Lots of civilians ask about gear, that is after they learn that the trail is not lined with hotels and restaurants – “you mean you have to carry everything with you?”  The rabbit hole of backpacker gear is like any other rabbit hole. Once you fall into it, there is seemingly no end. But a succinct description of our gear (and generally, life) philosophy is to keep it simple and keep it light. We are striving to maintain low pack base weights, i.e., pack weight without food, fuel, or water. Mary’s pack base weight is 9.7 lbs. Kevin’s pack base weight is 10.7 lbs.

Once loaded with food, fuel, and 1 L of water, those pack weights change to 18 lbs. and 20.3 lbs, respectively.

If only we could forage for all our food instead of having to carry it, we’d be set!

The Big 3


Tent + Trekking Poles:

  • Shared – Zpack Duplex Tent, which uses trekking poles for support, 18.5 oz.
  • Mary’s Trekking poles are Zpacks Ultralight carbon fiber, 10.2 oz.
  • Kevin’s Trekking poles are Gossamer Gear LT5, 10.3 oz.

Sleeping bags, Liners, Air Mattresses + Pillows:

The Other Stuff

Clothing, Including What We Are Wearing:

  • Mary’s shoes are Topo Ultraventure running shoes, 5 mm drop, 17.6 oz
  • Kevin’s shoes are Topo Terraventure 3 with Superfeet inserts, 29.2 oz
  • Mary’s shirts are a synthetic tank top a synthetic T-shirt, a long sleeve cover up, and a sleep shirt (luxury item), total  20.6 oz
  • Kevin’s shirts are a synthetic T-shirt and a long sleeve shirt, 12.3 oz.
  • Mary’s pants, shorts, and tights total 15.9 oz. Might leave the tights behind.
  • Kevin’s pants are zip-offs so also function as shorts, 10 oz.
  • Mary’s rain jacket and down jacket total 14.7 oz.
  • Kevin’s rain jacket and down jacket total 16.2 oz.
  • Mary’s swimsuit (lightest suit I own), 3.5 oz.
  • Mary’s 2 pair of wool socks total 5 oz.
  • Kevin’s 2 pair of wool socks total 5 oz.
  • Mary’s fleece gloves, 1.9 oz.
  • Kevin’s fleece gloves, 1.9 oz.
  • Mary’s buff, 1.3 oz.
  • Kevin’s buff, 1.3 oz.
  • Mary’s bandana, 1 oz.
  • Kevin’s bandana, 1 oz.


  • Soto Windmaster stove, Evernew titanium 900 ml pot
  • 2 plastic “Chinese soup container” cups
  • 2 Toaks titanium long spoons, total 9.5 oz.


  • Toiletries include mini toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets, blue and pink pills, floss without case, powdered camp soap (at least to start with), bug repellent, small container of sunscreen, total 13.5 oz.
  • CNOC Vecto is 3 L water pouch and Sawyer filter plus hose totals 7 oz.
  • Cell phones, charging cord plus brick total 13.9 oz.
  • First aid kit, 1.8 oz.
  • 2 Headlamps total 2 oz.
  • 2 sets Wallet items, total 2 oz.
  • 2 bug nets, total 2.4 oz.
  • 2 pocketknives, total 1.2 oz.
  • 2 lighters, total .4 oz.
  • Bear bag plus line, 1 oz.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?