My Ever-changing AT Gear List

I’ve updated my gear list many times. I’ve done countless hours of research and my dad helped me a lot too. I’ve been planning this trip now for about two years and I think I finally have everything I need to hike the Appalachian Trail! (I better because I start hiking tomorrow.)

I put together my gear list with some explanations of some of my gear choices to hopefully either help someone else make their list or to receive advice from others on what I can do to reduce my pack’s weight.

Note to readers: prices reflect what either myself or my parents paid for them. I got a lot of good deals on my gear and thanks to my awesome cousin and his kick ass job I was able to shop at under armour with a 50% off everything coupon. A number of items were my father’s that I’ll be using or were birthday/christmas presents from the past two years.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack

I plan on using this to carry my camera gear while walking around town or resupplying. I would cry if someone took my camera or if I left it at a hostel somewhere. 🙁 I’ll also use this if I receive trail magic in the form of slackpacking.

Zpacks Ultralight Goose Down Hood

I’m taking the balaclava mainly because my sleeping bag is not a mummy bag but also because it came in handy last year on my shakedown hike from Springer to Neels Gap.

Zpacks Ultralight Goose Down Booties

These are a personal must have. If you read my last blog post then you’d know that I find it impossible to sleep with cold feet.

Boyfriend’s Flannel

I know I probably don’t need this but it’s a luxury/comfort item that I think is worth the weight. Plus I can wear this in town while I’m doing laundry and be able to wash the only sports bra I’m bringing. #girlproblems
Also, I plan on sewing patches I get along the way onto it.

Thinx Hiphugger Underwear

I saw an ad for these on facebook and decided to see if they actually work. I was glad to find that they do so I’m planning on wearing them as backup on rainy days when I really don’t want to have to go pee as often. Bleeding through your only pair of hiking leggings would suck. #moregirlproblems

Marmot PreCip Jacket – Women’s

I’m only commenting on this because of the deal I got. In this jacket I’m a medium. If I want to be able to wear my puffy under it I’d be a large. For cyber monday the Marmot website had a 50% off sale on certain colors of this jacket and I just couldn’t resist a good sale. Even if it meant buying the jacket in an XL and it being bright pink. Oh well. At least I got to pay $50 for a $100 jacket. Score!

Sea To Summit X-Mug Collapsible Cup

I know you technically don’t need a pot & cup but I like drinking tea or coffee with breakfast.

Homemade First Aid Kit

Moleskin, spaceblanket, neosporin spray, matches in a waterproof container, bandaids, alcohol pads, butterfly bandaid, extra nose ring, dayquil, benadryl, Imodium, antibiotics for giardia, small scissors, antibiotics for uti’s. #evenmoregirlproblems

Bathroom Bag (boys you may not want to ready this paragraph)

If you’re a girl and haven’t used a GoGirl (or similar product) yet then you should go try it. Peeing while standing up is so convenient… Also, for the girls out there worrying about what to do when you get your period on trail… you should definitely think about getting a lilycup compact. Think of a diva cup that looks like a mini sea to summit collapsible cup. Weird, I know but it takes up virtually no space and definitely makes life a lot easier during that time of month. And it comes in an inconspicuous little case. #moregirlproblemsthatprovewomenthruhikersarebadass

Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Dry Sack 4L (Electronics Bag)

phone fast charging block & wire, anker 20100 & charging wire, ipad charging wire, camera charging block & wire, dual usb charging block


I plan on journaling throughout my trip. If I don’t write in it obviously I’ll send it home but I’m also going to have important phone numbers & a list of where I’ve sent resupply boxes in case I forget/my phone dies.

AWOL Guidebook

The weight for this is for the section I will be starting out with. I ripped the cover off & tore it into sections. I originally planned to bring the whole book but then I realized that’s dumb. In hindsight I should have ordered the loose leaf version.

Ipad Mini

I know I have a lot of electronics and the whole point of going on a thru hike for many is to take a step away from electronics and civilization. My reasoning for bringing my ipad is that I can’t stand typing on my phone. At least with my ipad I’ll have a bigger screen to type blog posts & to read ebooks. Also, when I’m in town I’ll be able to facetime my boyfriend, family and friends back home. I don’t have an iphone and it seems like everyone else does so this is the best way for me to see their lovely faces! And to top it off I’m able to download an app that will allow me to transfer photos from my camera to the ipad so that I can edit them & share them with you all! (Follow me on instagram: kirstiealexandria)

PackTowl Ultralite Towel Body Size

I know a lot of people cut their pack towels in half or don’t even bring one, but I have generalized anxiety and one of the many bizarre things that triggers it is having to put clothes on when any part of me is still wet. Super weird, I know but if it helps me feel better then it’s worth it to me. Maybe living in the woods will help me get over my anxiety. If not at least I still have my Zoloft.

Tennis Ball

Many people will think this is pointless to bring and I might send it home but I’d like to clean & dry my down items at some point and I just quit a job where I stood on concrete floors for 30 hours a week so my feet already hurt at the end of the day. Tennis balls are really good for rolling out your feet!

Sony A6300 with Sony 18-105 lens

Please don’t try and tell me to use my cell phone for photos. I’m a photographer and cell phone photos were never intended to be printed. Hence the immense amount of pixelation you’d see if you tried to print one bigger than a 5×7. They’re meant to be seen on a computer screen. I’m planning on making a photography book with my photos so using a cell phone is out of the question. Sorry for the rant.

Sea to Summit Stuff Sack .5oz

Used for when it’s raining & I want to keep my camera in my pack.

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Plus

After going on my shakedown hike last year I’ve upgraded from the mini to the full size sawyer filter. I’ve also decided to ditch the squeeze bags although I did cut one in half to use as a scoop if needed. I’ll be using smartwater bottles to hold my water. In the summer I plan on using a platypus bladder.

Under Armour Women’s Surge Pants

Like I said earlier, I was able to get half off of anything on the under armour website. That is why I decided to get pretty much all of my clothes from them. Otherwise I probably would’ve gotten the marmot precip pants. My favorite part about these pants are that they have pockets & that they have zippers so they’re super easy to put on over my boots.

Zpacks Ventum Wind Shell Jacket

I’m bringing this mainly to wear on chilly mornings over my tshirt. I know my rain jacket can be used as a wind jacket but I’ve heard so many good things about the zpacks wind shell jacket that I think it’s worth the almost 2 ounces.

Zpacks Challenger Rain Mitts

Because having cold & wet hands sucks

Dad’s Patches

When my father thru-hiked the AT in 1980 he received the trail name Rainbow Express because of the colorful patches he had on his pack (and the fact that he was trying to finish the trail before college started in August… spoiler alert that didn’t happen). Last year during my father’s section hikes he attached a piece of his old pack with the patches to his new pack as his mascot. My dad passed away almost two months ago so in his honor I’m going to make sure those patches make it to Katahdin one more time. The extra weight is definitely worth it to me.


This was his pack at Springer last year. After a couple weeks of hiking he somehow managed to fit practically everything he needed inside his 40L pack so he didn’t have so many dangles. Still don’t know how he did that…


That leaves me with a 21.4 lb base weight. Its higher than I would like but if you take into consideration that ~3 lbs are camera equipment then it doesn’t seem so bad. So without the camera equipment I’d have a 18.4 base weight. But to me, having a decent camera is worth the extra weight.

I weighed my pack at Amicalola Falls yesterday & it weighed ~27.5 lbs. That’s including fuel, 3 days of food, and 1 liter of water. Not too shabby!

This is my I'm really glad my pack doesn't weigh anything near 50lbs face

This is my I’m really glad my pack doesn’t weigh anything near 50lbs face

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Comments 7

  • Tom Rainer : Mar 13th

    Hi Kristen, Thanks for putting this detailed post together. It looks like you have put a lot of thought into your planning. I will be starting my thru-hike in April. I had been wondering about an ipad as well for communication and apps. I’m curious about your camera. Does it have wifi or bluetooth to connect to your ipad? Best of luck on your hike and I will be watching for your posts.


    • Sarah : Mar 13th

      Good luck on your hike! My son starts today as well. Maybe you’ll meet him. He’s hard not to miss….6’4″ blond guy with a beard. Named Austin. He’s 23 also. I see it’s going to be in the teens this week. ?

      • Kirsten Fraude : Mar 14th

        Thank you!! I don’t think I saw him but I’m sure we’ll meet at some point!

    • Kirsten Fraude : Mar 14th

      I’ve been planning and narrowing my gear down for a while now! And the ipad is definitely worth it if you are going to use it almost every day! My camera has wifi capabilities so it can send jpegs of my photos to any device that I can download the app to. Thank you & good luck on your thru-hike!

  • KC : Mar 13th

    OMG!! Your list does not look like it’s under 30 lbs. !!! Good for you.


    • Kirsten Fraude : Mar 14th

      Haha, there’s just a lot of little things that weigh less than an ounce- an ounce. I definitely can feel every pound when I’m going uphill though! I can’t wait for summer so my pack will weigh basically nothing!

  • David Maltby : Mar 27th

    All the best with your hike. Always great to have real photographers on the trail. Please tweet some of your photos or at least have Instagram tweet for you.


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