Bear Wrist—I mean, Gear List. Damn you, AutoCorrect!
Mike here! There are many reasons to post your worldly possessions on the internet. This is so that my Mom knows I have everything I need to survive six months of hiking punctuated by weekly bouts of civilization.
Pack: Deuter ACT Lite 50 +10
Just before I left North Carolina I was fitted for last season’s Gregory Baltoro 75. It was the most comfortable pack I tried on that day and it looked like the pack that dreams are made of. Unfortunately I was in the market for a 65, which they did not get in before I left. So I tried again in NY. I told Greg, my friendly REI pack fitter, of the dream Baltoro 65. Not only did they have it, but they had the brand new model which made the old model look like a pile of plague rats pretending to be a pack. I had my credit card practically out of my pocket before he suggested I try on other packs just to make sure. I started with his recommendation: the Deuter ACT Lite. I’d never heard of Deuter before, but goddamn was it comfortable. Especially after I tried on a few other packs including the heavenly Baltoro. The Deuter was lighter, more comfortable, and cheaper. Easy choice. I’ll forgo the pack cover in favor of lining the inside with a 3.3 millimeter thick contractor bag.
Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Spike Lake 14
I called Big Agnes twice about this sleeping bag to make sure the price wasn’t an error. It was only $200 and it’s stats seemed just as good if not better than their $300 Bellyache Mountain SL 17. They assured me I was not crazy and the main difference was that the insulation runs side-to-side instead of head-to-toe. Weird reason, but I’ll take those savings.
Stuff Sack for Bag: Sea to Summit Compression Dry Sack
Sleeping Bag Liner: Sea to Summit Silk Bag Liner
Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core
This was by far the most comfortable sleeping pad we tried. It’s like having a mattress. Side note: Trying out different sleeping pads in the middle of an outdoors store was the most fun part of shopping for gear.
CLOTHES! (aka The Longest and Most Boring List)
Athletic long sleeve shirt
Athletic short sleeve shirt
Warm Jacket: Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody
Short Pants: Black gym shorts
Long Pants: Mountain Hardwear Mixaction
They are meant for ice climbing, but keep me warm regardless. These pants don’t judge me.
Summer Leggings: Thin Black Leggings
Winter Leggings/PJs: Smartwool
Rain Jacket: Marmot PreCip
Rain Pants: Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic Pant
Underwear: ExOfficio x4
Socks: Darn Tough Cushion x3 and Darn Tough Heavy Cushion
Never in my life did I think I would spend $24 on one pair of socks, but here I am.
Sock Liner: Injinji x2
I was told these are useful and useless. Guess we’ll find out.
Warm Gloves: Seirus SoundTouch Heatwave Echelon
A fancy way of saying it can touch phones.
Winter Hat: Gryffindor Beanie
Summer Hat: Gravity Falls Dipper Hat
Hiking Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 9 (Size 11) with Sole insoles
Grace and I travelled an hour and a half to get to Outdoor 76 in Franklin, NC. (If you are not familiar with how amazing they are, check out these articles and give them a stop on your thru-hike.) Afterwards, I bought two extra pairs at BrooksRunning.com when they were half off due to the 10s imminent arrival. I got another size 11 and an 11.5 in case my feet swell. The plan is to sell whichever one doesn’t get used.
Camp Shoes: Vivobarefoot Men’s Ultra Pure (Size EU 45)
This one I stressed about for way longer than I should have. I couldn’t justify spending $50+ on camp shoes, but I wanted ones that were comfortable, light, and, more importantly, something I could wear in the water. I hate planting my feet in the unknown depths more than most things. I saw a random recommendation on WhiteBlaze and researched into them. Luckily they were an old model that was on sale on Amazon where I had unused rewards points to spend. Boom! Good camp shoes for under $20. However, this was a gamble as I hadn’t ordered any clothes online before trying them first, but it paid off beautifully. They are as light as a feather and more comfortable than bare feet.
Water Bottle: Nalgene 1 Liter + Gatorade Bottle 1 Liter
Dirty Water Pouch: 16oz Sawyer pouch that came with the Mini
Water Filter: Sawyer Mini
Water Purifier: Aquamira Water Treatment Drops
I am paranoid about becoming ill from bad water, hence two different treatment methods. I don’t imagine I’ll use both at the same time very often or at all, but it makes me feel safer.
Cup: A random metal cup.
Pot: Snowpeak 1.4 Liter
Tea strainer, fuel, stove
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
Headlamp: Utilitech and backup batteries
Knife: Swiss Army and Sheffield
Against most thru-hiker hiker advice I’d received, my brother-in-law insisted I have a real knife with me. His reasons for doing so did not include stabbing bears (which was the number one reason I had heard up until then), but included solid non-violent camping reasons. He is an eagle scout, and therefore I am bringing a knife.
HYGIENE & HEALTH
Toilet Paper: Paper Towels
Someone said they wet paper towels to wipe themselves instead of using toilet paper. This resonated with me in a deep and personal fashion.
Soap: Dr. Bronner’s Fragrence-Free
Ibuprofen, toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, bandaids
DIGITAL TECH (aka Tom Haverford Style)
Stuff Sack for Electronics: Sea to Summit Dry Sack
Camera: Panasonic Lumix TS5 and third party case
Camera Battery USB Charger
Camera Storage: SanDisk Extreme 64GB x2
I am planning to send one sd card home to be backed up when it gets full, and then have it sent back empty.
Entertainment: HP Stream 7 with protective case and 32GB microSD card.
Headphones: Phillips Earbuds
External Battery: RAVPower
Cell Phone: Tracfone
Charging cables: USB to micro-USB x2
Driver license, debit card, credit card, and an undisclosed amount of cash.
That is 99% of what I am carrying. Grace has our tent. My starting food bag turned out to be a whopping 13 pounds! The total pack weight was around 39 pounds, which is right at my predicted limit. We will find out what the actual limit will be soon.
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