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Planning to take up backpacking (up to week at a time)

Hi.

Haven't done backpacking. Would definitely need to be as light as possible. Equipment recommendations. I have done hut to hut treks through various weather conditions and elevation changes (0-4,000m) carrying my belongings. Clothing etc should not be an issue. (Working on a trip to Alaska in September).

Thanks

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Hi @Wai ! Right on, so glad to hear you are starting backpacking! @PatrickB and @REI-JackiH gave you some great info on how to get started, particularly with packs, tents, and sleep systems. So I'm going to give you some recommendations on my favorite thing to do -- eat!

From an ultralight perspective, let's start with stoves. REI has a great article on it here. From an ultralight perspective, you can't go wrong with a classic like the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 or the space-saving  Primus FireStick.  But my favorite, and what I use? The Snow Peak LiteMax is an amazing piece of design and functionality in a lightweight version.

Of course, you'll need something to cook in, and subsequently eat on. Again, REI has lots of advice for what to cook with here. I prefer titanium for ultralight since its light and tough. People are going crazy for the stuff from TOAKS, like the TOAKS Titanium Pot. Look for anything that has a lid that doubles as a pan, and so on.

I prefer to eat out of the pan if I'm going ultralight, but there are lots of good options for plates as well. Just remember that space can be every bit as important as weight!

Finally, check out this article on ultralight backpacking meal planning to help inspire your food choices. I like to have a mix of stuff that I have prepared at home, as well as some of the many pre-made backpacking food choices out there.

Hope this helps and have fun out there!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-EricP Food was the only thing that caused me to decide against doing the Milford Sound Walk. Will go back! I assume we can't take the fuel onto airplanes. Are they available internationally? Thanks

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Hi @Wai , great question. First, you are right -- flying with any fuel is a no-no. As far as canister fuel being available internationally, it really depends on where you are headed. For example, everything I have read indicates that canister fuel is available in many places in New Zealand. That might not be the same case in South America or Eastern Europe for example. But if you are truly looking internationally, you may have to sacrifice ultralight and go with a MSR Whisperlite International. It will be heavier, but your chances of finding a fuel that can be burned increases dramatically. Hope that helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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@Wai - you should absolutely, 100% do the Milford Track. It sounds like you already have experience with hut-to-hut treks, and that one is a bucket list hike! You are correct that you cannot take fuel onto airplanes, however there are several great outfitters in Queenstown that should be able to equip you with the extras that are best purchased locally. 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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@REI-JackiH @Yes, I will return and do the walk. I wasn’t aware Kiwi’s version of hut to hut means trekker has to carry and cook own food. Hence I gave up my slot.