Day 10: What we packed

Leruns – Lac d’Estaing

Distance: 38km

Elevation: 1700m

Fuel: Petit dejeuner, tinned mackerel on baguette (so good!), 2 x cafe au laits (worst yet!), chocolate muffin, sausage on baguette.

Gear fails: NONE!

Our plan worked. We were in Gourette by 11am and back on track. The rest of the day went pretty seamlessly, no dramas, no mishaps, no random wrong turns, weird rashes or animal adoptions. 

So instead of a kilometre by kilometre account of our trek, let’s talk about our gear. 

What did we pack? What’s worked? What’s a waste of space? What would we leave behind if we did it again?

Mat’s favourite item is his phone. But not why you might think – it’s because he uses it every night to read (currently reading The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard). 

The one thing he couldn’t do without is his trust Leatherman pocketknife. We use it for everything from spreading peanut butter and chopping sausages, to opening beer and repairing zips. 

Mat despises the GPS. But again, he couldn’t be without it. It’s just that it confuses him! Mostly, this is because we’re not used to relying on GPS devices and, in both our cases, it takes a while to get the hang of any technology.

My favourite item is my Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard. It’s sleek and light and means I can write this on my phone without getting RSI. 

I couldn’t live without my Salomon bag, obviously, but the dodgy zip is driving me crazy. I’m really not sure it’s going to last the distance! 

The GR10 book is also a must-have, but the descriptions are sometimes pretty useless. Go NE, then SW, then bear N and go W. I mean, really!!

Other things we love include:

Sea to Summit sleeping mats – these bobbly yellow inflatable things don’t look like much and because they’re ultra lightweight, you’d think they’d be useless, but they are actually really comfortable. The only issue is the squeaking noise when you turn over. No sneaky camping here!

Sea to Summit sleeping bags – also super comfy and lightweight. We use silk liners as an extra layer between our smelly bodies and the bags, plus they double as a light layer if it’s not too cold. 

Macpac duck down jackets – we were in two minds whether to bring them, as it’s summer. But they’ve been handy on chilly nights and Mat uses his as a pillow too. 

– First aid kit – we always hope never to use this but the Compeeds have already gone! We’ve since topped it up with anti-histamines and Voltarin. 

Spot PLB – obviously this gives us confidence knowing we can get help if we need it, but it’s also awesome for our loved ones to know that we’re safe at the end of each day. We just hit the “OK” button when we set up camp, and they can immediately zoom in to see where we are. 

What we’re wearing:


– Salomon Speedcross trail runners

– 1 x merino tee

– 1 x cotton anti-bacterial tee

– 2XU shorts (great pockets)

– Brooks shorts (not great pockets)

– 3 x undies

– 2 x socks

– sunnies

– cap

– buff

– thongs

– thermal top and bottoms

– Northface rain jacket

– Black Diamond Z poles


– Salomon Speedcross trail runners

– Lululemon top

– Nike top

– Nike shorts

– Macpac shorts

– long-sleeved Nike too

– 4 x undies

– 2 x socks

– Northface waterproof trousers 

– Northface waterproof jacket

– cap (broke my sunnies in day 1!)

– buff

– Teva sandals (hanging on by a thread!)

– Black Diamond Z poles (also hanging on by a thread!)

We also have: 

– Macpac 1.5 man tent – 20 years old but newly waterproofed as it leaked in our test run! 

– Canon Powershot S120 camera, been dropped hundreds of times but it’s awesome!

– 7w Solar panels and Goal Zero charger

– 2 power packs 

– Steripen

–  Luci solar lantern

– 2 ledlenser head torches (yet to be used!)

– Toilet paper and hand sanitiser

– Sketch book and pencil (Mat)

– Phone and camera charger cables 

Nicki also has the very handy Lunette menstrual cup – if any ladies want to know how incredible this is for a hike, I’m happy to discuss!!

That’s pretty much the basics…. and we’re travelling light! 

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