A Thru-Hikers’ Holiday Gift List

Last year right around this time UPS was at my door about 3 times a week dropping off a wide assortment of thru-hiking / backpacking gear. At that time I thought I needed all sorts of random backpacking items. Little did I know that once I started hiking my gear list would keep on dwindling down and down to eventually it seemed like all I was carrying was my tent, food, and maybe an extra pair of socks.


One day in the middle of New York I sat down and did an inventory of everything that I had in my pack. This list could possibly be the start of a Thru-Hikers holiday wish list. Enjoy and hopefully you find some of these items under the tree on Christmas Day.

Ospry Atmos AG 65L pack

ZPacks Duplex Tent w/ 7 stakes (I perpetually always had one broken)

Sierra Design backcountry quilt

Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad

Exped pillow (medium)

Kelty Trekking poles (They made it to Mt. K!)

Sawyer mini (I ended up getting the regular Sawyer in NH)

Sea-to-summit spork

Pocket Rocket stove

GSI Minimalist pot

2 New Balance Running shorts

2 New Balance Running shirts

2-3 Pairs of Darn Tuff socks (in VT, NH, ME we had the 3 o’clock sock change rule implemented)

2 pair of Under Armour underwear

1 bandana

1 Trail Journal

1 pair of Crocs (don’t judge, these also made it to Maine)

North Face puffy

Patagonia rain jacket

Bear rope (bears hate rope, fact)

Wet wipes (lots of wet wipes) and toilet paper

Cell phone w/ Anker battery charger

Toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses, contact solution, hand sanitizer

Gold Bond

AWOL guide, which was later ditched in exchange for Guthook in NH/ME

That’s all you need, it got me from GA -> ME, plus or minus some other luxury items along the way. Umbrella, books, journals, gloves, pack towel, Marmot hiking pants, muscle roller etc. etc.

So if anyone asks “What do you want for Christmas this year” and your reply is “socks” let them know that you are not kidding. Hikers love socks.


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Comments 7

  • TBR : Nov 28th

    Socks … always a winner for any hiker on your list!

    But, please, a spork? Oh, no. An undignified tool.

    Get a spoon. No hiker really needs a fork … or the sadly comic “spork.”

    • Alan : Dec 2nd

      You could also use sticks as utensils, but I’ll take the spork.

  • High Life : Dec 2nd

    Hey Alan, what was your trail name? I did the trail this year too. Regards, High Life.

    • Alan : Dec 2nd

      High Life, my Trail name was Kid.

  • Chris G. : Dec 2nd

    was the charger really worth it for the extra pound?

    • Alan : Dec 2nd

      Good question. The anker charger that I carried was just over 6 ounces. I think it was definetly worth it. I took pictures with my phone, blogged, and used guthook. I still
      had my phone on airplane mode 90% of the time, but never had to worry about my phone dying.

    • Dylan Tonkin : Dec 8th

      I hiked over 1,000 miles with Alan this year on our thru hikes. The Anker was in my pack too, absolutely worth its weight in gummi coke bottles. Also, you gotta do the 3:00 sock swap, all the cool thru hikers are doing it. Great post brother!


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