Gear and Stuff and Things

So, let’s talk about every hiker’s favorite topic (or so it would seem) – gear. I have almost everything I need for my hike, so I figured it would be about time to write a post about it. I am super happy with most of my gear, but I’m positive I will make some changes as I get farther along the trail. If anyone has any opinions/suggestions/etc., though, I would love to hear them, as I am certainly no expert. I do reserve the right to refuse to follow any given advice and realize I should have listened 100 miles up the trail and bitterly regret not doing so, however.

Pack and Shelter

Backpack

Osprey Aura 65

Osprey Aura 65

I’ve had this backpack for a while now, and it has served me well. It’s been in the woods, it’s been in the mountains, it’s been to Europe, and it’s been in my closet for far too long. It deserves a nice long trip out. From what I can tell after perusing other gear lists, it’s a pretty popular pack to take. It’s comfortable, and I love the mesh back, as I am one sweaty lady. I’ll also be taking a Duck Pack Rain Cover and a trash compactor bag for waterproofing.

Shelter

REI Passage 1 Tent

Tent

So, this tent is nice, don’t get me wrong, but I am aware that it is not as big or as lightweight as what other hikers might be carrying. What it also is not, however, is super expensive. For the price, I am quite happy with it so far. We’ll see how I feel after hundreds of miles. I’ll also be carrying a footprint for it, because I am paranoid. I saw online the other day, in response to a footprint, someone say “but what will you use to protect the footprint from the ground,” and while I get that it may be unnecessary, I do not trust myself to make sure I clear every single potentially sharp option from the ground before laying my tent out in the pouring rain after a long day. So I will gladly carry the extra weight for the increased likelihood that I will stay warm and dry. I enjoy being warm and dry.

Sleeping System

Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag

This is a 20 degree bag, that has also been rated as highly durable, which is important to me, as I tend to break things. Like, a lot. Also, as a note, I did get the men’s version because the women’s version is for some reason a full pound heavier (3 lbs 12 oz as compared to 2 lbs 11 oz)…which is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me. As far as I know, women don’t enjoy needlessly carrying excess weight? Maybe I’m just defective as a women as most women enjoy doing all the extra work, to keep their girlish figures or something. Oh well.

In addition to the sleeping bag I have Cocoon Coolmax Mummy Liner, because I sleep cold, and I hate being cold (have I said that already?). I can also use it by itself when it’s hot out, which is always nice.

Med Exped DownMat Lite 5 Air Pad

Sleeping Pad

This sleeping pad is ridiculously comfortable. I know it’s not as lightweight as others, but I get an amazing night’s sleep on it. And it’s warm. In case I haven’t mentioned it, I love to be warm. I’ll be carrying a tiny amount of glue and material to fix and holes that might happen, which is always a fear with an air pad.

Total Weight for Pack and Shelter: 12.86 lbs

Dining

Stove

For my dining pleasure, I shall be carrying a MSR Pocket Rocket in Case, 8 oz fuel canister, a 1.8 L Aluminum pot, a small towel and mesh bag, a Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spork, a Bic Lighter, homemade waterproof matches in a ziploc, a Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter, a 3 L water reservoir, and another water bottle (probably a tall Smart Water bottle).

Total Weight for Dining: 3.43 lbs

Clothing

Boot

My first and most important piece of clothing is my shoes. Or, more specifically, my boots. I know boots are not the most popular choice, but I love them because I have terrible ankles, and the Asolo Fission GV Hiking Boots are great for my feet. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up switching to trail runners, but these are what I’m starting with. Other items I’ll be wearing: silk sock liner, wool socks, Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters, Patagonia Capilene 4 Bottoms, UnderArmor Water Resistant Pants, Tank, Fleece Sweater, Black Diamond Gloves, Buff, Baseball Cap, Sunglasses, Watch, Wrist Compass, and my Trekking Poles.

The clothes I’m counting into my pack weight, though some I will be wearing at some point while hiking (coats and such) are: my Down Jacket, Rain Coat, a Carhartt Hat, Teva’s for the end of the day, 1 extra pair socks, 1 extra pair underwear, 1 extra sports bra, running shorts, Dry Bag, Bandana, and Bug Net (I hate bugs in my eyes).

Total Weight for Clothing I’m Carrying: 3.9 lbs

Other

Headlamp

Other items I’ll be carrying: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, extra AAA batteries, tape, rope, the current map section (yes, I have all the maps, I don’t care what you naysayers say, I like knowing exactly where I am, and how to get everywhere), the AT data or the AWOL guide (I haven’t decided yet), one of my many knives (any suggestions?), a first aid kit (with medications, a needle/thread, tweezers, and safety pins), a phone with headphones, playing cards, and possibly a journal (or should I use the phone?).

Approx. Weight For Other: 3 lbs

Total Pack Weight: Approx. 25lbs

It could be lighter, but I will be comfortable with this, and my camp will be cozy. I’m sure I’ll shed some weight along the way (and if you have any suggestions on that I’m all ears). I don’t think I’ll ever be an ultralight hiker, at least not until I have some sort of generous benefactor, but I do think I can make it the Katahdin with this, and that’s more than good enough for me.

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Comments 5

  • Avatar
    Andrew Christian Repp : Feb 16th

    The discrepancy between the men’s and women’s sleeping bags is because, according to EN ratings, women sleep significantly colder than men. So, a 20 degree mens bag will be lighter than a 20 degree women’s bag because the women’s bag will have much more fill to compensate.

    Of course, I don’t think the difference is as big as the EN ratings reflect but there is definitely a difference physiologically.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Stix (Maggie Quamme) : Feb 17th

      I know women tend to sleep colder, I just thought it was a tad silly that the same bag should be a full pound heavier, that’s a pretty big difference! Especially since most women I know compensate for sleeping colder by carrying a bag 10-15 degrees colder than what they think they’ll need. Thanks for the comment, though, that definitely helps explain the weight difference!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Frogmonkey : Feb 17th

    I agree with Andrew concerning the sleeping bag, especially if you sleep cold. They say women should add 10F to the men’s rating. I used a quilt on my thru hike, and I used a 0F quilt (not sure if it’s rated for men or women) the whole way (I’m also a cold sleeping female). Quilts are nice because they are lighter for their rating. You don’t have the fill under you that you compress making it useless anyway. My 0F quilt only weighs 19 oz.

    Not sure what kind of footprint you got for your tent, but Tyvek works great. Not sure how much your Teva’s weigh, but Waldies and Crocs are pretty light.

    I’d also check out Big Tex’s post on using an umbrella vice rain gear. By switching to umbrella I was able to save 5 oz in pack weight, (it doesn’t sound like much, but we all know ounces add up to pounds). Traded my 13 oz rain jacket and 2 oz visor for an 8 oz umbrella and 2 oz windbreaker.

    Good luck and have fun on your hike! Happy trails!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    TicTac : Feb 17th

    Stix, you really do not need the footprint. If you are concerned about damage to the floor of your tent, carry a Tyvek® sheet, but generations (yes, that many years) of hikers using nylon tents have never used footprints and have perfectly functional tents. I think your pot is too large at 1.8 liters. Cut your weight by downsizing to +- 1.0 l, and even more so by finding an Evernew Ti pot.
    Buy Pocket Profile maps instead of ATC maps, and most definitely go with the AWOL The AT Guide.
    There is no need to carry spare Alkaline or Lithium batteries, you can find them in literally EVERY trail town and resupply point.
    A PrincetonTec Fred weighs less and gives much longer battery life than your Black Diamond Spot, just sayin.
    And as you said, within the first 100 miles, you may dramatically change the equipment you are carrying, it just costs less if you make those changes before you start since you are not limited to buying at outfitters close to the trail. Just be open to making those changes (little and big) to enhance your experience.
    TicTac

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Andrew Christian Repp : Feb 17th

      While most of these points are good, when comparing to the Fred the Spot is three times as powerful, actually has longer battery life at the low end of the spectrum, and is only .5 oz heavier.

      Reply

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