My Gear for the Next Six Months in the Woods

Twenty-nine days till I set out for Georgia.

I have been giving myself weekly gear shakedowns and motivation for my drop box setup

My equipment is ready, except a poncho and some new Chacos (my must-have hiking shoe). I managed to take out at least an extra pound of clothes from my pack, too many unnecessary layers that weigh so much, but in my nature I always think I will be colder than I ever end up being.

I got my tent set up and mastered. I went with an Ozark Trail backpacking tent. It is definitely not an expensive or fancy tent, but it is designed with a lot of ventilation, lightweight, and everything I need in a tent, so Ill keep you updated on how it does throughout the trail.

Next the sleep system, of course.

I started looking at sleeping bags last summer. I was hesitant on what to get because there are so many options, and me being a side sleeper, plus a puppy dog, I didn’t want a mummy bag anymore for sure. I went with a quilt, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 30 degree. It is a mere 17 ounces and is amazingly warm. It gives me the versatility of rolling around I need and enough space to fit Sugaree underneath (because she always has to sleep under the blankets). If you can fork up the heavy price tag, well worth every penny. For my sleeping pad, I went simple and most commonly used; a Therm-a-Rest ZLite Sol, the short version. It only weighs nine ounces and has an R-value of 2.8; not too shabby for $20. I also got a Therm-a-Rest sit pad to add some cushion on my hips if I need it. Last but not least for sleeping, I got a Nemo Air Pillow. Super simple design and probably takes less than four breaths to fill.

My cooking system is easy and simple to say the least.

I am going to be using the Jetboil Flash. I really enjoy the design of this stove. Everything fits inside the pot and it boils water in 60 seconds. Cannot get much better than that. I haven’t used it a lot yet, just a practice boil or two, but the reviews were nothing short of great. I also am bringing a lightweight insulated cup by Sea to Summit, because I am 100% a coffee addict and I want to cook while sipping. Without my morning cup I am useless and will be screaming of a headache by noon.

For everything else, it has been trial and error.

I cant even express my excitement, nervousness, and definitely determination these past weeks and future days. Basically I am a sitting duck now and doing the last few things to keep my life in order while I am gone.  I can’t even think about saying goodbye to family and friends; that is always the hardest part for me. Luckily my job let me have the six months off from the greenhouses and offered me to come back when I am done. Could not be more grateful for them.

Well, that is all for now. I will go over my drop boxes in the next post. Thanks for reading.

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Comments 7

  • Keith Bassett : Mar 11th

    PLEASE!! Please please please rethink your tent. Ozark Trail is widely known for sub par tents that aren’t seam sealed, and that’s if they have any kind of waterproofing to think of. The LAST thing that you want is to get a couple of days on trail, only to find out that all your gear is getting wet in the middle of the night because no shelter would have been better off.

    • Angelica : Mar 11th

      I will, thank you for the tip. Good thing I have plenty of time to shop, again thank you!

      • Keith : Mar 11th

        No problem, I did a bit of research on some of those tents, and there are multiple videos on youtube, the best by TheOutdoorGearReview, but he basically says that those tents are good for nothing more than back yard camping. With the tent being one of your “Big 3” I suggest either a Big Agnes, or an REI Quarterdome if you want to save some money. If you are near an REI, at least where I am, the REI Garage Sale is happening this Fri-Sat-Sun, and you might be able to make a really good deal there.

        • Angelica : Mar 12th

          What do you think of Alps Mountaineering? I saw great reviews for their tents! And they’re are some on sale on REI (I am of course a member haha). Didn’t know if those may be a good option!

          • Keith : Mar 16th

            These look pretty decent. Definitely not the lightest options out there, but sturdy and you can never go wrong with the REI return policy if it goes south.

  • Melanie : Mar 12th

    That’s good advice on the tent. Totally agree with recommendations. Ditch the Ozark Trail. I have Big Angus but also recommend REI tent.

  • Adam : Apr 6th

    So happy your finally going to go out and do this. Choosing the right tent for 6 months isn’t easy, but keep in mind REI replaces or fixes all REI brands for free. My brother bought an REI backpack for my backpacking adventures through Europe way back in 2008, and in 2012 a strap and buckle broke. Brought it to a store it wasn’t bought from, and they told me they no longer make that model anymore. BUT they replaced it with a newer model at no charge and no hassle. I didn’t even have a receipt, but they looked it up on the computer. Just an added sense of security if you buy REI brand gear for your adventures.

    Another thing you might want to do as tons of people would find interesting is keeping budget log.

    What was your initial gear cost? Permit cost? Dog costs? Drop box costs? Travel/Transportation costs? Shower/misc costs? Food costs? And then update it every couple of weeks or whenever with your costs to show others how much it costs to hike the Appalachian Trail. Run it parallel with your progress reports so people can gauge how much each section might cost them.

    Dog cost/budget might be a big hit as everyone documents their travels and costs, but dog costs/hurdles/logistics could be a very appealing topic with low competition to allow you to compete as a top contributor for the much larger keyword topic of “hike the Appalachian Trail.

    Appalachian Trail cookbook might be another great running topic that wouldn’t take much effort. Couple of photos, ingredients list and a few directions. Who knows maybe you could sell an Appalachian Trail cookbook afterwards.

    Tons of different topics you can dive into here. Just have fun though Munchie, and I’ll help you anyway I can.

    Enjoy the AT and tell Destiny “Hi”



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