My Gear List

Hello everyone! After much weighing, repacking, photographing and early mornings lining up for REI gear sales I have all my gear! I apologize to all the ounce by ounce junkies who prefer every item to be weighed down to the ounce and accounted for, I only weighed my bigger items and then each category all together. Still, I hope you find my gear list complete and well put together (if not, don’t hesitate to comment!). I’ve put two stars (**) after items I got at a gear sale and one star (*) after every item I got seriously on sale. Without further ado…

Backpack and Stuff Sacks:

Backpack – Venturi 40L Womens Pack (2lbs 11oz)**

Stuff Sack (for Sleeping Bag) – Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Dry Sack**

Food Bag – Loksack

Other – 3 Random-Yet-Perfectly-Sized Zipper Sacks for my clothes, toiletries, and first aid kit

1 Altoid Tin for my emergency fire kit (aka a few tampons, birthday candles and matches)

TOTAL WEIGHT: 2lbs 13oz

I love my backpack. This was actually my very first gear sale find and I am so thankful I found it! My grandfather had given me a 70L pack for my birthday the previous year, which I love as well (whoever invented double entry bags was a genius), but from the moment I got it I knew it would be too big for my trip. The 40L Venturi is perfect, it’s only single entry but it has just enough room for everything I’m going to need with a smidge of wiggle room. One feature I really love about this pack is that it has an airflow space so even while I’ve got my bag on its a good 2 inches away off my back.

I’m still working on how I’m actually going to get my food bag up in the trees since it lacks anything to thread rope through but I’ll figure it out (and if I don’t I have another compression sack I could use).

Sleep System:


Sleeping Bag – (Pictured) REI Womens Flash (1lb 14oz)* or (Not Pictured) Marmot Pinnacle (2lbs 12oz)**

Sleeping Pad – Therm A Rest Z Lite Sol (14oz)**

Shelter – (Not Pictured) Hennessy Ultralight Backpacker Asym Zip (2lbs)

Other –  I’m bringing a pillow because I just cannot sleep without one and my Elmo for (don’t laugh) because he too is a necessity for sleep. Plus haven’t you ever seen Toy Story??

photo 1 (1)

TOTAL WEIGHT: 5lbs 6.4oz

I’m unsure whether to bring the Flash or the Pinnacle. About a pound in weight difference and the Pinnacle packs down a little bigger, but the Pinnacle is so freaking comfy. The Flash is a 32 degree bag, though I also have a mummy liner** (8oz, adds 6 degrees of warmth) but since I am starting in May I don’t expect to encounter below freezing weather until New Hampshire in which case I could just mail myself the Pinnacle (15 degree bag).

The Thermarest is surprisingly comfortable. My one friend C, who was with me when I bought it, recommended against it since he finds them very uncomfortable but I’ve since slept on it many nights (to test it out) and I have no complaints.

I might be ditching my Hennessy, I really love it (built in no see um netting and asymmetrical design) but I hoping to just be shelter hopping. I’m going to start with it just in case I get stranded between two shelters or one is overloaded for the night but I might drop it eventually and just carry the tarp.


photo 4 (1)

2 Synthetic/poly Tank Tops**

2 Pairs of Running Shorts (with undies built in)

C9 Baselayer Leggings

C9 Baselayer Crewneck

1 Sports Bra

1 Pair of Nylon Undies

1 Pair of REI Brand Midweight Hiking Socks

REI Brand Down Sweater**

Backpacker Poncho**

photo 5 (1)

TOTAL WEIGHT (packable): 2lbs 11.2oz

If you see a girl cruising down the trail in nothing but a sports bra and shorts, it will probably be me. I detest long sleeves (usually opting to push them up and out of the way even in below freezing weather) and tank tops are the maximum I can handle when the temp is above 60. I only have one pair of socks so far but that’s because I haven’t even decided if I want to wear shoes much less if I’ll be wearing ones that require socks. I’ll keep at least one pair on me for sleeping in though.

Cooking System: 

photo 2 (1)

Pot – Open Country 4 Quart Pot

Stove – Fancy Feast Cat Food Can Stove

Fuel – Denatured Alcohol

Utensils – MSR Folding Fork and Spoon

Other – Matches and a tic tac box spice kit containing Pepper, Salt, Cinnamon, Old Bay, Paprika and Turmeric

photo 3 (1)

TOTAL WEIGHT: 1lb 3.2oz

If you are spending more than 10 dollars on a stove when your cooking will consist primarily of boiling water, stop what you are doing and click the Fancy Feast Cat Food Can Stove Link. Seriously. I’ll wait here while you check it out.

I stole the can from a friend and already had a hole puncher and let me tell you this little puppy is wonderful! Boils super quick, all you need is a small bottle of denatured alcohol and some matches and you are good to go! So easy to set up and take down, plus there is no waste from spent fuel canisters because you just let the alcohol burn up and you’re done.

I’m bringing a separate fork and spoon because I’ve lived that spork life and found the spork life isn’t for me.


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Dinner – Ramen, Pasta Sides, Loaded Mashed Potatoes and Couscous with dehydrated chicken/beef and veggies will be my primary dinners.

Lunch – Classic Tortillas with Peanut Butter and Jelly or Honey for me!

Breakfast – Chewy Granola Bars, Granola w/Milk, Nutrigrain Bars, Pop Tarts, and Grits w/ Bacon for when I feel like cooking in the morning.

Snacks – A few of my snack choices will include Cheezits, Sunflower Seeds, Homemade Trail Mix (coconut flakes, roasted almonds and chocolate covered coffee beans = 400+ calories of yum!), Pop Tarts, Cliff Bars and Little Debbie Cakes.  I’ve also been dehydrating a lot of fruit for my trip; I plan to have apples, persimmons, pears and peaches to snack on.

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TOTAL WEIGHT: 5lb 15.6oz

The food pictured is supposed to last me 4 days with a few extra snacks just in case. I thought planning my itinerary and picking my gear was a headache but planning food is so much worse. The options, the mail drop vs town resupply battle, making sure you have all the variety you need and the calories (and nutrients) as well, oy gavult! That being said, I finally had a little break through moment and managed to hammer out some mail drop boxes for myself. So far my daily intake of calories will be in between 3100 and 3600 depending on my dinner and snack routine.


Sh** System – Trowel, TP in a bag, Hand Sanitizer and Freshette (for Chanukkah my sister got an Iphone and I got a working penis!)

Hydration System – Sawyer Squeeze Mini and 2 Gatorade Bottles

First Aid Kit – Bandaids, Ibuprofen, Rubbing Alcohol, Bandage Tape and Cotton Pads

Toiletries – Lavender Dr. Bronners, Baking Soda, Coconut Oil, Mini Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Bug Spray, Sunscreen, Deodorant and Floss

Period Stuff – Diva Cup

Headlamp – Black Diamond Ion LED Headlamp (CHECK IT OUT, IT’S SO COOL!)**

Trekking Poles – UL Peak Carbon Trekking Poles**

50 ft of Paracord for hanging my food up each night

Pocket Knife, Bandana, Baseball Cap, Beanie, Frog Togg, Playing Cards, Monarch Alite Camp Chair, Pack Towel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Notebook and Pen


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I’m bringing a little container of baking soda and coconut oil in my toiletries because they act as my shampoo and conditioner (sulfates are for suckers!). I will defend my right to bring a book till my dying day because for me, not reading is like not breathing. I’m bringing Chamber of Secrets because it’s the only travel size I have and who doesn’t love Harry Potter! I’m also bringing good ol’ HP to half spite my mother who offered (very cruelly) to pay for me to spend a long weekend in Florida’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter instead of me going on this trip. She knows full well the inner turmoil she created my putting that offer on the table and I am very proud of myself (I think) for standing my ground on my trip despite my intense LOVE of the Harry Potter world. And if I have a book, I’m going to need a chair to kick back and read it in right?

Image result for harry potter world

Don’t cry for me, Harry Potter…

Earlier I made a journal entry about how my bag was a little lighter but I’ve added a few things since that measurement and I’m pretty happy with my 24 pound current weight. With water my pack will be 26 pounds which is just one pound over what my goal weight was. I’ll probably ditch the camp chair, book and notebook not soon after hitting the trail but I don’t want to start without them to be honest. The only thing left to decide on is… MY SHOES! I currently have 3 prospective pairs and need some advice (that’s where you come in!). The pairs are as follows:

 photo 5(Pictured as listed)

Ahnu Montara Boots

These are my pretty purple babies. They are waterproof, comfortable, and lightweight but I’m not sure if I want to go full boot or not.

Keen Newport

I love these shoes. In my years of outdoor activities (hiking, weekend backpacking trips, camping, canoeing, scrambling) these shoes have been my default. I’m currently on my 5th pair (not that they wear quickly, I’ve just grown out of a few). I like them because they allow my feet to breath, they have a good, thick sole and a hard toe. They stay very secure to my feet so I rarely have to worry about rocks and debris entering my foot. However they don’t offer much in the way of ankle support.

Keen Verdi

Grabbed them at a gear sale and haven’t regretted it. They are lightweight, very breathable (for boots) but not waterproof and again, unsure if I want to go full boot.

I’m starting my hike in May so I’m not too worried about super cold temps, I walk barefoot even when there is ice on the ground but I don’t want my puppies to overheat in boots. Maybe I’ll just go barefoot…

Help me out internet! Boots, sandals or barefoot? Did I forget anything? Should I forget anything? Any comments, questions or concerns about my gear/trip?

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Comments 8

  • Jeanne Church : Mar 8th

    Have your read the two books by the Barefoot Sisters? They hiked virtually the whole trail –north and south–without shoes!

    • Ruth : Mar 9th

      I haven’t but I’ll be sure to check them out!

  • Skipper : Mar 9th

    I am totally confused I completely lost concentration once you started saying something about having a working penis? Wtf?

    • Ruth : Mar 11th

      It was a joke referring to me getting the Freshette for Hanukkah, it allows a woman to pee while standing (just like a guys penis…)

  • Spooooon : Mar 9th

    It’s a random thing to fixate on, but I love the pot you selected. It’s so cheap and so durable. You can cook with it directly on coals or over a stove. Mine is still kicking almost 2 years after the AT.

    • Ruth : Mar 11th

      I actually picked it because it was so cheap! Good to know it’ll go the distance (knock on wood!)

  • Zayde : Jun 3rd

    Good choice of book. Pen to make notes?? Or are you doing it in blood? Zayde

  • Eddie : Jul 29th

    I wish my Zayde was still around to make fun of me on the internet. 🙂 Is there a recap of your trip?


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