Julie’s YouTube Gear Shakedown

After posting my Appalachian Trail gear list video on YouTube, I received a ton of feedback from not only my viewers, but also past Appalachian Trail thru-hikers as well.  I am the type of person who soaks in all of the advice I can get.  Since I have only been a day hiker and weekend backpacker thus far, their expert advice has been much appreciated.  I definitely took everyone’s suggestions into consideration while also keeping in mind what items I personally need to be comfortable while out on trail.  With my YouTube gear shakedown I was able to shave off 3.96 pounds from my pack. My cold weather base weight is now 13.4 pounds and my warm weather base weight is sitting at 11 pounds.  I’m now happy to share with you the gear I was able to eliminate completely, what items I switched out to make my pack lighter, and lastly, what I decided to add into my pack.

Gear I Eliminated

Some of the gear I eliminated to save weight.

1.) Teva Sandals, 10.3 oz

If you read my comments in my video, you will find that almost everyone thought my sandals were just way too heavy.  After researching a lighter option, I finally came to the decision to just eliminate my camp shoes all together.  This will be taking away a huge part of comfort while at camp but I would much rather save the weight and put in bigger miles. I just couldn’t justify carrying sandals that were only going to be worn possibly an hour or so a day.

2.) Cnoc Water Bladder, 2.5 oz

I will be scooping up my dirty water with a second Smartwater bottle instead to save some weight.

3.) Z-Seat, 1.9 oz

As I mentioned in my video, I originally was not going to bring a butt pad.  But after my winter shakedown backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park, my butt literally froze sitting on frozen logs and I didn’t want that to happen again so I went out and re-bought the Z-Seat at REI.  After speaking with past thru-hikers and realizing I could use other items to sit on or just squat if need be, I decided to eliminate it yet again.  Sorry, Z-Seat.

I’ll just squat and eat. No big Deal.

4.) Rain Cover, 2.8 oz

My purple rain cover from ULA looks super awesome and turns me into a purple ninja turtle.  However, I decided to eliminate it too.  All of the items I don’t want to get wet will be inside dry bags, which will then be even further protected by a compactor bag I line the inside of my pack with.  A rain cover is just added weight I won’t be needing.

5.) Packable Towel, 1.5 oz

I originally wanted to bring a packable towel to wipe down any condensation inside my tent.  I’ll be air drying my tent or using a bandana instead. Goodbye, little towel.

6.) Extra Patagonia Leggings, 5.7 oz

I have decided to just bring one pair to sleep with and also hike with to save on weight and money. If this becomes an issue I will buy a cheap pair in town.  I’m willing to take the risk.

7.) Nail Clippers, 1.4 oz

I will be cutting my nails with something else. Keep reading on to find out what item I added in that is multifunctional.

Gear I Switched Out

1.) Regular Sawyer Squeeze to Micro Squeeze, 1 oz

I decided to switch from the regular Sawyer Squeeze to the Micro Squeeze to save on weight. You can watch a comparison video between the two here.

2.) Heavy Phone Charger to Anker Charger, 1.1 oz

The heavy phone charger I started with was something I just randomly picked up at Walmart one day.  I decided to go with the Anker charger instead because my other one was so heavy it’d fall out of the outlet.

3.) Salomon Speedcross 4 to Altra Lone Peak 4.0

This has nothing to do with saving weight as I will be wearing these my whole entire hike except when I’m sleeping.  I had no issues with the Salomon Speed Cross. Honestly, I was just curious to try out Altras. We’ll see how I like ’em.

4.) Sea To Summit Dry Bag 4L to Zpacks Dry Bag, .2 oz

I ordered the Zpacks dry bag mainly just for my puffy but then I soon realized it could also fit all of my other clothes into it as well once I got rid of the extra pair of leggings.

5.) Smartwool Camp Socks to Darn Tough, 1 oz

Smartwool socks are comfy but heavy and take up a lot of room in my dry sack.  I’m going with a third pair of Darn Tough socks to sleep in.

6.) Gerber Knife to Classic Pocket Knife, 2.1 oz

My Gerber knife was very unnecessary.  My new mini pocket knife not only has a knife, but it also has scissors to cut my nails with and a nail file. Triple win!

7.) Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Xlite to Uberlite, 2.9 oz

I upgraded to the new Therm-a-Rest that just came out. Super excited to try it out. You can watch a comparison video here. 

Gear I Added

1.) Buff, +1.7 oz

It’s made out of lightweight Merino wool and will be super helpful to keep my hair out of my face.

2.) Dry Bag, +.5 oz

I went with the Zpacks Slim Dry Bag to keep my electronics dry.

3.) Sunglasses, +1.1

I chose sunglasses from ShadyRays when they were having a really cool sale going on. It was one of the last items I was waiting to buy.

There you have it. That will be all of the changes I will make to my gear list as I will be leaving for the trail very shortly. Happy hiking and I will see you all out on the trail.

Check out my final gear list here.

My final gear list.

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