Not So Ultralight, But Just Right

As any potential thru hiker will tell you, researching and deciding on your gear is an absolute crazy endeavor. If I had a dime for every review I’ve read and every YouTube video I’ve watched regarding all the gear available, well… I’d have a lot of dimes.

So what makes a gear set ultralight anyway?

The way that I understand it is, a base weight less than 10 lbs is considered ultralight and anything under 20 lbs is lightweight. There’s even a superultralight that weighs 5 lbs or less, but that’s certainly something that I’m unable to imagine at this point. But in my case, lightweight works best for me splendidly. My base weight is almost 17 lbs and I’m totally fine with it after many shake down pre hikes. I’m very comfortable and confident with my gear as I hike my own hike respectively.

What I'm Packin

So here’s what I’m packin:


ZPacks Duplex tarp tent and stakes

Sleep System:


Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Windrider 40L Backpack


Hygiene / First Aid / Survival:


Luxury Items:


Maybe just a tad too heavy? Only time on the trail will tell…

I probably could have tweaked away a few more ounces, but this is what feels best for me. This should cover the nobo portion of my flip flop thru hike beginning at Harper’s Ferry 4/23. Hope to see you out there and may sunshine flood your path.





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Comments 4

  • Ruth morley : Apr 13th

    Hey, Barry! So pleased to make your acquaintance. I’ll be seeing you at Harpers Ferry next weekend, and will hit the trail with the gang on 4/23. Unfortunately, I’ll only be doing a week’s practice run this time, but will begin my SOBO southern half in July from HF, and my full northern half NEXT April.

    I understand what you’re saying about trying to get the gear weight down but still being able to have a bit of comfort on the trail. I look forward to having a backpack shakedown by those-who-know next weekend.

    See you at HF next week! I go by the name of Yogi, after my favorite cartoon character Yogi Bear and my penchant for meditation and yoga every morning.

    • Barry Hudson : Apr 13th

      Thanks for reading & commenting, Ruth. Finding peace with my essentials didn’t come easy, but fortunately it happened. Hope to see you out there and making your acquaintance. My trail name is Discount because, figuratively speaking, I’ve never had to pay full price my entire life. I am totally looking forward to the AT demanding full price+

  • TicTac : Apr 13th

    Congratulations on assembling a very workable gear list. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone shame you for NOT being ultralight. Your base weight is commendable and doesn’t need to change one bit. Hike You Own Hike should apply in every case, but unfortunately hikers afflicted with Ultralightitis believe only THEY are the true purveyors of hiking wisdom and anyone with a base weight in excess of theirs is deserving of a verbal beatdown. It inevitably will occur in the evening, at a shelter, when everyone is getting out their cooking gear, and someone will want to discuss your choice of gear. Just say: Hey man, you carry your pack and I will carry mine, period.

    • Barry Hudson : Apr 13th

      Thanks for the encouragement. Confidently locking in gear for such an epic journey is quite daunting.


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