I’m not a “gear” person

The Panic Mode

This last week has been a blur! Finishing up life things for the next six months or so is a monumental task at best and I’m still finding things to do!?!  Seriously WTF!  Do you spring clean or fall clean??  Do you just leave things for the husband to do or try to get stuff done so he doesn’t have to do it??  I’m leaving behind a husband, the one who got me hooked on this hiking thing in the first place, 3 cats who will be hating life when I’m gone since I’m the master feeder and door opener, a home and a job. Have I mentioned that my family is also building a new home beginning this year?  We seriously have awful timing but is there a good time to leave your life to live in the woods and hike all day?? Due to modern technology we can help pick flooring or whatever we need to pick while we are on trail. Or so we think….cut to months from now panicking about decisions…never mind it’ll all work out I’m sure.

Gear information

Onto the gear information. I’m not a gear person other to say that I prefer it to be functional and lightweight. I do not know weights of items but I know that I will be about #23 fully loaded with water and food to start.  I use a Zpack Arc Haul that I’ve had since late 2020. It’s seriously the best for dumping everything into it and leaving camp. I do wish that they came in better colors, like purple!

Sleep system

I sleep warm, like really warm!  I am starting with a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer 20 degree bag and will change to the Zpack quilt when it gets warmer. I’m still debating about a sleeping bag liner…..probably won’t bring it.   I use a Big Agnes sleeping pad which is noisy but I try to tent and not sleep in shelters as I’m the one who snores!  


This is the thorn in my side…I want lightweight but it tends to be the heaviest part of the bundle.  I am using a DD Tarp tent that my husband has used and I carried on my LASH.  It’s way under  and it’s my personal coffin!  The real issue with this tent is that I cannot easily get dressed while in it.  I have to lie down and shimmy which is quite the process.  I’ve waterproofed it yet again and I’ll be using this until I switch out later this summer for yet another Zpack product.  

Water Filter

Everyone carries a water filter and I’ve tried a few but went with the BeFree 1L bag.    I also have a 3L bag for longer stretches without a good water supply which probably won’t happen until summer but I’m lazy and like to get water before camping and use it until I’m hiking the next day.  

My Montem poles will become part of my hands because I’m old and recently started mushroom hunting while hiking so I’m looking all around and not at my feet.  I won’t eat any but I love seeing them peak out from under a tree or leaf pile. As a result, I trip over things quite a bit and my poles are there to save literally my face.  Most of my other gear is pretty basic.  My clothes are not anything special, mostly REI brand.  I wear a Patagonia bra and I’m in love with Under Armour underwear, they dry in literally 15 minutes!!   I’m overall lightweight and my pack has had a shakedown by a previous thru hiker, thanks Paul, so I’m confident that I don’t need to downsize anything.  He did recommend that I remove the “thingies from my Crocs” which I did mostly so I don’t lose them.  Most hikers pack their fears they say but my fears are open heights and snakes!  I do not pack a snake bite kit as they are not going to fix the heart attack that I will be having from seeing a snake near me!

My New Gear

Recently, I decided that leaving my tent to pee at 4am will be much easier and drier with an umbrella! Introducing the  Six Moon Designs Silver Shadow lightweight umbrella that will be attached to me for this trip.  Just having a dry head can be so uplifting!  I also updated from a heavy duty trash bag as a pack liner to a cadaver bag from work to line my backpack.  As a vet tech, the death process is part of my everyday life so carrying a bag to place a pet in after death is not a problem for me.  It’s a heavy duty plastic and harder to puncture so my gear stays drier.  

That’s it for gear!  You know where to find me until later this week then I’ll be the one with the red face and messy hair huffing and puffing up the mountains!  


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Comments 1

  • Wendy Hirthe : Mar 18th

    Your passion for this topic really shines through in your writing.


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