Gear List, Part 2 – In Which I’m Sure I Forgot Something


Welcome back! Let’s dive into the rest of what I’m bringing on the AT.


I have the REI Rainier jacket (I love that it has pit zips so I can dump heat) and REI rain pants. I tested these out during an 8-mile trek in freezing rain last fall, and they were fantastic. I also have a pair of REI rain mitts that will probably go home after the Smokies, and my luxury item – an umbrella. I ordered the Six Moon Designs Rainwalker and at less than 6 ounces, I think it’s worth it.

Water Collection

I’m going to be a basic boring hiker and use the Sawyer Squeeze screwed on top of a 1L Smartwater bottle. This bottle is solely for dirty (unfiltered) water. I also have a 1L collapsible CNOC bottle for clean water and electrolytes. For long water carries and collecting water at camp, I have a 3L CNOC bladder. In the emergency water bag, I’ve got a couple extra O-rings and Aquatabs as a backup if my Sawyer freezes.


I’ll have a Toaks 650ml pot and an MSR Pocket Rocket and a Sea to Summit long spoon. Add in a Bear Vault 475 to keep all my food in and double as a camp seat. Finally, I’m bringing a Stasher 2 cup bowl to mix food in so I can keep my pot clean and not have to stuff it into my BV, a small fuel container, and a couple of lighters.


Again I’m pretty basic here – a Black Diamond headlamp, a Garmin InReach Mini, a 20,000 mAh battery bank, a couple of charging cords, and a dual-output wall plug. All are kept safe inside a 5L Sea to Summit dry bag, which is also where I’ll carry my spare socks.

**Sidenote – Don’t let carrying your Garmin give you license to be careless. I went on a hike in Shenadoah last November and trudged 8 miles through freezing wind and rain. I had to cross a scree field on a pretty rough angle, and as I was crawling across those ice-covered boulders, I realized that I could rely on my Garmin’s SOS button all I liked, but it wouldn’t make it easier or quicker for a rescue crew to get to me if I broke an ankle or tumbled down the slope. Carrying a Garmin or another GPS/satellite device is the responsible thing to do so that we can contact family or emergency services if things go sideways, but it’s still our responsibility as hikers to stay as safe as reasonably possible. Ok, hopping off my soap box and back to the gear list.**


With the recent news of norovirus blazing through several hikers this early in the season, my little bottle of Bronner’s soap is going to be working overtime. I’ve also got my travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Next I’ve got spare contacts, contact solution, and my back-up glasses. For what I heard another hiker call “business meetings,” I’m carrying a P-Style in a cloth case, a trowel, half a roll of TP, and baby wipes. It’s a glamorous life, y’all.

First Aid

It’s a long list, but it’s fairly light. Daily meds, allergy meds, Tylenol/Advil, sunscreen, a couple alcohol wipes, a tiny tube of triple antibiotic ointment, a nail brush to keep my nails clean, tweezers, nail clippers, moleskin and mini scissors, a few bandaids, a couple gauze pads, and a mask in case I need a covid test. These are in two separate Ziploc bags – smellables (ointments, meds, etc) in one and non-smellables in the other. That way I can easily pop the smellables in my BV at night.

Emergency Bag

This may as well be called the “oh shit” bag. It contains a space blanket, waterproof matches and a little bit of dryer lint to start a fire, a spare trash bag to line my pack, a couple handwarmers, a needle and a little bit of thread, and a patch kit.

Random Other Things

A Thermarest sit pad, a Rawlogy cork ball to roll out my feet each night, a small PackTowel, a spiral notebook and pen for journaling and writing blog posts, and my AT passport.

And there you have it! When I write it all out, I’m amazed I can fit all that in my pack. Who knows, I may end up abandoning one or two things in hiker boxes along the way, but in general I’m content with what I’m bringing. I’ll never be an ultra-light packer, but I’ll make it to Maine.

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