Spares and back-ups


Thru Hiker
I'm familiar with the idea of each bit of equipment fulfilling multiple roles however with an upcoming short trip, I find myself considering taking duplicate means of navigation, spare batteries and even a spare stove (albeit a 44g Alpkit Kraku). Add a spare pack liner clip, spare base layers for the entire family, extra fuel (had a full canister malfunction in the past) and a cut down closed cell foam mat for the tent porch and in case of NeoAir failure (had an undetectable slow leak on mine in Skye which was a pain.. literally).. it's a fair bit of additional stuff...

I'm a bit less belt and braces when solo as I can manage a bit of discomfort better than the kids!

Where do people draw the line between essential (say first aid and repair kits) and just in case?

EM - paul

Thru Hiker
i use meths as there is nothing to go wrong so it eliminates any spare needs, i carry a phone for main nav but printed sheets of area keeps weight down. ive used the same bag clip for 4 years and they seem impossible to break. for a short trip i dont carry extra power as nav checks are usually only needed a few times a day. cut down mat is my back panel in the pack and functions as sit mat / porch mat. i dont carry puncture kit for mat any more as ive never popped one since i started using them 4 years ago

el manana

Thru Hiker
What I interpret as my spares:-
- walking socks
- base layer and under crackers (both Rohan Ultra Silver)
- spare lighter (mini bic)
- spare torch (Silva's version of a Photon freedom, works as tent lantern as well)
- spare phone battery or portable charger.
I take a Neoair Fast & Light repair kit in case of mat failure. Maybe taking a bit extra meths could be construed as spares. I always take an FAK 50g and some gaffer tape wrapped around a pole.

If I was taking kids I might view this differently, an extra Kraku stove seems reasonable to me.
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Thru Hiker
Cheers. We've not yet made the move to meths for family trips as Mrs Davy is sceptical about boil times for 2l of water... I'm working on it :meh: Aside from that our spares/backups now don't appear too ridiculous..

We've 4 head torches! so plenty of redundancy there.
Spare lighter in with poo kit.

We also have the added fun of due to being 4 of us, things are not always left where they are put down, and they can and do disappear.. usually found in a pocket once back at home.. :rolleyeses:

2 ibuprofen for the headache caused by worrying about things.

Compared to canoeing on the sea, or across a choppy bit of cold open water in the wind with the kids, this backpacking malarky is so far a lot less stressful.. but yes ibuprofen, and paracetamol in FAK (along with antihistamines, imodium, tick removal tool and umpteen plasters and a magic tube of savlon..) :D

So what are folks' luxuries? I'm sure I've seen a few cans of ultralight beer on some TRs :)


Thru Hiker
Boiling 2l water on meths - the Evernew Ti burner is the beast for that job. A bit expensive and guzzly on fuel but is most powerfull meths burner I've used.


Thru Hiker
Luxuries are no stranger to my packing. :)

Sit mat
Alcohol (usually a hip flask or collapsible 500ml bottle, often a bottle of Rioja carried up to first nights camp in my drinks bladder)
Spare pants/socks ( I could wash them)
Plenty of bogroll
Sometimes Croc copies if it's a very wet trip.
Geigerrig instead of bottle/bladder
Gas stove
Sleeping bag and down jacket
Lots of food
Fresh ground coffee
Pen Knife

Spares that usually get carried-

PU glue and tenacious tape
Hippo tape
Sewing kit
4 lighters
Food bag clip
AA lithium batteries for GPS/headtorch/spot beacon
Spare base layer on some longer trips.

Often, when I hke with some people, I carry spare pebbles/bits of slate/cones/grass/twigs in my mesh pockets,even though I never packed them. :)


Thru Hiker
As long as you're not struggling to carry the weight then if it gives you peace of mind it's a decent compromise in my book.

But then i weighed my rucksack for a day hike recently and it came in at 10kg :whistling:

I like to keep my brew kit in my side pocket so usually have this extra to my Kovea spider.
Usually take a clean pair of socks and undies for each days hiking.

End of the day this is a hobby for most of us, so if taking something extra gives us peace of mind or a noggin more enjoyment then why not.
Only time it starts being a problem is if the weight starts limiting the ground you want to cover each day, as we don't tend to be in a race though who cares :whistling:


Chief Slackpacker
Staff member
Thinking about my load out, I do carry a second pair of socks but they're worn in rotation so not really spare, I do carry a spare AA batt for my headtorch though :)

My repair kit is pretty basic, TAR patches and glue, a short length of gaffa tape, safety pins, needle and thread


Thru Hiker
Yeah, I will never skimp on socks, foot care comes right behind hydration, shelter and food in terms of importance whilst backpacking imo. Always 2 poly pairs for daytime and a merino pair for night. All lightweight though as I run hot.
I normally carry a couple of spare ziploc bags. My 4mm evazote pad (120x65cm) is a do all and goes under my xlite to give a wee bit more width for my big shoulders.
Summer in Scotland, a headlamp could probably be considered a luxury for backpacking. I prefer to have one though.
I always carry too much power. Will try and pare down for next multi-day.
I often carry a baselayer, especially if I'm taking shorts but almost never use the leggings and I think I could easily make do with one tee (Another rohan ultra silver user).
First aid kit is pretty light, 3 days of painkillers, 6 blister plasters, couple of reg plasters, a safety pin, small amount of transpore tape, tiny tube of savlon and a tick twister.
Repair kit is a patch for my xlite, tiny card of needle and thread (I think from a hotel) and a lithium battery for my zebra light (not april-august).
I stopped weighing my stuff and being careful a while ago but would like to get rid of some stuff I don't use often/non essentials for higher mileage trips so plan to go over everything again and get a bit geeky and ruthless :geek:


Trail Blazer
If you need it take it, if you just want it don`t take it.
I do take a lighter but have spare matches. Wood burning cone for my Caldera Cone /esbit set up.