HIKING is a new thing for me. Camping is not much more familiar. So when my partner and I put the two together for a holiday in Gran Canaria I needed help.

The result was an 8kg pack full of everything I actually needed and nothing at all that went unused, with much thanks to Snarky Nomad.

Now I’m sharing this packing genius in The Hiking Girl’s Camping Checklist.

Camping checklist THIS grid shows the absolute essentials of what I packed for six nights and five days of mountainous hiking and camping. Let’s break it down.

1. Clothes

  • 1x Windproof sports coat – with detachable arms
  • 2x Long sleeve merino tops
  • 1x Merino tank top
  • 1x North Face shorts
  • 1x Merino leggings
  • 1x Lightweight, stretch, Topshop jeans
  • 4x Knickers
  • 2x Sports bra
  • 1x Soft, triangle bra
  • 1x Long merino socks
  • 1x Short cotton socks
  • 1x Woolie hat
  • 1x Woollen Penney’s gloves

Gran Canaria camping topAnd then on the final afternoon in Las Palmas I bought this really lovely top, full of Canaries, for about €15 – and it’s still just as vibrant, so very much a bargain!

On the shoes front, you seriously only need your walking boots – mine are Inov8 ROClite 335 GTX hiking boots (100% waterproof and as light as you can get) – and another pair of shoes you can wear to relax, without socks on – I took tiger-print Havaianas. Anything else is an absolute waste of space and deadweight.

Rainbow Tarp Hiking tent and camping gear

2. Camping gear

  • Vango sleeping bag
  • Thermalite ground mat
  • Head torch
  • Kettle

Yes, that’s all the gear I brought. My partner carried the tent, however, that’s not because this tent is too heavy, it’s because he’s just a gentleman!

This is the Tarptent Rainbow, designed by a gang of outdoor enthusiasts in Nevada City and built using US products in the US. It weighs just 36oz/1.02kg, plus carbon poles and the essential condensation liner, and sets up in seconds. Now, at 1900m, I was cold in this tent, and it is very noisy in the wind, but I could not recommend a tent more; the space and connection with the outside world is dreamy, and there are so many technical details inside and outside of it that take it to the next level. It’s also incredible value at c€260.

3. First aid & washing

  • Sunblock – travel size
  • Savlon antiseptic spray
  • Compeed blister patches
  • Tiger balm pot
  • Aloe vera aftersun – in travel bottle
  • Eye drops
  • Mosquito repellent – in a travel bottle
  • Toothbrush and miniature toothpaste – one between two of us
  • Baby shampoo – for two, in travel bottle
  • Travel clothes washing gel
  • Miniature dry shampoo spray can

That’s not all out on the grid above, but that is what I took. You can pick up travel size bottles in all shapes an sizes, including with sprayheads, at plenty of shops. I recommend Boots and Muji, but you can also get good ones at Tesco. These are an absolute must for camping – it means you CAN take your moisturiser, and you CAN take your shampoo AND conditioner.

However, you really, seriously don’t need more than a small bottle of baby shampoo, which will clean your body and hair beautifully, on the off chance you find somewhere with enough running water to do so. Failing that, dry shampoo will do the job.

4. Food & water

  • 750ml water bottle
  • Unsalted fruit and nut mix
  • Dried milk
  • Torq dried banana energy bars

Okay, that is the basics of what came on the plane with me. Everyday we then stocked up on what we needed for that day and the next morning. We kept it to a minimum, but we’re both foodies and could not just eat energy food! Here’s a basic shopping list, specifically for Gran Canaria:

  • Hardish cheese – like Manchego
  • Cured meats
  • Spanish omelette
  • Simple cereal – we actually lived off something similar to sugar puffs
  • Crisp bread

It wasn’t gourmet, but it did the trick and on the very last night we barbecued up some peppers, tomatoes and local chorizo.

4. Travel accessories & luxuries

  • Phone charger  – one for both of us
  • Plug adapter – ditto
  • Hammamas Turkish Cotton towel
  • Ear plugs and eye shield
  • Book
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Notebook
  • Playing cards
  • Swimsuit, cap and googles

DSCF2089And, of course, not forget my pack, the Lowe Alpine Women’s Airzone Pro ND 33:40. It’s a day pack, they say, but it has a capacity of up to 40l and that’s more than enough for a warm-weather camping trip.

It has expandable – and compressible – volume, giving versatile storage, their AirZone breathable back, zip pulls with an inbuilt rain cover, stretch hip belt pockets, a top pouch with two storage areas for either security within or easy access without. The list goes on, and it fits my tiny frame. A top buy small ladies.

Top packing tips

Everyone is different and needs different things to feel comfortable on a daily and nightly basis, so use this as a guide for your hiking camping checklist and remember the following absolutely key points.

  1. All clothing, shoes and towels must be fast drying – think wool and lycra, try to forget about cotton, and don’t even think about polyester.
  2. Practice packing – work out what will fit in your bag, where it should go, and what weight it comes out at; 8kg was perfect for me, averaging 10km per day and climbing a good 600-1500m per day.
  3. Separate everything in to sealable plastic bags, like you’d use for food – first aid in one, washing kit in another, electrics in another, clean clothes in another, dirty in another.


In conclusion, I have to make a confession; I am not a light packer. I travel by car from Ireland to England specifically so I can bring five pairs of shoes and every over coat I own, as well as two bikes, and all my computer accessories.

So, I was immeasurably proud of this hiking camping packing list! It was based on Snarky Nomad’s Ultralite Travel Packing List and marks the beginning of my new era of travelling smart – and light.

Absolutely nothing goes in any travel bag now without it being questioned. Try it, and see how many times you can travel with only hand luggage – and how much more you enjoy those weekends of camping and hiking at home.

One thought on “The Hiking Girl’s Camping Checklist

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