Hiking is an activity that allows us to connect with the natural world and is beneficial for both our mental and physical health!

But Trekking, especially when combined with wild camping, is a travel EXPERIENCE worth living, which is inevitably leading us to a deeper connection with the natural world, our companions and -sometimes- a region’s culture!

However, the mountain environment – as nature in general – is a dynamic one, so any trip should be organised seriously, taking into account many factors such as:

  • the season
  • the weather forecast
  • the area’s characteristics (eg climate, weather patterns, altitude, terrain, water sources, the availability of possible resupply points, the distance from the nearest roads / settlements / medical centres)
  • the duration of our trip
  • each individual’s experience, skillset, backpacking style, pace, goals 
  • group dynamics etc

Choosing the right gear is very important for our comfort and above all our safety and contributes (to some extent) to an enjoyable trip experience.

The following list is suggested  for “3 season” backpacking in the Greek mountains (ie the period when there is no extensive snow coverage and no additional winter equipment is required) having in mind the backpacker who wants to travel lightly and safely.

Disclosure: I have to clarify that the products shown in the photos meet my personal needs (durability, reliability, lightweight and compact). I do not imply in any case that no other products exist with almost similar technical features!

Backpack ( 40-60 litre capacity )

Lightweight (less than 2kg), with ergonomic design that offers freedom of movement, good load stabilisation and back ventilation. It is important to have additional storage areas ( at the sides and top) for quick access and be compatible with various water transportation systems.

Regarding the volume, in unsupported trips for example, I usually carry a 55 litre backpack for transporting gear and all my food supplies for up to 2 weeks.

Click HERE for how we organise our trekking backpack !

-Pack liner (waterproofing of backpack’s contents)

Raincovers are unreliable in driving rain and they tend to be blown by the wind, so it is advisable to put all gear in a waterproof bag inside the backpack. A very practical and cheap solution is a trash compactor bag. If you want something that will last for years, then it is worth buying a lightweight and waterproof pack liner.

Walking poles

A Trekker’s “best friends”. Click HERE for the reasons why in detail!

Sleep system

– “3 season” Tent

A lightweight (no more than 2 kg) one with ergonomic design, good ventilation and above all suitable for the adverse conditions encountered in the mountains. It is also important to meet our personal needs.

For my personal choice click HERE!

Sleeping bag (or quilt) down / synthetic

Lightweight (0.70-1.10 kg). Down is lighter, less bulky and warmer per weight than any synthetic. Synthetic bags on the other hand are a better solution for very wet climates like HERE. A very warm (winter) sleeping bag is NOT practical for “3 season” use.

I usually prefer quilts for 3 seasons due to the wide temperature range in which they are suitable for and I can use them in combination with my insulation layers even on colder nights than their Comfort temperature (-2 C for the one in the photo ).

-sleeping pad (air or closed-cell foam)  

Most of the heat loss during sleep in camp is due to our contact with the ground. Mattresses are doing just that. They insulate us from the ground.

A good sleeping pad must boast an insulation score (R Value) of 3.2 as a minimum. Air pads offer comfort that is … highly appreciated on multi-day trips while closed-cell foam pads are more practical on rough ground.

-pillow ultralight 

Alternatively you can use a stuff sack filled with clothes.

Cooking system

-Stove Lightweight and reliable

for boiling water and cooking a simple meal. Some hikers go stoveless even in low temperatures (like my friend Argyris HERE). For others, like me for instance, it is a daily “ritual” to prepare and enjoy a hot meal at the end of a full day out in nature.

– Pot (Titanium or aluminium)

A quite versatile item that also serves as a bowl, mug and storage container.

-Butane-propane gas canister 


-lighter / fire starter or waterproof matches

Food supplies

Prefer foods dense in calories and avoid bulky packaging. It is good to bring on the trip a variety of flavours for snacks (eg sweet-savoury) and textures (eg crunchy-chewy) such as sandwiches, sweets, nuts, dried fruits, etc. Ideally dinner should consist of a proper meal.

Due to the long duration of the trip, make sure that part of your supplies are of high nutritional value. Calculate how much you will need and don’t bring too much. Each person’s energy needs are different, but on a multi-day trip with many hours of hiking per day these needs are far increased in comparison to everyday life. Calculate 2500-4000 Kcal / day and 0.65-1.00 kg of weight / day carried in your backpack.


-Water Storage (~ 1-2 litres) on a reservoir, flexible/ hard bottle

Make sure to start each day well hydrated and carry a sufficient amount depending on the conditions and after gaining reliable information (from a map, hiking guide, locals, etc.) regarding the availability of water sources or man-made infrastructure (eg open huts) where you can refill / buy along the way.

Water purification

Collect clear – and no smelly – water away from grazing animals. In some areas this is not always the case, so it is very important to use a purification method. I personally use the following:

-Steripen Adventurer

With UV rays, inactivates by 99.9% the DNA of bacteria, viruses and protozoa while not altering the taste to the slightest. It’s also Fast (purifies 1 liter in 1.5 minutes) and the solution I use in almost all my multi-day treks abroad (since I suffered giardia 15 years ago on a solo trip in Patagonia).

Chlorine dioxide tablets

Also effective, but have a slightly noticeable chlorine aftertaste. The advantage of using tablets is their low weight and volume and they are a good choice on trips where weight reduction is a priority like HERE. Water is potable after ten minutes.


-Hiking shoes/ boots or trail running shoes

suitable for the terrain encountered. Ideal WITHOUT Goretex (except at the beginning and end of the 3 season period) for better perspiration. Keep in mind that every kilo on your footwear is equivalent to carrying 5 kg of load on your back.

Footwear selection is a quite subjective issue and no matter how good reviews you have read about a specific brand or model, you should definitely try it before you buy! They may NOT suit you. Footwear must be comfortable and by no means narrow because your feet WILL swell.

-Socks (x2) synthetic or woolen

(NO cotton)

** CROCS or sandals (Optional)

For rest. The former, in contrast to sandals, dry immediately and are super comfortable and light.

** Gaiters

They keep mud, dirt and pebbles out of your shoes.

** Microspikes

in case snow covers even small exposed sections along the route ( collecting reliable relevant information is part of the trip planning ).


-synthetic or woolen underwear (x3)

-hiking pants/ shorts that dry quickly or leggings or running shorts

-Baselayers (x2) lightweight short / long sleeved synthetic or woolen

that dry fast (NOT cotton)


-Thermal Underwear (pair)


(windproof with good breathability that do not limit dexterity),

warm beanie and extra pair of warm socks for the extremities

-Lightweight down or synthetic jacket

for breaks, camp and even sleep if needed.

** lightweight fleece

(Optional at the beginning and end of this period). 

Click HERE for the reasons why !


Rain protection

-Waterproof jacket

A Lightweight one that dries quickly and has an adjustable hood with pre-shaped visor. Indicatively, a raincoat for mountain hiking should boast a minimum of 10,000mm (10k) of waterproofing and 10,000gr / m2 / 24h (10k) of breathability.

-Waterproof lightweight pants


-Mobile phone

 (mostly in flight mode for battery saving). The emergency number in Greece is “112”.

On a trekking trip it is good to carry a Power Bank (portable charger).

On the contrary, I do NOT consider solar panels practical for the activity (as I found out with well-known models even HERE)!


-printed topographic maps and compass 

and ability to use them properly ( in the photo for example are shown Printed maps for HERE )!

-GPS device or mobile phone with topographic map installed in a GPS app

that shows our position even when we are offline

-Route description

from hiking guide / notes in printed / electronic form

Sun protection



-sunscreen with a high SPF protection index

for the exposed parts of the body

-lip balm

Emergency equipment

First Aid kit (small personal)

A plethora are available on the market but you can organise it by yourself too if you wish.

Emergency Blanket, Elastic Bandage, Homeostatic Spray / Cotton, Saline, Antiseptic Wipes (for Wound Cleaning), Antiseptic Paste, Disposable Surgical Gloves, Sterile Gauze in Various Sizes, Sterile Gauze for burns, triangular bandage, Steri-strip for stitches, Compeed for blisters (in various sizes), Hansaplast, micropore medical tape, Almora for dehydration, Antihistamine gel, Paracetamol Pills (x4), ibuprofen [anti-inflammatory] Pills (x4) and Pills for diarrhoea (x4).

Note: In case you do NOT intend to camp in the open by staying in huts or hostels (where they exist), keep in mind  that in the mountains you should ALWAYS carry a few but potentially life-saving small items, just in case get immobilised out there!


A simple Emergency blanket is not enough! Try to see how it “blows” in the air…

Thermal bag

 A Highly practical and cheap solution!

It should ALWAYS be on the bottom of our backpack… even if you never need it! Lightweight and with minimal volume.

You enter the bag leaving only your face uncovered. Waterproof and windproof, it retains 90% of your body’s thermal radiation. You WILL sweat,  but who looks under comfort when survival is at sake!

Bivvy bag

A MUCH better – if affordable – solution!

Very lightweight. It reflects 90% of our body heat. It has excellent perspiration and we can use it -apart from emergency use – in combination with a sleeping bag and in planned bivouacs under the stars!

-Headlamp with extra batteries

International distress signal: flash 6 times, pause for one minute, repeat… until someone finds you.


International distress signal: 6 whistles, pause for one minute, repeat… until someone finds you.

-lighter/waterproof matches or firestarter 

(mentioned above) for lighting a fire.

“Leave No Trace” kit

-hand sanitiser, trowel , toilet paper / tissues (NO baby wipes), ziplock bag.

-bag for our trash

Don’t leave NOTHING behind in nature including organic waste like banana peels!

Even if there are bins / baskets at the trailheads, keep in mind that trash is not collected so often from there and can attract animals. It is far better to dispose them later in a village / town.

Personal hygiene

(all in small quantities / packages)

– Hand sanitiser 

– Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Liquid biodegradable soap

– Cotton swabs

– Deodorant

– Tissues and Baby Wipes


Lightweight with microfibres that dries quickly


-Swiss army knife (basic )

for example Victorinox Classic

-Gorilla / Duct tape


-Needle and thread

Personal items

-ID card / passport 

-credit card



-Photo Camera / Action camera

-notebook and pen

IMPORTANT: You should ALWAYS inform a trusted person in writing about the trip’s plan!

Which route will you follow? Will you be alone? And if not how many of you and who? When do you expect to return at the latest? Both during (if possible) and after the end of the trek it is good to inform the person about your progress.

I hope you found this article useful and would like to wish you Safe and Enjoyable Trekking/ Backpacking trips in the mountains! 😊✌️

PS: A useful Dayhike Gear List can be found HERE!

During the last 15 years I’ve been having the privilege to spend considerable time in the outdoors, including hundreds of nights of camping in a wide range of environments across the globe.

For that reason, choosing a trustworthy shelter  is of particular importance to me!

My current tent, which I am using since May 2018 in nearly all my  trekking /mountaineering outings ( winter excluded ), is SALEWA Litetrek Pro II , a shelter which, according to SALEWA, is the pinnacle of their 3-season tents for 2 people, aimed to withstand the harsh weather conditions encountered in the mountains.

I have used it in various mountains in Greece ( mostly on mount Olympus ) as well as on my most recent thruhikes and treks in northern Europe ( Scottish highlands, Lofoten archipelago, Swedish Lapland ). Half of the times I shared it with another person and the remaining half I used it alone, as the trips/outings were solo.

My impressions are the following !

Design- Performance


Stability was the characteristic that -along with waterproofing- impressed me the most, especially for being a 3-season shelter. 

It has a semi-geodesic design, using 3 ultralight and durable aluminum poles that allow it to withstand high winds. It was tested in a wind-tunnel for stability by the Technical University of Munich and was proved that it can withstand winds of at least 90 km/h, something that I can also attest from personal experience !

The overall stability can be further improved by the use of 4 reflective Dyneema guy-lines. These did the job on their own actually when it was needed on extremely rocky terrain, where pegs couldn’t penetrate the ground.


Water droplets never entered to the inner tent, despite the tent being exposed in prolonged rainfalls and 2 storms.

Its fly is made of tear resistant ripstop nylon with polyurethane/ silicon coating and has a 3000 mm water column.

The ground material performed superbly as well, even on the excessively saturated , boggy ground of the Scottish highlands. It’s made of durable ripstop nylon with polyurethane coating and has 10000 mm water column ( whereas the model’s basic version has 5000 mm ). 

Living space 


Height – Satisfying. I’m 1,90 and I can sit at the area with the maximum height ( 1 m ) without the need to bend. I’m fine with that !

Longitude– I can lay down comfortably and stretch my feet during sleep without getting in contact with small items placed beyond my extremeties.

Width– I would characterize it just normal for 2 people. When used just by myself it’s really roomy – as you would probably assume – something that I really enjoy !


The vestibule doesn’t seem very large ( 0,56 m² ) at first, but as the space between the two walls is remarkable, we store our backpacks between them at the side of the tent ( without losing considerable living space ) and the vestibule can easily be used for cooking when conditions dictate it.


Its small footprint enabled me to pitch it in areas where flat space was limited.


Really remarkable for a tent designed for harsh mountain conditions. Ventilation is regulated via a rear panel with zippers , which can be operated from both inside and outside.

As a 2 wall shelter, it performs better in moisture management than single wall tents. 

In conjunction with the other items of my sleeping system, I sleep comfortably no matter the area’s relative humidity level and temperature ( heat, frost ).



Its total weight is 1980gr. 

Gram savers can cut 280 gr by removing the inner wall . Personally, I’ve never done that ! On the other hand, on short ( 2-day ) speedhiking outings with fabulous forecast I prefer to leave it back and take with me just a bivvy to stare the stars!


When on the move, I keep it packed in its small waterproof bag (40 x 19 cm) and, when not carrying a lot of days worth of food, I usually place it in the main compartment of my backpack.


It can be pitched super fast ! It usually doesn’t take me more than 3 minutes when I’m by myself and 2 minutes with another person !

Most importantly, the inner tent does not get exposed to rain during pitching, as it’s attached to the fly.  

That’s something that most of double wall tents lack. A “detail” that can partly make the difference between an enjoyable or a miserable camping experience .


After 2 years of regular use I haven’t noticed yet any signs of wear or tear on the fabric and its coating, the poles, the zippers or the guy lines. The only loss in the field was 1 out of 10 aluminum pegs. The repair kit is still unused for the time being.  


Durability also has to do with how we ourselves treat our shelter !

I personally choose the most appropriate camping spot available ( with good drainage, avoiding extremely rugged ground if possible and by orientating the tent in accordance with wind direction ).

I’m pitching it tightly, I don’t put too much pressure on the garments, I don’t let it exposed all day and for many days in a row to UV radiation and the day following a rainy night I lay it down during a break to dry.

Finally, when I get back from the trip / outing, I clean it with a wet cloth and let it dry thoroughly before storing it. By doing this, I prevent mold being built on the fabric, thus extending its lifespan !

Value for money

A tent of such a class, that can perform superbly for the better part of the year in both harsh and mild conditions can only be seen as an investment !

The reviewed model ( Litetrek Pro II ) costs 500€, but its characteristics are found in much pricier tents on the market !

It’s the improved ( Pro ) version of Litetrek II, which is – among other differences – 320 gr heavier and costs 290€. 


An excellent choice for the mountain enthusiast who enjoys traveling light in the mountains but also values the protection against severe weather offered by a top class 3-season tent ! Design, materials and workmanship are all top notch !

More details about the product ( specs, videos etc ) are available on SALEWA’s website.

*Note: I was given the reviewed tent by SALEWA as part of our collaboration. Despite that, I didn’t have any obligation to write anything about the product if I didn’t want to. I have never recommended a product ( nor I will do in the future ) without priorly checking it thoroughly in the field and being really impressed by its performance !

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