Gear List: Berlin High Trail (Austria)

The Berlin High Trail (Berliner Höhenweg in German) is an ambulatory gem of the Zillertal Alps and one of Austria’s finest multi-day treks. Measuring 86 km (53 mi), and with a total elevation gain of 6,605 m (21,670 ft), I hiked the trail over four days in mid-October, 2019. My base weight for the BHT was 4.8 kg (10.6 lb), with a total pack weight of 6.2 kg (13.7 lb). Temperatures on the hike ranged between 12°C (54°F) and -9°C (15°F), and during the journey, I encountered persistent freezing rain, snow, and icy conditions. For an overview of the hike, see A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Berlin High Trail.

Nearing Friesenberg Haus, late afternoon on Day 1 (the only clear day of my hike).

ITEM WT. (OZ) SUB (oz) SUB (kg) COMMENTS
         
BACKPACK        
MLD Burn DCF        16     Ultralight, frameless, slim profile – I’ve been using different incarnations of the Burn since the mid-2000s / I’ve had the DCF model since 2018.
Pack Liner (Trash Compactor Bag)         2     Cheap & effective
          18       0.51  
SHELTER        
Tarptent Aeon Li      16.8     Uber-lite, holds up OK in a storm when pitched low (108cm), and very roomy for something which weighs around a pound / Note: I didn’t end up using it as I stayed in the winter rooms.
Stakes – Easton “Nail” models (6)       1.7    
          18.5       0.52  
SLEEPING SYSTEM        
Pad – Thermarest NeoAir XLite (Sm)        8     Very comfy / Doubles as makeshift framesheet for pack (See 20,000 + mile review) (Note: As with the tent, I didn’t end up using it on the BHT).
Quilt – Katabatic Alsek 22 (Long / 900fp)      22.2     Conservatively rated 22°F / More than 900 nights using Katabatic quilts since 2011.
          30.2       0.86  
KITCHEN        
LokSak 20×12 (Food Bag)       1.2     Food storage bag of choice since the mid 2000s. I often hear people complain about the seals breaking quickly, but I’ve always found them to be fairly durable (4 to 6 weeks of daily use) if you don’t overfill them. 
Toaks 700ml Titanium Pot 3.1    
Toaks Titanium Siphon Alcohol Stove 
0.7    
Toaks Titanium Alcohol Stove Pot Stand 1.2    
Titanium Long-handled spoon       0.7    
SmartWater Bottles 1 LT (2)       2.6      
          9.5       0.27  
FIRST AID / HYGIENE        
Sunscreen (repackaged in tiny bottle)        
Hand Sanitizer (repackaged in dropper bottle)       It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve had a case of the runs in the backcountry. I think a big reason is my diligent use of hand sanitizer.
Aquamira (repackaged in dropper bottles)       Purification method of choice since 2007.
Toothbrush        
Toothpaste (mini tube)        
Dental Floss       Doubles as sewing thread
Antiseptic Wipes (2)       Clean cuts/wounds
Gauze        
Triple Antibiotic Cream (tiny tube)        
3M Micropore Medical Tape       Breathable, paper tape / Adheres well.
Ibuprofen (6)      
Sewing Needle       One-armed blind people can sew better than I can.
Tenacious Tape, Duct Tape, Mini Tube Super Glue (repairs)       To compensate for lack of sewing skills.
            4       0.11  
CLOTHES        
Rain Pants – Montbell Versalite       3.2     Very light and water-resistant. Fine for on-trail hiking, care needs to be taken when heading off-trail/bushwhacking.
Thermal Underwear – Montbell Super Merino Middle Weight Tights        6      
Rain Jacket – Montbell Torrent Flier        6.5     The newest incarnation of the Torrent Flier. A couple of ounces lighter than the older model. For off-trail, I prefer the heavier 3-Layer Montbell Storm Cruiser.
Insulation – Insulation – Montbell Chameece Inner Jacket (No longer made/Replaced by Montbell Chameece Jacket)      8.8     I’ve owned this fleece for the last four years / Ideal summer insulation layer for the Alps– not too heavy, performs well when damp, takes the edge off chilly mornings.
Insulation – Montbell 1000 Alpine Down Parka       9.1     Great warmth-to-weight ratio. Upgrade over long-time favorite 3-season puffy, the Superior Down Parka.
Extra Socks – Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew        2.6     Kept dry for sleeping/ Doubled as mittens when temps dipped well below freezing.
Buff (Original Polyester)       1.4   Beanie, neck/face protection, condensation wipe, convenience store holdups if low on cash.
Montbell Chameece Liner gloves       0.9     Almost four years of regular use and still going strong / Easily the best liner gloves I’ve used, and it’s not even close.
Montbell Dry Tec Over Mittens  3.2      
          42.7       1.2  
MISCELLANEOUS        
Phone – iPhone 11       7.1    
Otter Symmetry case for iPhone 11 (orange)       1.3    
Camera – Sony RX100 3 + Neoprene camera case 11.3     After a few years of using only my phone, I bit the photography bullet in 2018 and upgraded for the Scotland/Norway trip. Happy with the results so far (Note: In 2021, I went a little further down the photography rabbit hole and picked up a Sony a6400 / 18-135 mm lens).
Stuff sacks – HMG Cuben Fiber (2)       2.4      
Headlamp – Nitecore NU25       1.8     Excellent rechargeable headlamp. Most of the time I tend to use the low red setting to preserve night vision. 
Montbell Trail Wallet (orange model)       0.5     Love this little wallet. Use it both on trail and off. Upgrade from the plastic cardholder.
Swiss Army Classic       0.7     For a long time, I really only used the tweezers and scissors, but in recent years I’ve carried more cheese and veggies on shorter hikes, meaning that I now use the knife as much, or more than the other two features. 
Compass – Suunto M-3G Global Pro      1.6     Adjustable declination and globally balanced needle (more responsive than my old Suunto M-2). 
Small pen      0.3      
Deuce of Spades potty trowel      0.6      
Map Bag – Quart Size Ziploc      0.2 Keeps maps clean, dry & organized.
Salewa Mountain Spikes 11 Similar to Kathoola Microspikes
Montbell Alpine Carbon Pole Cam Lock        7.1 Upgraded after many years of using the Fizans, due to the fact that I’ve had the twist-lock mechanism fail on me a couple of times in extreme conditions / Cam (flip) lock easier to handle, more secure, and worth the extra ounce and a half. (Note: The 2022 model is lighter, tipping the scales at 6.7 oz).
          46.5        1.3  
         
BASE WEIGHT TOTAL     10.6 lb       4.8 kg  
         
ITEMS WORN        
Shorts – Patagonia Baggies 7″       6.7     Hiking shorts of choice since 2014/15. The 7″ are long enough that they can be used on trail but still look respectable around town. See Review.
Base layer – Montbell Cool Hoodie       6.6     This was the first sun hoodie I’ve ever tried and I have to say I was impressed. Light, airy, dries quickly, the kangaroo pouch was handy for snacks/phone/map, and when combined with the baseball cap, it provided great sun protection.
Hat – CDT Baseball Cap       3.2    
Shoes – Brooks Cascadia 13      23.6     I’ve worn every model of the Cascadias since the 3’s, which came out more than a decade ago. Since that time I’ve tried Altras, La Sportivas, and a couple of other different brands, but I always come back to the Cascadias.
Socks – REI Merino Wool liners       1.6 Still my favourite liner socks, though the current models aren’t as durable as the pre-2013 versions.
Dirty Girl Gaiters       1.2 Handy for keeping out dirt and mud. I’ve been using DG’s since 2007. 
Montbell Gore-tex All Round socks 2.2   
Timex Ironman Watch       1.4     Cheap, durable, light, multiple alarms
Sunglasses       0.8     Polarized lenses, 100% UV protection, wrap-around.
       58.3    1.7  
         
TOTAL WEIGHT       13.7 lb     6.2 kg  

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