My 300-Mile Tested Gear List
Ole Man from the AT lodge told us that we’ll learn everything we need to know for our thru-hike while in the 100-Mile Wilderness. I’m 300 miles into my thru-hike in Gorham, NH, and I still feel like I’m learning. Physically and mentally, I’m learning to listen to my body in ways that I never knew. For every resupply, I’m learning to shop quicker, healthier, and smarter. And the classic, I’m learning to hike my own hike.
When it comes to gear and what’s in my backpack, I’m pretty happy with my 15-pound base weight. But that wasn’t always the case. A few days into the 100-Mile Wilderness, I was already giving myself a gear shakedown and quickly learned that I overpacked. By the time I got to Shaw’s in Monson, I was ready to send some things home: an extra pair of hiking pants, an extra pair of socks, extra underwear, an old rain pack cover, and a too-big bug net that I used only once. I also opted for Poet’s gear shakedown to see if he could shave off any excess. I know I’m not alone when I say his shakedowns are more than just a shakedown – imagine hiking school is in session and you never want class to end (note: he used to be an English teacher). I can’t say enough about his expertise and the easy-cool way he connects with every hiker. I’m so thankful for his time and advice. While we didn’t pull anything major weight-wise, he showed me a packing methodology and layering order that I still use today. He also helped make a pack adjustment to my ULA pack that now fits like a glove. I highly recommend every SOBO stop in for a visit. Thanks, Poet!
Therm-a-Rest Z-lite Closed-Foam Sleeping Pad (and Sun Nap Pad)
Sawyer Squeeze, Pouch, and Two One-Liter Water Bottles
Anker Battery Bank and Wall Charger
Victorinox Evolution s14 Multitool
Cotopaxi Dopp Kit – Del Día Bag with:
–Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturizer with SPF 15
–Smith’s Rosebud Salve
–Bodyglide For Her
–Backup Contacts and rewetting drops
–SheWee Original – Aqua
–Creative Classic hairbrush (my favorite hairbrush of all time)
First Aid Kit with:
–Triple antibiotic ointment
–Meds: Benadryl, ibuprofen, bromelain, turmeric curcumin
I love every piece of clothing I brought on this hike and I wouldn’t change a single piece. The only item that changed from the beginning was my rain jacket and that’s only because I lost the first one. Yes, I lost my favorite black Marmot rain jacket the day after I left Monson. It’s a long and sad story but the short version involves backtracking and a slight panic leading to somehow the jacket leaving my outer backpack pocket. Maybe I’ll get into that story in another post. So if anyone finds a black jacket between Caratunk and Monson, please let me know. Thankfully, I had an older Marmot rain jacket at home and my parents shipped it to me by the time I reached Stratton. Thanks, mom and dad.
I’ll be honest, I had a stressful time finding the right hiking outfit for this thru-hike and I’m pretty picky. I’ve been a longtime fan of Cotopaxi products and their mission to alleviate poverty, so when I discovered their clothing line also nails it with moisture-wicking fabrics and beautiful design, I was thrilled. Finally, women’s gear that focuses on utility and design, with a mission-driven purpose. I’ve been sliding across rocks in Mahoosuc Notch and hiking in the rain, and both times the Crux jogger-style shorts held up great against harsh wear and dried quickly after a long day of rain. So far, so great. Thanks, Cotopaxi. Keep up the Gear For Good.
Nike Dry-fit long-sleeve and Patagonia Capilene pants and Teva Universal Slide camp shoes
Strictly for camp, I keep this outfit with my sleeping bag so I always have something dry and warm to sleep in. There have been a few rainy, cold days and it’s nice to change into something after a long day of hiking. For shoes, I basically live in my Tevas, so there’s no question that I’d bring a pair with me, no matter the weight. Luckily, the Universal Slide is pretty lightweight and works wonders for fording all the Maine rivers.
Cold-Weather Clothes and Accessories
I could write a whole other post on my mixed feelings for Altras, but for now they are doing a decent job. I was surprised to see so much wear after 300 miles, but I’ve also never experienced trail runners on a thru-hike let alone wearing only one pair of shoes for so many miles. For the longest time, they hurt my feet with the Maine roots but I’m getting better at foot placement as well as overall foot toughness. I’m still considering insoles, so feel free to leave suggestions.
Prana Meme Hiking Pants
Patagonia Capilene Half-zip
The Northface Puffy Vest
Marmot Precip Rain Jacket (now teal)
Buff and Bandana
Three pairs of socks: two hiking, one camp
Two pairs of underwear
Sports bra (the label wore off this bra so I have no idea who it’s by, only that it gets the job done)
I hope this gives you a good idea of what I’m carrying and wearing on this trek. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below if I missed anything. Now I’m off to hit the Whites and embark on some beautiful New Hampshire trails.
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