New Hike, New Gear
In the past, my severe budget limited what gear I could afford. I used walmart trekking poles, wore a lot of cotton layers, and had heavy gear that wasn’t too durable. There’s nothing wrong with saving money, but it was obvious that text equipment I used was making my hikes much less enjoyable, maybe even unsafe.
When I finally decided to do a thru hike, I resolved to get better quality gear.
- Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1
- Though many hikers prefer the UL2, I find the one person model to be plenty big enough for me and my gear.
- Tyvek Ground Cloth
- Osprey Exos 28
- A huge improvement to the heavy 40l pack I used to use, the Exos 28 is super light and comfortable. However, it’s a bit smaller than I expected.
- Teton Trailhead 20
- One of the very few things I kept the same was my sleeping bag. For only $40, it’s a 2lb 9oz synthetic bag that I’ve used in all weather.
- Thermarest NeoAir XLite-Regular
- Replacing my Thermarest Ridgerest, the NeoAir XLite saves a few ounces, is more compact, and much more comfortable.
- Toaks Titanium 900ml 125mm diameter pot
- Toaks Titanium 375ml cup
- Soda Can Alcohol Stove
- Snowpeak Titanium Spork
- Esbit Folding Stove
- Though originally designed as a solid fuel stove, I’ll be using it as a pot stand.
- Nalgene 8oz Fuel Bottle
- Mountain Hardware 9″ Shorts
- Reebok Moisture Wicking T-shirt x2
- One will be my every day shirt, and the other for camp.
- Patagonia Capilene Midwieght Crew
- McKinley Kapaa Thermore Insulated Jacket
- Asic Gel Venture 5 Trailrunners
- I’ve put over a thousand miles on a pair of Venture 4s, but since I couldn’t find any more of them, I went with the newer model.
- Superfeet Green Insoles
- Frogs Toggs UL Jacket and Pants
- Navy Watch Cap
- Boonie hat
- Sun Glasses
- Darn Tuff socks
- Mesh Gym Shorts
- Canon Elph 180
- This will be my first standalone camera, so hopefully I can get some better pictures of the trail than I’ve been able to do with my phone.
- Memory cards
- JOBY GorillaPod
- At only 2oz, this super compact tripod is exactly what I needed. Plus, how cool is a flexible tripod?
- Power cords
- USB wall adapter
- Ravpower 13k mAh battery pack 6oz
- Sanza Fuze
- Petzl Tikkina Headlamp 3oz
- Blackdiamond Cork Trekking poles 1lb
- Duct tape on trekking pole
- Electrical tape on trekking pole
- 2016 AWOL Guide book 8oz
- Sawyer Squeeze
- I used to use the Sawyer mini, but when you are dehydrated on a hot day, it seemed to take forever to filter just a few drops.
- Smart Water Bottle
- For those of you who haven’t heard yet, you can use a smart water bottle instead of the Sawyer filter bags. They are much cheaper and easier to replace.
- Sheffield Pocket Knife
- I picked up this awesome little folder for only $5 years ago and it’s never failed me yet.
- Cut Down Colman Trowel
- Reflective paracord
- 40l Dry sack
- It will be packed empty unless it looks like rain and will also be used to hand my food at night.
- Anti-diarrhea medicine
- This is probably tied with foot care as the most important things to take on a hike.
- Hand sanitizer
- Chap stick
- Nail clippers
- Needle for blisters
- Alcohol swabs
- Cut down tooth brush
Fully loaded with 5days of food, my pack now only weighs 21bs. That’s a huge improvement to the 38lbs for 3 days that I had when I first began hiking. I’m sure when this hike is over, I’ll be wondering how I thought 21lbs was light. But for now, I’m extremely happy with the progress I’ve made.
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