My Ever-Evolving Gear List

Flashback three years ago when I just started learning about this concept of “thru-hiking”. I remember sitting, at embarrassing unplanned hours, on various hiking forums. Those moments started to plant seeds and fester into this current dream –> now reality. I loved (and still love!)  getting ideas from other hiker gear posts of how to mold my personal gear collection in order to fit my needs. Now, 38 days out from stepping foot in Georgia, and I’m composing one of those same gear post for some aspiring future hikers. It’s amazing how our life endeavors  bring us full circle; how that cycle continues for others as I hope this list will aid freshman and maybe even junior status hikers alike.


*typical bird’s eye view (snoring dog not included)

For those that want a breakdown of gear:

Winter/ Starting Base Weight: 18.08 lbs 

… and with that, here’s the list:


Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2

Sleeping System

Marmot Hydrogen 30 Degree Down Bag

Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Liner –  adding +25°… I found that I sleep cool. Once warmer weather hits, I’ll probably ditch my sleeping bag and just use this. 

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad


Osprey Aura 65L Womens

2 Trash Compactor bags- used to line the inside + sleeping bag compartment


Lowa Renegade Mid Hiking Boot– I will most definitely switch these out for lighter ones somewhere in the hike… but I’m used to these for the time being

“Croc Look-a-Like”camp shoes from Walmart


Base Layer- Synthetic Basylayer top and bottoms (Walmart brand)

Underwear- 2 pairs, synthetic Walmart brand

Bra- generic brand

Synthetic Long Sleeve Shirt- from Goodwill; my primary hiking shirt

Icebreaker Half Zip w/Hood-  Mid layer

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket  – Insulating layer

Marmot Precip Rain Jacket (Womens) – Rain and Wind Layer

Buff –

Marmot PreCip Full Zip Rain PantsRain and Wind Layer

Socks: 3 pairs total- 2 pairs of Darn Tough  and one Smartwool pair (which will live in my sleeping bag)

Nike Running Shorts–  from Goodwill; my primary hiking bottoms

Kitchen System

Ultra-Sil Dry Sack 13L –  Food Bag

Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium–  Cooking Pot

Snow Peak LiteMax Stove 

Isobutane Fuel Canister-  it fits into the 700 mug perfectly, along with the stove

Utensil- Fastfood Plastic Spoon

Sea to Summit X Mug–  I need my tea in the morning 🙂

Parachord for Bear Hanging

2 Bic Lighters-

Hydration System

2 SmartWater Bottles-

Sawyer Mini Filter–  although it does have a slow filtration rate, I take the time to appreciate wherever I stop

3L Platypus Reservoir –  removed the attachment hose and using only at camp

Personal Care/First Aid

Hygiene Bag- small toothbrush, 0.5 oz toothpaste, chapstick, 1 oz Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap, sunscreen, PackTowel Ultralite  (cut in half)

Diva Cup–  this is a game changer ladies!

First Aid Kit (Homemade)- it includes: 0.5 oz antibiotic ointment, moleskin, medical tape, band-aids, steristrips, ace bandage, 4×4, 3×3, 2×2 gauze pads, ibprofen/tylenol, alcohol wipe, gloves, needle, ear plugs


BlackDiamond Spot 90 Lumen Headlamp

Leatherman StyleCS Multitool–  so light and comes with the essentials; shears, file, small blade, tweezers, bottle opener, and mini screw-driver

REI Traverse Powerlock Cork (Womens)  only taking one of the trekking pole pair

MSR Blizzard Tent Stake–  used as a trowel

AWOL’s NOBO 2016 Guidebook-  Section cut out, Springer –> Damascus, VA

ID, money, debit, medical, and WFR card


Nikon Coolpix AW120 Waterproof Camera

Journal+Pen+Small Paintbrush

Samsung Galaxy S5 w/ Lifeproof Case-

Charging Bag  –  external battery pack (debating on taking this… it accounts for a huge chunk of this weight), chargers for phone and camera



** Many of my small items/electronics and paper goods are stored in various pouch sizes from Loksak – lightweight, waterproof pouches, but more durable than plastic bags

And that’s it! I’m sure that I’ll be making tweaks here and there before the end of March. If I see anything while out and about to switch in to chip away at the base weight, then my list will evolve. But there comes a point when you just have to take a step back and breathe. I find myself constantly being reminded that the gear isn’t necessarily getting myself to Katahdin.. that’s my will and feet’s job.

When I started out backpacking and gathering new gear, I found this website that I thought would be helpful for those who like to organize and see the logistics/break down of everything. Make lists full of gear names, weights, save links, ect. Thought I’d share:

Final note, I know when I was starting to plan out my gear, I appreciated hiker’s gear videos. I’m more of a visual person, and seeing how things compared in size, how things compacted down, their reasoning for certain gear, and how people organized everything in their pack was very beneficial than just lists and lists of text. Let me know if this would be helpful for ya’ll and I’ll get a link out there. Thanks!



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Comments 6

  • Stephanie : Feb 19th

    What is the paintbrush for?

    • Andria Schmitz : Feb 19th

      There is no Macgyver or multi-use thought process with bringing this. Just the fact that I love to make art. One of my small luxuries for sure 🙂

  • Kiwi : Feb 22nd

    Not sure if you’re wanting feedback on your gear list but I’ll make a couple of suggestions based on my thru-hike. Your overall list is pretty on point and especially your shelter and sleep system look good, similar to mine which I loved especially the Neoair pad!

    These suggestions are mainly just personal choice as your gear will still get you to Katahdin fine but just thought I’d share for you and others.

    I’d take and use both hiking poles – helps with balance and can help stop falls, takes weight off and helps you to hike faster.

    I used the sawyer mini also but wish I had the bigger one. Most people either had the big one or changed to it. It’s hard to appreciate the things around you when you’re fighting with your bottle to squeeze water through it!

    Cut the guide book up and take probably just Springer to Damascus with you to begin with. And/or download Awols guide onto your phone and just use that.

    I liked to use a small sponge instead of a pack towel. Can dry off a damp tent, clean cook pot, clean yourself and is easy to replace in towns when it starts getting dirty.

    You may want to consider a pack cover. A wet pack is hard to dry, is not nice to bring into your tent or shelters and weighs more. And it’s another level of protection to keep everything inside your pack dry.

    Maybe just use your phone camera instead of bringing a second one.

    I sent my power pack home at mountain crossings. If you fully charge your phone it should last between towns depending how much you use it. Just keep it on airplane mode and try not to keep the screen on too long. However if you’re making a lot of phone calls or browsing the internet you may need the power pack.

    You might want to get a long handle titanium spoon. Easier to eat with and won’t break.

    The thermorest sack leave at home. It’s not worth the hassle of trying to fold it into it every day. Just roll the thermorest up and put it inside you pack liner.

    Also it’s a good idea to learn how to bear bag before you go. The PCT method works best. Helps to have a small sack (you could possibly use your sleeping liner sack) to put the rock in to through it over the branch.

    Hope some of these tips are helpful. Enjoy your hike!

    • Andria Schmitz : Feb 22nd

      Hi Kiwi!! Thank you so much for your feedback!! I appreciate it so much as I think my nerves are starting to set in, which aren’t beneficial to my brain remembering everything haha.

      My “one trekking pole set up” comes from this past summer’s backcountry trip. That was the first time i tried using poles and I learned how by only utilizing one pole. It’s now muscle memory; purely personal preference.

      I am definitely going to take your advice in regard to cutting up the guidebook! Actually, I’m planning on leaving the trail in Damascus for 4 days (I’m in a wedding!) And then re-enter at that same point. I can change out to the 2nd half of my guidebook at that time!

      Also, I’ve never really had to bear bag in my previous trips so i agree, practicing is essential!

      Thanks for all of your tips!!! Sincerely, Andi

  • DebS : Feb 23rd

    I would like to see a video of packing everything into the pack! Best of Luck!

  • Andy Farquhar : Mar 1st

    I used to carry a similar Leatherman but never used it. Now I carry the tiniest Swiss Army knife – saves a few grams.

    I also carry a warm weather bag plus a liner. If you get cold just put on all of your layers.

    Good luck.



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