Packing List

We all have our own ways of packing things and our favorite gear. Well, this is my packing list that I’m happy to share with you – maybe it’s helpful. The list is almost identical in the summer and in the winter, and whether I’m walking, skiing or canoeing. The few differences are mentioned in the list.

This packing list is suitable for a one week long hike for two people. In Lapland – where I always go to – the weather can vary between extremes. In July it can be anything between +2 and + 30 Celcius degrees – the average somewhere around + 10 at the Kilpisjärvi area. In the winter it’s been between ziro and minus 20 degrees below the ziro. Sure it can get colder too, but then I’ve not been there. It’s good to be prepared for heavy wind and rain too. Clothes are heavy, so select carefully what to take. It’s possible to wash clothes. Fast drying materials and light weight are important!

In the summer the weight of my backpack is about 18-19 kg + shoes and water. My hiking partner has carried the same or two kilos more.

Eating related things:

  • Campfire Accessories: matches, tar wood pieces (or other stuff to light wet wood on fire), sometimes also a small axe (unless you are hiking in the treeless area in the north)
  • Trangia Camping Stove: 1 large pot for cooking and a small one for boiling water, frying pan (= the cover of Trangia), foil paper ​​to cover the frying pan (multiple sheets), the gas burner (The traditional Trangia and the pots weight in total about 1.4 kg, there are better options around) and 3 bottles of gas (á 230 g – if you don’t need to boil a lot of drinking water and some food is cooked on open fire, you might be fine with just two bottles of gas for a week). 
  • Tableware for two:
    – Knife (for cutting wood and fish)
    – Fish knife (for making fish files)
    – A small lightweight knife for spreading butter on bread
    – 3-4 sporks (for some reason, one always disappears)
    – Large spoon
    – Spatula (wooden or plastic)
    – Two plates (at least with having a lid -> can be used to make pickled raw fish)
    – Tea cups with lids (lid to keep drinks hot longer, the mosquitoes away and stopping the rain dilute the drinks)
  • Plastic jar (400-500 ml) with a good lid to soak the dry ingredients
  • A cutting board (or something to function as one) for cutting fish, at least some baking paper
  • 4 empty half-liter bottles (water bags could be more convenient, but I do not have one, yet. A bottle is handy when making pancakes. And also 2 metallic drinking bottles (to be used with boiling hot water – in the cold weather these are lovely hot water bottles inside your sleeping bag to keep you warm, just wrap the bottle in a woolen sock). In the autumn and winter, replace two of the plastic bottles with a thermos bottle.
  • Biodegradable detergent and sponge, and a light towel (to dry dishes). In the cold weather you might enjoy to use a fair-sized rubber gloves for washing dishes (to keep your hands warm).
  • A small “fridge bag” for keeping butter and cheese colder (you can create one out of those plastic bags that are meant for transporting ice cream)
  • Optional: a bag made of net – to carry fresh mushrooms or fish (Also suitable for keeping the fish cold, the bag can be dropped into the lake. You can make it yourself and order materials from Shelby.)
  • Meals: 
    – Print the recipes from this blog on small pieces of paper and attach them to your meal packages.
    – Pack your meals in  1-2-liter zip lock plastic bags (Minigrip) and label them so that it’s easy to find each meal. Inside the Minigrips I prefer to have the ingredients in small paper bags so that I can burn them after use – less waste to carry back home).
    – Packing check list for spices, fats and cheese
    – Packing check list for bread, butter and snacks
  • I’ve liked to gather all food supplies into two thin water proof bags (that are usually used for canoeing: Tatonka size L). Even if it’s raining, everything doesn’t get wet. Normal plastic bags keep breaking after the first few days.
  • Something to eat on the way, it takes n. 14-20h to get to Lapland from Helsinki, unless you fly. 

Fishing gear

  • Space-saving foldable rod (I’ve actually got two different ones to be used for three different types of fishing)
  • Flies, lures, different sizes of weights, floats, hooks, locks, fishing line and small pliers
  • Lightweight foldable net 
  • Worm jar and about 50 live worms (keep alive in a cool place!)
  • Fishing license
  • Lightweight (115 g) fishing equipment transport bag / day pack (I sew one by myself as I didn’t see perfect options in the stores). Weight of all the fishing equipment is in total about 1.5 kg.

Hygiene and first aid

  • 3 small packages of tissues
  • Toilet paper 2 full rolls of plastic bags (without cardboard)
  • Wet tissues 20-30 pieces (for general washing without water, notice to select one that has a suitable pH value for the intimate areas too)
  • Disinfection wet tissues 4 pieces (eg, washing hands just before making sushi or cleaning small wounds) 
  • Biodegradable deodorant towelettes 2-10 pieces (Crystal(one is enough for two, and this is not really needed anyway before you reach the civilization again)
  • Biodegradable Marseille soap for washing clothes and your body (two thumb-size pieces seems to be enough)
  • Camping clothesline
  • 2 light towels
  • Biodegradable shampoo  3-5 ml in a small plastic bottle
  • 2 travel toothbrushes and a mini-size toothpaste
  • 4 pairs of earplugs
  • Basic body lotion 5-20 ml (especially nice for a foot massage after a long day walking)
  • Lip balm with an UV filter
  • Sunscreen with an UV filter 20-30, size 20-100 ml. (naturally less needed in winter)
  • Mosquito repellent: 1 package of tar based cream (Nordic Summer), 2 roll-ons, 1-2 sprays (a total of about 450g) (This amount is necessary only in July, every other month you might need none). 
  • Hari comb
  • Repair Kit: a small roll of duct tape (this is used to fix rain gear, hiking poles and fishing rods), long shoe string, safety pins, thick yarn and a strong needle for backpack repair, thin iron wire and an extra backpack belt fastener
  • First Aid Bag: bandage, plasters, blister plasters, sticky tape, painkillers, adder and mite kit (only in the summer), Mobilat or Tiger Balsam, cortisone cream (for mosquito bites), tweezers and a mini-Ice Power 
    (The Repair Kit and the First Aid Bag weight in total about 450g. Check out the contents in advance so that it’s easier to use them in an emergency. Put them in the outside pockets of your backpack.)

Moving around

  • Maps (and a copy of it) in a waterproof map pouch
  • Compass
  • GPS (weight is about 150 g, not necessary if you follow the marked trails) and 2-3 sets of batteries
  • 2 pairs of trekking poles (for difficult terrain, swamps and river crossings) – in the winter: skis and poles
  • In winter: ice picks and rope (25 m) if you are planning to ski on top of lakes
  • Pencil, ballpoint pen and a notebook (in a water proof bag)
  • Camera and 2-4 full batteries
  • 2 mobiles with full batteries (there is most likely no connection in the wilderness areas other than on top of the highest hills)
  • Tickets and prints of bus schedules and phone numbers etc
  • Home key, and money (note: coins are heavy, but carry enough cash because credit cards don’t always work outside the habited areas)


  • Tent (less than 3kg recommended) or some other type of shelter
  • Space sheet (canvas with a thin aluminum on the other side – used on top of the tent if it gets too warm, and underneath it when it is cold)
  • Headlamp, 2 pieces (in the summer in Lapland one is sufficient, if not staying at the cabins, which are quite dark) and spare batteries
  • Something to sit on to keep you warm, 2 pieces (in winter folding stools are luxury, note that you can also sit on your sleeping mattress)
  • Large garbage bag or 2 small ones to cover your backpacks at night time in case they don’t fit inside the tent. (These can be useful also when crossing too big rivers.)
  • Sleeping bags for two people (in the winter two per person)
  • Thin silk duvet cover, 2 pieces (Keeps your sleeping bag clean and extend its life when you do not need to be washed so often. If the weather gets hot you can sleep only in the duvet cover and use the sleeping bag to make your mattress softer.)
  • Thin silky pillow case, 2 pieces (stuffed by clothes at night -> soft pillow)
  • Mattresses for two people (In the summer either foam or inflatable mattresses, in the winter two foam mattresses per person to isolate the cold better. I’ve notice that the simple foam mattresses are significantly lighter than inflatable ones.)
  • Strings 4-6 pieces to attach items outside your backpack

Personal clothing:

  • Long (woolen) underwear pants and a long sleeve shirt (in the winter take two sets, the purpose of this layer is to keep you feeling dry)
  • Light colored sports t-shirt (yes, just one is enough)
  • 2-3 pairs of underwear (fast drying materials) and a sports bra
  • 2-3 pairs of socks (to prevent blisters I wear two on top of each other, and keep one dry pair for the night time)
  • Woolen socks to wear inside the huts
  • Fleece pants (only in the autumn and winter)
  • Fleece / woolen jumper (in the winter take both)
  • Thin long sleeve jacket/shirt (such that blocks the sun and mosquitoes, and it can be used also in warm weather, some wind resistance good to have – this jacket is perfect for skiing in the winter)
  • Hiking pants (you might like to cut them shorter occasionally when crossing rivers or when it’s warm weather) – In the winter: skiing pants
  • Water proof jacket with a hood
  • Water proof pants (in the winter just the skiing pants mentioned above)
  • Light belt
  • Warm scarf
  • Warm hat (eg. wind proof fleece, yes you might need this in July, in the winter take two, the other one should stay dry for the night)
  • Mosquito hat (only in July)
  • Eye patch (to let you sleep in the dark throughout the summer night, not needed in the winter)
  • Water and mosquito proof gloves (this might be the most difficult item to find, i’m using leather gloves + dishwashing rubber gloves over them when it rains), in the winter: two pairs of skiing gloves
  • Hiking boots (wax them well beforehand!!! -> good water resistance) or skiing boots
  • Shoes for crossing rivers and hanging around the camp site (eg. hiking sandals or Crocks, notice: the wet rocks are slippery!)  (in the winter other type of boots to hang around the camp site or to wear while drying skiing boots)
  • Sun glasses
  • Water proof bag for clothes (eg. Tatonka size M)
  • Backpack and its rain cover

To be done ​​before departure:

  • Dry the necessary food ingredients to all the meals
  • Get a fishing license
  • Protect your hiking boots with grease
  • Shorten your toes nails
  • Record a voice mail and recharge the mobile phone and camera batteries
  • Take care of your flowers
  • Check the weather forecast and warnings
  • Print to the bus and train timetables and purchase tickets
  • Get a good map


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