The One With All the Gear

Well here it is, The Gear Post. While I don’t love gear, I have learned a lot while preparing for the AT. I wanted to share my gear list in case it might be helpful for others, and if not, at least it’ll be fun to look back on!


After testing many backpacks, I finally decided on the ULA Circuit. I struggled with finding a pack that fit my body type, and even this one rubs a tiny bit on my lower back/butt. I think it will be manageable though, and I absolutely love how the rest of it feels and fits!

This is my cat, Tasha. I’m really going to miss her!

Shelter & Sleep System

For my shelter, I’m using the Tarptent Moment DW. It’s a one-person tent, but it’s still quite spacious! It also has everything else I wanted in a tent: it can be set up fly-first, has two vestibules, and can be set up both freestanding and not freestanding. I am also using Gossamer Gear Polycro for a groundsheet.

One of my absolute favorite pieces of gear is my Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt! It’s rated for 10 degrees and always keeps me super warm. I am a cold person and a cold sleeper so this is definitely a necessity. I have a quilt liner as well.

My sleeping pad is the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Deluxe. Again, cold sleeper, so I needed something with a good R-value. Also splurged on this a little (in terms of both cost and weight) because I am a terrible sleeper and a side sleeper so I wanted something nice! Finally, I have a Trekology Pillow.


Another one of my favorite pieces of gear is my Sea to Summit X-Pot Kettle! It collapses down and still fits a small rag and my lighter. To round out my kitchen, I have a Snow Peak Titanium Spork, an MSR PocketRocket Stove, and my fuel canister. To store my food, I am using an Ursack that is both bear-resistant and critter resistant.


To carry water, I decided to get a lightweight wide-mouth Nalgene as well as a Smartwater Bottle. I have heard that Nalgenes don’t freeze as easily, so I’m going to be using that at least for the start of the trail. I am using a Sawyer Squeeze to filter my water.

Clothing & Shoes

Deciding what exactly to wear for the next six months was quite difficult! To start, I’ll be wearing hiking pants that can zip off into shorts and a button-down long sleeve. I am planning on at least switching out the pants for lightweight running shorts when the weather warms up. I have two pairs of Darn Tough socks, two pairs of Ice Breaker Merino Wool Underwear, and two Branwyn sports bras. I also have a microfleece to start with, base layer pants, a base layer top, and wool sleeping socks. Accessories include a warm hat, cap, gloves, and a buff. My synthetic Enlightened Equipment Torrid Jacket keeps me super warm. And finally, I have Frogg Toggs rain gear and some rain mittens.

I decided on trail runners over hiking boots for my thru hike. I’ll be using the Salomon Speedcross 5 Wides.


I’m only carrying some basic electronics for this trip – my phone, my Garmin Inreach Mini, my headlamp, and potentially a Kindle. I have an Anker battery pack and one charging cord and two adapters to fit all of those devices.


Finally, all the little things! I have a ditty bag which will carry:

first aid kit

emergency repair kit


-electronics bag

I am also bringing:

trowel & poop kit

lip balm

mini sunscreen

camp soap



reasons for hiking index card!

I think that’s about it for my gear. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments! It’ll be interesting to see how this list changes throughout my hike.

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Comments 3

  • Upgreydd : Mar 3rd

    Some excellent choices here, having been an Alaskan hiker and camper for 25 years. I’d suggest adding a knife/multitool, top choice for a backpacker would be the Victorinox Workchamp or Hercules. You never know when you’ll need a basic knife and tools, and small pliers on the workchamp are adequate for backpacking needs.

    • Ralph B. Mahon : Mar 4th

      Never go anywhere w/o your multitool. I prefer Leatherman, but whatever works for you.
      Saw, scissors, two knife blades, screwdrivers, pliers, all come in handy.

  • pearwood : Mar 4th

    Hi, Katie!
    I’m working to pare down my pack weight. Being an old fart with prescription med complicates life. I also want to carry my two-pound camera. Arrgh!
    Blessings on your way,
    Steve / pearwood


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