In 2019 we hiked Kauai’s infamous Kalalau Trail along the NaPali Coast–it was 22.5 miles over two days- you can see the whole video on YouTube! But before we hit the trail, we did tons of research, practice hikes, and had to figure out what to pack. As we get ready to visit Hawai’i again this year (fingers crossed!), we’re looking back on what we packed last year and deciding what to upgrade, what to keep, and what we need to add for any xtra night of camping and possibly more camping on other island(s).
We’ve compiled a whole list of What to Pack to hike the Kalalau Trail *note that some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that we get a small commission if you purchase through that link at no extra cost to you, however, the products that w recommend below are genuinely ones that we’ve found useful and we never endorse an item if we don’t think it’s worth the money.
Getting There: Hiking Gear!
Last year, Kyle carried my old Ozark Trail 40L Backpack, which is a GREAT travel backpack when all you need is a suitcase without wheels–the front opens completely, so you can access any section without unpacking the entire thing–but it’s not really designed for these intense hikes. For $35 though, it’s a steal! I used the North Face 22L Exploration pack that has since been discontinued, but was perfect for then. I’ve kept the backpack though to use for day hikes normally.
This year, we hit up REI and Kyle upgraded to an Osprey pack and I got a Gregory (Osprey Atmos AG 50 Men’s | Gregory Women’s Amber 44L)- we’ve loaded them down with playbox sand from Home Depot and have been practicing with our weighted backpacks on a 4.5 mile hike around our hilly neighborhood every morning since March!
This year we’re also bringing our Foldable Mini Backpack to bring on a few side hikes into the jungle!
Hiking Poles… I love my Trail Buddy Trekking Poles (mostly because they came in fun colors!), they were comfortable, expandable, bright, provided a shocking amount of assistance and also came with alternative bases.
Second, and probably the most obvious, our CAMPING SETUP!
Once on Kalalau Beach, we strung up two hammocks under a rain fly! We put this Evolution Rain Fly on top in case it got windy or the weather started to turn (it is a rain forrest after all), and the fly provided a bit of privacy (not much, but a bit)
Since we weren’t sure what the tree set up would be like, we opted for this Kootek two-person hammock on bottom just in case it was cold or there wouldn’t be enough height for us to use both hammocks. (I got this Vineyard Vines x Eddie Bauer hammock with purchase last summer, they no longer make it)
Last year, we spelt on hammocks under a rain fly. This time, wince we’re planning on spending two nights camping on Kalalau and very possibly camping on some of the other islands, we upgraded to this REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent– this really seems like the best tent, I tried finding a cheaper option that was substantially similar on Amazon, but there didn’t seem to be anything that could compare to the REI branded tent! We’re also going to test out a Sleepingo Sleep Pad and a PowerLix Sleeping Pad to test out and see which one we prefer.
Camping Lanterns… We picked up this multi-pack because we thought they would pack better than a traditional lantern, which they did, and we figured they were worth a shot! We love that there are two light levels + a flashing setting, it also worked well because could leave one light hanging with the camp sight and each holy a light to walk, so we were never without. They’re great for clipping to your tent, or hooking onto your backpack or belt loop! (Do yourself a favor though and switch out the batteries for something more reliable early on). This year, we’re also bringing a head lamp!
Memory Makers & Technology
So here’s all of the technology that we Brough on the hike- it seems like a lot, but because we wanted to capture as much of it as possible, we really felt like it was the right move for us.
Cord Tacos sound really silly, but they’re honestly a great way to keep your cords organized, from getting tangled, and look cute too.
Octopus Tripod | Ring Light |Sony a6000 and back-up batteries |
GoPro Hero 5 | backup battery | backpack mount | frame mount | adhesive mounts |Dome (we did ‘t bring the adhesive mount or dome to hike, but we did bring them to Hawai’i and got tons of use out of them!)
Check out the newer version in this GoPro Hero 7 Bundle complete with handles, straps, case, mounts, and SD card!
Lifeproof Fre Series Waterproof Case | Lifeproof Next Case | Gimbal Stabilizer |
Last time, we borrowed a friend’s DJI Mavic Air drone and loved it!! We’ve been wanting our own for a while, so, this time, we’re considering buying our own DJI Mavic Mini (you can also get a bundle with backup batteries and blade protectors)! However, the Mini might not have all of the features that we’re looking for, so we may be getting the Mavic Air!
Hydration and Food!
HYDRATION & Food
Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder 2 L |Water Filtration (Sawyer Squeeze Filtration System) |
Duck Tape | Medication | Matches | Super Glue | Bug Spray | Rope | Natural Mosquito Repellent Tea Light Candles | Stay Awakes | Blister Block | Neosporin | Tums | Purell | Bandaids | Lighter | S-Clips | Hockey Tape
What to Wear
What to Wear – Katy
The BucketList Family AdventureBand (headband) | Black Fabletics SportsBra | Army Green Fabletics 7/8 High-Waist Leggings w/ Pocket | Series 3 Apple Watch + Navy Band | Liner Socks | Hiking Boots
Similar Outfit from Fabletics |Brim Sun Hat with Wind Lanyard UPF Summer Straw Hats for Women | Flowy tropical skirt for taking beachy photos | Lilo Bikini Top & Ruffle Bottoms for swimming
After my hiking boot lost its sole while crossing Crawler’s Ledge last year, I got some new Columbia boots! To be fair, I’ve had my old boots since I was 13 or 14, but in March, I picked up these Newton Ridge Waterproof Hiking Boots from Columbia and they’ve been so lightweight and comfortable!
So yes, around mile 10, after hiking with boots held together by superglue and Duck Tape (which didn’t work), I switched to Speedo Women’s Surf Strider Water Shoes held up remarkably well! They have real soles and felt great to hike in, I would definitely consider doing it again! Water Shoes are great t have on the trail because there are several streams which are easier to wade through than try to cross on the rocks. but after needing to use them to hike for over 15 miles throughout Kalalay and (Men’s Surfwalker Pro Water Shoes | Junior Girls’ Surf Strider Water Shoes | Junior Girls’ Aqua Skimmer Water Shoes | Junior Boys’ Surf Strider Water Shoes | Junior Boys’ Surfwalker Water Shoes )
Things we bought and didn’t use or need:
Bamboo Utensils. I got this because I thought it would also be good to use at Disney’s EPCOT festivals, but I never actually pulled it out on either trip, it wasn’t the right purchase for us, but it is a really nice set and could be right for someone!
Silicone, rollable water bottles… (Black 750 mL) these seemed great in theory, but the lack of structure actually made them really difficult to use and the water tasted a little rubbery. We still used them, and very probably will still bring them on our next trip just because we have them, but I think a collapsable reusable bottle–like this Nefeeko or HydroPal–would better suit our purposes in the future and it’s on my wishlist. (this Lucky Green two-pack is a very affordable option!)
Camera Bag Purse … I thought I needed to protect my camera more than I actually do, and I thought this purse was cute, it’s actually not great quality, broke right after our trip, and didn’t have enough room to put my wallet or anything else in it. Oof… mistake.
So that’s it, everything that I can think of that we used to have such a fantastic overnight hike!