It’s All in the Gear

Welcome to the obligatory pre-trail gear post. Although I’ve been subconsciously conducting research on the trail for months now, it wasn’t until recently that I decided to stick to my guns and make this hike happen. With that, I allotted myself one month to learn everything I could about thru-hiking gear. In the end, I’m happy with my choices but the true test will be on the trail. I expect I’ll be switching things out here and there until I figure out what works best for me.

Now if you’ve talked to me in the past few months about this hike, you might have noticed how I’ve been speaking in ounces. When you expect to be carrying all of your belongings on your back for five months, you too would be fixated on weight and second-guessing that three-pound tent. As of now my base weight is at 14.4 pounds, which I’m content with for the moment. If you’re new to this, base weight includes your pack and all the gear in it, minus fuel, water, and consumables. Since the latter could be 25-plus pounds, my goal was to keep my base weight under 15 pounds and thus far I’ve proven myself successful.
 I’d like to lower it even more, but I’m sure I’ll learn more on the trail about what I can let go of and what will prove its worth in weight.

Items not included in my initial base weight are those that will be mailed to me farther ahead on the trail where they’re needed. You’ll see these under the Sierra/cold weather section.

So without further delay, below is a glimpse of the constants in my life for the foreseeable future.

The Big Four

Cooking and Hydration




Clothing Packed


Sierra and Cold Weather

You can also check out my list at

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Comments 2

  • Jay Swan : Apr 14th

    Hi Kate, Chris shared this with me. How exciting… great effort! Good luck, look forward to reading about your adventures! 👍


    • Kate Emmons : Apr 16th

      Oh hey!! That’s awesome, thanks so much! Hope all is well! 🙂


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