My Life Packed into 14 Pounds – AT NOBO Gear List
Over the last year I have slowly been fine-tuning and testing my gear, trading in older heavier stuff for newer, more durable and lighter equipment (thank you, REI garage and Black Friday sales). There has been painstaking, almost exhausting research, reading reviews, updating spreadsheets, and plenty of chatting with other hikers and the awesome staff at a few outfitters. While I am not planning on going into this hike ultralight (UL), that does not mean I am not weight conscious and focused on being lightweight. I have managed to cut several pounds off my original base weight and started looking at where I could shave some more ounces, but too much of that game just isn’t for me. After a final few adjustments I am happy and comfortable with the 14-pound setup that I have.
There are a few items I am starting with that I know will get swapped out once consistently warmer weather sticks around, like sleeping bag, long-sleeved shirts for T-shirts, and dropping a spare base layer for sleeping. As for the other items, shakedown hikes have been incredibly helpful in guiding my decisions as to what will be coming and what won’t. However, a few day shakedown hike and a thru-hike are entirely different animals, and despite me being happy with and loyal to my gear, if something isn’t working, it isn’t working and I am OK with making changes as I go.
So naturally, this begs the question of, “David, what exactly are you carrying in your backpack for your thru-hike?”
Well. I’m glad you asked!
Seriously. I am. As many prospective thru-hikers can relate, gear gets us excited and I love talking about it. So let’s take a dive down the gear rabbit hole and see what I am planning on starting with for my upcoming AT NOBO thru-hike.
The Big Three: Shelter, Sleep, and Pack
Sleep: Cold weather bag—Hyke and Byke Elous 15 Degree Down Bag. I plan on swapping this bag out for the Hyke and Byke Shavano 32 Degree Down Bag once I hit consistently warmer weather. Sleeping pad—Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite. Pillow—Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow.
Shelter: Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker
As the weather warms up the Arc’Teryx pants will be swapped out and stuffed into my pack for a pair of Marmot- Zephyr Shorts. The pants will likely turn into something to wear while in town or on exceptionally shitty weather days.
Footwear: Bedrock Carin Sandals. Yes, I am planning on hiking in sandals. I have tried just about every type of trail runners out there and have yet to find one that is more comfortable than my Bedrocks. I have a pair of Brooks Cascadias that come in second place to my Bedrocks and I may end up starting with these depending on the weather conditions. With an April start, I am hopeful that if I do start in trail runners, it won’t be for long.
Rain jacket: Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket
Cooking, Water, and Everything Else
Cooking and water: Jet Boil Zip Cooking System, Sea to Summit spork, Sawyer Squeeze water filter, pictured here with two 1L Platypus water bags, for my thru-hike I’ll be using two 1L Smartwater bottles.
Food storage: Ursack Major Bear Bag,
Everything else: Black Diamond Gear headlamp, trowel, toilet Paper, Wet Ones wipes, Advil, Body Glide, sunscreen stick, tennis ball for rolling out muscles and feet, O’Keeffes Healthy Feet—a must when hiking in sandals.
First aid/ survival kit: Band-Aids, gauze pads, Quick Clot, tourniquet, Leukotape, assorted OTC medications, fire starter, compass, waterproof matches.
Electronics: Sea to Summit 1L dry bag with portable charging block, wall charger adapter, USB cable for glucometer and charging block, USB-C cable for phone, Power Beats Earphones for podcasts and music.
Diabetes stuff: Not pictured is 2L Sea to Summit dry bag that will have all of my diabetes stuff, which consists of two spare Dexcom CGM sensors, plus the sensors needed until my next resupply, two spare Omnipod pumps, plus the pods needed until my next resupply, insulin, glucagon and my glucometer.
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