What’s in my Pack- Ft. The Sparkly Silver Umbrella


The final week before take-off has arrived. Even after months of preparation, I find myself still scrambling to make sure I have everything I need for departure. Trying to cut down on my pack weight as much as possible, but still wanting to feel like I have everything essential has been a real challenge. I still feel like I have too much, but I know it’s part of the experience not to have everything “perfect”, but rather to learn along the way what I will and will not use. After all, I like to be a frequent contributor to hiker boxes, and spread some trail karma, in hope that another hiker will need something that I am not in need of.

So with that being said, I will now share my anticipated gear set. Keep in mind that everyday I have been changing it up slightly, so this anticipated combo may be a kind of “give or take” of a few items. I am already looking forward to shedding my “winter gear” and sending it home, which I will probably plan to do upon reaching the Mt. Rogers area in Virginia.

Some Basics

Pack~ Red/ ULA Catalyst: 48 oz.

Pack Cover~ Blue ULA Pack Cover: 1.1 oz.

Sleeping Bag~ Nemo Equipment/Rhumba/15 degree: 1 lb. 12.9 oz.

Sleeping Bag Liner~ Theremolite Reactor Extreme: 14 oz.

Tent~ Tarptent/ Stratospire 1: 36 oz.

Tent Groundsheet~ Custon Tarptent Tyvek: 5.5 oz.

Hiking Poles~ Blue Black Diamond Poles

Headlamp~ Black Diamond Storm: 3.9 oz.

Camp Stove~ JetBoil Mini Mo: 14 oz.

AWOL Guide~ Southern Section Only


Puffy Jacket~ Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff: 2.1 oz.

Hiking Shirt Long- Sleeve~ Patagonia Capilene Baselayer: 5.9 oz.

Hiking T-Shirt~ NB Ice Short Sleeve: 3.4. oz.

Hiking Leggings~ Womens Velocity Running Tights: 7.1 oz.

Hiking Shorts~ Some random shorts I don’t know the brand

Camp Shirt~ NTS 250 Pattern Crew Top SmartWool:

Camp Pants~ SmartWool

Rain gear~ Frogg Togg Rainsuit: 10.4 oz.

Gaiters~ Dirty Girl Gaiters:1.2 oz.

Hiking Shoes~  Solomon Trail Runners

Camp Shoes~ Gender Neutral Crocs: 1o oz.

Hiking Socks~ Darn Tuff/2 Pairs

Camp Socks~ 1 Pair Smart Wool

Buff: 1.3 oz.

Bandana~ Appalachian Trail Conservancy: 1 oz.

Cold Weather Hat~ Outdoor Research Gear Stormbound Trapper: 4.2 oz.

Gloves~ Outdoor Research Gear Women’s Versaliner: 2.3 oz.

Personal Items

Fold-up Toothbrush + Small Toothpaste

Soap~ Dr. Bronner’s: 2 oz.

Contacts + Contact Case + Solution

Glasses w/ Case

Lightweight Journal + Pen

Hair Brush

Iphone 6 + Charger+ Anker Charger

Ipod Shuffle + Charger + Headphones

3 Carabiners


Umbrella~ Gossamer Gear/Liteflex Hiking Umbrella: 10 oz.

Suncreen + SPF Chapstick

A few basic First Aid Items (Mom wont let me out without them 😉


The Gossamer Gear Umbrella is by far my favorite item I am carrying, for several reasons. This was gifted to me by my close mentor and friend Laurie Potteiger, who in my opinion is the real heart of the Appalachian Trail. She understands the sentimental importance of me carrying an Umbrella on the Trail.

Umbrella Project was something started by my Father, Vince Coates who passed away in October 2015. He took many photos of umbrellas and people with umbrellas all over the world. He saw them as a symbol of unity, a simple item that could bring people together. Not to mention they are the perfect item for a fun photo shoot. It is my honor to carry on the Umbrella Project. Be on the lookout for Umbrella Project Appalachian Trail.

Now for the burning question, with all this stuff, what is my pack weight? And that is a good question that I honestly do not even know yet myself. I have chosen not to weigh my pack before heading out, because sometimes ignorance is bliss. I will weight in at Amicalola Falls and see how things work out for me from there to Neels Gap, where I then have the option to ditch anything that has not proven to be useful! Next post will be from Georgia!




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Comments 1

  • Tom Willard : Mar 16th

    Elaine- congratulations on your upcoming hike. I think the umbrella project story is amazing.


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