Only the Essential: My AT Gear List

Only the Essential: My AT Gear List

If you’re just looking for the list, scroll to the bottom.

Otherwise, check out my methodology below.

Gear Methodology

In 2023, I started my thru hike of the Appalachian Trail with, what felt like, a very dialed in pack weight. My base weight was a little over 17 pounds. With full consumables, I was hovering around 27 pounds. I had done some backpacking, but never long distance so this seemed like a standard weight. Passing through Neel’s Gap and Mountain Crossings in Georgia, I dropped some of this weight.

I got a pack shakedown and was amazed at how many things I didn’t need. Piece by piece, my pack weight dropped more than two pounds. Extra underwear, extra socks, unnecessary medical equipment, and lots and lots of compartmentalization made up the bulk of the extra weight. After shedding some pounds, I immediately felt more comfortable and ready for the trail.

At Mountain Crossings, I discovered the brilliant and revolutionary concept that the night is cold, and the day is warm. And where will I be at night? In my sleeping bag. So, as long as my bag can handle the cold weather during the night, I don’t need to worry about daily lows and should instead only focus on early morning temperatures.

So, I am brining the absolute bare minimum clothing. My rain suit is warmer than anything I own anyway (and the most fashionable!). The Rain Suit is in tatters

For other gear, I am prioritizing going as light as possible. My first slackpack, hiking with little to no weight in your pack as the contents are transported for you, opened my eyes to how much difference several pounds can make. Going light creates less stress and strain, lets you do more miles, go faster (mph), and feel better at the end of the day. I don’t think I can claim the coveted ultralight title, but I wanted to get as close as I could without breaking the bank.

Like most people my age (mid 20s), the price of things is a very strong motivator. I picked up my most expensive items (backpack and tent) on sale, saving me hundreds of dollars. Other items have been collected over the last few years at various discounts or are simply cheap to begin with.

For the keen eye, you will notice, I did not mention a stove or anything to cook with. This is deliberate. I am not bringing any means to cook food on trail because I will not be cooking on trail. Starting in mid-April, I will *probably* miss most of the bone-chilling cold. During these times, a warm meal goes farther than just about anything else. But the rest of the time, it is a luxury not a necessity. I also struggle to eat hot food in sweltering heat. I do eventually intend to pick up a stove somewhere north in early fall.

Altogether, my base weight is coming in just over 11 pounds. After the smokies, I plan on losing an extra pound in clothes. With consumables, my weight should come in just under 20 pounds. A drop of about 7 pounds.

The List

BackpackHyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 5531.8 oz
TentTarptent ProTrail Lithium17.75 oz
Sleeping BagMountain Harbor Bishop Pass 3012.3 oz
Sleeping Bag LinerSea to Summit Reactor8.7 oz
Sleeping PadNemo Switchback14.5 oz
Pack LinerContractor Bag3 oz
Dry SackSea to Summit Ultra-Sil 20L1.1 oz
External BatteryAnker PowerCore 10000mAh6.3 oz
Bear CanisterBearVault 45033.6 oz
Hiking Shirt
Running TightsUnder Armour9.6 oz
Puffy Jacket8.4 oz
Rain GearFrog Toggs Rain Suit12.8 oz
Camp ShoesCrocs16 oz
Water FilterSawyer Squeeze3 oz

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Comments 1

  • Jingle bells : Apr 23rd

    -waste bags?
    -cell phone?
    -water bottle(s)?


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