Oh great. Another What’s-In-My-Pack article.

Now that summer’s outta here, I’m evaluating what gear worked, what sucked, and what I don’t have. (Mom and dad: stay tuned for the Stuff I Still Need post. All items will be on my Christmas list.) My base weight is on the heavy side, but I value comfort over lightweight. Go ahead, haters.

I’ve amassed most of this gear over the past few years—I’m lucky enough to work for an outdoors magazine, my father works in the shoe industry (^see top image), and I get pro-deals from my job at a climbing gym. Before you get jealous, note this: someone recently asked me if I got benefits at Outside Bozeman Magazine. I said “Yeah! Free gear!” And they said, “No, like health insurance or retirement money.” “Oh. HA! No.” Anyway. Here’s the big stuff.

Are you reserving the "accessible" method for hunting trips, or is this your plan for the AT?

Are you reserving the “accessible” method for hunting trips, or is this your plan for the AT?

Pack: Gregory Deva 60
I’ve had this pack for three years, and I love it so. I’ve been sternly instructed to get a lighter pack, but this one fits like a dream. Even though it’s hefty, the comfort makes up for the weight.

Tent: NEMO Obi 2P
Just over 3lbs, and super packable. More expensive than other two-person tents, but it’s roomy, light, and durable. I always put the fly on backwards/upside down though. That’s my problem, not the tent.


Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardwear Cloud’s Rest 5-degree
If I were to splurge and purchase unnecessary equipment, I’d replace this. I won’t though, because that would be spoiled of me. This is a wonderful bag—I’ve never been cold in it, it’s just heavy and probably too much for the AT. It’s also for giants. My whole college basketball team could fit in this bag.

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus
I love this. It’s easy to inflate and allows me to sleep on my side on hard ground, which is all I want in life. I’ve had it for two years, so it will probably start leaking soon. I would get the same one again. Calling it “self-inflating” is a bit of a stretch.

My packing skills are only marginally better.

My packing skills are only marginally better.

Cookset: GSI Halulite MicroDualist
Meh. I got this cookset because it had everything two people need: a pot with a lid, two insulated cups with lids, two bowls, and two “foons.” (Can’t stop laughing at the word foon.) The foons broke immediately, and everything…EVERYTHING sticks to the pot. Nice that the set is compact, but I want to ask GSI: Why oh why didn’t you make it nonstick?

Stove: Snow Peak GigaPower Auto
Rocky bought this stove to help ease my irrational fear of propane. He held it out and slooowwly said: “This stove is idiot-proof, Maggie. You turn this, push this, and look! It’s lit.” The stove does have its own igniter button, which eliminates scary lighters, so yay. And it’s teeny and adorable.

Filter: Sawyer Squeeze
One of my favorite pieces of gear: it’s lightweight, simple, and filters water quickly. I have the set that comes with three different squeezy bags, I’ll definitely bring the biggest one on the AT. Does anyone know if I should pack the backflush syringe, or is that a waste of space? Also, how long do the bags last?

Hiking Poles: MSR SureLock TR-3
I hate these. I will dump them on Rocky as soon as I get another pair. They’re heavy (good choice for beefy menfolk) and the grips makes my hands sweat in unsexy ways. They’re easy to adjust but I will definitely be replacing them.

I’ll cover wearables in another post, because I have no idea what I’m packing for clothes and it’s stressing me out. Feel free to impart any gear advice.  Or yell at me because my backpack weighs 5.5 pounds and I do not care.

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