3.8 lbs of Camera Gear + 14.3 lb Pack = 18.1 lb Base Weight

Epic Gear List Time! What is in Koty’s Pack?

but first a few words…. about the camera… because I already know what is going to be said

  1. I am not documenting my hike, but rather choosing to pursue a passion as I hike.
  2. I have hiked many miles with my DSLR and despite what many say… no… my iPhone does not even come close to replacing it.
  3. The intention of this post is to help others by showing what is tested and known to work for me.

Base weight – the total weight of one’s backpack along with everything in/on it (without consumables: water, food, fuel)

Backpacking base weights: Traditional = 30+ pounds | Lightweight = 20 pounds or less | Ultralight = 10 pounds or less

A little backstory…

A few weeks ago I decided it was finally time to start weighing out my gear and get everything in order. For almost a year prior to this point, due to an over-exhausting trip with a 28 pound base weight, I knew I wanted to go lightweight and have a base weight of 18 pounds or less. After weighing my pack and everything in it, I was right at my intended goal of 18 pounds. The only problem was that number did not include my DSLR set up.

Now, I will go ahead and forewarn you. Once you start counting ounces and shaving weight it kind of becomes obsessive…. for instance… I know the weight of every single item in my pack off the top of my head… everything… to the tenth of an ounce… like I said…. Obsessive

To get my base weight to 18 pounds or less, with camera gear included, meant dropping nearly 4 pounds from my pack. To do this I went into my pack roughly two dozen times over the last two weeks on a mission to eliminate everything not essential to my success. Every time I dove back into my pack I could see more and more items reserved for “what if” and “just in case” scenarios. Unnecessary items that I have since removed and now have a new pack weight of 14.3 pounds. This combined with my 3.8 pounds of camera gear has left me right on the mark in terms of my goal weight. Thus, I have created a nice balance between weight and comfort to start my trek.

And Now… Everything I will be starting from Springer Mountain with…

A detailed list is further down the page if you wish to skip the video and get straight to the goods

*planned future adjustments for after the AT 


  • Osprey Atmos 50 AG (5.5 oz Top “Brain” Pouch Removed) – 63.5 oz
    • Future Replacement: Hyperlite Mounatin Gear 3400 Southwest – 33.6 oz
  • Homemade Bear Bag Kit (20L stuffsack, opsack, 40ft guyline, carabiner) – 5.2 oz
    • Future Replacement: Zpacks Bear Bag – 3.0 oz
  • Ziplock (for electronics and other stuff) – 0.2 oz
  • Zpacks Pillow Plus Dry Bag (for clothes) – 1.9 oz

Total: 70.8 oz / 4.425 lbs

Future Total: 38.7 oz / 2.419 lbs


  • Warbonnet Outdoors Blackbird 1.7 (whoopies, snakeskins, stuffsack) – 26.1 oz
  • Warbonnet Outdoors Edge Tarp (guylines, dutch hardware, stuffsack) – 14.5 oz
  • Accessories (stakes, stuffsack) – 3.4 oz

Total: 44.0 oz / 2.750 lbs

Sleep System:

  • Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Top Quilt (with stuffsack) – 21.5 oz
  • Warbonnet Outdoors Yeti 20 Underquilt (with stuffsack) – 12.8 oz

Total: 34.3 oz / 2.144 lbs

Cook System:

  • JetBoil Minimo Kit (bowl and stand removed) – 12.8 oz
    • Future Replacement: Ervernew 0.9l Titanium Pot – 4.1 oz
    • Future Replacement: MSR Pocket Rocket 2 – 2.6 oz
  • Light My Fire Titanium Spork – 0.7 oz

Total: 13.5 oz / 0.844 lbs

Future Total: 7.4 oz / 0.463 lbs

Rain Gear:

  • Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket – 10.6 oz
    • Future Replacement: Outdoor Research Helium II – 6.4 oz
  • Zpacks Rain Kilt – 1.9 oz
  • Trash Compactor – 1.0 oz

Total: 13.5 oz / 0.844 lbs

Future Total: 9.3 oz / 0.581 lbs

Clothes (Extra):

  • Arc’teryx Atom Lt Hoodie (Puffy jacket) – 10.4 oz
  • Patagonia Capilene MW Zip Neck – 6.5 oz
  • Patagonia Capilene LW Long Bottom Underwear – 3.4 oz
  • Reebok PlayDry Shorts – 2.4 oz
  • Northface Gloves – 1.6 oz
  • Darn Tough Socks – 2.7 oz
  • Zpacks Fleece Cap – 1.1 oz

Total: 28.1 oz / 1.756 lbs

First Aid/Hygiene:

  • Homemade First Aid Kit (includes tweezers & nail clippers) – 2.1 oz
  • Zpacks Toothbrush Kit – 0.5 oz
  • Sea-to-Summit DryLite Microtowel – 2.4 oz

Total: 5.0 oz / 0.313 lbs


  • Black Diamond Spot Headlamp (with batteries) – 3.1 oz
  • Sawyer Mini Water Filter – 1.8 oz
  • Sawyer Backwash Plunger – 1.1 oz
  • Smartwater Bottle x 2 – 2.6 oz
  • Emergency Whitsle – 0.2 oz

Total: 8.8 oz / 0.550 lbs


  • Iphone 7 Charger – 2.0 oz
  • Spot Gen3 Gps Tracker (with batteries) – 4.6 oz
  • UL Knife – 1.8 oz
  • Hairbrush (for my gorgeous locks of course) – 1.1 0z
  • Thermarest Z Seat – 2.0 oz

Total: 11.5 oz / 0.719 lbs


  • Nikon DSLR, Lens, Hood, Remote, Hoya Circular Polarizer, Osprey Case (Attaches to pack hip-belt in front. For this reason it is included in baseweight) – 45.5 oz
  • Nikon Charger and Extra Battery – 4.9 oz
  • Tipod – 10.8 oz

Check out my photography: Instagram kotysapp.com

Total: 61.2 oz / 3.825 lbs


  • Patagonia Capilene Daily Shirt – 4.2 oz
  • North Face Weather Resistant Convertible Pants – 11.6 oz
  • UA Boxerbriefs – 2.7 oz
  • Smartwool Socks – 2.1 oz
  • Salomon XA 3D Pro Trail Shoes – 32.0 oz
  • Superfeet Green Insoles – 2.8 oz
  • Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trek Poles (always in my hands while on the move) – 19.6 oz
  • Iphone 7 – 6.3 oz
  • Wallet (with id, bankcards, and insurance card) – 0.9 oz

Total: 82.2 oz (zero toward baseweight)


Total AT Base Weight: (without camera gear) 229.5 ounces = 14.344 pounds  / (with camera gear) 290.7 oz = 18.169 pounds

Future Base Weight Post AT: (without camera gear) 187.1 ounces = 11.694 pounds  / (with camera gear)  248.3 ounces = 15.519 pounds



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Comments 6

  • Zach : Mar 18th

    Great breakdown, Koty. Good on you for taking the camera equipment. Can’t wait to see some of these trail photos.

    • Koty Sapp : Mar 18th

      Thanks Zach!

  • Otter : Mar 18th

    Looking forward to seeing the pics, Katy. Have a great hike!

  • Ruth morley : Mar 18th

    Of course you have to take your photography equipment! I, too, believe in the benefits of a lighter pack, but it’s a shame that things have gotten to the point where one has to apologize or explain one’s choices. I’m excited about seeing your photos in the future.

  • Amber Redfield : Mar 21st

    Oh man this is incredible! Great organisation, Koty. As a photographer myself, I struggled on the decision to bring my DSLR on this hike. Decided against it and I’m pushing my boundaries and creativity to use only a GoPro Hero 5 Black and iPhone 7+ during this journey. I guess I can always pick up my Canon when I hike to PA! Good luck and I’ll be following along 😀

  • Melanie Garden : Mar 30th

    Fascinated by the trail and hope to hike more portions of it as able. Hiking vicariously thru those who are doing the thru hike…thanks for all the detailed info.


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