My 2020 Appalachian Trail Gear List

Well here ya have it, folks. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The long-awaited gear list of mine is out.

I know you guys have probably lost a lot of sleep wondering what I was taking on my trip. After more than a year of slowly acquiring everything I will need for this trek, I think I am finally satisfied. I am still about two months from leaving, so hopefully this isn’t premature. Regardless, let’s get to it.

I’ll Pack to That: 20.5 Ounces

Trail of Tears SP, Missouri.

Gossamer Gear Kumo 36L: 20.5 ounces

I love this pack. I got this bad boy 15% off by using the Backpacker Radio promo code for Gossamer Gear. When I’m bored I will pack this thing up and walk around. Fantasize. I’m weird. I like the way this pack looks, and I love the way it rides. I was originally going to take the Gossamer Gear Mariposa, but once I acquired all of my gear, the Mariposa was overkill. At 36 liters, the Kumo holds everything I need. It’s smaller, sleeker, and sexier. OK, I’m done.

Gimme Shelter: 32 Ounces

This was the trip I learned that spraying Deet on and around your tent is a low-IQ move

NEMO Hornet 2 Person: 32 ounces

The shelter I am taking with me is the NEMO Hornet 2P tent. I was lucky enough to get this at an REI garage sale for $149.83 (It retails for $369). For the most part I am happy with this tent. It is around two pounds and it’s freestanding, so if I ever feel like ditching my trekking poles I can. The one thing that worries me is the rainfly doesn’t come all the way down to the ground where I put my head. I am worried that when it rains it is going to get my head wet. I know this is a popular tent so I’m sure it’s not that big of a deal, but that has caused me a little concern. Overall I am ecstatic about my tent and the price I paid for it.

Sleep System: 35.38 Ounces

Living my dream.

UGQ Bandit 30 degree Downquilt: 20.78 ounces

This quilt rocks! I knew I wanted to get a quilt rather than a sleeping bag because they are lighter, more compressible, and a lot of the times cheaper. I looked into Enlightened Equipment and was going to get a Revelation. However, I watched a Darwin video comparing the UGQ bandit to the Revelation. It seemed like they were pretty similar. I decided to get the Bandit because it was cheaper. My 30 degree 800 fill was $221.30, almost $100 cheaper than EE. The beginning of my trek may be a little chilly, but I think I’ll be fine since the majority of the hike will be during the summer.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite: 12.2 ounces

Another steal at REI garage sale, $74.83 (Retails at $184.95). This thing has a good R- value at 3.2, and will pair well with my quilt to keep me warm in the early months. My only complaint is blowing this thing up after a day of hiking, as I can get light-headed. Suck it up, buttercup.

Sea to Summit Inflatable Pillow: 2.4 ounces

Cooking/Water System: 14-ish Ounces

Sawyer Squeeze: 3 ounces

It’s this super hipster water filter.

Two 1 liter Smartwater bottles

Toaks Titanium 750ml pot: 3.4 ounces

A good size for a pack of ramen. Also the fuel canister fits inside this pot like a glove.

MSR Pocket Rocket 2: 2.5 ounces

I decided I will bring my stove with me in the beginning. Warm meals will boost my morale in the first few weeks. I will not hesitate to send this home if I stop using it, though. I have a feeling I am going to get lazy with cooking. We will see, though.

Fuel canister

Granite Gear Air Zippsack 12L food bag: 1.4 ounces

Opsak Odor-proof bag: 1.2 ounces

A mage from Reddit told me about the Zippsack. I think I will like this better than the Zpacks Dyneema bag because it has a zipper so I can get to all my food easier. Also, it has handles on each side, which will be nice for hanging it at night.

Gossamer Gear bamboo spoon

I will probably lose this and when I do, it will give me an excuse to go to Dairy Queen to get the long, red plastic spoon.

Electronics: 20.5 Ounces

Anker Powercore 13000: 8.4 ounces

This compact battery pack has two USB ports and can give my Pixel 3a around four full charges.

  • Aukey dual wall charger: 1.3 ounces
  • Aukey USB-C charging cable: 1.4 ounces
  • Anker USB-A charging cable: 1.2 ounces
  • Earbuds: 0.1 ounces
  • Google Pixel 3a: 5.6 ounces
  • Walmart headlamp: 2.5 ounces

Miscellaneous: Probably Like 12 Ounces Idk Lol

  • Gossamer Gear Liteflex umbrella: 8 ounces
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Germ X
  • Bic lighter
  • Sharpie
  • Swiss Army pocket knife
  • Ibuprofen
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Baby wipes
  • Antifungal cream
  • Duct tape


  • Paracord
  • Guthooks
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Needle and thread and patches

12-Pound Base Weight

I have not weighed out every single thing in my miscellaneous items, but I am hovering around a 12-pound base weight, which I am content with. Base weight used to be a big deal for me, but I’ve realized that I am an able-bodied young lad and have no problem lugging this gear around. I go a little more into detail with this on my lighter pack, which you guys can look at here  ( if you are interested. Due to the length of this post and the probability of switching it out, I will save going into detail with my clothing for another post.

If you want to see how my gear and I hold up, you can follow me on Instagram @calebbess. Thanks!

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Comments 9

  • Avatar
    Bill Markunas : Feb 3rd

    I’m a resident trail/hut maintainer in Shenandoah National Park. Will be praying for u & all the others. See u soon mile marker 905.. ” Rana “

    • Avatar
      Caleb Bess : Feb 3rd

      Thank you!

  • Avatar
    TBR : Feb 4th

    Keep that Sharpie off the shelter walls!

  • Avatar
    Jason kramer : Feb 5th

    No maps or a compass? .

    • Avatar
      Caleb Bess : Feb 6th

      I am relying on the Guthooks app, and if my phone craps out I think I will be able to stay on trail until the next town to get a new phone or charge my phone, I will take my chances on not getting lost!

      • Avatar
        Jamie : Feb 20th

        Hello Caleb! Good luck on your trip – don’t stop until you’ve reached the end! As far as maps go – well I would never rely 100% on electronics (GPS, etc) but good to have. Actually a handheld GPS like the Garmin 64 works great (all GPS are not created equal). Batteries die quickly in the cold as you know (Lithium are always best for headlamps, etc). I would definitely take a map and compass and know how to use them. Have fun!

  • Avatar
    Joseph T Finnivan : Feb 6th

    What about clothing? Rain gear, spare pair of dry socks, cold weather clothing, etc.

    • Avatar
      Caleb Bess : Feb 6th

      I will be doing a separate post for my clothing!

  • Avatar
    James Tickner : Feb 10th

    When are you leaving.


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