It’s Here, It’s Gear!

The Gear List

Hey everybody, it’s time to talk about everybody’s favorite subject: gear!  This is my first thru-hike, I had lots of research and time to get this stuff together.  Could I have made different/better choices? Most certainly.  Am I pleased with the end results? Yes! For me, this setup will work, and that’s all I care about for this trip.  I would eventually like to attain the coveted ‘ultralight’ status, someday, but time will tell. I don’t need that many luxuries on the trail, but a couple are nice!  And, no matter what, all of the gear I have accumulated this year will serve me some purpose in the future.  So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Shelter/Sleep System

Tent: REI Co-op Flash Air 2.  I chose this tent because it was light, and has poles that can be used with it just in case my trekking poles aren’t up for the job. As a matter of fact, tomorrow afternoon I am going on a short overnight to test this out.

Ground Sheet: Polycro sheet from Garage Grown Gear.  I got a 2 pack of these groundsheets, sized large, for like $13.  Well worth it for extra ground protection, and it will also double as protection for my sleeping pad when in a shelter!

Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra.  The weight was just right for me, and the insulation will help.  I tend to sleep warm, but it is September in Vermont, so best be prepared.  Also, the price was a huge selling point for me.

Sleeping Quilt: REI Co-op Magma 30 Sleeping Quilt.  I have wanted to try a quilt ever since I first read about them.  Mummy bags are too constricting for my tastes, so a quilt seemed like a great solution.  I got this bad chicken on sale for 50% off, and I am excited to test it out!  I have used it one night so far in high temps, and could have gotten away without it.  We will see how it goes!

Pillow: Air Pillow from Garage Grown Gear.  Originally for hospital use apparently, its just enough for my weary head to rest, and is super light.  If it fails, I’m only out a couple bucks, and I will just use a stuff sack with clothes.

The Pack

Osprey Exos 48L, size Large.  I was unable to find the earlier models, which apparently had hip pockets (boo!!!), but this model is fine for me.  It isn’t ultralight, but compared to the old skool Kelty external frame monstrosity in my closet, it’s light!  I do really like the Kelty, but that is more of a hunting/fishing excursion pack where I don’t need to cover super long distances.

Nyloflume Pack Liner.  Stronger than a garbage bag, very cheap, figured why not?  There is a larger dry sack at Garage Grown Gear that I am interested in for next years adventures, budget allowing.


Shorts: Russel athletic shorts with liner.  These guys were cheap, on sale, and have enough stretch for when I need to get creative with movement.  I’m not a large man, nor am I that small (5’8″, 180lbs on a good day), so sometimes my clothes need a little extra give.

Pants/Joggers: Patagonia Terrebone joggers, size Large.  These will be great for cooler days, and for sleeping/camp pants.

Mid-Layer: REI Co-op 650 Down hooded jacket, size Large.  The price was right, its not insanely heavy, and it should do well.

Rain Jacket: REI Co-op Rainier rain jacket, size Large.  I had the cheaper REI rain jacket, but then I discovered it had no pit zips (my fault for not checking before purchase obviously), so I traded in for the Rainier, which feels more sturdy and has the pit zips.  I don’t normally sweat a great deal, but my body reacts differently to physical activity these days.  This should help me not to get too overheated.

Sleep/Camp Shirt: Icebreaker Merino 175, size Medium.  This will be great for camp and for sleeping, and can even double as a base layer if it gets cold enough.

T-Shirt: Under Armour Heat Gear shirt, size Large.  Found it for sale in a thrift shop, said “take my money!!”

Long Sleeve/Sun Protection: Patagonia Capilene Cool hoody, size Large.  While not specifically a sun hoodie, it will be fine for the season.  It’s lightweight, and very breathable.

Socks: Darn Tough micro-crew hiking socks (2 pairs).  At first I wasn’t sure if I should go with one pair or two, but I decided two, since I am not bringing camp shoes. I have a pair of Merrell Hydro-mocs that I cut up to make lighter, but I am wearing trail runners, so camp shoes won’t really be necessary.

Sleeping Socks: Darn Tough hiker socks (one pair). Just for sleeping, just in case.

Buff: My friend Buff McKagan will journey along with me, providing some sun protection, numerous headwear options, and who knows what else.  Yes, I named my Buff.  I know, I know, you’re jealous, it’s ok.

Undies: Columbia boxer briefs.  Mostly for sleeping, or days when I need to use the joggers to hike in.

The Kitchen

Food Storage: BV 500.  This should be just enough for what I need, though I do wish I had done some more research on UrSacks.  Ah well, next year!  Either way, a handy item to have anyways.

Cold Soaking container: Talenti pint jar.  This fits all my “meals” just fine, though some of my breakfast granola meals are quite large. If by chance I can’t get it all in there the first time, that means I get second breakfast!

Eating Utensil: Sea to Summit spork.  I could have gone with something smaller, but when I got it I was expecting to use my stove more.  There is still a chance to find a Wal-Mart spoon or something, but if I don’t bother, this will be more than enough.


Zeus guarding my bear vault…or plotting to break into it

Hygiene/First Aid/Survival

Water Filter: Sawyer Squeeze.  The people have spoken, and the verdict is that this baby works great!

Water Collection: Platypus 2L soft bottle.  This way I can just fill up, squeeze into my bottles, and carry extra in case of a dry stretch!

Water Bottles: Smart Water 1L bottle (2).  I may switch these out to Poland Spring water bottles (*gasp*) because they are wider and lighter; mostly, wider, which will fit the Exos side pockets better.

First Aid Kit: Lots of Leukotape (pre-cut), some alcohol/iodine prep pads, bandaids, Mini-bic, safety-pin, etc.  Just the basics!

Trowel: Vargo Dig Dig tool.  Can even double up as a tent stake if I need it to!

Hand Sanitizer: Pocket sized hand sanitizer.

Tooth Care: Ultralight toothbrush, mini toothpaste, a few plaquers (spelling?  The things with floss and a pick)

Swiss Army Knife Classic.


Cell Phone: A monster of a Motorola; will definitely be looking to upgrade this thing next year, just for weight savings in every-day life!

Battery Bank: 5000mH battery bank for the phone.

USB Cords: One for wall to bank, one for bank to charger.

Loose paper/pen: For journaling, sketching, poetry, etc.  When I fill the pages up, just switch over to the phone.


Ozark Trail 2L Fanny Pack: Perfect for the days snacks, my LT map, compass, and my lunch!

LT Map.

Suunto A-10 Compass.

Goodr Freshly Baked Man Buns shades.

Energizer Head Lamp w/extra batteries.

Sawyer Insect Repellant with Picaridin.

Trekking Poles.


And so friends, that’s it!  You can view the full gear list on any of my posts; it will probably get a few tweaks before I head out, but it looks like I am all set!  My goal is to totally be done swapping/buying/changing things out by the end of this weekend.  Then, fully packed and ready, after work Sunday it’s off to North Troy!  My friend is going to let me crash there that night, leaving my car there for the duration, and drop me off on 105 the next morning to begin!  I can’t wait!  Till next time folks, stay healthy, always rock on, peace out!



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