Appalachian Trail 2022 Thru Hike Full Gear List

This is the information I get questioned about A LOT! The gear! I have never and will never identify myself as a gearhead, and I definitely don’t think you HAVE to be ultralight to do the Appalachian Trail.

I invested a pretty penny into gear because I had never been backpacking, and I wanted to be as prepared as I could be with the things I could control.

I switched out some gear from the start to the end, sent some gear home for the hotter months, and had gear shipped back for the colder parts of the Northeast.

I’m just going to write about what gear I kept in the end as it is what ended up making the whole trek with me. If I were to hike the trail again, the list below would be everything I would need. Everyone’s experiences and needs vary, so this is just what worked for me! (I’ll tell you my base weight at the end… I know, I’m annoying!)


  • Gossamer Gear the One

    • This is a stake tent (meaning there is no frame). It’s not a good tent for really rocky areas or places where the ground is really hard. However, it was perfect for the Appalachian Trail because most of the ground is pretty soft. It is a single-walled tent, which means no rain fly, but it does have a nice size vestibule. It holds up exceptionally well in high winds. I would pick this tent again in a heartbeat. The only issue I ever had with it was when I had to tent on a platform one night in the Whites.

  • A few extra tent stakes

    • I got random ones from amazon because sometimes they break/ bend coming out of the ground — especially when they’re frozen in place lol.

  • Tyvek as a ground cloth

    • I washed mine in a washing machine to make it quieter… I know some guy out there is going to say washing it makes it less waterproof, but I walked 2,000 miles with the same piece … and you know what? It never wetted out. You can get it at a hardware store, amazon, or really anywhere! Don’t fall for the poly cryo nonsense because mine barely made it 200 miles.

  • Black Diamond Trekking poles with cork handles

    • I know they’re on the more expensive end, but I used them to set up my tent and to hike all day. I swear these poles saved me countless times from falling off cliffs, so I was relieved to know I could trust my ACTUAL LIFE with them. I loved the cork handles because, if you’ve ever been on the AT, you’ll know that you can expect to be wet pretty much your entire hike.

Sleep System

  • NeoAir® XLite™ Sleeping Pad

    • Ok… people may hate you for this sleeping pad at first because when you first start using it, it is crinkly! If you’re a shelter rat like me, people may gripe about it making too much noise, but so many people use this pad that you kind of just get over it. The sound does lessen the more you sleep on it, and I think its comfort is worth the crinkle. Some nights you are going to feel like your hips are broken and might fall off your body. Having the cushion of an inflated pad will get you through those more painful nights. Sleeping pads with higher R values exist (silly way of rating the warmth of sleeping pads… I know there’s a lot of “hiker” terminology), but I think this pad is the best for getting you through the sub-zero nights and the 90-degree ones too. I inflated it by just blowing it up, but others brought the air sac that comes with it. That decision comes down to whether or not you see yourself actually blowing it up at the end of the night. It doesn’t take long either way, so do what works best for you!

  • Enlightened Equipment Convert Quilt

    • I LOVE THIS BAG! I did turn out to be allergic to the down in it. However, it was worth it because it was so light and compactable. I bought a 20-degree bag, and if I could do it again, I’d get a zero-degree bag. I didn’t account for what existing in a calorie deficit would do to my ability to sleep comfortably. In general, women slept colder than men (I’m not trying to be sexist here. It is just really what happened when our bodies were in survival mode). Keep this in mind if you’re a woman planning for a thru hike. I HIGHLY recommend going warmer than you might originally think. I’m not kidding when I say my full body shivered all night for the first two months on trail. I used my sleeping bag and bag liner all the way to Katahdin (I did lose 70 lbs in 5 months, so my body was doing the best it could).

  • Sea to Summit Reactor Sleeping Bag Liner

    • Any bag liner works. Sea to Summit liners were by far the most popular liners, but I would say pick the one that you like the best. I had one that added 14 degrees, and I saw a range of temperature options on trail.


  • Gossamer Gear Mariposa

    • This is a 60L pack that has an internal frame, hip belts, and is ultralight. I LOVE this pack. The bottom of the pack did get SHREDDED by the end of the trail, but it made it. Once I hit the Whites, I did a ton of butt-sliding, which led to the demise of my pack. I was able to patch it pretty well with leukotape, but ultralight fabrics just don’t hold up as well as some heavier packs. There is no warranty on Gossamer Gear packs which is a bummer. However, if I had it to do over again, I’d still use this pack 100%.

  • 60L compactor bags

    • I just used compactor trash bags to line my pack in place of an expensive rain cover for the outside. The Gossamer Gear Mariposa doesn’t come with a rain cover, and honestly, it doesn’t need one. If you have dry bags for your stuff and keep a compactor bag lining the inside of your pack, you’ll never have trouble. I fell in many streams, and my gear was always dry.

  • United by Blue Waterproof Fanny Pack

    • People made fun of how big this thing was, but I loved it! I kept my phone, snacks, my charger, and more in it! It stayed dry inside even in the pouring rain. No matter what you decide, I would find a waterproof fanny pack because it was one of my favorite pieces of gear. Hip Belts can be inconvenient at times, but a fanny pack is always there for you! It can serve as a nice day pack when you’re in town too.


  • Long-sleeve shirt

    • I used a Cuddl Duds long-sleeve workout top from Sam’s Club. I have always liked working out in Cuddl Duds, so I figured I’d just bring a shirt I knew was comfy and dried quickly. You can go as pricey or as cheap as you want with the clothes. The important thing to remember is that you want SYNTHETIC materials. NO COTTON!!! Cotton kills!

  • Short-sleeve

    • I went for a luxurious $13 short-sleeve fishing top by RealTree. I found it at Walmart, and I figured I’d switch my shirt out at least once anyway. Which, I did switch my shirt out toward the end of Virginia for another $13 Walmart shirt just in a different color.

  • Two bras

    • I brought two Athleta bras. One was a normal sports bra and the second was a longer sports bra, so I could wear it as a shirt too. I eventually had to switch my bras out because boobs are one of the first things to disappear out there. I recommend doing some serious workouts in different styles of sports bras because you’ll want to find ones that chafe you the least. Oh, by the way, your bras are about to be wet for the entire trail, so pick a bra that you don’t mind putting on wet. Side note about bras: keep them in your sleeping bag in the colder months because even if they don’t dry, at least you’ll be putting on a warm wet bra, not a cold one.

  • Two underwear options

    • I had full-coverage underwear by ExOfficio and an Icebreaker merino wool thong. I 100% recommend bringing two different cuts of underwear. Your butt is about to be very mad at you, so giving it the chance for variety is nice. That way you can switch up what’s getting rubbed raw. I ended up spending most of my hiking time in full-coverage underwear, but sometimes when you were in six days of rain, switching into a dry thong is just what you need. The concept of a “town thong” was very popular among most girls I talked to on trail. Some girls had 5 or 6 pairs of underwear, but I stuck to two.

  • Injinji sock liners (one pair)

    • A MUST! I wore my injinji liners under my Darn Tough socks every day. In the colder months, I would wear my Injinji socks under the Darn Tough socks for extra warmth that the liners didn’t provide. By doubling up on socks, I can say I really never had blisters. The only time I had blisters was after 8 days in the rain in the same wet socks, so I feel like that’s fair enough! (even then I only had blisters under my nail beds… bye bye toenails)

  • Darn Tough socks (one pair)

    • Amazing, incredible, unstoppable, nonnegotiable, and lifetime warranty.

  • Injinji toe socks (one pair)

    • These are heavier than the sock liners and can be worn independently. However, I pretty much always doubled up.

  • Melanzana hoodie

    • I got lucky with this one and won the Melanzana lottery during COVID. This is a microgrid fleece hoodie that is unbelievably warm and lightweight. If you can get your hands on one – DO IT!!! Lighheart Gear has the best dupe I’ve seen.

  • Puffy jacket

    • I got a Fjallraven Kanken puffy, but the Enlightened Equipment puffy was also very popular. Mountain Hardwear makes a puffy that was a crowd pleaser as well. The main thing with a puffy is to make sure it’s synthetic down and has a hood. Other than that, get what you like! While I loved my puffy, there was nothing about it that made me feel as if it was 100% the best puffy on trail. Side note about puffys: KEEP IT UNTIL KATAHDIN! I know people who sent theirs home and regretted it heavily. Another thing is that you never want to hike in your puffy because it is crucial that it is always dry for you to put on when you’re done hiking as it can save your life.

  • Wool pajamas

    • I ordered a merino wool sleep set from amazon. It had a long-sleeve shirt and leggings. I would recommend getting wool PJs because you will be freezing out there. Minus 33 has some great merino wool products as well.

  • T-shirt for town

    • I got my town shirt in Gatlinburg after a few too many. Bovi (a friend from home that I hiked with) and I went into an airbrush shop and got t-shirts made. Our tramily, at the time, consisted of essentially all Boy Scouts and a troop leader who doubled as the father of one of the Scouts. His trail name was Wombat, so obviously, Lynley and I had to get t-shirts made with a big wombat on the front. We took a lot of heat for carrying the extra weight of a cotton t-shirt, but I’ll tell you, it felt SO GOOD to put a t-shirt on in town. It also gave us something to wear while we did laundry. The shirts were such a hit on trail that I got recognized all the way up in Monson, Maine by it.

  • Biker shorts

    • I went with Athleta bikers shorts that had pockets on the sides. They held up amazingly even with all the butt-sliding in the Whites and Maine. My only complaint would be that once they were wet – they were WET. I would recommend maybe trying to find a short that dries quicker. I just have big thighs, so I wanted to make sure I limited the chafing.

  • Baseball hat

  • Bug net

    • I waited until the summer for this, and it can be found at Walmart for $7.

  • Sun hat

    • I found a sun hat made by Kavu that I liked, but you have to find one that fits your head.

  • Winter buff

    • A fleece-lined buff is non-negotiable for me.

  • Summer Buff

    • Wait for this! In Franklin, NC, at Outdoor 76 (an outfitter) they give thru hikers free buffs. I hope they keep doing this because they were cool!

  • The North Face Recycled Etip Gloves

    • I liked my gloves. I used The North Face Recycled Etip gloves. They were warm, dried quickly, and allowed me to use my phone. I did not want restricting gloves as full mobility in more technical hiking terrains was a priority for me.

  • Fluffy wool socks for sleep

    • I used a pair of fluffy wool socks that were my grammy’s. I have terrible circulation, so I used my socks the entire hike at night. It might seem creepy that I used my grandma’s old socks, but it felt like she was with me. Once you’re out there you’ll learn that any little thing that can offer comfort is amazing.

  • Feather booties

    • I ordered some cheap feather booties to sleep in from amazon. Some people had nice ones, but I found my amazon ones did the trick. Not everyone had these, but again I have bad circulation, which meant that making sure my feet were warm at night was very important.

  • Kuhl Bliss Pants

    • IF I COULD RECOMMEND ONE THING, IT WOULD BE THESE PANTS! These pants were incredible. They were so so soft and wicked wonderfully. The drawstring was so important because I dropped 30 lbs my first month on trail, so my pants would have been falling off without it. They’re super durable, and I would wear them every day of my life if I could.

Rain Gear

  • Frogg Togg Rainsuit

    • These are cheap and rip super easily, but I still am glad that this is what I went with. No matter what rain gear you pick, it will wet out and get STINKY. With that in mind, I’d rather spend less on this gear. The pants are usually the first to rip, but I found I liked the breeze ripped pants offered. I left the jacket from the suit at home, but if I had it to do over again, I might have brought this piece of gear along. The jacket is really helpful in blocking the wind.

  • Frogg Togg Poncho

    • I AM A PONCHO GIRLIE!!!! I studied abroad in Costa Rica during the rainy season, and I fell in love with ponchos there. Frogg Togg makes a cheap poncho that works great. I replaced mine at the end of VA, but it was still cheaper, in the end, to buy two ponchos from Frogg Togg than to splurge on the $100 ponchos the outdoor stores will try to sell you.

  • Six Moon Designs Umbrella

    • People gave me some sh*t about this piece of gear. I think it’s essential. When you’ve been hiking in rain for 12 hours, sometimes it’s nice to be able to check your phone, eat, or just exist out of the pouring rain. I found a way to hook the umbrella to my pack by just wedging it down, so I could hike part of the rainy days with my head dry. It kept me from getting hypothermia when I was waiting for an emergency shuttle into Erwin, TN, as an ice storm was hitting. I advise against getting “mini” umbrellas that you may think will save weight. You will want a somewhat sturdy umbrella because it gets WINDY!


  • Altra Olympus

    • This shoe saved my hike. It comes in men’s and womens, and it was one of the most popular shoes on trail. People either wear Hoka Speedgoats, Altra Olympus, or Altra Lonepeaks. I started in Lonepeaks as it was what I trained in. However, after about a month of backpacking every day, I needed more support. I was struggling with hip, ankle, and foot pain going into the Smokys. Switching to the Olympus nearly got rid of all the pain I had been feeling. The Olympus have Vibram soles which hold up better than most other soles. I recommend trying on a Hoka and trying on an Altra shoe. The shoes are engineered completely differently, and you’re probably going to feel passionately one way or the other. Hokas are designed for max support, and Altra even with support, are designed to allow your foot to function more naturally. Altras are zero drop which puts a lot of strain on your Achilles. If you don’t train in zero drop, I don’t recommend switching to them once on trail. I know people that faced hike-ending injuries over shoes. I bought my shoes along the way because Altras and Hokas are easy to find in town, and in the event, you want to change shoe models, you don’t want to have an extra 5 pairs sitting at home (yea, this happens to people!).

  • Classic Clog Crocs

Food/ Cooking

  • MSR Pocket Rocket

    • I wouldn’t recommend this cooking system. It was really hard to get my dinner to cook when it was windy, and often I just skipped dinner or ate cold ramen because I was sick of trying to get my food to cook. It’s great for the summer, but it is much slower at boiling water than say a Jetboil (another brand). I know MSR has changed the design of their stoves to mimic a Jetboil now, so you could maybe go with the newer MSR options. When you get into camp and it’s already dark and freezing the last thing you want to do is cook, so having a pot that can boil your water quickly is essential.

  • Windproof lighter

    • A lot of people just used plastic BIC lighters, but on windy days I ended up sharing my windproof lighter.

  • Gas can

    • You can get these just about anywhere. You also can use any brand’s can with any of the stoves.

  • MSR Pot

    • I linked the newer pot system from MSR that looks like it would be as good as the Jetboil (I didn’t use this one, but I wish I did). My mom made me a homemade pot koozie for it to allow me to hold my pot after cooking. However, the new pots come with one. My pot wasn’t anything to brag about.

  • Sea to Summit extra long spork

    • It doesn’t matter what brand of spork you get. It is important to get the extra long one with some pots. I’m glad I got the extra long one FOR SURE. I also would recommend a metal one, but other people like plastic ones. It just depends on if you can take the metal-on-metal sound. Plastic sporks often melted, but not all of them did. Again, you can’t go wrong here. It’s more of a personal call. I know people that went with chopsticks or just a spoon.

  • Small hunting knife

    • I got a little cheap one from amazon. I maybe used it twice? Other people used theirs daily. This is kind of a personal call. Definitely have one though!

  • Pot scraper

    • I LOVED having a little plastic/ rubber pot scraper. It made cleaning my pot out a million times easier. When you get into the pasta or rice sides, there is often sauce left on the side of your pot that is hard to get off with a spork. You can use a tortilla or tp (pack it out) to clean your pot, but if you’re like me, and burn your pot because you get distracted – it’s nice to have a scraper.

  • Bandana

    • If you’re not careful, your fuel canister will corrode your pot (if you pack the fuel inside the pot, which helps save space), so having a bandana helps separate the stuff you keep in your pot from your pot. It is also helpful to have something to wipe food with.

  • Ursack

    • I switched my food bag out for an Ursack before the Smokys, and I am so happy that I did. Ursacks are dummy expensive for a food bag, but having the peace of mind that you don’t have to hang your food was worth it for me. Ursacks can be tied to a tree as bears can’t tear into them. They’re like a bear canister, but the bag version. Some are mouse-proof, but that’s not totally necessary. I only lost one bag of beef stroganoff to mice in my six months on trail.

  • Opsack

    • Opsacks are basically really expensive ziplock bags. They go inside the Ursack making your food odor-proof. However, the top rips off them pretty easily, so I eventually just gave up on buying new ones every time mine tore. I do 100% recommend getting them or something similar because the Ursack is NOT waterproof, and I fell victim to rain-soaked ramen or Pop-Tarts a couple of times.


  • Headphones

    • I recommend bringing a corded pair and a Bluetooth pair. They took turns being waterlogged.

  • Anker 337 Battery Pack

    • I don’t know a thing about electronics, but I know I never struggled with keeping enough power for a week. I’ll just list what amazon says: “(PowerCore 26K) Portable Charger, 26800mAh External Battery with Dual Input Port and Double-Speed Recharging, 3 USB Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Android, and Other Devices.”Sure it was heavy, but I prefer being the one offering the extra charge than the one needing to bum it.

  • Power Block for cords to plug into

    • I made sure to bring a block big enough to charge my headlamp, phone, Garmin, and battery pack at once.

  • Phone charging cord

  • Garmin inReach Mini

    • This one was for my mom. I was really bad about using it, but it came in handy! You can buy a plan to be able to send messages through satellite, so when you’re at, say, Katahdin and don’t have service, you can still get messages out. It will also track your location and send updates to family back home. I adjusted my settings to record every five minutes and report every two hours to allow the battery to last longer. It weirdly helped me in some uncomfortable situations while hitchhiking or hiking with weird people. I had multiple men comment on it saying things like “oh! it’s good you have one of those. Is someone watching where you are now?” or “Wait is that a tracker? That’s smart. Anything could happen to a pretty little thing like you out here” On trail, there were plenty of times that people made me a little uncomfortable, so having the ability to clearly show on the outside of my pack that someone was watching me was comforting.

  • FarOut App (it’s for navigation)

    • BUY THE FULL TRAIL! Some people just went with the AWOL guide, others with both AWOL and the FarOut app. I started with both but ended up only using the FarOut app. There are some tips or tricks on one that’s not on the other so you gotta decide which you prefer. The AWOL guide is 20ish dollars, so it never hurts to start with both and decide once you’re out there. It’s kind of hard to know exactly what works best for you until you’re living it.

  • Nitecore Headlamp

    • This is a rechargeable headlamp which I HIGHLY recommend. No matter what headlamp you choose, make sure you have a red light. Nothing is worse than getting into camp late and being “that guy” with the obnoxiously bright white light.

  • Gallon Zip Lock bag to keep it all dry


  • Camp towel

    • I went back and forth with this item, but in the end, I got it back. It’s nice to have a towel for drying your tent or if you go for a swim. Some hostels charge for towels, and as a principal person, I couldn’t swallow paying $2 to use a cheap towel. For this reason, I’m really glad I had my own!

  • A small Shamwow

    • BEWARE the mice LOVE to eat Shamwows for whatever reason. This is really only an issue in the shelter. I used my Shamwow to wipe condensation out of my tent (I only had condensation when I camped in open fields). I also used it to help dry things when it was raining nonstop. I’d recommend having both a Shamwow and a towel because the water on your tent will often be muddy, so you’ll probably end up replacing your Shamwow/ cleaning cloth a few times! Mine got disgusting.

  • REI Dry Bags

    • I had one large dry bag for my clothes and a second small one for my cookware.

  • Travel-size bug spray

  • Bouncy ball to roll feet

  • Pepper spray

  • Pen

  • Waterproof notebook (sent this home, but glad I had it sometimes)

  • Vaccination card

  • Mask

  • Passport or ID of your choice (you get close to Canada, Eh?)

  • Credit Cards/ Debit Cards

  • ALWAYS have cash (I recommend having at least $300 cash to start… but hide it in different places)

  • Ikea Coin Purse (my ideal wallet)

  • Thermarest Z Seat

  • Sweat towel that I could clip to my pack (I just used a carabiner and cut a hole in a cloth)


  • Nausea medicine

    • I struggled with losing my appetite on trail. It got to the point where I couldn’t eat and was constantly on the verge of blacking out. Nausea medicine helped me force food down even when it was the last thing I wanted to do. I recommend talking with your doctor if you get nauseous easily because it really can save your life out there.

  • Antidiarrheal

  • Turmeric capsules for inflammation

    • I took these every day, and I didn’t struggle with inflammation too much because of it! I did quit taking them by Mid-Virginia because by then I was fairly well adjusted.

  • Ibuprofen

    • I maybe took this five times? I made sure to only take pain medicine if I had a really bad headache or period cramps because if you take this every time you’re inflamed or in pain you’d have to take it all day every day!

  • Non-drowsy allergy medicine

  • Leukotape

    • THIS IS A MUST! This tape is the strongest in the world. It helps prevent blisters, can patch a pack, patch a water bladder, or solve any issue that could arise. When you’re taking it off your skin, make sure you wait until you can soak it in hot water. Otherwise, you will end up ripping your new skin off.


  • Tampons

    • I covered a zip lock baggie in duct tape so you couldn’t see the contents to pack them out. It also reduced the smell, so you had no clue they were even in the bag.

  • Toilet paper

    • At first, I removed the roll from the middle of the toilet paper, but eventually, I got lazy and just kept the extra weight. I recommend having a really good quality gallon freezer bag for just your toilet paper. I saw some sad souls out there with soggy tp.

  • Deuce Trowel

    • I recommend a metal trowel because everyone I know with a plastic one eventually had to replace it.

  • Dude Wipe or Sea to Summit Wipes

    • Wiping down with towels at the end of a really hard day is so nice! They’re also very helpful if you need to clean off dried blood.

  • Fingernail clippers

  • Tweezers

  • Toothbrush (I melted down my first one to save weight, but replaced it with a full one eventually)

  • Travel size toothpaste

  • Headband

  • Hair ties (I brought little elastics and big ones)

  • Lotion bar sample from lush

  • Burts bees chapstick

  • Sunscreen face stick

    • Yes, you will need this in GA! My face got sunburnt my first week on trail even though it was March.

  • Q-Tips

    • Some may say luxury, but I say necessity. Your ears will be NASTY.

  • Body Glide (CHUB RUB IS REAL)

Water System

  • Sawyer Squeeze

    • They sell these at Walmart or really anywhere. DO NOT get the mini. I only brought the filter itself as I used a sports cap on a smart water bottle to back-flush it. I also used a silicon bladder in place of the bags that come with it.

  • CNOC Water Bladder

    • Make sure you get the bladder that fits a Sawyer Squeeze! Some are made for BeFree filters (these filters are WAY faster than Sawyer filters, but they have to be replaced at least once on trail).

  • Smart Water Bottles

    • I carried two 1L smart water bottles. One with a sports cap, and one with a regular screw top. These you’ll replace as you want. I probably should’ve replaced mine more often.

Wow That Was A Lot of Information!

When I was preparing for my thru hike, I loved getting as much information about the gear as I could, so that is why I was so thorough. If you have questions feel free to comment below, and I’d be happy to give the best answer I can!

Oh, and my base weight was 19 lbs!

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