On the Fish River hike you need to carry all your food, clothes and sleeping gear yourself. Try to pack only what you need − your knees will thank you later. Most of the gear featured here can be found at Cape Union Mart.
Your backpack is the most important piece of hiking gear. It will either be your best friend or worst enemy for the five days you hike through the canyon.
You need to carry all your hiking gear, food and clothes on your back for 90 km. A 65- to 80-litre pack should accommodate all your stuff.
When fully packed, your backpack shouldn’t exceed a quarter of your body weight. Ensure it fits comfortably and that there’s no chafing.
When you pack, make sure the most important items are within easy reach. Put your sleeping bag at the bottom, followed by your clothing and food.
Pack each day’s food ration and your toiletries in a separate ziplock bag. It will make it easier to unpack and repack your stuff during the hike. Cost: R1 399 for the K-Way Venture 70
A wide-brimmed hat is a must, as the sun can be vicious in the canyon. Some hikers also wear a Buff and sunglasses. Cost: R250 for a Rogue hat
Carry two water bottles and make sure you have at least 2 litres of water. Fill one bottle with Game. The river water in the canyon is potable, but take water purifying tablets to be safe. Cost: R99 for the K-Way Epic (1 ℓ)
Pack one shirt. You can wash it in the river and the sun will dry it in minutes. A long-sleeved shirt with a collar offers the best protection against the sun. Cost: R499 for the K-Way Explorer Uvongo
Take a small camera and carry it in your shirt pocket. Cost: R1 995 for the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS
Wear tights underneath your shorts to minimise chafing. One pair of shorts will do, but also pack swimming trunks. Cost: R699 for the K-Way Explorer Kloof
Essential for rugged terrain. Take two if you can. Cost: R499 for a set of K-Way Kilimanjaro Trek Poles
Wear a thick pair over a thin pair to prevent blisters. Cost: R70 for Falke socks
You can wear trail-running shoes, but rather invest in hiking boots. Do a few hikes beforehand to break them in. Cost: R1 699 for the Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra
Carry your snacks in your pocket so you won’t have to wrestle with your backpack every time a hunger pang strikes.