The Big Three
There’s a certain thrill in planning this whole adventure. The best part of my day is the time I set aside in the evenings to pull out my notebook with my chicken scratch notes of shelters and resupply points and gear. And don’t even get me started on ordering gear! Sometimes I have to physically force my finger off of the REI app before I spend entire checks… because gear is fun… like really fun. It’s fun to buy, fun to try out, fun to talk about. Unfortunately not many people in your life really get excited like you do, over the awesomeness of 25% off Black Diamond items from the Labor Day sale.
Having been an avid camper before deciding on this trek, I had a lot of gear. After spending hours of researching, it became obvious that most of it was not useful for a thru hike. I had plenty of backpacks but none that were light enough or large enough to hold all of my gear. Luckily I did already have my Eno and am very familiar with setting it up and sleeping in it.
My Big Three
First of all, what is “The Big Three”? This is your pack, shelter, and sleep system.
Weight: 3 lbs 12 oz
Definitely not the most lightweight pack, but it is one of the more popular because of its comfort and antigravity design. So far I love it.
Eno Doublenest Hammock 1 pound 3 oz
Eno Guardian Bug Net 16 oz
Atlas slapstraps 11 oz
Triwonder Rain Fly 15 oz (not pictured- on it’s way)
I recently, (as in, yesterday) switched out my Eno rain fly for a Triwonder rain fly. There was really nothing wrong with my Eno, besides the fact that it has six guy lines… which would mean carrying six stakes. It’s at this point where most people you talk to will sigh or roll their eyes, because really Cassie, it’s not THAT much more weight. Every ounce counts, yo!
I was (and still kind of am) thinking about switching to a Hennessy Hammock. They do weigh less than the Eno set up, but the only thing holding me back (besides trying to save money and working with what I already have), is the integrated bug net. If it’s not buggy, I would rather not mess with a bug net at all. On clear nights when I don’t need my rain fly, there’s nothing I love more than staring up at the stars, with no mesh screen disrupting my view. We shall see.
Sleeping Bag, Pad
Marmot Ion 20 1 lb 12.5 oz
Got a deal on this baby in the REI garage and I LOVE IT. I chose a down bag because of the ability of compression and they are more lightweight than synthetic. Downside is, if it gets wet it’s pretty much useless, and it cannot be washed regularly, must be dry cleaned. However, I’ll be keeping it in a waterproof stuff sack and will not be worried much about cleanliness on the trail.
Therm-a-rest Z lite Sol Sleeping Pad 14 oz (not pictured- on its way)
I chose a closed cell foam sleeping pad because being in a hammock, I don’t feel I’ll need an inflatable pad, plus those are more weight. I’ll mostly need it for insulation to keep the cold air coming from underneath my hammock from freezing me, so I’m thinking I may send it home for warm weather and have my mom send it to me before the Whites.
Where’s the Rest?
I do have most of my gear already bought such as my stove, down jacket, trail runners, etc. As soon as I get some of the smaller things dialed in, I will make a complete gear list. Because who doesn’t love gear lists! (Besides our friends and family who are tired of hearing about ounces and base weights and prices 🙂 )
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