My Life in 58 liters
My first backpacking trip was about a decade ago. I was a mere 85 pounds carrying a pack that was just 55 pounds… we were out for a night. A lot has changed since then. Here is a breakdown of what I plan on living off of for the next 5 months of my life.
The Big 4 (10.5 pounds)
MSR Hubba – an older version but still perfect tent for the trek
REI Air Rail – insulated and partially inflates on its own, a really nice feature when you’re dead tired
Big Agnes Mystic – a 15-degree bag (put in sinch sack) to later be switched for a 45 degree bag also by Big Agnes
Clothing (10 pounds)
For warmth I have a tight fitting thermals top and bottom with an additional old looser thermal top that I can ditch at any point. In addition to that I have an Arcteryx synthetic down vest, knee high, thick wool socks, neoprene gloves, and a wool hat.
Base layers include 3 pairs of Exofficio briefs (different colors so I know what’s dirty), basketball shorts x 2, light and medium weight wool socks, and synthetic short and long sleeve shirts.
Outerwear is likely to change come warmer months. But for the start I will have rain pants, rain jacket, 2 bandannas, and a ball cap.
The last things in my clothing list include Crocs for use around camp, cheap knee braces for the long downhill sections, and a dry bag to store it all in.
Cookwear and Water (5.75 pounds)
As far as cookware goes I am using a MSR Pocket Rocket and carrying 2 – 3 canisters of fuel. For the pot I am using an MSR Stowaway stainless steel pot because it is durable and the lid locks in place to allow easier storage inside of it. Inside I have a spork, a plastic water bottle with the top cut to make a cup (my coffee cup), all purpose soap, sponge, lighter, 3 trash bags, 1 quart and 1 small Ziploc bag, micro towel, can opener, pocket knife, multi-tool, tooth brush, paste, and floss.
For water I am using the Sawyer Squeeze for filtration. I find this option nice since there is no wait to consume water and the bags allow additional storage of water if you are going through an especially dry area. It’s important to also bring the back flush syringe, an extra bag, and some chemical treatment if your bags fail on you. In total I will carry 3 liters of water, 2 in a Camelback and one in a Nalgene.
Electronics (1.7 pounds)
I really tried to make this category as minimal as possible but in the end I need some. I am bringing my phone (128 gb) in a Lifeproof case, a Nikon AW-130 waterproof/ shockproof camera (128 gb), a Goalzero portable charger, headphones, a 3 port wall charger, and three 6 inch charging cables. This is as small as I could make everything without missing out on opportunities to document my adventure.
Necessities (2 pounds)
This section includes everything I haven’t already mentioned that is still vital to a successful thru hike. This includes the AWOL NOBO 2017 Guide Book, trekking poles, headlamp, trowel, toilet paper, rain fly, brightly colored dry bag for food bag, and 50 feet of paracord and carabiners to hang a bear bag.
Personal (1.5 pounds)
This section includes unnecessary items but I am still choosing to bring them to make my hike a little more enjoyable. This includes a waterproof notebook, pencil, pen, sharpie, cash, credit card, ID, medical insurance card, duct tape wrapped around a small tube of super glue, toe nail clippers, Body Glide, and a comb. I included my medical kit in this section because it should be made to fit the person who is using it. The additional micro SD cards will be sent to me on a later date if needed.
Seems like a lot doesn’t it? Surprisingly it all fits very easily inside of my 58 liter pack. With out any food and water I am looking at a total gear weight of 33.5 pounds. Once I factor out the clothes I’ll be wearing and boots and trekking poles my pack will be weighing in at under 27 pounds. Add in 3 liters of water and 4 days worth of food I have a weight totaling to roughly 38 pounds. With 5 months of continuous backpacking in mind that is a far cry from the 55 pound one nighter I did a decade ago.
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