AAWT Ultralight Solo Gear List (4.1kg/9lb)
Here is what we would take if we walked the AAWT solo assuming an early summer walk (and not chasing the FKT!). This gear list could also be a good starting point for your own trip. Whilst it is a bit heavier than our normal 3 season gear lists as we think it’s important to have a higher level of redundancy on the AAWT. This is because of how remote the track is, and the lack of towns to fix problems that could arise.
Total weight in list: 5168g/183.30oz
Worn weight: 1020g/35.98oz
Individual base weight: 4148g/146.32oz
|Tent||Zpacks Plex Solo Tent||0.75oz/yd2 instead of 0.50oz/yd2 for extra durability (adds about 40g we guessed). Make sure your poles go to 132cm or get a pole jack. If you are over 6ft take a look at the Altaplex.||435/15.34|
|Quilt||Enlightened Equipment Enigma -6°C/20F||Weight is for 950fp regular width and length with 10d fabrics.||506/17.85|
|Sleeping mat||NeoAir Xlite Regular||Noise hasn’t bothered us. Can use earplugs if too crinkly. Uberlite is not durable enough.||350/12.35|
|Groundsheet||Polycro||For protecting sleeping mat when in huts. Cut to size of sleeping mat.||20/0.71|
|Tent stakes||DAC J Stakes and Shepard’s Hook Ti stakes||6 DAC J Stakes for apex tie outs (10g each), 2 Shepard’s Hooks for head room tie outs (5g each).||70/2.47|
|Water bottles||1L Balance bottle||Carry 3. Nice shape (Smart water equivalent in Australia). Swapped out lids for push pull tops. Note that you might want to carry 4 bottles for long water carries (put extra bottles in food drops).||108/3.81|
|Scent proof food bag||OPSAC 20×12||Food bag for reducing scent profile.||34/1.20|
|Rehydration container||Peanut butter container. Spoon fits inside.||48/1.69|
|Pocket knife||Swiss Army Knife Wegner||Knife, scissors, tweezers. Better scissors than classic.||21/0.74|
|Snake bandage||Aero form||94/3.32|
|Duct/electrical tape||For repairs and blisters.||3/0.12|
|Repair tape||DCF and tenacious.||3/0.12|
|Antihistamines||x6 for mosquito bites etc.||2/0.07|
|Ibuprofen||x6 for pain relief and inflammation.||2/0.07|
|Hikers wool||For blisters.||Not much|
|Safety pin||For blisters.||2/0.07|
|Sewing needle and thread||3 needles. For repairs and popping blisters.||3/0.11|
|Superglue||For large cuts and repairs.||4/0.14|
|Alcohol pad||x4 for cuts and mat repair.||3/0.11|
|Tear Aid type A patch||For mat repair.||1/0.04|
|Glue dots||x3 for mat repair.||1/0.04|
|Matches||Redheads (short)||1 pack.||10/0.35|
|Ear plugs||To help with sleep. Two sets, one as spare.||Not much|
|Sleepmask||To help with sleep.||6/0.21|
|Hairlackies||Spare for tying stuff.||4/0.14|
|Sunscreen||In 20ml tub. Resupply in food drops.||40/1.41|
|Lip Balm||Carmex Squeeze Tube||SPF15 and stops lips/under nose cracking.||14/0.49|
|Water purification tablets||Aquatabs||40 x 5 L tabs.||6/0.21|
|Anti-chafe||Gurney Goo||In 15g tube.||20/0.71|
|Hand sanitizer||In 20ml tub. Resupply in food drops.||24/0.85|
|Toothpaste drops||Lush||Lots of flavours.||10/0.35|
|Powerbank||NITECORENB 10000||King of the power banks currently. Two outputs is very useful. Swap out with a fully charged one in some food drops.||150/5.29|
|Plug||HomeKit Australia Dual Port GaN Charger||20w, AU plug (only needed if heading into Thredbo or Hotham to recharge/resupply).||45/1.59|
|iPhone cable||Generic||USB C – Lightning. Short 10cm length.||5/0.18|
|Microusb cable||Generic||7g each. Carried two for redundancy (USB A and USB C). For inReach Mini and NU25.||14/0.49|
|USB C cable||Generic||For fast charging powerbank.||10/0.35|
|Phone||iPhone 13 Pro||Waterproof case. Good battery life and efficiency, excellent camera with zoom and macro lens.||279/9.84|
|Headphones||Airpods Pro||With case.||55/1.94|
|Satellite device/safety beacon||Garmin inReach Mini||For safety, texting, weather forecast.||100/3.53|
|Headtorch||H600w Mk IV Zebralight||1400 lm. XHP35 Neutral White LED (nicer on eyes than cool white). Excellent battery life. Super bright for remote nav on AAWT. Can swap batteries.||45/1.59|
|Headtorch battery||18650||NCR18650GA 3500 mAh 10A drain. Good high capacity cell with enough drain for 1400 lm. Swap out in food drops.||48/1.69|
|USB battery charger||Nitecore LC10||Used to either charge headtorch battery or charge smartphone from headtorch battery.||28/0.99|
|Spare phone/GPS device||Serves as backup navigation device if phone fails.||150/5.29|
|Wind jacket||Montbell Tachyon||Adds heaps of versatility and warmth. One of our favourite items. For sleeping if everything else is soaked.||41/1.45|
|Wind pants||Montbell UL Stretch Wind Pants||Adds heaps of versatility and warmth. For sleeping in every night.||70/2.47|
|Rain jacket||Kathmandu Zeolite Shakedry||Durable shakedry jacket but the pocket is annoying (it is inside and inaccessible). We think the track is too overgrown for the thinner shakedry material (e.g. Gore R7 Shakedry).||190/6.70|
|Rain pants||Montbell Versalite||For warmth in wet weather. Not super durable but good enough. Water seeps through eventually.||104/3.67|
|Synthetic jacket||Enlightened Equipment Torrid Jacket||If walking outside summer, or you generally run cold, consider taking a fleece (Macpac Nitro) & down jacket (e.g. Timmermade SUL 1.5 or Montbell Ex Light Down Anorak). Combo adds ~130g/4.6oz.||215/7.58|
|Buff||Outdoor Research Echo Ubertube||Very thin and breathable. Keep ears warm under hat walking and sleeping.||20/0.71|
|Warmth gloves||Zpacks Possum Gloves||Only touch screen compatible possum gloves we’ve seen.||33/1.16|
|Rain gloves||Zpacks Rain Mitts||Seam taped so no dodgy seam sealing job (unlike MLD, Borah etc).||28/0.99|
|Spare undies||ExOfficio Briefs||23/0.81|
|Spare socks||Icebreaker Lifestyle||39/1.38|
|Hiking pack||Wilderness Threadworks Obi 38L total||Ultra 200 (constructed the right way with excellent seam taping). Spacer mesh hip belt. Might need bigger volume depending on how frequent your food drops are.||500/17.64|
|Water bottle holder||Justin’sUL||2 x 1L bottle holders for shoulder straps. Mesh not super durable but otherwise fantastic product.||27/0.95|
|Dry bag||Zpacks DCF Large Food Bag||14L. Fits very nicely at the bottom of ~40-50L packs. Big enough for sleeping bag, clothes etc. 1.6oz/yd2 for extra durability as the 1.0 oz/yd2 will degrade after a couple of months of use.||43/1.52|
|Zip lock bags||For compartmentalising and keeping things dry.||1/0.04|
|Long sleeve shirt||Outdoor Research Echo||Good collar. Zip for ventilation. Super breathable. Thumb holes.||104/3.67|
|Running shorts||Nike Trail Shorts||Good length for sun protection. Three zipped pockets.||127/4.48|
|Hat||Outdoor Research Sun Runner||Stylish. Also use cape as towel for drying things.||80/2.82|
|Trekking poles||Naturehike ST10 Ultralight Telescopic Poles||130cm. Carbon. Telescopic. Flip lock. Super light. Carbon is strong, but I have broken the straps.||312/11.01|
|Sunglasses||Julbo Shield M||Cat 2-4 photochromic sunglasses. Love them.||27/0.95|
|Socks||Icebreaker lifestyle||Thin merino socks.||44/1.55|
|Running shoes||Nike Pegasus 36 Trail||255/8.99|
|Gaiters||Dirty Girl Gaiters||Great for keeping dirt and stones out of your shoes. Increases lifetime of socks.||40/1.41|
The above gear list is a good starting point for an AAWT trek, but it is likely you might want to make changes depending on individual preference. Below, we outline a few main changes you could make considering your comfort levels.
We didn’t add a stove to the list to encourage people to try no cook (because we like it so much!) however if you are keen to take a stove we would take an MLD 850mL Ti Mug with a Trail Designs Caldera Cone and Kojin Alcohol Stove (we like the Trail Designs alcohol stove setup the best). Due to the unpredictability of the weather on the AAWT and lack of towns, it may be nice to have the option to cook something warm in poorer conditions.
Note that if you decide to take a stove, you will need to add fuel to your food drops, and keep on top of total fire bans.
As mentioned briefly in the gear list, an alternative to taking a synthetic jacket is to take both a fleece and a down jacket. This could be an attractive option if you are walking in spring or autumn, or simply if you tend to get cold easily. We would recommend the Macpac Nitro Polartec Alpha (90g/m2) alongside either the Timmermade SUL 1.5 or Montbell Ex Light Down Anorak (easier to source for those living in Australia).
By taking a fleece & down jacket combo, you will have more flexibility when it comes to active layering, and can rest assured that you will have a warm, dry down jacket to put on when you stop or get into camp! This will add approximately 130g (4.6oz) to your carried clothing. Either way we would recommend taking a wind jacket!
An alternative to taking an inflatable sleeping mat would be to take a foam mat. The benefits of this gear choice would be its simplicity (you wouldn’t have to inflate your mat for sleeping), and no risk of punctures. Additionally, foam mats can double as a sit pad during the day, as well as a pack frame (if you choose to carry it that way and are using a frameless pack). The downsides of taking a foam mat are that they tend to be less warm, and are less comfortable than an inflatable mat. Additionally, they don’t pack as small and can therefore be more annoying to carry if not used as a pack frame.
If taking a foam mat, we would recommend either the Nemo Switchback or Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol (depends on if you like orange or yellow!). If taking the full length mat, this would add ~60g (2.12oz) to the gear list.
It’s also possible to try out a 3/4 mat. This would save ~45g (1.59oz) if using a foam mat cut to 10 panels, or ~120g if taking the short NeoAir Xlite inflatable mat.
Long hiking pants
The track quality on the AAWT is quite varied, and it is common for some tracks to be overgrown. As such, you might prefer to take long hiking pants rather than wind pants as they will be significantly more durable. Whilst we have been surprised at how tough our wind gear is (and have yet to tear a hole in them), we would personally not wear them through thick scrub. If you would prefer to have a layer to protect your legs when walking through overgrown trails, it might be worth taking a more durable bottom layer!
Taking hiking pants over wind pants would add ~150g (5.29oz) to the gear list.
Quite a lot of the weight in this gear list comes from electronics (nearly 1kg!). This comes down to a few choices:
- We would take a heavy phone (iPhone 13 Pro w waterproof case) as we value having good cameras (and multiple lenses).
- Walking solo, our risk tolerance is relatively low and we would want to have a back up method of navigation (e.g. a spare phone or gps), on top of the emergency nav using the inReach Mini.
- We would want to have two methods of recharging electronics (if one breaks, you can’t go into a town to buy another easily)
- We would want to have a bright head torch as we tend to walk at night frequently and it’s useful for overgrown and off-track sections.
You could easily save ~400g by taking a lighter phone, not taking a spare gps/phone, taking a Nitecore NU25 head torch, and buying a charging plug if you go into towns.
If there is some part of your gear you are unsure about, or wonder why we chose X instead of Y, drop us an email! In our opinion, the AAWT isn’t a great walk to be pushing ultralight limits due to its remote nature, patches of thick scrub, fickle weather, and difficulty.