The Things She Carried: LT 2023 Gear List
It’s been a while – time for a long-overdue gear list!
As I mentioned in my last post, the weather in Vermont around Memorial Day (the unofficial start of hiking season) can be seriously unpredictable. From the little bit of digging I’ve done on the forecast I’m looking at days in the mid-high 70s, nights in the low 40s, and a lot of rain. All that raises the possibility – rather, probability – of mud, slick exposed rocks, and potentially ice at the higher elevations.
This list is very personalized and a result of years of research as well as testing things out. I’ve chosen to go as lightweight as I possibly can to prevent injury over the more technical terrain, hike more comfortably, and hit an average of 14.5 mi/day to complete the trail in around 21 days. I’ve budgeted a few zero and nero (near-zero) days in for my trip as well.
Pack + Accessories
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 2400 – White, size M (29.8 oz)
This was my splurge item as I’d been eyeing this pack for a while. Though it lacks much padding, I love how minimal it is and it’s got plenty of interior and exterior pockets for organization. After a handful of trips, I find it carries comfortably well compared to its weight with a full loadout and is really durable while traversing through rough terrain. Adding in a compactor bag (2 oz) as a pack liner, re: excessive precipitation.
Gossamer Gear shoulder strap pouch – Gray, size M (1.5 oz)
For easy access to my phone/GPS, sunglasses, headphones, and probably snacks.
Mountain Mike’s water bottle holder (0.6 oz)
Holds a 1L bottle. Prevents shoulder dislocation from reaching back into my pack’s side pocket.
Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (27.6 oz, includes stakes and stuff sack)
Aside from a slight learning curve, this popular single-walled trekking pole tent’s setup is easy. Utilizing only one trekking pole (a bonus in the event the rocky northern section claims one), this tent is incredibly spacious. I’m around 5’9 and have plenty of room to sprawl out, sit up, and stash/dry my gear. Compared to its counterparts, I’ve found the Lunar Solo to do better with condensation. Laying a Polycro footprint (2 oz) underneath as an extra layer of protection.
Hammock Gear Burrow Econ 20 quilt (26.8 oz, includes ground pad attachments)
Gaining popularity because the price is right, this quilt is super warm and only a tad heavier than an equivalent. I made the switch to a quilt because of the versatility and, frankly, I hate the constriction that comes with a traditional mummy bag. Bonus: weight savings!
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol sleeping pad – 10 panels (9.7 oz)
I toss and turn a lot, which is why I’m opting for old faithful. If my sleep is really suffering, I have an inflatable as a backup.
Altra Lone Peak 6 trail runners – Men’s, size 8 (17.8 oz worn)
Zero drop shoes were a game changer for me. My knees always suffered coming down off steep Northeast mountain trails, which prompted the switch a few years back. Their maiden voyage was a trip up Camel’s Hump via Burrows trail – notoriously steep/rocky, and at the time I hiked it, also wet. I was seriously impressed with the grip, being able to trust my feet more, and my knees felt great.
Hiking top: EMS Techwick Essence L/S – Women’s, size M (5.7 oz worn) *might swap to S/S
Hiking bottom: EMS Techwick Sat Nam leggings – Women’s, size M (6.9 oz worn) *might swap to bike shorts
Undies: Icebreaker Sprite Merino sports bra – size L (2.6 oz worn)
Icebreaker Sprite Hot Pants – size M (1.8 oz worn)
Socks: 2 pairs Darn Tough Micro Crew to rotate out for hiking, 1 pair Sockwell Moderate Compression stockings to wear at camp – these have helped me infinitely with recovery and calf soreness (2 oz worn, 4.9 oz packed)
Headwear: Buff (1 oz worn) – I never hike without one as they are so versatile.
Sleep top/fleece: Mountain Hardwear AirMesh Hoodie – Women’s, size L (4.5 oz)
Sleep bottom: Patagonia Capilene midweight base layer – Women’s, size L (5 oz)
Puffy: Eddie Bauer Packable Hooded Down Jacket – Women’s, size L (8.2 oz)
Unsure of the model, I’ve had it forever and it’s due for replacing, but it’ll do for this trip.
Rain Set: Frogg Toggs – Unisex, size M (12.1 oz)
Gloves: Minus 33 Liner Gloves (1.9 oz)
Camp Shoes: Amoji Clogs – Women’s, size 10 (9.7 oz)
This is my luxury item and by all means not a necessity. There’s just something about taking your shoes off after a long day of hiking and putting on something more comfortable to do camp chores in.
Bug net: Sea to Summit head net (0.7 oz)
Unfortunately, I’m anticipating using this a lot the black flies will be out in full swing through June.
Trekking poles: Black Diamond Trail Back (17 oz worn)
If there’s a trail I’d think poles are needed, it’s this one. Also serving as my tent pole.
Water Filtration + Kitchen
Water filter: Katadyn BeFree w/ 1L bladder (2.2 oz)
I’ve always reliably used the Sawyer Squeeze (sans human error i.e. forgetting it in the truck after a very long day hike and it freezing overnight: busted), but I was seriously impressed with its flow rate after watching a friend use theirs. Adding on two 1L Poland Spring water bottles (0.4 oz/ea) – lighter than the ever popular Smart Water bottles.
Cook system + food storage:
- Toaks Titanium 750 mL pot with lid (4 oz)
- Toaks Titanium long handle spoon (0.6 oz)
- Jetboil fuel (6 oz)
- BRS 3000T stove (1 oz)
- Bic lighter (0.6 oz)
- Hilltop Packs Dyneema food bag w/ bear hang kit (2 oz)
Toiletries + First Aid
- toothbrush – yes, I cut it in half, sue me (0.2 oz)
- toothpaste – travel size (0.85 oz)
- Dr Bronners castille soap – travel size (2 oz)
- Culo Clean portable bidet (0.5 oz)
While this piece of gear isn’t for everyone, I find it more practical and hygienic than packing out TP.
- Kula Cloth (0.3 oz)
- Deuce of Spades trowel (0.6 oz)
- Organicup menstrual cup (1 oz)
- hair brush – travel size (0.4 oz)
- Ben’s Natural 30% Deet bug spray (1.25 oz)
- Bodyglide Outdoor (0.35 oz)
- Westcott titanium mini scissors (0.4 oz) – serves as nail clippers, tweezers, etc.
First Aid/Repair Kit: Customized (2.1 oz)
- leukotape and gauze (for blisters and DIY band-aids that stick better)
- triple antibiotic ointment
- bug bite ointment
- alcohol pads
- needle + dental floss (for field repairs)
- GEAR AID Tenacious Tape
- Gerber Mini Paraframe knife (1.4 oz)
Electronics + Navigation:
- iPhone SE (5.7 oz worn)
- phone charger (1.5 oz)
- FarOut Guides Long Trail hiking map
- TempaComp bauble compass/thermometer (1 oz)
- Black Diamond Astro 300 headlamp + extra batteries (4 oz)
Base Weight: 11.2 lb
Estimating the standard 1-1.5 lb of food per day, plus a maximum 2L water carried, my pack should stay around 20-23 lb which I’m pretty happy with. Needless to say, this list is subject to change.
I have a few more posts planned before leaving for trail in just a month. The excitement (and anxiety) is kicking in, but it feels good to have a big concern sorted out.
What’s an item in your kit you wouldn’t dare leave at home? Drop ’em in the comments!
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