Nearly Complete Gear List

Unfortunately, I purchased most of my gear before Christmas and left my wife with no real options for gifts. My stocking was stuffed with BoBo’s, bars, and refried beans. When I pulled the bars out, she quickly grabbed them from me to check for Macadamia nuts. I am allergic to Macadamia nuts and she is known to periodically poison me with them. As Christmas has been approaching, I have been especially good and she doesn’t want to poison me right now. Don’t get me wrong, everyone that knows my wife says that she is one of the nicest, kindest people in the world. The issue is all me.

The gear list below is pretty honest, my brutally honest gear list can be found on Lighter Pack.

There are a few items still being considered:

  • Shoulder or fanny pack – I would love to have a few more items (food) more readily available. Even though the hip belt pockets on my pack are huge, it is not easy to get my phone with earplugs attached into them.
  • Socks – I may want a third pair of socks so that I can alternate between two worn pairs. I will be carrying an even number of socks; curious? listen to this.
  • Mid and Base Layers – are these too heavy? will they be warm enough?

I am concerned about the 5 pounds of carried clothing. My carried clothing includes Teva sandals, which I prefer for river crossings and mud hiking, but will probably be sent home when we flip to GA.


Most of the author’s gear. Obviously missing the long yellow thing.

If the list below is not enough, learn more about my Big Three.

Merry Christmas and may the new year bring many new trails and adventures!

Affiliate Disclosure

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.

Comments 6

  • thetentman : Dec 25th

    Good luck.

    Thx for the post.

  • Pete Smokestack Buak : Dec 26th

    I’d try to find something lighter than the Tevas since they weigh almost a pound. Wipes are not a replacement for TP unless you plan to carry them out, cannot be put in privies nor burried. I enjoy my Kindle but you can read on your phone. Good luck

  • Sparky : Dec 26th

    One piece of advice: use toe socks. Get good ones (my favorite is Injinji) and make sure they are not too small. Once you know how to properly put them on you will see. Then, I put a good wool sock over them for comfort. After over 1000 of hiking no hot spots much less blisters. Will take a bit of learning to put on (was for me) but I intend to hike the AT without blisters. I hope this holds!

  • Smiles : Jan 9th

    HYOH and the below are only things to consider, not pure recommendations.

    ***5lbs of Clothes***
    If you’re concerned about your 5lbs of carried clothing, then it’s not a big deal to experiment during your first leg of the journey, and have a few places in mind–maybe 4-10 days into your hike–where you can mail extra clothes home. You can fit a lot of clothes into a $20 large flat-rate box. You might find after a week or so that you need much less clothing than you’d think. I hiked nearly all of the PCT southbound in only a sun hoodie + Kuiu Peloton 97 (equivalent of your Cold Pruf quarter zip) + Patagonia Houdini wind jacket (slightly less warm than a rain jacket) and was fine. I was cold a few times, but I always knew that if I had a “cold emergency” then I could set up camp and warm up in the quilt. (Also the PCT is drier, so on the AT I might pack one more layer.) Eventually even the “fear” of a cold emergency went away and was replaced with a more logical planning process as you get more comfortable with your tolerances.

    Beware that as seasons change, you might notice that below-freezing weather, while colder than temps in the mid-upper 30’s, is more manageable. Why? Because anything below ~30 degrees is usually more dry. I personally have found that ~30-40 degrees is the greatest concern for hypothermia because that temperature can get wet. So if you decide to mail anything home, maybe keep that in mind. (E.g. a down jacket is least helpful in wet weather.)

    – Good call on getting a fully openable quilt (i.e. foot box isn’t sewn). This means you can use your quilt as a blanket to keep you warm in camp. That makes a puffy jacket less important. If you mail home your Tin Cup then you shave off 11oz.

    – Rain Pants + Base Layer bottoms is plenty warm enough for most people down to very cold temps. What temperature exactly? Varies a lot from person to person. But you might find that you can mail home your pants pretty quickly, shaving 10.7oz. Then during summer you could even mail home everything but running shorts (maybe keep rain pants depending on your thoughts about bug spray), which would shave another 6.4oz + 6.7oz potentially. Potential savings of 10.7 + 6.4 + 6.7oz.

    – Sandals. Seconding Pete’s comment, if you switch to a Xero Genesis or Bedrock Classic LT then you’d go from 13.5oz down to 9-10oz depending on your shoe size, which shaves off 3-4oz. I personally have hiked around 150 miles in the Luna Mono, which is close to your sandal weight. I would have been happier with a lighter sandal, although it wasn’t a big enough deal to buy another sandal. Potential savings of 3-4oz.

    – Pack Liner & Pack Cover. You have a very water-resistant backpack + Pack Liner which will keep your sleeping bag & clothes dry. You might find that you can mail home your pack cover. Maybe experiment with not using your pack cover on your first day or two of rain and see how you fare. You’ll probably be fine without it. If it truly is 6oz then getting rid of it would be like shaving off over 1/8 of your pack! Potential savings of 6oz.

    – Sleep Shirt. Many people sleep in their hiking clothes (or if hiking clothes are wet then sleep naked). Your quilt will be plenty warm, especially with your liner (which is nice for keeping your quilt clean and the down fluffy). There are highly personal and everyone is different with sleep & spare clothes–but worth considering because you have potential weight savings of 5.1oz.

    – Spare underwear. Highly personal, but especially since your running shorts are essentially a pair of underwear if they have a liner, you could get rid of one or both for potential savings of 2.9 + 2.9 oz = 5.8oz.

    —> Even if you only decide to take half or 2/3 of these suggestions, you could easily shave off 2.5lbs from your weight within the first week. That’s more than a liter of water. Or 1-2 days of food.

    ***Other thoughts***
    – Seconding Sparky on the toe socks. At ~$12 for a pair they are worth a try.

    – Fix-It Kit: Maybe consider adding Body Glide + Imodium + Pepto Bismol chew tabs. The Glide helps with chafing. The other two can turn a bad day into a good day. For me, I carried 4 Imodium pills + 5 PB pills. Didn’t need the Imodium but glad I had the PB. I used Glide every day for the first 2 months.

    – Bandana. Is this because you like wearing bandanas, or because it’s a multi-use item? If wearing it, then great. If for multi-use, then I have found that a mosquito headnet + UL microfiber towel (cut down to 4in x 8 in or so) will do everything that a bandana will do, plus also keep mosquitoes off your head. They weigh about the same. HYOH and all that of course, just something to consider.

    *Hiked PCT in 2023 + many shorter distances in terrible weather in the Marines. (Thanks to Navy for supporting Marines!)

    Enjoy your trip! Sounds like you’ll have a blast.

    • Mack McGhee : Jan 11th

      Thanks for all the great advice!

      I wear the Navy shirt in support of my two sons who drive subs. Thanks for your service.

  • Smiles : Jan 9th

    More thoughts on sandals:

    I personally am glad to have sandals…mainly when in town! Everyone has a different opinion though



What Do You Think?