Guini also values a good design and walking in beautiful shoes gives her energy and strength to climb the highest mountains with a smile on her face. That`s why her choice is the Swiss trail running shoe On Cloudventure. Weight: 8.5 oz / 240 g (pair) Price: 170$
A disadvantage of trekking in trail running shoes is that your ankle is not supported to the same extent that it is in a heavy trekking shoe. Consider wearing classic trekking boots if this safety feature is relevant to you!
When you are travelling in places where it´s chilly and it rains a lot, you almost always have to walk in the ankle-high wet grass, - like in Karelia,- and your trail shoes have no opportunity to dry at all, waterproof trekking boots are certainly a choice. We love: Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX. They are still not too heavy. Weight: 22.5 oz / 640g (pair) Price: 240$
On the other hand, you might also want to consider a set of Gore-Tex socks. They are available in different lengths and can thus do a much better job of keeping your feet and legs dry. A disadvantage of watertight boots is that water also doesn't leak out once it is inside your boots. If you plan to cross through many rivers or the wet grass is quite tall, a better choice might be a water shoe and some Gore-Tex socks.
We have a Jack Wolfskin tent and are satisfied with both its quality and its price-quality ratio. Weight: 141 oz / 4kg Price: 150 - 250 $
However, we would like to buy a lightweight tent in the near future, A lightweight tent allows you to lighten your backpack by a few kilos! Last time we went trekking, we borrowed the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent from our friends and were really happy with it. Weight: 56 oz / 1,5 kg Price: 400$
What concerns sleeping bags, once again, our choice is dependent on where we are going to trek. For lower temperatures, our choice is the vango latitude. Weight: 70 oz / 1.8 kg Price: 90$
When it is warm, a light sleeping bag is our preference.
It is good to have a few backpacks in different sizes so that you may take the smaller one as hand luggage and a big one for all the supplies you need for that long trail out in the wilderness.
We are very happy with our Teton 75. It is very comfortable to carry, a back panel helps to keep your back cool. It has enough space to pack for a 2-weeks-long trek, everything you pack is easy to reach. It is almost 4 years old and still looks like new - that speaks for the quality of the used materials.
We love the Osprey 50: lightweight and functional. A perfect fit, it is comfortable to carry. Stow-on-the-Go Trekking Pole Attachment is quite handy if you carry trekking poles. And a quite important factor for Guini: it has a great design! Price: 240$
Some other useful items to consider:
A portable water filter such as the Sawyer MINI is a great thing to have. It weights just a little more than 50g. You can fill up a normal PET bottle with reasonably dirty water, screw on the filter and drink from it. Mosquito repellent. Have you tried repellent wipes? They are perfect to take with as mosquito sprays may leak... A sunscreen. There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. Physical ones use minerals to reflect sunlight, chemical ones convert UV rays into heat. The physical ones often leave a visible white layer on your skin - especially if they are cheaper. We prefer the chemical type. We usually buy Banana Boat or Neutrogena. They soak in quickly, and are reliable. What is your favourite sunscreen? Starting last summer, we started packing a hammock and we loved it! Nothing is like chilling in a hammock with an amazing view.