Final Gear Purchases

I am so excited because we have finally upgraded our gear to be more functional for the AT. All of my backpacking gear has been super bulky and heavy for the past few years, but I finally caved and joined the ultralight movement. Here are some of the things we got.

Shelter/Sleep System

We went with the Nemo Hornet 2 and its own specific footprint for our shelter. We love how easy the tent is  to set up as well as how lightweight the entire thing is. It is roomy enough for us to sit straight up in, and our 50-pound border collie even spent a night in it with us. We never felt cramped, and we really love the fact that it has a door on each side. The poles are durable as well. The whole system (with footprint) weighs 30 ounces, and the weight will be split between my husband and me so it will even out to 15 ounces each.

I went with the REI Joule 21 for my sleeping bag. It is comfortable and compresses down to a size that saves space in my pack. I have had three different sleeping bags before this one, and the Joule is by far my favorite. I haven’t tested it in temperatures below 32 yet so I hope it holds up to its temperature rating. It weighs 35 ounces. I could have probably found one that was more lightweight, but I really couldn’t pass up the high quality and reasonable price of this piece.

The final component of my sleep system is the Nemo Switchback sleeping pad (short). It’s super comfy, has a thermal reflective film to help retain heat, and only weighs 10.5 ounces. This piece is pretty simple, but necessary. I honestly went with this brand/style because it was on sale.


The piece of gear that I am most excited about is my new backpack! I splurged and chose the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest. I went with the black fabric because it’s super durable and more waterproof than the white. The small fits me perfectly and weighs under 32 ounces. It’s honestly the nicest backpack I have ever owned, and I truly feel that it will be a lifetime piece in my gear collection. I can see myself using this as an off-trail/travel pack as well.

I opted to get one big dry bag (rather than a bunch of small) for the inside of my pack. I am planning on using the 30L Osprey UltraLight sack. It weighs 1.9 ounces and will probably be able to hold all of my gear that I am planning on keeping in the main compartment of my pack. I will also use gallon-size ziplock baggies to separate my food, clothes, and toiletries within the dry sack.


It is really important for me have a few luxury items as well as some very particular necessities for our AT trip. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty weight of these things, but you are more than welcome to take a peek at my official gear list (top of the page) if you’d like.

Here’s what you’ll find in my pack: baby wipes, Crocs, two pairs of Smartwool hiking socks, Smartwool long-sleeve base layer, Patagonia Micro Puff, pair of Columbia shorts, a tank top, and KUHL women’s wicking pants among a few other things.

We went with a cheapo stove that weighs less than two ounces, and we will obviously split the weight of our cooking system. The Sawyer Squeeze water filter was a must-have. We haven’t decided if we want to carry a bladder, but have a 3L Platypus on deck. Rain gear and trekking poles haven’t been decided on yet. We will probably get cheap ones off Amazon. I will definitely keep you all updated as things change and shift around, but you’ve gotten a pretty good idea of the basics. We only have a few more items to get.

Peace, love, and happy hiking!

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