The Ultimate Fastpacking Kit List

Fastpacking Packing List

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I’ve been fastpacking for a few years now, and with that time on the trail, I figured out what works best for me.

Now I want to share my findings to possibly help you have a better and more prepared fastpacking experience. Below you will see my top-notch suggestions.

Everything you need for an Adventure

Fastpacking is about having a light pack so you can hike and run long distances while keeping safe. 

Every fastpack is different, with different distances, terrains, and temperatures. This will mean that you will take slightly different things each time. 

Below is my ultimate fastpacking kit list that will form the basis of all your fastpacking adventures. Between all the reading I’ve done on the Outside and Ultra Running websites plus real-world experience, I think you’ll find my knowledge useful.

Buying Fastpacking Gear

The big 3

These three parts likely account for the largest share of the total weight; therefore, cutting their weight would have the most significant impact.

Although a lighter tent or sleeping bag may cost more, it is also important to consider comfort. A lightweight sleeping bag may feel great on your back, but it may not keep you warm at night.

Unfortunately, the lighter you go, the more expensive things become, so budget is a significant factor for many people too. 

Shelter

I use the ZPacks Duplex and Triplex depending on the trip.

The ZPacks Duplex or Triplex is one of my favorite ultralight tents for fastpacking and quick-and-light trips.

These tents are highly portable while still providing shelter from the elements. The DCF material used in these tents is what makes them so expensive, but it also makes them incredibly lightweight, completely waterproof, durable, and resistant to sagging when wet.

I recommend the Zpacks carbon fiber poles (sold separately) for use with your Plex, but trekking poles will help you save even more weight.

If you’re going on a hike with a friend, I recommend the Triplex because of its extra space compared to the Duplex, which is ideal for solo adventures.

Other high-quality ultralight tent options:

Fastpacking Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag

I use the Rab Mythic Ultra 180 for a lot of my trips.

The Rab Mythic Ultra 180 is, at the moment, the most fantastic lightweight sleeping bag. Rab has a long history of making high-quality sleeping bags, and its flagship model justifies the company’s reputation for excellence thanks to its exceptional technical features and ultralight weight.

The 180 weighs 400g, the lightest of the range’s weights, so you may choose the one that best suits your lifestyle.

Yes, 400g is a little under four Mars bars. Its limit is rated to zero degrees, so it can survive a wide range of outdoor activities without sacrificing its ability to be safe and comfortable.

This success can be attributed partly to the high quality of the materials used and, in part, to the technological advancements that have been made.

Rab’s Thermo Ionic Lining Technology is a first of its kind (TILT). This impressive-sounding acronym refers to a titanium coating bonded to the fibers, allowing them to reflect heat back to you and improve warmth.

It’s a cunning trick that, most significantly, doesn’t add much weight.

Other high-quality and well-known brand choices:

Buying Fastpacking Gear

Sleeping mat

I mainly use the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite.

Thermarest is the industry leader in sleeping pads, and the NeoAir UberLite is another outstanding product innovation.

I like the UberLite because it is portable, compact, quiet, and comfy. This is the pad that I carry on all of our summer travels.

The critical question to ask yourself while purchasing this pad is how often you go backpacking in temps below freezing. This pad can be appropriate for you if the response is infrequent.

Other fantastic high-quality options:

The Big 3 take up a lot of space and have considerable weight. This means you need to learn how to pack. I discuss the importance of this in the article:

Backpack – Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30

The Fastpack 30 is a hybrid design in reality. It includes a big main compartment with a roll-top closure, three stretch dump pockets along the front and side, and a roll-top closure; thus, it has the basic structure of a UL pack.

You also have a running pack’s front storage, which is ideal for having access to food and water while you’re out and about.

Additional features include a side-zipper pocket that provides an access point to the main compartment and a detachable webbing hip belt that offers extra support for heavy objects.

The Fastpack 30 has a fantastic layout for those who need to pack light and go swiftly, but you’ll want to be careful with the bag’s lightweight materials.

It’s also worthwhile to look at Arc’teryx’s Aerios 30, which, although 2 pounds heavier and less comfortable for running, is well-made, has impressive storage, and carries stuff remarkably well.

Fastpacking Gear
Nutrition while Fastpacking is crucial, and I made this handy little list that you may find useful.

Everything else

Once you have the above covered, you have to fit everything else into your pack. Below are examples of other things I take. 

  • Water Filter – 2 * 22-ounce water filter bottles
  • Emergency whistle
  • Bank card and $20 in cash
  • Mobile phone, charger, and solar power bank
  • Navigation – I have OS Maps on my phone, plus I have a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro with the route downloaded on it, and I have paper maps and a compass. Never rely on just one type of navigation, have multiple ways to plot and know your escape routes. 
  • Adventure sunglasses, buff, trucker cap. 
  • First aid kit, repair kit, multitool, and military paracord.
  • Headlamp is a must even in the summer.
  • Fastpacking Clothes – waterproof jacket, preferably a running one, trail running shoes, gaiters are a good addition, base layer, mid layer, shorts, socks, gloves, and wooly hat. 
  • Additional night clothes include waterproof trousers, merino tights, a down jacket, and wool socks. 
  • Jet Boil Stash cooker for a lightweight means of boiling water for coffees and dehydrated meals, plus Ferro rod and striker. A 100g Gas Canister should last three days reasonably easily. Cup and a spork come in handy too.
  • Food – I mainly buy dehydrated food, which is expensive but provides a lot of calories per gram of weight. You need at least 1000 kcal more per day than you would eat on a normal day. My go-to meat is Carnivore Crisps. The meat is sugar-free, grass-fed, and dehydrated…plus they give our readers a 10% discount with this link or use WILD at checkout.
  • Electrolytes-I add a premade powder to my water supply when running long distances just to help with cramping. I’ve had some bothersome cramps in cold weather in the past, and this seems to help. My brand is Redmond Re-Lyte because it’s high-quality with no BS ingredients, and we get a 15% discount with this link or type in WILD at checkout.
  • Coffee – this one is not a necessity, but I do like to wake up with a nice cup in the morning. I drink the best organic coffee out there, KION. Use this link to get 10% off your first order, or type in WILDLUMENS at checkout.
  • Toiletries – soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, poop spade, toilet roll, wet wipes, and whatever else you need. 
  • Trash bags and at least two sealable plastic bags for wet clothing or socks.
  • Supplements: Check out our list of what we use.
Fastpacking Happy

Final thoughts

As I said, every trip is different, but you will find that you will take something similar to the above on every trip. For example, you should always take a down jacket for the night, but what type will depend on the weather you are fastpacking in and the time of year. 

My final advice is if you buy cheap, you usually buy twice, which is more expensive in the long run. So, take longer to save up for the right gear if your budget is tight. 

If you are newer to fastpacking, I would continue reading these articles:

  1. 16 Most Dangerous Fastpacking Mistakes
  2. What is Fastpacking? The Ultimate Guide

Go luck with your purchases, and hopefully, I see you on the trail!

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