My Gear List, AKA: “Yes, I Thought of That” List
One of the reasons I’m glad to be documenting my thru-hike is to prove that I sort of know what I’m doing. Then, of course, to look back on afterward and laugh at my pre-hiker-trash self.
Gear from Years Past
Through my experience hiking I’ve learned two things about myself.
One: A roomier two-person tent might be luxurious at the end of the day, but it’s too heavy. Go lighter.
Two: I am not a die-hard ultralight backpacker.
These points might seem contradictory, but I promise I’ve thought it out.
The tent I’m talking about is the REI Quarter-dome. This tent is a tent that I will use forever. I absolutely love this thing, but it’s stupid heavy for a thru-hike, so I went lighter.
I used to hike with a sweatshirt and a plaid flannel to change into. That only lasted through my “trying to look cute for the gram” phase. I used to hike with a full first aid kit (complete with a splint kit), a crazy-ass map that I had to unfold to the size of a small tablecloth, a heavy camera, and, of course, my books.
You read that right; I used to hike with books. Think in terms of a classic, hardcover Dickens novel; that was me.
To be fair to younger me, what were you thinking? That pack was too heavy and you were so out of shape.
OK, rant over.
The Gear of Today
I’ve now opted for lighter camp shoes (not my Instagram worthy Birkenstocks), cut the handle off my hairbrush, and chucked odd bags and extra items I just don’t need.
I swapped my heavy boots for the Altra Lone Peak 4 trail runners. which I was skeptical about. I was a boot girl All. The. Way. I loved my boots and planned on wearing them, buying pairs to send to myself on trail. But after a normal weekend trip in the Whites left my feet bloody and bruised I convinced myself to give them a try.
Now I’m a trail-runner girl.
There are a lot of things the more experienced backpackers in my life have to say. Some recommend boots, while others swear by trail runners. Someone told me their large knife was very useful, while another never hiked with his again. Ultralight backpacking seems to be the wet dream of many backpackers I talk to, while others prefer to have all the precautions at their disposal.
You have to decide what works for you. I think I fall very comfortably in the middle and that works for me. I’ve had time to hike with these choices, but I’m open to any comments or questions.
Now Without Further Ado, My 2019 Gear List
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.