When I first started backpacking, I had a heavy Fjalräven backpack and a total weight of about 25 kg (55 Lbs) on my back. Especially since my first major thru-hike in the High Sierra in 2018, I have been lowering my pack weight significantly. For my last thru-hike on the Swiss Haute Route I brought my base weight down with another 700 grams, to just about 6,8 kg (15 pounds).

Gear Changes in 2020

In 2020 I swapped some gear for more lightweight alternatives, like my hiking shirt, tent stakes and sleeping pad. And instead of convertible pants I wore a Nike short all the time, because on my last hike I noticed I was hiking in the short converted pants all the time. Furthermore, I left some items at home this year, because I never really used them, like my watch, fleece, compass and my big knife. 

Another change I made was that instead of various small waterproof bags, I only used one big liner bag. Just cramming everything in my pack, I kept the volume of the pack smaller and tighter. The only stuff that I put in an extra sack was my food. The big liner doubled as a protection bag for my backpack while in the airplane.

I was reading a pocket edition of Donna Tartt’s Secret History at the time and being halfway through the book, I cut half of the 672 pages at the start, and I ripped each page from the book as I read them on the trail, thus losing the rest of the 200 grams on the way.

More and more hikers use lightweight trail runners. I wanted to try this, because my hiking boots make up for more than half of the weight of my ‘Worn items’. So I bought much lighter shoes (A-category Meindls), and tested them during a three day hike in the Netherlands. But these shoes were totally unfit for me. I suffered from the worst blisters ever and serious pain in my foot. So I kept my heavy hiking boots, a decision that made me very happy once I was crossing the rocky and icy mountain passes on my second day of the Haute Route.

Comparing my gear list with 2018, I shed about 770 gr (1.7 Lbs) of gear off my back (not counting the 930 grams Bear canister which I don’t need the Alps of course). And I carried about 1.600 grams (3.5 Lbs) less food, because there are so many possibilities along the trail (grocery stores, huts, restaurants) – so in the end I even had about 3 freeze dried meals left unused. 

A. Worn Items


Salomon sun hat – 35 gr

Sunglasses (prescription) – 44 gr

Arc’teryx Elaho Longsleeve hiking shirt – 172 gr

Nike dri fit zip pockets shorts – 134 gr

Under Armour boxerjock – 66 gr

Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion hiking socks – 74 gr

Hanwag Tatra II GTX Hiking boots – 1.780 gr

Orthotics (custom made insoles) – 92 gr


Trekking poles Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork – 542 gr

Pocket knife Victorinox mini – 21 gr

iPhone SE camera/phone – 114 gr

Handkerchief – 15 gr
Cloth for glasses – 5 gr

Total weight worn items – 3.100 gr /  6,8 pounds

B. Base Weight


Z Packs Arc Haul 62L backpack; 2 hip pockets, 2 shoulder pouches – 835 gr

Osprey medium 50-70 L drybag Liner pack – 102 gr


Outdoor Research Helium HD rain Jacket – 276 gr

Berghaus Goretex rain pants – 235 gr

Teva flip flops – 196 gr 

Glasses (prescription) – 13 gr

Glasses case – 50 gr

High UV Insect shield Buff – 40 gr

2nd pair Darn Tough socks – 74 gr

2nd Under Armour Boxerjock – 66 gr

2nd Handkerchief – 15 gr

Zpacks Possum down gloves – 43 gr

Zpack Vertice rain mitts – 25 gr

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket (PrimaLoft Gold) – 367 gr


Firestarter Light my Fire 29 gr

Snowpeak litemax stove – 53 gr

Snowpeak Hotlips – 3 gr
Evernew Ti Ultralight 0,5L Mug Pot – 74 gr

Sea to summit spork – 12 gr

Lighter Bic – 11 gr

Cook Pouch Self made (Reflectix) – 24 gr

Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Nano 8L Dry Sack – 28 gr


Zpacks Duplex Tent – 575 gr

8 x Hilleberg Y-Peg Stakes – 90 gr

Enlightend Equipment Enigma (20F) down Quilt – 553 gr

Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro (R=4.0) Sleeping Pad – 740 gr

ExpedAir Pillow UL Large – 58 gr

Smartwool Liner socks – 32 gr

Icebreaker Merino 200 base layer Long Johns – 189 gr

Icebreaker Sphere LS Crewe long sleeves merino shirt – 160 gr

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm vapor (R= 5.7)  – 740 gr

Light sleeve for glasses (night) – 19 gr


Osprey Hydraulics SoftFlask Water bottle  0,5 L – 27 gr

Water bottle (disposable Sourcy bottle, 1 L) – 39 gr

Water bottle (disposable Sourcy bottle, 1 L) – 39 gr

CNOC Vector 2L water container – 77 gr

Water filter Sawyer Squeeze – 69 gr

Repair kit (Therm-a-rest pad kit, Zpacks tape, duct tape, superglue, needle) – 43 gr

Sit pad Therm-a-rest Z Seat SOL – 58 gr

Fox 40 Classic Safety Whistle – 8 gr
Home keys – 15 gr


Passport – 39 gr

Creditcard, drivers license, insurance and bank cards –15 gr

Printed airplane and train tickets – 6 gr
Ballpoint – 5 gr

Selfmade 32 pages noteboke – 17 gr

Copies and scans of route from guides, on lightweight paper – 35 gr

Topographic Maps cut to smaller size – 70 gr
Book, cut in half – 200 gr

Personal care

Sea To Summit Tek Towel (cut in half) – 70 gr

First aid, sport tape, tooth brush, ear plugs, etc.– 230 gr

Prescription medicine – 70 gr

Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF 50 tube – 100 gr

Ziplock (3L) for trash – 11 gr

Adventure Medical Kits Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer – 50 gr

Toilet paper 1 roll – 90 gr

Tent lab deuce of spades, cathole spade – 16 gr
4 Face masks, obligatory in plane and public transport – 16 gr


Garmin Inreach Explorer 2-Way Satellite Communicator– 234 gr

Flybox SQ1 Premium solar power bank/charger – 275 gr

Flybox cable – 7 gr

iPhone cable Belkin Mixit 15 cm – 9 gr
iPhone plug 27 gr
Apple earphones – 12 gr

Headdlamp Petzl Bindi – 34 gr

Joby GripTight One Micro Tripod – 45 gr

Total Base weight 6.827  gr / 15 pounds

C. Consumables

Water in bottles maximum 2,5 L – 2.500 gr 
Food at maximum – 2.400 gr
Gas canister MSR (4 oz) – 226 gr

Total Consumables 5.126 gr /  11.3 pounds

PACK WEIGHT (B+C)  11.957 gr / 26.3 pounds


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