Gear List Before : Part 1 (Gear)
Well, here we are! Two weeks to go, amazing how time flies! I’ve been doing some good workouts to prepare physically, and I’ve got (almost) all of my gear together, and I think I’m mentally prepared to be flexible and take each day with whatever surprises it holds… so I’m feeling ready to go!
I thought it would be fun to do a couple posts now with all of the contents of my pack, and then compare at the end of the trip, to see what I end up keeping and what I ditch, and if there’s anything I’ll decide I need that I don’t have yet! This part is strictly about gear. I will do another post in a few days about clothing, so stay tuned!
I love this pack. It was the first piece of gear I got (as a gift from my wonderful mother) last Christmas, and it is the perfect size, and fits great. It’s already come in handy on several moves, and held up well on a couple of practice hikes and a canoe trip with my brothers. It was the piece of gear I was most nervous about choosing, so I’m really glad I got it early enough to test it on several occasions.
My sleeping quilt is amazing. I want to live in it. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important to me, as I’m sure will become evident as I talk about my gear choices, and I don’t like being confined in a sleeping bag. So a quilt was an obvious choice. However, I really didn’t want to worry about being cold, so I wanted something with a footbox and enough fabric that I can wrap myself in it if I want to. And it’s got a great hood feature, and hand pockets that make it easy to maneuver even when I’m half-asleep. Worth every dollar.
I will admit, I am a little hesitant about the bulk of this one. I just sewed 2/3 of the way up an old fleece blanket, because I really want to make sure that I’m warm enough at night. Especially right at the beginning of the trip, as it is still winter. I’m not attached to the blanket at all though, so if it’s too bulky and I don’t end up using it often, I’ll have no problem getting rid of it along the way.
I do not like sleeping on the ground. I don’t think I’ve ever had a good night’s sleep in a tent, and have no interest whatsoever in sleeping in a tent for six months straight. Personally, that sounds awful, and I would be constantly miserable. Fortunately, there are hammocks for people like me! This is a very basic hammock, but I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, and I’ve had the best camping sleeps of my life in it. Looking forward to calling it home! I did switch out the heavy tree slings it came with for Grand Trunk Tree Slings, which are less than half the weight, and so, so, so easy to use! The pink rope is what I use to hang the mosquito net.
I originally bought a very large, very heavy tarp to hang over my hammock on cold/windy/rainy nights. I carried it on all of my practice hikes, and the weight wasn’t too bad, but why carry something if I don’t need to, right? So when I started looking into rain gear, this seemed like the best option, and is saving me a lot of space and weight! I have four shorter green ropes, and four tent pegs (packed with my tree slings) to secure the tarp over the hammock.
I was hesitant to buy anything that could get a hole in it which would render it useless. I also am planning to sleep in my hammock whenever possible, as I’m not excited about the idea of sharing my bed with rodents in the shelters. So I wasn’t looking for the most padding possible, just something to provide some insulation. I cut about 5 inches off of one end, so that it would fit in the straps on the outside of my pack, and it’s still plenty long enough for me, especially once I’m curled up in my hammock. The silver coating is starting to come off, but I haven’t noticed any difference in warmth.
I am not planning on cooking. This is a decision I came to when I realized that I rarely cook in my regular non-hiking life, so I don’t anticipate being very keen on cooking twice a day when I’m exhausted from hiking. That said, there may be times when I want something warm. So I will probably bring some tea, and can heat water over a fire occasionally, if I need that comfort. It will also be handy to eat things like cereal out of, which I’m planning to eat a lot of (with powdered milk and protein powder), for as long as my taste buds and appetite will cooperate.
Those are the things that I really put a lot of time and effort into choosing. Listed below are the other gear items I will be bringing:
- Ferrino Hiking Poles
- Platypus 3L Bladder
- Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Soap
- Orange rope for hanging food bag
- Sawyer Mini Water Filter
- Small Norwex Washcloth
- Sea to Summit Drylite Towel
- Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp
- Buck Talus Knife
- Plastic Comb
- Disposable Razor
- Mp3 Player
- Extra Batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Band Aids
- Q Tips
- Safety Pins
- Alcohol Swabs
And not pictured, Toilet Paper, 2L and 5L Dry Bags, and one 15L waterproof Compression Bag
Let me know what you think! Feedback is appreciated! If there’s something I’m missing, I’d rather know now than once I’m out there, and if there’s a reason I shouldn’t be bringing something I have now, please let me know!
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