The Evolution of My Gear at the Half Way Point

If you ever want to hear a thru-hiker ramble on for an hour or two, just ask about their gear. Not to overexaggerate, because I’m not, but our gear is our life out here. We literally may live-or-die (okay that is a bit of an exaggeration) by our gear. Mainly though, what gear we choose will define how comfortable we are on the trail, and extreme discomfort can make or break our motivation to stay on and finish the trail.

The main things I thought about when initially compiling my gear list were: quality, weight, cost, and quantity (not all are mutually exclusive, for example, higher quality tends to be lighter and more expensive when it comes to backpacking gear).
As I hiked the first 1,100+ miles of the AT, I quickly got rid of many of the items I had. The reasons I got rid of many items were due to a variety of reasons:

  • Some items broke
  • I found them too heavy and not worth the weight
  • It got too warm
  • I just was not using them/another item could serve the same purpose

Updated Gear List

So, let’s get to it. As with all backpackers, my gear set has greatly evolved since I first got onto the trail. When I first set off, I wrote this post, outlining the gear I was taking with me. It went as follows:

I am now writing this post at the halfway mark, after summiting Katahdin, on my way to completing my SOBO trip from Harpers Ferry to Springer Mtn, GA. So, I have gone through my gear list, and striked through anything I have gotten rid of, and bolded gear I have added along with any explanations I want to include for you.

Big 4

Clothing + Footwear


  • Garmin 66i
  • Dual wall plug
  • Charging cords
  • Headlamp
  • Solar Panels not necessary while hiking through “The Green Tunnel”
  • Portable Charger (x1) (now it is x2 because I listen to music and audiobooks while I hike which drain battery fast)
  • Garmin – Instinct Solar Smartwatch


  • Bluetooth Headphones replaced with wire headphones because they draw less battery life from my phone
  • Kindle Paperwhite turns out that after hiking 25 miles/day all I want to do at the end of the night is sleep, and I have no time or energy for reading. This would be sad except that I listen to audiobooks all day while I hike, so I am getting my book fix in that way.


  • Soto Stove set + Fuel
    • added: FlipFuel transfer device (which allows me to take fuel from one can and put it in another, saving me money and the hassel of always buying new fuel cannisters!! You can get for 20% off with the code Rover20)
  • Pot Lid
  • Wind Stopper this broke night 2, not replaced
  • Spork this broke night 2, and has been replaced with a titanium long spoon
  • Sea2Summit Soap + Sponge
  • Flint & Steel  replaced with a small lighter
  • Homemade Pot Cozy
  • Smart Water water bottle (x2) (now it is x3 since I sent home my water bladder)
  • Water Bladder
  • Sawyer Water Filter
    • Sawyer Water filter bag + accessories replaced with the smart water bottles that fit the sawyer filter


As a result of all the items I have gotten rid of, I have cut over 10lbs of gear weight. This is HUGGEEEEE.

I still strive to cut more if possible, but also as I hike into late fall, I undoubtedly will have to get some of the weight back as I upgrade my quilt to a warmer sleeping bag, and take back my thermals and fleece.

If you want to read up more on what gear I love, check out my page here.

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 5

  • Mike : Sep 21st

    The fabric of the Light Heart rain jacket is the exact same as the tarp I use when hammocking. It is totally waterproof. When I hiked those same AT sections and even just walking in humid eastern Oklahoma, the sweat just pours off and there’s little difference between the sweating and a rain shower. Silpoly/silnylon can’t wet out but you can get drenched in sweat inside because it is so waterproof that zero sweat escapes and you swim in sweat. Get an umbrella from Gossamer Gear (og) or Six Moon Designs (they do Amazon) and save the ultra waterproof rain jacket for colder rain. If in fact the jacket is faulty, reach out to Light Heart. They will make it right if a gear failure or help you out if just internal humidity issue.

  • Heather Waldroup : Oct 2nd

    Make sure you’re doing a REALLY good bear hang as you get into TN/GA. Most of what i see is more of a “bear pinata.”

  • Bob : Oct 3rd

    Wish more folks would do posts about what made it and what didn’t.

    Thanks and keep having fun

  • Ron : Dec 10th

    I’m a old dreamer always wanted to trek AT plan on moving to Flag mountain area. Am eating up all these blods.


What Do You Think?