Badger’s Wind River High Route Gear List

Next week, Jabba, Lt. Cookoo, and I will be attempting to hike Andrew Skurka’s Wind River High Route.  I say attempt because I learned on the Pfiffner Traverse that not only is “failure” an option, sometimes it’s the smart choice.

We’re hoping to complete the full ~100 miles in 7 days.  We’ll see.

Here’s all my stuff.

The stuff that carries the stuff

“That looks like a garbage bag spilling out of a backpack,” you say.  Well, it’s a garbage bag spilling out of a Gossamer Gear Gorilla (which is a backpack).

Also not pictured is the GG Shoulder Strap Pocket Velcrowed to my strap.

My bedroom

Since other parts of my gear are going to be weightier than I’d like (see: Serious Mountain Shit Section), I’m opting for my lightest tent, my PCT companion, my ZPacks Solplex (15.5 oz).  I used this for the full duration of the PCT, it’s still in great shape, and it doesn’t smell like microwaved swamp, which came as a great surprise when I took it out for the first time in nearly two years today.  My tent has been treated with permethrin.

Also semi-pictured:

Trekking polesLeki Carbon Ti (7.4 oz)

Stakes: Most are the stakes that came with my Nemo Hornet 1p Elite, (weight: some), the rest are ZPacks Sonic Stakes (.22 oz each)

The don’t die overnight stuff

The Katabatic Alsek 22 (22 oz) is probably overkill given the forecasted lows, but I’m willing to carry a few extra ounces to ensure good sleep as this route will most definitely kick my ass, and restful Z’s are my only chance of going the distance.  Also bringing the full length Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite (12 oz), because the short sleeping pad life is for serial killers.

Clothes off my body most of the time

Going with the Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip Hood as a long sleeve base layer (which I treat as a mid-layer) and Montbell’s Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka (8.4 oz) for my puffy.  Toying with the idea of swapping this out for the Montbell Plasma Vest (3.1 oz) instead, since my quilt will be plenty warm.  Tell me what to do Magic 8 Ball. (Signs point to you’re pathetic)

Bringing two extra pairs of Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion Socks. I’ll pretend like I’m dedicating one of these pairs for camp.

To cover my meat vehicle

The Wind River Range’s mosquitoes terrify me.  For this reason, I will be rocking Exofficio’s Bugsaway Halo Check Long-Sleeve Shirt, emphasis on BugsAway.  One may reason that I would also wear long pants treated with permethrin.  That would be too consistent, as I will be wearing a pair of Nike running shorts (treated with Sawyer Permethrin) that I bought on the Oregon Coast Trail when I realized that my shorts weren’t drying because they were a cotton blend.

My potty quadrant will be wrapped in Saxx underwear because nothing is more comfortable, and for my feet, more Darn Tough Hiker Quarter Cushion Socks (also doused in permthrin)For the dome, an old Trek Trucker Hat that we stopped making sometime during the Carter Administration.

Not pictured: Altra Timp 1.5‘s.

The keep me dry / wind protected stuff

The exact same shape as the chalk outline of my body.

Going with Montbell’s Versalite Rain Jacket (6.4 oz) and the Tachyon Wind Pants (1.9 oz or exactly .5 LOLs for those who speak metric).

The holy grail of stuff

Did I mention that mosquitoes are my living nightmare?

I am bringing both Sawyer Picaridin Lotion Packets AND 100% DEET.  The Picaridin is my Plan A.  The DEET is my Plan “it’s this or I jump off a cliff”.  I dislike DEET.  I dislike mosquito clouds even more.  I will also have my Sea to Summit Headnet with InsectShield (1.3 oz).

Some serious mountain shit

The second most terrifying animal in this region is the grizzly bear.  Consequently- I’m bringing bear spray (11 oz).  I hear that if you spray yourself with this before the grizzly attacks, it’ll ease you into the undeniable dumptruck of torture you’re about to endure. I’m also bringing an Ursack Major (7.6 oz) because being eaten alive by a bear is no way to start the day.

Snow is another way for us to die, so I’m bringing Kahtoola MICROspikes and a C.A.M.P. USA Corsa Ice Axe.

The Sawyer Micro Squeeze was included in this particular gear shot for no good reason.  Once unboxed, it will be joining the rest of my stuff.

Electronics, Maps, and Stove

The maps are from Andrew Skurka’s Wind River High Route Guide (highly recommended).

The pot is Vargo’s Bot 700.  I lourve the versatility for this vessel to act as a pot, cold soaking compartment (it’s a screw-top lid), and/or an extra water container.  The stove is Snow Peak LiteMax Stove (1.9 oz).

As for the 21st century impurities (electronics), I have the giant Anker 26800, Garmin Fenix 3, my iPhone, and their various cords. The forehead light is the Black Diamond Spot (3.25 oz).

Other stuff

This bag has some other stuff.  Band aids, toothbrush, chapstick, toilet paper, supplements, and the rest.

According to my Gear List, it looks like my base weight is 11.1 lb.  I’m sure I’m forgetting odds and ends so let’s say 13 lb and call it a day.

How’d I do?  Email your grades here.

**In the next episode, Badger will delight you with a gorgeous array of photos from Central Western Wyoming.**

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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Comments 14

  • Janelle : Aug 1st

    All that poop talk and no trowel?

    • Zach : Aug 1st

      The bottom of my axe makes for a world class cathole digger.

      • Janelle : Aug 14th


  • tripledip : Aug 2nd

    Kids, this is what experience looks like.

  • Chris Homan : Aug 2nd

    Anybody carrying an inreach? I don’t think they are necessary at all but nice to have on these more challenging routes.

    • Zach : Aug 2nd

      Yea we will have at least one satellite communicator between us.

  • Bruce Hall : Aug 2nd

    100% DEET may damage tent, bag and pack fabrics. I have read it will eat holes in Dyneema.

    • Zach : Aug 2nd

      Yea the DEET goes directly on my skin and I try to avoid applying it too late in the day for the damage it can do to my quilt.

  • Kelby Cason : Aug 5th

    Now, are you sure the garbage bag was supplied by you, or is it another gear donation? What brand is it? Sea to Summit?? Osprey?? These are the questions that need answering!

  • Garrett S. : Aug 7th

    What temperature range will you guys be dealing with? No need for light weight gloves or buff/beanie?

    • wyomarine : Sep 4th

      Last July 4th I was at Ross Lake (9,700′) and it was so hot at night a light fleece was enough to sleep in (the skeeters were horrible). 2 weeks later at Burro Flat (10,600′) we had rain every afternoon and couldn’t keep the chills away (skeeters were still bad until the frost kills them). My new WesternMtneering Versalite came while I was at Ross Lake and am so grateful I brought it along for a good nights sleep. I’ve seen it snow here 11 months of the year so don’t underestimate your sleep/rain/comfort gear.
      Good call on the ice axe/toilet hoe, our archaeology teams do the same thing.

  • Peach : Jul 9th

    Did you make any conscious decisions on your choice of shoe?


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