My SOBO AT Thru-hike Gear List

The only thing more exciting than deciding to go on a thru-hike is realizing that it gives you an excuse to upgrade your gear. Before I begin covering the gear that I am taking I want to give some background information. I have been backpacking for roughly 10 years. Over these years my gear choices and overall quality have changed drastically. I put together my first backpacking setup in high school and on a budget of probably ~$150. I had a $20 Walmart tent, cheap synthetic sleeping bag, $5 foam mat, borrowed backpack, no stove, no water filter, and well.. you get the picture.

Fast forward a few years, some experience, and a summer job. Now that I had some money I upgraded my tent, my sleeping bag, and my backpack. I was able to afford a stove and a water filter. The gaps in my gear list were finally filled. How could I ever need any other gear? But, as I began to push more miles and do more research I quickly realized that my setup was far from where it could be. Once I graduated college and started working as an engineer I began to replace much of the gear in my pack. I went with the “buy once cry once” mentality for critical gear pieces. Below I will describe the key pieces of my gear list. You can find my full gear list on my Trek profile here.

My Only Piece of Remaining Gear:

As I mentioned before, I completely revised my gear a few times. The only piece of gear that has stood the test of time is my Jetboil Zip. I have had this system for about 8 years and it is still going strong. It is heavier than a lot of other cooking solutions, but it is fuel-efficient and robust. Since it has lasted this long I figured I should see if it can last a thru-hike.

My Big 3 +1(Tent, Sleeping Bag, Backpack & Sleeping Pad):

The tent that I have chosen is the Zpacks Duplex. This is a single-wall ultralight Dyneema trekking pole tent. I have taken it on a few backpacking trips so far and it has been nothing but great. The trekking poles that I use are the BD Trail Ergo Cork. I picked up a Western Mountaineering Ultralight Long sleeping bag. This is by far one of my favorite pieces of gear. It is unbelievably warm for its weight! For my backpack, I bought a Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Junction. Although this is a 55L pack I’ve been taking it on nearly every hike and trip over the past few months due to its weight and versatility. Lastly, I chose the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite for my sleeping pad. The comfort and warmth of this pad are great but I probably should have gone with the large version as my feet stick way off the end.

My Shoes:

I will be rocking the fashionable La Sportiva Wildcats with Powerstep inserts. Shoes are completely personal. I found these and they work for me. With that being said, I had a minor foot injury when I first started wearing these. I got inserts and that did the trick. My suggestion is to find a store with a good return policy and try out several shoes.

My Clothing:

I found this to be the hardest part of my gear list and everything I list here is tentative. For my base layers, I will be taking a pair of New Balance running tights and a Terramar quarter-zip top. These are both light and fast-drying which can be used for sleeping or hiking in colder temperatures. My daily hiking outfit will be 1/4 length darn tough socks, Patagonia nine trails shorts, an alpine designs button-down, and a baseball hat. For colder temps, I have a Patagonia down sweater. I’ll likely be adding more to my cold-weather gear later in my trip. My rain gear is a Mountain Hardware Exponent 2 Jacket paired with some cheap waterproof pants from Bass Pro. I also plan to bring a pair or two of extra socks, a pair of underwear, and an extra camp shirt.

Water Filtration and Electronics:

My water filter is the Sawyer Squeeze paired with a squeeze bag and a few Smart Water bottles. The squeeze bags pop frequently but I plan to still carry one and replace it as needed. For electronics, I will be taking an iPhone 11, 10,000mAh battery pack, BD Spot headlamp, and a Garmin InReach Mini 2. Lastly, my Sony a6000 camera with an 18-200mm lens will be coming with me as well.


I hope that you enjoyed learning about some of the gear that I plan to bring. If you have any feedback or gear suggestions please don’t hesitate to reach out! As I mentioned before, this is not all of my gear. I left out a lot of the small and less important gear items which can be found on my gear list. Thanks for reading and remember to keep wandering in your own direction.

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Comments 2

  • Jeff McCorkle : Jun 3rd

    Your gear looks a lot like what I am planning to use in 2024. I have not purchased a tent yet and am leaning towards the Durston X-Mid1. I will look forward to following you and how it all works out. Btw, I even like your Sedona t-shirt, best place on Earth.

    • Drew Flickinger : Jun 3rd

      Hi Jeff, thanks for your comment! I have heard good things about the X-mid, I’m sure it would serve you well. Funny enough.. I am actually heading to Sedona and the GC this weekend. Super excited to do some hiking out there before being on the AT for a while!


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