Gear List & AT Prep

Gear List & AT Prep

Who doesn’t enjoy a good list? This post is pretty short and mostly geared (pun intended) towards what’s on my back (and body). I also have some a bit of how I’m prepping for the trail including some future plans. I’ll also have a list the books I’m reading or have read before hitting the trail. This way you can also get into an adventure seeking mindset. I also added a bunch of photos from day hikes.


Picture of my gear

The Gear

My base weight (e.g. my packed gear without food and water) weighs about 20.5 lbs, which I am very comfortable with. Your gear should not exceed 25% of your body weight and typically you want to keep it as low as you would be comfortable. I won’t mention my weight because it’s going to fluctuate so much, but 20.5 lbs is well within 25% eve with a healthy safety factor. Everything on my gear list I have either used or did a lot of research on. I know a lot of gear will be changing as I hike or if a great sale comes about.

My Big Three

The big three are your Shelter, Sleeping bag, and pack.

  • Tent: Marmot Tungsten 1P – This is a 1 person tent but has large enough cover to keep my pack protected just outside the door. It’s quick to set up so I can get it taken care of in the rain without getting the inside too wet.
  • Sleeping Bag: Women’s Trestles Elite 30 Long. I purchased this a couple of years ago not realizing it was a women’s (different dimensions, wider at the hips but tighter at the shoulder) but I’ve found it is really comfortable and the perfect length. This is the piece of gear I will most likely replace mid-trail as it’s not the warmest in the world and the different dimensions mean my body loses more heat in the bag.
  • Pack: Gregory Zulu 55. Gregory hasn’t been as big a name lately in packs as they were, but I really love this pack. It fits me perfectly and seems very durable. It has everything that I’d want in a pack. It’s also very breathable. I used to get back sweats like no other with my old pack but this one has taken care of that.

Important Gear

Just a list of the important gear I’ll be using by name. This includes a description of why I chose this gear. The reasoning are just why I chose the options and are not expert advice.

  • Shoes: Altra Lone Peaks. These are zero drop and very lightweight. I have been asked why not get shoes with better ankle support. Ultimately, these are more comfortable and supply a greater range of motion. Boots typically are better for people without backpacking experience until they get used to backpacking, those with ankle issues, and the like. I’ll have to replace my trail runners more often but that is okay. They are also more breathable which will help keep my feet dry. I suspect I will go through 4 pairs of shoes on trail.
  • Stove: Primus. I’ve had this stove for almost 10 years and it works fine. Heats up water pretty quick.
  • Sleeping Pad: Klymit V Ultralight SL. I like this because it cut out a lot of weight from my old sleeping pad and it’s better for side sleepers like me. It also compacts done better.
  • Sleeping Bag liner: Sea to Summit Adaptor. I’ve never used a sleeping bag liner before this, but it’ll help with cleaning my sleeping bag and keep me warmer.
  • Socks (2 pair): Darn Tough. I love them more than any other socks I have ever owned.
  • Kindle: It will help me update my blogposts as well as provide a light weight book as I love reading.
  • Map: AT Guide Book and the Guthook App.

Other Gear

I’m not going to name any of this gear as a lot of it will rotate out with the seasons or it will have a high likelihood of being destroyed or ditched into a hiker box.

  • One set of base layers.
  • 2 pairs of underwear.
  • 2 L hydration bladder.
  • First aid kit plus tape for blisters and baby powder to prevent chaffing.
  • One button down and very breathable SPF shirt and one normal athletic shirt.
  • 1 pair of running shorts.
  • 1 pair of lightweight and durable synthetic long pants, where I can zipper off the legs to become shorts.
  • 1 pair of gloves.
  • 1 puffy.
  • 1 fleece vest.
  • Rain Jacket
  • Reusable metal straw for when I’m in town and if I want to try another hikers drink. It’s very light weight so it’s def a luxury item.
  • Waterproof poop bag to pack out toilet paper without letting me smell it. Leave no trace!!!
  • Ursack Bear bag.
  • Pot and spork.
  • Pocket knife.
  • USB chargeable lantern including a USB port as a backup battery (I was given this by my supervisor who approved of this sabbatical. I’m sure Bill will enjoy knowing it will be put to good use.).
  • Primary backup battery that can hold two full phone charges.
  • Trekking Poles

Hiking near GoldenA Trail in Colorado

AT Prep


My AT prep has been pretty simple: take walks after work and go on day hikes with my full gear. I’m also biking when the weather holds up. My ultimate plan it to tackle the Manitou Incline with my pack. I’m currently planning on doing it with my supervisor at my old job. She grew up in PA and loves hiking and backpacking. I consider her my primary career mentor and one of the better people in the world.


I am spending time each day meditating. I’ve heard it really helps to get you into the groove things on trail and will pay dividends on those terrible days when you need to separate yourself from the trail. I have also been getting my hands on reading anything and everything that gets me in the adventure mindset. I’ve included a list of books I’ve read for prepping for this or have read previously that I look back on. They’re in no order and I will only include a brief note of either how it helped or why I chose it. I will not leave any reviews as some books I’m not including I really enjoyed and some books I include I felt didn’t enjoy as much.

  • The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, & The Children of Hurin – Middle earth really helps me escape into an adventure.
  • Becoming Odessa – Jennifer Pharr Davis is an inspiration to all thru-hikers. Her book helped let me know what to expect on the trail.
  • Appalachian Trials – This is a great prep book for the trail and puts a lot of the trail into prospective.
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail – This book helped let me know what to expect on the trail.
  • I Quit My Job and Hiked the Appalachian Trail – This book helped let me know what to expect on the trail.
  • The Unlikely Thru-Hiker – This book helped let me know what to expect on the trail.
  • The Alchemist – For reasons mentioned in my prior post.

Trail in Colorado

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Comments 2

  • Russ1663 : Jan 16th

    Good luck with your adventure. I have not yet gone that far. No excuse, AT is 2 hours west of me in Va. Enjoy the scenery, the like minded explorers and weather.

  • F5 : Jan 28th

    Nice to see another Marmot Tungsten 1P user. Having tried all manner of ultralight tents, I swear by it. I know you’ll like the 100% freestanding capability, especially in the rocky north sections, and the waterproof poly fly on all those rainy nights. Nothing worse than venturing out at 3am in a cold rain to re-tension a sagging fly. Totally worth the extra ounces. Stay well, be safe and happy hiking!


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