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What do you pack for a Desert Expedition | Tiso Hike Jordan 2018

by Mollie Hughes

Mollie Hughes is a Mountaineer, Adventurer and Motivational Speaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

We are in the final few days of preparations before the start of the Tiso Hike Jordan expedition! On the 21st March I will be flying out to Amman, Jordan with two awesome adventurers, Cal Major & Bex Band. We will then travel overland to our start point, the village of Dana located on the edge of the Wadi Dana.

Our aim is to hike 200+km from Dana to the Wadi Rum, completely self-supported. This will mean navigating our way along traditional Bedouin routes, wild-camping each night and carrying all of our own gear for a two week expedition in the desert.

What on earth do you pack for two weeks in the wilds of the Jordanian Desert?

Over the last few months our team have been carefully researching and testing different items of kit for this expedition. The main issue being the weight, carrying all of our own gear as well as up to six litres of water each a day is going to create a very heavy pack! It is therefore so important that each item we take is as light as possible. Being able to save a few grams of each piece of kit will quickly add up and hopefully make our expedition more achievable and enjoyable!

After careful planning and consulting with our friends at Tiso, we have finalised our kit list. Outlined below are some of the key items we will be taking to Jordan this spring and why.

Nordisk Telemark 2 LW - Tent

Weighing in at 0.88kg the Nordisk Telemark 2 tent is top of my expedition kit list. This tent is incredibly light weight, has a tiny pack size of 12x41cm and is expertly designed.

The Nordisk Telemark 2 has been on my kit wish list for a while now, I have just been waiting for the right expedition to test it out!

The negligible weight and pack size of this tent coupled with this tents strength, design and ease to pitch, make it a must have for the Tiso Hike Jordan expedition.


Tundra Pure 0 - Sleeping bag

During the day in the desert the temperatures are going to be hot, up to 35c! But as soon as the sun sets the temperatures will plummet. We therefore need warm and lightweight sleeping bags to ensure a good night’s sleep. We have opted for down filled sleeping bags due to their excellent warmth to weight ratio.

The Tundra Pure 0 sleeping bag have a comfort temperature rating of 0c and a fill power of 880+ all fitting into 620g of high quality sleeping bag! Aside from the excellent warmth and weight of this bag, one of the main reasons we opted for Tundra brand was their ethically production of down products.


Therm-a-rest Neoair Xlite - Sleeping Mat

A quality sleeping mat makes a huge difference in staying warm at night. The majority of the cold comes directly up from the ground so having a comfortable and warm barrier between you and the ground sheet is really important, especially in the desert.

We have opted for the Therm-a-rest Neoair Xlite, this three-season mattress delivers more warmth and comfort per gram than any other three-season mat! Weighing just 350g and a pack size of 23x 10cm, we are hoping that we will hardly notice carrying this in our backpacks.


Osprey Eja 48 - Backpack

More often than not, the heaviest piece of gear we carry on an expedition is the backpack itself! The new Osprey Eja weighs just 1.16kg and has a 48 litre capacity, making it the perfect choice for our desert expedition.

A few of the other features I love about this backpack include the AirSpeed trampoline suspended mesh back panel! It has a great name, but is also a great feature especially for warm weather travel. This back system creates an air space between the pack and your back, allowing air to flow freely, essential for this expedition.


Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus - Solar Panel

Being completely self-sufficient for the two weeks of trekking means no hotels on route and therefore no power! We will be harnessing the power of the sun to charge our GPS unit and phones.

Our choice of solar panel is the Goal Zero Nomad 7, this 8-9V charger unfolds to a large panel attachable to our backpacks. It has a built in USB port ideal for charging our devices. Weighing 365g the Nomad 7 is also fully weather resistant and will be a great addition to our expedition.


Leki Women's Micro Vario Carbon - Trekking Pole

The Leki Micro Vario Carbon have been a key item of my outdoor kit for the last year. They are one of the best walking poles I have ever used and will definitely be accompanying me on the Tiso Hike Jordan Expedition!

These poles are incredibly lightweight and fold up super small to store inside my backpack instead of attaching to the outside. Weighing just 229g, I hardly notice carrying these. The light weight design doesn’t in any way compromise the strength of the Leki Micro vario carbon poles, over the last year I have put them through their paces on many trips and they always live up to my high expectations.


MSR Whisperlite International- Cooking Stove

For me, one of the big aspects of planning an expedition is planning the food! For the Tiso Hike Jordan expedition we are packing various freeze dried food to eat for breakfast and dinner. They are lightweight and very high in calories. However, the real issue in the planning has come when working out which stove and gas to take with us.

The MSR Whisperlite international stove is one of the most versatile stoves on the market, it is a mutli-fuel stove so burns white gas, kerosene and un-leaded petrol. As we are trekking in very remote areas the variety of fuel available to us will be small, the whisperlite should give us the best possible chance of finding fuel for our stove (and cooking dinner!)


GoPro Hero 5 - Action Camera

Throughout the Tiso Hike Jordan expedition we are going to be filming our trip to make a short documentary film. We therefore need cameras to film on, but most cameras are big, heavy and complicated to use especially in 30+c….So we have opted to take the GoPro Hero 5 as a great alternative.

The GoPro Hero 5 can record in 4K video as well as taking 12MP photos, it is a great quality camera squashed into a tiny box! The Hero 5 also features exposure control, advanced video stabilisation and voice control!


Follow us...

Throughout the build up and the during the expedition, we will be posting videos and photos on our individual social media pages. The experience will be very different for each of us but we look forward to sharing it with you along the way!

Follow Bex Band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Follow Cal Major on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Follow Mollie Hughes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Check out our Jordan webpage for more info!

Tiso Hike Jordan 2018