Introducing Flat Elliott! (and the rest of my gear list)
If you were to ask me what I am primarily concerned about leaving behind while I hike, my first answer would be my dogs. No surprise there, right? I have two older dogs, one has three legs and the other has arthritic hips, so there is no way I can take them with me.
My second answer might surprise you though. In addition to my dogs, I am also concerned about a certain vulture who has attached himself to me over the past two years. Don’t worry: “vulture” here does in fact refer to a vulture, as in, the bird.
The story goes something like this: I work at a rehabilitation center for injured birds. If a bird isn’t able to be released back into the wild, we are a home for them, so we have a number of resident raptors and songbirds. One of these birds is a black vulture named Elliott. Now, before I started working at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, I never thought I would be a bird person, and before I met Elliott, I never thought vultures would be my favorite bird. But I am and they are, and it’s wonderful to be a surrogate mother to Elliott. Since I cannot take him with me (vultures have a few unattractive quirks), I will be hiking with a flat version of Elliott!
(In case you are unfamiliar with flat beings, it began with Flat Stanley).
In addition to Flat Elliott, the rest of my gear includes:
My Big Three (and related accessories)
- Tarptent Moment DW (w/ optional aluminum cross pole to make it freestanding)
- Tyvek ground cloth
- Osprey Aura 50 liter pack
- Bluefield pack cover (slightly large but it was free and it works)
- Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 degree bag
- Therm-a-rest Z lite sol sleeping pad
- Cocoon Coolmax sleeping bag liner
- Sea to Summit inflatable pillow
Cooking & Water Treatment
- MSR Pocket Rocket
- Aluminum pot
- Stove stabilizer
- GSI plastic cup
- Plastic spork
- Ursack Major 15 liter bear bag
- Sawyer Squeeze filter
- Water bottles: I am still undecided. I have a Platypus 3L, a Nalgene, and 3 Platypus 1L soft bottles. I don’t know what combination I want to carry. I am also considering Smart water bottles. Thoughts, anyone?
- Aqua Mira
- Stuff sacks: I have 4, in varying sizes. Using one for my camp clothes, one for electronics, and possibly one more.
- Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer down jacket
- Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket
- Frogg Toggs rain pants (the most unflattering pants you have ever seen. Guaranteed.)
- Fleece hat
- Neck gaiter
- Light fleece gloves
- Hooded fleece jacket (in glaring orange; it doesn’t match anything else but it was cheap!)
- EE booties (which I stole from the Easter bunny; seriously, they are pink and yellow. Again, they were cheap-er!)
- Camp clothes: leggings, Cuddleduds long sleeve top, REI socks.
- Hiking clothes: compression pants/leggings, synthetic wicking long sleeve top, 2 pairs sock liners and 2 pairs Darn Tough socks. Warm weather: short sleeve shirt, running shorts or convertible pants ( haven’t decided yet).
- Insect Shield buff
- Adidas Coolmax baseball cap
First Aid & Hygiene
- UL First aid kit, including tick removal tool and small signaling mirror to help with tick checks.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Sea to Summit camp soap
- REI towel
- Chafing lotion
- Insect repellant
Electronics & Miscellaneous
- Leki trekking poles (1 or 2)
- iPhone and charging cord, waterproof case
- Anker 10000 charger
- Qualcomm quick charge plug
- Delorme inReach satellite device
- Book of some kind, or my iPad with books/audiobooks…?
I am still deciding on a few things, mostly based on whether or not I want the extra weight. If you have any suggestions, please comment! Right now I am sitting at around 20 lbs base weight. My guess is that the final weight with food and water will be 35 lbs-ish, which is more than I had hoped for, but oh well. The die is cast (almost)!
Less than two weeks till I start!!!
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