Hiking equipment for the GR20

The difficulty lies in taking the necessary equipment and carrying as little as possible, because the GR20 must also be a pleasure. Hiking with a 25kg rucksack for 15 days is not necessarily pleasant:). Set off with the bare essentials, but don’t skimp on safety. Here is a non-exhaustive list of equipment for the GR20 that you shouldn’t forget to pack in your rucksack. In this article, you can print out the non-exhaustive checklist of equipment you shouldn’t forget before setting off

Free list to download (PDF)
Hiking bag for the GR20

The hiking rucksack

The hiking rucksack is the most important item, as it’s what you’ll be using to carry all your equipment. Anyone who confidently tells you “to do the GR20 you need a rucksack with so many litres” is completely wrong. You need to choose the right bag for your project and your pace. It is estimated that 35 to 40 litres is enough for the Corsican trail, for a total weight of between 10 and 13 kg.

Hiking shoes for the GR20

Special GR20 hiking boots

The same answer from Normand for special GR20 boots ! To the question: “What are the ideal shoes for doing the GR20”, we’ll tell you “it depends”! Yes, it depends on your pace and your habits. Above all, you need a pair of shoes made to fit your feet. Even if you have to set off with shoes in good condition, it would be madness to ‘do’ them on the GR20 for the first time!

hiking poles for the GR20

Hiking poles

Hiking poles are an essential accessory on the GR20: far from being reserved for lame old ducks, hiking poles come into their own to help you on the climbs, take the pressure off on the descents and, above all, help you keep your balance on the GR20, a trail notorious for its rocky terrain!

Sleeping bag for the GR20

The hiking sleeping bag

Whether you sleep in a refuge or in a tent (your own or rented), you’ll need a sleeping bag! As you probably know, the nights are chilly on the GR20, even in the middle of July, so don’t bring a sleeping bag without thinking. To help you choose the right sleeping bag for your hike, see our article on temperatures by refuge.

Choosing your mattress for the GR20

Trekking mattresses

This article on choosing the right hiking mattress will only be of interest to you if you decide to do the GR20 on your own (carrying your sleeping bag and tent on your back), because if you sleep in a refuge or hire a tent from a warden, the mattress will be provided! Here are a few tips for choosing a comfortable, lightweight hiking mattress suitable for the GR20!

Best tent for the GR20

The trekking tent

Some purists decide to do the GR20 on their own and carry their own tent! However, this does not give you more freedom to sleep, as camping in the wild is prohibited. Even so, you’ll be able to sleep in comfort, far from the snoring of the refuges. To help you choose the right GR20 trekking tent, read on!

GR20 first aid kit

The first-aid kit

A first-aid kit is essential when you’re hiking, because the slightest everyday injury can quickly turn into a literal sore: to look after your feet and your body in general, we recommend a light but comprehensive first-aid kit. Follow the guide!

Special toiletry bag GR20

The toiletry kit

To go far, you need to take care of yourself! On the GR20, every gram counts, but there are some essential products you need to take with you if you want to get off to a good start every morning: soap, cream, oral hygiene products, etc… Here’s a checklist for your minimalist hiking toiletry kit!

Headlamp for the GR20

Headlamp

A headlamp is compulsory when you go hiking in the mountains! It’s safety equipment, because you never think you’ll be walking at night! If you’re an early riser, you’ll need a headlamp on your equipment list anyway, because it’s still dark at 5 or 6 in the morning, even in summer!

A torch is also very useful simply for bivouacking!

Purify your water with a filter bottle or tablet

Water filtering equipment

Unfortunately, it’s not just a fad! Water is becoming scarce, and not just in Corsica. Some springs are drying up earlier and earlier in the summer, and hot spells aren’t helping the situation!

It’s a good idea to have some water filtering equipment, a filtering flask or a few Mircopur-type tablets in case of emergency!

How to choose your hiking crampons?

Hiking crampons

When there’s snow – and it’s 100% certain if you’re doing the GR20 in May or June – it’s safer to take hiking crampons with you to get over névés or walk on snow!

What type of crampons? With or without ice axe? How do you walk with them? We tell you everything here

An example of a list of equipment for the GR20

POUR MARCHERQuantitéConseils6500 grammesExemple
Sac à dos120 litres min, 30 litres max1100Conseils pour les sacs
Gourde1 ou 2selon votre sac, toujours avoir 2 L - pas au fond du sac2000
Paire de chaussures1adaptée et déjà faite à votre pied
en savoir plus
1200Conseils pour les shoes
Pantalon1idéalement pantalon convertible short300Pantalon Colombia
Short1idéalement pantalon convertible short200Pantalon Short
Caleçon / slip2selon votre préférence ! 60
Tee-shirt2manche courte et longue80Tee shirt Mérinos
Double peau1Respirant et très chaud, non encombrant60Tee shirt Première couche
Laine polaire1Pour le soir. Vêtement technique non encombrant300>1 polaire Millet
Chaussettes de rando3sans couture
déjà faites à votre pied
953 paires Mérinos
Tour de cou2pour se protéger du froid et vent40Des exemples
Couvre chef1Casquette ou bob ou saharienne (ou tour de cou)50
Lunettes de soleil1Le soleil peut taper fort ! 30
K-way1étanche, accessible3001 k-way étanche goretex
Bâtons de randonnée11 paire de bâtons adaptée à la montagne corse500
Le Topoguide / cartes1Pour suivre l'avancement150Au choix ici
POUR LE SOIR / NUITQuantitéConseils3700 grammesExemple
Lampe frontale1Pour le soir sous la tente / débuter les marches à la fraiche. 150 lu suffisant90Du choix à moins de 20€
Duvet1Même si vous dormez en refuge950Conseils pour les duvets
Tente1 pour deuxOptionnel2000Conseils pour les tentes
Matelas, tapis1Sauf si vous dormez en refuge600Conseils pour les matelas
Sandales, tongues
11 paire de sandale de bivouac, pour aérer les pieds260
Exemple type Crocs
POUR MANGER / BOIREQuantitéConseils2000 grammesExemple
Couteau1Type couteau suisse100Simple
Popote1Casserole, assiette, gobelet, couvert400Simple ou plus complète
Briquet, allumette1Pour allumer le gaz50Des allumettes étanches ou un kit de survie
Réchaud 1Optionnel car il y a du gaz dans chaque refuge300le plus connu Campingaz
Quelques vivres1Toujours avoir de quoi manger (barres, pain, fromages). Un min même si vous mangez en refuge1000
POUR LES SOINSQuantitéConseils400 grammesExemple
Serviette microfibre1pratique car sèche rapidement et ne prend pas de place1601 serviette 30 x 60
Savon de marseille1Pour vous laver et faire votre lessive100
Brosse à dent + dentifrice1Pour l'hygiène buccale. Petit tube301 kit avion
Crème solaire1Indice adéquat, waterproof. Petit tube30Crème solaire Tingerlaat (résiste à la sueur)
Pastille pour l'eau10Vraiment facultatif, mais ne pèse rien. 101 boite de Micropur
Couverture de survie1On vous souhaite de ne pas avoir à la sortir501 couverture de survie (<1€)
TROUSSE SECOURSQuantitéConseils300 grammesExemple
Mini ciseau / coupe ongle1Pour couper un pansement ou compeed80
Soin ampoule5Quelques compeed80
Crème pour les pieds1En petit tube80Plus d'infos
Désinfectant1En petit tube80
ACCESSOIRESQuantité250 grammes
Batterie USB1Pour recharger téléphone, appareil photos. [Optionnel]120Exemple Power Bank 3 à 4 charges
Téléphone portable1A ranger dans une poche étanche avec votre argent [OPTIONNEL]90
De l'argent liquide1Pas de CB sur le GR20. 10Estimez votre budget
Sacs étanches42 ou 3 sacs poubelles
2 ou 3 zipettes
10Pour ranger vos affaires dans le sac
Vos papiers1Carte vitale, Carde d'identité, CB, billets avion ou ferry (dans une poche étanche)20
Divers utiles
1boule quies, fil à linge, papier toilette20
TOTAL13000 grammes avec la tente, le duvet, le réchaud, l'eau et un min de nourriture

Other examples of equipment lists

  • Vincent Verza’s comprehensive list
  • Equipment list for doing the GR20 with your dog
  • Example of a list of equipment for 8 days: This list was compiled by a couple who did the GR20 in 8 days, and they have agreed to share it with you to give you an idea of the equipment and weight (at the bottom of the article)
Free list to download (PDF)

What to wear :

  • hiking trousers and shorts: hiking trousers (between €40 and €50) are lightweight but will cover all your legs – perfect for days when the sun is beating down and you don’t want to get a sunburn on your thighs! Also take a pair of hiking shorts (between €20 and €30) to feel more comfortable during the day. You may think it’s tacky, but it’s so practical: there are trousers that can be converted into shorts by removing the zip at knee level!
  • two or three T-shirts
  • two or three pairs of hiking socks: the special thing about hiking socks is the stitching. Choose socks designed for walking or running, with a minimum of external seams to avoid chafing and blisters.
  • The weather’s GR20 can deteriorate very quickly, so don’t forget to pack a waterproof k-way (or rain cape) and rain trousers.

2 complete outfits for the whole of the GR20 is more than enough! In any case, you won’t be able to wear more!

And what about hygiene?

There are no showers in the refuges, just washing-up areas. During the day, if you have the opportunity to stop and enjoy yourself, you will find waterfalls or watering holes to refresh yourself (and at the same time wash off your clothes). If you have the chance, plan your days so that you can walk in the cool and stop to refresh yourself before going to the refuge.

  • Sun cream: we recommend the Tingerlaat brand, which has been tested and approved during our expeditions (only one application per day and resists perspiration) -> see the cream
  • Toothbrush
  • Marseille soap: you’ll need this to wash yourself and your clothes.
  • Towel: microfibre towels cost no more than 15 euros, are very easy to store and, above all, dry extremely quickly.
  • First aid kit: bandages, survival blanket, disinfectant, blister treatment (from compeeds). Here are a few tips for looking after your feet during your adventure!
  • Although there’s water everywhere on the GR20, it doesn’t cost anything to put a few micropur tablets (to purify the water) in your kit – they weigh nothing!
En cours - GR 20

Equipment for evenings and nights

Evenings can be chilly on the GR20. As soon as the sun disappears behind the mountains, the cold can quickly set in. We therefore recommend that you take :

  • a fleece
  • a long-sleeved T-shirt
  • hiking trousers or light jogging trousers
  • recycled socks
  • a hat or choker (buff type)
  • light shoes or flip-flops (so you don’t have to put your feet back in your hiking boots in the evening)
  • a sleeping bag and mattress
  • a tent if you are doing the GR20 on your own (but if not, you can sleep in a refuge or rent a tent pitch)
  • ski tights or thermal double skin: they don’t take up much space and they keep you very warm!
GR 20 - Ceinture de montage
Which tent should you choose? Find out more here

Useful accessories

  • two or 3 bin liners to protect the contents of your bag in the event of a storm (or an over-bag). To store in your bag, think about a waterproof bag for your duvet in particular
  • a camera or mobile phone (there is very little telephone network on the GR20, so you can leave it in aeroplane mode)
  • a USB battery: prices vary between 10 and 25 euros, and this will give you autonomy for your mobile phone for 15 days, or even for your GPS watch, camera, etc., depending of course on the power of the battery and how you use your phone! There is electricity on the GR20, but you might as well be self-sufficient!
  • cash
  • A meal kit: by this we mean a plate, a cup and cutlery, as well as the minimum necessary for cooking (enough to heat water or cook food). You can bring your own gas stove or use the stoves in the refuges
  • A lighter or matches. It’s not easy tolight your stove with matches after a day of rain, so remember to protect your matches or bring waterproof ones!
  • Why not take a pair of hiking binoculars with you to discover the local fauna or analyse the peaks!
Batterie de cuisine et ustensiles de cuisson - Batterie de cuisine

But also :

  • a water tank, with a minimum capacity of 2 litres. We strongly recommend that you take water filtering equipment such as a water bottle, micro-purifying tablet or hiking filter, because depending on the season you are doing the GR20, some springs may run dry!
  • your papers: identity card, passport, health insurance card (in a waterproof pouch)
  • a headlamp, in case you decide to leave early or arrive late. The sun rises between 5:00 and 6:00 in summer. This is also ideal if you don’t want to disturb people in the refuge at night. Light lighting is sufficient (100 – 150 lu), you don’t need a lamp that sends out 1000 lumens!
  • sunglasses: the sun can beat down hard in the high mountains, especially if there is still snow!
  • a cap or a bob!
  • hiking poles: the price of hiking poles varies between 30 and 60 euros. We bought a pair of poles that were solid, inexpensive and could be folded into 3, which was ideal if you didn’t want to take up too much space, as the poles could be stowed away in your bag. At the end of a really active day’s walking, your arms hurt just as much as your legs, and the poles take the strain instead of your knees when you’re going downhill!

Be careful if you’re flying: there’s a lot of equipment on this list that you can’t take in the cabin or in the hold. See the list of equipment prohibited on planes.

Equipment for trekking the GR20 with your dog

If you can afford the pun, this article is really niche! Few people want to do the GR20 with their dog, but the question comes up regularly. Your canine friend will also need a minimum amount of equipment for a 16-day hike in the Corsican mountains, check out the list here. Thanks to Marine for helping us produce this article!

GR 20 - Randonnée

Tips

  • The bigger your bag, the more equipment you’ll want to load, but the more weight you’ll be carrying! So there’s no point in taking the biggest bag you can find: it should be light and compact, not rickety or badly filled!
  • A bag should be filled intelligently: according to your needs for the day. You need to know exactly where each type of equipment is stored and be able to quickly retrieve anything that needs to be taken out in a hurry (k-way, rucksack protector, something to eat or drink)

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