Horns Hooves and Coats: A 2022 AT Gear List
Just as the mountain goat is aptly equipped for its goatish adventures, so too have I become well equipped for the Appalachian trail… or so I believe. After hours of research, and countless trial hikes, I have finally settled on my gear picks. Naturally, the flip-flop will dissect and consume any and all of my choices, spitting me out the other end with something completely different. So, just as the seasons claim a goat’s horns, the trail shall claim my gear. Without further ado: the gear list.
TLDR: Here’s my completelist on Lighterpack
The Big 3-ish
Shelter: Zpacks DupleXL
Humming and hawing, the final shelter decision was not made without great deliberation. Initially, my husband and I intended on bringing the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 3 (BA CS). However, the aforementioned tent, despite all its niceties and livability, has an Achilles heal: its fabric. Unfortunately, The BA CS is primarily made with silicon-treated nylon, which is a dynamic fabric and tends to sag when soaking wet. Given that the Appalachian Trail is infamous for its precipitation, we decided a Dyneema tent would be better suited to the task.
Backpack: Zpacks Arc Scout 50L
The Arc Scout was one of the best purchases I have ever made. Previously, I carried two other amazing bags: the Osprey Aura 50L (O.A), and the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36L (Kumo). When considering both backpacks in the context of this trail, I found the O.A was too heavy, and the Kumo was too small. However, each of these backpacks has marked features that I wished were married in one: the ventilation and weight distribution from the framed O.A, and the ultralight sleek design of the Kumo. Luckily, this is where the Arc Scout comes in! Zpacks managed to make a Dyneema ultralight backpack, with an ultralight frame.
An aside: similar to the Arc Blast, and Arc Haul, the Arc Scout has adjustable straps which bow the bag away from your back, but the Scout was made for shorter torsos—thanks Zpacks!
Bonus Goat fact: you can customize the pack to help you do your goat things!
… I added hip belt pockets for my tactical snacticals, and an umbrella holster for being lazy.
Sleep System: Revelation, Xtherm, Aeros Premium
Just like seeing a goat on an impossible ledge, when you see my sleep system you will be confused. “GOAT?! What are you DOING??”
As we slip into the realm of sleep stuff, I find myself chomping at the bit to introduce my quilt; it’s likely my favorite piece on this gear list. Weighing in at 17.5oz, this teeny tiny quilt is light, cozy, and made just for me… let me give you those sweet, sweet specs: 950 fill power, 20F, draft collars, hot pink 10D nylon on the outside, and charcoal 7D nylon on the inside. She’s pretty, she’s cozy, and she’s light. Though, my favorite thing about this quilt is the customization option that most other quilts lack: extra short, and slim. With these customizations, I carry what I need, and nothing more.
Sleeping Pad: Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm MAX Large (kind of)
To preface this, I’m crazy. If you value your warranty, do not copy my actions. However, if you’re curious about my process, here’s my “How To”.
My sleeping pad of choice is a Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm Max Large. For most, this pad is overkill for so many reasons. With an R-value of 6.9, measuring 64cm wide and 6.5 ft long, this pad was intended for a human larger than myself on an alpine expedition. What business do I have with a pad like that, when I claim to fit nicely into an extra short, slim quilt? I’m a cold back sleeper who values quality rest above all else.
Long story short, I cut off the extra fabric and resealed it. Here’s to hoping it holds…
Pillow: Sea to Summit Aeros Premium: Nothing significant to say about it.
Kilt: Zpacks Rain Kilt
Having used rain pants for many years, the idea of switching to a kilt was rough for me. Nonetheless, I was swayed by a simple argument: it’s versatile, you sweat less, it weighs less.
Jacket: Frogg Toggs
Honestly, the jury is out on this piece. The debate lies between saving weight and money with Frogg Toggs or dishing out for the fancy Gore-Tex with pit zips. More to come on this later.
Umbrella: Zpacks Lotus UL Umbrella
Purely for personal sanity, this item will keep the rain from face-pelting me for days.
Waterproof gloves! Many people opt to use their spare socks as mittens on cold and rainy days; I refuse. Perhaps, I’ll be desperate enough to drop the weight later and succumb to salty sock hands… time will tell.
Water and Food
Filter: Sawyer Micro Squeeze
They say you pack your fears. Consequently, I’m carrying a Sawyer Micro Squeeze for fear of not having my husband and his Sawyer original around. Obviously, The original is the way to go, but this is a backup, and water tablets take like sin.
Squeeze Bag: CNOC 2L Bladder
One of the most frustrating things about water collection is trying to fill the container. Therefore, I believe whoever made this is brilliant in my mind; it fully opens at one end, and has threading for a Sawyer on the other. Chef kisses!
Stove: Toaks 650 mL, Silicon Lid, and Blender Ball
While the Vargo Bot continues to grow in popularity for its dual functionality as a cold soak, or a pot, I chose to stick with my Toaks. By adding a silicon lid and rubber band to my Toaks, I’ve effectively achieved the dual functionality of the Bot, without shelling out the extra cash.
As an aside, The blender ball is for the Mutant Mass Gainer I plan on guzzling throughout the journey.
Clothes: Heckin’ Cozy Coats n’ Stuff!
Buff run-cap, Buff neck gaiter, Kari Traa fleece sweater, Patagonia Barely Bra, Mountain Hardwear Sunhoody, Kari Traa Tank Top, Outdoor Research Ferossi Pants, Smartwool Shorts, Injinji Socks, Smartwool Panties, Brooks Cascadia.
Smartwool underwear, Injinji socks, Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer.
As I gloss over the more standard parts of a gear list (hygiene and electronics), I feel it necessary to shine a spotlight on the Culo Clean bidet, and the Nixit menstrual disc. First, these products enhance personal/women’s hygiene, which ought to be discussed more. Second, these two items facilitate Leave No Trace (LNT) practice.
—Uncomfortable Bit. Skip if women’s health and bathroom stuff is not for you—
I HIGHLY recommend this product to women. It helps keep things fresh in general, and it precludes you from having to carry toilet paper in a little baggy–yes, I know you can bury it on this trail, but it’s better to carry it out. Additionally, when used properly, it can help prevent yeast infections and BV. You can’t keep all of you clean when you hike… but if you have to choose one place, maybe it should be this one?
People! If you hate the menstrual cup, this might be your solution. Cups dissuaded me from reusable products, but the disc restored my faith. Normally, when deployed properly around the cervix, cups provide a suction seal to prevent leaking. Unfortunately, If you happen have a tilted cervix (or something of the like) you might find it near impossible to obtain the perfect seal. Instead, the disc just slides into place above the pelvic bone; that’s it. No seal or deployment tricks.
Finally, carrying used products become a thing of the past (you CANNOT bury pads/tampons/etc. Like any product, practice before the trail, and wash your hands before and after.
P.S. I find this Youtuber to be incredibly informative on these matters.
—Uncomfortable bit over—
Finally, I truly am a gear junkie and I plan to update my list with potentially glowing or scathing reviews as I go. If you made it to the end of this, thanks for sticking around.
-a Nameless Mountain Goat
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.