Badger’s Long Trail Gear List
After hiking an 80-mile section of the AT, the first 30% of the Oregon Coast Trail, a 100-mile section of the CDT (which was supposed to be the Pfiffner Traverse), and 60% of the Wind River High Route, I am determined to finally fucking finish something in 2019. That something is widely regarded as the most rugged trail in the country—The Long Trail, a 272-mile footpath running the length of Vermont.
Not to brag, but: It is my sincere goal to set the new FKT on The Long Trail. That is, Fattest Known Time. This hike will be an ice cream / brewery tour on foot with ~135,000 feet of elevation change. If you’re reading this and know of any standout breweries / ice creameries along the trail, please unleash some words in the comments.
I also chose this time of year in hopes of catching some of the legendary New England foliage—and to avoid bugs and mud. Not necessarily in that order.
Here’s the stuff I will be bringing.
The Big Stuff
Sleeping pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite. This is the full length. I have officially retired from the short version (what I used for 70% of my PCT thru-hike). The only scenario that could possibly draw me out of retirement would be if I were struck by a shrinking ray gun on the “Chaunce” setting.
Sleeping bag: Feathered Friends Swallow UL 20. I’m fully expecting Northern Vermont (aka Canada’s southern crust) in late September to be cold as fuck. For that reason, I’m not messing around with a quilt. This will be my first time using this bag, though I did use the Lark 10 on the Colorado Trail (in the heart of September), which worked great.
Shelter: Nemo Hornet Elite 1p. This trail is rugged and the odds of me snapping a trekking pole are above 0%, so I opted for a semi-free-standing tent. Although there are shelters (which are quite nice, from what I’ve heard), I generally prefer not sleeping a few feet from strangers. I’m also bringing one MSR Blizzard Stake to dig holes for poo and a Tyvek ground cloth.
Pack: Mountainsmith Zerk 40. As much as I dislike the person behind the design of this pack, I very much like the way it carries, its plethora of large pockets, and roll-top closure. The pack is lined with a trash compactor bag.
Fanny pack: Gossamer Gear Bumster. Because the Zerk lacks a hip-belt (and thus hip-belt pockets), and I like having a hoard of snacks within reach at all times, a fanny pack is a must. The Bumster worked great during my AT section hike earlier this year.
Rain jacket: Montbell’s Versalite Rain Jacket. It’s lightweight (6.4 oz), features a pair of zippered hand pockets, and performed well in the Winds.
Rain pants: Montbell Convertible Rain Pants (6.1 oz). As if the fanny pack wasn’t enough, my dad-like fashion sensibilities require zip-off pants in some capacity.
Puff daddy: Montbell’s Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka (8.4 oz). The best down jacket I’ve ever used and going on >3,000 miles strong.
LS base layer: Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip Hood. I treat this more as a midlayer, though will likely use this next to skin if/when it rains.
Leggings: IceBreaker Oasis Leggings
Active layer: Exofficio Bugsaway Halo Check Long-Sleeve Shirt. Not expecting the mosquitoes to be an issue this late in the season, but deer ticks are ever-present, satanic disease spewers in New England and homie don’t play.
Shorts: Nike running shorts, treated with Sawyer Permethrin.
Trail runners: Altra Timp 1.5 (not pictured; I somehow always forget to include my shoes).
Watch: Garmin Fenix3 (not pictured)
The Other Stuff
Trekking poles: Leki Makalu Lite Cor-Tec Trekking Poles. Though I mentioned that I’m somewhat cautious of breaking a trekking pole, I’ve been using Leki’s since my first thru-hike (AT 2011, drink), and have yet to snap one.
Filter: Sawyer Squeeze
Portable charger: Anker 26800
Hygiene: Baby wipes, TP, toothbrush / paste, sunscreen, supplements, non-illicit drugs, Swiss Army Knife, and other stuff.
Headlamp: Coast FL75R. I’ve never used this, but wanted something brighter than my Black Diamond Spot since daylight will be at a premium (relative to summer hiking at least). And I’m interested in testing something with a rechargeable battery.
GPS communicator: SPOT Gen3. To remind my wife that I’m alive and to not get remarried yet.
Pot: Vargo’s Bot 700
Stove: Snow Peak LiteMax Stove. It’s light (1.9 oz) and turns isobutane and propane into fire. What else could you ask for?
Spoon: MSR folding spoon (the only one that I haven’t lost, not pictured)
Wall charger: Anker 4-port Charger
Wallet: Zpacks Zip Pouch
How’d I do? Roast me in the comments below.
Disclosure: Many of the products in this post were donated for the purpose of testing. I’ve had most of this gear for years, so I can’t recall which were bought and which were supplied. Just assume that everything was given to me. Except for the garbage bag. That was all me.
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