Gearing Up: Gear List for the AT
Here is my initial gear list for starting the Appalachian Trail. I am not going to include much detail, as most of the items can be found quickly by going to the top of this article and clicking “view my gear list.” Once at the list, most of the items have a built-in link that should take you to a website for specs.
My Big Three
The Big Three include your pack, tent, and sleeping bag (I’m going to include my entire sleeping system).
Tent: ZPacks Duplex
Sleep system: REI Co-Op Igneo 25
Thought process: I started with a different pack and tent a couple years back but managed to shave multiple pounds off my base weight by jumping to the Arc Blast and Duplex. Both pieces are really well made and the stay system on the pack allows some breathability not found on other ultralight packs. The sleeping bag isn’t the warmest or lightest, but it should do. The down socks are for the really cold nights and won’t make the whole trip—but a shakedown hike taught me I needed them. The inflatable pad is comfy and the pillow is a pure luxury item to aid in sleeping.
This was always my biggest question when I was looking into gear, so I’ll add a little of my thought process to the gear choices.
Base layer (top and bottom): Smartwool 150 merino wool
Shorts: Patagonia Baggies (with flying fish print!)
Shirt: Huk Performance shirt (long sleeve sun shirt—well-known fishing brand, and I have worn them a lot in the past).
Jackets: Patagonia R1 Hooded Fleece
Rain pants: Montbell Versalite
Shoes: Altra Lone Peaks
Everything else: Two pairs of Exofficio 3” boxer briefs.
Two pairs of Darn Tough socks for hiking.
One pair of Darn Tough socks for sleeping (thicker).
Dirty Girl Gaiters
I plan on my daily wear being underwear, my Baggies shorts, Huk shirt, Buff, and hat. Even when it’s cold I plan on just wearing shorts. If it gets too cold I’ll put my rain pants on. I’m trying to leave the base layer, especially the bottoms, for camping.
Shoes have been a long journey for me. Up until three months ago I was going to wear a pair of awesome boots that I have a couple hundred miles on. I wanted to wear boots to protect my ankles, but after wearing trail runners, I’m going in that direction. Not only are trail runners lighter, but I know shoes are going to get wet—and trail runners will dry a lot quicker than the boots. Additionally, I’ll be starting slow (ten to 12 miles per day), to help strengthen my ankles through hiking.
Cooking, Water, and Miscellaneous
Lets all take one second and marvel at how I still remember to spell miscellaneous from second grade vocab. As an engineer, my spelling is usually pretty horrible. Just wanted to share my joy with everyone else.
Cooking: JetBoil Zip
Sea to Summit Spork
Water: Sawyer Squeeze filter
64 ounce Sawyer Bag
2 x one liter Smartwater bottles (only one pictured)
Navigation: AWOL AT Guide
Gen2 Spot GPS (not pictured)
iPhone (I’ll just put this here—more for pictures or calls when I’m in town)
Odds and ends:
Leki Corklite trekking poles
Black Diamond headlamp
You may just want to look at the picture for the rest of the items—and scan down when you wonder what an item is.
ZPacks food bag
Utility cord to hang bear bag
Two dry bags (one for sleeping bag, other for clothes)
First aid Supplies
Deuce Trowel (for digging catholes)
Tiny travel towel
Chapstick, Leukotape, hand sanitizer, Ibuprofen
Spyderco pocket knife
Sandwich bag for toilet paper
Final thought: The easiest way for me to lose a little weight would be a lighter cooking system. The JetBoil is easy to use and I’m super lazy when it comes to cooking. If I end up not wanting it, I’ll send it home and cold soak.
Feel free to ask questions, critique, or drop suggestions.
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