Gear List: Chinook Trail Thru-Hike On The Washington / Oregon Border

With just a couple of weeks before the start of my 300+ mile thru-hike of the Chinook Trail my gear list is dialed in pretty well. I’ve tested it on some 14-18 mile hikes in the Chuckanut Mountains, terrain which resembles what I’ll find along the Columbia River Gorge. I’ve also done a couple of local sections of the Pacific Northwest Trail. So what I have is tested and ready to go – I even have the bulk of my food purchased.

Luxury Items: Worth The Weight?

There are definitely some luxury items in this gear list, and I’ll have to take a long look at whether I should take everything listed. For the first time this summer, I went with two sleeping pads—a foam and an inflatable pad. I like the flexibility, the comfort and added protection for the inflatable pad by having the foam pad underneath. They add up to over a pound though, so I may axe one of them – likely the foam pad.

For clothing I’ll be bringing two of everything – shirts, pants, socks, underwear and hiking boots/Crocs. With a few town stops along the way, I should be able to wash clothing every few days. One vital item for me is knee sleeves. After 18 years of soccer I’ve been able to strengthen my knees through Crossfit. However, with some days hitting 6,000 feet of elevation gain/loss, knee sleeves will help, along with trekking poles.

Overall I’m reasonably happy with a base weight of 20 pounds, but I wouldn’t mind dropping a bit of weight. Do I need two hats and an umbrella? A buff and a bandana? Over the next couple of weeks I’ll probably pack, unpack and re-pack several times, hopefully cutting a pound or two.

Thankfully, there should be plenty of water for most of the trail, so I’ll probably carry 2-3 liters at a time. Food will be limited to what I can fit into the bear canister. Most people hiking in this area would forgo a bear canister, but I’ve used it on all of my overnight hikes no matter where I’ve gone. I like the peace of mind knowing that bears, mice and other critters can’t get to my food. Also, they won’t likely be attracted to where I’ve set up camp. Food and water will add 6-8 pounds to my pack, so I’ll never have more than 28-30 pounds on my back.

Lighterpack List

Here is my current gear list – it’s an active list so if I swap out anything it’ll show below:

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