All About that Base [Weight]

Our Colorado Trail Thru Hike begins in a just a couple of weeks. The cool thing about hiking with your spouse…splitting gear between two packs! I’ll indicate who’s carrying what while I list out our gear picks.

The Big Three

Pack Jon will be carrying the Osprey Atmos AG 65L and I’ve got the Osprey Aura AG 65L. We love these packs; they’re so comfy and fit us perfect. A little on the heavy side? Maybe. But this might be a piece of gear we decide to upgrade in the future! Both packs weigh 4 lbs 6 oz, but I have removed my pack brain and shaved 6 ounces!

Tent The REI Half Dome 2, which is no longer available. An upgrade now exists which is the REI Half Dome 2 PLUS. This tent weighs 5.29 lbs but is the perfect size for two people and two packs at our feet! I will be carrying the tent while Jon will carry the majority of the food.

Our tent holds some sentimental value, so please don’t “rag” on how heavy it is! This tent was essentially gifted to me by one of my former Leukemia patients who has since passed away. He bought this 2 person tent and was never able to use it. While I paid for the tent initially, since his passing, his wife generously gave the money back and wanted it to be a gift from her and her husband for our hiking adventures. Colorado was near and dear to my patient’s heart and I’m excited to carry it almost 500 miles in his memory.

Sleep System Jon will be carrying the REI Radiant 19 Degree bag and I have the REI Joule Long 23 Degree bag (which is no longer available, it comes in a 21 or 30 degree option now). We both decided to use a sleeping bag liner and bought the Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner. It’s supposed to add 5 Degrees to your bag. For sleeping pads, we both have the ThermaRest EvoLite Regular. I have the added luxury item of a Sea to Summit pillow which helps me sleep a lot better. Jon’s total weight for his sleep system is 3.86 lbs and my total weight is 3.73 lbs.

Cooking & Water Filtration

Stove We went with the Snow Peak Giga Power 2.0 stove. My favorite thing about this stove is that you don’t need a lighter to start the fire, there is a built in striker that you press! Yes, this weighs a bit heavier than say, an MRS Pocket Rocket, but when you weigh a lighter, the weight comes out virtually the same. We have the Snow Peak Trek 900 Titanium cook pot as well.

Additional Cooking Items We have two spoon/fork combos that we picked up while hiking in Zion National Park that weigh in (together) at a whopping 0.3oz. For the occasional coffee and hot chocolate, we packed two Sea to Summit X-Cups. Also, we made two “cozies” to put freezer bags in full of dehydrated meals that works wonderfully at cooking mashed potatoes, Knorr rice sides, and even repackaged Mountain House meals (to save space).

Water Filtration My husband loves his Platypus GravityWorks Filtration system. We also each have two Smart Water bottles and a Camelbak bladder with drinking nozzle attached. We’ve heard that due to the low snow fall in the majority of Colorado, there are some dry stretches of trail with the potential for long water carries. Our capacity is 5 Liters each, if we need it! We also have Aquamira drops for a backup water treatment in our First Aid kit.


Holly prAna Halle hiking pants in black, Nike Tempo shorts in black, Champion Soft Tech Tshirt, Champion 1/2 zip pullover, The North Face ThermoBall Triclimate 3-in-1 jacket, 2 pairs of Patagonia Barely Hipster underwear, a pair of Darn tough socks with Injinji toe sock liners, and a pair of Injinji toe socks. To sleep in, I have the REI Merino leggings and Merino 1/2 zip pullover  and a pair of SmartWool socks. I also have some Old Navy flip flops for camp shoes and a pair of The North Face gloves. All together, including items worn, my clothing adds up to about 5 lbs.

Jon Columbia Omnishield convertible pants, Nike Tshirt, Columbia 1/2 zip pullover, The North Face Arrowood Triclimate 3-in-1 jacket, 2 pair of Exofficio boxers, a pair of Darn Tough socks, a pair of SmartWool socks, generic long underwear sleep bottoms, a pair of Adidas shorts, Old Navy flip flops for camp shoes, and a pair of Nike Gloves. His total weight for clothes is about 5.5 lbs.

Additional Items

The rest of our packs are filled with a minimal first aid kit (bandaids, safety pin, moleskin, and medicine), journals for each of us, hats, ear warmers, and my Canon EOS Rebel T3 camera gear. If you’d like to see the breakdown of everything we have in our packs, here is the link.

As of right now, Jon’s base weight is about 18.5 lbs and mine is at 23. My camera gear comes in at about 2.5-3 lbs, but I believe it will be worth it in the end! I will be very interested to see what items we deem unnecessary by the end of this 5 week trip!

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