Aiming to be light, not ULTRA- Light

April 8th, 2017


When preparing for a big event people always want to cut weight( just ask Regina), and well I’m no different and I have two more days till I’m on the trail!

I’m  Talking about Pack Weight

Choosing gear was one of the most enjoyable parts of planning this thru-hike. For a few months it was all I talked about, and working at REI definitely enabled me to do so. I would ask tons of questions to my co- workers and talked to all kinds of people who were also planning super cool adventures. From everything I learned, I can conclude that there is a hiking spectrum. On one end you have your extreme survivalist that only need a tarp and a razor blade to survive. On the other end, you have plush campers that want to take everything including a kitchen sink. You know, because the are collapsible now.

So here it is I’m definitely not ultralight but I tried to avoid the ultra-plush route.


Big three!

Also known as the heaviest and the most expensive items on your gear List. Quick disclosure, as a  REI employ I received a fatty discount hence all the Rei specific gear.

REI Flash Pack   3 lbs 7 oz

REI Quarter Dome 1 person  2.1lbs

REI Magma  2lbs 4 oz

Sleeping pad

This one was tuff, as of right know I am taking two sleeping pads (GASP) I know, I know the gram gods would be upset, but don’t worry about it. You won’t have to deal with it. Here is my logic, I love my Big Agnes it is super plush but I have to blow it up. So what if I want to take a nap in the middle of the day, inflatable things and the desert don’t do well, so instead of having to worry about it popping, I’ll flip out my Z-light and bam! I have a comfy unpoppable place to lay down.

Therm-a-Rest  10 oz

Big Agnes Q-core 16 oz


This includes sleep, rain gear, and what I’m going to where.  Rain jacket and pants are an easy 2 lbs on their own.

REI Co-op Women’s Merino Midweight Base Layer Top
SmartWool NTS Mid 250 – Women’s
REI Co-op Women’s Magma 850 Down Jacket
REI Co-op Women’s Talusphere Rain Jacket
REI Co-op Women’s Talusphere Full-Zip Pants Petite
REI Co-op Women’s Sahara Roll-Up Pants
REI Co-op Women’s Sahara Long-Sleeve Shirt

  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of sleeping socks
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • 1 sports bra
  • beany
  • gloves


My cooking system is very basic. Stove, cup, spork. I’ll be freezer bag cooking and using the backpacker’s pantry bag as a cozy to place the freezer bags in. This way I don’t need to worry about cleaning up.

Snow Peak  LiteMax stove  1.9 oz

Snow Peak Titanium  Cup 5.5 oz

Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spork – Long .4 oz

Sawer Squeeze   3 oz

Backpackers pouch  .5 oz? (I didn’t weigh it )

hydration bladder  8oz

Hygiene / First Aid / Survival

I didn’t weigh each thing individually, I’m just not that obsessive and I figure most of this stuff will get used, so I won’t have to carry it for long anyway. I’m sure I could cut weight in this section but ill figure it out on the trail.

  • Adventure Medical Kits Moleskin Blister Dressing
  • Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Liquid Soap – 2 fl. oz.
  • Advil
  • midole
  • tampons /pads
  • Toilet Paper
  • trowel
  • wipes
  • sunscreen
  • tooth past
  • toothbrush
  • combe
  • eye drops
  • bug spray








Music is a must for me, it pumps me up and distracts me from my exhaustion. I also opted for a Gps so my friends and family could follow me.

  • Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel  13oz
  • Goal Zero Flip 30 Portable Charger  6.5 oz
  • go pro 4
  • mp3
  • headlamp
  • Gps 7.5 oz

Snow gear

Bear vault 2 lbs

Microspikes 11 oz

Things I want to take

A knife for protection, which will mostly use to slice cheese, a notebook so I can journal, and a hacky sack because it makes me happy. I understand that carrying around a bag of sand is not logical but it provides countless of hours of entertainment and helps you make friends.

Things I chose to leave behind

A seat to summit pillow, it was only 4 oz but I can use clothing and ball it up.
I also left a solar light its only 3 oz but if I have a head lamp then I should be ok right?
lastly an umbrella, this was a gift and was incredibly conflicted because it is going to be hot in the desert and this could come in handy for shade and shelter, but at 11 oz I could not justify it. also, I can’t hike, hold my trekking pole and hold the umbrella at the same time. getting rid of this saved me one whole pound. which makes me feel better about the two sleeping pads.

Finale weigh in

My base pack weighed in at a solid 20 lbs without snow gear. That is about 5 more pounds than I wanted, but I’m happy with my gear and I’m sure I will get rid of things as I go!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 4

  • Glenn : Apr 9th

    Take the bottom 1/3 of a water bottle to dip water and fill your dirty water container. Those blue Sawyer water bottles are a pain to fill, especially from shallow pools or streams.

  • Nelson : Apr 9th

    Thanks for sharing. I like your perspective.
    1) You’ll miss that S2S pillow.
    2) You’ll ditch the solar charger pretty quickly.

    Have a ball!

  • Annette : Apr 11th

    Thank you for sharing your gear list. I’m not aiming for ultra light, either, and will also be carrying two sleeping pads (for the same reasons). I’m still in my final decision making stage, so at the moment I still have my S to S pillow and umbrella :). Happy hiking!


    • Leo Yermo Adan : Apr 20th

      Muchas Thankius for sharing your gear list. Do you miss the umbrella yet? I kinda sorta believe I would. BIG TIME
      TREK on !


What Do You Think?