My Appalachian Trail Winter Thru-Hike Gear List
Oh hi, it’s me, The Real Hiking Viking. As we learned in my previous post, I’m currently en route, SOBO thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Yes, in Winter. Tomorrow, I’m taking on the Mahoosuc Notch. Wish me luck.
“But it’s gotta be incredibly cold and snowy,” you say. You bet your ass it is. That’s why I have to ensure I’m properly equipped for the harshest of conditions, as the alternative could result in death. For those who are curious, here’s what I’m carrying.
Granite Gear Nimbus Trace 60 Liter (no lid)
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 Platinum (although I will use shelters as often as possible)
Vargo Titanium Tent Stake (shepherds hook with orange fluorescent head)
Enlightened Equipment Prodigy 30 degree synthetic quilt (Climashield)
Ibex merino baselayers:
Asolo TPS 520 GTX (a full size bigger to accommodate the sock layering system).
Mountainsmith Trucker Hat (typical hiking hat), Ibex Meru Beanie (for use during extreme cold days hiking), Z-Packs Fleece Beenie (for sleep), Outdoor Research Ninjaclava (for protecting skin from frostbite in the exposed alpine)
Mountainsmith Swift FX Lumbar Pack (modified to be a chest pack that clips into the shoulder straps)
Snowpeak LiteMax Titanium Stove with Mini Bic Lighter
Vargo Bot 1 liter Titanium pot with neoprene sleeve
iPhone 6s Plus w/ waterproof case and headphones
Emergency beacon/Satellite communicator:
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Why are you caring crampons and micro spikes? What do you do with your snow shoes when there is no snow on the trail?
I ship any gear forward that I am not using. I haven’t had to carry my snow shoes yet. And I have the crampons for more aggressive icy terrain. I lost a crampon the other day when I lost the trail in some real thick stuff and I was glad I had my micro spikes with me as well.
Heard rumor the other day that you were sponsored? Any truth to this?
Yeah man there is truth to that. I personally wouldn’t be able to do what I do without those sponsors providing the latest and greatest for me to get on the trails and live the life I love. I have a great relationship with several brands and I am very thankful for the opportunities to work with all of them.
Don’t hear of many using a vapor barrier. Used in drier cold climates. How do you like it?
What kind of pack weight are you carrying on average?
My understanding is that Aquamira isn’t a purifier/sanitizer . . . am I wrong?
Safe travels and have a great time!
I’m sorry that winter is just not performing this year! It’s a damn shame for all of us hoping to enjoy a winter wonderland. Watch out for that rain in the whites sunday, darn nino. I can believe that you haven’t had to use snowshoes, there is hardly any good snow anywhere in the east except northern maine. Unfortunately that rain and mid 40s sunday could take that away too. But hey, safe travels through the whites and the rest of new england, should be smooth sailing from there. Keep Truckin!
So is the umbrella for your sponsors sake cuz that caught me as fairly odd.
Hey! How did you make out on your winter thru hike? I just found this blog and read it with great interest. It is now 1-1-2017, and I’m curious to know how your hike turned out.
I thru hiked the AT in 2008, the Virginia/West Virginia portion in 2014, and will be doing another thru hike this year.
I highly doubt I would do a winter hike, mainly because I hate the cold!
But you have earned my greatest respect for doing the near impossible.
Question about your sleep system: A vapor barrier in the construction industry is always on the warm side of insulation system so if I understand your system correctly the synthetic quilt would be in direct contact with you and the down sleeping bag on the outside. Is this correct?
Same thing with the dress layer? Usually with dress layer the insulation is on the inside and the outside would be wind and rain protection and breathable or not the outside shell would act as a vapor barrier on which your sweat would condensate and eventually you’d get wet from the inside.