As we mentioned in the first post of this four-part series, it’s not the distance itself that’s gruelling. The real challenge with trekking any one of our “Classics” is carrying all your gear over that distance. Our biggest tip, therefore, is to pack as light as possible. You’ll thank us for that one later.

Before we dive into what kind of things you should pack, take heed of the following: don’t worry about looking or smelling your best. Everyone is in the same boat. There aren’t any showers, mirrors or washing machines. So you can leave shampoo and make up at home. And don’t bother packing clean clothes for each day.

Now down to the nitty gritty.

There are a few items that are mandatory at Fjällräven Classic. They are:

  • A tent (you can share one if you’re trekking as a pair or in a group)
  • A sleeping bag
  • A sleeping mat (we recommend inflatable versions, as they take up less space and are generally lighter than roll-up styles)
  • A camp stove (and fuel – which we provide, so leave space for that)
  • First aid kit
  • Compass (and trekking map, which we provide)

On top of this comes food – which we provide. Although you can top up with freeze-dried meals at checkpoints along the way, you’ll want to leave space for at least two days’ worth of meals. Oh, and a water bottle – minimum 0.5L, but many people prefer to take a 1L bottle.

The backpack – a 65 litre volume should be enough. Any more and you’ll just end up filling it. Make sure it has a sturdy hip belt and comfortable shoulder straps. For assistance in choosing a backpack, check out our guide here.

Shoes – we recommend light but robust water resistant hiking boots from our partner, Hanwag, for Fjällräven Classic Sweden. This is because the path is rocky and often wet. However, for our other Classics you can get away with a study trail shoe. It’s really up to you. We suggest trekking with shoes or boots you feel comfortable in; a pair you’re used to and have had time to fully break in. Some of our team prefer the lightness and breathability of trail shoes. Others wouldn’t walk in anything other than walking boots. So we’ll leave this up to personal choice.

Clothes – it’s all about layering. And we suggest items made from natural materials whenever possible. This packing list is suitable for all Classics. However, due to climate variations between the different locations, you may want to adapt this list.

  • Underwear & socks: made from wool if possible
  • Base layer: long johns and long-sleeved top, preferably wool (this isn’t essential for Hong Kong)
  • Mid layer: a pair of trousers (zip-offs are handy) or trekking tights (or shorts for warmer climate treks), t-shirt and long-sleeve fleece
  • Waterproof layer: trousers and jacket, preferably with air vents so you don’t overheat
  • Insulation layer: a warm jacket, with either down or synthetic insulation. Women may want to take a little extra. We suggest a down or synthetic insulation vest (it can get pretty cold at night, both during the Swedish and US events)
  • Cap, beanie, gloves & sunglasses

Hygiene – keep yourself clean to stay healthy, but keep it simple.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Lip balm with sun protection (minimum SPF 15)
  • Sun screen (yes, even for Classic Sweden)
  • Wet wipes –note: these do not compost in nature, so place used wet wipes in your rubbish bag
  • Hand sanitiser

Food – we provide bread and freeze-dried meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each meal contains around 400-550 calories, which sounds like quite a bit, but trust us: if you are the kind of person that gets hangry (hungry + angry) then you definitely need to pack extra snacks. We recommend trail mix. We like to mix cashew nuts, pecan nuts and almonds with dried cranberries, raisins and dark chocolate drops. But you can play around with your own combinations of dried fruit, nuts and sweet treats.

To add flavour to freeze-dried meals, we recommend taking:

  • Parmesan (or another hand cheese)
  • Dried spices
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cured/dried meat
  • Ketchup sachets

When it’s cold, there’s nothing better than a hot drink. For those with a sweet tooth, hot chocolate powder that dissolves in hot water is a warm and welcoming night cap.

Coffee granules or pre-mixed cappuccino or tea bags are good breakfast options.

Flavoured Electrolytes/rehydration salts are particularly useful at Classic Hong Kong, but for those of you that easily tire of water, they offer a restorative alternative.

Nice to Haves – these are not necessities. These are not must haves, as we say at Fjällräven: they are nice to haves.

  • Flip flops or outdoor slippers – it can be nice to have a change of footwear for the evening and also for a quick escape when nature calls in the middle of the night
  • An absorbent cloth to clean out any condensation that builds up in your tent overnight
  • Pack bags (or shopping bags) to divide your gear inside your backpack
  • A deck of cards – a good way to make new friends
  • A camera – the scenery is spectacular and you will definitely want to record some moments for posterity
  • Swimwear – yes, if you can brave the cold water, there are opportunities to swim at some of our Classic events

And that’s about it. We’ll share tips on how to pack it all in part three.