A New(bie) Thru-Hiker Take on the Pre-Thru-Hike Gear List
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh God, another gear list.” Well, I can promise you that this one is short, sweet, and relatively painless to get through. It also doesn’t cost a million dollars or include everything Zpacks has ever made (no shade). Also, I don’t brag about being ultralight because, drum roll, I’m not. My base weight is currently over 10 pounds.
I’ve done my best to include links to the gear, with a few exceptions made for the items I’ve owned for years. Some of the most important considerations for me when choosing new gear was weight, cost, and material (vegan friendly). I listed the gear in sections with weight, price, and a quick blurb as to why I chose that piece of gear. I purchased most of my new gear from REI and I did so for two main reasons: 1) shipping to the store is free and 2) those sweet, sweet co-op member dividends. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
The Gear List
- 20.1 oz
- 325 USD
- highly recommended by experienced thru-hikers
The Big Three
Tent: Gossamer Gear’s The One
- 23.81 oz /out Stake Bag and Line
- 299.25 USD
- I was looking for a lightweight and affordable single-walled tent and this fit the bill. Also, The Trek and Backpacker Radio had a sweet promo code going on when I purchased this tent.
- 30.14oz (synthetics are usually heavier)
- 210 USD
- I chose a synthetic bag because of the whole me being a vegan thing.
- It’s a 20-degree quilt because I’ll be starting my hike in the winter.
Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Regular
- r-value 3.2
- 169.95 USD
Cook Kit and Water Filtration
- 84.95 USD
- I have two reasons for choosing the Ursack – firstly, I don’t want to carry a bear canister unless I absolutely have to; secondly, I don’t believe that a normal bear bag would be sufficient to keep out the cute, food stealing rodents.
- .88oz w/out stuff sack
- 14.99 USD
- Darwin on the trail recommended this in one of his videos on going ultra-light on a budget. Also, if I’m going to skimp on anything, it’s going to be a stove that I’ll probably be too tired to use most of the time.
- 1.9oz w/out stuff sack
- 8.95 USD
- 1.5oz w/ only one bag and the filter
- I don’t want diarrhea
Hiking Clothes, Head to Toe
- price varies based on type and design
- I got a cool blue one
Headlamp: Cree Headlamp
- 10.00 USD
- has a lot of the same features as BD Spot, but is brighter and lighter
- 32-45 USD
- already had this as a running shirt
- 50-65 USD
- already had these for running in
- the trade-in program and hiker reviews sold me on these
- 89.98 USD
- I got the ugly pink and gray ones because they were on sale
- 22.95 USD
- another piece of budget UL gear in one of Darwin on the trail’s videos
Camp Clothes and Layers
Dry Bag: Zpacks Medium
- 28 USD
- dry clothes = important
Beanie: a Patagonia beanie I got for X-mas years ago
Gloves: a pair of Burton brand gloves that are touch screen compatible. I bought them at a sporting goods store years ago.
Camp shoes: Xero Cloud
- 49.99 USD
- I was in need of durable sandals to wear on and off-trail
Socks: REI Co-op COOLMAX
- 9.93 USD
Mid-layer: Patagonia Capilene baselayer that I’ve been running in for years
Cold Weather Jacket: Patagonia Men’s Nano Puff
- 199 USD
- Patagonia can have all my money
Rain Jacket: Montbell Versalite
- 199 USD
- replaced my Outdoor Research Helium jacket; has pit zips and better adjustment straps
Leggings: just a random pair of Reebok yoga pants that I have for running
Dry Bag: Zpacks Small
- 19.00 USD
- will probably replace w/ a Ziploc bag
Hygiene: Vaseline, Hand Sanitizer, Sunscreen
First Aid: antibiotic ointment, duct tape, needle and thread (for blisters)
Repair: Sawyer O-ring replacement, other included repair kits
- 42.95 USD
- gotta get good z’s
- 12.95 USD
- coffee is life and it deserves its own cup
- just a little representative flare on my pack
See, I told you that would be relatively painless. As Porky Pig says: “That’s all folks.”
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