Gear List: Florida Trail

Short advice on Florida Trail Gear?  Take EVERYTHING.  This is a winter trail and while winter in Florida won’t leave you snow burned and post holing- it will leave you hypothermic.  We get freezing temps in the panhandle… so be prepared.  Even leaving in March for me- I faced freezing nights in central Florida, rain at 40-50 degrees, and eventually took a break from heat exhaustion near early April.  The day I drove from south to north Florida I went from 90% humidity at 88 degrees, zero cloud cover near Okeechobee in south Florida to my home in the Panhandle (in the same day) where they had just issued freeze warnings, it was raining, and I now write this bundled in sweats pants.  Florida is wild.

Gear list:

Base weight: around 17 pounds

  • Granite Gear Crown 2 60 L pack with brain:
    • I love my brain it is ESSENTIAL for me
  • Western Mountaineering 20degree bag
  • Cocoon Silk Liner
    • I like both because when it is hot, I can use the liner only
  • Big Agnes Fly Creek Tent
    • The one with the mesh and separate rain fly, Florida gets HOT, but the south gets breezy
  • Med kit holding
    • vapo inhaler, tweezers (we have ticks), nail clippers, foot tape, Neosporin, KT   tape, bandaids, menstrual cup and bag, safety pins, duct tape, lighter
  • Paper Maps of my section
    • Lots of road cut in an out and when Guthook won’t load- I use these
  • Pen and paper
  • Bug net
  • Spot GPS locator
  • Small knife
  • Mace
    • more for my friend’s state of mind and safety than mine
  • Whistle
  • Water
    • 3 smart water bottles, 2L bladder, 2 2L platypus folding bottles, 1 Sawyer dirty bag
    • 1 S2 Sawyer Squeeze (handles pesticides, viruses, and had the micron filter as well)
  • Headlamp
  • Anker Charge station
    • 2 cords: 1 for my phone, 1 for my headlamp, and an wall outlet plug, headphones
  • 6 feet of paracord
  • 1 dry sac from GG
  • Groundskeeper’s Kit
    • GG tough sack, GG dumptruck (small bag), trash gloves, a small scale
  • Clothes
    • Worn: booty short, pants, tank top, long sleeve shirt, socks, trail runners, sun glasses, hat, gaiters, fire striker
    • Carried: puffy, ‘clean’ underwear, 1 pair of socks, 1 t-shirt, 1 rain jacket, beanie, gloves
  • Bandana
  • Buff
  • Bathroom kit
    • Trowel, wetwipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer (I carry 2)
  • Ukulele
  • Pill bag
    • I take turmeric, ashwaghanda, allergy meds, and oregano
  • Trekking poles
  • hitch sign
  • foam sleeping pad
  • tyvek ground sheet
  • Food Bag:
    • I wanted to take a minute to food bag talk.  I started with a canister that didn’t work with my pack (caused my spine to swell). The canister, for me, is a hard thing to give up.  Bear issues are getting worse in central Florida for hanging, plus we have rodents, raccoons, cows, and lots and lots of insects.  I switched back to a stuff sack halfway through the first section only to have a squirrel in a campground, in broad daylight, chew through it (I was in the bathroom).  I have settled on getting a new Ursack now and will let you guys know how it goes on the rest of the hike.


>Hiking Umbrella<

In the south you will hike in grassland, prairie, and then on the canals for hundreds of miles with basically no shade and direct sun exposure.  No matter your thoughts on it… you should def get one.  These sections were harder on me than the PCT desert hike I did.

I’m about 100 miles from being halfway and taking a break (I’ll write a post about that soon) which means I can catch up on the blog!  If major gear alterations happen as I go- I will definitely note them.  Florida has a hiking season, but you *can* hike year round.  Your gear will be dependent on when you choose to go!

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Comments 5

  • Josh Johnson : Apr 13th

    Sorry to hear about your bear canister/bag troubles. I also carry a SPOT messenger in FL hikes; i like the peace of mind. Did you snag that special Sawyer filter just for the FT because of some of the sections having AG water or do you like that one in general?

    • Karen Mansfield : Apr 29th

      Hi! Thanks for writing this gear post. Do you know of a water report for the Florida Trail? I am keen to avoid agricultural contamination and wonder if you have any knowledge or advice on where to cache water?

      Many thanks!!


      • Amanda : Apr 29th

        You will have caches IF you are doing the trail during season which is normally December through March/April. There are two angels down south who cache water along the canal walks and a private group for FT hikers and angels for each year. Join the Florida Trail Hikers facebook group and on the year you start your hike they will add you to that year’s page. If you are self supporting with caches there are lots of areas where you cross a waterway on a road bridge- those would be good places to cache around Okeechobee. You can also post about it on the page for facebook- I wouldn’t know the best places south of Clewiston because I didn’t make it that far!

  • Vincent DeWitt : Oct 17th

    Hi, Amanda,

    I am thinking of hiking from FT’s southern terminus for a month, or two, starting Dec. Question:

    If I filter water, is it necessary to cache water?

    Thanks for your posts. Hope all was well with you due to Hurricane Michael.

    Vince DeWitt

    • Amanda Kincaid : Oct 20th

      Hi Vince, I’m not logged in but wanted to make sure I responded! If you have a facebook (and if you don’t, make one before your hike!) I commented above in another response about the caches that the angels do. I have not yet completed the farthest 100 miles, but if you are hiking in season, finding water should not be an issue. The biggest. reason why there are caches down there is that the canal water (which you walk along) can make you sick. Really… this is a personal decision. There should be water (and you can check talk to the angels in the group about it) in December -February. It will be your decision if you want to drink the water that is available… Make sure you are added to the facebook group though! My family made it through fine- and it is a good. call to hike the southern portion!


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