Long distance bushwalking is a challenging, enduring and rewarding experience. Being out on the trail for hours upon hours can mean that the even smallest of irritations and discomforts can develop into larger issues that have the potential to end your journey early. This can happen to even the most experienced bushwalkers. Making sure that you have the right gear from the start is essential to ensuring that your journey is an enjoyable and achievable experience. 

With the Oxfam Trailwalker just around the corner, we have put together a list of our top gear suggestions for this trail, and for other long distance walks that you might undertake in the future. This list covers everything you need from head to toe to start your journey!

Image of a woman walking the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km, in a bushy section.

Pack and Water

Carrying and drinking enough water on the trail is essential to staying hydrated, meaning you’ll be in the best position to complete the trail in your quickest time. Using a hydration pack instead of water bottles allows you to drink regularly without having to stop and hold up your trail mates. A hydration pack that has a compartment for accessories is a great idea so that you can easily carry all of your gear and snacks. We recommend the Osprey Siskin 12 Hydration Pack for men and the Osprey Salida 12 Hydration Pack for women. Both come with a large 2.5 litre hydration reservoir, meaning less refills are necessary on the longer sections of your walk. The total volume of the pack is 12 litres, small and compact enough to ensure that you’re not weighed down, but large enough to allow room for snacks, extra layers, a headlamp and a first aid kit. 

Top Tip: just because a bladder can carry 2.5 litres doesn’t mean that you always have to! For those shorter, easier sections of the walk when you know you won’t be drinking as much, simply fill your bladder less so that you aren’t carrying unnecessary weight. 


Keeping your head cool and protected from the sun is so important, to ensure that your skin is safe and that you don’t have to deal with any nasty sunburn on the hotter parts of your walk. Wearing a hat that is lightweight and has moisture wicking fabric will help to keep your head cool and dry. A wide brim sun hat is also a great idea to keep your ears and neck out of the sun. Our top picks are the Mont Sun Hat and the Marmot PreCip Safari Hat.

Hiking Hat

Neck protection might seem like overkill when you’re already wearing a hat, but trust us when we say that they’re super important in ensuring you don’t get scalded from the sun. They are lightweight and an easy way to protect your neck from the sun and wind. We suggest the Buff High UV Protection Headwear Camino Santiago.


If the sun is glaring into your eyes while you’re walking, they and you are going to get exhausted pretty quickly. We suggest wearing a pair of sunglasses that have a wrap around style so that the UV rays are blocked from the sides as well. Our top picks are the Julbo Shield M Spectron 3 Sunglasses or the Julbo Camino Polarised 3 Sunglasses.


The clothes you choose to wear are going to make a big difference to the kind of experience you have. Constantly taking layers on and off can be a bit annoying, as stopping in the middle of a section has the potential to disrupt your walking flow. Due to this, we recommended layers that are warm and also have the ability to regulate your body temperature. A moisture wicking fabric will help to draw the sweat away from your body and provide a cooling effect as it evaporates. A shirt that is odour resistant is also something to keep in mind, and trust us, your trail mates will thank us!

For women we suggest the Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail SS and for extra sun protection, the Royal Robbins Expedition LS. For men the Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail SS and the Royal Robbins Expedition LS are our top choices for long distance bushwalks.


Similar to your upper half, lightweight and comfortable are the names of the game for your long distance adventure. Something with a bit of stretch and that has fast drying fabric will allow you to easily climb over obstacles, stay comfortable in your stride, provide a restriction-free feeling, and ultimately will keep you dry. For women we recommend the Patagonia Quandary Shorts as they are stretchy, durable and have pockets that will come in handy. If you are looking for pants, The North Face Paramount Mid Rise Pant is our pick. The built-in tabs which allow them to be secured when rolled up make them a versatile choice for an adventure where you’ll be experiencing a range of temperatures throughout the day! For men we suggest the Patagonia Nine Trails Shorts as they have a relaxed fit and very lightweight, or the Marmot Transcend Convertible Pant if you are looking for something longer, but want to be able to change between shorts and pants easily.


Your feet are going to be doing most of the hard work on a long distance trail, so ensuring they are comfortable and able to breathe is very important. Hiking socks that have extra cushioning on the bottom and thinner breathable panels on the top allow for the main pressure spots to have additional comfort without needing a heavier and hot sock. We suggest the Lightfeet Evolution Trail Mini Crew Sock Unisex and the Smartwool Hike Light Crew Sock Unisex. These socks boast comfort, durability and breathability, so your feet can go all day long.

Hiking Socks

With your feet being the ones doing the hard yards, when it comes to shoes it’s important to focus on comfort and practicality. We suggest a shoe that is supportive and lightweight, with a grippy sole to provide you with traction when walking on slippery or steep terrain. Our top pick are the Salomon Outline Hiking Shoes available in both women’s and men’s. It is super lightweight and comfortable for long journeys. The shoe is also waterproof, which means that walking through any puddles, creeks, or rain won’t result in squishy, soggy feet – something that can ruin just about any bushwalk.

Top Tip: Don’t buy your shoes last minute! It’s important that you have plenty of time to wear your shoes in. You should ideally be incorporating the shoes and socks you plan to wear on the trail into your training schedule, so you know what it’s like to do long distances in them, and can prepare for any pressure points before you start walking.


On the Oxfam Trailwalker, it’s important that you’re as well prepared for night walking as you are for day walking. A headlight will keep your hands free to clutch your trekking poles, to grab navigation tools, water, snacks and anything else you may need. We recommend the Petzl Tikkina 250 Headlamp as it is lightweight, weighing only 86 grams, and has a burn time of 60 hours (on medium brightness).

High energy snacks are extremely important when on long bushwalks. The right fuel will keep you from feeling fatigued in testing times. Clif Bars are a great source of nutrition and energy that will keep you going in between checkpoints and your next meal break.

Image of an assortment of Clif Bars

When you are on a long distance trail, the smallest amount of rubbing and irritation can grow and develop into chafing and blisters, which will only worsen if you try to ignore them. Prevention is the best option, and keeping the area dry is something you should set out to maintain from the get go. However, products like Body Glide Body Anti Chafing Anti Blister Balm and Body Glide Skin Anti Chafing Cream can be a great help to stop friction if it does occur, as well as reducing the likelihood of the irritation occurring in the first place.

Image of a blue tube of Body Glide Body Anti Chafing Anti Blister Balm and a green tube of Body Glide Skin Anti Chafing Cream

Unfortunately, even the most experienced walker with the best prevention tactics can still fall victim to blisters after walking all day. That’s why we recommend carrying a Blister Kit to treat any hot spots or blisters as soon as they form, to prevent them from getting worse and to provide relief from any pain. For more information on keeping your feet happy on long distance treks, read our article on Foot Care and Blister Treatment.

Equip REC 2 First Aid Kit and Equip blister kit

On top of this, it is always a good idea to carry a First Aid Kit. If something happens, it won’t necessarily be easy for support teams to reach you, and you want to be able to treat injuries yourself and keep going as quickly as possible. A small and lightweight first aid kit like the Equip REC 2 First Aid Kit will easily fit in your pack and has a wide range of supplies in case of any accidents.

To keep your skin protected from the sun Cancer Council Active Sunscreen Ezi-Clip 50ml is a great sunscreen option as it dries quickly and won’t leave your skin feeling greasy. Keeping your skin safe from insect bites is also important when out in the wilderness for so many hours which is why we suggest using Bushman’s Ultra Repellent Dry Gel 75g as it is water, sweat and rub resistant. 

A red and beige tube of Bushman Ultra Repellent Dry Gel 75g and a yellow, grey and white tube of Cancer Council Active Sunscreen Ezi-Clip 50ml

The Oxfam Trailwalker is a very different type of bushwalking from your regular overnight hike or day hike, both physically and mentally. It requires you to be prepared in different ways, with different equipment. We hope this blog has been helpful and has given you a sense of what you’ll need with you when you hit the trail. Have fun, and share some photos of your adventures with us! We can’t wait to see them.

#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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