Gear List – Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage

I walked the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage from October to November 2013. The first 3 weeks were unseasonable -hot, humid and wet with 3 typhoons. November was cool. This list reflects that time of the year, but doesn’t include the ‘Henro’ gear I bought at Temple 1, please click here to see that post.
Starting from the bottom up…
  • Shoes – I wore Salomon GTX XA Ultra 3D shoes (not boots) and really appreciated the fact they were waterproof as I walked in many rainy days for the first 3 weeks
  • Sandals – for the evenings and to give my feet a break – I wore TEVA Tirra sandals
  • Socks x 3 – combination of lightweight and midweight merino socks depending on the weather
  • Hiking pants – Kiwi Pro-Stretch Craghoppers – quick dry, lightweight, stretchy and comfortable
  • Shorts x 1, poly material, light, quickdry, zip pockets for money (I wouldn’t take these if I walked it again, I would just stick with the pants)
  • Knee brace – for my dodgy knee
  • Base layers – merino long pants and long sleeve shirt – to sleep in / and for extra warmth
  • Underpants x 2 – I wore Icebreaker hipkini. Merino is great for breathability and quick dry
  • Shirts x 2 short-sleeve quick-dry t-shirts (I would take one long sleeve top to walk in and one short sleeve for evenings if I was to do this again)
  • Sports bra
  • Icebreaker sleeves – these are one of my favourite items. I wear them with short sleeve t-shirts and it saves me from constantly taking off and putting on a fleece, I can simply roll them down my arm if I get hot. (I wouldn’t take these again as I would use a long-sleeve top to walk in instead, better for sun protection and warmth)
  • Buff – to keep your neck warm, but can also be used as a hat, headband etc
  • Fleece
  • Rain gear – I took waterproof pants and my Macpack Event rain jacket. If I was to do it again I would probably just take a good poncho instead
  • Hat – I use a sports cap that fits under my rain jacket hood and helps to keep the rain off my face
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack – I used a Lowe Airzone Trek ND33-40, it’s lightweight and small
  • Backpack raincover (not necessary if using a poncho)
  • Backpack liner – I recommend using a dry bag inside your backpack for extra protection against rain, I have a 40 litre dry bag inside mine.
  • Dry bags inside pack to compartmentalise clothes
  • Guidebook, Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide, David Moreton
  • Ziplock bags – for keeping things like passport/guidebook/pilgrim’s passport etc dry and also good for storing leftover food if you cook. Pack as many as you can.
  • Water Container –  1 x 1 litre Platypus container
  • Walking poles – I used and love my PACER POLES
  • Utensils – spork & cup
  • Headlamp 
  • Alarm Clock – use phone/watch
  • Clothes Line – I have the lifeventure pegless clothes line and it is the most used item I own!
  • Towel: Ultralight Packtowel
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Foldable daypackSea to summit Ultra Sil 20l pack
  • Sleeping Bag – I used a Western Mountaineering Summerlite – 525grams
  • Sleeping Mat – Thermarest Women’s Prolite Regular
  • S hook – I took one from my dad’s garden and use it for hanging things up in showers when there are no hooks
  • Safety pins – for hanging wet clothes on your pack to dry
  • Camera – I used a Sony RX 100 compact digital camera
  • Phone with headphones – I used my iPhone as a second camera and to listen to music
  • Garmin 62s GPS
  • Chargers for camera & phone
  • Spare AAA batteries for headlamp and AA batteries for GPS
  • Adaptor plug for Japan – same as USA & Canada
  • Shampoo – I used a LUSH shampoo bar for hair and body and it lasts more than a month
  • Soap – multi-purpose soap for washing clothes, body, hair etc
  • Toothbrush – Kathmandu does small, folding and lightweight toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste – bring a small tube and you can always buy more
  • Toilet paper / tissues – inevitably you’ll have to go somewhere along the trail but please take your rubbish with you (easy to pack it out in a ziplock bag)
  • FirstAid Kit – bandaids, needle and thread, antiseptic cream, sunscreen, lip balm, scissors, tweezers, antibacterial hand gel – NOTE: Japan has strict zero-tolerance drug laws including some cold/flu/allergy/sinus medicines and painkillers with codeine so check with the Japanese Embassy in your country before bringing any of these items in. 


Planning for the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage

Blogging from the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage

Expenses – how much did it actually cost?

Elevation Profiles

Video Gallery


7 responses to “Gear List – Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage

  1. Hi Kat, i have to tell you, i am having a tough time finding the david moreton book you recommend. i found his website, and a website that has not been touched since about 2008 when the book was it seems quit lacking. do you have a source for the latest version


  2. Pingback: Pilgrimage Packing List – elizabeth lindau·

  3. Hey Kat,

    How did you go without a tent? Would you take one next time?
    I’m in two minds whether to take mine or not!




    • Hi Taryn,
      It’s a tricky one. Obviously having the tent means you can camp pretty much anywhere (even under the huts if there’s room and it’s a free-standing tent), but then you’re carrying more weight.

      If I was on a budget I would carry one, if not, I would mix it up and stay in the huts / paid accom and would still need to carry a sleeping bag and mat.

      Or just stay in paid accom (but it’s gonna end up being a pricey walk).

      Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi,
    First of all I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your blog! It has thoroughly helped me plan my Shikoku Pilgramige this March! I just have one question. Did you need any vaccinations prior to your trip that you got in then UK?
    Kindest regards,


    • Hi Laurence,
      I’m so glad the blog could be of some help 🙂 I didn’t require any vaccinations for Japan but it’s probably best to make sure you’re up-to-date with regular vaccinations. The FCO website is a good source for checking this information.
      Have a great trip!


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