2021 AT NOBO Gear List

Prepping for the Big Day

Ryan and I are counting down the days and doing final preparations before setting out on our AT thru-hike on March 20, 2021.  We have been laying out our gear, going through every item, and making sure that we’re as ready as we can be. Thankfully, we have had a killer support system as we’ve been prepping to hit the trail. For those of you interested, I was going to share my gear list and talk about what gear I’m bringing and why I went with that gear.

The Big Three: Pack, Shelter, Sleep System

From the research that I have done while prepping for my hike, I found that a lot of thru hikers are going with ultralight gear. This is especially true when it comes to big three items.  Due to being on a budget and wanting to utilize gear that I already own, I did not buy a lot of new gear. Back in 2016 I had dreams of thru hiking the AT and made a lot of my gear purchases then.  My sleeping bag and pack are both purchases from that time.

1. Pack

I will be hiking with a Deuter ACT Lite 60+10L pack. This pack is heavier than the ultralight packs that a lot of thru hikers have now, but it has served me well, fits me well, and I have grown to love it for what it is. The pack has an adjustable suspension system that allows you to customize the length of the pack based on height while still having the women’s specific design with comfortable padded shoulder straps and a wide comfortable hip belt. I love all of the pockets that this pack has and how it fits my body. I think that the ultralight packs that hikers have are super rad, but it just wasn’t in my budget to splurge on a new pack when I had a perfectly good one sitting in my closet.

2. Sleep System

My sleeping bag is also a 2016 purchase that has served me well and will hopefully continue to do so over the next 6 months.  It is a 20 degree down sleeping bag (“Serena”) from REI that is a women’s long. I will be pairing that bag with the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus sleeping pad in a size long. I am 5’10” and found that the regular length pad was about 2 inches too short to be comfortable for me, so I went with the long. I checked out a lot of pads at REI and the ProLite Plus just stood out to me. It was comfortable, light, quiet, and seemed to be a good option for a hiker with a dog due to the more durable material that it is made of. So far I have really liked this choice of sleeping pad. My partner, Ryan, has a whopping 6’6″ frame and decided to go with an enormous inflatable Klymit pad. His pad is definitely heavier than my ProLite Plus but he was willing to take on some extra weight to ensure a comfy night’s sleep after long days on the trail.

3. Shelter

One ultralight purchase that we did make for our thru hike is our shelter.  We went with the Zpacks Triplex shelter in Spruce Green.  After a lot of research and a great holiday deal, we decided to splurge on this.  Coming in at just 24.4 ounces, we have a 3 person shelter for 2 large people and our pup, Parker.  We have made some modifications to the tent to fit our liking and we have been practicing getting our pitch just right with our trekking poles. So far we are definitely loving it.


In total, my big three come out to be 11.33 lbs. This is definitely heavier than a lot of other thru hikers out there, but I’m going to start out with this and see how it goes. I wanted to re-use gear that I already had and also stay within a budget. Making gear purchases can definitely get pricey, especially when you’re strictly counting ounces. In the warmer months, I might look into switching out my sleeping bag for a lighter-weight alternative.


If you guys are interested in checking out my full gear list, you can follow this link:



I’m looking forward to sending out some more updates once we hit the trail next week. We’re really excited to get some more miles under our belts and share our adventure with friends, family, and interested readers.

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