A Serial Over-Packer’s Thru-Hike Gear List

I am a serial over-packer. It’s a running joke that I should join Over-Packer’s Anonymous. For weekend trips with rowing, it was not uncommon for me to pack 4 pairs of shoes, 8 different tops, and a dress I have never/will never wear. However, my inability to predict the future requires it. “What if we decide to go to a club and all I have are tennis shoes??” (Keep in mind that most these trips we drive, eat, sleep, row, and drive home. We’re not going to a club.)

However, I want to be prepared for all situations. So you can imagine my difficulties packing for a 6 month hike. I’ve had to combat my over-packer tendencies at every turn. That, and combined with my inability to make a decision, has made this an interesting journey to say the least.

However, since I’m a week out from hitting the trail head, my gear list has been mostly solidified, (I have $40 to REI expiring on March 17, so there might be some minor adjustments).

(If you want to see my complete-ish gear list and associate weights, you can click on my gear list in the sidebar –> )

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That’s a LOT of stuff


Osprey Aura 50 – I started out with an Osprey Ariel 55, which is approximately 1lb heavier. It was also a size too small. I got fitted at an REI in Richmond and was told I was an XS. I have a small torso, so it made sense. However, it was real uncomfortable during my shakedown hike a couple of weeks ago. I went back to the REI here in KC and the girl was like, “I don’t know why you have an XS, you need a S.” Low and behold, the S fit better. (I felt like an idiot as well) I miss the bells and whistles of the Ariel, but not the extra weight.

Osprey Ultralight Pack Raincover



Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 & Tyvek Footprint

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 It’s real cozy. However, I got the UL1 on sale and couldn’t justify spending $100 more on the UL2. 

Homemade Tyvek Footprint

Sleep System

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Sleeping bag, Sleeping Pad, & Liner

Big Agnes Blue Lake 25 Sleeping Bag I’m not sold on my sleeping bag. This is my fourth bag I’ve bought. I haven’t really loved any of them. I just like this one more than the others.

Therm-a-Rest Prolite Women’s Plus Sleeping Pad –  The bag isn’t coming with.

Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite Mummy Bag LinerAdds 15 degrees to my bag

REI Lightweight Compression Stuff Sack 16L


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Bear bag & rope, stove, & spork

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Sea to Summit Alphalite Spork

Food/bear bag hanging kit – Includes Sea to Summit 13L dry sack, small carbiner, and 50′ 550 paracord

Bic Lighter


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ALL the clothes

I will start out and say, I probably have too many clothes. I know it. Some will be shipped home, but I’m an over-packer… and I’m afraid of being cold.

On My Body…

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Worn clothes

For my trail clothes let’s start from my head and work my way down. (Makes sense right?) I didn’t include anything I didn’t expect to wear every day. Cold gear is below.

HeadBuff  – Let’s talk about how much I love this. Initially I thought Buffs were stupid. Now I want this silly tube of fabric in all colors.

TorsoThe North Face Short Sleeve Shirt  and New Balance Sports Bra

LegsWhite Sierra Women’s Sierra Point Convertible Pants, and ExOfficio Underwear

Feet: Dirty Girl Gaiters (the black/multi-colored things)Darn Tough Micro Crew Hiking SocksBrooks Cascadia 10,  and Superfeet Green Insoles

Camp Gear/Extra Clothes


Camp Gear: Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip-Neck TopSmartwool Midweight 250 Bottoms, Vivo Ultra Pure Shoes (camp shoes, think more attractive Crocs), and Heat Holders Lightweight Socks

Rain Gear: Outdoor Research Helium II (rain jacket), Columbia Rain pants

Cold Gear Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket, New Balance Fleece, Generic Long Sleeve Shirt, Gloves, Beanie

Extras: Smartwool Hiking Socks, Extra Short Sleeve Shirt, KU hat, two bandanas


iPhone 6s, cords, and waterproof case

Basis Peak – activity monitor and watch

iPod Shuffle 4th Generation 2GB

Journal and Pen

Anker Astro 6700mAh External Battery


Leki Jannu Trekking Poles

AWOL 2016 Northbound Guidebook – Springer to Damascus

Yalumi Headlamp

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter and Smartwater Bottle

Nalgene Bottle Initially I bought this for putting a hot water bottle in my bag, but I really like mixing my protein powder in it.

Platypus Big Zip 1.5L Reservoir –  This is a hassle to fill. I might use it just for camp.

Poop Trowel

Swiss Army Knife – think tiny

Glasses and case

Diva Cup – This is a game changer. I LOVE my Diva Cup. I know some people might be grossed out, but it saves me money, helps the environment and I never have to worry about leakage (TMI? Might be TMI).

Hygiene Kit – Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, contacts, Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap 2 fl oz., nail clippers, tweezers, chap stick, antibacterial gel

Homemade First Aid Kit – Band Aids, Excedrin Migraine, Neosporin, moleskin, gauze, aspirin (probably forgot something)

My starting base weight is a little under 20 lbs. That’s carrying most my clothes.  Higher than some, less than others.

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Just a quick refresh in case you forgot

It might change a little before Wednesday. It might not.


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