My Five Favorite Thru-Hiker Items

It’s still early, but one week in, here’s my “For the win!” list:

1. Garage Grown Gear Fanny Pack

Lightweight, holds a lot, waterproof, cool color, easy to take into town, great for glasses and your basic ID and sunscreen, etc. Handy to have something separate and removable from your pack side pouches. Also their customer service was excellent—email replies were fast and friendly, and they even sent some free samples of meal packets since they didn’t have the one I tried to order from their site.

2. Feathered Friends 10-Degree Women’s Sleeping Bag

Super comfy and warm. Love the iris color. Lightweight and stuffs compactly. So glad they had one for 5’3″ and under. Also superb customer service by phone and email. They were great about exchanging the 20-degree bag I’d purchased initially, since my AT test hike in NY showed me I needed a warmer bag.

3. Crocs

I know, I know. For years I prided myself on never owning a single pair. But I promise you these are the best things my feet have ever seen at the end of a long day of hiking. Plus they’re super lightweight, waterproof, and seemingly indestructible.

4. Midlayer Top by Kari Traa

Norwegian. Fun. Warm. And lightweight. Snaps instead of buttons. Makes me so happy.

5. Arbonne Essentials Greens Balance

Add power to your Nalgene bottle, along with needed vitamins and green nutrition. I put a scoop of the Arbonne greens powder in my bottle every morning, and tried out some other greens packets from Whole Foods as well. I’ve been spreading the word (and samples) to other hikers so much they named me the Jolly Green Giant.

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Comments 2

  • Sngbrd : Mar 25th

    Hey there, I have the FF 10 degree bag and it is so lofty it takes up half my pack. It’s been a real challenge to get it to pack down. I’m not using the stuff sack it came with because it will only sit vertically in my pack. How are you compressing it?

    • Cari Pattison : Sep 23rd

      Hi Songbird! I can’t recall if I ever replied to this, and by now I’m sure you have an answer. But just in case: I called Feathered Friends about this same issue and they advised me to turn the bag inside out and then stuff it in. It worked! But as I went further on my hike, I ditched the stuff sack and instead just stuffed the bag (inside out, of course) into the bottom of my pack, inside the general trash bag that lined my pack. All the best to you in your hiking! – Cari


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